Victoria Mixon, Author & Editor Editing     Testimonials     Books     Advice     About     Contact       Copyright


MILLLICENT G. DILLON, represented by Harold Ober Associates, is the world’s expert on authors Jane and Paul Bowles. She has won five O. Henry Awards and been nominated for the PEN/Faulkner. I worked with Dillon on her memoir, The Absolute Elsewhere, in which she describes in luminous prose her private meeting with Albert Einstein to discuss the ethics of the atomic bomb. Read more. . .

SASHA TROYAN is a Professor of English at Montclair University and author of the critically-acclaimed novels Angels in the Morning and The Forgotten Island, both Booksense Selections, beautiful stories based upon her childhood in France. I worked with Troyan to develop her new novels, Marriage A Trois and Semester. Read more. . .

LUCIA ORTH is the author of the debut novel, Baby Jesus Pawn Shop, which received critical acclaim from Publisher’s Weekly, NPR, Booklist, Library Journal and Small Press Reviews. I have edited a number of essays and articles for Orth. Read more. . .

BHAICHAND PATEL, retired after an illustrious career with the United Nations, is now a journalist based out of New Dehli and Bombay, an expert on Bollywood, and author of three non-fiction books published by Penguin. I edited Patel’s best-selling debut novel, Mothers, Lovers, and Other Strangers, published by Pan Macmillan. Read more. . .

SCOTT WILBANKS, represented by Barbara Poelle of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency, is the author of the debut novel, The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster, published by Sourcebooks in August, 2015. I’m working with Wilbanks on his sophomore novel, Easy Pickens, the story of the world’s only medically-diagnosed case of chronic naiveté. Read more. . .

SCOTT WARRENDER is a professional musician and Annie Award-nominated lyricist specializing in musical theater. I work with Warrender regularly on his short stories and debut novel, Putaway. Read more. . .

M. TERRY GREEN enjoys a successful self-publishing career with multiple sci-fi/fantasy series set in the Multiverse, based upon her expertise in anthropology and technology. I worked with Green to develop a new speculative fiction series. Read more. . .

ANIA VESENNY, represented by Beverly Slopen Literary Agency, is a recipient of the Evelyn Sullivan Gilbertson Award for Emerging Artist in Literature and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. I edited Vesenny’s debut novel, Swearing in Russian at the Northern Lights, and her second novel, Sandara. Read more. . .

STUART WAKEFIELD is the #1 Kindle Best Selling author of Body of Water, the first novel in his Orcadian Trilogy. Body of Water was 1 of 10 books long-listed for the Polari First Book Prize. I edited Wakefield’s second novel, Memory of Water, and look forward to editing the final novel of his Orcadian Trilogy, Spirit of Water. Read more. . .

GERALDINE EVANS is a best-selling British author. Her historical novel, Reluctant Queen, is a Category No 1 Best Seller on Amazon UK. I edited Death Dues, #11 in Evans’ fifteen popular Rafferty and Llewellyn cozy police procedurals, which received a glowing review from the Midwest Book Review. Read more. . .

JUDY LEE DUNN is an award-winning marketing blogger. I am working with Dunn to develop and line edit her memoir of reconciling liberal activism with her emotional difficulty accepting the lesbianism of her beloved daughter, Tonight Show comedienne Kellye Rowland. Read more. . .

JEFF RUSSELL is the author of the debut novel, The Rules of Love and Law, based upon Jeff’s abiding passions for legal history and justice. Read more. . .

LEN JOY is the author of the debut novel, American Past Time. I worked with Len to develop his novel from its core: a short story about the self-destructive ambitions of a Minor League baseball star. Read more. . .

ALEX KENDZIORSKI is an American physician working in South Africa on community health education and wildlife conservation. I edited Kendziorski’s debut novel Wait a Season for Their Names about the endangered African painted wolf, for which he is donating the profits to wildlife conservation. Read more. . .

ALEXANDRA GODFREY blogs for the New England Journal of Medicine. I work with Godfrey on her short fiction and narrative nonfiction, including a profile of the doctor who helped save her son’s life, “Mending Broken Hearts.” Read more. . .

In addition, I work with scores of aspiring writers in their apprenticeship to this wonderful literary art and craft.

