November 2017

Write What You Buy

I recently saw what looks like good advice:  “Write what you buy.” So I looked at the books that I buy.  I buy: Alternate history. Literary historical fiction. Fantasy, especially grimdark.  But also Terry Pratchett. Classic mysteries. Literary horror. Diverse authors. Smartass romance. James Bond novels. Pulp SF and pulp crime. Short stories!!! Some days,

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Notes on Selling Crap

I think a possible (possible!) hallmark of whether you’re on the right trail of selling your crap is the feeling that you have a magic wand.  You wave it, and stuff happens–books sell. Maybe not as many books as you want to sell, and maybe you wave the wand again and the books stop selling. 

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Fake Drama

Personally, I think if you’re going to end a horror story on an “everybody dies” note, it has to be because the characters chose it that way OR out of irony when they do everything right but it still doesn’t work, not because they oopsed into failure.  If the situation was always hopeless, there never

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Surprise! Plot twist.

Most people hate most surprises most of the time.  It’s only when you secretly suspect that there’s going to be a surprise, and the surprise will be exactly what you wanted but didn’t have to ask for, or what you would have wanted if you had known that it was a possibility, that a “surprise” is

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