Counter Craft

Lincoln Michel
fiction craft, publishing demystification, weird books
Created 11 Feb 2021
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  • Schrödinger's 100k Author Advance
    23 Oct 2021 • 3 min read • 7 4
    For the last week or so there’s been a big debate on literary Twitter: is a 100k advance a lot of money or not a lot of money? As usual, a lot of the tweets got weirdly angry and personal. Also as usu...
  • Kicking Over the Ladder in Your Mind
    15 Oct 2021 • 4 min read • 11 4
    Charity and Envy by Giotto I promise I’m not going to talk about that article here. The kidney one. Or any articles about any organ-related literary drama. At least not in any direct way. But that spi...
  • For Sale: Kidney Story. Never Authorized.
    07 Oct 2021 • 6 min read • 9 2
    By now you’ve probably read the Kidney Person saga or at least some of the one million tweets about it. As a story, the article is well written and full of wild and gossipy tidbits. It’s also perhaps ...
  • Sales Numbers, Goodreads Reviews, and Other Ways to Drive an Author Mad
    02 Oct 2021 • 6 min read • 13 0
    An author reading their Goodreads reviews When you’re a writer, almost everyone tells you to “never read Goodreads!” It’s good advice. Goodreads is a chaotic place. Even the most acclaimed stands-the-...
  • The Long, Messy Road To Publishing My Novel
    21 Sep 2021 • 10 min read • 10 4
    I try to keep comments about my own work limited to the footnotes of these newsletters, but since today is the publication day (!) of my debut novel (!!) I hope you don’t mind me indulging in one (and...
  • Strange Methods: Zadie Smith's First Twenty Pages
    10 Sep 2021 • 5 min read • 13 9
    photo by Chris Boland Note: this post is part of a series on different writing processes. The previous entries are Michael Moorcock's 3-Day Novel and César Aira's "Flight Forward." If there’s a centra...
  • Substack and the Return (?) of Serialized Fiction
    04 Sep 2021 • 5 min read • 9 2
    “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… to find out more subscribe to my Substack!” This week Salman Rushdie announced he’s moving to Substack not—like most novelists, including myself—t...
  • On Rejections, Rejections, and Rejections
    17 Aug 2021 • 2 min read • 12 5
    In my last newsletter, I wrote about the importance of persistence in writing: I might go so far as to say that persistence is the most important trait for an author. Many poems are published after do...
  • Everything I've Learned about Being a "Professional" Writer in One Post
    09 Aug 2021 • 18 min read • 49 4
    “Why oh why did I choose this rejection-filled, low-paying, soul-crushing profession of misery, torment, and pain?” Last week there was a bizarrely contentious Twitter debate about whether MFA program...
  • The Plot Against Plotting
    04 Aug 2021 • 4 min read • 16 7
    Many of the common critiques of the MFA world and literary fiction are either nonsense, ill-informed, or out of date. But some are true. One of those is that “plot” is too often a dirty word. “Literar...
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