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Featuring everything new and experienced authors need to develop creative and technical skills. Check out writing development articles, our Word of the Day, writing prompts, anthology opportunities and more!

Entries in this blog

Character Empathy

Character Empathy So what is the strong adhesive that keeps people glued to a story once they start reading? What can writers do to evoke emotion and conjure up the craving needed to keep reading all the way to the end without stopping? What makes them think about your story during the day when they’re away from the internet, in the car, on the train, or even while they’re hanging out with friends? It is such a powerful skill that you can wield as a writer to have your words and your ideas

Character Combos

Character Combos As many of you guys already know...I absolutely LOVE to work with ensemble casts in my own work! It gives me so much freedom and extra room to build characters up (or tear them down) without having to resort to long bouts of exposition to do it. I’ve always thought that the true identity of a character was more impactful by centering on their positive or negative interactions with the other characters in my stories then just talking about them, second-hand. It says soooo muc

Subtext In Dialogue

Subtext In Dialogue It’s something that we all do, and often on a daily basis. We LIE! Hehehe! It’s true! It might be quick and automatic and usually pretty much harmless for the most part...but we all do it. People ask us how we’re doing, and we say, “I’m fine” or “I’m ok”...when nothing could be further from the truth. We go to jobs that we hate and stay in relationships that don’t make us happy and pretend that life is as good as it gets. We interact with people that we, literally, can’t

Story Parallels

Story Parallels If ‘this’…then ‘that’. When I’m writing or even creating a new idea for a new story in my head...that’s always a part of the process. Always. Not only from beginning to end, but involving the characters that exist within the plot and the world that I ultimately built, just for them. There is just something that gives the story a very personal level of depth for me, and it’s become a permanent style when it comes to my writing in general. Everything has a cause and an eff

David and Goliath

David And Goliath A few weeks back, I briefly mentioned the difference between being more brazen and direct with the content of your stories, and the subtle grace of tenderly sliding it past your audience...along with developing the natural instincts to know which is which. Well, here we are now. This time around we’ll be talking about when it’s best to just be straightforward and bluntly say what you need to say, and when that’s the best plan of action for certain parts of your fiction, whe

Wreckage and Redemption

Wreckage/Redemption I, honestly, can’t help but to love a story about character redemption! We all do to some degree, don’t we? There’s just something about it that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Considering that we all have fears and insecurities, flaws and weaknesses...it’s extremely easy to relate and empathize with characters who find that special moment in time when they’re able to overcome the odds and find the courage to grow and evolve and navigate their way beyond what’s b

Jekyll And Hyde

Jekyll And Hyde Something that can really stand out in a story while you’re reading it...and not in a good way...is the flip flopping nature of the characters that are supposed to be carrying the whole project on their shoulders and moving things forward. You see...there’s a point when the characters use the story to grow and evolve, and times when the story uses the characters to grow and evolve. The problem comes from writers who don’t keep it in mind that these two motivations have to be

Man Vs Self

Man Vs Self As many writers already know, and I’ve mentioned it a number of times in the past myself, almost all story conflicts can be broken down into three different categories. Man versus man, man versus society, and man versus self. Each one can be very easy to decode once you’ve read enough stories of different varieties, and have taught yourself to recognize the ‘checklist’ that exists for each labeled category. Writing gay fiction, it’s very easy to approach all three. Whether it be

Insanity

Insanity The classic saying is that insanity is the act of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. And yes, I’m sure that’s a part of it. But I truly believe that there’s a lot more to concept than that. And I have to admit that I really do enjoy writing insanity in many different ways for my characters because it’s so fascinating to me to explore the mindset of someone who has become completely detached from reality. Detached to the point where reality an

Character Casting

Character Casting One thing that I remember most about trying my hand at the acting business was that I went into every meeting and audition thinking that I was going to nail the role. Hehehe, I was a kid, so why not? Right? I was going to go in there, whether I got the script ahead of time so I could learn my lines by heart, or if I just went in cold. How hard could it be? So I’d feel all optimistic about my chances, and I’d make sure that I was prepared to give it my absolute best sho

Cheating (Part Two)

Cheating (Part Two) Welcome back everybody! ((Hugz)) As I’m writing this, I’m hoping that I didn’t offend anyone or step on any toes as far as their writing process is concerned with Part One of this article. I’m writing these back to back, and it will be a short while before you guys get to see them, so my apologies if I sounded like I was singling out any kind of writing style or anything like that. I wasn’t, promise. These articles come mostly from stuff that I’ve found in my own writing

Cheating (Part One)

Cheating (Part One) It can be soooo tempting sometimes! Hehehe, trust me, I know. And there have been quite a few times when I’ve done it myself, and you want to know something? I go back and look at those stories sometimes, and I really regret making some of the decisions that I did to get those stories over and done with. Was I successful in that pursuit? Well, sure. I mean, it worked. But if I mentioned a bunch of those stories or their characters by name...chances are most of you wouldn’

