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Show, Don’t Tell: Huh?

 “Show, don’t tell” is a fundamental principle of writing that can greatly enhance the reader’s experience. Instead of directly stating a character’s emotions or actions, you use descriptive language and actions to indirectly convey them to the reader. This allows them to infer the character’s emotions and makes the writing more engaging and immersive. For […]

World Building Tools for Authors and Game Masters

 Science fiction and fantasy rely heavily on placing the reader in a world that envelopes them like a warm blanket. That blanket might be a comforting hug from Hermione or the backblast of covering fire from a Gauss gun. It’s the responsibility of the author to craft a world that follows its own rules and […]

Shifting Your Goals

 January, the traditional month where folks set some goals and a week later forget them, is only weeks away. Writers, however, tend to try to reach some lofty goals for a while longer, probably spurred on by the lingering caffeine high from NaNoWriMo. Here’s the thing — goals should not be set in concrete. I […]

Why Blog?

I know a lot of author folks who let their blogs languish. After all, if only a few visitors pop in, why go through all the hassle of putting up stuff? Sudden Celebrity If one of your books started selling thousands of copies a day, there are going to be a flood of folks who […]

Using Feedback to Improve Your Writing Skills

 Sometimes it’s a good thing to ask your friends and/or readers what they like about your work. Then again, sometimes the answers they give will surprise you. While many authors think they have a good idea of what they’re good at, sometimes they’re wrong. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing — in fact, having a […]

Creating Tension with a Ticking Clock

How can you tell when a clock is really tense? When it’s all wound up. Creating tension by using some form of a limit is one of the easiest methods to ratchet up the tension in any manuscript, from novel to play to movie script. When many newer authors first hear about adding in a […]

To Con or Not to Con: The Write Question

For years, I’ve gone to conventions all over the continental United States. Some were genre conventions such as MileHiCon, Radcon, and Archon. Others were more media-centric, such as Denver Comic Con and Salt Lake Comic Con. Toss in a World Horror and a few writing conventions such as Superstars Writing Seminars and you’re looking at […]

Using for Initial Editing

I’ve mentioned on panels at conventions. It’s a very useful tool that can assist any author when they’re polishing up their manuscript. Even when I’m about to send something off to an editor or getting ready to upload a submission, I usually run it through Autocrit first. It finds many common problems and does […]

Hot Fun in the Summertime

 As the summer approaches, there are more items and events that will be tugging on your availability. Full-time writers with several years of discipline under their belt have an easier time saying “no” to joining in on the fun when there’s a deadline looming, but what about the part-timers or those who just made the […]

Stuff Migrates

 Just a few minutes ago I was eating a late lunch. I set my spoon down and reached for my coffee when my hand hit something that was not my coffee cup. I looked up, and in front of me was a ceramic penguin. I puzzled over why it was on my kitchen table, and […]