Juicing Your Critics

Juicing Your Critics

Criticism is difficult to interpret. In the first place, everyone’s experience of a text is valid. And I don’t mean that in a New Age-y, touchy-feely way. With books, even more than with movies or even comics (although those too), the experience is necessarily...

The 30-Second Guide to Beta Reading

For people who have never gone through the process: Beta reading is a critique, a beta test of a manuscript that has gone through all major revisions except the final review by a copy editor or proofreader. Beta reading is like a “screen test” of the book,...
Elements: How I Approach Setting

Elements: How I Approach Setting

I feel like I’ve crossed another milestone. I’ve had a realization recently about setting, which writing instructors will tell you is one of the key elements of fiction, along with characters and plot, but which I see a little differently. I’m a...

Constructive Interference

According to a number of studies (do a search on “music for productivity”), music that is highly engaging, such as songs we enjoy — especially those with a lot of lyrics — are good for repetitive work. This is probably because they stimulate...
(Don’t Fear) The Reader

(Don’t Fear) The Reader

I got into a short discussion the other day about email lists and how much contact is too much and at what point we are abusing people’s trust, so I thought I’d share how I use my email list and some reasons why we shouldn’t be afraid of offending...