Straight Talk on Writing: 20 Conversations with Authors about the Craft

By Scott Francis | Go to book overview

Introduction

Writing is a way of life. Get a bunch of writers in a room and you’ll see them start swapping bits of advice, contacts, and horror stories. As an editor at Writer’s Digest Books, I’ve had the pleasure of talking with writers of varying degrees of experience from published authors to aspiring beginners. I’ve been to conventions, workshops, classes—you name it—and heard writers toss around all kinds of advice ranging from ideas about the craft to rants about the downsides of the publishing industry to inspiring stories of writers getting their big break. I love those kinds of conversations. After all, the act of writing is usually a solitary endeavor, so when writers get a chance to talk to each other and share ideas about the craft, it’s something to be celebrated.

It’s in this same spirit of open communication that I offer this collection of interviews with authors, compiled from interviews conducted by the staff of Writer’s Digest Books over the past few years. These writers come from different backgrounds, with different interests and specialties. Some of them are widely published; others are just getting started in their careers. They have different ideas about the craft—different thoughts about what works, what doesn’t, and what the writing life is all about. But they all share a deep passion for the craft—the same passion that drives any writer.

These interviews are casual. The ideas expressed here are those of the writer, and not necessarily those of Writer’s Digest. The advice you find here should be thought of as any advice you might receive from a person at a writing conference—some things may work for you and some may not. Listen to the conversation, take it all in, and decide for yourself.

Best wishes and happy writing,

Scott Francis Content Editor Writer’s Digest Books

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Straight Talk on Writing: 20 Conversations with Authors about the Craft
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Acknowledgments i
  • Table of Contents ii
  • Introduction 1
  • Laurie Alberts 2
  • Barbara Baig 6
  • William Cane 9
  • Orson Scott Card 13
  • Sage Cohen 21
  • Sarah Dornet 25
  • Jeff Gerke 29
  • April Hamilton 32
  • Becky Levine 37
  • Donald Maass 41
  • Dinty W. Moore 43
  • Jessica Page Morrell 46
  • Steven Harper Piziks 49
  • Peter Seigin 53
  • George Singleton 57
  • James Alexander Thom 60
  • Fred White 62
  • Karen S. Wiesner 64
  • You’Ve Read the Interviews… Now Read the Books! 68
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