Month: June 2016

The Dude Abides … but in What Genre?

By Steven Pressfield | 11 Comments

  [Reminder: only two more days to order your free e-version of my new book on writing, Nobody Wants To Read Your Sh*t. Offer expires at midnight, June 30. Click here to download. Totally free. No opt-in required. Takes 38 seconds or less.]   I was talking three weeks ago about the preparatory files I use before plunging in on a first draft. The first file is one I call Foolscap. Here’s the first question I ask myself in that file: “What’s the genre?” I’m asking, “What kind of book am I writing? Is it a Western? A Love Story? What…

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Get Steve’s New Book on Writing … Free!

By Steven Pressfield | 50 Comments

[Forgive me for leaving this post up two weeks in a row, but response has been so overwhelming to this free offer (see below) that we’ve decided to keep it going till midnight a week and a day from now—June 30. That’s the expiration date. Don’t be late!]   As a thank-you to readers of this blog, we’re giving away the e-version of my newest book, Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t, just out today. No opt-in required. You don’t have to enter your e-mail address or compromise your privacy in any way. The book is free until midnight Eastern time…

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Write Your Bio (a.k.a. an answer for Michael Beverly)

By Callie Oettinger | 13 Comments

In addition to ripping off chunks off Shawn’s work last week, I’ve stolen his spot this week to answer a question from Michael Beverly (See Michael’s full question in last Friday’s comments section.) Do I think an author bio is necessary for a fiction author? Necessary? No. A good idea? Yes. When I started writing tip-sheet (one-pagers about a book) copy for sales conferences, I learned how much bios play into sales. The sales reps used these tip sheets to help sell the new season to book buyers. Without having read the books, the reps would make decisions on which…

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Breakdown Boards

By Steven Pressfield | 22 Comments

  Have you ever seen a “breakdown board” for a movie? You and I as novelists can learn a lot from it about the writing of first drafts. Motion pictures, as most of us know, are not shot in sequence. The first day’s filming may be the movie’s final scene, or a scene from the middle of the picture. What dictates the order of shooting is efficiency. Budget concerns. If we’re shooting Zombie Apocalypse VI and we know we’ve got three scenes that take place in the abandoned warehouse down by the railroad tracks, let’s shoot them all back-to-back Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday,…

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Always Be Closing — A Promotional Steal

By Callie Oettinger | 6 Comments

I’m stealing Shawn’s May 27th post — lock, stock and barrel — for this week’s “What It Takes” post. Last week, Shawn advised readers to “Always Be Closing” when it comes to back cover copy. Take what he wrote and apply it to promotional copy, whether for pitch letters, e-mails, web site content, or whatever else you’re cookin’. That book you’re happy with? Don’t kid yourself into thinking the heavy lifting is over. Outreach copy is up next. It might not be as long, but it can sandbag your book. This is a fundamental mistake (yes, Shawn, I’m stealing…) publicists…

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“Just Write the Damn Thing!”, Part One

By Steven Pressfield | 10 Comments

We’ve been talking for the past couple of weeks about first drafts. Bottom line message: Get through them fast and with aggression, even if the final product is imperfect and riddled with TKs (placeholder scenes, descriptions, and dialogue). In other words, “Cover the Canvas.” That’s fine. It works. But what do we do before we cover the canvas? Plunge in blindly? Start writing from Page One? I’m gonna take the next few weeks to address these questions. What I have to say is purely my own idiosyncratic thinking and experience. Okay? Here goes … Before I start a first draft…

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