Good News and Bad Advice

E-book sales of best-sellers double print: Amazon
Not the clearest headline, but what it’s basically saying is that Amazon customers are choosing e-books (electronic books, ebooks, digital books, whatever you want to call them) over hardcover and paperback books combined at a rate of greater than two to one. Good news for writers with ebooks available, and good news for trees.

The Worst Writing Advice I’ve Ever Heard
A fun and amusing blog post by Stacey O’Neale (even if “advice” is was originally spelled wrong on the blog).

You Must Write Short Stories Before Attempting A Novel – Pfft. Been there, tried that. I can’t write small, although I am trying to train myself to do so. My first completed manuscript was 90,000 words. My first major sale was a 110,000-word novel. My first short story (approximately 5,000 words and as yet unsold) wasn’t written until I finished writing four novels.

Never Break The Rules – I agree with this on the technical stuff (grammar, punctuation, etc.), but there are places where you gotta break the rules. Like using fragment sentences. For fiction, fragments are fantastic for emphasizing things and giving your writing a “voice.” Lots of other rules worth breaking, too.

You Must Participate In A Critique Group – I’ve participated in online critique groups off and on for years. Some are wonderfully helpful; some will destroy your writing and your confidence. If you want to participate in a critique group, choose wisely.

Stick To What You Know – Of course I know all about dragons and starships and faeries and telepathy and shapeshifters and pulse cannons and…

Stop Writing – Okay, this is one piece of advice I’ve never received, except from that little voice in my head. Thank goodness I never listen to it for long.



About Mik Wilkens

Writer of fantasy, science fiction, and other speculative fiction. Author of The Silver Cage, a fantasy novel, coming 12/1/10.
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