chas , to Random avatar

Is there an or community here? I've been using threads for that as it has a very active one

Mastodon is so broad and the federated model means I've basically only ever seen tech content since that's what I'm connected to

elysegrasso , avatar

@chas Try

There are also various hashtag prompts like (daily)

and some weekly ones on various topics.

RubyJones , avatar

@chas @elysegrasso there's an active community here, with many writing servers depending on what you write. I'm on a smut-focused server with a lot of writers and artists ( and I have another account on, which has a lot of SF&F authors.

You can also interact with writers and readers regardless of server with hashtag games like and and groups like @bookstodon

pretensesoup , to Random avatar

4/8: Do you think of your books as having a particular length?

Yes. I curl up around 80k words like a possessive dragon.

But: all books are different. Write the book you're writing and not some weird mental ideal of it.

cstross , avatar

4/8: Do you think of your books as having a particular length?

The expected length is specified in the contract! And 80% of the time I have a contract before I start writing. (There's a +/- 10% margin in the contract, and I usually exceed the target length by 10-15%, but I'm aware of the production constraints on book length and know not to go 50% over! Or under.)

AsteriaPress , to bookstodon group avatar

April 1. Intro Post!

Hello! My name is Hayley-Jenifer Brennan and my WIP is called ‘Kingdom of the Moon: the Stroke of Midnight’! I'll be taking over the Asteria Press account this month to talk about my book.


golgaloth , to bookstodon group avatar

This is it, folkes! My debut novel has hit KS! Jump on over and check it out, back it for all you can afford, or at the very least, give this a boost. While you're there, mention you saw the link on in the comments and we can cross promote this platform!

A trashy tale of blood and betrayal, great summer reading with a bit of bite in the theme.


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  • cstross , to Random avatar

    30 How do you keep track of your work? Do you have a system?

    Ha ha nope!

    I'm a pantser, only right now I'm elbow-deep in book 11.5 of an ongoing series (with three books after it already in print—it's actually about 1.7 million words long) and making, shall we say, extensive use of regular expression searches and open windows on the as-published text of about half the preceding novels in the series.

    Even the fan wiki is no use (it got contaminated with 3rd party RPG crud).

    youseeatortoise , to Random avatar

    March 27th
    How does it feel knowing that strangers will read your work?

    I love it. I feel like I've put a little worm in people's brains and it lives rent free now.

    youseeatortoise , to Random avatar

    Mar 3
    Are there any books which should be banned, or is book banning always wrong?

    No book written by a human should be banned. (Which doesn't mean a right to be published, sold, or stocked in libraries.) Responsible publishers should add historical context or commentary to evil but significant works.

    Something like the AI-written foraging for mushrooms or diabetes cookbook should be purged off platforms though.

    cstross , to Random avatar

    3/22: Are there any books which should be banned, or is book banning always wrong?

    I draw a line between fiction and non-fiction (or fic presented as non-fic) intended to persuade or make an ideological argument. Clearly-identified fiction shouldn't be banned. Presenting-as-non-fic like "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" is flat-out toxic to a society, as is non-fic crank science and "scientific racism", eg. "The Bell Curve".

    The Bible? Toxic AF, presents as non-fic: ban!

    cstross OP , avatar

    I mean, fiction, clearly presented as such, is entertainment, and I believe humans have the ability to distinguish clearly presented entertainment from reality. You may not enjoy it, it may explore deeply disturbing ideas and outlooks, but it doesn't damage you simply by existing. While "non-fiction" that argues that people like you should not exist is actually dangerous.

    cstross , to Random avatar

    17 Mar
    High school or college writing courses?

    Nope: English education system required you to specialize from age 16 and I went STEM (degrees in Pharmacy and Computer Science) with no humanities courses at all (there weren't any available with my 'A' level mix and degree syllabi).

    I workshopped a lot in my 20s, but as a writer I'm an autodidact.

    cstross , to Random avatar

    3/10: Do you want to write full time or are you happy for it to be a hobby?

    I've been writing for a living full time since 1991 except for about five years; and a 100% full time novelist since 2005, so coming up on 19 years as novelist, 28 years as novelist/tech author/freelance tech journalist.

    It turned into a job, somewhere along the way. Just, a job I enjoy most of the time. Which is more than can be said about most paid employment, right?

