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Author Support 
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 Author Support
This will be a work in progress. I want a place on this forum to consolidate helpful information for authors at all stages in their career. The sections will be timeline based. If you have any wisdom for other authors, feel free to share it below. I want this to be comprehensive.

First a disclaimer. Getting good information from the internet is a double edged sword. I'll suggest books and websites both, and where you have the option, pick the book.

Aspiring Writers

If you want to write you need to read. Writing is a process of recombination, and you need fodder to recombine. Your lifetime of experience may suddenly be catalyzed by a single paragraph from a new novel. Catalyzed into the plot for a novel that may be fantastic. If you're a writer, you must also be a reader, and make time for both.

If you already read a great deal, try adding an audio book selection to your list. Acquiring the information through a different channel(auditory) allows you to analyze different elements of the craft. A good narrator emphasizes pacing, for example, which can be helpful.

Analyze the books you read. If your writing sounds different from your favorite author, try to figure out why. Analyze the differences, notice what he or she does differently. The benefit of analysis is that it draws your attention to what works. Analysis leads to recognition of writing devices. Every time you see a similar technique in the future, you will recognize it. After enough repetitions across various books, you will assimilate it. However, when it comes time to write, just let it flow. Writing is art, and the words should come naturally. If you've analyzed and recognized and assimilated various writing devices, they will come naturally.

The golden rule of writing is to elicit emotion. There are a million successful techniques, and a billion ways to screw it up. Parse all information through this lens.

Books:
Sol Stein, On Writing
How to Write Tales of Horror, Fantasy and Science Fiction
Scene & Structure (Elements of Fiction Writing)
How to Write a Novel by Nathan Bransford

Sites:
Nathan Bransford's blog, because it has a great deal of good advice Useful for published authors as well.
The Paperback Writer's best of list

Struggling to Write

To fill this space initially I'll leave a link to Neil Gaiman.

http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/ ... o-writers/
http://winningedits.com/neil-gaiman-on-writing/

Great quotes from Visual Thesaurus.


An excellent resource that could be in any of these sections is Absolute Write. In the forums, there are endless aspiring authors that serve as motivational feedback loops, since most everyone there is in the same boat.

Refining the Craft

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print
Lessons from a Lifetime of Writing: A Novelist Looks at His Craft

Finding an Agent or Publisher

If you've written a novel and found yourself reading this, go no further. Instead, educate yourself. There are a thousand ways to be taken advantage, and the way that takes you will be the thousand and first.

Writer's Beware is an excellent resource. Read through the archives.
http://accrispin.blogspot.com/

Another link from Ann on finding an agent. This is pretty comprehensive and extremely useful.
http://www.sfwa.org/real/

Evil editor has useful advice, but it's choppy and hard to see where it applies until you've reached the point of formulating a query letter. Then it all makes sense.
http://evileditor.blogspot.com/

And Chuck Sambuchino's Guide to Literary Agents

Or the 2014 version of his book. The book is a better option, but take it with a grain of salt. This is a face paced industry, and some of the information is already outdated.
2014 Guide to Literary Agents

Advice on writing a good query letter. Necessary for any potential author.
http://jpsorrow.livejournal.com/167325.html

Navigating Published Life

http://jordanmccollum.com/2014/06/rejected-publisher/
A.D. Winch's list of 100 top sites for book promotion

Books:
Create Your Writer Platform


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Chris OConnor, rdc8492
Sat Aug 16, 2014 12:31 pm
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Post Re: Author Support
If I could cyber hug you, I would! Thank you for taking your time to compile resources and offer advice. I'm sure I speak for all writers and us wannabe's, much appreciated!


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Post Re: Author Support
As rdc8492 just said this is really great information, Interbane. Thanks for taking your time to compile these resources. I'm sure some aspiring or struggling authors will be taking advantage of what you've just provided.



Sun Aug 17, 2014 11:20 pm
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Post Re: Author Support
Without the blog section, I've been lacking a place to post some arbitrary thoughts regarding writing fiction novels. It just occurred to me that this thread could serve the purpose. Since the thoughts aren't comprehensive individually, but wordy nonetheless, I thought I'd extend the thread.

Pace and bad prose

As Neil Gaiman says, the best wisdom for being an author can be reduced to a single axiom: Write. Get in your word count for the day.

