3,250 reputation
11936
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location Minneapolis, MN
age 30
visits member for 4 years
seen Oct 26 at 2:53

Programmer by day, writer by night.

Java web developer with experience in Spring, JSP, DHTML, Javascript, yatta yatta yatta.

I love Science-Fiction, Fantasy, and all the less easily classified forms of speculative fiction. While my writing is typically within these genres, I will read almost anything, fiction or non-fiction.


Dec
15
comment Techniques for lengthening or merging chapters
Related - an excellent description of how chapter length affects pacing.
Dec
15
comment What is a normal length for a chapter?
House of Leaves is an interesting experimental novel that takes this concept to its extreme. In one or two frantic sections, there are only a few words per page, so you're actually going through ten or twenty pages in a few seconds.
Dec
14
comment Can I self-publish, and how much would it cost?
@John - I doubt creating a new publishing house from the ground up would be easier than getting a single book published. Plus, you'd still have to convince the booksellers that your small publishing house's books are worth stocking. That's going to be hard until you can show some sales.
Dec
14
comment The “Rules” of Writing
This is true 99.99% of the time (and that's why it's a good rule). However, some of my favorite books (City of Saints and Madmen, House of Leaves, Fight Club) thoroughly abuse grammar and punctuation. It should be noted, it can be done, even (rarely!) by first-time novelists. However, if you think your writerly voice requires you to mangle language, you better be damn sure of yourself. And even if you mangle language amazingly well, you're still going to take a lot of flak for it.
Dec
14
comment The “Rules” of Writing
This is a hard one to strike the right balance on. I write speculative fiction, where it is especially challenging to minimize this sort of description, as you're often describing things that don't have obvious real-world analogues.
Dec
13
comment The “Rules” of Writing
The NaNoWriMo Creed! This is a great rule, so long as you remember the last part: editing later.
Dec
13
comment How do you convince your publisher that your story is good?
+1 for comprehensiveness, especially your comments on #2.
Dec
10
comment How Much Can You Make From Writing a Book?
@justkt - I have heard much lower numbers, at least for fiction authors. However, I have never seen an empirical study that actually surveyed a broad group of authors. I would be interested to see some statistics backed by actual research.
Dec
10
comment The “Rules” of Writing
For some of us addicts, it's just "Stay off Stack Exchange when you're writing".
Dec
9
comment Do you use the word “that” too much?
This is really two questions: How do you really know when you need "that"? and Do you have any words you overuse? The former is probably better asked on the English Language and Usage site. The latter might be better phrased as a general question rather than a poll. How about "How do I avoid overusing certain words?"
Dec
9
comment Do you always revise your stories or do you sometimes move on?
This is a very important point. It's easy to become too close to a story. Let it sit for a few days, weeks (even months for something like a novel). Sometimes even really obvious problems are hard to see until you've stepped away for a while.
Dec
9
comment Do you always revise your stories or do you sometimes move on?
This is currently worded like a poll. Perhaps it would be better to ask something like "Is it worth revising a story you don't intend to publish?"
Dec
8
comment I have written my first novel and I think it's ready. What next?
The one potential downside I could see with trying to get some sales through self-publishing is that if the book sells poorly, it may make publishers more hesitant to take it on than they otherwise would be.
Dec
8
comment I have written my first novel and I think it's ready. What next?
After thinking a bit, I guess there are a couple fiction authors with "platform" of a sort. Cory Doctrow has no doubt sold plenty of books to readers of BoingBoing, for example.
Dec
8
comment I have written my first novel and I think it's ready. What next?
I think this route, while still quite challenging, is much more viable for non-fiction authors. Seth is successful because he lives, breathes, and eats Marketing. He has a huge platform to sell his future books from because he is known for this - through his web presence, through his numerous previous books (published traditionally) and through his many seminars, workshops and talks. I'm not even sure how one would go about building up a platform like that as a fiction author.
Dec
8
comment What are good reads about writing?
+1 for Characters and Viewpoint by OSC. Mandatory reading.
Dec
8
comment What are good reads about writing?
+1 for Eats, Shoots, and Leaves. It's informative, fun, and sadly not well known.
Dec
8
comment What is a normal length for a chapter?
+1 - This sort of analysis is much more useful than looking at average chapter sizes in contemporary books. There are "beats" between sentences, between paragraphs, and between chapters or sections. The length of each of these pieces of the story can drive the pacing.
Dec
8
comment Lists of Suggested Magazines to Submit To
+1 for Duotrope. It's such a useful site, and amazingly still free to use.
Dec
8
comment What is the difference between writing in the first and the third person?
I don't agree with the blanket statement that first person is always harder, although this seems to be tossed around frequently on writing forums and the like. Third person can even have similar limitations. Many modern novels use a restricted third-person perspective, where the story isn't directly narrated by a character, but still limits itself to a particular character's perspective.