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A book about how to write books, short stories, and survive as a writer...
573 backers pledged $13,792 to help bring this project to life.
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It's a Book About Writing!

Hi, I'm the author of over ten published novels and seventy short stories and I'm looking for your help to create a book about writing based on my blog posts, essays, and email to writers looking for advice from me over the last fifteen years. 

I have taught writers as the Writer in Residence for Bermuda, as well as at workshops like Shared Worlds, Alpha Teen Writing Workshop, Clarion West, and Seton Hill University. 

Introduction

When people email me and ask for writing advice I often used to tell them to read my blog. I started it in 1998 as a way to chronicle life as I worked toward becoming a published writer. It contained snippets of my daily life, thoughts, and lots of tips about writing as I learned them.

But not a lot of people want to wade through the seven plus years of poorly tagged archives. 

Fair enough.

So I set out to collect the best blog posts into a bundle. When I mentioned I was doing that, people suggested I turn it into a book, and suddenly here we are.

You can feel like an imposter so many times as an artist. Putting together a book about how to create art is one of those times. But I have published ten novels, four novellas, over seventy short stories, and edited two anthologies, so I feel pretty confident when I say I’ve picked up a few ideas about writing I enjoy sharing.

But when I think about the tips, tricks, and hints that I used to get here, I also know that passing on rote knowledge to someone who may be in a different situation (or who's a different kind of writer) without a full explanation of why I’ve adopted this tool, may well be damaging. Some of my favorite books about writing blend the story of the writer's developing career with how they came to figure out how be a writer. It helps you frame the advice to see if it works for you or not. So most of this book is also a heaping of writerly autobiography.

I myself love reading about other writer’s experiences and process. I approach it like visiting someone else’s toolshed. Some tools I am familiar with, some I might use differently, some tools might be new to me, and some might be tools I choose not to use. I encourage anyone reading this to take the same attitude.

This book is no list of things you have to do.

It’s a set of things I did as I broke in to becoming a writer, and practices that might help someone else.

Why I'm Putting This Out Now

I'm putting it out as a Kickstarter because I have a five month gap between the last freelance gig that I did besides writing fiction, and a new one that starts in January. I also just finished writing the first draft of a book, so I'm looking to spend a month or so doing something really different. Besides, I've wanted to finally edit and gather all these essays together properly for almost ten years. If I don't do it this quarter, other deadlines and obligations mean I probably never will get around to it!

What Will Be in This Book?

I talk about being a hybrid author, writing short fiction, writing novels, outlining, not outlining, story openings, cliches, getting an agent, juggling money, failing, art, fun, and much, much more!

A sneak peek at some of the stuff you will get:

How much is the average advance for an SF/F novel? I once surveyed hundreds of writers to get the answer and wrote about it here. A revised version of that essay and more will be in the book.

How many novels does a writer finish before selling one? I surveyed 150 writers to get the answer and wrote about it here. A revised version of that essay will be in the book as well.

What does a synopsis look like? I include examples.

STRETCH GOALS:

[UNLOCKED!] $7,000: The Project Cheat Card: A business card that contains the five questions I ask in order to get myself to the finishing point of a project. Keep it in your wallet, or tape it to the side of your monitor. A PDF version will be uploaded for backers not getting a physical reward.

[UNLOCKED!] $7,500: Addendum: How I wrote Crystal Rain. I’ll add a detailed look at the synopsis, outline, and process of writing my first novel. A full behind the scenes, from beginning to end look at how I wrote a novel that includes daily word count, outline, number of revisions and more.

[UNLOCKED!] $8,000: The Character Cheat Card: A business card that contains the five strategies I use to boost my ability to write characters. Keep it in your wallet, or tape it to the side of your monitor. A PDF version will be uploaded for backers not getting a physical reward.

[UNLOCKED!] $8,500: Addendum: How I wrote my last novel. A look at the process of writing my latest novel, detailing all the tools and strategies I currently use and why I use them, and how that’s changed from the first book and why.

[UNLOCKED!] $9,000: The Revision Cheat Card: A business card that contains five strategies I use to revise the work and really get things to sing. Keep it in your wallet, or tape it to the side of your monitor. A PDF version will be uploaded for backers not getting a physical reward.

Risks and challenges

This will be my fifth Kickstarter. I've always delivered, though sometimes a few months late when life intervenes (I'm a one guy show!). Worst case scenario is that everyone gets the books in early 2019 instead of late 2018...

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    Digital Underground!

    You get a PDF/ePUB/RFT/MOBI file of the eBook! Your name will be in the acknowledgements of the book thanking you for making this a reality!

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    Paperback Wriiiiterrrr!

    You get an early copy of "Just a Draft" in trade paperback format! Just the book, no signature, no fuss.

    You get a PDF/ePUB/RFT/MOBI file of the eBook! Your name will be in the acknowledgements of the book thanking you for making this a reality!

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    The Autograph Line

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    Short Story Beta Reader

    You get the eBook, you get the trade paperback signed, your name in the acknowledgements and...

    ...I will read one of your short stories as a beta reader. This is not a full developmental edit or a copy edit, but me getting eyes on the manuscript and responding with a page of thoughts and reactions. This does not guarantee a sale when you rewrite, they're just my impressions!

    (Short story must be turned in by Oct 15th to be returned by Dec 30th)

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Book Beta Reader!

    You get the eBook, you get the trade paperback signed, your name in the acknowledgements and...

    ...I will read your novel as a beta reader. This is not a full developmental edit or a copy edit, but me getting eyes on the manuscript and responding with at least two pages of thoughts and reactions. I cannot introduce you to my agent or editors, this is a beta read and only a beta read.

    (Novel must be turned in by Sep 30th to be returned by Dec 30th)

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Funding period

- (24 days)