Category Archives: Writing Craft & Self-Publishing

Mixing metaphors

Many good-intentioned people seeking to help will tell you never to mix your metaphors, that it is a hallmark of poor writing, that it confuses or fails to engage the reader, and that it is either sloppy or amateurish. In almost all cases they will be right; but then, in almost all cases everyone giving […]

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Craft’s slow burn

The nightly nine o’clock news here, as most national news in most places, always has a bit of fluff in its middle, and depending on the news day that fluff can be quite extended. In a recent program a local mystery writer was discussed for a good fifteen to twenty minutes. I half-listened as I […]

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Selling ebooks: Smashwords and Amazon

I joined Smashwords in 2011 after I had published my second book. It seemed like a good idea at the time, and it probably was. Smashwords provided free ebook file conversions for the many ereading devices that were just being produced by companies such as Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Sony. Each had their own […]

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Distribution channels and pricing

There are many pluses and minuses to the various print on demand services (POD) available to self-pubbers wishing to release paperback versions of their books. We here at the Drugstore use and recommend CreateSpace, which is probably the biggest and most well-known of the group. That doesn’t always mean that it’s the simplest, however, and […]

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Formatting a book’s interior: Blissful tedium

There are few feelings better in this writing life of ours than when a project is nearing its completion. The heady early days of The Idea are long gone, the creative bursts of the planning stages when all the world seemed at your fingertips have passed, the love/hate relationship of the first full draft has […]

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Choosing projects, or The heart knows

Writers wishing to be read have never had such choice. Writers wishing to be read have never had it so good. We are spoiled for chances, awash in potential, the globe at our fingertips and hundreds of thousands – millions, billions – of readers only a click away. Such times would be unimaginable if they […]

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Darkness, and the delete button

You thought it was a great idea. Everything seemed to flow so well and make so much sense when you wrote it. But then you finished writing and re-read it. What happened in the meantime? How did those beautiful words become this? Where did all the warts and blemishes come from? Flaws, mistakes, holes, detritus, […]

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Using symbolism

A snake, a crow. Let me set the scene: I was walking to work on a gushingly rainy day and noticed a piece of litter under some bushes running along the sidewalk. I crossed the sidewalk to pick it up for a more proper disposal and heard a loud thud behind me. Turning I saw […]

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Turning points

You have your main character and she is busy at work in your book, battling evil robotic androids in chapters one and two that evidently plan on enslaving humanity to work in their giant banana plantations. Then in chapter three she discovers that the androids are not robotic at all, nor are they even androids […]

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Narrative direction

I have somehow become increasingly interested in time. It could just be that I never seem to have enough of it, or that the demands that pile up one after another force me to recognize and carefully distribute it, but more and more I’m noticing how the manner in which I choose to spend the […]

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