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.

New Writing Advice: Prologues

What are your thoughts on prologues? As a reader, I got burnt out by prologues. I think after Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time, every writer felt they needed a prologue to show how big and serious their fantasy was. I yawned through too many stuffy ‘epics’ that were epic only in scope, not in feeling […]

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Writing Interview

1. What are three key writing tools you learned reading other authors? Who were they? 2. What is your writing routine now? How has it changed? 3. Has writing a new magic system changed how you’re going to approach magic when you return to the Night Angel world? How? 4. Would you ever write in […]

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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 a. Tips: Do you have any […]

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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 a. World-Building i. Tips/strategies:  (from the Comments, Mary asked): Any tips/strategies/etc. for World-building? A lot of writers have different takes on your question than I do. […]

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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? […]

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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. Can you help me be a writer? First, and perhaps most obviously: WHAT DO YOU THINK I’M DOING HERE?! Seriously, though, these posts are my monthly way of trying […]

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