The World Of The Songstress Murders: That Old Timey Religion! a.k.a. Religion, Culture, and Characters

This week’s The World Of .. focuses on fantasy gods and religions, as well as how those things can influence and inform us about the cultures and characters in those worlds, using examples from my next book, The Songstress Murders!

Remember, there’s a little less than two weeks left to get your pre-order of The Songstress Murders!

Writing Is A Bad Habit: TOO FAST! a.k.a. Brisk Pacing vs. Excessive Pacing

Let’s say you are writing an action-adventure piece, or an action piece, or really any genre that has a heavy action emphasis (from military sci-fi to a martial arts slugfest).  Obviously, you would want to set a fast pace for the plot to match the fast action.  The pace should be a driving force, keeping events rolling forward at break-neck speed … or should it?


Writing Is A Bad Habit: Hardcore Perspectives! a.k.a. Hardcore Henry And The First Person Perspective


So I saw Hardcore Henry over the weekend.

First, the movie is incredible, well, if you like action movies.  This is, at its core, an action flick with all that entails, so if you’re not on-board for high-octane action, you won’t like it.  That being said, there’s some surprising depth of story and world-building done here and that’s what I’m going to talk about today.


Writing Is A Bad Habit In The World Of … : ‘Strong’ Protagonists! It’s More Than Coolness, Yo!

So demands for planing for Mobicon, work for editing clients, and other shenanigans, I regretfully inform you that I won’t have a Starving Review served up today.

However, I present as a substitute some extended thoughts on the ‘strong’ protagonist, male or female, and how to create and think about your creations, alongside examples culled from my own writing.  An extension of this Wednesday’s Writing Is A Bad Habit, the audio log takes things deeper than before.

If you enjoy this, please let me know so I can plan to do more of these podcast-style articles in the future!

Writing Is A Bad Habit: This Is Just Like Budapest a.k.a. The Noodle Incident

It’s been a while since we’ve sat back and talked about a writing trope or two.  With that in mind, let’s take a casual day today and talk about an interesting bit of trope-y-ness: the Noodle Incident.  Sometimes known as the Throwaway Backstory Event, a Noodle Incident (NI for the remainder of this article) is some piece of past history a character in a piece refers to, but never elaborates on, usually with the implication that the event was too ridiculous, unbelievable, or over the top to need to be elaborated on.  Whatever the reason for doing so, the NI remains a point of untouched history and, in a long series, may be referenced multiple times.


Book News: Review-A-Palooza! a.k.a. Yet Another Opening Bell Review!

Being a Starving Author is a life of deep lows (empty wallets, scraping together to get by, the stings of the deeply critical) and incredible highs (deeply insightful reviews, the sheer joy of creation, the glow of putting the last flourish on the page).  These past few days are turning into something of a major high, though, as more reviews come in on The Opening Bell.

Here’s a link to another fresh one, one that made me feel quite good with its praise of the work I put into the characters, something I was especially happy with at the end of the day:


Writing Is A Bad Habit: Less Isn’t Always More a.k.a. Balanced Exposition and Description

Brevity may be the soul of wit, but it is possible to be too brief. While we as authors strive to avoid info dumps, telling not showing, and letting our language dive into purple prose, we also must counterbalance this with smart exposition, action-based characterization, and vivid description. As you can see, this is quite a balancing act. In the past, we’ve talked about what happens if you overdescribe, and today we’ll talk about the dangers of underdescription.


Writing Is A Bad Habit: Impress The Readers! a.k.a. Jotun Through a Writer’s Eyes


Jotun, from Thunder Lotus Games, is an amazing game, at least in my estimation.  Now, I’ve mentioned before that I believe that video games are great and everyone should play them, but that doesn’t mean that all video games, even great ones, are of value to analyze to help a writer on their way.  Jotun is not like most games though, so we are going to take a look at what it can teach us as writers today.  We’ll take a look at the characters, plot, pacing, and style.


Writing Is A Bad Habit: A Splash of Color a.k.a. Character Details and Realism

When you create a character in your works, the depth of that character is entirely up to you, the writer.  Every speck of information the reader has about the character is brought to it by your words.  Even implied information is implied by other words you write or facts you bring up.  It all falls down to you and this is nothing new.  It is, however, important to bring back up again as we move onto to today’s topic: how character details can inform us about the ‘realism’ of your fictional world and how they should also be restrained by that.


Writing Is A Bad Habit: Can a Mountain Get a Close-up? a.k.a. Environment as Character

The cast of characters in a book is usually pretty obvious because, well, characters are people, right?  You get all the people in your cast together and there you go … characters!  Well, yes and no.  Characters usually are people, sure, but they can be more than that.  One of the most overlooked ‘characters’ in a creative work is the environment itself.

Yes, while the world around us is considered an inanimate object, it is often an important player in any book.  Think about it like this: the environment around you is a constant actor that influences a multitude of decisions you undertake every day.  Is it rainy?  Well, you likely aren’t going to be taking a long walk on the beach.  Is it sunny?  You might forgo the movie theater for the sports stadium.  Is there an earthquake? OMFG RUN!