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How are YOU preparing for NaNoWriMo?

November is coming! (Already? Dammit!).

I’m working with some other social media websites, and I wrote something on Storify about how to prepare for NaNoWriMo:

https://storify.com/pshoffman/na-no-wri-mo-and-why-you-should

Told you it was a short post!

How are YOU preparing for NaNoWriMo? What are you going to write? Are you READY?

Comment below, and don’t forget to like and follow the blog!

Photo by Rudolf Vlček

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10,000 Words a DAY?! (or How to Use Science to Write More, Better)

The most Novembery of all months is bearing down on us, and soon everyone around the world will be getting to work on novels they’ve been putting off for far too long. Authors will be completing first drafts of novels in November, because who wants to go outside in **the weather**?

Wait. Novel first drafts in a month? How is that possible? That’s like, 5000 words a day, without deleting anything.

If you had asked me 6 months ago, I would have said “That’s impossible.” But I’ve been working up there (I think I’m at around 2000 words on a good day), and if you asked me a few hours ago, I’d say “That’s improbable. Only full-time writers can even get close to that.”

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Waiting at 34th Street

Books Too Difficult? Why You Should Read Them Anyway!

I read this article and my brain flopped out of my gaping mouth.

The article picks apart some recent statements by bestselling novelist Nick Hornby, and his suggestion that readers should not force themselves to read difficult books. Hornby says, “Novels should be like TV. It shouldn’t be hard work and we should do ourselves a favour.”

OK, before I get passionate and start ranting, I want to say this: TV can be thought-provoking, immersive and emotionally powerful. TV can be fantastic.

And there is nothing wrong with authors writing easy-to-read books; sometimes you just want to curl up after a long, hard day and relax.

But to prescribe that all books should be easy, that all books should be nothing but popcorn entertainment — this is evil.

 

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How Much Do You Sell For?

This article in The New York Times bemoans the issues of being a writer; namely, not being paid. The author, Tim Kreider, addresses the frequency of people asking him to write for free. Sickening, isn’t it?

Kreider ends his tirade by pleading with all writers to never, ever, ever give out their writing for free. He says, “Do it for your colleagues, your fellow artists, because if we all consistently say no they might, eventually, take the hint.”

But if you’re a self-publisher, or a self-marketer of any kind, maybe you should not heed his advice.

I want to point to this post from The Creative Penn.

It’s an interview with  full-time, independent author Lindsay Buroker. Buroker gives away the first book in The Emperor’s Edge series for free, and sells the rest for $4.95.

You know what? It’s working for her. And she isn’t the only one who advocates this type of marketing. According to this interview (Thanks Lindsey!), Neil Gaiman experimented with giving away one of his books free for a month, and his sales went up by 300% the following month.

So I wanted to ask you, dear writers: Do you sell your work? How much do you sell for? Do you know how other authors do it?

Post your thoughts in the comments below! Don’t forget to like or follow.

Photo Credit: TaxCredits.net

Photo Credit: Araí Moleri Riva-Zucchelli

Writers, are you having trouble with productivity? Read this.

WAKE UP. 

Every day you don’t write, another innocent story dies. How could you, you heartless monster.

Who knows how much is lost because you put off writing.

Again.

The number one problem with writers is that we’re lazy, and we’ll never get anything done unless we discipline ourselves.  If you want to be a successful author, you will have to write everyday, sometimes for hours.

But how do you do that? How do you find the time, the discipline to do that?

Here are 65 authors to answer these questions and more:

http://www.focusalot.com/blog/accomplished-writers/

Remember: If you don’t write your stories, someone else will.

 

Follow, like, comment, and go write!

(Image by Araí Moleri Riva-Zucchelli via Flickr Creative Commons)

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The High Mountain (Flash Fiction: 154 Words)

They lived in the shade of the High Mountain, which made it easier for her. When she came, they were lined up in the streets, heads bowed for their daily prayer. Hundreds of shadows slid down the mountain as her fleet eclipsed the Sun, and the worshipers looked up.

The worshipers pointed; a pregnant, black behemoth slowed over the mountain, covering the city in darkness. The worshipers shook their fists, and they yelled at her.

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Photo by Ed van der Hoek

5 Blogs for Writers (Bonus: Danger?)

I’m going to do something dangerous at the end of this post. This is an experiment, and I’m desperately hoping I don’t break something.

But first, a list! These are some of the best writing blogs out there that are not on WordPress. You probably aren’t on this list, and for that I’m SORRY, but you already know how to find good blogs around  here. Without further ado, I present you:

 

P.S. Hoffman’s Very Short List of Very Good Blogs That Will

Teach You How to Write Gooder

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How to Make Your Writing Smell Better

Fog settled over the village and I thought the houses looked like they were huddling together in the cold.

One house stood apart from the others, a tilting mess with off-colored smoke pouring out of the chimney. A sign with the word Alchem- etched in fading white letters hung over the front door.

The house seemed to shudder as I approached. Before I could knock, the door slammed open, and a horse-sized plume of smoke belched from inside. The alchemist stumbled out of the house, coughing and clapping his beard between both hands to put out the last of the flames.

“Ah, you must be my three o’clock.” The alchemist hacked something from his throat, apologized, and stuck an ashy hand out to greet me, “P.S. Hoffman, correct?”

“Thank you for meeting me on such short notice.”

“Not to worry, not to worry. I know just the thing to sort out your problem. Now, were you the one with the fissures? No, that was someone else, you were…” He scratched at the blackened tips of his beard, frowning.

I cupped a hand around my mouth, whispering, “I’m here about the -“

OH YES. YOU’RE THE WRITER WITH THE BORING STORIES!” The alchemist shouted, stamping his foot triumphantly. The house shuddered again.

“Don’t be shy now, come in, I have just the thing for you.”

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Photo by Alex Vargas

7 Useful Writers You Should Follow on Twitter

I tried it, I dipped my toes into Twitter. And it was like dipping my toes into acid.

Somehow, I just knew it wasn’t my thing. But after all the flesh melted off of my bones, and I lost the ability to feel anything, I found something I liked. And then, something else. And something else and ohnoI’monTwitternow. I tweeted. I’m a twitterer… er?

I swear, it’s good for your writing. Twitter teaches you how to be concise, how to connect with your readers (though I hear it’s better for connecting with agents or editors), and who knows? You might learn something about writing!

Here are some of the people I’ve started following, and a few reasons why YOU should follow them, if you want to improve your writing.

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Photo Credit: Mike Prosser

3 Reasons to Love a Minecraft Sellout

In this post, I’m going to break away from writing to talk about successful artists and sellouts.

You work hard. You write stories (or make games, or direct films, etc.), and one day someone recognizes you. They compliment you, they tell you how much they love your work. They tell you it’s changed their life.

Feels good, doesn’t it?

But your story doesn’t stop there. People start to recognize you everywhere you go. Your work has hooked into something fundamental, something mysteriously powerful, and the mainstream has carried it far out of your control. People are obsessed with your work, hundreds, millions.

Your work doesn’t belong to you anymore. What would you do?

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