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Choosing What to Say in Your Bio, for Writers and Others


Writers are often invited to include a sentence, paragraph, or page of information about themselves when their works are published, and the same thing often applies to speakers, new employees, or anyone else who is in the spotlight for a moment or two. But what do we say? Do we give our basic statistics–age, occupation, education, hometown? Do we trumpet our successes, wax enthusiastic about our interests, or just try to sound clever?

The answer depends on what you want the bio to do. If you just want to get out of the spotlight as soon as possible, a boring bio is ideal. No point mentioning you’re a ballroom dance champion if you don’t want people to come talk to you about it, or to look you up when they need to learn a few moves for their sister’s wedding.

For writers, though, staying out of the spotlight is a bad idea. Like actors and public speakers, we are usually our own brand. The ideal for many of us would be for the focus to always be on our work, and biographies can be used for this purpose. However, personal details can often do more to help build a relationship with readers–and a long-term relationship with lots of readers is what most of us are after, at least those of us who want a writing career.

I’m not sure that I’m a master at writer bios, but I certainly have some suggestions on the subject. My point of view is that ideally a bio does one or more of the following:

1) Helps the reader become more interested in the writer
2) Makes the writer more memorable
3) Offers somewhere to go right now to read more from or connect with the writer

The reason these three things are useful, it seems to me, is that #1 makes it more likely a one-time reader will become someone who looks for the writer’s work; #2 makes it more likely the reader will recognize the writer’s name at next exposure, wherever that may be; and #3 offers the possibility of developing a further relationship with the reader right now, whether or not an immediate sale results. Note that #s 1 and 2 tend to encourage readers to follow up on #3.

I’m not a fan of cute bios or of bios that make the person sound like Generic Writer Number 1433 (e.g., “John P. Smith loves Science Fiction, especially the works of Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke, has a degree in chemical engineering, and lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife, kids, and three cats, whose shenanigans keep him in stiches from dawn ’til dusk.”). Wildly-varied-list-of-jobs-I-have-had bios also do very little for me.

In theory, bios that don’t really tell you anything about the writer seem like they can work if they’re examples of really entertaining writing, since that addresses point #1.

I tend to write specialized versions of my bio for each venue or context. My bio for my article coming out in the April issue of The Writer emphasizes my writing-related background and my focus relating to the article content, plugs my current top-priority publication, and invites the readers to my blog (which is closely related to the article content–no accident, as I was pitching articles related to my blog to build on the things I know and help attract more readers).

Luc Reid is a Writers of the Future winner, the founder of the Codex online writing group, and an author of fiction and nonfiction, most recently the novel Family Skulls. He blogs on writing and the psychology of habits at

For a recent sale of my flash fiction story “Tornado on Fire” to the Escape Pod podcast, I used some of the same material, but mentioned Taekwondo (I should probably have used the phrase “black belt,” which to me has always been a coolness-booster), didn’t plug the novel (as there was a more closely-related book I got to plug along with the bio), and mentioned my current work-in-progress, which could attract interest to the blog, since it’s closely connected.

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On Futurismic: Better Writing Through Writing About Writing


I’m wrapping up my series “Brain Hacks for Writers” at Futurismic (at least for now) with “Better Writing Through Writing About Writing,” an article on some techniques I’ve learned and tested for getting past motivational problems with writing, getting better focus, making writing-related decisions, and so on. I present five written tools writers can use to improve things and some ideas on how best to use them.

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Codex Writers’ Group Invites Indie Authors to Join

eBooks and Publishing

Codex Writers’ Group is an online, independent group of about 200 active members that offers a lively forum, contests, writing news, writing discussions, in-person meet-ups, critiques, promotional opportunities, and other advantages. It’s a friendly, vibrant, and supportive community whose members all qualify through writing accomplishments. The focus is on science fiction and fantasy prose, but there are some facilities for screenwriters, non-fiction writers, poets, and other writers.

I’m a little worried I’ll come off sounding like a braggart, but since these are achievements of my friends and not of my own, I hope you won’t mind me talking about some of Codexians’ successes. A large proportion of Codex members have gotten literary representation, sold books to major publishers, sold stories to major magazines, sold movie options, won contests, or won major awards since joining. One has co-authored a NY Times best-selling book. Members’ work appears in the great majority of major English language fantasy and science fiction magazines and in many other venues. In 2010, 15% of all Nebula nominations went to Codexians (I haven’t tallied 2011 yet). Codexians have won the Writers of the Future contest, the Phobos contest (R.I.P.), the Hugo, the Nebula, the Campbell, and many other awards. Membership is free and open to all writers who meet one of the qualifications, provided they’re willing to abide by the group agreements on privacy, consideration, etc.

