Tag Archives: kill zone

About This Writing Stuff…

My attempt to restore this weekly feature on my blog was thwarted a few months into the year by a series of challenging, distressing, exhilarating, and generally overwhelming events—from editing a new speculative fiction anthology to the death of my mother-in-law, from a six-week home renovation to a partial roof collapse at my place of employment that caused 100-hour work weeks, from caring for a sick bunny (he’s better now, thankfully) to building a new website for one of the small-press publishers I work with.

My bunny, Peanut!
My bunny, Peanut!

Despite such “interesting times,” I managed to write four new chapters in my SF novel-in-progress and hammered out a 7K-word short story just this week. Honestly, that’s paltry progress compared to my usual output, but I’m grateful for anything given the mayhem of 2017—and we still have four months to go!

On a high note, my paranormal mystery novella, Like Mother, Like Daughters, was accepted by Firebringer Press and should be released next year as an eBook, audio book (recorded by yours truly), and in paperback paired up with a vampire novella written by Steven H. Wilson, fellow scribe and owner of Firebringer.

So much about this excites me beyond the obvious thrill of a new release. We plan to produce the paperback in the fashion of the old ACE doubles where you read one novella, then flip the book over read the other. Readers of a certain age (ahem) and older grew up enjoying those and I relish the prospect of producing a book in that format today.

Ace Double Novels

Additionally, the speculative fiction anthology I’m editing is actually volume three in the Middle of Eternity series, also published by Firebringer. This third book, Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity, is also slated for a 2018 release.

Back on topic, About This Writing Stuff… might end up appearing on a monthly basis rather than weekly as I try to balance my life and catch up on my writing, editing, and publishing schedules, not to mention maintain my health and sanity. Until then, I hope you find the articles below useful.

From Digital Book World, Beth Bacon teaches us about Creative Briefs, while Gordon Warnock urges not to disregard libraries when marketing our books.  Over in the Kill Zone, James Scott Bell talks tough and Jordan Dane wants us to keep it real.

Kristen Lamb and Janice Hardy sub for Jami Gold on her blog with a deep dive into antagonists and conflict.  As an aside, Jami is battling a health issue that she openly discusses on her blog and I want to take a moment to wish her the best.

All that and a little more… enjoy!

How to Write a Creative Brief So Your Graphic Designer Creates an Amazing Book Cover by Beth Bacon

Libraries Gone Digital: 4 Ways Libraries Expand Your Reach as an Author by Gordon Warnock

Conflict: Why It Isn’t Just About Fighting by Janice Hardy via Jami Gold

3 Ways to Add Depth to a Novel by Jody Hedlund

How to Talk Tough by James Scott Bell

How a Professional Editor Can Improve Your Writing by Jim Dempsey via Writer Unboxed

Dialogue: Ten Ways to Make it Real by Jordan Dane

Antagonist Series by Kristen Lamb via Jami Gold

What is an Antagonist?

“He’s His Own Worst Enemy”

What’s Driving Our Story?

Inner and Outer Demons

The End-All-Be-All of Our Story


About This Writing Stuff…

This week, Kristen Lamb delves into the torture of writing a synopsis while Dana Kaye wants authors to stop poor social media practices. Four is our lucky number this week as Donald Maass preaches pacing, Janice Hardy describes descriptions, and Written Word Media covers covers!

Speaking of Written Word Media, they also provide a detailed discourse on what it means to be a hybrid author as well as tips for an effective author website.

Are you a fantasy writer? As of October 12, Tor.com will be open for submissions.

All that and a little more. Enjoy!

The Dreaded Synopsis–What It REALLY Reveals About Our Writing by Kristen Lamb

The Hybrid Author: Everything You Need to Know by Chloe at Written Word Media via Digital Book World

10 Things Authors Need to Stop Doing on Social Media Immediately by Dana Kaye

4 Tips for Preventing Flat Descriptions by Janice Hardy via Jami Gold

Four Kinds of Pace by Donald Maass

4 Ways to Hack Your Book Cover Design (with Science) by Taylor at Written Word Media

7 Must-Have Features for All Author Websites by Ferol at Written Word Media

Seth Godin’s Three Charges Against Publishers by Alison Jones

The Unreliable Narrator and Story Suspense by Now Novel

Google Experiments and Fails with Book Discovery by Joe Wikert

Tor.com Opening to Fantasy Novellas on October 12 by Carl Engle-Laird



About This Writing Stuff…

This week, Kristen Lamb wants all artists–especially burgeoning writers–to be PAID for their work instead of being promised “exposure” by those who would take advantage.

A.S. Winchester would like to remind us that writing is hard work while Jan Yager and James Scott Bell offer advice on how get the job done. Conversely, Jordan Dane explores roadblocks to progress. Are you ever “too old” to start writing? Keith Cronin doesn’t think so!

Questions about branding? Joe Moore has some answers.  Want to run a Goodreads giveaway? Let Cynthia help. Robyn LaRue begins a series on depicting accurate crime scenes and Jo Eberhardt believes in supporting characters.

All that, and a little more. Enjoy!

A Culture Addicted to FREE–How FREE is Poisoning the Internet and Killing the Creatives by Kristen Lamb

Writers Are Not Lazy! by A.S. Winchester

How to Overcome Your Procrastination and Finish Writing Your Book – Part One by Jan Yager

My Top 12 Most Common Obstacles a Writer Faces by Jordan Dane

What’s Your Brand? by Joe Moore

The Ten Events of the Highly Successful Writer by James Scott Bell

Crime Scenes for Writers: Introduction by Robyn LaRue

Filling the Silence by Donald Maass

Too Late to Start Writing? by Keith Cronin

Culture Shock: A Window to World-Building by Gaëtane Burkolter

Writing Supporting Characters that Matter by Jo Eberhardt

Five Tips for Running a Giveaway on Goodreads by Cynthia

Please note that this weekly collection might be placed on hiatus yet again compliments of an overwhelming workload both at my day job and, happily, in my writing life. If this occurs, it will only last perhaps a month.

