Well, my day is already blown


I overslept by two hours this morning, and those early morning hours are pretty much solid writing time. That makes me mutter curses and plan to abandon my kid to the Wii later today, but we’ll see.

So instead of posting something original, I’m going to cut and paste an email I sent to a friend. He asked (generally) for links to websites that would help an aspiring novelist FOAF. This is what I sent:

I’m only going to give four suggestions:

First, he should buy a copy of CHILD OF FIRE and study it closely. In fact, he should buy two in case the first copy disintegrates after multiple rereadings. And a third, to give away, I guess.

Second, he should read Slushkiller, along with *all* the comments:


It starts out as a discussion of rejections, and how professionals judge submitted work, but the conversation ranges over many topics (and even features a typically batty appearance by former WP-er Frank/Franchesca to defend self-publishing).

It’s long, though. Longer than many novels. He should stick with it and read the whole thing.

Third, check out the Learn Writing With Uncle Jim thread on Absolute Write:


The first volume of that thread is 251 pages long, with 25 comments on each page. It’s so long, though, that it was sealed off and a second volume started in the same novel forum. Again, it’s long, but it’s full of useful information.

It’s also been running for seven years. A little of the information is outdated, but it’s corrected in later parts of the conversation.

Fourth and finally, he should be reading agents’ and editors’ blogs. Start here:


And look at the sidebar. First of all, her numerous posts about the way publishing works are fabulous and full of detail. Second, her list of other agent blogs is terrific. The budding novelist should go through those blog rolls and find a few informative blogs to add to his RSS feed. It’ll be trial and error, but it’s important. While he’s working on his craft, he should also be studying the industry.

And that’s a lot of reading, no kidding. That’s a double shitload. But it’ll be fun to read, because writers should be interested in the industry, and doing interesting things is awesome.

And now, and anti-rec: Here’s a list of people the budding writer should not waste their time on:

Anyone who says that NY publishers are closed to new writers.
Anyone who says that editors only want to publish their friends.
Anyone who says that they can’t get published because of their politics.
Anyone who says that you have to write short fiction to break in to novels.
Anyone who says that writers shouldn’t bother with small presses.
Anyone who says that most of what’s published today is crap.
Anyone who says that the big publishers are “dinosaurs”.

Good luck.

Frankly, I think those few links provide a buttload of reading, but if anyone wants to post a link or two of their own, I’ll drop him a note–since I don’t think he reads my blog (melodramatic sigh)–to check out the blog and LiveJournal comments for his FOAF.

Have a productive day.