Fantasy and sci-fi tips from an award-winning editor

I attended a Reedsy Live where Jonathan Oliver gave some wonderful tips for fantasy and sci-fi writers that I'd like to share. Some of these tips are for all genres though. What's a word count for fantasy and sci-fi? For adult fantasy, he mentioned the range to be about 130,000 to 250,000 words. Sci-fi landed … Continue reading Fantasy and sci-fi tips from an award-winning editor

7 things to remember when building your fantasy world

Fantasy worlds are complicated to build since everything is foreign. If you're a plotter (aka you plan your story before you write it), you may have thought most of this out already. But if you're more of a pantser like me (aka you build your story as you go), you may have to go back … Continue reading 7 things to remember when building your fantasy world

3 tips to spice up your dialogue

Dialogue is critical. It's not necessary—many stories don't have it—but in stories where it's present, it needs to flow and keep the story going. That can be hard though. Small talk keeps the story still. Sometimes dialogue can feel like an info dump. So, how do we keep it interesting? Goals Give every character a goal—usually … Continue reading 3 tips to spice up your dialogue

When to tell instead of show

We've all heard the saying show, don't tell. Even as I edit, I find instances where I need to point that out. However, telling does have a purpose. It's about how you use it. And perhaps understanding it more will help writers understand when and when not to use it. There are two main concepts … Continue reading When to tell instead of show

3 questions to build your characters’ voices

One of my favorite panels from DV Con was about voice. The presenters brought up many powerful points. They mentioned questions to ask about your main character (MC). Preferably, you'd ask these questions before you begin writing. But if you're like me, you don't know your characters as well on the first draft, so this … Continue reading 3 questions to build your characters’ voices

What fantasy writers need in their stories

I attended Fantasy Writer’s Week from ProWritingAid, and one of my favorite talks was over an emotion writers should focus on: wonder. Wonder is a sweet mix between surprise and admiration. Bringing wonder into a story allows the reader to get more immersed in an unfamiliar world. It makes them want to know more. Dave … Continue reading What fantasy writers need in their stories

How to write an author bio for submissions

Author bios can seem difficult. It's impossible to narrow a person down to a few sentences. But writers also do the impossible all the time. My experience with this is limited to Submittable. Most places ask for a bio between three to five sentences long. Bios are simple and can have a small bit of … Continue reading How to write an author bio for submissions

How do I keep track of my poems to submit?

On a recent writer's journey post, I mentioned that I keep track of my poems, but I didn't explain how. So, today, I'm going to show how I do that. Here's a basic rundown of what an empty template looks like: You can do this in Microsoft Word or Excel. I prefer Word. I make … Continue reading How do I keep track of my poems to submit?

Good vs bad adverbs

Back in 2018, I did a post on adverbs that I need to expand on. I talked before about how writers should use adverbs sparingly. But I didn't talk about good vs bad adverbs. Bad adverbs are like smiled happily. Or fiercely killed him. Or softly whispered. Readers can already tell she’s happy because she’s … Continue reading Good vs bad adverbs

3 tips on writing characters

I attended a webinar the other day about tips for writing characters. I thought I'd share the main tips they talked about. Show the adjectives Instead of saying, "Josalyn is caring," show how she's caring. Does she take care of a child? Is she always there for others? Does she risk herself to save her … Continue reading 3 tips on writing characters