Swordplay for Fantasy Writers

The clash of blades, sparks flying. The barbarian with his twenty-pound two-handed sword, swinging for your head. The epic showdown with acrobatics… now that’s fantasy. No, like, seriously a fantasy. And this article isn’t about any of those things. It’s about swordplay in a realistic situation, using familiar physics and historical inspiration. We write fantasy, … Read more

Anticipating Story Length

I recently reconnected with some old projects, and was a little upset when I read them. One of the mistakes I’d made was incorrectly anticipating story length, and now it feels like those old stories, that I thought were done and buried, have risen from their graves to haunt me. Not only did I take … Read more

Writing With Confidence

Developing one’s confidence as a writer isn’t easy. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know my own path has been an arduous one, and confidence waxed and waned along the way. I read a fair amount of articles written by a variety of authors and bloggers, and in doing so, it’s become apparent … Read more

Memorable Characters and Their Flaws

Every reader has a certain character whose name, when mentioned, elicits a reaction. Those heroes we cheered on, those antagonists we hated with a passion—we know their worlds and their likes and dislikes. We understand and humanize them, and wish we could invite them over for pizza-and-poker night. Or we curse the gods that we … Read more

NaNoWriMo: Four Weeks of Marathon Writing

I heard about nano (National Novel Writing Month) after a decade as an isolated writer. I was already a member of a writers’ forum and had for a year been a dedicated, daily writer. But 50k words in a month? It still felt like a daunting task. As November approaches, I’d like to share my … Read more

Critiques: A How-To Guide

By far, one of the most useful tools in a writer’s arsenal is the critique. But what is a critique? What makes a good critique? And how do I critique for a writer who wants to trade? When I began trading work, I wasn’t sure what to do or what to expect. After three years … Read more

One Letter Every Writer Should Write

Whether you’ve just begun your novel or are in the midst of editing it, this exercise can help answer some important questions: How will readers like my characters? Have I done enough foreshadowing? Is there enough humor in the story? Does my conclusion do the novel justice? Of course, each writer will have many different … Read more

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