The Weekly Update

Well, there really isn’t much to say today. This week was, well … editing. So much editing. Like the week before it.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t news there. Just that it’s close to the same. As of today, there are three chapters left for me to Beta. Then I need to go back and start going through the Beta Reader catches, checking the errors that they find against the master document as a whole …

There is a ray of sunshine here. We’re halfway through October, and I’m making a lot of progress. It is conceivable that before the end of the month, we could see a pre-order page.

We’re certainly getting close to that point. It’s such a juggernaut of a project though, I don’t want to make any promises yet. But again, I can confirm that this has been one of the cleanest drafts to leave my keyboard yet. That doesn’t mean there haven’t been plenty of edits, but thankfully they’ve been less “plentiful” than before.

Case in point, a methodical search of the entire manuscript found only twenty-seven instances or so of an apostrophe being used in place of a quotation mark. There were about ten in Axtara before Beta, if memory serves, so I’ve gotten better at preventing those, seeing as Axtara was a fifth this book’s size.

Oh, and for some amusing reason, over half of those typos were all in association with the letter “W.” Yeah. That was a weird little discovery.

Anyway, I’ve got three chapters left to go, so I’m going to get back to it. Patreon Supporters, you’ve got a live preview today, while those of you who aren’t supporting will get to see it tomorrow.

Until Monday, where we will start Topic List #21 (oh, and don’t forget the topic call), I’m off!

What Do YOU Want To See Being a Better Writer Talk About? That’s Right, It’s a Topic Call!

Hello writers! You were warning this post was coming, so hopefully you’ve taken the past few days to think over writing topics you wanted to see addressed, because as of right now, the Topic Call for future Being a Better Writer posts is open! That’s right, it’s time! Those of you who were waiting and ready for this to go can skip down to the comments section below to leave your requests for future posts. Those of you that skipped over the news bit earlier this week on Being a Better Writer, here’s the deal:

Being a Better Writer pulls its topics from an actual, physical list on my desk, each one having a little over twenty topics on it. Currently List #20 has only one topic left unaddressed—which will be used next week. So, when I start a new list—#21 is already in development—I always open the floor to reader requests for topics they’d like to see addressed with a Topic Call post.

And well, this is it! I’m going to be filling out the list over the next week or so as I see opportunities to talk about various topics, but if there’s something you’d like to see discussed on Being a Better Writer, now’s your chance to put ion a good word for it!

Hit the comments and go!

Being a Better Writer Topic Call: What Do YOU Want to See?

Surprise! This isn’t an ordinary Being a Better Writer bit. Many of you likely guessed that based on the day (Friday versus the traditional Monday), and you’re right.

That’s because this isn’t your usual BaBW post, it’s a Topic Call!

What’s a Topic Call, you may ask? It’s an opening of the floodgates for readers to suggest their own writing topics they’d like to learn more about for future Being a Better Writer installments.

In other words: What do you want to see Being a Better Writer talk about? What writing topics do you wish to see addressed or brought up? What sort of questions do you have about, well, writing?

Topic List #19 is about exhausted, which means that it is time to start assembling a new list. I’ve got ideas for forthcoming articles, but what about you?

This is your chance. If there’s an aspect of writing you’d like to see Being a Better Writer discuss (or, if it’s been more than five years since the last post on a topic, revisited), what is it? Post your suggestions in the comments, and get your question answered in a future BaBW post!

It’s Time for Another Being a Better Writer Topic Call!

Hello readers! The time has come! Please insert a long, echoing cry of “has come!” there if you so choose.

Those of you that are long time readers of the site? You know what this is, and you can probably safely skip down to the comments section to get typing. But those of you that are more recent wanderers of the information superhighway that have come to rest at this humble rest stop might be wondering what the deal is with a post titled “Topic Call.” In which case, read on! And prepare!

See, Being a Better Writer has long been a feature of this site. In fact, it predates it, going back to when I was answering writing questions that were being written in to me from across the web by readers of my work that enjoyed it and realized I might have something to say about their own writing questions based on what they were seeing.

