Being a Better Writer: The Antihero

Before I get into today’s post, I just have something else I want to say first. To all those who turned out this last to help support me by buying my books for the first time or tell others about them: Thank you. It was a big help, and even that little influx of cash is going to go a long way. Again, thank you for buying and sharing, and I hope you guys get as much enjoyment out of Dead Silver and One Drink as you do out of all the other stuff I’ve written. And if you can, when you’re done, please leave a review—an honest one. Even if you hated the book, reviews play an important part in other people picking up the book and taking a look at it.

Now, one other announcement before I get into today’s Better Writer post: Patreon.

For a while now, I’ve received both private messages and the occasional comment on my other site asking after the ability to donate money to me. Which I have turned down. In light of an announcement last week about my financial troubles on my other blog, the question was raised again. And again, I had to say that I wouldn’t take donations. However, Patreon seems to be a little different, and I started looking into it. The biggest difference is that it’s not just a blind donation. While it does have the ability to just straight out do by default what many donation tracks end up being (fill this bar and I release something new) it also has a monthly mode, which I like. How that works is that people pledge to support a certain amount each month to you, and then each month they get a “bonus” as a reward. In my instance, that bonus would be preview chapters or advance looks at other stuff.

Anyway, that’s what I’m looking at doing, so expect more on that as I work out more details. And just for those of you who were really looking for writing news, Beyond the Borderlands is looking like it’ll drop in May sometime. I’m close enough to the end now that I feel giving it a loose release date that isn’t too hard to hit is feasible.

Now, onto the usual stuff!

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Being a Better Writer: How I Build Characters

This post was originally written and posted December 11th, 2013, and has been touched up and reposted here for archival purposes.

Whew, this one’s been a long time in coming. Not because it would take me a long time to write—I just sat down with some sketch paper to run over my character creation stuff in my head to make sure I wasn’t missing anything and then started on this—though it probably will (addendum: it totally did), but mostly because I’ve been splitting my time pretty widely over the last few weeks. But since this has been heavily requested on multiple occasions from various readers of both my work and my blogs, it’s high time I finally delivered on what a large number of you have been quite vocally asking for: how I build such vivid, real characters.

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Outpost 2: Misplaced Legacy

So, remember a few weeks ago when I was suddenly stricken with a longing for an old game I hadn’t played in almost twenty years? Well, it turns out that thanks to the magic of the internet and some dedicated fans I was unaware of (as well as a fan of mine who happened to be knowledgeable of such things), it turns out that longing didn’t need to go unfulfilled. Because OutPost 2 is an abandoned game. So while there hasn’t been anyone out there who’s tackled this concept and taken it somewhere new (or even returned to the same concept) one can still download and play a rebuilt, modified for modern systems version of the original.

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Crossing Lines: How Far is Too Far?


I was looking forward to writing this morning. On Beyond, not on this. But after the weekend’s events, and yesterdays response … I can’t just not say something. This has reached the point of insanity.

Change is rough. We all know that. Sometimes, people have a really, really hard time dealing with it. Especially when personal opinions come into it, and someone has to admit that they’re wrong. Or even worse, hypocritical. Looking at history, there have always been moments of shift that people have fought against. Some are good (suffrage) and some are bad (1930s Germany). Lately I’m getting reminded a lot of history.

Ever seen the film Remember the Titans? Disney flick, good flick, even if not the most historically accurate. Anyway, there’s a scene in it that was called to my memory a little while ago. In this scene (assuming I remember correctly), the daughter of the head coach is playing with the daughter of the assistant coach in the living room when there’s a smashing sound and a brick flies through the window. Attached to the brick is a hate message decrying the coach for daring to have anything to do with the community (or with football or something). Basically, it was a hate message, designed to scare and chase away. On a brick thrown through a window.

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Being a Better Writer: The Building Blocks of a Hero

Hello again, everyone, and welcome back after that wonderful Easter weekend. I hope you enjoyed it. I know I certainly did!

Now, you may remember a few weeks ago when I wrote a post about whether or not our main character was a hero or a protagonist, and what the difference was. Well, today we’re going to continue in that vein of thought with one of the auxiliary questions that the post raised. We’ve discussed the differences between a protagonist and a hero, but what about setting out to build a hero? How do we do that? What steps must we take to give our readers—and ourselves—the hero we desire? Are there certain traits that our character must hold, or can we declare any protagonist with the right checklist a hero?

Today, we’ll talk about all these. We’re going to look into an almost Frankenstein level of creation, with one end-goal in mind: to build a hero for our stories. Continue reading

An Open Letter from Larry Correia Concerning the Hugos

I won’t go too much into detail here (I’ve got work to do), but I thought I’d share this link to Larry Correia’s open letter response to the “outrage” over the Hugo nominations. It’s thorough, thought-out, resplendent with resources, and above all, pretty compelling.

The short of it? The insulars who were in control of the Hugo’s have lost that power, and now they’re raising a real riot over it. If half the things they said were even remotely true, I’m pretty sure most of the authors they’re talking about would be under investigation, but as expected, it’s all bunk.

Anyway, it’s worth a read if you’ve been following the whole mess. Again, the link is here.

Cheers, and have a great Monday, everyone.

Being a Better Writer: Self-Promotion

This post was originally written and posted August 28th, 2013, and is being reposted here for archival purposes.

This will be a short one, and it might strike some nerves, but it needs to be said. It’s a question I’ve heard multiple times, from multiple people at multiple events and in multiple classes. That question is: But isn’t it bad to self-promote?

The answer is summarized as follows: Writers who don’t self promote won’t be writers anyone knows.

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Being a Better Writer: The Soapbox

Lately I’ve been thinking about soapboxing. It might have something to do with the current Hugo Controversy. Or it might just be because I’ve been reading writing forums here and there and seen the topic come up a few times. Regardless, I’ve got soapboxing on my mind, so today we’re going to talk about it a little bit.

Don’t worry, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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