“The Dip”

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My colleague, Megan Lane, is obsessed with business writer Seth Godin. Or, as we say at the office, she’s “ob-sethed.” Recently, she turned me on to one of Godin’s books, “The Dip.” After reading this short but powerful tome, I’m beginning to understand why Megan is so enamored of Godin’s brain (not a bad name…
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On the Nose

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I’ve noticed that novice (and sometimes not-so-novice) writers spend an inordinate amount of time and energy explaining the story’s theme or moral. In the writing biz, this is known as “on the nose.” It’s not a compliment. Sometimes it involves the writer explaining the same thing a dozen different ways. (Note: More is not a…
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Of Agents and Men

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Back in 1999, when I first started my fiction-writing adventure, a wise person told me, “A bad agent is worse than no agent.” What he failed to mention is that most agents are bad agents. In fact, it’s a redundant phrase. Agents are like insurance companies. They only want you if you don’t need them.…
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The Death of a Career

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Another talented writer friend, Christine McKellar, has reached an unfortunate but understandable crossroads as she heads into the new year. She has given me permission to repost her blog here. I’m sure her words will resonate with anyone fighting that uphill battle to build a career as a fiction writer. I applaud her honesty and…
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Double Feature

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A couple weeks ago, my wife and I saw the “Blind Side,” the football biopic starring Sandra Bullock. The film has a couple of things going for it. It’s based on a true story and, while this in and of itself doesn’t make a movie or book interesting, the events are so improbable that they…
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Do-It-Yourself

In a previous post, I talked about the disadvantages of POD (print on demand) publishing. To summarize: Inferior product Loss of control/rights Miniscule royalties So, if traditional publishing is the longest of shots and POD is a bad deal, what’s left? For me, the choice was relatively easy. I started my own publishing company, Hardway…
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Merry/Happy

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I read an article a few years ago that went something like this:   If you woke up this morning with a roof over your head and you were able to walk to the kitchen and make breakfast, then get in your car and drive to work, you’re better off than 95% of the world.…
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The Other Side

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Some of my previous blogs have taken a jaundiced view of the traditional publishing model. And rightly so. But that doesn’t mean self-publishing is the magic bullet. I met a nice woman last week who published her historical novel through one of those print- on-demand services. In talking to her, I believe she got a…
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Those Near and Far Wars

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I just watched the original “Star Wars” with my eight-year-old grandson. By original, I mean the one with Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo. It’s been years since I’ve seen the whole thing, and it reminded me why I liked it so much in the first place (and why the new series left such…
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Guest Angst Redux

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So, my writer-friend Gretchen had a chance to sleep on her previous guest blog (actually, she said she wrote this in the wee hours of the morning) and wanted to make a few clarifications. Great stuff. I encourage you all to weigh in on the discussion.   “Me and my big mouth. Regardless of what…
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