Siege Weaponry: A Primer for Writers

TrebuchetThe sound of steel clashing against steel rings in the distance. Smoke billows into the air, carrying the horrid stench of the battlefield. Through the fluttering tent entrance a muddied, bloodied, messenger runs in.

“Commander, we have their fortress surrounded…”

The commander rises from his plush, velvet seat, and adjusts his belt.

“Splendid!” he exclaims. “Storm the keep! Take no prisoners!”

“Erm, that’s all right and good, but, milord, if I may – “

“No time, we must swarm them now!” he shouts as he slams his hands down upon the table, chicken legs bouncing up. Continue Reading

How to Write a Compelling Story Using a Familiar Setting

This article is by Daniel Adorno.

fantasy planetAs a fantasy and scifi geek, the settings I choose for my stories are always quite imaginative. I want to transport the reader to some distant planet outside of our galaxy. Or to a magical realm with a deep history and interesting creatures like centaurs or wyverns flying around. It’s the fun stuff that comes with being a speculative author: worldbuilding.

Unlike realistic genres like thrillers, crime, and romance, the environments in fantasy and science fiction novels are very important. They’re almost another character in the story. Continue Reading

Keeping Readers Reading (And Yourself Writing)

steampunk readingIt’s becoming easier and easier for people to put books down these days. With so many entertaining distractions in the world, writers have to fight for readers’ attention more than ever.

Normally, I approach these articles only from the stance of a writer. However, today I’m going to wear two hats: one small writer’s beret with an over-sized reader’s fedora over it.

While it’s sometimes hard to think in two different modes, thinking as a reader can help you answer the age old question, “Is this story worth my time?” Continue Reading

A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Descriptions – Part 2

human mindThis is the second part of my Beginner’s Guide to Writing Descriptions. The first part can be found here.

In this part of the guide I’m relying heavily on the belief that the best images and the strongest impressions we get from stories are those we create in our own minds.

I’m sure there are exceptions to this – as with all rules – but for the purpose of this guide, I’ve chosen not to dwell on that. If you have a good example of an exception though, please share it in the comments.

The guide is divided into three parts: Continue Reading

What Your Local Librarian Can Do for Authors

This article is by Jane Chirgwin.

librarianYou might already use libraries for books, movies and internet, but have you considered how your local librarian can help you as an author?

I’m a Library Director, so let me give you the inside scoop. (Side note: not everyone who works at a library is a librarian, just like not everyone who works at a hospital is a doctor.  Also not every librarian is female, I’m just using that pronoun.) Continue Reading

Channel Your Inner Samurai – How Being an Author is Like Performing Martial Arts

This article is by K.S. Crooks.

SamuraiI began my life-long journey with martial arts at the age of eight, when my mother enrolled me in my first judo class. Being a very small boy, she thought that it would give me strength and confidence. It gave me those, plus much more.

In high school I took up wrestling, becoming city champion and provincially ranked. During university I went back to Judo, started Jeet Kune Do and Karate. Martial arts became one of the staples of my life. Continue Reading

Understanding How Readers Read

girl readingWhen I started writing – three, maybe four, years ago – I just wrote. I didn’t really think much about it as I sat there with my laptop, tapping down my stories and making things up.

I was happy with how they turned out. I had a good time, and I made up some really cool characters – most of which are still around in one form or another.

Then, eventually, I joined a writing forum and began to share my work there. I discovered there were a whole load of do’s and don’ts when it comes to writing: Continue Reading

5 Steps to Effective Editing

This article is by Sydney A. Kneller.

glowing penOnce you’ve agonized your way through a story or novel, you breathe a sigh of relief that your task is finally done. But the truth is, the hard word is just beginning.

Before you can send your work out to be seen by the world, you need to spend some time editing. This is a crucial stage in the life of your manuscript, as this is when mediocre stories may rise to greatness.

Here are a few steps to use in the editing process: Continue Reading

Putting Your Novel Where Your Mouth Is

book over mouthTalking about writing can be fun. Hell, I love it.

But a year ago I realized that I needed to stop yapping so much and start tapping more. The keys, that is.

It’s lonely, hair-pulling work sometimes, but I had to keep my nose to the grindstone. No matter how much I wanted to chat and blab about my newest creation, I tried to refrain.

It sucked.

I know some people view writing novels as mystical shamanism channeled through the hair strands of a thousand muses. I don’t find it to be such. I absolutely adore it, yes, but it’s work.
Continue Reading

A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Descriptions – Part 1

pen writingNow and then – both on the forums here on Mythic Scribes and elsewhere – I come across the question about how to write descriptions. This guide is meant as an introduction for beginners and will start with the very basics on how to set up, and write, a description of something.

In this part I will touch upon three things:

  • First Impressions
  • Where to Start
  • What to Include

This guide is based on personal opinions and experience. These are not rules for how to write descriptions, but rather an explanation of what works for me. Continue Reading