Story Sale Announcement: The Game of Games!

I've made my second professional rate sale! My short story "The Game of Games," a fantasy ghost story loosely inspired by Pascal's Wager and the Deck of Many Things from D&D, will be appearing in the anthology "Pirates & Ghosts" from Flame Tree Press. Here is a link to the announcement over at Flame Tree's …

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Weaving Theme from the Beginning of Your Story: Fullmetal Alchemist as a Case Study

I'm going to talk about Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood for a bit. Fullmetal Alchemist (specifically the manga and the Brotherhood adaption) is not only one of the greatest anime ever made (fight me) but also one of the most well constructed fantasy stories I've ever encountered. It has everything; likeable yet deeply conflicted protagonists, a really …

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Worldbuilding: Dark Settings and their Purpose

Today my first professionally published story, "The Broken Karwaneer," came out in Beneath Ceaseless Skies. I thought I would write a blog post about my thoughts on an important element of that story. If you haven't read the story yet, please do so before going on. This post will make more sense context. In the story, …

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Worldbuilding with Theme in Mind

What is it about secondary world fantasy and science fiction that draws readers in? Why do readers seek out stories that take place in worlds not our own? There are many reasons (possibly as many reasons as there are readers) but one such reason, and the reason I most identify with, is the powerful thematic …

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Person-First Language and Designing Characters: An Underdeveloped “A-ha!”

Ask any writer what makes a good story work, and they'll most likely tell you "the characters." Which is only natural. Characters are the people your readers will come to care about--whether they are loved or loathed--at least if you're doing your job as a writer. The wants and needs and struggles of your characters …

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How do you know when it’s done?

For the last seven months I've been working on the first draft of a novel. Because I fall further on the discovery writer side of the discovery/outline spectrum, I start long projects like this with goals but no clear plan in mind for the ending. As I write and the story develops I usually know …

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Writing While EXTREMELY BUSY

Last week I started a masters degree in teaching. It's a one-year accelerated program meant for people who already have a degree in something other than education and want to get a teaching certificate as quickly as possible. I have enjoyed my experiences teaching in the past, and I feel a weird sort of responsibility …

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Fiction as Disruptor of Worldview

A couple of weeks ago my wife Hannah and I attended an "art salon" organized by a good friend from college and hosted by a local writing professor. Inspired by the Cubist salons of the early 20th century, the idea behind this gathering was for writers and artists to gather to discuss their aesthetics, and artistic …

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How Complete Must a Setting Be?

Earlier today I was reading through a reddit thread in which comparisons were being drawn between the Mystery/Thriller genres and the Fantasy/Science Fiction genres. The discussion mostly revolved around an unusual paradox, this being that while the apparent readership and sales figures of the Mystery/Thriller genres are much higher, Fantasy and Science Fiction titles show …

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