Well, they were right. What began as private messages on internet boards quickly ballooned and blossomed (because once word gets around that you not only reply to PMs with writing questions but with solid advice born from years of experience, you will be flooded with messages) to a weekly guide to improving one’s writing that has now run for—let me check a time-stamp—eight years.

Sands and Storms, that’s a lot of articles.

Anyway, in all that time, Being a Better Writer has never stopped responding to reader requests.

Continue reading

Being a Better Writer Topic Call!

THE TIME HAS COME! And yes, I almost linked that bit from Dipper’s Guide to the Unexplained #82 there. It was … tempting.

Anyway, those of you that have been around for a while will know exactly what this post is for. It’s time … to submit reader-request topics for Being a Better Writer!

See, Being a Better Writer works off of a list. An actual, physical list, made on a notepad on my desk. I fill a page, and those are the topics for the next few months. Once that list nears its end … well, it’s time for more topics, isn’t it?

Which is where you come in. See, I’m fine generating new topics. I’ve even got a couple on the next list already. But I also want you to be able to ask after topics. What sort of topics do you want—or need—BaBW to cover? What do you want to hear about? What aspect of writing, of story, of character, etc, do you want to see delved into?

Got more than one? That’s fine too! Ask for two, or even three?

Point is, BaBW is helpful to a lot of readers, yes, but it’s even more helpful if it’s tackling some of the questions readers want to know. So if there’s a particular topic you’re curious about that hasn’t been touched on recently, go ahead and post it in the comments! Let me know so that it can make it to the list!

That’s all there is to it! So, got writing questions? Put them in the comments below!

Topic Call for Being a Better Writer!

It’s back! The time has come! Topic List #16 lies broken and battered, all but one of its topics spent. While Topic List #17 is fresh and pristine, ready to be decorated with concepts and ideas.

So the time comes once more, readers: What do you want to see Being a Better Writer discuss? What writing topics do you want to know about? What writing concepts do you want to hear more of? What puzzles and questions do you seek answers to?

Are they questions of editing? Of writing point-of-view? Of framing? Tone? Emotion? Depth? What are you looking to learn about? What do you want to know?

Whatever it is, now is the time to hit “comment” and post away! Because this is the Being a Better Writer topic call!

Seriously, hit “comment” and give us all something for the list!

The Bi-Weekly Report: Happy St. Patrick’s Day

You know, if you’re looking for one more way to celebrate, Axtara—the titular protagonist of Axtara – Banking and Finance—is green. You can read the first few chapters for free here, or pick up your own copy here! Or even just adorn your device background with her cheerful grin!

Since I’m on the topic of Axtara, she’s reached a grand total of 20 ratings and reviews now. All of them granting her Five Stars. There hasn’t been a disappointed reviewer yet! Or even one that’s just slightly impressed.

And that? It’s pretty pleasing. To paraphrase one review, ‘Axtara knocks it out of the park,’ and that brings me a lot of joy. Which is great, because so far Axtara seems to be bringing a lot of readers old and young a lot of joy as well, like I’d hoped it would. So it’s like one big circle of joy.

Best of all, I’ve been hearing from readers that have passed it on to their teenage girls that they absolutely love it. Success! Here’s to more reviews in the coming weeks, and thousands of new readers as those who fell in love with Axtara share their newfound find with others!


Since we’re on the topic of both reviews and green covers, Colony and its sequel Jungle got some more love this last weekend from reviews. Colony might be over four years old at this point, but it’s still garnering praise from readers of Sci-Fi and picking up new readers. Which is good, because Starforge is inching step by step towards completion and wrapping the whole thing up.

But yeah, if you’re not in the mood for green dragons for Saint Patrick’s Day, well, Jungle is also full of a lot of green. A lot of it. In a most threatening manner. You can check out a free preview here if Sci-Fi is your thing, but you’re still looking to stick to that St. Patrick’s Day tradition.


Speaking of Starforge, the current draft is now at 310,000 words. Continued progression, like clockwork, with each daily quota. It’s still somewhere near the 66-70% done marker, but with a book that has to tie up this much, that’s probably not a surprise to any of you. As to when, roughly, this draft will be finished? I’d rather not make predictions at the moment, but I do write 3000-4000 words a day for my daily quota, so rest assured there is progress.