The original means of qualifying were making at least one pro fiction sale or attending a major, by-audition-only writing workshop with industry pros (e.g., Clarion, Odyssey, Literary Boot Camp, etc.). In September we added the option of qualifying by getting representation with certain literary agencies.

As the publishing times are changing, we’ve just added a new means of qualifying to join Codex: sales of self-published fiction. Anyone who has sold at least 1,000 copies of self-published stories or novels and who has received at least $5,000 in income from these sales (note that this is income to the author, not gross sales) is now invited to join Codex. Discussions of indie publishing, eBook creation, cover design, and self-promotion have been very active on the forum lately, and more grist for the self-publishing discussion mill is always welcome.

If you’re interested in the group, please visit .

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Would Scrivener Make You a Happier Writer?


The process of writing has changed enormously in the past 50 years. Word processors transformed writing from something you have to redo every time you want to make changes to something that can include any number of changes with no extra effort beyond the edits themselves. The Web has elevated research from a limited, time-consuming, and sometimes expensive process into a few minutes communing with Google. Laptops and similar devices have taken these improvements out on the road. Print on demand and especially eBooks have opened an entirely separate career path for some independent writers.

In comparison to these game-changing tools and resources, what difference does Scrivener make? Well, if you’re like about 80% of writers, the answer used to be “none at all,” because Scrivener was originally a Mac-only program. Unless you’ve been beta testing the Windows version, all that changed yesterday when Scrivener 1.0 for Windows was introduced.

What’s so great about Scrivener?
I originally posted about Scrivener in an article called “How Tools and Environment Make Work Into Play, Part I: The Example of Scrivener.” My main point in that article was that for long or complex writing projects–novels, screenplays, stage plays, non-fiction books, articles with lots of information, or even short stories with especially detailed worlds or plots–Scrivener takes the heavy lifting out of organizing a lot of thoughts, resources, research, ideas, plot points, facts, scenes, or other details into a living outline that naturally evolves into your actual book.

For example, when I wrote my short book The Writing Engine: A Practical Guide to Writing Motivation (available in PDF form for free on this site, or for 99 cents on Amazon for the Kindle), I had an enormous number of tips, tricks, insights gleaned from scientific research, anecdotes, and whole articles to organize into a well-structured book. Using Scrivener, I dumped everything in without worrying about the order and then was easily able to organize it all into a structure that I could write and rewrite my way through until I had a clean final draft. While organizing, I was able to focus on just a few elements at a time, which took away that crazy, overwhelmed feeling of worrying that I’d forget some important piece of information. Once I began my actual writing, it also allowed me to focus singlemindedly on what I was writing.

How does Scrivener work?
The basic idea behind Scrivener is very simple: it conceives of a piece of writing as a bunch of pieces of text, each of which might be a paragraph, a scene, a chapter, an illustration, some research material, notes for your reference, etc. These pieces are organized into two general categories: Draft (for the writing itself) and Research (for supporting material that’s not intended to wind up in the actual book).

All of these pieces can be organized into an outline. For instance, I might start with these ideas for an evil bathtub story:

Note that in this picture I’m just showing the “binder,” the section on the left where I come up with the pieces I want to organize. I typed the names of my pieces right into there. I also could have started with some material I’d already written, which would go into the text area on the right that appears as I click on each item.

As you can see, I’m starting with some ideas about characters, a few plot points, some incidents, and some research. I’m not sure what happens when yet: all I have is glimpses of what’s happening in a short story about an evil bathtub.

(It’s ironic to me that I had forgotten, in putting together this example, that in college I actually wrote a story in college about a cursed bathtub. I guess this is a thing with me. I think the title was “Miriam Pzicsky and the Handyman from Hell.” I’m pleased to say that I have improved as a writer somewhat since college.)

In the next picture, you’ll see what I did with those pieces of information: I chose to impose three-act structure (something I don’t have to do and generally don’t do explicitly) and then dragged the items around into something resembling an order for the story. One of the great things about Scrivener is that in doing this, I automatically begin to see where there are holes in the story, where it might get repetitive, and what kind of structure I’m dealing with. Just seeing the story as an outline helps me improve the story.

click to enlarge

Once I’m done adding or changing elements in my outline, I’ll just start clicking on items in it and writing those items one by one. I can add, delete, and move around pieces as I write (which is why I refer to this as a “living outline”), and the click-and-write experience makes it easy to focus on one part of the piece at a time.

