Quick Tip Tuesday: Coming up With Story Ideas

It happened again the other day. I was at a holiday party and someone I know — someone who knows I’m a writer — told me that he had an idea for a story, and that I should write it. This actually happens quite often, and I told him what I tell everyone else who makes such an offer: that I have plenty of ideas of my own, thank you very much.

And that’s the truth. Once upon a time, I worried about running out of ideas and not knowing what to write next. Now I worry about having enough time to write all the stories I’ve imagined.

But I know that early on in my career, I did have trouble at times figuring out what to write next, and I know as well that I still get lots of questions from aspiring writers about where I my inspiration comes […]

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An Editor’s Commandments

I stayed up Saturday night live-streaming the Hugo Award ceremony. (Well, okay, technically I watched 2/3 of it, since I was editing stories for The Weird Wild West until past 11 pm) It was an entertaining event – David Gerrold and Tananarive Due were delightful together, and there’s nothing that isn’t made more fun by the inclusion of a Dalek. I can’t imagine that anyone, at this point, hasn’t at least heard the basic results – No Awards for most of the literary categories, and Best Novel going to The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu (and announced by Dr Kjel Lindgren direct from the International Space Station – how cool is that???) Honestly, if you want to hear what more-informed people have to say about the situation, feel free to go search it out on the googlewebs, because Sunday was the Day of the Hugo Post-Game Wrapup, and really, […]

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Party Talk: What Makes A Villain?

We’re a week away from the release of The Big Bad II! It’s available for preorder now, if you don’t want to waste even a second of valuable reading time. Some of the best fantasy and horror writers in the business bring you 24 thrilling tales of vampires, demons, ghosts, zombies, and the most terrifying monsters of all – humans. You know you want to read this book!

Once again, I’ve asked some of the writers from The Big Bad II to answer a question for you. This week, Party Talk wants to know: What makes a villain a villain? What would it take to transform the villain in your favorite story into the hero?

Sarah Adams: Being on the wrong side of history? (And isn’t that a loaded phrase.) Broadly, I’d say a villain is the person who’s willing to hurt other people to get what he or […]

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The Weird Wild West Needs Homesteaders!

Hey y’all! I hope the holidays treated everyone well, and that you were fortunate enough to spend at least some of the time with people you like who like you back!

I’m back again to talk about our Kickstarter. We’re pleased that so many folks believe in us enough to pledge a little money, and we hope that we reach our goal so that we can bring you all some incredible stories. The first volume will feature thrilling tales by R S Belcher, Tonia Brown, Diana Pharaoh Francis, John Hartness, Gail Martin, James Tuck, Jonathan Maberry and me. But we’ll also have space for some of you!

If we reach our initial funding goal, we’ll offer up four open submission spots. We’re very excited to see what you all can imagine, but it will only happen if we reach that goal. You can help us along. Pledge if you can, […]

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Emily Lavin Leverett: It’s All In How You Say It!

So—I’m Emily Lavin Leverett. If you’ve been reading here a while, you might have seen me comment as Peafaerie. I’m a writer of short stories and novels, an editor of The Big Bad I and II with John Hartness, and an English professor. Thanks very much to Magical Words for letting me be here today to talk about a subject near and dear to my heart!

I’m here to talk about grammar.

(The sound of people clicking to something else is overwhelming, so I’ll just wait for a moment, until it passes.)

Grammar is important. I’ll put that out there first. Anyone who tells you it is not, or that if your voice or characters or story are really good, bad grammar won’t hurt, is a lying liar who is lying. Great voice, character, and story will get people past typos, but not persistent problems. Good grammar is the key […]

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Building an Anthology, Part 1

Sorry this is going up a little late. I was on set yesterday as an extra in a commercial and was completely exhausted when I got home. That was my first ever “extra” gig, and I had a good time. Several friends were on the set as well, so we hung out in the holding area most of the time BS’ing. But even with that, my call time was 7:30 AM, and I didn’t leave until 7PM, and when we weren’t in holding, we were outdoors in the bajillion degrees heat. So I were a tired boy when I got home.

But that’s not what you’re here to read about, is it? No, you want to hear some of the nuts and bolts and dirty secrets that went into creating The Big Bad: An Anthology of Evil, recently released by Dark Oak Press. This anthology of 30 of the […]

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