Tag Archives: kill zone

About This Writing Stuff…

This week, PJ Parrish weighs in on the proper use of metaphors while editor Beth Hill delves into the differences between showing and telling. At Writer Unboxed, Kathryn Craft discusses enhancing dialogue through misdirection and modulation, David Corbett provides two methods of motivating your protagonist, and Lynne Griffin advises us to knot up our stories with conflict and tension.

Jonathan Vars offers tips on creating time-bomb plots and effective use of settings, and Kate Coe reviews the etiquette of editing another writer’s work.

All that and little more… Enjoy!

Do You Dare to Eat a Peach? Finding the Perfect Metaphor by PJ Parrish

Bring Your Dialogue to Life by Kathryn Craft

Motivating the Reluctant Protagonist by David Corbett

Dying to Know, Afraid to Find Out: Building Tension in Fiction by Lynne Griffin

Building an Author Website: The First Step to Publishing by Joe Bunting

12 Tips to Get Unstuck and Finish Writing Your Book by Lorna Faith

Showing and Telling Particulars by Beth Hill

3 Tips to Creating a Time Bomb Plot Device and How to Create a Setting from Nothing in 5 Steps by Jonathan Vars

Editing Someone Else’s Work by Kate Coe


About This Writing Stuff…

This week, Goodreads announces a change to its US giveaway program and it comes with alarming costs. The Authors Guild provides information on the new GOP tax bill and Douglas Preston laments the fact that writers can no longer make a living from their craft.

From The Guardian, a recent study comparing literary fiction against science fiction returned rather “stupefying” results. John Gilstrap discusses the importance of book cover design while K.M. Weiland and Becca Puglisi each offer different tactics for character development.  From Writers Helping Writers, Sacha Black gives us the nitty gritty on sentence structure.

All that and a little more. Enjoy!

Goodreads Announces New US Giveaway Program by Greg Seguin

What Authors Need to Know About the New Tax Bills by The Authors Guild

Why Is It So Goddamned Hard to Make a Living as a Writer Today? by Douglas Preston

(Too) Close Third Person by Jeanne Kisacky

Science Fiction Triggers ‘Poorer Reading’, Study Finds by Alison Flood

Judging a Book By Its Cover by John Gilstrap

4 Ways to Amplify Your Characters’ Subtext by K.M. Weiland

Writing Characters that Mirror Real Life by Becca Puglisi via Kristen Lamb

Action Beats: More than Dialogue Tag Surrogates by Kathy Steinmann

Getting Jiggy with the Nitty Gritty, or, Improving Your Sentences by Sacha Black

About This Writing Stuff…

This week, David Gaughran and Anne R. Allen analyze Amazon’s heavy-handed measures of fraud detection that are forcing the innocent to suffer for the guilty. P.J. Parrish illustrates the revision process using one of her own manuscripts while Ruth Harris and Andrew Falconer offer tips on writing historical fiction.

We strike gold with… who else, but… Jami Gold! Jami is busy with NaNoWriMo, so she has invited guest bloggers to discuss such topics as Imposter Syndrome (Kassandra Lamb), Deep POV (Lisa Hall-Wilson), and Productivity (J. Rose).

From the latter, this statement leapt out at me: “We’re trained to work ourselves to the bone, and that we should best each other about “who’s the most busy” or “who has the least amount of time.” I challenge you to step away from this game! Do you really want to be #1 at being stressed and being busy all the time so you don’t have time to enjoy your life?”

All that and a little more. Enjoy!

Amazon’s Hall of Spinning Knives by David Gaughran

Don’t Let Impostor Syndrome Ruin Your Writing by Kassandra Lamb via Jami Gold

Deep POV and Hidden Messages in Subtext by Lisa Hall-Wilson via Jami Gold

Creating the Right Mindset to Be Productive by J. Rose via Jami Gold

Cutting Open the Sausage: A Hard Look at Rewriting by PJ Parrish

Plunge Into Story Action—and Genre by Kathryn Craft

A Character’s POV = A Character’s Truth by Sarah Callender

Five Essentials of Historical Fantasy by Andrew Falconer

How to Use Authentic Historical Detail to Trigger Emotions and Memories in Your Readers by Ruth Harris

The Most Important Rule of Backstory by Andrea Lundgren

Amazon’s Latest Crackdowns: Do They Include Amazon Review Trolls? by Anne R. Allen



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.