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Author of the Night Angel trilogy and The Black Prism

Writing Advice

My eyes usually glaze over whenever I see somebody saying something as artsy as “go into yourself”. But this is Rilke. And it’s worth getting past that.

You are looking outward, and that above all you should not do now. Nobody can counsel and help you, nobody. There is only one single way. Go into yourself. Search for the reason that bids you to write; find out whether it is spreading out its roots in the deepest places of your heart, acknowledge to yourself whether you would have to die if it were denied you to write. This above all–ask yourself in the stillest hour of your night: Must I write? Delve into yourself for a deep answer. And if this should be affirmative, if you may meet this earnest question with a strong and simple “I must,” then build your life according to this necessity; your life even into its most indifferent and slightest hour must be a sign of this urge and testimony to it.

In an effort to make it so you don’t have to scroll ludicrously far to read the new update every month, we’ve broken the Writing Advice Page into four pages. At the bottom of this page, I will list the upcoming topics.

LATEST POST: Should there be happy endings? Why or why not?

1. General Writing Advice

a. Tips
b. Outlining
c. Writer’s Block
d. Editing 
I. When is Enough, Enough?
e. Originality
f. Work Schedule & Planning
g. Closing the Gap between Vision and Reality
I. Getting it on the Page
II. Hating What You’ve Written
III. Overcoming Self-Doubt
IV. Staying Focused
h. Dialogue
i. Brainstorming

2. Writing Fantasy: Tools & Techniques

a. World Building
I. Tips/Strategies
II. Tools for Building Your World
b. Character Building
I. How do you write a bad guy?
c. Magic Systems
d. Character Names
e. Fight Scenes

3. Understanding the Business of Publishing

a. Ebooks
b. Work while writing
c. Books on Writing
d. Books on Publishing
e. Agents
I. How to Get An Agent
II. Pitching to Agents/Editors
III. Agents and Online Publishing
f. Things to Do to Get Published
g. Writer’s Conferences 
h. Classes/College Degree 
i. MFA Programs 
j. I Got a Book Deal! Now What?

4. Writing Questions Brent Frequently Has to say No To:

a. Can you help me be a writer?
b. Will you read my novel/screenplay/poem/magnum opus?
c. If my ideas inspire you, can I have credit?


a. What are three key writing tools you learned reading other authors? Who were they?
b. What’s your writing routine now? How has it changed?
c. Has writing a new magic system changed how you’re going to approach magic when you return to the Night Angel world? How?
d. Would you ever write in another genre?
e. How has having a daughter affected your writing life/plans/schedule?
f. What skills have you had to develop as a published author that don’t have to do with writing your novels?
g. What are three things you’d tell your younger, unpublished self?
h. How do you challenge yourself as a writer?
i. Further Questions on Pre-Writing/Planning/Outlining
j. Should there be happy endings? Why or why not?
k. The Pivot Questionnaire