Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Art of Rewriting

Soon after my novel "O Father" won the 3-Day Novel Contest in 1990 and was published the next year I began working on a sequel. I liked the characters and story and, apparently, the readers did, too.

Turned out publishers . . . not so much.

I tried my best to get it published but it just didn't happen. As I continued to pitch the manuscript I moved on to other books. The sequel, or the second book in a series, sat in a box in the attic for a long time.

Then along came the Internet, self-published e-books, and Kindles and Nooks.

These days I'm working on a new novel and, at the same time, editing and revising that sequel. I much prefer creating something new to editing something not-so-new. I mention all this because maybe you have a completed manuscript or one that partially done and 2012 is the year for you to dig it out, look at it objectively, and decide whether or not to publish it yourself or finish it and then publish it.

Whether you've just finished a new one or have a long-ago-completed one on hand, it's going to need another round of editing (and proofing) before you send it to a publisher or publish it yourself.

Finish editing the new. Finishing writing the old and then give it another edit. At that point let some people you trust (ones who will be honest with you and whose opinions you value) take a look at it. It could be it's not publishable but then again . . .

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Welcome, New Kindle Owners!


I have five self-published books available on and, I'm happy to report, thousands and thousands of them were given away in a five-day promotion that concludes today.

The top choice was "How to Write Your Novel in Nine Weeks."

I hope next Christmas you can have your own promotion and give away your book! (And then jack the price back up.)

Just keep writing.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Resolve to Write in 2012

A new year is a great reason, a wonderful excuse, to begin a new writing project or get back to one that's been sitting a while.

Years ago I often gave myself a book on writing for Christmas as an added push to write, edit, and publish in the coming year.

This year I'm so pleased hundreds of you picked up "How to Write Your Novel in Nine Weeks" when it was offered for free at I hope it, and the podcast, give you the little boost and bit of encouragement you need to begin, or finish, your own book.

It's a wonderful and rewarding feeling when you get into that daily writing rhythm. That's my wish for you in 2012.

(And Happy New Year from Little Willie and me.)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bad Tips for Writers 005

Self-editing is a waste of time. You're a writer not an editor.

Make your motto: Second drafts are for losers.