In a very real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to lead; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish.

— S. I. Hayakawa, from Language in Thought and Action (1990)

For Writers …

… particularly if you’re just getting started, here are some articles you might find helpful. Most are my blog posts, written because I get asked about these subjects over and over.

If You’re Just Getting Started
If You Don’t Know Where to Start
Michael Hyatt: Advice to First-Time Authors
I’ve Written a Book. Now What?

The Kind of Editing I Do
What We Have Here Is a Failure to Communicate
How to Recognize a Professional Editor
Are You My (Professional) Editor?
Taking Care of Business
Parlez-Vous Editing?
You’re Mine Now (Relationship)
Breaking Into the Biz
The Dream Job
On Job Satisfaction
If I Can’t Help You, I Won’t Pretend I Can

The Publishing Process
The Secret Cookie Recipe (Part 1)
At Last! Astonishing Secrets Revealed! (Part 2)
Indie Publishing: The Sharpened Stake
What About Self-Publishing?
Catherine Ryan Howard: Catherine, Caffeinated on Self-Printing

The Editing Process
A Copy Editor’s Top 10 Errors
Act As If You Care!
A Plague on the House of Apple Pages
Anticipation (Your Editorial Notes)
Are You Ready for Some Editing? (First Draft)
Because I Can (Copyediting)
Beginners’ Mistakes
Don’t Celebrate Too Soon
Editing Is Expensive
Formatting Your Manuscript for Your Editor
How to Demoralize Your Editor in One Easy Lesson
I Am Not Editing Our Conversation
I Could Tell You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You
If You Want to Run With the Big Dogs …
In the Trenches
Mistakes Were Made (First Draft)
My Name Isn’t on the Book (Your Editorial Notes)
Nothing Matters But the Words
On the Same Page (Style Guide)
Relax, This Won’t Hurt a Bit
Scheduling: It’s a Guesstimate
Style Guide Is Your Friend
To Err Is Human, to Forgive, Divine
Track Changes From A to Z
“Track Changes” Is Your Friend
The Best Stuff Is in the Margin Notes
What If You Don’t Like My Book?
Whole-Picture Editing (Process)
You Can Lead a Horse to Water

Writing Tips
Adventures in Editorland (Dialogue Tags)
All Shall Be Well (Repetition)
Amazing, My Dear Watson (Word Use)
Amazing Again, 99 Words for It (Word Use)
Compound Interest (Compound Words)
Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night (Adverb Abuse)
Dot. Dot. Dot. (Ellipses Use)
Elements of a Story-Worthy Problem
Feeling Hopeful (Adverb Abuse)
First Sign of Insanity? (Inner Discourse)
Generic Character Nouns Leave Me Cold
Good Writing, Bad Writing, and Stephenie Meyer
Handy-Dandy Guide to Theme in Fiction
Happily Ever After (Romance)
Harry Potter & the Elusive Age Ranges
Have You Found Your Voice Yet?
How Do I Characterize Thee?
Interrogatory Editing
Is That a Smirk on Your Face …? (Word Use)
It Was Not an Historic Event (Word Choice)
It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Green (Self-Editing)
Let’s Discuss Slang
Let’s Talk About (Foot)Notes
Let’s Talk About Plot
Let’s Talk (Dialogue Part 1)
Let’s Talk Again (Dialogue Part 2)
Little Did She Know About Foreshadowing
Misery Loves Company (Top 10 Errors)
My Brain Fart on Telling (Show, Don’t Tell)
Narrative Questions: Meh.
Nothing New Under the Sun (Plot)
Objection! Leading the Witness, Yer Honor. (Show, Don’t Tell)
Emma Darwin: Over-done, over-written and over here (Overwriting)
Possible, Not Probable (Research)
Principle of Chekhov’s Gun (Plot)
Principle of Occam’s Razor: Keep It Simple (Details)
Pronoun Abuse
Return: Starting a New Paragraph
Ringing True (Details)
Separating the Women (Women’s Fiction/Romance)
Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day? (Similes)
Show, Don’t Tell (Dialogue)
Snicker, Sputter, and Snarl (Dialogue Tags)
Step Away From the Thesaurus
Story, Voice, Prose
The Doctor Is In (When You’re Stuck)
Tighten It Up
Time Passages (Hiatus Breaks)
Unpack This (Word Use)
Where Have All the Good Names Gone …
Word Count Matters
Words I Never Want to See in Your Novel
You Won’t Get a 2nd Chance (1st Chapter)
Writing About Guns

Study This series
A Spool of Blue Thread
At the Movies
I’ll Give You the Sun
Sampling Marilynne Robinson
The Children Act
The Sea
The Summer Before the War
The Vacationers
Us

Other Important Stuff
Be Careful What You Copy and Paste
Entering the (Writer’s) Lottery (Pitch Contests)
Everybody’s Talkin’ at Me 1 (Writers’ Groups)
Everybody’s Talkin’ at Me 2 (Beta Readers)
How to Let Go
How Not to Love an Author
How to Love an Author
Just Open a Vein (Writer’s Block)
Just Say No To an NDA
Legal Issues
Not All Dictionaries Are Created Equal
Patience, Grasshopper (Rejection Letters)
Resources for Mystery/Suspense Writers
Some Books on Writing Well
Space Invaders (Double Spacing)
Stacking the Deck (Hiring an Editor)
Synopsis: An Idea Is Good. A Plan Is Better.
Synopsis? Or Marketing Copy?
They Say It’s Easier to Ask Forgiveness Than Permission
What You’re Reading Now
Why Yes, I Can Take 12K Words Out of Your Manuscript
Why You Need an Izz-Bin (ISBN)
Your PC Isn’t a Typewriter (Double Spacing)
You, Me, and Literary Agents
Jane Friedman: How to Find a Literary Agent for Your Book
Jane Friedman: The Fair Use Doctrine
Rachelle Gardner: How to Find an Agent
Jody Hedlund: Why You Need an Agent
Writability: Do Your Research (Finding an Agent)

And Please: Do Your Research, Check Your Facts
No, You May Not Use Brainyquote.com
The Internet Can Be Unreliable
Stephen Frasier: Is Snopes.com a Reliable Source? (Yes)
Barry Popik: The Big Apple (An Etymological Dictionary)
Garson O’Toole: Quote Investigator
Bodhipaksa: Fake Buddha Quotes
Mark Twain: Twain Quotes
Thomas Jefferson: Spurious Jefferson Quotes
George Washington: Spurious Quotations
Mother Teresa: Mother Teresa Did Not Say …
Wikiquote: Wikiquote
Bartleby: Bartleby
Various Quotes 1: Quotenik
Various Quotes 2: Quote/Counterquote
Merriam-Webster: Free Online Dictionary