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Game On!

Many novelists are discovering the rewards of writing for games, whether game-ifying their own concepts or as staff or freelance writers for established gaming properties. In 2022, an estimated 3.2 billion people worldwide played games, and the average age of a gamer is 31. Led by video games and mobile gaming, the gaming industry aims for total earnings around $300 billion for this fiscal year…

A Deep Dive into Fantasy Fiction

Finding the exact origins of the fantasy genre can be as elusive as defining its boundaries in today’s marketplace. While it was once an add-on to the realms of science fiction and horror, the popularity of fantasy fiction, with all its variations, continues to grow. touted 2022 as a “spectacular year for fantasy fiction.” A January 2023 Publishers Weekly article noted that adult…

Red Herrings & Plot Details: How to Keep Track of Them & Not Leave Them Hanging

In fiction, the term “red herring” is a technique designed to distract the reader by introducing misleading information. It’s a false clue, meant to deceive, before the truth is revealed. Take a look at your latest story. Have all your plot twists been resolved? Do you have any red herring plot threads that you overlooked? There’s nothing more frustrating than finishing your book, tweaking ever…

Understanding and Fighting Back Against Harassment

In 2013, a big-name editor at a major sf/f publishing house lost his job after multiple reported incidents of sexual harassment. Among the reports and stories shared around this time was an author who reported that after she signed with this publisher, other writers had quietly warned her about this editor. She’d signed with them in 2002. In other words, this editor’s harassment wasn’t a one-ti…

Using Names to Develop Characters

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, By any other word would smell as sweet.” —Juliet The naming of our characters runs the gamut. Our characters are “ours” and character names provide opportunities for authors to expand the emotion, impact, and resonance of their stories. Or as Elizabeth Ann West, author of 25 books and a digital publishing professional for over a decade said, “A name…

Resting the Right Way

With a title like Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less, how could I not be intrigued? This book by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang explores how counterproductive overwork is, how we think about rest and how we should think about it. What is rest? When you hear the word “rest,” what comes to mind? A nap? Eight hours of sleep a night? A nice vacation? All of those are indeed rest, but according t…