Ask the Editor Series, Q3 Q: What “mistakes” shouldn’t you let your editor fix? A1: You should never let your editor fix “mistakes” unless they’re removing “scare” quotes from where they don’t “belong.” A2: Genuine mistakes, on the other hand, are another story, and it’s only sort of complicated. But here’s why. Language is… Continue reading Should an Editor Fix Every Single Mistake?
I know it sounds crazy to think writers would sabotage their writing, when our title alone says we’re writers. The conclusion, of course, is that writers write, and it’s a given that we love to write more than anything else in the world. That’s true, sure, but it’s not always true. Writers have to swim… Continue reading Why Do Writers Sabotage Their Writing?
I read quite a bit and while it is something I enjoy, the more you read the more you find books that fall short of your own expectations. In fact, if you are in the writing field you most likely have said at some point or in some variation, “This book got published? I should… Continue reading Writing a Scene
Like all films, Zombie movies run the gauntlet of great to absolutely terrible. Let’s dispense with the most apparent arguments of “what” constitutes a “zombie.” For my treatment and for lack of a better defining term, a zombie does not necessarily require the death of the individual - infected is good enough. The speed of… Continue reading The Absolute Best Zombie Films
Ask the Editor Series, Q2 Q: If I have my own style guide, why do I still need an editor? A1: Because I need to pay my electric bill. Also, I need to feel special, and I can’t feel nearly as special if you know everything that I know. It’s science. A2: It’s complicated,… Continue reading I Have My Own Style Guide. Do I Still Need An Editor?
Did you know May is “Get Caught Reading” month? Yeah, me either. I found out because I was trying to make a list of books to help me get back into reading and stumbled upon it. So what is it? Get Caught Reading is supported by hundreds of celebrities, and it’s “a nationwide public service… Continue reading Finding Time to Read
I sort of hated school. I mean there were some things I enjoyed, but many others had me never wanting to leave my bed in the mornings. I say this because I find it funny now that I’m an adult, I tend to be learning more than ever. I actively seek information and try to… Continue reading Writing: The More You Know
I love zombies, well more correctly, I love the thought of pitting myself against the horde. I mean, who doesn’t? Although I consider myself a “glass half full” type of guy, I cannot however help but be a little pessimistic over the promise of an inevitable zombie apocalypse. The truth, I fear, is that even… Continue reading Why a Zombie Outbreak Will Disappoint
Ask the Editor Series, Q1 Q: Are editors really as mean as they look? A1: That’s ridiculous. Looks can be deceiving. We can be so much meaner. Just ask our children. A2: It’s complicated, and here’s why. Even the nicest editors don’t always look as friendly as they are, because . . . well,… Continue reading Are Editors Really as Mean as They Look?
I wrote 500 words a day, every day last week! Do you know what happened? Well, I wrote 3,500+ words! Which, if you’re “into losing weight” you know that’s the same number deficit calories you need to lose one pound. And no, that’s not why you’re here, but you can see where my head is… Continue reading On Writing 500 Words a Day
I’m on a renewed trip through the literature classics—and no, a book isn’t on the list because BuzzFeed claims it to be a “Classic.” In that sense, I’m a traditionalist. I have many modern favorites that I would love to see on the list of top classics someday. But to be a classic, in my… Continue reading Doctor Jekyll and Mister Semicolon: The Strange Case of Literary Classics
***This is what my brain comes up with after 6 hours of sleep in the past 5 days. Don’t mind the rhyme, lack of rhyme, or lack of anything that would remotely makes sense. 11:00 p.m. I’m a mess, I confess. In the dark, in the light. My mind is a trap, but no, it… Continue reading An Insomniac’s Convoluted Night — A Writer’s Perspective
There are a lot of indicators that something is or isn’t working for an artist. It is a hard journey and there are really, in my opinion, three things you need to survive it. I like to call them my three Ps of writing. Passion. This one may seem easy, but I think I am… Continue reading The Three Ps of Writing
Life can be stressful. Not mine, of course, because I generally don’t give a f*#-. But for most people, all those to-dos, responsibilities, and endless requirements of adulting can take their toll. Stress has as much of a negative impact on your health as a poor diet or lack of exercise. But there is a… Continue reading Need Stress Relief? Horror Movies and Horror Books Are the Answer
