World Building: Magic Systems

Nat Russo Basics, How-To, Magic, World Creation, Writing 39 Comments

As a Fantasy author, the subject of World Building is near and dear to my heart. If you’re going to build a convincing fantasy world, you may be thinking about developing a magic system. In Necromancer Awakening (now available on Amazon), I went through a painstaking process to build a unique magic system involving “Life” and “Death”. While I was constructing a magic system based on necromancy, it occurred to me (in hindsight) that there are three things a writer should know before attempting this at home:

Structured Descriptions

Nat Russo Description, How-To, Process, Writing 25 Comments

The journey from world building to prose is a long and twisted one. We know what a specific plaza in a specific city looks like. We have all of the elements: weather, sound, objects, people, etc. But unless we put them together in some kind of rational order and present them in a logical sequence, all we have are pieces of a jigsaw puzzle scattered on a table. We need to employ structured descriptions to allow the puzzle pieces to fall into place.    

That vs. Which

Nat Russo Grammar, How-To, Misused Words, Writing 29 Comments

[DISCLAIMER: My grammar advice is trustworthy for American English. Not so much if you’re in the UK. Please keep that in mind.] Edited February 5, 2015 – Added reference to source of British usage rule. The words “That” and “Which” are two of the most confusing words writers come face-to-face with every day. Some of you are familiar with a grammar tip I share on Twitter: That/Which: ‘That’ should introduce a restrictive clause (necessary for meaning). ‘Which’ is for non-restrictive (parentheticals)” When limited to 150 characters, the whole “that vs. which” thing can seem somewhat cryptic. What the heck is a restrictive clause? What do I mean by “Parentheticals”? I think a couple of quick examples will make it easier …

The Importance of Flash Fiction

Nat Russo Flash, Writing 32 Comments

When I hung my shingle out as a “Writer” on Twitter the most amazing thing happened: People began inviting me to share my work. They invited me to participate in all sorts of promotions and contests.  One type of contest stood out among the rest: the Flash Fiction contest. Participating in these contests taught me a great deal about myself, and a great deal about writing.    

My Facebook Page is up!

Nat Russo Facebook, How-To, Process, Publishing, Reference Books, Writing 2 Comments

It’s been said “if you build it, they will come.” Well, I decided to put that to the test!  If you’ve enjoyed the blog and would appreciate smaller-sized content that I don’t post here or on Twitter, I invite you to join me on my new Facebook author page: Nat Russo – Author. Please head on over and click the “Like” button for me. It will likely inspire me to continue producing quality content. But if nothing else it will give me a much-needed ego boost! 🙂 For some added incentive, I submit this picture of a skull on black…for no other reason than I like it…oh, and I write about people who play with dead things. What’s a little necromancy …

The Importance of Stepping Away

Nat Russo Disney, Health, Process, Writing 10 Comments

[Update 03/05/2016: This was one of the articles I migrated from the old blog site. Some of the formatting zigged when it should have zagged. I’ve fixed it. Also, I did some additional editing. Why? Because I write gooder now. 🙂 ] I’ve been absent for several weeks, but let me assure you…it was by design. Those of you who follow me on Twitter know that I post a Tweet every couple of weeks that reads as follows: Sometimes you just need to step away for a while. As I prepare for at least two more weeks of hiatus, I’d like to delve a little deeper into that Tweet.