Knowing that others have been rejected before you, that authors you admire, who’ve won prizes and gone on to glorious careers, have been badly rejected, can ease your burden. Here are some of those rejections. Read More
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
You’ve written your novel, published your stories, signed an autograph or two1. And then you get the question: so, what’s your platform like?
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 got2. 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
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 not1. 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 biography1. 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
For about two minutes. Then I was ready to see if I could commit suicide by paper cut. That’s what my first, solo playtests usually do to me.
But let’s recap. I’ve written about the spark, the part where creativity reigns free and I spew ideas the way a first-year computer science student spews regurgitated lager1. I’ve written about building the first prototype. This post is about what happens next: the solo playtesting, where crappy games are beaten into gold2. Read More
Last time I wrote about analog game design I took Magnet Puzzle from spark to idea stage. Unfortunately, that’s where it’s remained. For every 10 sparks, I take one through the idea stage. For every 10 ideas, I take one through the prototype stage. Magnet Puzzle hasn’t made that leap yet.
So instead of me waiting until inspiration strikes and I figure out what makes it fun, now that magnets are out of the picture, I’m going to backtrack a bit and show you how I’m working on another game: a quick, quite random, “take that”-inducing card game prototype named “Das Amt”. 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