Scrivener has many, many more useful features. This glimpse is only meant to show what I think is the key useful concept behind the program. Fortunately, it’s more than a concept: the software has been developed with a lot of appropriate, productive, and easy-to-use features.

While Scrivener is useful, it’s also fun, at least for me. When I use Scrivener, I use less of my attention to keep track of details and more of it to write. This makes me a happier writer.

When is Scrivener not useful?
Scrivener isn’t for everyone. If you like to start writing a piece from the beginning and then go right through to the end, or if you tend to make a traditional outline just to get a grip on what you’re doing and then don’t do much with that outline except consult it as you write, I’m not sure Scrivener would be especially helpful for you. If you write off the cuff, without research or planning, there won’t be much Scrivener can help you organize. Personally, I love Scrivener’s organizational features, but I rarely use it for short stories: I find it much more useful for outlined novels and non-fiction projects.

Even if you write by the seat of your pants, though, you may find Scrivener invaluable. You can start writing a novel by typing “Chapter 1” and plunging ahead with only the most general sense of where you’re going, but even in that kind of situation you will probably start coming up with scenes you want to include later, plot developments that need to occur, bits to insert into what you’ve already written, research materials, and more things to be organized. Scrivener doesn’t care whether you organize before, during, or after writing: it just helps you get everything into a usable structure.

If I’ve piqued your interest
The fine folks at Literature and Latte offer a free, 30-day trial which is in fact far better than most 30-day trials in that it doesn’t count calendar days, but instead days you use Scrivener. If you use it twice a week, your 30-day trial will last you 15 weeks. You also don’t have to create an account, sign up for anything, or even supply an e-mail address to get the trial. You can download it here: .

If you do opt to buy, the price is $40, but there’s a 20% discount you can find at . A 50% discount is available for people who “win” NaNoWriMo, completing at least 50,000 words of a novel project in the month of November. (For more info on NaNoWriMo, go to .)


What Will Amazon’s New Kindle Format Mean for Writers (and Readers)?

eBooks and Publishing

A few days ago, Amazon announced their new Kindle 8 format, the format the Kindle Fire will use to show newer Amazon books. I’ve heard some questions arise about this–whether Kindle authors will have to re-convert books, whether the older Kindle devices will support the new format and what will happen if they don’t, etc. Fortunately, digging into Amazon’s information the new format answers these questions clearly. Here are the implications for Kindle authors and some answers for readers who use the Kindle.

You won’t have to convert your existing Kindle books
The Kindle Fire and other devices and apps that support the Kindle 8 format will continue to support older Kindle formats. If you have existing books available for Kindle, the only disadvantage they’ll have if you don’t do a Kindle 8 version is not taking advantage of the new Kindle 8 features, which most non-graphic-intensive books won’t have a use for. If you have complex layouts, lots of graphics, etc., you probably will want to come out with a new, improved version.

Apps and new Kindle devices will support Kindle 8; old Kindle devices won’t
The newest generation of Kindles–the Kindle Fire, the touchscreen Kindles, and the latest keyboard Kindle–will soon support the new format. So will Kindle reader apps for iPhone, Windows, the Web, etc. Older Kindles won’t.

Older Kindles downloading newer books will just get a Kindle 7 version
Amazon is rolling out new software for formatting and previewing Kindle books, KindleGen 2 and Kindle Previewer 2. This software will automatically generate both an older Kindle 7 version of the book and a newer Kindle 8 version. If you’re reading on a device or app that supports the Kindle 8 format, you’ll get that, including any enhanced content that may be included. If you’re reading on an older Kindle–that is, any Kindle device bought previous to the launch of the Kindle Fire generation–you’ll get the older format. Kindle Previewer 2 allows viewing how the book will look on various devices, so you’ll have ample opportunity to test and tweak the appearance of your book. The only real drawback to using an older Kindle device is that there will be some content in graphics-intensive eBooks that won’t translate well to the older, more limited format.

Newer Kindle devices and apps will support the old format
Just to be clear, nothing has to change about existing Kindle books for the newer devices to read them: Kindle 7 is just another format they support.

