4 Amazing Skills I Wish I Had in Real Life

4 Amazing Skills I Wish I Had in Real Life

I’m writing a book about anti-gravity. It’s impossible to put down.

One of the little-known perks of being a writer is that I get to pretend that I know all kinds of cool stuff.

Every character I create is an expert in something.

They can hack into top-secret computer networks, field strip an AK-47 blindfolded, make a peanut butter sandwich without dripping any.

These people have skills.

Don’t get me wrong, I love being a writer (and writing halfway decent books is kind of a skill). But still, I wish I had the time, energy, and money to learn these four skills.  Continue reading

Categories: Fun | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

6 Secrets of Science Fiction and Fantasy World Building

6 Secrets of Science Fiction and Fantasy World Building

How do you, as a writer, build a new world that fascinates your readers, draws them in, and makes them want to come back for more?

If you write fantasy, science fiction, or horror, you need to do your world building the right way.

I’ve revealed the shortcuts and tips you should use — and the pitfalls you must avoid — over at Fiction University.

Want more writing tips or behind-the-scenes features? Subscribe to my author newsletter.

Categories: For Writers | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Who else is going to Denver Comic Con?

Doomsday Things - Dru Jasper at Comic Con_Stranger Things have happened

The Dru Jasper series, starting with It Happened One Doomsday, is coming to Denver Comic Con. Hey, Stranger Things have happened…

I’m kind of ashamed to admit this.

But I’ve waited long enough.

It’s time I came out and said it.

Ready? Okay. Here we go.

Deep breath.

Ahem. So, the thing is, I’ve never . . .

Continue reading

Categories: events | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create Better Characters in 6 Easy Steps

Ember - It Happened One Doomsday

Will Ember help save the world – or destroy it? Interesting characters make interesting stories.

Readers may be intrigued by a good plot.

But if your characters are interesting, readers will remember them long after they close the book.

It can be tough to create fully fleshed-out, three-dimensional characters.

I explain how to do it over at the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers blog.

P.S. Get more free writing tips when you subscribe to my author newsletter.

Categories: For Writers | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Coming Up: Ask Me Anything

Ask Me AnythingHave you ever wondered…

… how writers deal with reviews, both good and bad?

… what kind of mistakes beginning writers often make?

… where writers get their ideas?

I’m doing an Ask Me Anything (AMA) event on Wednesday, May 23 at 4:00 PM EDT.

This is your chance to connect, ask questions, and see what other readers are wondering.

Want to to get your question bumped to the front of the line? It’s open now.

Go ahead, ask me a question.

Categories: events, Fun, The Writing Life | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Why You Should Never Be Afraid to Write

Writers' Forum magazine (UK)

Writers’ Forum is the leading writing magazine in the UK. Check it out.

One day, almost exactly 10 years ago, I walked into a bookstore in Hawaii and discovered something fascinating.

It was an overly large magazine, with big glossy pages that flopped over in the humid air, and it was chock-full of articles on how to write. The magazine was called Writers’ Forum.

It was from the UK, a long way away.

At the time, I was an angsty aspiring writer, so of course I devoured that magazine cover to cover, hunting for advice I could use to become a real author. I decided that someday, I wanted to see my name published in that magazine.

But was my writing good enough? I suspected not. At least not yet.

Little did I know what was about to happen next. Continue reading

Categories: For Writers | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Plot Problem? Fix It Fast with a Retcon

Plot Problem - Fix It Fast with a RetconSooner or later, every story runs into a little hiccup.

As you write, you’ll discover that certain facts don’t fit together anymore.

Maybe a character needs to be changed or removed.

Maybe you find a plot hole big enough to drive a Mack truck through.

Somewhere, in the inner workings of your story, something has gone awry.

You need to fix it, or you’ll have a big problem on your hands.

Find out what to do next on Fiction University.

Categories: For Writers | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

What Music Do Writers Listen to?

Crystal Blue ZXZ album cover

New rule: if there’s a Lamborghini on the cover, you know it’s good.

While I was writing No Sleep till Doomsday (Dru Jasper series, book 3), much to my surprise, I found myself listening to a certain Ukrainian pop music album over and over.

Here’s why.

My book features an evil crystal sorceress named Lucretia, and there are subtle references throughout the book to the song “Lucretia, My Reflection” by The Sisters of Mercy.

Searching for music to write by, I found all sorts of cool covers and remixes of “Lucretia, My Reflection.” The one version that really captured my attention was by a Ukrainian electronic artist called ZXZ, on the Crystal Blue album.

A song about Lucretia (my crystal sorceress), on an album called Crystal Blue. Was it fate?

I decided to track down ZXZ and find out.

Continue reading

Categories: Dru Jasper, Fun | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

7 Ways to Master “Show, Don’t Tell”

7 Ways to Master Show, Don_t Tell“Show, Don’t Tell” is probably the most often-repeated writing advice in the world.

It means that you shouldn’t dump a load of information in the middle of the page, because it will stop your story dead.

But it’s easy to fix that problem, if you know how.

Here are seven different ways that you can unobtrusively slip information (also known as exposition) into your story without raising any red flags.

Master these ninja exposition tricks, and you’ll never struggle with “Show, Don’t Tell” again.

 

Categories: For Writers | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Want to Be a Better Writer? Read This.

Railroad tracks reading a book

Go ahead, read a book. Maybe not on railroad tracks, though. Just saying.

I’ve talked to hundreds of best-selling authors about their early years, before they were published.

By and large, they wrote about half a dozen unpublished manuscripts before they sold their “first” novel.

Aside from cranking out thousands of pages of prose, how do you learn the writing skills you need to improve over time?

Continue reading

Categories: For Writers | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.