Speaking of progress, to my utter shock I discovered it had been almost a year since I touched Stranded. Sure, it was a weekend fan project, but … Well, there was 2020. That was a thing. And Stranded appears to have been a casualty. But not a fatal one. I’ve been spending my Saturdays adding to it and getting it moving forward once more,

Of course, that isn’t my only Saturday project. Progress continues on getting the Shadow of an Empire paperback worked out. Granted, two Saturday projects (plus this being tax season) mean that it’s taking a little while, but with then there’s this next bit of news …

Continue reading

Being a Better Writer Topic Call Ongoing!

Surprise!

Yeah, I’m taking this Monday off. From Being a Better Writer. For three reasons.

One, it’s been a while, and a break sounds kind of nice. I churn these out almost every Monday without fail, year round save the occasional holiday, so yeah, a break actually sounds kind of nice. If you’re still itching to read something BaBW today, I’d say hit that search bar on the side and find one of the hundreds already up!

Or, you can participate in the second reason there’s a break today and suggest a topic in the comments! See, I keep an actual physical list sitting on my desk, checking topics off one by one, and right now, Topic List #15 is done for and #16 is being populated. Not just with topics I’ve come up with, but with suggestions from you!

So you can hit up the comments and leave suggestions about a topic or topics that you’d like to read about! Let’s populate the list!

Third reason? Because that leaves me more time to work on the Copy-Edit for Axtara – Banking and Finance, which I would like to get a lot done on today. The sooner it’s done, the closer it is to being published, so … I’ve got a lot of reading to do today!

All right, that’s it! So, one, taking a break. Two, your topic suggestions for Being a Better Writer are requested! And third, Copy-Edits on Axtara!

Hmm, I suppose there’s a fourth here. If you’re a Patreon Supporter, there will be a supporter update today. If you’ve been following the last few, you can probably guess what it is! Head on over to Patreon to check it out!

Now fill the comments with topics!

Being a Better Writer Topic Call!

In my defense, I didn’t say when this post would be up today. But readers! Do you have your list ready!? Topics you want to hear about? The get commenting below!

For those of you who need a bit more context, I’ll assume that you are familiar with this site’s weekly feature, Being a Better Writer, all about—What else?—how to improve one’s writing. Pretty much the most popular bit of this site, and referenced in a lot of places.

But here’s the thing: The topics that BaBW discusses? They come from a list. An actual, physical list written in pen that sits on my desk. A list that is populated in part by readers like you!

Which is why I occasionally do these calls for topics. Right now Topic List #16 is empty. It has nothing but the title.

So now, I open the gates to you, readers. What sort of writing topics would you like to hear more about? Is there something specific you’d like to see a post on? An aspect of writing you’d like to see explored?

Leave a comment so that it can go on the list! Right now! That’s the whole point of this post: So that readers can contribute and put in their two cents about what they want to learn about.

So comment below!

Have a Happy (and Safe) Labor Day Holiday!

Whoa! It’s that time of year already! Yeah, a Monday holiday has rolled around: Labor Day!

Which, as per the usual, means there will be no Being a Better Writer post today. I’ll be taking the day off. As I hope many of you are. Recharge! Relax! Heal up!

Of course, if you’re still looking for writing advice, we’ve got a couple options for you. There is still an archive of several hundred writing articles here on the site. You could simply search for a classic on the sidebar (The Art of Misdirection is always a good one, or you could pick a topic of your choice) and go for it!

Alternatively, if you’ve got a writing topic you’d like to hear more about, post it in a comment below! Topic List #15 has, at this time, two topics left. Two more weeks worth of articles, but after that? New topics will be needed! So if you’re looking for something in particular, post a comment so it can be added to Topic List #16!

And with that, I’m going to go enjoy my Labor Day. Have a happy and safe one out there wherever you are! Ride a bike, read a book, whatever! But enjoy, and stay healthy.