Starve Better: Surviving the Endless Horror of the Writing Life (2020)

Starve Better: Surviving the Endless Horror of the Writing Life Nick Mamatas Starve Better Surviving the Endless Horror of the Writing Life Starve Better makes no promises of making you a bestselling author It won t feed aspiring writers dreams of fame and fortune This book is about survival how to generate ideas when you needed them yest
  • Title: Starve Better: Surviving the Endless Horror of the Writing Life
  • Author: Nick Mamatas
  • ISBN: 9780984553587
  • Page: 272
  • Format: Paperback
Starve Better: Surviving the Endless Horror of the Writing Life Nick Mamatas Starve Better makes no promises of making you a bestselling author It won t feed aspiring writers dreams of fame and fortune This book is about survival how to generate ideas when you needed them yesterday, dialogue and plot on the quick, and what your manuscript is up against in the slush piles of the world For non fiction writers, Starve Better offers writing techniStarve Better makes no promises of making you a bestselling author It won t feed aspiring writers dreams of fame and fortune This book is about survival how to generate ideas when you needed them yesterday, dialogue and plot on the quick, and what your manuscript is up against in the slush piles of the world For non fiction writers, Starve Better offers writing techniques such as how to get relatively high paying assignments in second and third tier magazines, how to react to your first commissioned assignment, and how to find gigs that pay NOW as the final notices pile up and the mice eat the last of the pasta in the cupboard Humor, essays and some of the most widely read blog pieces from Nick Mamatas, author and editor of fiction that has caught the attention of speculative fiction s most prestigious awards, come together for the first time in a writers guide that won t teach anyone how to get rich and famous but will impart the most valuable skill in the business how to starve better.Blurb Mamatas offers up a no nonsense guide that should be required reading for all writers Prepare to have some illusions shattered because you need them shattered A great resource from a guy with the experience to back up the advice Jeff VanderMeer, author of City of Saints and Madmen and FinchAbout the Author Nick Mamatas is the author of three and a half novels, over seventy short stories, and hundreds of feature articles, and is also an editor and anthologist His fiction has been nominated for the Bram Stoker and International Horror Guild awards and translated into German, Italian, and Greek his editorial work with Clarkesworld earned the magazine World Fantasy and Hugo award nominations Nick s reportage, short stories, and essays have appeared in venues such as Razor, Asimov s Science Fiction, Silicon Alley Reporter, the Village Voice, The Smart Set, The Writer, Poets Writers and anthologies including Supernatural Noir and Lovecraft Unbound He teaches at Western Connecticut State University in the MFA program in Creative and Professional Writing, was a visiting writer at Lake Forest College and the University of California, Riverside s Palm Desert Campus, and runs writing classes in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Starve Better: Surviving the Endless Horror of the Writing Life Nick Mamatas

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One thought on “Starve Better: Surviving the Endless Horror of the Writing Life

  1. David

    I ve read a lot of books about writing I don t really read the writer s advice books any, because I don t need help with grammar and punctuation and I don t need to be told why it s bad to start your story with your protagonist waking up from a dream and examining herself in the mirror But I like reading books by writers about writing Of course I loved Stephen King s On Writing, and I also liked John Gardner s On Becoming a Novelist, even though if I ever do become a novelist, I ll be nothing li [...]

  2. Claire

    Imma be honest here Nick Mamatas came across like kind of a dick I understand that this was not meant to be a hand holding book, nor a misty eyed celebration of Art and Life and The Mysteries of Creativity, but he still came across like a dick.Admittedly, while I have a lot of interest in writing, I have absolutely no interest in the short story or magazine market, so I m probably not the target audience to begin with Nick Mamatas is certainly not to blame for my own weird ambivalence about publ [...]

  3. Aksel Dadswell

    Funny, honest, incredibly useful advice If you re a writer, especially a fledgling one, you need to read this immediately.

  4. Richard Wright

    As a writer, I like to read at least a book a year by other writers, writing about writing A bit circular, but there you go I find it gives me a bit of perspective on my own approach to listen to others discussing theirs Consider it the equivalent of water cooler chat at the workplace Books like this are all a matter of perspective, in a literal sense They re one person s point of view, usually a tract on what works for them They re not to be taken as gospel, and the key to a good tome is an aut [...]

