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.

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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 …

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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.

Being a Better Writer Topic Call!

Readers! The time is upon us! Being a Better Writer‘s Topic List #14 is complete!

By which I mean that I’ve exhausted it. Every topic on the list has been written about over the last few months of Being a Better Writer posts. The list is now empty. There is no content left to write upon.

Which means it’s time to open up Topic List #15 and start anew. Which means, of course, a Topic Call!

If you’re new to the site or don’t recall, a Topic Call is pretty simple. Being a Better Writer is about exactly what’s in the title: Discussion of writing topics so that all of us can improve. Over the years Being a Better Writer has become a titanic resource for writers old and new looking for advice on various topics. But there’s always more to cover. And so when a topic call comes up, we ask you, readers, to suggest writing topics you’d like to hear more about!

That’s right! If there’s a writing topic you’d like to hear about that hasn’t been covered by BaBW or you’d like to see covered again, we want you to post it below in the comments so we can add it to the list!

Not sure it’s a workable topic? Post it anyway, and we’ll see what we can do. If there’s a topic you’ve always wondered about, a topic you’ve been curious to see BaBW cover and just waiting with baited breath … Now is the time to speak up!

So get commenting! Topic List #15 is here!

New Fireteam Freelance Tomorrow! Plus a Topic Call!

Hey readers! Just a quick heads-up: Episode 5 of Fireteam Freelance drops tomorrow!

That’s right, it’s finally here! Catch Your Breath sees the team once again hired by Commander Castillo’s “old friend” for a job that takes them to the Corporate Dragon Bloc with a very specific goal in mind. What is it? Well, to find out you’ll have to read it. Suffice to say, shots will be fired, and a lot of them.

That said, how are you readers finding Freelance so far? Personally, I still find it a bit different than my usual fare: It’s much more focused on delivering a hit of action with every episode and having less time spent on the character of the team, since there’s only so much space per episode and that action does need to happen. That, and it’s episodic. At this point someone could jump in with the latest episode, I feel, and still enjoy the explosions, gunfire, and action without knowing too much about the overarching narrative or setting (though that’s all still there).

Anyway, while I hope you’re all enjoying it, I do acknowledge that this is somewhat experimental and may be a little different than say, Colony or Jungle. Rest assured, Starforge won’t be following the pattern of episodic style this story is working with. Fireteam Freelance is very much a one-off experiment. Just one I hope you’re enjoying and finally does give a little more glimpse at what life back on Earth can be like … or as close as we get through the lens of a merc company living in the Dragon Bloc.

So tune in tomorrow as episode 5 drops at last! 10 AM EST!

Now, on to the second part of this post: the Topic Call!

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