I don't tend to get over to LJ as much anymore. Some years ago, I did. Once I came home to the Midwest, my life was very different, and so I just don't make it out of Blogger land as often.
But today I did.
Jim Hines talks about Why Advances Matter. Right now he's doing a First Novel Survey. Also note the comments in that -- authors add in things Jim hadn't, and as always, Jim discusses things further.
Something I love about the cool people I know is that they're smart and articulate. Not only do they teach me things, but they can teach you.
And because I adore her, and have come late to this discussion... Pamela Dean talks about her WIP. It grew. It must shrink. Drastically.
Installments: 2100 words; spoilers & of coral made; Chapter Three: catch a falling star; icicles, or 4-6; empty book... as a sparrow sees it; 75%, or twice mown?
I think I would give my firstborn child, had I one, for that two-volume book that will not be.
ETA: Sharyn November's news for teen writers. Guess what? Much of this applies to grownups too. I highly recommend her links to Justine and Scalzi in #5. Remember, just because you know an author/editor, ASK. Don't assume he or she is dying to read your stuff. 'Kay?