writing

Convention News: Looking Back at PCKC and Looking Forward to Mobicon!

Time for a quick update! Strap in, folks, it’s time to talk conventions!

As you may likely know, the weekend before last I was honored to be at Planet Comic Con in Kansas City, alongside the incredible Bard’s Tower crew. It was a fun, exciting, and at times crazy stressful week! Greyhound both delayed my trip and then got me to Kansas City days early, forcing all sorts of financial juggling as I hunted down a place to stay that didn’t make me broke, then the first two days of the convention itself were intense. In the end, though, everything worked out for the best: we did solid on sales, I got to enjoy time with my colleagues, and I continue to learn and develop as an author and, to be frank, a salesman.

Important tip to all my fellow writers and authors: You’re not just selling your writing, you’re selling yourself.

As for my next convention, I’ll be flying solo at Mobicon in Mobile, Alabama. It runs the length of Memorial Day weekend so I hope to see you there! Expect more convention news to come in the coming weeks!

Until next time, good reading, good writing, and good luck!

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Guest Post: Important Tips to Consider When Self-Publishing! by Cassie Phillips

It’s our first guest post, folks, brought to us by Cassie Phillips from Secure Thoughts! Enjoy!

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 Self-publishing is a great way for new and up-and-coming authors to get their work seen and bought. It’s given the power back to the hands of the writer and negated the need to deal with big-name publishing houses and other middlemen.

However, just because you’ve chosen to self-publish doesn’t guarantee you’ll have automatic success. These tips will help aspiring authors get the most out of their online book releases.

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Writing Is A Bad Habit: A Tense Agreement a.k.a. The Importance of, duh, Tense Agreement As An Element of Style

Yes, that was a pun in the title, though a very simple and obvious one. Groans are appreciated.

Seriously, though, this week we need to talk about the importance of tenses and tense agreement, specifically through the lens of the style of your writing. Now, obviously, keeping your tenses straight when writing is critical. The tenses you use form what could be likened as time-stamps for the actions that are described in the book. When these time-stamps are misused, confusion reigns supreme!

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Writing Is A Bad Habit: A Nice, Lean Cut a.k.a. Trimming Your Writing

We talk about pacing a lot here in the writer’s kitchen and for good reason. Proper pacing engages the reader and enhances the themes and plot of the story. It picks up the tempo when the drama rises and properly slows to allow the reader to breathe and focus on characterization. Much of what determines good versus bad pacing comes down to the actual content of the book. I know that sounds like an obvious statement, but bear with me!

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Writing Is A Bad Habit: Talk to Me Like One of Your French Girls a.k.a. Foreign Languages in Writing

Writing in the sense that we talk about it here relies on the artistic use of language. We use words to inform, influence, and most importantly of all entertain. It’s understandable then that when we use foreign settings, fantasy universes, and alien worlds, we might want to use elements of foreign languages to match those settings.

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Writing Is A Bad Habit: Up In Smoke! a.k.a. Writing Burn-Out

It’s been a while, my friends.

If you couldn’t tell by the title of this article, I’ve been essentially in burn-out recovery for the past few weeks. Many of us who write know of the stress that attempting NaNoWrMo can bring on, trying to write an entire novel-length manuscript in a month.

Try doing that three months in a row. Three whole novels in three months with deadlines and marketing windows to hit and all of that good grid.

It’s enough to change a man!

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Monday Musings: Manuscript Homestretch! a.k.a. Almost A Return To Normal

Quick update this Monday before I get back to the hard work of writing!

The third book of Clans of Shadows is reaching completion, at least the manuscript I and J. A. are working on. Then it’s the usual editing and all that jazz, but we should still be able to squeak it out before the end of the month.

What this means is that my writing load is going to lighten some for the next few months. Oh, there’s still books to be written, like Packie’s Problem (the next Redmane Mystery) and the final editing for The Twelfth Labor, but there won’t be the very tight deadlines needed for this collaboration series.

What that really means is that Starving Reviews should be back on the table in November! Let’s hope I get some good books on the plate to come back to!

Until Wednesday, good reading, good writing, and good luck!