Category Archives: Inspiration

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

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

How to Woo the Writer’s Muse

The Muses
The Muses

This Valentine’s Day, I find myself feeling lonely.  My wife and kids are in the next room, playing and having breakfast, while I sit at my computer, wishing that somebody was here with me who hasn’t been around for quite some time.

My muse has left me.  Again.

In the Mythic Scribes forums, I hear terrible things said about my muse.  She’s fickle.  She’s flaky.  She’s prone to flights of fancy, to leading men on, to ditching at a moment’s notice.  And all of these things are true.  She’ll have me smiling one moment, and then leave me cursing and confused and feeling trapped as she runs out the door.  And I never know what to think of the fun we had together.  Was it real?  Or should I forget about it? Continue Reading

Setting Stories in My Own Backyard

TuskersThis article is by Duncan McGeary.

I’ve never subscribed to the notion that one must “write about what you know.”

I mean, what do I know about a wild pig apocalypses?  Or vampires who evolve?  Or Donner Party werewolves?  Or Bigfoot and gold miners?

This stuff is spun out of my imagination, and even when I research, I like to have the basics correct while I allow my ingenuity to create the rest.

But I see no reason why I can’t set my stories in places I know, as much as possible. Continue Reading

30 Ways to Resuscitate a Dying NaNoWriMo Novel

novelIf you’ve done National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) you know there sometimes comes a point when you think, “Why in the hell am I doing this?”

This is a normal feeling albeit a demoralizing one. You’ve been tap-tapping away when suddenly the juice runs out, the muse falls off her glittery pegasus, or writer’s block smashes you square in the face.

You need a pick-me-up, something to keep you moving along towards you goals, whether that be 50,000 words or some other suitably insane feat of writerly badassery. Even if you’re not doing NaNoWriMo, maybe you can find a nugget of wisdom buried underneath my sagely ramblings. Continue Reading

How to Hack the Habit of Creativity

creative mindWriting a good novel demands a number of skills from an author.  You need to have a strong writing voice.  You have to be able to read people and get inside a person’s head.  You should be able to let your characters provide commentary on life and the book’s themes, whether consciously or not.  And you’ve got to be well read, well researched, and reflective so that you will be equipped to think things through.

But sometimes those skills, which require experience and thoughtfulness, can feel at odds with another skill that we need as writers: creativity. Continue Reading

J.R.R. Tolkien: Myths That Never Were and the Worlds That They Become

Ian McKellen as Gandalf
Ian McKellen as Gandalf

This article is by Dan Berger.

It’s strange to imagine today, but there was a time when the publication of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings was a matter very much in doubt.

There were two primary reasons for this near tragedy. One was the scarcity of paper that plagued the United Kingdom in the aftermath of World War II. The other was Tolkien’s initial insistence on releasing The Lord of the Rings to his publisher, Allen & Unwin, only on the condition that The Silmarilion be published in concert with it.

The price of printing the full text of a book the size of The Lord of the Rings posed significant challenges in and of itself; adding The Silmarilion to the mix, particularly given its sometimes tenuous connection to The Lord of the Rings’ narrative, was seen as potentially disastrous. Continue Reading

Cover to Cover: From Inception to Publication

gryphonAll good books start from somewhere.

That inkling of an idea sparked by reading a great book, taking an afternoon walk, or even being walloped over the head by the muse. Time passes. Maybe months, maybe years.

You see that idea grow into a story concept, the story concept become a rough outline, the outline become a story, the story become a published novel. Sounds easy, right?

Yeah, don’t we all wish.

When I was approached with the idea of creating a series of articles that followed from that twinkling of an idea to the process of trying to publish a finished novel I thought, “Wow, this will be quite the daunting task.” However, I was up for the challenge. Continue Reading

10 Ways to Find Inspiration for Fantasy Writing

The elusive muse. Long considered dead by some, still widely sought after with hounds, nets, and harpoons by others, the concept of “invoking the muse” still lurks out there in the writers’ ether.

Inspiration can be fickle: it doesn’t always necessarily come when you want it. There are some tried and true methods for getting ideas and motivation to write. These have been discussed in multiple “killing writer’s block” and other such advice columns.

What I want to propose are ways to find inspiration for writing fantasy, some of which may be obvious and others not so much. Continue Reading

9 Amazing Blogs for Writers

While Mythic Scribes is geared towards fantasy writing, I’m a big believer in studying writing from many different angles.  For that reason, I’m always on the lookout for great writing advice from authors in other genres.

Today I’m going to feature nine of the blogs that I turn to for inspiration.  Each of these blogs offers great insight from experienced, talented authors.  While there are many quality writing blogs out there, these are nine of the best.

In no particular order, here are 9 amazing blogs for writers: Continue Reading