There are frustrations with this. Sometimes, you know how a chapter should turn out, but during the execution, you either drag along too slowly, or produce garbage. Even when you go slowly, you're creating the chapter infrastructure, so obvious flaws will still exist. Unless you have every word already in your head before your fingers touch the keyboard, this is an issue. Even going slow and paying close attention to the harmony between one sentence and the next, the chapter will need extensive editing.

Usually such editing takes the form of pulling weeds. Removing what isn't needed, chopping boring parts, condensing boring parts, etc. This is all the more painful when you've taken a long time to write the chapter.

What I'd suggest is to write quickly for the first and even second draft(but always outline initially). Lay out the infrastructure, as if you're framing a house. Naturally, this pushes a large portion of the effort into the editing phase, where it rightfully belongs.

The pace at which you write is something of a sliding scale between two negative poles, with the proper pace somewhere in the middle. Write too slowly, and you will get bogged down with each sentence, lose motivation, and be less likely to chop away what is unnecessary(since you spent so much time writing it).

Write too quickly, and your prose is likely to be terrible. It's easy enough to formulate a well worded 'sentence A'. It's also easy enough to formulate a well worded 'sentence C'. But creating a 'sentence B' that bridges the gap with clarity becomes increasingly difficult the faster you write. If you write too quickly, literally no sentence in the draft will survive the edit, which is equally as time consuming. You want some good sentences that resonate and set the tone for various paragraphs.

The benefit of editing is that rather than stressing over the proper formulation of 'sentence B', you'll have the entire chapter as context. You can see the solution to harmonizing the prose more easily. For instance, the answer may lay in reformulating 'sentence C'.

Writing quickly during the first drafts doesn't work unless you've done your homework. Make sure you outline, to eliminate any contradictions or unbelievable scenes. This is like the architect's blueprints, and the quickly written first draft is the realization of the framework.


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Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:35 pm
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Post Re: Author Support
Anne Crispin on how to get an agent or publisher?

Anne Crispin used to do this complete waste of time seminar on how to get published at DragonCon. She advised us that we should write letters, not send email (most agents AND most publishers only accept digital media now). She spent an entire hour on why we were wasting our time, and then another (with a 'guest speaker') on how to prepare for an 'elevator meeting.'

She dismissed the value of a website and said that we should use Twitter instead, because then we'd learned about going to more seminars.

She also hadn't marketed a book for about eight years before then (that terrible 'The Price of Freedom' prequel to POTC was an offer from Disney to her specifically), and when she DID try right after, she found herself getting ripped off by a small publisher

There is better advice on these forums than you'll ever get from the deceased AC Crispin


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Post Re: Author Support
I've found the Writer's Beware blog to be a great resource. I can't speak to the quality of Anne Crispin's seminars. Although Anne Crispin no longer blogs, Victoria Strauss has done a good job keeping tabs on the sketchy side of the publishing industry. Some of the blog posts are of honest people who have made a mistake, so it's good to keep perspective while browsing.


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Post Re: Author Support
I have no problem with Writer's Beware, but Anne Crispin was a horrible choice for advice on how to get published or to find an agent.


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Post Re: Author Support
Her name is in the link. The content at accrispin.blogspot.com (Writer Beware) is from Victoria Strauss, and I recommend it. Don't let the name of the web address dissuade you.


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Post Re: Author Support
Hi and wow! Ok, and thanks! This is great information Interbane. Now I'm reading through this, so it'll be a little bit before I post again.

I'm new at writing as a book (children's) author,and hungry for information. And also willing to share my learning experience(ah, that would be errors).


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Post Re: Author Support
Hi,

I wanted to contribute to this forum by offering book marketing wisdom! I find that there are a ton of information and resources on how to find a publisher or agent. Or how to publish your book. But there is not enough info on publishing or marketing your book.

If you are a traditionally published author you still need to market your book. You should not 100% depend on the publisher to promote your book. The publisher actually depends on you to really market your book over the long term. This means you need to manage your social media and sometimes PR strategy. Publishers will also want to publish your book if they can already see that you are active on social media.

Here is an article on why traditionally published authors need to publish their book: http://www.talkplustell.com/do-traditio ... heir-book/

As an author you should start marketing your book at least 6 months before it is published. This means you need to build up your social media presence and start getting more testimonials that can be published with your book.

To help you further promote your book here is a checklist on ho to get more books sold: http://www.talkplustell.com/the-ultimat ... guidebook/

I hope this helps!!



Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:43 pm
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