Common Writing Myths

Nat Russo Art, Basics, Opinion, Writing 19 Comments

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…

Nat RussoCommon Writing Myths

Necromancer Falling: Chapter 1

Nat Russo Necromancer, Writing Leave a Comment

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.

Nat RussoNecromancer Falling: Chapter 1

3 Pillars of Character Development – A.J. Flowers WordPress Connection

Nat Russo Basics, Characterization, Writing Leave a Comment

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

Nat Russo3 Pillars of Character Development – A.J. Flowers WordPress Connection

Rules and Guidelines

Nat Russo Basics, Writing 1 Comment

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 …

Nat RussoRules and Guidelines

Defending Your Style Vs. Being Stubborn

Nat Russo Basics, Opinion, Writing 12 Comments

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 …

Nat RussoDefending Your Style Vs. Being Stubborn

The Problem with Adverbs

Nat Russo Adverbs, Basics, How-To, Qualifiers, Writing 20 Comments

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.

Nat RussoThe Problem with Adverbs

Serve the Story

Nat Russo Basics, How-To, Writing 20 Comments

Many of you who follow me on Twitter have seen this tweet that I send out periodically: It’s all about the story. When deciding what to cut, ask yourself: does it serve the story? #writetip Those of us who have been writing for a while have this ingrained in our DNA. Make no mistake about it, though. We didn’t start our writing career that way. Like any other element of the craft, this is something we had to learn over time. Writing is like a muscle. The more you write, the stronger you get. “Also, the Harry Potter novels are just fun, pure story from beginning to end.” – Stephen King on the Harry Potter series. Even Uncle Steve seems to be …

Nat RussoServe the Story

5 Writing Tips From Robert Pruneda

Nat Russo Guest Posts, Writing 12 Comments

It’s with great pleasure that I hand over the reigns to my friend and fellow author Robert “Sharky” Pruneda for today’s post. Robert is the author of Amazon bestselling horror Devil’s Nightmare, is a gamer like myself, and is an all-around scholar and gentleman! Oh, and if that weren’t enough selling points, he’s a fellow Texan! In today’s post, Robert shares 5 writing tips I wish I would have known when I was starting out.      

Nat Russo5 Writing Tips From Robert Pruneda

Honesty In Writing

Nat Russo How-To, Voice, Writing 35 Comments

There are many bits of common writerly wisdom that I tweet on a regular basis using the #writetip hashtag. Some of these nuggets are mine and others are parroting the masters. Most are widely held to be axiomatic, but some are confusing or enigmatic. Such is the limitation of 140 characters. One of the more confusing writetips deals with honesty in writing. Above all else, be honest in your writing. Readers sense fakes a mile away. #writetip Whenever this one comes up in the rotation, I get a flood of questions. I get some heated, sarcastic answers as well, but that’s to be expected from time to time. In general, there’s an overwhelming confusion among aspiring authors about just what it means to …

Nat RussoHonesty In Writing

Eddie Izzard on Talent

Nat Russo Basics, Writing 19 Comments

Many of you are aware that I had the opportunity to see Eddie Izzard in concert last week as part of his “Force Majeure” tour. What I didn’t mention on social media that night, however, is that I had the great privilege of attending a Q&A session with him after the show.   Most of the questions that evening were the usual, non-professional interview type questions: What’s the one thing you’d tell your younger self if you could go back to the past? What inspired you to become a comedian? What shade of lipstick do you wear? You know…the usual. But the last question of the evening made me devote my full attention to the answer.

Nat RussoEddie Izzard on Talent