Concerning the appropriate level of silliness

The definitive* guide to the appropriate levels of silliness for all parts of your life. (* Not definitive)

Different social situations necessitate different levels of silliness. If I responded to my colleagues in the office the way I do to my friends on Twitter, they’d probably think I was insane.

Them: Did you break the photocopier?

Me: Sorry, that was probably my dragon. He thinks it’s funny to sit on it and take copies of his… never mind.

You can only say such things in the office so many times before people start to avoid you at the water cooler.

So what are the appropriate levels of silliness for different parts of life? Read on for the definitive guide.**

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Why I’ve decided to pursue trade publication

I’ve decided to pursue trade (traditional) publication. Here I try to explain the madness that led to this decision.

If you know me, you’ll know you I’m a firm supporter of all writers, whether they write for themselves or an audience, whether they’re self-published or big five-published (except for total jerks–I’m slightly less supportive of them).

I started researching how to publish in 2006 when self-publishing was still very much fringe. (Not by coincidence, this was the year I first completed a first draft. It was 200k words long.)

At the time I was a long way from being ready to publish and I knew it, but I always intended to pursue trade publication.

When I came back to writing seriously a few years ago, the publishing landscape was unrecognisable. I redid my research, and concluded that self-publishing was now a real option, but I still wasn’t sure if it was the right option for me.

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How to fail at eating better

No matter how virtuous my intentions are where it comes to eating better, I always seem to end up at pizza.

Periodically I resolve to eat better. That means less pizza and more green leafy things. I also figure I should eat more than one meal a day. (These all sound like good things, right?)

It sounds so straightforward, but I have failed at eating better in numerous ways.

Method 1: The Healthy Supermarket Trip

I resolve to clean up my diet. No more pies for lunch, eating chips when I get home from work, or muffins when I can’t be bothered making lunch.

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Excitement and dealing with feedback

My awesome critique partner gave me a pile of suggestions for how I might shorten my manuscript. Here’s my plan for dealing with them.

If you get my monthly digest, you might know that I recently finished the fifth draft of my work in progress (WIP) and enlisted the help of my wonderful critique partner, Anna Kaling, to figure out how to cut 40k words.

Anna got back to me at 3am this morning, and all I could do before work was read her email in a whirlwind of excitement. (Don’t you hate it when real life gets in the way of writing?)

She had some very encouraging things to say, and she suggested some characters and plot threads that she found less than essential to the story.

I was thrilled by her reaction. Then her suggested excisions sank in.

But everything needs to be there!

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How to explode with ideas for your sequel

I decided to write a sequel for my WIP, and in days I went from having no idea what it might be about to having dozens of ideas. Here’s how.

I try to avoid writing “how to” posts because I’m generally of the opinion that I know nothing about anything. This post is more “how I got lots of ideas for a sequel”.

(Sorry I deceived you with the title. I feel awful about it.)

I’ve always considered my work in progress to be a “stand-alone with series potential”. That is, the main story question is answered by the end of the book, and at least one of the main characters survives the climax to potentially appear in a subsequent book.

Rats, now I’ve let a spoiler slip. Well, what did you expect from me? I like happy endings and for people to get what they deserve.

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