  • By Victoria Mixon

    Now, we’ve gotten ourselves into the dark side of fiction—in which we’ve learned who will fail as writers (not us!), how we screw up our manuscripts, and the things we writers always overlook—so let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. I mean, the real dirt on writing.

    I remember the day I received my first spam about my blog. I felt as though I had finally arrived.


    Nathalie here from Bozo Media and I wanted to drop you a line and just compliment your site Nice layout, good info, good resources. I was looking around at a few different sites relevant to Washing Machines. I definitely thought yours was one of the best. That being said, I also noticed you guys have some great content related to them.

    I currently work for a company that maintains website that offers best deals and information about Washing Machines – http://www.wtfwashingmachines/fakeurl. We are a nationally recognized, reliable source for Washing Machines and I was wondering if you’d be interested in giving us an opportunity to write guest post relevant to your site. I can assure you that our article will be very informative to your visitors and also drive more traffic. I would be very pleased if you allow me to add a link to our site in the article.

    Looking forward for your reply.


    Wow. Nathalie. I just don’t know what to say.

    Because the truth is teaching the craft of fiction is exactly like teaching people to use washing machines.

    But how did you know?

    1. Fiction starts life dirty

      This is the honest, unvarnished truth, people: modern published fiction is, from many angles, as Dirty as Hell. And it’s in desperate need of a really good Cosmic Fictional Washing Machine.

    2. Your job as a writer is to get your fiction all dirty

      Go ahead—write it, thrash around in it, have a fabulous time, make a big old fun muddy mess. Get it all over yourself. You don’t need me for that part. Anyone can do it, and hundreds of thousands of people do.

      It’s a blast!

    3. Really dirty

      Then go back and write your story again more honestly.

      Go down through the layers of superficial uniform dirt that get all over everybody when they truly relish a big, hefty, messy, magnificent first few drafts.

    4. Cosmically dirty

      Find underneath those top layers the story that’s really there.

      Find the real people living inside the characters, of whom you have barely scratched the surface. Find the details of their lives that make them three-dimensional in exactly the way your reader’s life is three-dimensional. Find the universal themes of comedy and tragedy out of which they’re been created and the complex interweaving of those elements that your characters must navigate on their way to enlightenment.

      Uncover the fabric of your characters’ unique lives that your reader needs to touch in order to reach the heart of what you’re doing.

    5. Beyond cosmically dirty

      Then write it again even more honestly. And write it again. And again. And again. . .

    6. My job is the washing machine

      Then I’ll teach you how to clean up your fiction.

      Every time you let your manuscript go cold and take it out later for another revision, you’re sending it through the Cosmic Fictional Washing Machine.

      Every time you come here seeking help with your writing, you’re bringing it to the Cosmic Fictional Laundromat.

      Every time, the structure of your story gets a little clearer, the humanity of your characters gets a little truer, your reason for writing this novel gets a little more significant, to you, and to your readers too. Eventually—if you work hard enough, with enough dedication and soul-searing honesty, for long enough—it will be beautiful, vivid, shining.


      A new definition of meaning.

      And you will be proud to wear it around in public for the rest of your life.

    7. Cleanliness is clarity

      However! If you rush out and insist your fiction be published while it’s still even sort of dirty (much less as dirty as it is when you first stand up out of rolling around in all that mud—and, yes, you can get stuff published in that condition, it happens all the time)—then, like the portrait of Dorian Gray, the dirt will become ever more and more obvious as the years go by and your craft improves.

      Your increasing clarity as a writer will show you the dirt you left in that manuscript. . .

      . . .as your understanding of the meaning of life deepens

      . . .as your reasons for living make more and more sense in the overall universal scheme of things

      . . .as you see more and more clearly through your own unique, vivid, unforgettable lens.

    This is the process of writing, my friends: first dirt, then cleaning.

    I say this with all editorial love for the writers in you and compassion for what writing your novels means to you (I know—I write novels too):

    Develop a sincere, lifelong, humble respect for the Great Cosmic Fictional Washing Machine.

    There’s that lighter side to writing again.


    No Comments

    “The freshest and most relevant
    advice you’ll find.”

    —Helen Gallagher, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

    The Art & Craft of Writing Fiction

    The Art & Craft of Writing Stories



    No Comments

Comments are closed.