Scott Coon’s Advice for Writers To-Be

Since it has taken me longer than I wanted to find success with my writing, I would like to offer some advice based on what I’ve learned along the way and wish I’d known all along.

First, writing is hard, but it gets easier the more you do it. Writing everyday will teach you how to write every day. Life is a never-ending series of issues and dramas. Don’t let them become your excuse to not pursue your goals. For years, I isolated myself at lunch so I could get some writing done. I dedicated my weekend mornings to making up for lost hours during the week. Other writers have used their train commute, got up early, or stayed up later after the rest of their family went to bed. Find what works for you and train yourself to expect to write at that time.

Dedicate yourself to the art and business of writing. You must learn both. Not learning the business side dooms your writing to being a hobby, not a career. You must learn the rules for your kind of fiction, including word count, POV, and structure. Learn how to approach an agent, publisher, and audience.

There are an endless number of ways to write a novel. You can only learn how YOU write a novel by writing a novel. Learn how others approach it and from them develop your own. You can expect to write and throw away your first three novels. Use them as a training ground. Fan fiction or mimicry is a good start for practicing. My first novel was an Ann Rice knockoff, and you will never ever read it. While mimicking others, your goal must be to find your own voice in the end. Another good way to build your skill and an audience is by writing and submitting short stories. As a Sci-Fi writer, I have a lot of places I can submit short stories. I’ve even built a relationship with a contest and a magazine. You can too.

While you are developing your skills and knowledge, I recommend you BUILD YOUR PLATFORM NOW. Have a website, blog, email list, and social media presence including sites like GoodReads and NaNoWriMo. Become a member of the writing and reading community, attend conventions, and join groups so you will have the connections you need to let the world know you wrote a book. The best way to be a part of a community is to contribute to it. I contribute through my On Writing and Little Creative Interview pages. I also have a YouTube channel for animated readings of my published short stories and for writing advice. My newsletter provides writing news, contest news, and links to the latest from me (including this post).

In addition to learning the art and business of writing, be a generalist, a curious intellectual who feeds on knowledge. The more you know the more you can write about. My head is full of random information that feeds into my stories. Learning has never been easier than now. Writer’s Digest, YouTube, book forwards, and reference material like the Emotions Thesaurus are waiting for you. And once you’ve learned it, RELEARN IT ALL, especially the business side of writing. Tastes and standards change so stay pugged into what tropes are overdone or how query letter writing has changed, amongst other things.

And above all else, you can’t win if you don’t play. So, once you write something and polish it to the best you can make it, SUBMIT!

See You Next Year!

Dear readers, writers, followers, or random visitors. This blog is going to be a bit silent during the next month. Due to several time management and health reasons. We thank you for all the likes, reads, and comments! And we are preparing brand new things for the writing folk for year 2021! Let us all hope it will be a better year. Have nice Christmas and keep writing!

Top 10 SEO Tools That Are Helpful for Authors

Nicholas C. Rossis

SEO tools for authors | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book

As authors, we all have our websites. More often than not, however, they fail to generate much interest. Most of our posts languish unnoticed and unread. Some writers resort to ads to garner traffic. Others prefer organic—i.e. unpaid—traffic, as our marketing budgets tend to be pretty tight.

This is where SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, comes in. In a nutshell, SEO covers anything that encourages search engines to place your website higher on their search engine results pages (SERP). Authors looking to attract organic traffic often have to daily go through the tweaks of SEO-friendly content.

Writing SEO-friendly content

The basis of writing SEO-friendly content is using the right keywords for your audience. By including appropriate, well-researched keywords and keyphrases, you help search engines understand what you’re all about. Consequently, you will rank higher for that kind of audience.

It’s no surprise, then, that a…

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Your Success Stories: Shilah Ferr


I grew up in northern New Jersey with my brother and sister. We share treasured memories of high school, the Jersey shore, and tons of family time with cousins, all of which became part of April’s Heart! My romance novel is set in high school in the eighties and although a work of fiction, basically follows the skeleton of my life, especially my dysfunctional family!

I have been a teacher for thirty years, so writing, language and vocabulary are definitely in my wheel house. Once I finally got started, writing the story, then editing it, was the easy part. I love the romance genre, and after reading so much of it, I felt like I could do it too! I work full time, but became very immersed in my eighties world, and would write whenever I could.

Continue reading “Your Success Stories: Shilah Ferr”

The Problems with Publishing

A must-read!

Nicholas C. Rossis

Author Kristine Kathryn Rusch recently shared a must-read post about today’s state of publishing, aptly titled Trainwreck, Fall Edition.

As she explains, she tried in June to order a copy of a book she liked for her sister. However, she wouldn’t get the book until September. Understandably, her reaction was: How odd. The book had released in February, so she should have been able to get her hands on a copy quickly. But she couldn’t.

Then she remembered that the same thing had happened with a couple of other books she had ordered for her sister back in May. They were backlist for an author her sister hadn’t tried and it took six weeks for her to get the books, with the shipment getting delayed more than once.

Putting two and two together, Kristine realized the ugly truth: traditional publishing is headed for a trainwreck.

The trainwreck

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