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Write Good or Die

Write Good or Die

Titel: Write Good or Die
Autoren: Scott Nicholson
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    From the moment I decided to get serious about this writing gig—around the time I got my fourth rejection slip—I immediately started researching the business, the craft, and the industry, buying every writing-advice book I could get my hands on, listening to grizzled veterans at conferences, and browsing the Internet for articles when I wasn’t writing.
    Soon—around the time I got my fourth sale—I was presumptuous enough to start giving advice, posting articles on my Web site and sending them to writing magazines. As I achieved more success and failure, in the back of my mind I thought I would put together a writing book when I became a best-selling author.
    There were only two problems. I’m not yet a best-selling author, and as I looked back over my articles, I saw most of them were useless, dated, or conventional, and everything I thought I knew turned out to be wrong. Which was the original name of this guide: All Writing Advice is Wrong .
    So I tracked down some writers I knew, or some I knew only from the Internet or their books, and I read their advice. And I came to the conclusion that each writer only knows one set of truths, and those things are true only for that particular writer. Even if you imitate everything another writer does, it would be impossible to duplicate her career. You really do have to build your own ladder in this business, and there is too much luck, timing, and ever-changing weather involved to chart a path straight to the top.
    These writers have diverse backgrounds, and some of the following advice is unconventional, subversive, and contradictory. Some comes from idealism, some from experience, some from the school of hard knocks—Kevin J. Anderson, J.A. Konrath, and I have amassed 2,000 rejection slips among the three of us. M.J. Rose, Brandon Massey, and Robert Kroese self-published their first novels as the foundations for their success. Harley Jane Kozak and Alexandra Sokoloff went from the Hollywood screen to the New York page, while Jonathan Maberry published thousands of non-fiction articles. Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith share their freelancing trials and triumphs as a married couple. Mur Lafferty is a well-known podcaster, Gayle Lynds is a bestselling author of spy fiction, David J. Montgomery is a respected reviewer in addition to his fiction writing, Douglas Clegg has worked in various aspects of the publishing industry, Elizabeth Massie has written educational material and radio dramas among other things, and Heather Graham was raising children while making the time to write what has now become 100 novels.
    If you love this art, this craft, and this business, it’s a lifetime commitment to learning. There’s only one way out: Write Good or Die. Sometimes both.

    Scott Nicholson
    April 2010


    By Kevin J. Anderson

    During the Olympics, the world watches great athletes from all nations perform seemingly impossible feats with breathtaking skill. When those well-toned men and women receive their medals, we admire them for their almost superhuman abilities. Most of us don’t kid ourselves (as we sit on the couch munching potato chips) that we could be just as talented, just as fast, just as strong . . . if only we had the time.
    For some reason, though, a lot of people seem to believe such an absurd thing about writing books. I’ve had many people tell me that writing is easy, that they themselves could do it, if they merely sat down and put their minds to it. Here’s how the conversation often goes:
    A person at one of my book-signings or appearances: “I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I could write a novel.”
    Me: “Oh? Why haven’t you?”
    Person: “I just don’t have the time.”
    Me: “Hmm. You know, nobody gives me the time, either. I have to make the time, set priorities, discipline myself to get my writing done each day, no matter how tired I am. I worked a full-time regular job while I wrote my first novels, scraping out an hour here or there in evenings and weekends. That’s how I’ve become a successful author.”
    Person: “Yeah, right. I think you’re just lucky.”
    Olympic athletes usually start their training as kids, practicing, competing, clawing their way up year after year. Some of them get up before dawn just to grab enough hours of training during the day. They strive to improve their
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