My Publication Tracker is a Mess!

Look at that! It's a mess! How is someone supposed to make sense of all that? Well, of course, it's not supposed to be all on one page... My tracker has a total of 56 works on it. 3 have been "retired," meaning that I am no longer submitting them in the original form. Some …

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Engineering in SF and Fantasy recently had an article featuring a round-table of leading speculative fiction authors discussing engineering in Science Fiction and Fantasy. It is a very interesting discussion. Engineering, and science in general, can be a great component to a science fiction story. But I find there are some key flaws or weaknesses that make it hard …

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My Story is now out in the Bards and Sages Quarterly!

I'm happy to report the July issue of the Bards and Sages Quarterly is out now at multiple retailers. This issue features my Iric flash story "The Tree Sign." I've been looking over my digital copy and am very satisfied with how the whole thing came out. It's a decent-sized book--Smashwords says it's almost 57,000 …

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SHARE: 5 Things Being a Journalist Taught Me About Writing Fiction

People come into writing from different places, and every author's unique experience reveals something about the writing process. Martinez offers several good tips here, but numbers three and four really stand out for me. Good dialogue can help keep a story interesting. You can maintain momentum by delivering background and exposition in dialogue, rather than …

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REBLOG: The #1 Rule Of Writing

Victor has some great thoughts here, presented in parable, which is always a useful technique. I fully agree with his point, though I don’t know if I have enough authority yet to demand others listen to my opinion. All I can say is that I agree that writers need to work up from the bottom, and it’s a rough struggle.

I don’t see myself as a Whitney or Flynn. I was top of my class in college, I know I am a decent writer. But I also know that I am entitled to nothing, that I need to prove myself the same as any other new writer. I’ve encountered people like Victor’s John, people just out of college that think having a degree means then are suddenly a professional entitled to professional work and pay.

My encounter was with a graphic designer. She had just graduated from art school. She never made a book cover in her life. Her online resume was only a dozen pictures, all or most being her school assignments. And yet expected me to pay her professional rates for a product whose quality I couldn’t begin to judge.

In my case, I started out targeting the bottom. I sent my work out to publishers offering little or no compensation, just to prove myself, get feedback, and make a name for myself. I’ve recently hit my twentieth acceptance. I feel like that is a pretty significant milestone. I have been at it for about 8 months, and have yet to get accepted with a professional-level publication. But I know my writing is getting better, and my reputation and fan-base is growing, slow but steady.

I already have a book deal, though is only a novella and with a indie publisher. I also have a job with a serial fiction company. I am making inroads into the fiction business. Sooner or later I will get that first professional credit, which I like to think will come sooner rather than later. I have a few good pieces in the submission cycle that I think can make it. I’ve had a lot of help revising and editing those pieces, which is critical. I also have my finished book, which will find a home eventually. I am not rushing it. I know traditional publication takes time and I am investing that time to ensure maximum success.

I believe that is what makes a successful author. Though, I’m not yet a proper authority on the subject. I’ll get back to you on this once I’m a genuine pro.

Victor Poole

shark small

As you may know if you read my blog, I went to acting school. I know, how decadent, right? One thing that puzzled me in my time as an acting student was the regularity with which Whitney got acting gigs. I was surrounded by eager and ambitious women who fought tooth and nail for the approximately three good female parts that came available each year (by “good part,” I mean in a respectable production, with costumes and a paying audience, and consisting of more than twenty lines of dialogue). Despite the overwhelming plentitude of women, Whitney always had parts. She flitted between community theatre productions, semi-professional gigs, and school projects like a saturated butterfly of small-time fame.

What Made Whitney Successful?

I knew several talented actors, both male and female, who could not get a part to save their life. Nobody in casting would touch them with a ten-foot pole…

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How (not) to Use Real History in Your Fantasy World

Here's a quick tip to help you polish your fantasy novel outlines and world-building. While it is common--perhaps unavoidable--to add historical inspirations to your fantasy world, you should do so in moderation. And you should be sure to differentiate your fantasy world from its real-world inspiration. Copying too much from a historical example can come off …

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