The new format will no longer be straight Mobi
Prior to Kindle 8, the only difference between Amazon’s Kindle format and the industry standard Mobi format was Amazon’s DRM, “digital rights management” encoding that helped prevent unauthorized copying of Amazon books. For books that don’t have DRM, the current Kindle 7 format is identical to Mobi, and in fact you can take a non-DRM-protected Kindle book off a Kindle, change the extension (the last part of the file name) from .azw to .mobi, and read it on any Mobi-compatible device. With Kindle 8, it appears this will end. Amazon appears to have decided that with the direction eBooks are going, Mobi alone is too restrictive. They do seem to be using other industry standard specifications, though, including HTML 5 (the newest, most dynamic, and most design-friendly format for Web pages, which is now supported by current browsers) and CSS (a way to specify text formatting and page layout that is also supported by current browsers).

Kindle 8 format books can have a lot more design to them
In Kindle 8 format, Kindle books can have colors, fonts, and complex layouts. Frankly, I’m not very enthusiastic about this for most books. For books where text and images need to be intermingled in a particular way or that require tables or vector graphics, it will be great. For the vast majority of books, it will be completely unnecessary, and unfortunately some of these books will be designed in a way that will make them harder to read. Oh well. Just please don’t be one of the people who takes a book that is just text and tries to pretty it up with special fonts and color. From my point of view, when I read, I want to be barely aware of the text so that I can focus on what’s being said. I’m willing to bet most readers have the same basic response to overfancified text.

Kindle 8 won’t support audio and video
Amazon’s information isn’t clear about this, but at least according to this gentleman, audio and video will not be included in this version of the Kindle format.  This surprises me, actually. It seems almost a no-brainer that the Kindle Fire should be able to read books with embedded audio and video–for instance, language courses that will pronounce words when you tap on them, or a book about the history of film with pertinent clips–not that any of that would work on my 3rd generation Kindle anyway. Oh well. Maybe in Kindle 9.

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Should Writers Have Blogs?


Writers of the Future winner and successful science fiction short story author (Analog, Intergalactic Medicine Show, etc.) Brad Torgersen recently brought up a useful question in a writers’ group: what use is a blog to a writer of fiction? Even if you manage to attract a lot of readers, are they people who are likely to be interested in your stories or novels? Is the payoff worth the effort? My response from my experience with the two blogs (ReidWrite and The Willpower Engine) that I merged together into some time back turned out to be fairly long and potentially of interest to some readers, so here, with a little cleanup, is that response.

An experiment in blog as marketing
Several years back I began two blogs, one for writers and the other on the psychology of habits. I started the writing blog because I often found I had things to say about writing that I was drawing from my experiences and from discussions with a large number of other new and successful writers. The psychology of habits blog was designed to build up a reputation and readership for me on the subject: in publishing-speak, to establish my platform. I was writing  a book on the subject of psychological finds about self-motivation and had concluded that I wouldn’t be able to sell it without a good platform, which is really the case for most nonfiction books these days. If you don’t have credentials or a lot of people who associate you with the topic–and preferably both–then you’re probably out of luck.

For quite some time I worked on the psychology of habits blog, posting first three times a week on a regular schedule, then every weekday. I worked up a brand, promoted it around the Web, commented on other people’s sites, and in general did everything I read I was supposed to in order to build my readership. Over the course of a year, my blog grew (slowly) to the level of readership I thought was minimal for helping me sell the book I’d been working on, so after that year was up, I started contacting agents about the book.

Nobody was interested.

The main reason I couldn’t sell the book seemed to be that I had no credentials–no advanced degree in psychology, especially–and that a blog with a thousand reads a week (this was about 18 months ago) wasn’t substantial enough for anyone in publishing to really care.

So despite a load of work, the blog-as-marketing approach ultimately failed for me. Still, I continued the blog. The topic has never failed to keep me interested.

Is your blog a pleasure or an obligation?
Posting regularly felt like a huge obligation and time drain, even when I cut back down to three posts a week. It was only when I decided to combine my two blogs, to rebrand the site to just use my name, and to post only when I had something I really wanted to share that things changed and it stopped feeling oppressive.

I now blog when I have something to say, although I do prod myself if it’s been a week and I haven’t posted anything. The blog does a lot of good in helping me structure research and integration of new ideas, and from the occasional communications I get it’s sometimes meaningfully helpful in other people’s lives. However, though it’s continued to grow in readership, it has never become a base for community: it’s more of an information outlet. It’s a good place to find out how to get motivated quickly, how to figure out if someone’s romantically interested in you, or how to stop feeling hungry, but I talk very little about my personal life or even about my adventures in writing, and try to stick to facts or extrapolate from facts, tending to qualify my statements (like this one), so I’m neither very personally engaging nor very inflammatory. It shows up in my comment counts: more often than not, I don’t get any, and yet a goodly number of people are reading what I’m putting out. I’m informative, but I’m not building community here.