Character Interaction

Character Interaction Not long ago, I was talking about my love for working with ensemble casts in my stories. It’s something that I really love to engage in as a writer, and it sort of fleshes out the world that I’m working with. I mean, even if you happen to be a fan of video games, you might remember way back when it was just your character on the screen trying to complete some kind of quest or whatever, and a horde of enemies trying to stop you. But video games have evolved since then. W

Elements That Do not Work

Elements That Don’t Work There are always going to be times when an artist, in any genre, is going to run into a few problem elements in writing their story. It happens. There’s no reason to panic, and certainly no reason for you to give up on your project. It’s a normal part of the process. Sometimes you have ideas that seem so exciting and engaging at the time while you’re planning things out...and then, once you start writing, you realize that those ideas aren’t as supportive of your stor

Writing Arguments

Writing Arguments When creating a compelling scene in your stories that will really work to hold the attention of your readers captive, it’s always important to remember what elements you can use, and what tools that you have at your disposal, that can elicit that particular emotional response in your readers. And one of the most powerful spells that you can cast as a wizard of words...is the amazing power of confrontation. When I say ‘confrontation’, I’m not talking about conflict. Con

Character Empathy

Character Empathy As a 'self proclaimed' writer...I've found that there is no stronger, no more engaging, tool in your arsenal than character empathy when it comes to truly crafting an immersive experience when it comes to your readers' involvement in your story. This is something that a lot of writer's believe they can 'tell' their audience, and they'll obviously fall in line and agree with the author, because how you can not feel bad for people (fictional as they may be) going through such

The Hero Protagonist

The Hero Protagonist When writing a story...there needs to be a main focus. Naturally, there can be many characters and many different events and situations surrounding that character, but I truly believe that it's important to keep things primarily concentrated on the thoughts and actions of a single protagonist in your narrative, in order to keep things tight and interesting without wandering off into La La Land. Your protagonist should be the first thing that you think about when you

Heartbreak

Heartbreak It hurts. If any of you guys have been through it, and I'm assuming that you all have at one time or another, same as me...you know just how much pain it can cause when it comes to experiencing a really painful heartbreak. I think the most damaging part behind the psychology of heartbreak itself is the fact that you have to willingly lower your defenses to truly love or be loved by anybody else. You have to break open. There's no way to truly enjoy and embrace love, while sti

Dialog Variety

Now this is something that I've always had a bit of a problem with, myself, when writing modern day characters in my stories. So if any of you guys have any ideas or hidden secrets about how to pull this off in multiple stories, or just from a variety of different characters in a single story....please feel free to add some of those tips in the replies below as I can always use more help in this area. And why not learn from my peers, some of the best there is, right? You see...and I've hea

Non-Villainous Villains

There is a light that I truly believe shines within each and every single one of us as human beings. Whether we believe in it or share it with others...it's there. We know it. We feel it. However...the brightest of lights can cast the darkest of shadows, and sliding from one side of the spectrum to the other can be a very short trip, depending on the current circumstances. And when it comes to creating villains in your writing, being able to blur the line between 'good' and 'evil' can truly crea

Morally Questionable Heroes

What is a hero? I mean, when you think about it, it doesn't have to mean a streak of red and blue racing overhead as Superman gets to his next big disaster in the world. Sure, that's a part of all that, but a hero can a police officer, or a particularly smart detective...or it can just be a loving parent. Perhaps just a good friend. The hero is the one who's willing to make sacrifices for someone else in their time of need. A hero might be someone who breaks up a fight, or a preacher that gives

Writing Teen Characters

Considering the fact that almost all of my stories involve teenage characters, a great deal of my readers (perhaps more than half) are teenagers themselves. So...if any of you guys are reading this right now...hehehe, don't take any offense over anything that I say here in this article! It's not like it's anything that I wouldn't have said to you in an email or the chatroom at this point anyway. I'm just placing it here as a disclaimer so you don't get all pouty on me. Besides, I've got yo

What's With the Theatrics?

As many of you guys already know (Those who have been around for a number of years, or possibly from the very beginning) I was both an actor and a boy model back when I was in my tweens and teens. It was what I wanted to do. I had a passion for it. But the fantasy of it and the business side of that whole industry are two completely different things! So buyer, beware! if that's what you want to get into, I wish you the best...but it's not what many of you might think it is. So you really have to

Who's In Charge

When trying to put the idea together of this particular article in my head, I had to be careful to steer clear of the whole idea and philosophy of 'determinism' and 'free will', hehehe...which is an entire novel's worth of intellectual discussion that would probably ehaust all of us before I even BEGIN to scratch the surface of the point that I want to make here in terms of our skills as writers, and crafting a story of our very own. Simultaneously using one side of the argument while giving the

Unloveable

I truly think that Mark Twain said it best... "A clear conscience is the sure sign of a bad memory." If that's the case...I wish my memory was a lot worse than it is now, because 'a clear conscience', I'll never have. And yet, I don't see that as a bad thing. Never have, never will. The truth is...I had to grow up at some point. And, yes...I made PLENTY of mistakes! I have plenty of regrets. Lost friends, created enemies, and made a lot of bad choices for selfish reason. But...you know
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