A lot of people believe that they have a novel inside of them. A lot of people are right. However, it isn’t just enough to say you have a great idea for a book to make a book happen.Read More
I want to talk about Hot Mess.
Hot Mess, as you’ll know if you’re a reader of our books, is a series of spec fic anthologies. They feature short stories from our partner authors, as well as from Tina and myself.Read More
I can’t write, I’m too… (fill in the blank)
Busy, right? That’s the most common answer. And that’s the right answer for a lot of people. Parents of newborns are at the top of this category. CEO’s of massive corporations also fit here. Some people should be too busy to write a book. That’s okay.Read More
The book cover is probably my favorite part of putting out a book.
I don't make the book covers, oh god no. I rely on the experts for that kind of thing. But getting the book covers from my designer... oh that is magic.Read More
There is a movie out that does a fantastic job of using Magical Realism to heighten the story. It’s called Now You See Me, so spoiler alert. But not major spoilers, just overarching story ones. It’s been out for three years, guys.Read More
The process of making books is an odd one. I think when I started out, I thought of the writing part, but not much about the actual process of turning that writing into something that you can buy and read.Read More
A good story has obvious components – character, setting, plot to name a few. Every story is a dash of characters against a backdrop of setting, with just enough plot to set things in motion.Read More
Recently I’ve been watching old shows on Netflix with my son. The Magician’s Secrets (or something of the kind) is one we’ve been enjoying. My son has been learning how magicians use choreography, hidden pockets, rubber cement, mirrors, and pretty girls to distract, confuse, and misdirect attention to create illusionsRead More
So as someone with a lot of irons in the fire, I've found that personal organization is key to making sure that things get done on time. This is a challenge for me, as personal organization has never been a strong point of mine.Read More
For twenty years I functioned off of a high school education. I had gone to college for my freshman year, and I did do some trade school stuff later, so it’s not as though I completely stopped learning. However...Read More
As a writer, we all have our preferences. We have a core programming that becomes a theme, and left to our own devices most of us would only tell a few kinds of stories.
When you’re a fiction writer, however, chances are that you want to tell all kinds of stories in all kinds of settings. You want to show your range in what you can create. One of the best ways to learn your range is writing prompts.
Why? Well, they’re small, they’re portable, and they’re all over social media and by extension, the Internet. People write books of them. The point of writing prompts is to give you parameters, which is both challenging and liberating. “In 1000 words or less, tell a story of a musician who walks an awkward situation.”
The prompts can be serious or silly, specific or vague, genre-related or not. The point is that when you find one, it should inspire you to figure out what you could do with the set of information presented. If it’s a good idea, then you should absolutely run with it. I’ve written several flash fictions based on writing prompts, either found by my writing group or ones that I’ve run across here and there.
I listen to a podcast, Writing Excuses, and one thing I love about them is that they offer a writing prompt after almost every episode, to give writers practice on topics they may not have considered. It’s a way to diagnose weaknesses in your writing technique, and fix them.
That’s probably the most useful part of writing prompts. All of us have blind spots in our writing style, things that we don’t notice or consider to be a problem, but the average reader would. These problems can range from the innocuous to the detrimental, and writing prompts give you the ability to practice on something specific until you can smooth out your hang-up.
Some people might think themselves beyond writing prompts, or as not having the time, or simply thinking they’re silly. A lot of writers can still get away with not getting a formal education and still writing beautifully. However, for those who avoid formal education, writing prompts are a great informal education that you can take at your own pace, and improve your writing without the student loans. They are definitely worth the price of admission.
So if you've decided to pursue this weird life, you're going to end up making friends who are also writers.
And if you make friends who are also writers, you're going to end up working with them to some extent.Read More