By contrast, I’ve been extremely successful building a community of talented, improvement-oriented writers at, but rather than trying to do that based on the impact of my personality, I’ve done it by pulling together groups of writers who are dedicated to their craft and want to share ideas with and learn from other writers who are similarly dedicated. All you have to do to throw a good party is to get great people to come.

Who should have a blog?
My belief about blogs is that they should generally be expressions of things that the blogger really wants to share. Sure, there may be a cost-benefit calculation to determine whether or not to spend time on a particular post or on having a blog at all, but I’m not enthusiastic or optimistic about blogs that are put up primarily as marketing vehicles. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that ethically; it’s just it’s a lot of work to plow into something that’s unlikely to pay off proportionately.

I agree too with those who say that the golden age of blog-starting is over. With the literally millions of blogs out there, there’s too much noise to really stand out in the vast majority of cases. Like writing fiction in the first place, there’s not much point in doing it unless it’s something you love doing for its own sake.

On Facebook, Twitter, and the rest of the social computing world
For the record, I don’t think that social computing is an effective marketing strategy either. I see people rushing to socially compute with people who are already successful: they’ll seek out Twitter feeds and Facebook pages of authors they already like, while lesser-known writers who are scrambling for attention may get a lot of personal contacts, but won’t be building their readership. I admit, though, that I’m working from personal experience and impressions of other people’s experiences, not from any carefully-gathered body of information. It’s possible that using social networking as an author can be a great marketing strategy for some people: I’ve just never seen (or heard of) it working.

As for blogs, I think the bottom line is that they are more writing that will take time away from writing fiction, and so they are worth doing only if they’re something you really want to do or would be doing in some form anyway. It’s enthusiasm for the ideas I write about and interest in spreading those ideas that keeps me writing on this blog. What keeps you writing yours?


New Futurismic Column: Wait, You’re Not a Real Writer at All!


Some time back I posted here about Impostor Syndrome, which was a recent topic of discussion on Codex, the online writing group I run. That discussion led to my most recent “Brain Hacks for Writers” column on Futurismic, “Wait, you’re not a real writer at all!” which you can read here:

You might also enjoy reading Alex J. Kane’s follow-up on the subject on his blog.

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Seeing a Sudden Drop in Sales of Your eBook?

eBooks and Publishing

This is based only on anecdotal information from half a dozen writers or so, but some of us are seeing a sudden, sharp drop-off in sales of eBooks on Amazon over the past couple of weeks. However, I have a hard time imagining that this is a reader trend. In the absence of some major, disruptive event, it seems to me that if the general public were to change its opinion on eBooks, it would do so gradually and noisily rather than suddenly and silently.

I’ve heard speculation that Amazon may have changed some of their algorithms governing which Kindle books are shown in “also bought” categories and the like. I have no evidence that anything like this has happened, but it would fit the pattern if author-publishers suddenly saw a drop-off in sales because Amazon had changed something that (intentionally or not) favored books that sold a lot of copies and/or that came from major traditional publishers. I worry that some kind of deal may have been cut, especially as I know major publishers are desperate for eBook profits these days, what with other formats all dropping in popularity while eBooks continue to rise, and as Amazon is clearly dependent on major publishers for most of their popular book content.

All of that is nothing but speculation, of course. If it’s true, it still doesn’t signal the end of the eBook selfpub revolution–but it sure would make an already taxing process much more difficult. If major traditional publishers do ultimately come out on top and completely squeeze out author-publishers, then the new make-a-living-as-a-writer model may be pretty much the same as the old make-a-living-as-a-writer model: sell to an agent who works with a major publisher who publishes the book and gives you some or all of the royalties that are due to you. One improvement, however, would be that if many of the copies sold as eBooks, the writer would receive a much larger portion of the sales price–not nearly as much as they would realize as an author-publisher on a copy of the same book, but if major publishing houses can sell many more copies, the likelihood that a good writer can support her- or himself might go up rather than down.

It’s hard to know what to hope for: I’ve been envisioning tiny author-publisher empires in which we writers are happily giving our readers new books at good prices as we finish them, rather than being stuck in the slow and sometimes painful traditional publishing process. However, large eBook retailers are empowered to squeeze author-publishers out because we need them and they don’t especially need us, apart from a minority of especially successful eBooks for which they might make exceptions.

