Should you write for money or for art?

In the nether-reaches of the internet, shadowy figures argue whether authors who write for money are sellouts. These are their opinions.

If you push aside enough cobwebs, wander down enough dank corridors, and tiptoe through enough iron-bound doors you might find yourself in the nether-reaches of the web where shadowy figures debate the question of whether writing should be about money or art.

I confess I have no strong views on this matter, but that’s not an interesting way to approach a question, so for the purposes of this post let’s pretend I have all the strong views.

In case your socks got too wet and your candle burned out before you reached this nether-web, here are some of the arguments that may or may not be bandied about.

Against art: Writing only thinking about yourself is self-indulgent.

Against money: Trying to write what you think readers want is the best way to produce vanilla, derivative stories.

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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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How not to use a thesaurus

Roget the thesaurus enjoys turning clear English into incomprehensible babble. Watch him mutilate a perfectly readable excerpt from my short story, The Emperor’s Cat.

I’d like you to meet my good friend, Roget. Roget enjoys long walks on the beach and messing with other people’s fiction. He’s also a thesaurus (which I suspect is some kind of dinosaur).

Good uses for Roget include remembering the perfect word that’s on the tip of your tongue and using your own vocabulary more effectively.

Bad uses for Roget include using other people’s vocabulary and looking up big words to insert into your magnum opus in an attempt to make yourself look smart.

Hint: it doesn’t.

Since doing things wrong is more fun than doing things right, that’s what I’m going to do here. Yes, it’s game. Here are the rules:

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What your Procrastination Critter is trying to tell you

The Procrastination Critter is a sneaky creature. Why don’t you procrastinate a while and read my strategies for defeating him?

I had good intentions this morning. I planned to get up, do a bit of housework, do a couple of writing sprints for the new short story I’m working on, and then write my blog post for tomorrow.

That’s not quite how it turned out.

I haven’t added a word to my short story and I’m only starting this post now. But I did learn some useful things.

I learned that listening to an audiobook makes sorting out recycling more fun.

Listening to the audiobook, I learned why they say you should cut at least 10% of your word count when you edit.

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What’s your beta reading philosophy?

I’ve beta read a lot lately. Here’s how I beta read, and what writers I beta read for do that makes me love them or never want to talk to them again.

I’ve done enough beta reading recently that I think I should have a beta reading philosophy.

My life philosophies tend not to be complicated. For example “I like cats and dragons” covers the important bases, and my husband tells me it’s a perfectly adequate philosophy.

There might be more to my beta reading philosophy, because otherwise this won’t be a very long post.

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