Worldbuilding for Realistic Fiction

I am proud to admit I write in many genres. I've been known to write light-hearted fantasy, speculative/science fiction, lite horror, a little supernatural, period realistic fiction, and contemporary fiction. People seem surprised when I say I use worldbuilding...

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Skipping Time in Your Story

Some stories take a lifetime to tell. Well, they would if we didn’t use narrative pacing to make sure we hit the best parts while not leaving out important details. Consider trying to tell the story of a person. Biographies...

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Marketing Using Facebook and Twitter Ads

by Brandon Varnell You’re a self-published author who now has a couple of books out. All of them are lovely, with gorgeous cover designs, quality formatting, are excellently edited, and—most importantly—best seller material. Unfortunately, you’re a self-published author, so nobody...

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How Digested is Your Reading Material?

How many people have touched your reading material? I’m not talking about germs on used books or the grimy bits hiding on the surface of your tablet. I mean how close to the source are you when you’re reading...

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Life is Like a Box Of Chocolates (so are anthologies)

While continuing our read of Object Lessons: The Paris Review Presents the Art of the Short Story, I just wanted to share a bit of commentary on the subject of writers reading short stories. It’s been several weeks since I...

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Sure Growth and the Psychology of Practice

How to Become a Great Writer (no, seriously, this is how) This post is directly inspired by a recent Freakonomics podcast titled How to Become Great at Just About Anything. Tantalizing premise, isn’t it? Most of us have heard of...

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Object Lessons: Learning from Literary Short Fiction

I’ve recently picked up Object Lessons: The Paris Review Presents the Art of the Short Story and the first few stories got me thinking. This isn’t just any anthology. It’s geared toward writing instruction, marketed to aspiring writers looking...

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Podcast Alert! Writing Excuses

This is a busy time of year! As you know, I’m an advocate of writers having day jobs if the situation fits for them, and I follow that path myself. At this point, it’s not a choice so much as a...

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Know Your Enemy – Procrastination

Procrastination blocks productivity. Still, procrastination is better tackled when it’s understood. By definition, procrastination means “the act of delaying or postponing something”, more specifically “putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention”. You are technically only procrastinating in...

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Creative Writing Tools: Maps

Maps support a story. This doesn’t necessarily mean providing readers with a map of your world will make it better, but maps are a powerful tool for consistency and inspiration during the writing and revision process. Fantasy writers often aspire...

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