Get Series-ous: Seven Things to Do Before Starting Your Series

Though it has its many positives, there are certain pitfalls any writer can run into when writing a series. Taking these precautionary steps in advance will help you to minimize the challenges down the line and, hopefully, to produce better books.

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Storyboard Not Storybored

Still, as someone who obsessively plans, outlines, plots and interviews, one of my most beloved tools of writing has stuck by me time and again. It’s not uncommon or revolutionary, not now, but it’s gotten me out of more sticky plot issues and setting questions than I care to admit. Behold the power of the storyboard.

The Constructive Critique Question

The constructive critique is a vital tool and not just for the reasons you think. While there is much to be gained from new sets of eyes reading and analyzing your work, the value of a critique, whether in a classroom, writing group or on a peer-to-peer basis, is undeniable.

Writer in a Strange Land

I’ve also written stories in some pretty unique and odd places, scribbled out conversations, speed-typed a strand of dialogue onto my phone while I was supposed to be paying attention Chemistry. My odd writing experiences have taken me a great many places, here are just a few of the weird and wonderful spots where I’ve stopped to jot down ideas.

Don’t Be a Writer, Be Reading

For a writer, reading is the equivalent of a carpenter keeping his tools sharp, a baker trying new ingredients, a computer specialist downloading new program updates. Reading isn’t an escape, it’s an education, it’s how we as writers continue to write.

Don’t Be a Writer, Be Writing

Being a writer is romantic. It’s dramatic. It’s a great conversation starter at parties. Being a writer carries an air of mystery that doesn’t reveal just how many light nights you spent crouched over your edits or pacing around your bedroom looking for names, conflicts, titles or anything that might help you crack through your writer’s block. On paper, if you’ll pardon the pun, being a writer seems like a pretty easy gig.

Words on Writing

Through the course of this life, I have discovered words, both by and about writers and writing, that have stuck with me and helped me explain, understand and follow my passion for the art of words and life as a writer. Here are a few of them.

Faking It (Also Known As Fiction Writing)

When you measure your type of writing against someone else’s and it doesn’t add up, well, you’re bound to feel inferior, and that inferiority manifests in the favorite of all phenomena, Imposter Syndrome.

The Business Balance

They’re all right. Every single person who told you that writing was going to be full of obstacles and challenges and rejections, every single one of them is right. Writing is hard and you should be able to fall back on other skills, and yeah, you probably will be broke, at least for a while.

But the truth of it is, writing – the whole writing process – that’s the easiest part.

Write Drunk, Edit Sober (And Then Start Drinking)

Write drunk, edit sober. The reason for this is that writing is a hell of a lot easier than editing. You don’t need your wits about you to write. Writing is the easiest part of the whole process. You lay everything out on the table and then, later on, you can deal with all the issues.

Well, now it’s later on, and now I have to deal with the issues.