Using Twitter Effectively: Part 4 of 10 – Auto Tweeting (The Good)

Nat Russo How-To, Twitter, Writing 5 Comments

Now that you’ve taken the steps to grow a meaningful following on Twitter, you’ve undoubtedly discovered that Twitter has given you the means to establish friendships with people all around the globe. It’s true that the Information Age and modern technology have made the world a small place. There’s only one problem:

You have to sleep some of the time.

As you develop a platform that reaches all four corners of the planet, how do you contribute to your following in Australia, for example, if you live in the central United States?

Read on and I’ll offer you some techniques that will help you keep in touch when your followers need you to be in touch.
Read More

Using Twitter Effectively: Part 3 of 10 – Building a Meaningful Following

Nat Russo How-To, Twitter, Writing 11 Comments

[UPDATED 9/12/2018]

Welcome back to my ten-part series on Using Twitter Effectively. In yesterday’s post I began to touch on the subject of building a meaningful following. In today’s post, part 3 of 10, I’m going to offer more ways to build and manage that following.

It’s not enough to simply have a lot of followers. Those followers need to be engaging, supportive, and contributors in their own right.


Read More

Using Twitter Effectively: Part 2 of 10 – Building a Meaningful Following

Nat Russo How-To, Twitter, Writing 9 Comments

Twitter is one of the many marketing tools writer’s need to get comfortable with if they wish to build that coveted Writer’s Platform, and in yesterday’s post I covered the basics of getting started.

Now that you’ve filled out your bio and uploaded a good profile picture, where do you go next? Twitter isn’t going to help you much if you don’t have followers, so today I’m going to shed some light on how to build a meaningful Twitter following. Remember, Twitter isn’t just about the numbers, even though it may sometime seem that way. Let’s get started!

Read More

Using Twitter Effectively: Part 1 of 10 – The Basics

Nat Russo How-To, Twitter, Writing 25 Comments

[UPDATED 09/12/2018]

Twitter is, arguably, the most far-reaching social platform in the world. But the overwhelming majority of users don’t know how to use it effectively. Worse, they abuse it and risk getting shackled with a poor reputation that can be difficult to change. 

With the right tools and techniques, Twitter can help you build a stable writer’s platform that allows you to reach tens of thousands of people with a single click. Awesome power. But, as the saying goes, “with great power comes great responsibility.”

Even if you’re not a writer, I believe you’ll find most of these techniques invaluable.

In this 10-part series, spread out over the next ten days, I’ll cover the following Twitter basics:


Read More

“Yes, but” or “No, and” – End Writer’s Block

Nat Russo Basics, How-To, Plot and Structure, Scene Structure, Story Ideas, Writing 14 Comments

Writer’s Block. Two of the most dreaded words in a writer’s vocabulary…at least when put together in that order. 

You stare at the blank page, and it stares back. It’s taunting you. It’s telling you you’re no good. You’re just about to slam the lid on your laptop shut when you remember something crucial:

“Writing is a learned craft, not a mystical gift from the universe.” (I think I’ve heard that somewhere before…)

A craft? A learned craft? Yes. And don’t you forget it! Now click the link and read on. Let’s get rid of that pesky writer’s block using tried and true elements of the craft!
Read More

World Building Primer

Nat Russo Basics, How-To, World Creation 28 Comments

World Building is something that all writers of speculative fiction need to do at some point in the story development process. I’d go so far as to say World Building is one of the primary things that drew many of us to this craft in the first place. 

In today’s post we’ll cover the following:

  • The Map
  • Borders
  • Religions
  • Cultures
  • Cities

Read More

I Won a Liebster Award!

Nat Russo Awards 2 Comments


Well how about that! Just when I thought no one was watching what I was doing out here on the interwebs, a couple of lovely folks nominate me for a Liebster award!

Priest. Philosopher. Policeman. Programmer. Pencil Pusher.

Follow the jump link for details on why I only choose professions that begin with the letter “P”!

Read More

How Do You Come Up With Story Ideas?

Nat Russo Basics, How-To, Idea Net, Story Ideas, Writing 27 Comments

Perhaps another way to phrase this question is “where do story ideas come from?” The answer is simple: story ideas are all around us.  Everything we see, touch, smell, hear, and taste has the potential to be a story seed that blossoms into a full-fledged story if nurtured properly.

For some of us, this nurturing process is intangible, defying attempts to be described or squeezed into a bullet list. But for most, full story ideas aren’t something that spring up like eureka moments. Instead, the full story only emerges after idea “seeds” are watered and nurtured.

I’m one of the latter. Rather than waiting for the mysterious process by which a story miraculously springs into existence in the rusty innards of my mind, I take small ideas or observations and massage them into stories, similar to how Orson Scott Card uses his “Idea Net”. Let’s take a look at how this works.


Read More

Revision Checklist – Part 2 of 2

Nat Russo Checklists, Dialogue Attributions, Editing, Filter Words, How-To, Misused Phrases, Misused Words, Passive Voice, Present Continuous, Revision 10 Comments

[Updated 5/09/2014]

Welcome to part two of my two-part series on Revision.

If you haven’t read part one yet, I recommend it, and not in an entirely self-serving way. In this post I’m going to dig into the second half of my Common Revision Checklist, and I’m going to assume you’re already familiar with the first half.

Today we’re going to take a look at the following topics:

  • Commonly misused words/expressions
  • Filter words
  • “Something of Something” constructions
  • Superfluous Movement Verbs
  • Passive voice
  • Dialog attributions
  • Superfluous “That” usage
  • Confusing “ing” constructions

Read More