False Starts and Introductions to Novels: Too Cliché or A Forgotten Skill?

"At dawn, the sun either shines itself or hides behind clouds, promising what the day will bring. So it is with introductions in stories." —anonymous Most agents and editors would balk at the suggestion of a false start intro. On its own, there's nothing wrong with an exciting beginning, so long as it's done well. …

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Ethereal Seals: Character Sketch Showcase!

Aside from writing, I enjoy hand sketching, with some digital art on occasion. I'm no virtuoso, and I don't sketch on a routine basis—but my skill has improved over the years. Below, I'll share some of my work on the characters in the Ethereal Seals series. 🙂 Pepper Slyhart My first sketch of Pepper many …

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The Hero’s Journey in Fiction

Years ago, I read a fantastic book named The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell. In it, the author details the Hero's Journey. This is a powerful story element that every writer, artist, or spiritual seeker should understand. It illustrates a protagonist's adventures, from a safe haven to the darkest dungeon—be they literal or figurative. The …

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Building a Fantasy Language—the Primeal

Language forms the crux of cultural values. From language, memes, traditions, and values emerge. The pillars of humanity. When I began Blade of Dragons, building a fantasy language that would aid me in developing the world of Atlas was vital. Enter the Primeal. I'll describe my experience with building a fantasy language, followed by tips …

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What Are My Favorite Fantasy Tropes?

In fantasy, you have a plethora of tropes that are reused; most of them never lose their charm. Everything from elves, dwarves, dragons, and halflings! In science fantasy, the scope expands to robots, cyborgs, aliens—the sky's the limit. These formulas represent time-tested values that readers adore. Personally, I have my own set of fantasy tropes …

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Making Fantasy Fiction Maps in GIMP: Tips and Tricks

Crafting a map for a fictional universe can be a handy resource for readers. Not every fiction has a cartographic reference, nor is it a requirement for good work. However, when done correctly, a map benefits both author and reader. In this article, I'll give an example of how I create my maps. You can …

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Disease in Fiction

Hello, my readers. Today let's discuss something that's been on all our minds recently. Yup, that's right—diseases in fiction. Right now, the world is in flux over the Coronavirus. It has created a bizarre, paranormal society where we're all confined to our homes, some of us without jobs. The Coronavirus is like this invisible antagonist, …

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Chapter 1 Excerpt from Blade of Dragons

  Hello, all! I'm getting ready to advertise my upcoming book, Blade of Dragons! Below is an excerpt from chapter 1 of the current manuscript. It's undergone many changes in the past couple months after several revision passes and feedback from betas. I'm excited that this project is finally reaching the next stage of its evolution, …

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Book Review: Eragon book 1, Inheritance

      Greetings and welcome back to yet another book review that I'd love to share with you all! 😀 I recently returned to the Eragon series to enjoy Christopher Paolini's writing. Eragon is a fantasy epic series spanning several books.  This review will focus on the first book, and I'll keep spoilers to a minimum. …

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