“Let me Google that.” For someone who loves research, those are four of the saddest words in English. Somehow the belief has spread that any information you need—about anything—is available by simply typing into a search engine. Yet libraries still exist. Don’t be one of those people who ignores them.
Every writer who aspires to write and sell a novel should be writing short stories—and a lot of them. Many of writers shy away from short stories. Stories don’t earn a whole lot of money, as a rule, and so can be seen as a poor use of a writer’s time. Plus, they’re tough to write; unlike a novel, where you can spin words upon words as you write through problems, the format is tight and constricted, requiring ruthless cutting and efficient plotting.