Once again, the Internet provides an opportunity for you to feel better about yourself. Enjoy the "creative" use of these . . . words . . . Uh—spellings? 😉 ————— #1 ————— ————— #2 ————— ————— #3 ————— ————— #4 ————— ————— #5 ————— ————— #6 ————— ————— #7 ————— ————— #8 ————— ————— #9… Continue reading 13 Funny #GrammarFails
Horror movies have risen from the grave and seen an incredible revitalization. Not only are there more horror films in production and more audiences watching, but the stories themselves are being treated with the care and respect deserved. In this resurgence of big-screen horror films and streaming originals, the once-scorned genre is producing some to… Continue reading Horror Movies Grow Up . . . Mostly
Ah February. Love is in the air . . . or at least some semblance of it manufactured by a massive holiday. Too cynical? Well we have to admit that love equals money. Valentine’s day rivals Halloween and Christmas as a top spending holiday. In 2016 estimates had the love holiday making nearly 20 billion.… Continue reading Writing Love
If you’re like me, you find that wanting to write and actually writing isn’t quite the same. There’s no shortage of ideas, there’s no lack of love or passion, heck, there’s even enough time to write if you truly want it. And yet, the excuses overflow so much that when you finally finish a manuscript, you’re… Continue reading 5 Things I Learned About Writing
I’ve discovered the most dangerous thing to health, well-being, and happiness. That “thing” is following the latest advice, study, or suggestions for being healthier or happier. Looking back at the past thirty years, one thing is clearly true—if you followed most of the recommendations, you were, in fact, doing yourself more harm than good. Here’s… Continue reading Advice: Take off your seatbelt and enjoy a smoke.
Here are some posts from writers selling out the secrets of our lifestyle . . . because sometimes you just need to know you’re not alone. Thank you, Internet Strangers! 😉 ————— #1 ————— ————— #2 ————— ————— #3 ————— ————— #4 ————— ————— #5 ————— ————— #6 —————… Continue reading 15 Hilarious #WritersProblems Moments
The “horror” movie has been around for a very long time, and this article is not a lesson on the history of the genre. Instead, I want to talk about those watershed moments that have in some way shaped the things we watch and those things that frighten us - that moment when we said,… Continue reading Watershed Moments In Horror Films
Hello readers. Happy New year! I hope everyone is ready to take this year by the horns and really push yourselves. I, myself, have been very contemplative as this year has started. I spend a decent portion of my thinking time, trying to figure out this writing thing. One of the hardest parts of this… Continue reading The Six Figures of Writing
What if you achieved all of this year’s resolutions and then still found yourself unfulfilled? The ugly truth is that such an outcome is a real possibility. In fact, it’s far more probable than achieving all of your resolutions. It could also very well be that the reason you lose interest in your resolutions is… Continue reading The Life Audit: Aligning Your Passion and Purpose with Your Goals
New year, new goals, new mottos. Goals and mottos are my go-to! Err . . . ahem . . . what I mean to say is I don't make resolutions. For in the past, most of my resolutions have failed, and I haven't done them in years. I’m also kicking “intentions” to the curb this… Continue reading It’s 2019. Be a Badass!
Among my long list of eclectic skills is the ability to read Tarot cards. I’d imagine that Card reading is a natural fit for a storyteller. Seventy-eight cards, four elements or “suits,” twenty-two majors representing the archetypes, that when placed in patterns reveal a story. The story of things to come . . . Perhaps.… Continue reading Fortune Telling: In the Age of Unbelievable Technology We Still Believe
“Most folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” I’ve always enjoyed that quote. It is attributed to, Ol’ Honest Abe. Reality is no one knows for sure if he said. I say, whoever said it was incredibly astute. There is a problem that we all face and that… Continue reading Expectation Is the Death of Happiness
You see? This is why most writers have an issue with math. One of the things about writing and rules is we know the stuff is gonna change. It changes from day-to-day, country-to-country (even in the same language, I’m looking at you, English!), it’s different according to media platforms, style guides, your mood, etc. But… Continue reading And This is Why Writers Have a Problem With Math!
