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A castle on top of a mountain, with the moon behind it

Naming Characters, Creatures, and Places Without Regret

Naming characters, creatures, and places for your fantasy or sci-fi stories is hard stuff. It’s hard even for people who write stories about our real world. (You can’t just name everyone Steve or Barbara.) When we were naming our pets, my dad had a rule. “I have to be able to call the dog in the field,” he would say. The conversation came up first when my sister wanted to name our Beagle “Cookie”.

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A very tired mother

Writing About Disoriented Characters

Characters get disoriented. You can read about that sort of thing, but if it hasn’t happened to you it’s hard to understand. Here’s a way to empathize.

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An Elvish Archer

Writing Fantasy Races: Elves? Which Elves?

Out of all the fantasy races, Elves are my favorite. Tolkien’s elves, Warhammer Elves, any given Elf in a video game. Not the Keebler Elves, though their cookies are at least decent. Nor Christmas Elves with their match-matchy outfits. Elf on a Shelf is especially right out. Yes, he’s a Christmas elf, but he gets… Read This Article

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The interface of scrivener

The Best Writing Software For Books, and Blogging

Rarely in 2016 do I hand-write my fiction stories. Sometimes there’s a need to write a note to serve as a reminder, or an outline. I do outline on paper most of the time. But to me, my writing work is digital, backed up three times. To do that, I have a group of writing applications that keep me sane.

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A writer with a laptop and pen

My Writing Process For Fiction 2016

Having a solid process for writing has made all the difference. It’s not perfect, but I humbly share my own writing process.

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Two paths split apart in the forest

Sometimes, Characters Leave The Party

A change of address from some good friends made me re-think how we write characters in groups.

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Books on the May 9 best sellers list

Top 10 Best Sellers in Amazon Fantasy – May 9, 2016

It occurred to me that there’s some value in keeping watch on the top 10 sellers in Amazon’s fantasy section. Here’s what’s popular on May 9, 2016.

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An imaginary animal, a squirrel with horns

Naming Your Fantasy Creature

Now that you’re knee-deep in creature design, you’ll have to name the thing. And good names are hard to come by. Kinda. This is my process for naming things.

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Norwegian trolls in a line

Creating or Using Existing Creatures

One of my favorite things about writing Fantasy stories is creature design. So, I thought I’d put together a few writing tips about, well, designing creatures.

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Ghostly hands on a typewriter

A Ghostwriter, Ghostwriting Ghosts

A few thoughts about why I write, and why hiring a ghostwriter isn’t a thing I do.

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