Search Results: writing advice

The Big Idea: A.J. Hartley

A book doesn’t have to have a single big idea — it can have ideas of all sizes, combined to make something new. A.J. Hartley had a few ideas for his “Steeplejack” series, of which Firebrand is the second, and today, he’s here to explain them, and what he’s done to make realize these ideas […]

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The Big Idea: Eeleen Lee

Travel delays are rarely the raw material for novels, but as Eeleen Lee found out, sometimes a little time — and a new obsession — can lead to inspiration, and eventually a novel, in this case, Liquid Crystal Nightingale. EELEEN LEE: In late 2005 I was stuck in transit at Charles de Gaulle airport, and […]

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The Big Idea: Kameron Hurley

For this Big Idea, Kameron Hurley looks at what it takes to get a book right — and how her latest novel, The Broken Heavens, had to look beyond binary expectations to get there. KAMERON HURLEY: Two choices: Left or right. This or that. Choose one or the other. There’s no in-between. No other choices. […]

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Mike Resnick, RIP

Laura Resnick has posted that her father Mike Resnick has died, which means that it’s a very sad day for his friends and fans in the science fiction community. Give the length of his remarkable career, and the honors that were given to him (including five Hugo Awards as well as a Nebula and a […]

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The Big Idea: Matthew Hughes

When cultures meet, is there always a “clash” — or is there a way for disparate peoples to not only get along but thrive? This was a line of inquiry that Matthew Hughes is interested in, and pursues in his new novel What the Wind Brings. MATTHEW HUGHES: Back in 1971, when I was an […]

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Reader Request Week 2019 #10: Short Bits

Time to close out this year’s Reader Request Week with some short takes on questions I didn’t otherwise get to: Dean Laws: Hey Scalzi, can you trust photographs anymore? Could we ever? Photographs were being manipulated and altered basically as soon as they were invented, and whether that fiddling was soft focus on a movie […]

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Thoughts on the Completion of The Last Emperox

Now that it’s done, and because I think it’s useful and interesting for people, let’s talk a little about the process of writing The Last Emperox, and other things about the book. The following thoughts are in no particular order because, well, my brain is still a little mushy. * I rather famously wrote TLE’s predecessor, […]

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The Big Idea: Wendy Nikel

If you’re a time traveler, keeping the time stream clear of possible contradictions is not your only problem. Author Wendy Nikel knows another one, and it’s at the heart of The Cassandra Complex. WENDY NIKEL: In my previous Big Idea entry, I talked about The Grandmother Paradox and how the title of that second book […]

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The Big Idea: Michael Moreci

If you’re a writer, is it better to be the proverbial tortoise or the proverbial hare? And does either matter as long as you’re still running the race? Michael Moreci considers this topic today in his Big Idea, and how it relates to his newly released novel, We Are Mayhem. MICHAEL MORECI: Selling books is […]

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The Limits of My Knowledge, Professionally (and Otherwise)

Someone asked me about “impostor syndrome” today on Twitter, so I linked over to the piece I wrote about it a couple of years back. Not surprisingly, this being Twitter, some folks had criticisms of the piece; one of the most cogent came from Lindsay Ellis, who essayed it in a multitweet thread which begins […]

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First Pass Oscar Predictions, 2019

Most of you know I was a professional film critic waaaay back in the day, and one of my hobbies every year is to look at the Academy Award nomination list when it comes out and guess, based on my experience, which people/films will walk away the awards. My prediction rate: Pretty decent! Usually I […]

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Mary Robinette Kowal is Running for SFWA President and I Endorse Her Candidacy

She announced it last night. Here is her platform, which I encourage you to read if you are a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (and even if you are not). Some of you may recall that I was SFWA president once, from 2010 to 2013. Mary Robinette was my vice […]

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Yes, There’s a Point to Bad Reviews in 2019

Got a request: Would be interested in @scalzi ’s take on “The Art of the Pan” – given his experience as a pop-culture reviewer https://t.co/s3GhlpzsRv — AJ Hogg (@alanhogg) January 12, 2019 So I read the piece. And here are some thoughts, informed by having been both a professional critic and reviewer, and a professional […]

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Author Incomes: Not Great, Now or Then

What’s being passed around among authors in the last few days: The latest Authors Guild survey, which shows that the median income for all authors (from their books) is $6,080, while the median income for full-time authors is $20,300. That $6k median figure is down significantly from previous years. So if you made more than […]

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The Big Idea: Dan Koboldt

Science Fiction writers love science, but we don’t always get the science we already know 100% correct. Fortunately, Dan Koboldt is on the case, with his book Putting the Science in Fiction. DAN KOBOLDT: A few years ago, I wrote an article for Apex Magazine called “Eye-based Paternity Testing and Other Human Genetics Myths,” mostly […]

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1998/2018: Whatever 20/20, Day Ten: Spouse

This one is easy: I’ve had the same spouse the last 20 years, and if I’m lucky I’ll have the same one twenty years from now, and if I’m really lucky I’ll the same one 20 years after that, too. If I have the same one 20 years after that, there’s probably been some amazing […]

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The Anxiety of a Non-Writer Surrounded By Writers

Hey, everyone, hope you’re having an awesome Friday! One thing some of you might possibly know about me is that my dad is a writer. A successful one, at that! And as such, he knows a lot of other successful writers. Because of that, I’ve had the amazing chance to meet so many super cool, […]

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The Big Idea: Jason Denzel

Someone once said that life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans. Jason Denzel can relate to that — life certainly happened to him between writing his previous book on his new one, Mystic Dragon. Here’s how he incorporated what was going in his life into the writing. JASON DENZEL: There’s that old […]

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Reader Request Week 2018 #8: Public Speaking

Gregory asks: I’m curious about your ‘public speaking’ role. I know you have representation and are available for events. I would like to know things like what advice do you have for other folk who don’t do much public speaking? Do you have any formal training? Why should somebody pay to hear you speak? What’s […]

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No, In Fact, You Should Not Write For Free

The blog Lifehacker just posted a piece entitled “Why You Should Write For Free,” in which writer Nick Douglas (on staff, note) explains when he believes writing for free is appropriate — and when it is not. The headline alone is enough to fluff me up with righteous fury, as my own, consistent refusal to […]

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