I am working with my publisher, Firebringer Press, to release volume two of our Middle of Eternity anthology series by July. The first volume, Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity was released in 2014.

Further, my paranormal mystery novella, Like Mother, Like Daughters will be released in both ebook and audio formats later this year. The audio will be recorded by yours truly so I expect that shall cause another blogging hiatus down the line.

However, I promise it shall not be a yearlong absence as in 2015. I do enjoy culling these articles from the interwebs and presenting them to you in the hope that you find them as educational and enlightening as I.


About This Writing Stuff…

This week, my publisher and writer pal, Steven H. Wilson, is interviewed by fellow podcaster James DeRuvo about copyright violations and the CBS lawsuit against Star Trek: Axanar.

Over at Mythcreants, Chris Winkle provides his POV on viewpoint characters. Writer Beware’s Victoria Strauss examines the Author Guild’s recent efforts to improve publishing contracts for authors, and on Writer Unboxed, Steven James encourages us to abandon strict adherence to outlines and write organically. In the Kill Zone, Larry Brooks dismisses the plotting vs. pantsing debate in favor of using the process that works best for you.

On the technical side, we get some tips on Ebook formatting and importing files into Scrivener while Chris Musgrave reviews popular writing software.

Finally, in light of the upcoming Suicide Squad film from DC Comics, Bob Greenberger discusses the recent reprinting of the 1980s comic book series, which he edited, and his contribution to a character’s backstory.

All that, and a little more. Enjoy!

doddleTALKS TECH: Steven H. Wilson and the Axanar Copyright Debate  via James DeRuvo at doddleNews

What’s Out There For Me? Part One by Chris Musgrave

Importing Files Into Your Scrivener Project by Gwen Hernandez

How to Pick the Best Ebook Format by Daniel Berkowitz

Dirty Little Secrets About the Story Development Process by Larry Brooks

How to Abandon Your Outline to Improve Your Story by Steven James

The Fair Contract Initiative by Victoria Strauss

Choosing Viewpoint Characters by Chris Winkle

I Appear to Have Been Reprinted by Bob Greenberger

Amazon Considers Opening Hundreds of Bookstores by Leena Rao

Three Brilliant Publishers Doing Things Differently by Matt Goolding



About This Writing Stuff…

In addition to posting current events in the writing and publishing community, I’m still catching up with highlights from last year, during this feature’s hiatus.

One item in particular caught my attention: the decision of the World Fantasy committee to discontinue using the bust of HP Lovecraft as their award statue.  This was reported in November 2015, but I had not heard about it until this week and decided to share it here, objectively. I have no opinion on this matter one way or another.

From the Kill Zone, P.J. Parrish advises us to write every day while Joe Moore offers editing tips for independent writers. Think your characters are clever? Oren Ashkenazi has some questions for them. From Writer Unboxed, Kim Bullock provides a handy checklist on how to kill your darlings, and Dan Blank discusses distractions. Miranda Beverly-Whittemore reveals a bit of hindsight from her arduous journey to success.  All that, and a little more. Enjoy!

World Fantasy Award Drops HP Lovecraft as Prize Image and HP Lovecraft Biographer Rages Against Ditching of Author as Fantasy Prize Emblem by Alison Flood

Freedom of Expression? by Barry Eisler via Joe Konrath

I Was Wrong…You DO Need to Write Every Day by P.J. Parrish

Editing Tips for the Indie Author by Joe Moore

Desperately Seeking Darlings by Kim Bullock

Four Questions to Ask when a Character is Clever by Oren Ashkenazi

Don’t Worry, It Only Gets Harder by Dan Blank

Five Things I Wish I’d Known Five Months Before I Published My First Novel by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

10 Women Who Changed Sci-Fi by BBC America


I’d also like to shout out to writer pal, Steven H. Wilson, who just released his SF/F novel, Peace Lord of the Red Planet, on Audible, and to Crazy 8 Press as they launch their Kickstarter to fund the publication of the second volume of their SF anthology series, Pangaea. Check them out and thank you for supporting small press writers!


Pangaea II Book Cover Peace Lord of the Red Planet book cover


About This Writing Stuff…

This week, the Kill Zone’s Kathryn Lilley warns us about zombies while Ron Vitale offers advice to forge lasting connections with readers. Anne R. Allen lists the telltale signs of a newbie novelist while Kristen Lamb challenges us to rise above the stigma of self-publishing.

Lately, there has been great concern and debate about the lack of equitable pay for writers. As Alison Flood reports, the problem is manifest in the UK as well.

All that and a little more. Enjoy!

Sorry, Grammar Nerds. The Singular ‘They’ Has Been Declared Word of the Year by Jeff Guo

10 Industry Predictions for 2016 by Tom Chalmers

Writing Note #1: Avoid Creating “Zombie” Characters by Kathryn Lilley

Building a Relationship with Readers by Ron Vitale via Veronica Sicoe

10 Things that Red-Flag a Newbie Novelist by Anne R. Allen

Episodic Storytelling is a Problem by Mooderino

Selling Books in the Digital Age-We ALL Have an Image Problem & Here’s What To Do by Kristen Lamb

Philip Pullman Resigns as Oxford Literary Patron over Lack of Pay for Authors and Professional Writers Set to Become an Endangered Species by Alison Flood

Author Newsletters: 6 Tips for Smart Strategies by Jami Gold