How to Get in Your Reader’s Way

When the movie Avatar came out, I went to see it on opening day at a theater that was nearly empty.  I predicted in my kick for that day that the movie would be a blockbuster and possibly become the bestselling science fiction movie of all time. Why?  Because the acting was superb?  Because the […]

Hit the Gas

When your work begins to pay off, don’t spend your time in celebration or take a vacation. It’s time to “hit the gas.” In the last few weeks, I’ve been hearing a lot of good news from writing friends. They’re selling books and short stories, winning awards, and so on. But often in the past, […]

A Question of Balance

How do you develop as a writer? It requires a balance of study and practice. As a new writer, I heard that the average writer took seven years to go from being a novice to professional. I wondered if I could speed up the process. So I set a goal to begin making money within […]

New Struggles in Self-Publishing

New Struggles In Self-Publishing

I hesitate to mention problems with self-publishing. In some genres, such as romance or self-help books, the industry is doing great. But for those who are trying to sell fiction, it seems that the markets are contracting, and it appears that things will go from bad to worse. If you’ve been self-publishing for the past […]

Be Double-Minded

The Apostle James warned that “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” For characters, being double-minded is a good thing. A “double-minded” person has the quality of duality. That means that he is unstable, and the reader can never be quite sure what he will do under certain circumstances. Given this, the character’s […]

Be Honest

A story needs to be honest. Now, that isn’t quite the same as saying that a story must be true. Obviously when we are writing fiction, we are basically telling lies in order to enlighten and entertain. So fiction stories aren’t true. Yet in order for a story to work, there must be a good […]

Be Imaginative

Artist Zaria Forman, source: The Daily Mail I judge stories for the world’s largest fantasy and science fiction writing contest. When I’m judging, the first thing that I look for is a great idea, a great concept. I search for something original. The most common failure in a story is a failure of imagination. You […]

The Truth About Writer’s Block

Some authors never get “Writer’s Block,” and they don’t believe that it exists. They’ll blithely say, “Do doctors ever get ‘Doctor’s block,’ or do plumbers ever get ‘plumber’s block’?” and they think that they’ve just scored a point. If you had asked me ten years ago, I would have told you much the same. The […]

Audience Analysis: Part One

how to analyze your Audience

How to get to know your audience As a new writer, you might not have given a great deal of thought to audience analysis. I’ve known good writers who don’t seem to understand it at all.  For example, one #1 New York Times Bestselling fantasy author right now insists that he doesn’t write fantasy. He […]

Dream Big

You may not realize it, but as writers we are all on the same journey. We all start as “wannabes,” hoping to amaze audiences with our eloquence and powerful tales, and so we set out on a quest to become “writers.” Some of us take only a few steps along the path before we give […]

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