Are You Describing The Wrong Things?

Set the mood. Show, don’t tell. Perfect your prose. Engage your readers’ five senses. We’ve heard the same advice over and over. But what we many of us really hear is describe, describe, describe. So what do we do? You guessed it. We describe everything in an attempt to cover …

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WRITERS: Don’t let the 1% factor stop you

We’ve all heard the horror stories of your abysmal odds making it from slush pile to published author. If you haven’t, allow me to frighten you with some stats from the Web: Agents get hundreds of queries a week. Your odds of a query resulting in an agent requesting your …

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Wingmen–The Power of Secondary Characters

What is a hero without his sidekick? It’s time to give due credit to those wingmen and examine just how important their roles are. Consider these heroes and their wingmen: Tom Sawyer–Huckleberry Fin. Odd Thomas–Ozzie and Chief Wyatt. Harry Potter–Hermione and Ron. The Lone Ranger–Tonto. Robin Hood–Friar Tuck. *For the …

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A Novel Idea–Exercise your subconscious

Lesson within a lesson: Examples of purple prose. If the writing calls to itself more than to the story itself, chances are it’s purple. The challenge–find the purple prose below and tell me in the comments. Enjoy the hunt and hope you learn something! We writers are a creative bunch. …

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Hallow’s Eve for Fantasy Writers

Pumpkins, cool mornings, the sound of leaves falling, harvest moons, HALLOWEEN. There’s no doubt about it, Autumn inspires. Pushing aside the cliché, let’s keep ourselves original and find our inspiration in the frequently overlooked details of Hallow’s Eve. 10 things that inspire: 1. The way the wind whistles through bare …

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Novel Map–The Benefit of Illustrations

A Piri Reis map So you think you’re finished with your fantasy novel, but this nagging voice in your brain says not yet. You’ve got to SHOW everyone the beautiful world you’ve created. You want to turn that hand drawn quick-reference map into a masterpiece. Why? Because illustrations are the …

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Inventing New Words: A proven method

In fantasy writing we are sometimes–if not frequently–faced with the chore of making up words. New names, new places, new animals, new new NEW. And if creating new vocabulary isn’t hard enough, you can’t just start stringing together letters and syllables, because then you’ve got a word that’s just unbelievable. …

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