Author Archives: Laurence MacNaughton

About Laurence MacNaughton

I'm an urban fantasy and thriller author. My books include It Happened One Doomsday, The Spider Thief and Conspiracy of Angels. Get free previews, bonus features, and more fun stuff at www.LaurenceMacNaughton.com

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

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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.

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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

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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.

 

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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

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How to Use Rejection to Grow Stronger

No - rejection

Photo credit: foilman on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-SA

This is a true story.

Not long ago, an aspiring writer reached out to me for advice on how to deal with the worst kind of rejection.

Delia (not her real name) had decided once and for all to finally write that book she’d been dreaming about for years.

And she did it – she finished the book, which by the way most people don’t. Continue reading

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4 Mistakes to Avoid When Building Suspense in Your Novel

4 Mistakes to Avoid When Building Suspense in Your NovelHave you ever read a book that you just couldn’t put down?

The whole time you were turning pages, you were probably desperate to discover the answer to a burning question.

That’s the essence of suspense, and it makes readers devour your book.

So how do you build suspense in your novel?

Start by avoiding these four suspense-destroying mistakes.

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Book Signing: Covered Treasures Bookstore on Saturday, March 10

local author book signingThere’s only one thing I love more than discovering a new bookstore, and that’s meeting new readers.

Independent bookstores tend to attract some of the smartest and most interesting people around. It’s true.

Every time I do a book signing, I always find myself drawn into fascinating conversations and making new friends. It’s simply the best way to enjoy your local bookstore.

If you’re in the Colorado Springs or Castle Rock area, come on down to the Covered Treasuresbookstore in Monument, Colorado on March 10 from 1 PM to 3 PM.

Continue reading

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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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