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.
Ideas aren't magical; the only tricky part is holding on to one long enough to get it written down.
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.
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.
There is nothing that compares to an unexpected round of applause.
One of my great passions is the collection of historical trivia.
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.
It's possible to become so comfortable with one's style and structure that one ceases to grow.
Im always trolling for trivia.
My writing has to support more than my research habit, but I love to curl up with a book about some dusty corner of history.
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 dense when it comes to discouragement.
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.
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.
I think my prose reads as if English were my second language. By the time I get to the end of a paragraph, I'm dodging bullets and gasping for breath.
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.
That bedrock faith that I could write was what blinded me to attempts to discourage me.
I write sets of books, but I've also written a lot of orphans.
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.
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.
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