Category: Writing

#thiswritinglife

Note: On occasion on #thiswritinglife posts I include reviews of books on the craft of writing. Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style is the book I recommend most often to aspiring authors. I reread it myself cover to cover every few years. Notenote: For aspiring Alaska authors I also recommend The Associated Press Stylebook…

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#thiswritinglife

Long ago and far away I taught a class on “The Business of Writing” at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. One of the segments was how to write a query letter, and included a sample query letter I wrote to give my students an idea of how to get their toe in the door. From…

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#thiswritinglife

[from the stabenow.com archives, February 10, 2008, with present-day commentary also in bold] Okaaaaay, five days after publication of Prepared for Rage, I have received the first email wanting to know when the next Kate novel will be out. Laurie King and I were talking about this yesterday. We’re pleased and flattered that you “Just…

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#thiswritinglife

[Originally posted on October 21, 2013. Repeating it here because reading is as much a part of #thiswritinglife as writing is. And because you never know what you’ll find inside a used book, or what will happen when you write a blog post about it.] I found this copy of Ernie Pyle’s Here is Your War in…

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#thiswritinglife

People often ask if I’m afraid I’ll run out of ideas. No, that’s not what I fear. My CPA, who I’ve been with since before I sold my first book, including those seven–or was it eight? possibly nine–years I had no earned income at all, retired last year. We’ll pass over the massive trauma this…

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#thiswritinglife

If you write long enough, eventually someone will ask you to contribute a chapter for a serial novel. What is a serial novel, you ask? In the archaic meaning, it’s a work of fiction published in installments–think of Dickens’ The Old Curiosity Shop and people in New York waiting on the docks for the ship carrying copies…

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#thiswritinglife

On March 15th 49 Writers hosted a conversation between me and Haines, Alaska writer Heather Lende. Pro tip: It never does for writers to take themselves too seriously. We didn’t. My review of Heather’s book is here, Of Bears and Ballots, which book you should most definitely read along with everything else she’s ever written.

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#thiswritinglife

Dana here–The Authors Guild is unquestionably the biggest bang you can get for your writing buck. Doug Preston tells us why. [reprinted by permission] In talking to some of you, I’ve discovered that not everyone is awareof the extensive benefits that come with Guild membership. Pleasetake a moment to look through the list, because there…

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#thiswritinglife

[Written at Laurie King’s request for The Arvon Book of Crime and Thriller Writing, 2012.] Those “Eureka!” moments Writing successfully is sweat equity.  Butt in the chair, hour after hour, grinding out sentences and paragraphs and pages, none of which, one is grimly aware, may make the final cut when it comes time to edit. That…

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#thiswritinglife

One question every writer gets at every public event is what is our process, as in how do we write our books. For example, how many words do I write every day? I always answer in pages, lately five pages a day. I’m aware that that is an oblique answer, but there is a reason.…

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