The Man Who Lived

Nat Russo Health, Weight Loss 12 Comments

How many hours do we sit in front of a keyboard, going over our prose in painstaking detail, tweaking the minutiae of plot, characterization, and setting?

How many hours do we spend doing something about our health and wellness?

I bet the answer to the first question is a larger number. I know it was for me, but that’s no longer the case. 

I’d like to tell you a story about a person who was dying. That person is me.
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The Cascade of Talandri

Nat Russo Fantasy, Flash, Writing Leave a Comment

I’ve been getting a lot of requests lately from people who would like to see samples of my writing. Like most writers, I feel a certain amount of fear when it comes to sharing the material I write. Having never published officially, I guess I’m lacking that psychological “stamp of approval” we all need at the beginning of our careers.

I’ve decided to share a piece of flash fiction I wrote for this years annual Lascaux Flash contest. I didn’t win…for that matter I didn’t even place…but, for better or worse, this is a sample of my work. I tend to write about dark subjects, and this is no departure from that habit.
The contest is simple: Look at a piece of art (supplied by Lascaux) and use it as a writing prompt. This is the picture they gave us:
As I stared at this beautiful picture, an image of a waterfall…a cascade…entered my mind. What follows is the resulting story, titled The Cascade of Talandri.
If you like it, or have any questions/comments, please leave me a comment in the comments section. I’d love to hear your opinions/critiques! It’s difficult to tell a story in 250 words or less, and I had to make some word-choice sacrifices, but that’s the truth with any piece of flash.

I hope you enjoy. 

[Edit: I should point out, since I didn’t make this clear earlier, this was my first official attempt at Flash. My typical medium is novel-length fiction, with some excursions into short stories when I’m taking a character for a test drive.]

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Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Nat Russo Awards 7 Comments

My fellow bloggers and writers +Katherine Vucicevic and +Jasveena Prabhagaran have been kind enough to nominate me for a Very Inspiring Blogger award! I am both humbled and honored.

There are five rules I have to follow to accept this award. They are as follows:
  1. Display the award logo on my blog.
  2. State SEVEN facts about myself.
  3. Link back to the folks who nominated me.
  4. Nominate FIFTEEN other bloggers who deserve this award.
  5. Notify each of the nominees.
Read on for my acceptance post!

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Should Writers Follow the Rules?

Nat Russo Basics, Publishing, Writing 31 Comments

There’s a commonly held belief among new writers that the rules are made to be broken. I agree to an extent, but if you’re an unpublished writer you break the rules at your own risk. Those of you who follow me on Twitter (@NatRusso)  know how I love my “writetip” autotweets. Here’s another one of my favorites:

Don’t break a rule until you understand it. Learn the rules of grammar…then break them like a pro. But start with learning.

Continue past the jump to discover how this applies to not only grammar.


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Can Anyone be a Writer?

Nat Russo Basics, Process, Writing 58 Comments

[Updated March 19, 2015]

Those of you who follow me on Twitter know that I have a schedule of writing “tips” that I tweet semi-regularly. They often spark thoughtful conversations on the craft, which is one of the reasons I started them to begin with. But there is one tweet in particular that I receive no end of grief for publishing:

Writing is a learned craft, not a mystical gift from the universe. You can learn. Practice. Read. Write. Read some more. Write! #writetip

That sounds innocent enough, doesn’t it? Read on to feel my pain…

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Anatomy Of A Love Scene: A Guest Post By Laura Oliva

Nat Russo Guest Posts, How-To, Writing 2 Comments

“Why should I be ashamed to describe what nature was not ashamed to create?” -Pietro Aretino

Have you ever read a love scene that just didn’t work?
What did you notice most about it?  Did it read like an electrician’s manual?  Did the characters suddenly morph into completely different people?  Was the prose stilted, or conversely, so flowery and over-the-top it made you snort?  Do you live in mortal fear of making these mistakes in your own writing?
Love scenes are scary to write.  There’s so much that can go wrong, a lot of people choose to bypass them altogether.  Well, I’m here to tell you: you can write a love scene.  Hell, with a little work, you can even write a good one.

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Using Twitter Effectively: Part 9 of 10 – Being Antisocial

Nat Russo How-To, Twitter, Writing 2 Comments

If you’ve been following this series, then over the last 3 days you’ve discovered the evils of Auto-DMs, the tediousness of people who tweet their shopping lists, and the dark side of Auto-Tweets.

Today I’d like to take us one step further and talk about antisocial behavior and how it can <ahem> harm your efforts to build a writer’s platform.

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Using Twitter Effectively: Part 8 of 10 – Auto Tweets (The Bad)

Nat Russo How-To, Twitter, Writing 2 Comments

In Part 4 of this 10-part series I covered the benefits of auto-tweeting, and I offered some links to automation tools that have helped me maintain a steady schedule of informational tweets.

In today’s post I’d like to cover the dark side of auto-tweeting. This should be relatively short, as I think you’ll find most of it appeals to common sense.

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Using Twitter Effectively: Part 7 of 10 – Tweeting The Minutiae of Your Life

Nat Russo How-To, Twitter, Writing 4 Comments

Tweeting every little detail of your life is a great way to make your followers lose interest in you.

“Ordering pizza lolz!” or “Need to scratch my foot” or just plain “lol!!!” with no further clarification. How many times have you seen tweets like these? My feed is loaded with them, and most of them have no context whatsoever.


Today, in part 6 of my 10-part series on Using Twitter Effectively we’ll cover the sort of things you probably shouldn’t share with the world.

Let’s go!
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