    KitMuse , to bookstodon group avatar

    I am in need of authors to interview for . This is a LIVE event that happens at 6pm central on Wednesdays, then gets uploaded as a video and a podcast a day or so later.

    Happy to talk writing genre fiction, neurodivergent authors, writing life balance, whatever as long as it's related to writing and publishing.

    Fill out the form here:


    youseeatortoise , to Random avatar

    5. Where do you see the future of publishing in ten years' time?

    The AI bubble bursts, taking most of the creative industries with it. Besides the Big Three, which will gobble up much of the remaining market, there will be some space for micro and small presses to put out books that the rest of us want to read. Indie will dominate but only a handful of authors in a sea of dreck. Most books will be free and not worth that price.

    cstross , to Random avatar

    2/26: Would you consider recording your own audiobook?


    I can't do accents. At all.

    (Also, I'd need to find a soundproof studio—my home isn't suitable. And anyway-also, I'm trad published so professional audiobook recording, production, and distribution is all taken care of for me.)

    youseeatortoise , to Random avatar

    Feb 25 - How do you feel about Amazon's influence on books and publishing?

    When I was growing up, we had to read dystopian fiction in high school about ubiquitous surveillance and government censorship so that we'd know how terrible Communism was and how lucky we were to live under capitalism. None of these dystopias went nearly as far as to have neo-Nazis policing warehouses while 80-year-old workers living in RVs had to pee in a bottle.

    pretensesoup , to Random avatar

    2/25: How do you feel about Amazon's influence on books and publishing?

    They're a mixed bag. They pay a better rate on paperbacks than either Draft2Digital or Ingram Spark. Rates on ebooks are comparable to other places, and Kindle seems to be the most popular ebook platform. They do fuck all to promote anyone who isn't paying them. They don't have great systems in place for removing copyright violations and if they could replace me with a box of linear algebra they would.

    shaknais , to Random avatar

    02/25—How do you feel about Amazon's influence on books and publishing?

    I don't think I'm allowed to say anything specific, under some of my current publishing agreements.

    cstross , to Random avatar

    Do you format your own work?


    I'm trad published by Big Five imprints or magazines/anthologies, all of whom have production workflow that handles editing and layout to comply with their house style.

    I supply the raw text, in standard manuscript format, because that's what my editors read and it's the standardized input to the publishing pipeline.

    (If you self-publish, the rules are entirely different. And if I ever self-publish, I'll switch accordingly.)

    pretensesoup , to Random avatar

    2/20: What's the secret to writing a good blurb?

    1/ Drink a lot of coffee and then try to tell someone the 30- or 60-sec version of what the novel is about. Take note of what plot points you skip over.

    2/ Write 3 paragraphs. One is where we are at the beginning, one is the complication, and one is the stakes.

    3/ Make it sound good.

    cstross , avatar


    > 2/20: What's the secret to writing a good blurb?

    Strong disagree with your axioms. The blurb does NOT exist to recap the novel in 30 or 60 seconds. The blurb exists to sell the novel. To do that it needs to convey the sizzle but withhold the steak.

    Oh, and avoid like the plague writing a blurb that follows the popular-with-hollywood formula of "it's X meets Y"—if you reader isn't familiar with or dislikes either of X or Y, the blurb will fail.

    KitMuse , to bookstodon group avatar

    I have a question for I've been thinking about writing
    in line with the genres I already write. However, I write for fun and for my "happy place", I'm wondering if there has to be a murder in a cozy mystery or if I could deal with other crimes and if they can be written without all the frenetic/zany side characters? Is that a different mystery subgenre?

    Thoughts appreciated.


    KPED , to 3goodthings group avatar

    Time for my to keep me smiling through the day:

    1. The Mastodon writing community, esp. and

    2. Trump is not immune.

    3. I wasn't too late to get the tax credit for my EV.

    What about you?


    fromjason , to Random avatar

    What are some good hashtags?

    I want to reach writers and see more writers in my feed. Bloggers specifically, but writers generally.

    tobiasgraypresents , avatar

    @fromjason Following people from the server is also helpful! But some good ones I like are Follow -> @writingcommunity @writers @bookstodon

    (Tagging these groups in hopes that it might also help you find new people to follow! Good luck!)

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