Starve Better: Surviving the Endless Horror of the Writing Life

Starve Better: Surviving the Endless Horror of the Writing Life

by Nick Mamatas


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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 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.


"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 Finch

About 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780984553587
Publisher: Apex Publications
Publication date: 02/18/2011
Pages: 186
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.43(d)

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Starve Better: Surviving the Endless Horror of the Writing Life 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
RDeck on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
Fergaloid More than 1 year ago
Reading this book is like hanging out for regular drinks with the noir gumshoe of the writing streets. You're going to learn how things really go down on bourbon street and that the world of writing is a pretty ugly place under the shadow of the bookstores. Lucky for us, the author may have lost a few teeth and taken a bullet or two, but he's still got the integrity to tell the truth for our dime. You've got to respect someone who has such a variety of tales to tell. If you're in the biz, you can only benefit from reading these tales. They're instructional, no-nonsense, and give you practical understanding of things like how to write an ending or how to approach getting published in a fiction magazine versus a non-fiction magazine. If you're stuck or confused, he'll show you that getting chased in an alleyway for ideas is no big deal just part of the job. It can be empowering to realize you are overthinking a task and letting your image of it stop you. Even if you don't write, the book is worth reading just for the sake of the author's stories. There's something to be said for being experienced enough and intelligent enough to reduce term papers to their fast food components or explain in brilliant detail how you freelance. What makes it more than just how-to or a bar stool story is the character of the author, who infuses every cent you paid with hard wisdom, plucky spirit and a dash of vulnerable generosity.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago