I saw a question about writing without being offensive in a Facebook writer’s group today and thought I’d share some of my thoughts here. I was a lot gentler in the group. The (paraphrased) question was: “How do you write a character who stands against Christianity without being offensive to readers?” For the purposes of this discussion, replace the word “Christianity” with any topic you think might be a land mine.
How To Beat Writer’s Block in 30 Minutes
Have you ever reached a point where the thought of opening Scrivener (or your document editor of choice) filled you with not only dread, but disgust? Have you ever stared at your laptop and silently uttered the words, “I just can’t even…”? It may not have had anything to do with lack of inspiration! It’s just that you couldn’t bring yourself to take another slog through your work-in-progress. If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms, I’m going to show you how to beat writer’s block in 30 minutes.
Research Is Writing. Stop Berating Yourself.
The most important thing you’ll do for your story is to get the details right. Spending time on research is every bit as important as writing the prose. Why? Because research is writing. If you’re an independent author who creates your own deadlines, you may want to rethink some things…
The Mukhtaar Estate is Now Open
I’ve been receiving a lot of questions lately about writing, The Mukhtaar Chronicles, music, dogs, books…you name it. And they’ve been coming at me from about 10 different directions all at once. Well, I’ve finally decided to embrace the fact that I live on Facebook most of the time. Yes, I still respond on Twitter, and I always participate in discussions that take place in the comments section here at the blog. But I’m on Facebook ALL – OF – THE – TIME. It’s a sickness. You should feel sorry for me, really, now that I think about it. Anyway, I’m proud to announce the grand opening of The Mukhtaar Estate, a Facebook discussion group geared towards…well, it’s geared towards …
Common Writing Myths
There are very few objective truths about writing. I think there are some (you’ll typically suck at first, a strong noun/verb is better than a weak noun/verb with a qualifier, remove needless words, etc). But most of these “objective truths” are little more than common writing myths. There are a host of suppositions masquerading as axioms: – Show don’t tell – Writers must write every day – Writers can’t not write – Never use an adverb – Writing can’t be taught And so many more…
Necromancer Falling: Chapter 1
Necromancer Falling, the sequel to the 2014 #1 fantasy bestseller Necromancer Awakening, is almost upon us! Just as I did with Necromancer Awakening, I’ve decided to post chapter 1 of Necromancer Falling here on the blog to whet your appetite. If you like what you see (I sure hope you do!), you don’t have much longer to wait. Necromancer Falling, in its entirety, will be in your hands by the end of this month! [Update: 5/30/2016 – Necromancer Falling is now available on Amazon!] ***SPOILER ALERT*** If you haven’t read Necromancer Awakening yet, you’ll regret reading this chapter if you hate spoilers.
3 Pillars of Character Development – A.J. Flowers WordPress Connection
While work continues on Necromancer Falling (still on track for a spring release! Yay!!), I periodically stumble upon articles I think will be of interest to our community. This article, “3 Pillars of Character Development” is one such article. And it ends by recommending a book you’ve seen me talk about here! I’m particularly fond of “Pillar 3″… (my version of “and what happened next will both shock and delight you!” 🙂 ) 3 Pillars of Character Development – Achieving Complex and Real Characters While any novel will likely struggle with enough Character Complexity, I find that novels with high-worldbuilding el… Source: 3 Pillars of Character Development – A.J. Flowers WordPress Connection
Rules and Guidelines
Here on A Writer’s Journey, we often talk about about the rules and guidelines of writing. Whenever the subject comes up, it’s met with a lot of skepticism and a healthy dose of “but I’m an artist!” No, people don’t often say “but I’m an artist!” But what they do say is rarely more than a variation on the theme: “There ARE no rules in writing.” “But <their favorite author> breaks that so-called rule all of the time!” “Hey! You owe me 20 bucks!” I can’t be the only writer who gets that last one. Am I right? Am I right? 🙂 Today over at the Kill Zone blog, bestselling author and writing coach James Scott Bell addresses the notion of …
Defending Your Style Vs. Being Stubborn
Note: The following article is based on a recent conversation I had with a writer I mentor regarding style. While it’s been heavily edited to read like an article, this is the gist of what I said. There’s an important step on the way to developing your own style and voice as a writer: learn how to write good prose. It may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people think they can sidestep this requirement altogether. Sure, it’s difficult. Anything worth doing is difficult. Anything worth doing will make you stretch, both as a student of the craft and as a person in general. The good news is that much of this process is well-documented by masters of …
The Problem with Adverbs
If you’ve been studying the craft of writing for any length of time, you’ve undoubtedly come across countless writers who think adverbs are evil. As you can see from the previous sentence, I don’t think they’re evil. But I do think you need to exercise caution when using them in your fiction. We should start by defining what they are. Then I’ll talk about the problem with adverbs in general and offer a demonstration of why they can be problematic.