In the E-reader era…

I saw this article in my local newspaper – – borrowed from the New York Times – and I just shook my head. I feel for the writers who commented, really I do. The notion of having to write a novel a year? That’s tough. (Just look at James Patterson. Oh… bad example.)

It’s also an artificial construct. In other words, a lie.

I admire all the writers mentioned, and I do feel bad for them if they feel they have to write 2000 words a day 7 days a week. That’s a lot of words. 730,000 to be precise.  That’s the equivalent of two epic fantasies and a few novels. So, I feel bad.

After all, it’s partly my fault, and the fault of a friend of mine. She writes at least three series for a mid-level publisher and puts out the equivalent of two books a month, much less a year. Her erotic novels put her on the USA Today bestseller list.

Of course, I do have to point out that the one novel a year concept is a creation of the publisher, not the writer. Continue reading “In the E-reader era…”


Author Lin Robinson

Having dwelled, last month, on several posts about “rules” and concepts I advised writers to ignore or at least salt down, I thought I should balance it with some more positive material; tips to help writers work better. It surprises many to learn that I actually have a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. From the University of Washington, to be precise: Go Huskies! But I learned more while writing for a living: meeting deadlines for newspapers, pressure to write better than the staff on magazines, measuring copy against sales figures for catalogs. And in all those classes and decades of exposure to pro writers, I only picked up a bare handful of tips that I feel are useful enough to pass along to others. So, since I rate in top echelons of truly wonderful guys, that’s what I’m going to do. These are things that actually help and actually work. They are additive, rather than prohibitive tips, ranging from truly simplistic to fairly arcane. And both kind of mystical.

I’ll start out at the simple end of the scale, with something that might just seem silly to many. But for some reason it works. I first heard it from the editor of an Army newspaper, and later, almost word for word, while interviewing a great American writer, the late Ross Thomas. Here goes. Continue reading “MOVE IT OR LOSE IT”

Week 20 Flash Fiction Challenge Poll

The time has arrived for IU readers to begin voting in this week’s Flash Fiction Competition. On behalf of the IU staff, I want to thank all the entrants for doing such a great job with the writing prompt and the merciless constraints of the exercise.

This week, there are 9 entries from which to choose. You may review the entries here. Please spread the word and encourage your friends to vote by using the share buttons at the bottom of the post!

The poll will be open until 5:00 PM (Pacific Daylight Time) Thursday

Select your favorite entry for the week 20 Flash Fiction Challenge: First Impressions

  • Donna B. McNicol (25%, 8 Votes)
  • Ed Drury (22%, 7 Votes)
  • Ben Steele (19%, 6 Votes)
  • Brian Beam (9%, 3 Votes)
  • RG Bud Phelps (6%, 2 Votes)
  • Mike Boggia (6%, 2 Votes)
  • Rich Meyer (6%, 2 Votes)
  • Elisavietta Ritchie (3%, 1 Votes)
  • A. L. Kaplan (3%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 32

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