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When your story doesn't work, try this revision technique

Hi Bookfoxers, Aliette de Bodard had a problem. She'd finished her fantasy novel "Master of the House of Darts" and given it to some beta readers, but they gave her ho-hum reactions. They just didn't care about the story. What could have been wrong? She did a deep-dive back into her book,...
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15 days ago • 1 min read

You should write for X hours daily

Hi Bookfoxers, I once met a friend of a friend who wanted to become a novelist. We chatted on the phone and I casually asked: so how many hours are you writing a day? I thought I could encourage him to develop a writing habit, but what he said shocked me. 8 hours a day, he said. 6 days a week. He...
21 days ago • 2 min read

The books that were never written

Hi Bookfoxers, David Foster Wallace died of suicide at age 46. Sometimes I imagine what he could have written if he'd gotten the right antidepressants. I imagine him finishing The Pale King. I imagine him writing more of his funny and insightful essay collections, and more ambitious short...
29 days ago • 2 min read

The mistake every writer needs to make

Hi Bookfoxers, Lisi Harrison, a New York Times bestselling author of three YA book series, made a terrible mistake. She was talking to her personal trainer who was getting married, and she told him that she could help. She knew the wedding coordinator at the Montage in Laguna Beach, and could...
about 1 month ago • 1 min read

You're Not a Writer (are you?)

Hi Bookfoxers, I recently saw this story about a woman who wrote YA fantasy books. She had a pretty decent career: Published 6 novels Worked with 4 different publishers Made roughly $5,000 a year from book sales But her husband never introduced her as a writer. Finally, she pestered him about it....
about 2 months ago • 2 min read

Write like a Human (And Less like a Machine)

Hi Bookfoxers, I have zero desire to have a computer write for me. There. I said it. But there are lots of writers who feel differently. And soon, their books are going to be flooding the marketplace. Some books will say "AI Assisted" in the front notes, while others will try to hide the fact...
about 2 months ago • 2 min read

Writers, Pay Attention to Your Reluctance

Hi Bookfoxers, There's an easy way to peek inside your writing soul. Here is it: Study your reluctance. When you're reluctant to write, or edit, or submit, there's a reason for that. And you shouldn't always grit your teeth and lower your shoulder and push through it. You should try to...
3 months ago • 1 min read

Your Writing Goals for 2023

Hi Bookfoxers, It's 2023 and I'm 43 years old. And I do the same thing at the beginning of every year -- look at the previous one, and plan for the new one. Over the years I've made a lot of writing goals. I've also failed at a lot of writing goals (though I've succeeded at a fair...
3 months ago • 2 min read

The Most Important Rule for Pacing Your Novel

Hi Bookfoxers, So you write a boring scene. You know it's a little boring. It's slowing down your novel. But you don't know how to spice it up. Sometimes, there's nothing fundamentally wrong with your scene. It's just: dialogue between two characters thoughts of the protagonist lengthy...
5 months ago • 1 min read

Need an Editor?

Hi Bookfoxers, I have some time in my calendar this month, and I'm opening up 3 slots for developmental editing. First come, first serve! Here's how developmental editing works: I write an essay talking about your novel -- characters, plot, dialogue, themes, pacing, beginning/endings and much,...
6 months ago • 1 min read