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 […]

A Guide to Finding Literary Agents

In the United States, there is no government regulation on literary agents. Someone who calls himself an agent may be a godsend—or your worst nightmare. Searching for literary agents can be tough, and the job is made tougher because most authors go about it in the wrong way. They very often look at listings of […]

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 […]