the official website of
Bob Nailor


Where do you go to find the information you need?

Right. The internet.

Contrary to popular belief, not everything on the internet is actual truth, nor is it backed up with real data. How do I know this? I was reading a document about space, blackholes and the ability to bend time. I saw a reference to "asteroid influences" and my mind jumped at the possibilities. I clicked on the link, only to be rewarded with a 404-Page. If you don't know what a 404-Page is—it is a non-existent page. I attempted other methods of possibly finding the data via different search engines and search criteria. A half day spent on futility. Nothing. I had visited hundreds, if not thousands of webpages. If you're curious, type "asteroid influence" and see how many hits you get. (Hint: I got over one million!)

I knew of one place where my research would be accurate. I went to the library. I did find asteroid influence but not in the realm of my research. And, yes, what I did find was very interesting and did allow my mind juices to flow.

Today, with all of our myriad methods of accessing the internet, and our instantaneous connections, the internet is probably the single most powerful resource to humankind.

But what of the resources?

As a person who enjoys science fiction, fantasy and horror (with a dabbling into other genres) I need to know where I can find an outlet for my stories that I write. So what do I use?

For other genres I am sure the last two resources will assist. I am also sure there are places like Ralan for western, romance, literary and the other genres.

Of course, there is more to just submitting as a resource. You have to know your business, the craft, if you will. If you don't know how to write, submitting is just a waste of time for everyone involved.

To learn the craft, you have to write but you also have to do more than just crank out words. There is plotting, scenes, character definitions, red herrings, and a myriad of other details. How do you glean all of this? Again, resources and the library has several books to get you started. BUT... for some online resources beyond MY writing tips...

What other resources can I offer? Since the internet is so easily accessible, almost every magazine (paper or cyber) has their guidelines available to read online. USE THEM.

Before I forget, one last resource a writer should always remember to check. It is the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of American WRITER BEWARE lists. It is good for ANY genre of writing. This page has information about scammers, fakes, and other issues that a novice (or well-versed author) may encounter. This is a valuable page of information. As a conference coordinator, I was about to hire an agent as a guest speaker and presenter. On a whim, I decided to check the person out. Whew! This person had taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from writers, changed her name 3 times, finally faked her death, left the country to escape prison and was now back trying again to scam writers. As a conference speaker, she could have easily suckered fifteen to fifty innocent writers to send her money and their manuscripts. So, you've been warned.

One last resource: read books. Read a lot of books. Not just resource or how-to books, but also those of the genre you're interested in writing. Know what is out there and what the reading public wants.

Do you have a great resource? Share it in the comments.

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Elyse Salpeter
Oh! The mythical creatures lists! I didn't know about this. I do find so much on the internet not true. Thank goodness I write fantasy fiction. But for folks, doing non-fiction? That's why sourcing is so important. Great post.
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Great resources, thanks Bob! It's too bad there are so many trying to take advantage of new authors.
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