How To Hook Your Audience

This article is by Craig W. Van Sickle & Steven Long Mitchell. While novels, graphic novels, television or motion picture scripts each present writers with different formats, narrative challenges and audience expectations, they all have one very simple commonality at their heart: telling a great story that hooks, pulls in and holds its consumer. Simple, … Read more

Writing Character-Driven Fantasy

A key element of any successful novel is a cast of vivid, compelling characters.  I recently discussed the topic of character development with author Frank LaVoie, whose debut novel Firesoul has been praised for its colorful characters.  We also chatted about the special importance of characterization in the sub-genre of High Fantasy. You are an … Read more

Is Outlining for Hacks?

When I first began writing I would sit in front of the computer for hours, staring at a blank screen.  I hoped that inspiration would strike, but usually it didn’t.  So I would force myself to type something, praying that it would turn out to be half-decent.  Back then writing was a long, tortuous process. … Read more

Beauty in Simplicity

What does fantasy writing have in common with the culinary arts? One of my guilty pleasures is watching BBC’s Kitchen Nightmares with host Gordon Ramsey.  In each episode Chef Ramsey visits a restaurant on the brink of ruin, and attempts to salvage it.  In most cases the restaurant features a chef who is highly trained … Read more

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