Tag Archives: The Art of Stories

Worldbuilding for Realistic Fiction

I am proud to admit I write in many genres. I’ve been known to write light-hearted fantasy, speculative/science fiction, lite horror, a little supernatural, period realistic fiction, and contemporary fiction. People seem surprised when I say I use worldbuilding techniques on ALL of these genres. The last two are the ones that get raised eyebrows. Yes, I worldbuild for realistic fiction. No, it is not “doing research” exclusively. Every fictional world operates on core structures, and these are psychological constructs

Marketing Using Facebook and Twitter Ads

by Brandon Varnell You’re a self-published author who now has a couple of books out. All of them are lovely, with gorgeous cover designs, quality formatting, are excellently edited, and—most importantly—best seller material. Unfortunately, you’re a self-published author, so nobody knows that you exist. You don’t have a large marketing team who’s got your back, you don’t have a publishing company who’s willing to take a share of the marketing burden. You are on your own. Marketing is a daunting

How Digested is Your Reading Material?

How many people have touched your reading material? I’m not talking about germs on used books or the grimy bits hiding on the surface of your tablet. I mean how close to the source are you when you’re reading that neat article on characterization, burial practices in the Andes, or top business practices of successful authors? Written content comes from experience. Someone, somewhere, had an in-person experience, processed what happened to them mentally and emotionally, and wrote down the product

Sure Growth and the Psychology of Practice

How to Become a Great Writer (no, seriously, this is how) This post is directly inspired by a recent Freakonomics podcast titled How to Become Great at Just About Anything. Tantalizing premise, isn’t it? Most of us have heard of the 10,000 hour rule; it takes 10,000 hours doing something to become excellent at it. (This is paraphrased.) Well, there’s more to it than just doing what you want to be good at, and the podcast spent a great deal

Object Lessons: Learning from Literary Short Fiction

I’ve recently picked up Object Lessons: The Paris Review Presents the Art of the Short Story and the first few stories got me thinking. This isn’t just any anthology. It’s geared toward writing instruction, marketed to aspiring writers looking to get a master class from some successful names in the literary genre. It has this high purpose, but it’s certainly not without its prejudices. Take a look at its description from the book’s Amazon listing: What does it take to

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