I am about to start publishing my science fiction series called Consortium under the pseudonym Andrew M. Friday. Feel free to visit “his” page.
Why am I using this other name? Several reasons:
- I have already written many children’s books under my real name Andy Rector, and would like to separate the two genres.
- I also write spiritual books under the name Andrew M. Rector, and once again I would like to keep the two separate.
- “Friday” a variation on my mother’s maiden name, which is “Fridy.” I thought it would be a great way to honor my grandparents on my mom’s side of the family.
- I’ve had this name picked out for a long time.
- There is also another writer who goes by the name Andy Rector who is a film critic.
I’ve started a twitter account for Andrew M. Friday (@AndrewMFriday). Feel free to follow it.
So I’d like to invite you to support Andrew M. Friday if you are a reader of science fiction. Thanks!
I still consider myself a new writer, but I was first published at twelve years old. I won’t tell you how long ago that was, but it was before Ronald Reagan sat in the White House.
Here’s the thing: you’re constantly learning as a writer. You’re learning your craft. You’re learning how to use grammar to make your writing interesting. You’re learning about the publishing industry. Being a writer is an identity constantly in change.
But if I had to pick just five things to tell a new writer, here is what I would list for them:
- Read all kinds of books-This advice did not originate with me. Everyone who writes says it. Always be reading. Read various authors. Read all the books of just one author. Read everything you can in the genre for which you want to write. Read in all kinds of genres. Read both fiction and nonfiction. If you are like me, you are busy. I actually have to schedule time to read. But just always be reading something.
- Write every day you possibly can-Even if it’s only for a few minutes, write every day. And that can include planning, outlining, researching, editing, proofreading, or journaling. It could be deciding what you wrote yesterday isn’t that great after all and you need to start over. Have the writer’s mindset and realize every experience you have can be used in your writing. Just place your fingers on the keyboard (or grab the pencil) and write.
- Try National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)-Every November, thousands of people around the world write fifty thousand words in one month. That’s about 1600 words a day. If it sounds daunting, try it and see what happens. It gave me the confidence to realize, “Hey, I can create a long piece of fiction.” Now, of course, what is written for NaNoWriMo is rough. But I have four rough novels I’m finishing thanks to the contest. That’s more than what I had before I tried it.
- Subscribe to writing blogs and websites-Wow, there are so many out there, but here’s a few of my favorites to get you started:
- Use software for writers-This is not for everyone, but I would say try the software and return it if not satisfied. First, for outlining and planning, try Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method software. Next, try Scrivener for writing your manuscript. Writer’s kept saying, “Try Scrivener.” I was like, “Sure, sure.” When I finally got around to using it, I was like, “Holy macaroni! Why didn’t I start using this a long time ago!
To use a cliché, this is just the tip of the iceberg. I could say, “Go to YouTube and search for writers with video blogs,” or “A neat idea generator for SF and fantasy writers is Seventh Sanctum.”
I’d like to include more, but one thing I’ve realized is this: I can spend all kinds of time learning Scrivener or reading articles on writing, but the best thing to do to get experience as a writer is to just start writing.
Click here to find out more about my books.
In honor of its fiftieth anniversary, I read The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton again after about twenty-five years. Hinton has been said to single-handedly jump started the YA publishing market.
I went through a period of reading YA novels. Most of Hinton’s–That Was Then, This Is Now; Rumble Fish–and tackled Paul Zindel’s books beginning with The Pigman. To my repertoire of YA novels, I read Robert Cormier’s The Chocolate War, Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, Lois Lowry’s The Giver, and many more.
Even as an adult, I’ve enjoyed YA fiction more than ever. As an adult, I’ve read classics like William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, Katherine Paterson’s Bridge to Terabithia, E. L. Konigsburg’s From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler just to name a few. I have never thought YA novels were only for young adults.
YA fiction has ruled pop culture the last fifteen to twenty years: The Hunger Games, Percy Jackson, and The Harry Potter series are the tip of the iceberg.
Here’s an article by a young adult author about her writing experience. It’s hilarious:
A Crash Course in YA Taught Me How to Write.
From the Huffington Post:
Soak up these family dramas, advice column collections and near-future hijinks.
This summer, in addition to the obvious 2016 warm-weather pastime of drinking watermelon water while listening to “Lemonade,” we’re looking forward to reading new books! Because, although we are big proponents of couch lounging, reading in the grass while using a book to shield your eyes from the sun has its particular joys.
Thankfully, there’re a lot to choose from. It may not be the summer of “the next next ‘Gone Girl,’” but there’s a meticulously wrought new thriller out in June, one that examines a violently broken relationship between sisters. There’s also a wry adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew,” a screwball story set in 2052, and a new slate of advice columns from Heather Havrilesky, aka Ask Polly. Choose wisely, dear readers; in our opinion, you can’t go wrong with one of the following.
When I was on vacation earlier this month, I read some e-books on writing. Even though these gems were inexpensive and quick, they provided me with some valuable lessons to apply to my writing craft.
Here they are:
- Self-publishing a Book
By Hank Quense
Quense has a great series on self-publishing and this is the second one I’ve read. He’s great about explaining why he does it the way he does, but let’s the reader know everyone needs to self-publish the way that is best for himself. Good advice on what publisher to use. I will be coming back to this book as a reference.
- 2K to 10K: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love
By Rachel Aaron
I loved Aaron’s Eli Monpress series and I can’t wait to read more of her stuff. She gives advice on how to increase the amount of writing that gets done during a writing session by applying her triangle of knowledge, time and enthusiasm. Now, if that sounds vague, she does get specific about what they mean in this book.
- Writing from the Middle: A New Approach for Plotters, Pantsers and Everyone In Between
By James Scott Bell
I love Kill Zone, a blog for which Bell contributes as part of a community of writers. This book provided a fascinating piece of advice about character development for novel writing: the “Mirror Moment.” Once again, it’s something I knew already, but didn’t know I knew. This quick read will change the way you plan your novel–and it’s easy to apply to a draft you’ve already started.
- Scrivener Superpowers: How to Use Cutting-Edge Software to Energize Your Creative Writing Process
By M.G. Herron
I already read several books on Scrivener when I first learned to use it. The difference between those books (although they were wonderful and helpful) and this one is that Scrivener Superpowers gets into the nitty-gritty of not just learning to use it, but how to use is as a writer. His No-Nonsense Novel Template is also great.
So if you’re looking for some quick lessons for improving your fiction writing with maximum impact, you should check these books out. I highly recommend them.
As I plan my reading list for 2016, I want to include several self-published writers and small, independent publishing companies. So far I plan to read the following:
Check out JR Wirth‘s new book In Passing. I designed the cover! Here’s some promo copy:
“Trying to bring closure to her haunted youth, Mary Elizabeth Stroll’s past and present converge during a haunting, day-long interview. In Passing is a dark, yet romantic, paranormal tale, which thrusts two adolescent, suicide victims into a haunting afterlife odyssey where they find love and meaning. The journey leads them to intervene in the lives of other distressed young people, all the while amorous feelings grow. The two are then reunited with their lifeless bodies to search for the truth and their lost love.”