Mood (writing) board

Mood: I don’t want to write. I don’t feel like it. The scene I have to write doesn’t match my mood at all and therefore I can’t write anything.

Sound familiar? Good. You’re having a very normal writer experience. The thing is, your mood—as a professional writer, that is—doesn’t matter. Like, at all. If you’re wanting to make a career out of your writing, you’re going to have to get comfortable mighty quickly with writing through discomfort or even your own discordance. But you can do it smartly, in a way that feels less like pulling teeth and more like productive work. If that doesn’t sound appealing, I don’t know what would!

Let’s talk trash: dealing with garbage in fiction

Whenever you’re diving into world creation, it’s important to keep in mind what kind of trash you’re also likely diving into. While you can easily see today’s trash, particularly what’s in your own area, it can be hard to imagine new landscapes of garbage. So that’s what we’re going to overview today: How to forecast your trash, where to find information about the trash of the past, and why it’s so important to get it right.

What can a librarian do for a writer?

Finding the right sources, whether you’re a journalist or a novelist, is incredibly important for professional writers. If that material search has ever taken you to the library, you’ll already know what a librarian can do for a writer. If you’ve previously preferred to do all your own sourcing yourself, I hope this article will help you see there are faster and more efficient ways to get what you want—at your local library.

What is a sensitivity reader and do I need one?

While I’m not likely going to get you excited about more editing, I hope to give you a better idea of what to expect from a sensitivity read, how to find the right readers, and why you should think about it like you do your editing: a sensitivity read gives you the opportunity to achieve additional accuracy. If you want a triple-A approach, that’s the one.

Can I prevent libel in my writing?

At some point in your writing career, you will ask yourself the question, “Should I say that?” Whether it’s how you’re characterizing a person or the image you’re trying to strike for a company, you’ll wonder if it’s a good idea to publish the potentially offensive material. After all, you are responsible for what you publish. If you’re putting out something unflattering, you open yourself up for libel. But not everything we write needs to be flattering, does it? Sometimes you want to showcase the negatives! Sometimes you want to showcase the negatives! So what can you do to prevent libel in your writing?

Should I write a fan fiction?

You sure should write fan fiction and likely already have—at least partly, in your head. When you think of how a character should have acted or what you wish had have happened instead, you’re essentially starting your own fanfic. This is a brand new world of ‘what ifs’ you get to explore. How far you want to explore that world is up to you.

The top North American trade publishers

What is the first place that comes to mind if you think of published books? Chances are, it’s one of the big multinational publishers: Penguin Random House (now including Simon & Schuster), Hachette, HarperCollins, and Macmillan. While there are literally hundreds of places to get published, these four take the cake in terms of annual revenue, number of titles, and notoriety.

How to prepare your manuscript for editing

So you finished writing your first book and are ready for the next step—which is editing, of course. What can you do to make the editing process as smooth as possible? Use minimal formatting. Make it good, then make it pretty!

Why do I see so many mistakes in published works?

Ah, yes. Your favourite newspaper has a typo in its headline or you’ve found desert when dessert was meant. It happens! And, obviously, it happens to established authors and at established publishing houses. But… how?

The top 10 things writers using CMOS should know

Every writer worth their salt works on their craft. Whether you’re reading competitors or doing grammar exercises, that writer brain of yours is learning. There’s a lot to learn, though, especially when you’re trying to match a specific style guide in your writing. Cheat sheet would be too generous of a name, but this article outlines the top 10 things you should know when using the Chicago Manual of Style.