How are your sales? Am I Marsh-wiggling this whole topic? If your sales have dropped off, do you have any speculations to advance?

Photo by m.prinke


Codexian Writing Quotes: Eric James Stone and Helena Bell


Here’s the latest in my series of writing quotes from members of Codex, the online writing group I founded seven years ago; I hope you’ll find them entertaining and–who knows?–even pithy. On the other hand, it’s possible that I enjoy them so much only because I have so much context. You’ll have to decide.

Previous posts have featured the ever-sparkly Alethea Kontis and Joy Marchand, who loves filling the silence with paranoia. Today’s features recent Nebula winner Eric James Stone and talespinner/poet Helena Bell.

Stone's new book of short stories

Eric James Stone‘s recent Nebula award win for his novelette “The Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made,” is almost boringly predictable for those of us who have known him for years and had to put up with his repeated winning of Codex short story contests. His work has appeared in Year’s Best SF 15, Analog, Nature, and other venues; he is a Writers of the Future winner and a Hugo nominee; and he’s on the editorial staff at Intergalactic Medicine Show. Here are a few of his pithy remarks over the last few years. He can be found on the Web at

Unfortunately, too many people try going directly to procreating without having spent enough time amateurcreating.

I’m not sure how many hours of daylight you Arizonans have foolishly wasted over the years, but I’m sure it’s a lot. One of these days, the sun’s going to fail to rise in the morning, and you Arizonans will all be stuck in the dark while the rest of us use the daylight we’ve saved up.

If you can see an advantage of a worst-case scenario, it is not a worst-case scenario.

I generally time my public announcement of sales to when they will do the most psychological damage to Scott M. Roberts.

I have long been envious of Hel Bell’s name, and would probably have changed mine to that long ago if I had the face for it. Her work has appeared in venues like Strange Horizons, Ideomancer, and Pedestal and appears with titles along the lines of “A Face Like an Imperfectly Shaven Tennis Ball” and “[Insert Title Indicating This is a Poem about Bluebeard the Wife Murderer, not the Pirate].” Her Web site is

I don’t kill my characters. I just find them that way.

“And the stab wounds?”
“There was a bee.”

There is just something awesome about eating beignets at 1 o’clock Sunday morning and then having a heart to heart with a drag queen.

I think I could make a living selling t-shirts with the stuff that James [Maxey] says on them.
Note: She’s probably right, and note that James Maxey will be featured in future posts.

In general I like to be positive, but that’s because I’m a good Southern girl who only talks bad about people when there’s little chance they’ll find out about it.

… No, it was not immediately obvious that the killer whale was autistic.

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Codexian Writing Quotes: Joy Marchand


Joy Marchand is a writer, poet, and editor. I met her at the 2004 Writers of the Future workshop, where her terrific short story “Sleep Sweetly, Junie Carter” (written as Joy Remy) won her a spot in Writers of the Future XX. My “Bottomless,” a story of a young man exiled from his village located deep within a bottomless pit, appeared in the same volume, but Joy’s story of a woman trying to cope with more time than any human is made to handle may well be my favorite in the book.

Joy’s Web site, with a bibliography of her short fiction, is at (although it hasn’t been updated for a while). Her blog, which is very much up to date, is at . Below you’ll find some of her sayings from Codex that I’ve found most pithy over the last few years.

I’m sure folks don’t mean to be a bundle of insecurities and make asses of themselves on an ongoing basis; I’ve certainly tried to cut down myself.

People do bad things, have naughty sex, make terrible decisions and sometimes hate their parents.

I’m a writer, after all. I have a great imagination and love filling the silence with paranoia.

Boring sex is boring sex, no matter who’s having it.

If the back story doesn’t influence a character’s entire world view, then I think it’s the wrong back story …

…we’re all here to produce pages. Some of us do it for love of language, for glory, for groceries, for attention, for love of hearing ourselves talk. Some of us have noble motives and social awareness, and some of us are navel-gazing solipsists, and we really don’t care about anybody else out there. Some of us use transparent prose and sell to Analog, and some of us are stylists and sweat to get our stuff published anywhere, including Bobby Joe’s Navel-Gazing Gazette if it’ll get us a little love. Some of us write from a place of peace and light and hope and puppies, and some of us hitch our gnarled demons to the plow and make those useful bastards work the back 40. And the only thing that glues us together is a smattering of markets we all submit to, and a vow to produce pages on a regular basis.

Asking me to write Patterson-esque potboilers would be like making a dog wear spanky-pants. Entertaining, but it pisses off the dog and ruins the pants.

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