Building a Better Battering Ram

“When do I begin approaching agents?” I get that question at least once a week, and my answer is always the same: “When your novel is done. And by that I mean, well done!” I think that it is human nature to be eager. When we are working on a novel, and we’re excited about […]

Writing a Bestselling Series, Chapter 13: Strange Reviews

Most writers kill their own careers.  For decades now I’ve studied promising new writers, and sometimes after a writer makes a great debut, a few years later I wonder, “Where did so-and-so go?”  Many authors will start great but then quit the race. The most common mistake that a new author makes is that the […]

Dealing with Editors

An editor can be your best friend or your worst enemy. In truth, I don’t think that you want him or her to be either. Here is what I mean by that. I once had a line editor who loved my work so much, he wanted to edit every book that I wrote. But I […]

Stories and Stables

Many years ago, I heard a renowned magazine editor Gardner Dozois remark, “I don’t want just a great story in my magazine, I want a great writer in my stable.” He was talking of course about why he didn’t pick up new writers on their very first stories. He had a policy: if a new […]