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 rules and guidelines. You’ll find the source link below.

Source: The Exception That Proves the Rule About Opening With a Scene |

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 the craft. It’s simply a matter of allowing yourself to learn and grow.

But there’s a pitfall along the way. And that pitfall will guarantee you learn and improve the leastYou’ll know you’ve fallen into it when you’re tempted to chalk everything up to a “stylistic choice”.


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Smashwords: 2015 Smashwords Survey Reveals Insights to Help Authors Reach More Readers

Nat Russo Marketing Leave a Comment

Edit: Oops! Got a little trigger-happy with the “publish” button. I intended to add some comments first. I’ll keep it short. A friend on Twitter shared this article with me this morning, and I had to pass it along to all of you. Mark Coker released some statistics that may greatly impact the way you choose to market your stories. I strongly urge you to read this article.

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Holiday Book Marketing: a Holiday Cheat Sheet

Nat Russo Marketing 2 Comments

Once again, I find myself sharing a post from my friend Nicholas Rossis, award winning author of the epic fantasy Pearseus series. It’s a wonderful article that includes a handful of recommendations and painfully easy things you can do to increase your marketing presence this holiday season.

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children’s books

Taylor of the Written Word Media has written an excellent post titled, Holiday Book Marketing: An Author’s Guide to Black Friday and Beyond that lists all the remaining holidays of 2015. Why is tha…

Source: Holiday Book Marketing: a Holiday Cheat Sheet

Necromancer Falling Delayed

Nat Russo Necromancer, Publishing, Releases 4 Comments

Necromancer Falling

This is temporary titling until I convince my new graphic artist to come up with something prettier. 🙂

Each day I wake up and check my social media accounts, and each day I see the same question asked with the most frequency (and fervor):

What’s the deal with Necromancer Falling? When’s it coming out?

The short answer is “soon”. But, there’s more to it than that…

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Start Writing your Bestseller! | Nicholas C. Rossis

Nat Russo Writers 2 Comments

While checking out Nicholas’s blog this morning, I noticed he shared a wonderful infographic. It shows how long it took all of our favorite writers to achieve some measure of success; how old they were when they began writing, age when first published, age when they published their most famous work, and age when they achieved that mythical “success” we always talk about. Check it out at the Source link below!


Source: Start Writing your Bestseller! | Nicholas C. Rossis

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E-book Sales Aren’t Falling – Fortune

Nat Russo Opinion, Publishing 1 Comment

In the latest case of “don’t believe everything you read,” the New York Times recently published another attempted hatchet job on Amazon, though it was an indirect hatchet job. As if they haven’t proved, time and again, that they’re a shill for “big publishing”, they decided to trot out some sales figures that appear to show a decline in the sales of e-books.

Except, they forgot one thing. We’re not idiots.

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The Cost of Self-Publishing

Nat Russo Publishing 5 Comments

There is a long-standing myth that not only does self-publishing cost an arm and a leg, but that the risks far outweigh the benefit. 



This myth has been debunked so many times, yet it keeps cropping up. In fact, as recently as three days ago, I took part in a Facebook conversation on this very topic. Much heated discussion was had, and it became apparent that facts weren’t heavy enough to outweigh emotions. Even after revealing my itemized list of costs for publishing Necromancer Awakening, I was flat-out told I was either forgetting something, or being outright deceitful. It was as if people wanted to hear that self-publishing is prohibitively expensive!

Well, guess what? It’s not.

I was pleased to get a notification today from Joe Konrath’s blog (linked below). He and Barry Eisler tackle this very issue in today’s post. It’s well worth the read.

Source: A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing: Zombie Publishing Meme #4: Self-Publishing is Costly and Risky; Legacy Publishing is Guaranteed and Free.