where the writers are
Author Fest 1 - Rules of Writing

First things first: Dave Fymbo has cre­ated yet another ter­rific cover (at least I think so) for my next release, DEADLY BONES, which is the sec­ond book in my Maple­ton Mys­tery series.

Deadly BonesI’m look­ing at an early Novem­ber release date. If you’re one of my newslet­ter sub­scribers, you still have time to get your free copy of the first book, DEADLY SECRETS. Check your newslet­ter for how to claim the gift.

Although I still have plenty of infor­ma­tion from the Writ­ers Police Acad­emy to share, I thought I’d take a short break and share some tid­bits from another con­fer­ence I attended right after the WPA. Author Fest was a two-day series of work­shops and talks held about halfway down the moun­tain, in Man­i­tou Springs. Our first speaker was author Bar­bara Wright.

Wright talked about her days as a fact-checker for Esquire, and of her trav­els. She men­tioned that it takes 10,000 hours to mas­ter a craft, which reminded us that we can’t expect to sit down and crank out a best-seller. She also shared her “Rules of Writing”—things she’s learned along the way, and I have her per­mis­sion to share them with you here.

1. Keep it con­crete.
2. Famil­iar­ize your­self with the best writ­ing. Dis­man­tle it and ask your­self what makes it work.
3. Cre­ate the con­di­tions you need in order to write.
4. Every­thing is mate­r­ial.
5. Any­one can be a writer.
6. Don’t take rejec­tion per­son­ally.
7. Keep your eyes and ears open.
8. There’s no such thing as fail­ure. The only way you can fail is to quit.
9. Don’t show off. Add details must be in ser­vice of the story.
10. Pretty good is not good enough.
11. You don’t find ideas; ideas find you.
12. Take risks. They force you to be bet­ter than you are.
And, she closed with a quote from Som­er­set Maugham: “There are three rules for writ­ing a novel. Unfor­tu­nately, nobody know what they are.”