Massive expungement of writing tips linkage …

… because, as I’m sure many of my readers know, only one thing procrastinates better than a writer, and that’s an ill writer with twenty mission-critical deadlines breathing down his neck.

Posting this will, believe it or not, be therapeutic – and it will help me toward clearing the RSS backlog, which is surely trying to tell me something:

Google Reader in league with Beelzebub OMFG

Enough banter – bring on the freakin’ links, I hear you cry! Well, alright.

First of all, if you’re going to write fiction, length is an issue (yes, ladies – even for you). Jay Lake has the low-down on story length, so you can tell your novelette from your novella, and so forth.


John “Electric Velocipede” Klima has been involved in some lengthy discussions about the genre short fiction market, and has summarised the initial debate and posted his further thoughts on the matter.

Not so much about the mechanics of writing, but useful for thinking about the markets realistically. The take-away? Don’t get into writing short fiction unless it’s something you love to do, because it’ll never make you a living.


If, like me, you find it hard to find the time and focus to write regularly (hah!), perhaps the advice of the Write To Done blog will be of use to you – “write just one thing today, and write it well“.


Stuck mid-story in need of a character name? Happens to me all the time – but hopefully this crafty hack from Gareth L Powell will not only cure my fiction of Enid Blyton-style names but give me a reason to love my spam folder.


La Gringa supplies a list of attention-getting tricks that will not get an agent to be more sympathetic to your query letter:

  • Using the phrase “This is not representative of my best work” in the query letter will probably not help your cause.
  • A Xerox of your photo from your high school yearbook will not help sell your book. It will, however, live on in infamy on the intern’s refrigerator door, where a steady collection of lunatic query letters has been growing since December.



Last but not least, the indispensably avuncular Jim Van Pelt has a round-up of pithy quotes and aphorisms about writing accrued from books, real-life meetings and elsewhere.

Sensible useful advice, delivered straight and friendly. This is the van Pelt way. Nuff reshpeck, innit?

OK, mania and panic beckons seductively from the to-do list. As the old joke goes, “tea-break’s over, back on your heads!”

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