How to Write Kick-Ass Action Scenes (Part 2)

how to write action scenes p2Believe it or not, it’s easy to write gripping action scenes—if you know how. In Part 1 of this article, I showed you how to break down complicated action scenes into their component parts: location, characters, goals, and actions. Now I’ll show you the real secret to wrapping up any action scene with an unforgettable bang.

Read more at Fiction University >

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How to Write a Novel This Year: 10 Free How-To Articles

Writing Desk - how to write a novel

Do you have questions about writing a novel? Here are the answers.

Something like 92% of all New Year’s resolutions are doomed to failure. If one of your goals is to write a novel this year, don’t let yourself become a statistic. Find out the answers to your questions and learn how to write your book.

Since I joined the powerhouse faculty at Janice Hardy’s Fiction University, I’ve written a monthly how-to guide for writing fiction. If you’re looking for some writing inspiration or technique, you could do worse than checking out some of my favorite articles: Continue reading

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14 Colorado Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors You Probably Haven’t Read Yet

MileHiCon49 2017 Laurence MacNaughton urban fantasy panel

Ninja Author Challenge: Keep a straight face as you read a funny scene from your own book — while facing a plate full of cookies.

MileHiCon is one of those strange and wondrous places where you can randomly run into legendary authors such as Eric Flint (New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Locus Magazine bestseller), two-time Hugo Award winning podcaster Patrick Hester, or bestselling author Jane Lindskold, who incidentally referred to me as the Guru of Humor.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, I fully intend to use as my job title from this point on. It is undisputedly the ten-ton showstopper of handshake introductions:

HIM: “Hello, I’m Bob. I’m a bestselling author.”

ME: “Hi. I’m Laurence. I’m THE GURU OF HUMOR.”

HIM: “. . . Uh, what?”

Exactly. Continue reading

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Create the Perfect Villain: a 6-Step Master Plan

Create the Perfect Villain: a 6-Step Master Plan

Mu-ha-ha-ha!

In my last article on Fiction University, I laid out 6 Ways to Make Readers Fall in Love With Your Characters.

If you’re writing a story or novel, pay attention. Because now I’m going to flip all of those techniques upside down.

I’ll show you how to use the opposite of those exact same methods to create a villain that your readers will love to hate.

How? Find out on Fiction University.

Want more free fiction writing tips, plus a chance to win free books? Sign up for my author newsletter. >

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Undead behind the scenes in A Kiss Before Doomsday

Science Fiction Book Club featured selection A Kiss Before DoomsdayIn case you missed it, the Science Fiction Book Club chose A Kiss Before Doomsday as a featured pick. Which, as an author, is incredibly exciting.

To celebrate, I put together a behind-the-scenes special that the book club shared with their members this summer.

If you’ve ever wondered where writers get their ideas, read on.

Science Fiction Book Club: Spotlight on A KISS BEFORE DOOMSDAY

One of the toughest jobs a fantasy writer has is coming up with new and interesting monsters. When I sat down to write the second Dru Jasper book, I knew that the bad guys would be undead creatures. But today’s readers have seen countless undead foes. How do you put a brand-new spin on the idea? Continue reading

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Is Canva the Betty Crocker of Book Covers?

Canva book cover review- It Happened One Doomsday

It could have happened so many different ways…

If you’re an author, what’s the easiest way to make a decent book cover?

Unless a publisher is creating the book cover for you, you can expect to spend anywhere from $100 to $1,000 hiring a designer.

So when Canva comes along and offers ready-to-use book cover templates — for free — it makes you wonder.

Can ordinary people like you and me create a free book cover?

How difficult will it be?

How good will it look?

I decided to put Canva’s new book cover templates to the test. Here’s what I found out. Continue reading

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It Happened One Doomsday ebook $1.99 until Oct. 2

It Happened One Doomsday ebook

Only $1.99 until Oct. 2

Dru Jasper now officially has her own book series. (Yay!) So if you haven’t tried it yet, now is the perfect time to start.

Plus, you can get a free bonus ebook.

Here’s how:

1. Get the first Dru Jasper ebook for $1.99 (hey, that’s 89% off).

2. Tell me when you leave a review (on any website), and I’ll send you the latest Dru Jasper novelette, Put A Spell On You, for free. It’s my gift to you.

That’s it! So easy.

But! The deal only lasts until October 2. So get it while it’s hot!

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  iTunes  |  Kobo

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My Funny (and True) Ghost Town Story

Colorado Ghost Town

Nice to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live there.

Here in Colorado, we have our fair share of ghost towns. GPS and smart phones make them easier to find these days, but years ago you had to get there the old-fashioned way.

One summer day, my wife and I were exploring a decently intact ghost town deep in the mountains. The roofs of the buildings were caved in, but the storefronts were still standing. After hiking around and snapping photos, we sat on the tailgate of the Bronco to share a sandwich.

In the distance, a wispy dust cloud appeared, accompanied by the growling of a motorcycle engine.

Continue reading

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Discover New Fantasy Reads at Knaaks Knoll

Black City Demon by Richard KnaakWhen I was a kid, DragonLance was the first series of fantasy novels that totally hooked me. I still get chills thinking about Raistlin changing his robes from red to black.

Now, my friend and fellow author Richard A. Knaak (longtime DragonLance author and New York Times bestselling author of Black City Saint and Black City Demon) has started up a Facebook page focused on spotlighting the undiscovered gems of fantasy and science fiction.

Check it out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KnaaksKnoll/

Want a chance to win a signed paperback book? Join my author newsletter. >

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The Best 80s Game You Probably Didn’t Play

Advanced Fighting Fantasy - Stellar Adventures RPG

Look closely and you’ll also spot Rebel Planet on the right, which shares the same cover art. Hey, the more giant sword-swinging space lizards, the merrier!

Way back in the 1980s, there were gamebooks, those choose-your-own-adventure type of books where you made a decision and then turned to a specially-numbered paragraph to find out what happened next.

Now, they’re back.

Ian Livingstone, who (along with fellow Games Workshop founder Steve Jackson) sold millions of Fighting Fantasy books worldwide in the 80s, has just penned Port of Peril. It’s the first brand-new Fighting Fantasy adventure in many years. I’m completely psyched.

Continue reading

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