Should you let your political views show in your writing?
Jul 13 — 5 mins read
Be very careful about being openly political in your writings. It is very risky, with a low chance of payoff.
How do you accurately portray programming and tech in your stories?
Jun 21 — 13 mins read
I am a software developer by trade, and one of the more frustrating aspects of stories, whether on TV, the cinema, or in books, is the portrayal of technology and programming. In this long post, I will make my best attempt to help writers to rectify this.
Can you unpublish a book?
Mar 04 — 4 mins read
Yes you can, on most self-publishing platforms. But the question of whether you should do so is up to you.
How do you write narrative nonfiction?
Sep 21 — 6 mins read
Recently I finished a book called You Can't Make This Stuff Up by Lee Gutkind. This book is only known to a relatively small subset of people within the writing community, but to those people it is a cherished tome, for good reason.
How do you use character arcs in your stories?
Aug 19 — 6 mins read
A discussion of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and how its character arcs can help novelists and screenwriters alike.
How do you promote your book as an introvert author?
Aug 17 — 5 mins read
When I published my first book, a big fear I had at the time was how it would be received by readers, family, and friends alike - a fear no doubt shared by nearly everyone who has ever put pen to paper and published it for the world to read.
Can you change a book after you have published it?
Aug 06 — 3 mins read
The answer to this question depends on whether you want to self-publish your book, or publish it through traditional channels. In one instance, you are free to publish your work as you see fit. But in the other, things are less flexible.
How should you take notes when researching a book or novel?
Apr 21 — 3 mins read
For me, note-taking is one of the most fun parts of writing books. It combines reading, analysis, organisation, and composition. While not all writers plan their work, the most successful ones use planning and note-taking extensively.
How do you outline a book?
Jan 28 — 5 mins read
In this post, I'll be describing the planning and outlining parts of my book-writing process. We'll go from the initial idea, right up to the point before we start drafting the book itself. Think of this as the "pre-writing" phase of the process.
Should you plan your book and use an outline?
Jan 25 — 3 mins read
A common debating point in the writing community is whether to plan your writing, or to deliberately not plan your writing. Both approaches appear to have worked for different authors, and so the debate is never likely to end soon. But in this post, I'll argue that planning your writing has many great effects, all of which will make your job as a writer easier in the long run, producing work that is more sensible, resonant, and enjoyable for the reader - all priceless benefits.
Should you hire an editor for your book?
Jan 23 — 3 mins read
The choice of whether to hire an editor for your book project can be a daunting one. For many of us, this might be the first time we ever hire another person to do work for us, period. So I hope that this post demystifies the process a bit.
How can writers deal with impostor syndrome?
Jan 19 — 2 mins read
My best advice to authors feeling Impostor Syndrome is three-fold. First, talk to other authors - you'll be shocked at how many share your anxieties. Second, compare your achievements only to past versions of yourself, not to others. Thirdly, remember that you have written - or are writing - a book. Do you realise how many people dream of doing that, and never fulfil that dream? You are an amazing, one-in-a-million person for that. And I really mean it.
Should you write fiction or nonfiction?
Jan 18 — 3 mins read
The choice of writing fiction or nonfiction crosses the mind of everyone who picks up a pen. Should we write an enticing tale that pulls the reader onto an exciting journey, or share our greatest lessons in a more literal fashion?
How do you write a page-turner?
Jan 18 — 5 mins read
Keeping a reader’s attention means leading them down a path that looks interesting and unknown in some way. You have to entice them down this path by first getting their attention (the “hook” in any novel), making a lot of promises early on, and then delivering on those promises quickly. This sets a pattern of repeated promise-delivery that the reader gets used to.