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and prepare to be offended. I’m a tolerant guy, and I sympathize with the feelings of others. But when we reach a certain level of stupidity and demands demonstrate ignorance, well at that point I have to call it as I see it. And I see it as . . .… Continue reading Christmas, Ignorance, and PC Culture – “Baby It’s Cold Outside” becomes the most offensive song in American history
Everyone is on their own journey. On this journey, there are things we’d like to see along the road, and there are things we need to find. Life happens, and even the most mundane day-to-day task is part of going along the trip. What makes it special, however, is what we choose to do from the… Continue reading The Thing You Most Want—Can You Do It?
Why do some people obtain far less in life than they desire? Why are there goals we so often dream of and yet never achieve? The answer is simple, but the solution is not. It’s a lesson I’ve often learned, unlearned, and learned again. But there was, for me, a single moment and a simple… Continue reading The One Thing Killing Your Dreams and How This One Thing Can Fix It
I have always been a voracious reader. Even as a small child books have been a big part of my life. There are good books and bad books, and most of this is a matter of taste. It is interesting though that as my purchasing scope for books expands, I am finding myself having the… Continue reading Can a Self-Published Author Find Success?
Here at Writers After Dark we like to shake things up now and then! We like to go wild exploring our creativity in our writing, blogging, YouTubing, and podcasting . . . and then we need tons of breaks because: LIFE. For Raymond and I, 2018 has been . . . weird. Separately we’ve had… Continue reading Introducing: Author Brandon Ax
I’ve been thinking about doing NaNoWriMo this year. Get my crap together and all that good stuff. . . and it dawned on me that: As an author, you'd assume I know what I'm doing. I don't! I'm winging it just like the next guy. I'm constantly learning about the craft and will continue to… Continue reading The Kind of #Writer I’m NOT! #NaNoWriMo
It’s true, and I’m not one bit ashamed. Well, not exactly correct because it’s less a Man Purse and more a House Purse. I don’t take it out of the house. I went to high school and college in the 80s. We still had a fairly strict list of the things a “dude” could say… Continue reading I’m a Man and I Love My House Purse
I’m not humble-bragging, I do have a severe learning addiction. If there is a system, a theory, an app, or a “life-hack,” out there, I need to investigate it. Case in point: I own a Keurig, a traditional coffee machine, and a percolator. (The last is in the event the power goes out, or the… Continue reading Summer Hibernation, French Press Coffee, & My Learning Addiction
In case you haven't noticed, I haven't written any posts here in a long time. Nor have I been working on my books consistently. WHY? Well, it's a combination of a few of things. I felt burnt out, I'd been suffering from a terrible comparison phase, and have been stressed due to pressure from those around… Continue reading Why I Stopped Writing
Saturday Nightmirrors #5 Why Vampires are better than Werewolves Yeah, it’s a ridiculous argument. I said that when I originally posted it several years ago. But you know what? The article got fifteen hundred hits and the comments demonstrated people are damn serious about this topic. That original blog is deader than Count Dracula but… Continue reading Why Vampires Are Better Than Werewolves
Grammar is like Latin. A dead language reserved for science and law. Grammar rules are a lot like Kafka’s novel The Trial. You know you’ve done something wrong, everyone else seems to know you’ve done something wrong, but explanations of your crime are vague and difficult to understand. I wouldn’t deliver client’s work without editing.… Continue reading Blogs: I Don’t Edit Because Grammar is Dead.
