Mood and Atmosphere

Mood and Atmosphere

Stories without mood and atmosphere have an incomplete feeling. They need substance and fleshing out. The dialogue has nothing physical to play against. The characters have no arena in which to move about, and little stage business to enhance the

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Six Tips for Creative Fiction Collaboration

King Eowain and the Boar: A Stand-Alone Tale in the Matter of Manred, by Jean Lee and Michael E. Dellert

If you’ve been following my newsletter (and if you aren’t, sign up today!), you’ll know that I’ve been working on a creative fiction collaboration with a fellow fantasy author, Jean Lee, to create a work called King Eowain and the Boar,

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Seven Ways to Build Your Author Brand

The thought of selling yourself as though you’re a new watch or a can of fizzy soda may strike you as crass and make you want to stick a fork in your eye, but if you’ve written a book and

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Brooklyn BookFest: A Retrospective

BrooklynBookFest

Last week (September 11-17) was the Brooklyn Book Festival, one of the premiere book festivals in the US, and the largest free literary event in New York City. Brooklyn BookFest is a unique kind of festival. Rather than being centralized

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Bad Beginnings

The beginning. It’s a rough spot for many first drafts. As writers, we routinely place a disproportionate amount of attention on our introductory paragraphs. For good reason. Sometimes we just don’t know where a story is supposed to start. And

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People-Watching: It’s Not Just For Peeping Toms Anymore

The next time you’re in a public place — a coffeehouse, a park, a store — observe the people around you. Pick a person, a couple, or a group, and imagine what their lives might be like. Imagine All the

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Name That… Character!

Do you know the meaning of your name, and why your parents chose it? Do you think it suits you? What about your children’s names? And what about your characters? Ask ten different authors about how they choose names for

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Author Spotlight: Aaron-Michael Hall, Spec-Fic Author

Aaron-Michael Hall, Speculative Fiction Author

Aaron-Michael Hall is a Speculative Fiction author (Epic Fantasy and Science Fantasy with an EDGE) originally from southern Illinois. Since August 2015, she has written eight full-length novels and published four. Her first novel, The Rise of Nazil, has won

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Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall…

Man in the Mirror

Think of your blog as a mirror: what does it reveal? Consider your blog name, theme choice, design, bio, posts… what does every element tell you about yourself? Who Am I? My blog is now two years old in its

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Moved to Tears

A Single Man Tear

I don’t know about you, but after the last few months, exploring the business end of fiction, I’m about ready for a break. For the next few weeks, I’m going to write about anything but business… Real Men Don’t Cry…

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