Writing to the Point is a short (152 airy pages) yet deep (spanning everything from “Chapter 1: The Basic Basics” to dealing with agents and who to format a manuscript) writing advice book. It took me slightly less than an hour-and-a-half to read, and I haven’t come away from a writing how-to book this turbo-charged in a long, long time. Read More
What the hell is an author platform? Have you got one? Is it contagious?
Easy there, buckaroo. Help is on the way.
An author, or author’s, platform is all the online presence you’ve got[note]In fact it’s all the presence you’ve got, including offline, media and personal, but you don’t want fans trampling your mother’s petunias so we’ll stick to online.[/note]. It’s your website, Twitter feed, Instagram account, and forum moderator powers put together. And the most basic, and easiest to do, part of your writer platform, is your author website. Read More
There are some things that work plain better than others, that resonate with your needs better than others. When it comes to writing, I have tons of resources that I use on occasion, some that I use repeatedly and a few that I use all the time.
This is my Top Ten List of Writing Resources for the fall of 2016 (with some bonuses and honorary mentions). Read More
David Farland, in his Drawing on the Power of Resonance in Writing has the answer: because some events or experiences in the story are alike to what we ourselves have experienced and been moved by. Of course, different readers will react differently. If you ate a cheese-and-baloney sandwich when you found out that your beloved kitten had been run over by a bulldozer, you might cry at the thought of baloney, while I may not[note]I always cry at the though of baloney, especially in politics.[/note]. Different people have different experiences.
But what if there was a way to create these sorts of emotions within the story itself, regardless of who the reader is? Read More
It sits there, right at the end of your book. Your author biography[note]Author biography, author bio, and author’s bio all seem to be legitimate spellings. So I’ll mix and the search engines will love me.[/note]. That little blurb where you’re supposed to put interesting facts about yourself. But what do you put in it? And, more importantly, why?
Because an author bio has but one function – and it’s got nothing to do with introducing yourself.
Here’s why. Read More
I broke my arms. Opening my skin with a set of industrial shears was easy, and there was hardly any leakage. Removing my torsion bars went badly though. They were a titanium beta alloy, cut with aluminium and vanadium to give them extra strength, and wouldn’t break easily. I inserted my left arm into the vice and told Neleen to start it. Read More
Fact is, that most works of fiction, whether SF, Fantasy, Horror, you name it, operate from the basic assumptions of an equal society. And that means that we’re missing whole segments of world building, encounters and stories that are never told because they can’t be conceived of.
But way, you say, here’s the poor pig herder who became prince. There’s the general that grew up in the slums. Aladdin – the diamond in the rough.
Nope, still operating from basic assumptions of equality. Let’s take a look. Read More
This one was from the prompt “10 cool fantasy world ideas”. Read More
I used to have troubles coming up with writing ideas. Nothing I did felt interesting, or if I managed to come up with something it would fail in practice – the ogre in the musketeer uniform would be just that, a dressed up ogre, and nothing more.
A dressed up ogre is boring. Just mashing together two concepts isn’t enough. You need something more.
That’s where the double whammy of “if … then” and “why” works wonders. Read More
Some years ago I lost all of my writing in a hard drive crash. I’m not crying over spilled milk – the writing was rather horrible – but it did set me thinking about redundancy and safety. I started doing backups.
At first, I did backups to CDs. That worked all right, until I thought I had done a backup and formatted my hard drive. Of course, I didn’t have any CD with my latest stuff on it. And then, when my computer crashed and I had to reformat it, I lost a few months of work as well.
So instead of CDs, I started using an external drive to backup all of my files. Which worked fine, except that it’s a pain in the behind to hook it up all the time. And I didn’t want to leave it hooked up and out in the open because part of the reason of doing backups was to protect me in case my computer got stolen.
But, two years ago, I found my main backup and sync solution. And last month I found the perfect way to work across multiple platforms, multiple computers, in complete safety, without having to do anything. Read More