In this episode, The Writers' Podcast interviews Urban Fantasy author Brandon Ax. We discuss his work, his writing methods, why he doesn't believe in writer's block, his future plans, and a whole lot more. No, seriously, a whole lot more! 😉 Thank you, Brandon, for chatting with us! And congratulations again on winning… Continue reading A Conversation with #Author Brandon Ax — Ep. 26, The Writers’ Podcast
Congratulations to all winners of the Chapter of Excellence awards! Every writer knows that their first chapter can make or break their story. You simply never get a second chance to make a first impression. From an amazing selection of books, these openings scored the highest points amongst our judges. They are so captivating that… Continue reading Chapter of Excellence Winners
Podcasting (much like novel writing) sounds a lot easier than it is. Over the course of our first twenty-four episodes, we discovered quite a few interesting lessons. And as it turns out many of those lessons were similar to the things every author learns about book writing. So as we prepare for our holiday break,… Continue reading What We Learned This Year About Podcasting – Ep 25, The Writers’ Podcast
What is it about that flip of the calendar that makes us create all these lofty goals? And why does the "new you" have to come right after the "old you" just enjoyed a few weeks of absolute decadence? Well, in this episode we're talking all about resolutions and how to make them work this… Continue reading 2018 Resolutions? No Thank You! – Ep 24, The Writers’ Podcast
For many writers, editing can be a topic more painful than even writer's block. Grammar rules often seem better suited for a math class than for our beloved creative endeavors. So we brought our favorite editor, Lynda Dietz, into the studio to discuss the mysteries, misconceptions, and frustrations behind editing. Feel free to stalk… Continue reading The Art of Editing – Ep 23, The Writers’ Podcast
Long before you collect reviews, distribute advanced reader copies, or finalize your edits, there is a solid opportunity to receive objective input on your novel. In this episode, we discuss beta reading and why it’s a great method to find both the positives and negatives in your story. Subscribe to all our podcasts on:… Continue reading The Benefits of Beta Reading – Ep 22, The Writers’ Podcast
We're taking this week to enjoy the holiday by stuffing ourselves with food! But before we do, we wanted to wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving. And we didn't want you to go away empty handed so here's a little laughter in our "homemade" holiday video! https://youtu.be/_HK6ni-Jlew
Obviously hyped-up and delirious from too much Halloween candy, November is the month many authors dive into NaNoWriMo. Are these lofty goals just evidence of madness or is it a solid strategy employed by mastermind writers? In this episode of The Writers' Podcast, we'll discuss the benefits and drawbacks of the internet's favorite writing marathon.… Continue reading NaNoWriMo: Madness or Mastermind? Ep 21, The Writers’ Podcast
Are you a plot or character driven writer? How different would some of the well-known movies and books be if we changed the approach? Could The Lord of the Rings be the same without Frodo? What mistake did George Lucas make by using a plot style? And is SK a control freak who needs professional help?… Continue reading Plot v. Character – Ep 20, The Writers’ Podcast
It seems we just can't get enough of Halloween here at The Writers' Podcast. So, today we're delivering a special presentation of the Graveyard Radio story: REFLECTIONS. Subscribe to all our podcasts on:
Candy, darkness, and things that go bump in the night – what isn’t there to love about Halloween? And in celebration of one of our favorite holidays, The Writers’ Podcast is going deep into the darkness. Creepy stories, unsolved horrors, exorcisms, and fear are all being served by candlelight. So, join us for a discussion… Continue reading Halloween Special – Ep 18, The Writers’ Podcast
Reader reviews can exhilarate the writer or send them to the dark pits of despair and rejection. But in all the good and the bad, there are important clues within even the most critical reviews that can help a writer improve their craft. In this episode, we discuss how to separate the hurtful from the… Continue reading Book Reviews: Trolls and Treasures — Ep 17, The Writers’ Podcast
Think bestseller lists are all about top sellers? Think again. In this episode, we unravel the mysteries behind the seven surprising factors that go into selecting a bestselling novel. We also discuss some of the methods that Indie authors have used to achieve a coveted place on these lists and how Amazon’s new approach may… Continue reading Bestsellers: The Awful Truth – Ep 16, The Writers’ Podcast
In this episode, we break down the novelist’s essential book services. The discussion centers around the options you need v. those you can do yourself, and we unravel the pricing systems behind each. Plus, we’ll explore the two most important considerations: the cost of an author’s copy and book distribution options. Subscribe to all our… Continue reading Comparing the Costs of Book Services – Ep 15, The Writers’ Podcast
Nightmirrors #3 “Don’t do it! Are you stupid? Get the hell out of there!” As we sit on the sofa or in the theater we oft marvel at the stupidity of horror movie characters. It’s a joyous and self-righteous feeling to be “oh so much smarter” than these soon-to-be dead fools. In fact, if you… Continue reading In a Horror Movie, You’re Not as Smart as You Think
This week, to help with SK’s Hurricane Recovery Therapy, we’re taking a deeper look into the minds of our two favorite authors. Unfortunately, they weren’t available so we decided to interview each other. And to add a bit of fun, we had no idea what the other might ask. So, here is an opportunity to… Continue reading In the Studio: A Q&A Author’s Special – Ep 14, The Writers’ Podcast
Hey Guys, Due to loss of power, no Internet, and damages caused by hurricane Irma in Florida, The Writers' Podcast's production has been placed on hold. We expect to be back on our regular schedule next week. Be sure to listen in! In the meantime, I'll try my hand at poetry for you. (You're welcome!)… Continue reading Bad Irma!
