Ideas aren't magical; the only tricky part is holding on to one long enough to get it written down.
I'm a writer first and an editor second... or maybe third or even fourth. Successful editing requires a very specific set of skills, and I don't claim to have all of them at my command.
A good short-story writer has an instinct for sketching in just enough background to ground the specific story.
During the many centuries that magic, here on this planet, was presumed to have worked, there were at least as many theories as to how magic worked as there were cultures and religions.
Im always trolling for trivia.
It's possible to become so comfortable with one's style and structure that one ceases to grow.
Short-story writing requires an exquisite sense of balance. Novelists, frankly, can get away with more. A novel can have a dull spot or two, because the reader has made a different commitment.
One of my great passions is the collection of historical trivia.
When I'm not writing or tweaking my computer, I do embroidery. When I'm not plunging into the past, tweaking, or embroidering, I'm reading books about history, computers, or embroidery.
Neophyte writers tend to believe that there is something magical about ideas and that if they can just get a hold of a good one, then their futures are ensured.
It took me about 12 years to reach my million-word mark. The challenge now is to continue to challenge myself.
I'm one of those writers who, when writing, believes she's god-and that she hasn't bestowed free will on any of her characters. In that sense there are no surprises in any of my books.
I'm not constrained by being a genre writer. Any story I can imagine, I can cast as a fantasy novel and probably get it published.
I'm dense when it comes to discouragement.
That bedrock faith that I could write was what blinded me to attempts to discourage me.
Editors of open anthologies actively seek submissions from all comers, established and unknown. They are willing to read whatever the tide washes up at their feet.
For me, writing a short story is much, much harder than writing a novel.
I do have a small collection of traditional SF ideas which I've never been able to sell. I'm known as a fantasy writer and neither my agent nor my editors want to risk my brand by jumping genre.
I write sets of books, but I've also written a lot of orphans.
I've read short stories that are as dense as a 19th century novel and novels that really are short stories filled with a lot of helium.
Once you've invested hundreds of hours in creating a coherent universe, your story's grown to around a half-million words and can't be written as anything less than a trilogy.
When I have an idea, it goes from vague, cloudy notion to 100,000 words in a heartbeat.
No one uses a ribbon typewriter any more, but your final draft is not the time to try to wring a few more sheets out of your inkjet cartridge.
If you write, one of the questions you're always trying to answer is, Where do you get your ideas? And, if you write, you know how pointless a question this is and how difficult it is to answer.
The money can be decent, but I really don't recommend the work-for-hire route as an entry into publishing. Too many things can go wrong.
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