Pragmatic Dos and Don’ts for Writers

Cthulhu Scribe by Drew Pocza

One of the things that is *very* confusing for new writers is how to peel off another author’s persona or (as I like to call it) marketing bling. There is the author, there is their work, and then there is the face they show to the world. That character or aspect is specifically engineered to get attention in a very competitive market and many writers utilize advice for newbies to do just that. Others attack or criticize one another to get that visibility. Regardless of your thoughts? That’s them, you’re you, and this is me. There isn’t one approach that’s better (or worse) than any other. My philosophy is simply “to each his own.”

Strip away the persona and you have working authors and aspiring writers. It’s no secret there are more people who want to write professionally than who actually sit down, stick their butt in a chair, and spend the time. This is *not* an easy field to navigate. If you are looking for a ruler or some common sense to pull you back into the work and the business of writing, then I highly recommend you check out Authors’ Checklist of Dos and Don’ts by Lucienne Diver. The article was originally published in the SFWA Bulletin which is published by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

It does NOT matter what size publisher you’re dealing with. The process may be different when you work with a small press versus a large one but we all want a quality story for readers to enjoy. These dos and don’ts will help you figure out your own set of commandments so if you do decide to focus on building a persona? You’ll have a strong foundation based on business practices to start from.

    Mood: Recovering from angsty, crabapple day.
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: One-half of one-half of one-half. Fill me up!
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Rolled my eyes a lot. Sheesh. Should do something today.
    Yesterday’s Projects: Game, Short Story
    In My Ears: Nothing
    Game Last Played: Final Fantasy XIII, Kittens in a Blender!
    Movie Last Viewed: Ironclad
    Book Last Read: Broken Blade by Kelly McCullough
    Latest Artistic Project: Crystal cluster bracelet in silver
    Latest Release: Strange, Dead Love for Vampire: the Requiem

Monica Valentinelli is a writer, editor, and game developer. Her portfolio includes stories, games, comics, essays, and pop culture books.

In addition to her own worlds, she has worked on a number of different properties including Firefly, Vampire: the Masquerade, Hunter: the Vigil, Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn, and Robert E. Howard’s Conan.

Want to Interview or Hire Me? Send Fan Mail?

Would you like to hire me? Because my projects and manuscripts are in flux, I am always open to discussing new opportunities with publishers and studios. As a full-time writer, I spend a portion of my time seeking new gigs–so don’t be afraid to reach out. If you’re interested, please e-mail me via my Contact Page. I typically reply to work-related e-mails within one-to-two business days.

Want an interview? If you’d like to interview me or request a guest blog post, please connect with me via the contact page, too. Due to time constraints and other communicative concerns, I typically don’t follow up on requests via social media.

Keen on sending fan mail? I am also happy to engage with readers and fans. Please note that I am unable to reply satisfactorily to certain types of queries related to the companies I work for due to the agreements I typically sign. If you have a question about a TV show or a line of books, the best way to get your answer is to contact the studio or publisher directly.

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