In this episode of The Writers’ Podcast, we’re wrapping up our interviews from Once Upon a Book with our spotlight on the reader’s view of author signings benefits. We sat down with Ashley Cestra, a prolific reader and big supporter of Indie authors. Ashley provided great insights from a reader’s viewpoint and shared her experiences… Continue reading Author Signings: A Reader’s Viewpoint — Ep 13, The Writers’ Podcast
In part two of our focus on author signings, we interviewed several more authors and discussed their insights on what to look for when selecting an event, how to interact with readers, and how best to prepare to have a successful event. Since the vibe that comes off a room full of writers is… Continue reading Author Signings: All You Need to Know, Part Two — Ep 12, The Writers’ Podcast
There is probably no better experience for a writer than meeting their fans and discussing their books.But today’s readers have so much to choose from to get their attention you need to put effort into social interaction. One of the best ways to both sell and interact with readers is a book fair. Unfortunately,… Continue reading Author Signings: All You Need to Know, Part One — Ep 11, The Writers’ Podcast
Authors tend to be far better at writing than they are at promoting. Often we feel uncomfortable with any communication that feels like self-promotion. But being a great writer isn’t the same as being a successful writer, which is why there four reasons even author needs a great website. They say that to a hammer… Continue reading 4 Reasons Authors Need A Great Website
To understand how storytelling has changed and continues to evolve we need to examine it across all the art forms. In this episode, we discuss storytelling in TV shows and movies—how it has changed—and the impact on novel plots and characters. Subscribe to all our podcasts on:
The measure of a great story is when we feel what the character feels. It’s a method that sounds easier than it is. In episode eight, we discuss why invoking readers emotions is critical to a story’s success and how to effectively create believable emotional scenes in your story. Subscribe to all our podcasts… Continue reading Evoking Real Emotions in Stories – Ep 09, The Writers’ Podcast
Length matters . . . am I right? If you don’t believe me, try reading the 200,000-word autobiography of a snail. Unless that’s the kind of kinky stuff you’re into, you’ll probably rather it was no more than two hundred words . . . no extra zeros allowed. Poor snail. The problem was he… Continue reading How Long Should Your Book Be? — A Word Count Guide for Fiction
As an author, this is basically what I ask my readers when they pick up one of my books. 🙂 Dear Reader, Let’s Go on a Date . . . I saw you looking. I noticed the sweet caress of your eyes—hidden behind fluttering lashes, and accompanied by a shy smile . . . My… Continue reading Dear Reader, Let’s Go on a Date . . .
Small Press Publishers provide a great middle ground between the traditional and self-publishing options, however before you sign you can avoid potential heartaches by answering these critical questions. Subscribe to all our episodes on any of these platforms.
Unfortunately, because there is only a small market for short stories, many writers avoid penning them and lose out on an effective method for improving their writing. But Hey, far be it from me to tell you how to become a novelist. There are several great (and not-so great) books on writing. The basics are… Continue reading 4 Ways Writing Short Stories Makes You a Better Novelist
Knowing when you need to improve your writing is emotionally challenging for most writers. In episode seven, we examine the five stages each writer must conquer to achieve acceptance and to ultimately improve their writing. Subscribe to all our podcasts on:
As we know, developing a deep contrast of layers in our characters is crucial for a vivid reading experience. So in this final installment of Using Body Language in Your Novel, we’re going to continue all the way down to the feet. But I’ll also cover some extra tips about body language for your characters,… Continue reading Using Body Language in Your Novel, Part Four—Legs, Feet, & Bonus Tips
So here's the dirty truth about being a writer . . . A writer who is a mom that is. Or rather a mom who is a writer. Because no matter how much I try to ignore my 6-year-old twins, it turns out I can't escape them. Not even if I hide in the bathroom to… Continue reading The Dirty Truth About Being A Writer