  5. Grant Wamack

    Starve Better by Nick Mamatas is a how to book for writers wishing to live solely off their words Now I ve wasted many hours reading books on how to write the technical side and the business side and Mamatas is one of the beneficial guides.Many of the essays inside cover fiction and explore the mechanics of writing such as revision and story structure The non fiction side explains how make money off your words but the truth may not be what you expect Also, he touches the subject of self publish [...]

  6. Teodor

    Frank and often hilarious collection of mini essays and blog posts Recommended for anyone looking to break into writing for the long haul, but also an entertaining insight into the life of the freelance writer in America, from MFA workshops to the ethically questionable but, apparently, perfectly legal art of writing term papers for a buck Not all of the advice transcends international borders for advice to be effective, it needs to be specific I suppose but there s plenty of stuff that s transf [...]

  7. Dave Versace

    Straight talking even brusque advice on getting paying gigs as a writer, disdaining high minded notions of Muse borne artistic integrity in favour of writing to briefs, paying attention to what editors want and not dying of consumption in a garrett somewhere Some of the observations concerning ebooks and self publishing are a little dated I d love to see what Nick Mamatas has made of the self publishing revolution since 2010 or so and I would personally draw the line at making a living from writ [...]

  8. Lindsay

    Kameron Hurley gave me this book last year, so thank you, Kameron This book is a fabulous introduction to the real world of publishing Because Mamatas is so prolific with short stories, he gives them the most time here, but he has plenty to say about other forms as well If you want to write well, there are plenty of books out there to help you do that Lamott, King, Zinsser, and of course Strunk and White come to mind If you want to publish what you write, start here.

  9. R.a. Deckert

    The best part of this book is the title, Starve Better It s brilliant.The subtitle is Surviving the Endless Horror of the Writing Life, which succinctly tells you what it s all about.Any writer, or would be writer, has read a couple of hundred books like this This is a run of the mill book of this genre, neither startling good nor startling bed, just generally a good read and a lot of good advice.

  10. Brittany

    Excellent book on writing, I really loved the no nonsense, snarky approach and the focus on genre fiction He blows the cobwebs off of a lot of the conventional advice mantras and either convinces you they re ridiculous or reworks them to make them better A fun and quick read with a lot of great information, highly recommended.

  11. Johann Thorsson

    This is a great book for writers, especially genre short story writers Mamatas has been in the field for a long time, both as a writer and an editor In Starve Better he gives advice on writing well and on how to earn money writing.

  12. Paul Fergus

    This book is common sense gold nuggets, plucked from the sewers of the writing industry by a wily and resourceful prospector who knows how to make a mean pot of beans You couldn t ask for a better collection of insight and technique people waste years of their lives to ferret out even one nugget of wisdom Most writers haunt the sewers like hungry ghosts, their dreams dying in the gutter.The author has tackled just about every stream in the tunnels that might pan out, and he shares his results so [...]

  13. Júlíus

    It s hard to review a writing how to book effectively as often than not the book only works for the reader if the actual advice the author is giving remains relevant to what the reader is aspiring toward To solve this many of these books go general and give broad stroke advice like don t use adverbs or writer s write But these sorts of advice only apply if the reader finds them relevant Joe Hill asked once why people should follow his advice, because to him writing is like navigating through a [...]

  14. Tyrannosaurus regina

    I ve read this book a couple of times before, largely for the same reason that I watch the WETA workshop featurettes on the LOTR DVDs multiple times watching the process of other people s creativity inspires me I don t find it a distraction It makes me work harder.But that doesn t explain why I like this one so much Ultimately, it s just practical It treats the short story as a legitimate endeavour in and of itself It acknowledges and respects that people write different things for different rea [...]

  15. John

    A guide to the life of a professional writer that s simultaneously funny and no nonsense Mamatas writes with a dark, accessible wit, but with little romanticism about the craft or the profession The book provides practical advice on both fiction writing and non fiction writing, though the fiction section focuses on short fiction.This is the sort of writing advice book I ve been seeking for years Most writing advice books either focus on the basics to outline or not to outline how to structure a [...]

