Writing Tips

A fantasy castle on a mountain

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 Tired Mother And Her Baby

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 best software for writing in 2018

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 man at a desk, writing

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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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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Scandinavian Trolls

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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A man copying a book

Similarity in Writing. Or, “How Close is Too Close?”

In a previous article, I encroached on the concept of encroaching on someone else’s story. (That last bit about the cave and the coin.) And I thought it might be worth a followup about the theme of similarity.

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A forest in autumn

Metaphor: Seasons and Weather

One of the first metaphors I ever learned was that of weather and climate. I think it’s that way for a lot of people because of how readily available the comparison is.

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A man stepping on a banana peel

Sometimes You Don’t Need a Reason

I don’t know about you, but my life is pretty random. One moment I’m at my desk writing something, the next I’m being attacked by a Husky who wants my attention. Or a 4 year old.

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