The Core: What Drives a Novel?

I’m currently smack dab in the middle of my current WIP, and it usually takes this long to figure out exactly what the theme of the book might be.  I know.  I should have a theme when I begin, but as I have found out, the purpose behind every novel shifts and changes as itContinue reading “The Core: What Drives a Novel?”

Sending One Book Along, Focusing On the Next One

This week was exciting! I offered my book This Broken Earth as a completely free Kindle edition and watched as copy after copy was downloaded.  The final total was 689. So what now? I have raised the price of This Broken Earth to $2.99 which is still dirt cheap.  The point is, that if you are one ofContinue reading “Sending One Book Along, Focusing On the Next One”

Building a Platform: Short Story Submissions

This past weekend I attended Soonercon, a local science fiction/fantasy convention, and while browsing around the con dressed to the hilt as John McClane from Die Hard I happened upon a fellow novelist who was happily selling his hard work right next to my good friend artist Jerry Bennett.  I spent a little time talking toContinue reading “Building a Platform: Short Story Submissions”

Emotive Dialogue

Yesterday I recorded our latest podcast for Fanboys on Fiction, and during the conversation, Ryan McKinley brought up the devilish problem of using “he said/she said” in dialogue passages.  This made me think of a good way that we could remove these redundant story killers from our dialogue and in the process make that dialogue moreContinue reading “Emotive Dialogue”

Real Locations in Fictional Stories

My current WIP is set in Noble, Oklahoma, and since I am very familiar with this small town I am able to easily write about the sights and sounds of the town without much trouble or much research.  Research for me basically falls to interviewing local police about procedures in various situations that might ariseContinue reading “Real Locations in Fictional Stories”

10 Questions to Spark a Plot

In the past week I have been teaching my English students how to write short stories.  They began with a set of questions that caused them to think or brainstorm about what they might write about.  Many of them chose to write about zombie stories, effectively writing rough drafts that ended up reading more likeContinue reading “10 Questions to Spark a Plot”

Plot Devices: Constructing a Novel

This week I have been plotting out my new novel tentatively titled The Painful Best.  In the process of creating characters, tying the plot threads together and creating some terrible red herrings for my readers to follow, I have been going through some new and interesting things to do to my new novel to make itContinue reading “Plot Devices: Constructing a Novel”

A Word About Flashbacks

The flashback can be one of the most wonderful and magical ways to give background for a character.  It can also become a horribly overused device that can cripple a text.  It works for comic effect on Family Guy because its overuse becomes the butt of the joke, but when writing fiction it can be somethingContinue reading “A Word About Flashbacks”

NaNoWriMo Followup Thought: Book Blurb

  You have spent an entire month writing a novel, and now that you have finished it and are working on the editing phase, it is probably a good time to write a book blurb. A book blurb is that paragraph of text on the back cover of books that tell the prospective reader whatContinue reading “NaNoWriMo Followup Thought: Book Blurb”

NaNoWriMo Tip #28: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

So maybe you’ve finished the NaNoWriMo or maybe you are slaving away at the final pages (and if you are, you need to stop reading this RIGHT NOW and get back to work), but I’m sure that as you peruse the text of your masterpiece you will find some scenes, character dialogue or something elseContinue reading “NaNoWriMo Tip #28: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly”