The last writing advice you’ll ever need

Are we about good with writing advice? Lemme be clear, I'm not talking about the gems handed down by bestselling authors and English professors (that's teachers of English, not people who say "Ello Guvna.") I'm talking about the many more thousands of articles written by novices, hobbyists, and self-pubbed shmohawks. (Note: not all self-pubbers are shmohawks.) …

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Writing advice: How to become a freelance journalist

With all the wannabes and never-wills out there pushing books on writing—despite never having written a bestselling novel, or even a moderate-seller, I am reluctant to share any advice of my own on fiction writing. Anne Lamott, Stephen King, Strunk & White, William Zinsser, Annie Proulx, Henry Miller, Joan Didion, Cormac McCarthy ... these people …

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My version of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ looks more like Taco Bell, Practice Novel, Tentacle Porn

Why would you want to read the latest Oates or Grisham when you can choke down some schlubb's amateur musings? Good question. Does anyone else feel a non sequitur coming on? Which brings me to my next point .... lately, I've been trying to think of how to share some of my serious fiction work with …

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Chuck Wendig was right: my self-publishing cautionary tale

OK, I've had about four-and-a-half years to think about this, and I've decided that Chuck Wendig was right. You might be thinking "who gives a shit?" but hear me out. Way back in 2012, a frustrated journalist working on a couple of humor essay collections stumbled across a blog post entitled: "Why your self-published book …

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I’m glad I killed my dreams, and other writing advice not from Samuel L. Jackson

  What's that, you ask? What did I do about those pesky flashbacks in my soon-to-be nowhere-near-ready-for-querying-agents historical adventure novel? To quote the great Samuel L. Jackson as Carl Lee Hailey in the movie A Time To Kill: "Yes, they deserved to die and I hope they burn in hell!" When writing the two rather …

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Struggling writer seeks love, agent and burritos for author platform

You've heard of shotgun weddings. Well, this is a shotgun blog post. It has been some time since I posted new material on my website, I know. I put humor writing on hold for the most part this past year to focus on my dramatic works. After nearly 20 years of practice, maybe 15 of …

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What I’ve learned since moving to Lansing

I've learned a lot about the City of Lansing (population 114,297) in the six months I've been here. The wife and I came down from Charlevoix County (population 26,000) this spring after the state made her an offer she couldn't refuse. I, being an aspiring novelist (deadbeat) and full-time hypochondriac shut-in, can work (Breaking Bad …

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Does your author platform come with a noose?

I'm staging an intervention and I need your help. It's not for a heroin addict or a pill popper. We won't be drying out any alcoholics or de-icing a meth head. The party that needs intervening in this case is a rootin-tootin', platform-building, social media whoring, blogging, bragging, taco-eating, bourbon-swilling, essay-writing need-machine—me. I know what …

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