Prosodies, Threnodies, And Maladies

The indie-writers movement is a thing of great internal variety. Indeed, the one thing we have in common is that we publish our own crap. However, our offerings do display some differences, statistically at least, from the drivel that Pub World puts out. In particular, Pub World fiction puts more emphasis on style than does indie fiction. Indies tend to emphasize plot and excitement. That cleavage probably derives, at least in part, from the reason we write: the kinds of stories that thrilled us as readers have become rare among Pub World offerings. That’s certainly part of my motive power:
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New Year, New Writing Exercises

  My fingers are buzzing with anticipation. Now that the holidays are over, I can get back to uninterrupted writing (relatively speaking). And every year, every week, every day, my goal is to get just a little bit better than I was before. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it’s just finger exercises. So to help keep myself from meaninglessly wearing out my fingers, I’ve come up with a few new self-study exercises that I thought I’d share. Mimic—Take a close look at a story you enjoy and use it as a template. (It’s kind of like fan fiction, but the
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On Reviews

The online book review has come to be a matter of some controversy. Many reviews are unmoored from any standard of evaluation, while some are plainly meant to wound. Here are some thoughts about producing a review the prospective purchaser will find useful.
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Should we stay Amazon-Exclusive or spread the net?

Lately there’s been a lot of hoopla over Kindle Unlimited and the way Amazon is apparently intent on screwing over its authors. You know–those people who used to spend a fortune on books now spend 10 bucks a month for all the books they can get their sweaty mitts on. And this is great for the reader! But while folks with .99 cent books are making good money on KU, anybody with higher price points are seeing their income halved. And oh, the weeping and wailing, the gnashing of teeth, the consumption of chocolate. Hugh Howey observed, Amazon was a
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A Second Life for a First Novel, Using Professional Editors

Anyone paying attention knows that the book publishing industry is undergoing tremendous change.  The result is that a book you see on the shelf of a bookstore, or at a reading, may have been produced by an entire team of publishing professionals in New York, or a team of professionals working independently for a self-published author. Increasingly, when done well, it’s impossible to tell the difference between these two efforts.  
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Fantastic Terminology

One of the great challenges in the depiction of worlds and phenomena distant from reality as we know it is mastering the art of the coinage. It’s not easy; take it from a writer who’s struggled with it for thirty years. Some science fiction writers are truly gifted at this art. Larry Niven, in his early “Known Space” stories, displayed a talent for introducing strange words as labels for strange things. For example, when he decided to allow faster-than-light travel in his fictional universe — always a chancy proposition — he gave us the hyperdrive shunt. He called the kidnappers
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