  16. Bill Tarlin

    This was an interesting read It s essentially a survey of how Nick makes a buck And one way is to cobble together an assemblage of blog posts and articles and market it as a how to The nuts and bolts of it is at least as good as Stephen King s On Writing possibly practical My quibble is that the collection doesn t reflect much editing Because it s pulled from existing pieces, certain asides and even entire anecdotes are repeated The effect is one of haste and indifference to the end product Tha [...]

  17. Stephen

    I like reading about writing than I like writing, which is a major reason why I am not published I read a book every few months that is full of plans on how to write and keep focused so that one day I will have a novel This book was entertaining but not full of any of that faux encouragement that inspires me for a few hours and leaves me staring at a blank screen.Nick Mamatas was the editor of Clarkesworld magazine, which I recently started to read and enjoy a lot He also has published plenty [...]

  18. Christopher Novas

    Really interesting book about writing Here you ll find various tidbits, anecdotes, and advice ranging from the act of submitting work, what separates good writers great writers , the pros cons of MFA programs, the difference in market value between non fiction and fiction submissions, teaching, genre, etc It s a plethora of information all told through Mamatas unique style He won t be holding your hand and making sure you re extra special, but he will teach you to separate yourself from the floc [...]

  19. Christopher

    I m generally not a big fan of books on writing Even those books I ve enjoyed I ve never really recommended to other writers, as the whole writing process is so individual to any given writer that what I find useful may be worth very little to the next writer But Starve Better is perhaps the only book on writing I d unreservedly recommend to any writer Mamatas brilliantly subverts much of the standard writerly advice out there He s unflinching, sometimes cynical, but never anything less than rev [...]

  20. Jeremy

    I d heard of Nick Mamatas before because he s written some novels that I keep thinking I should read, but I hadn t actually checked him out until I bought Starve Better This is a great little book filled with charm and intelligence, some very sound advice, and enough sarcasm to help the sugar go down if you know what I mean What I like most, is that I believe it would be truly useful for a writer just starting out It s filled with the kind of lessons that most of us only learn the hard way and h [...]

  21. Nick Fagerlund

    More a business of writing advice book than a writing advice book.I enjoyed this, found it informative, and thought was entertaining enough in its own right to perhaps be worth a read even if you re not interested in the biz of selling short fiction and feature articles Depends on how much you enjoy Mamatas going in on somebody.

  22. Kathryn

    I managed to devour this 171 page paperback in one day and really enjoyed it However, a brief word of warning don t buy it if you re desperately seeking serious instruction on the craft of writing, because it won t deliver What it does is entertain you with a a variety of short essays and humorous aphorisms about the author s experience as a writer.It s no Bird by Bird, but a definite good read about living the life of a writer Well worth the 13.95.

  23. Justin Kassab

    I ve read a ton of craft books They each have their strong points, but many of them talk about the magical part of writing, Mamatas talks about how to get paid as a writer.The advice, tricks, and tips aren t sugar coated and if you have a solid background in English he s likely going to challenge much of what you ve been taught.If you want to be a full time writer, this is the best book on the market to teach you how.

  24. Shawn Scarber Deggans

    Probably one of the most practical books on surviving as a writer today This is a collection of previously published articles and essays covering everything from what an editor looks for in a speculative fiction short story to earning a quick buck writing term papers I wish I had read this book 8 years ago.

  25. Vinnie Tesla

    Pragmatic, ascerbic, breezy, snarky I dashed through this slender book in a day of very enjoyable reading, often wanting to read the most wittily nasty lines to my partner Sometime soon I ll need to go back with a highlighter and extract the several nuggets of tough minded advice I want to bear in mind on future projects.

  26. Eric

    Great to read with Scalzi s You re Not Fooling Anyone Mamatas also writes in a direct, no nonsense fashion, but he pursues the path of an artist, whereas Scalzi is about making a living as a writer.

  27. Cheryl Dowling

    Would be writers should definitely give it a read Dry and witty, it will give those who romanticize the idea of The Writer a bit of a perspective adjustment There s a lot of good solid advice and a bit of humor to be found throughout.

  28. Simon Dewar

    This is a great book with some great advice, particularly on writing short fiction.It is incredibly humorous in Nick s classic dry kind of way I ve used this as one reference for several blog posts on writing short fiction All writers of short fiction should read this.

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