Tag Archives: tips

The Artifact is Published!


The reason we all gathered in the first place has finally come to fruition…we are published!

4 1/2 months, several cases of keyboard-based carpal tunnel, dozens of sleepless nights and many,many version later, our book, “The Artifact: An Anthology” is done!

In 2 weeks it will be on Amazon.com, but you can get it now for only $8.99 at: http://www.createspace.com/3350744

If you get a copy, we truly hope you enjoy it.

Thanks for following us this far, and keep coming here for updates on upcoming projects!

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whatever it takes

As I sit in the terminal at Charlotte airport on the last leg of our journey home from the Las Vegas Star Trek Convention, I am thinking back to something Spock said.

Leonard Nimoy was amazing as usual. His antecdotes were funny, and his memories were touching. However, someone asked him a very important question while he was on stage.

The fan stood at the microphone and asked: “Mr. Nimoy, I want to be a photographer. What advice do you have for me?”

Nimoy, an accomplished photographer himself, answered, “You do whatever it takes. Do what you love, do it often, and dont worry about getting paid for it. Just find a way to do it.”


That translates into anything, doesn’t it?

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Churchill looking over our shoulders

‘Writing a book is an adventure.  To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement.  Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant.  The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him to the public.’

Winston Churchill

Churchill has always been one of my favorite historical figures. He was a man of character and wisdom, and led a nation through it’s darkest hour and into it’s finest hour.

And then I read this quote last night.

Now, he is my absolute favorite!

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fiction writer’s cheat sheet

This is an article from Dakota State University I found a year ago. It is simple, yet a fantastic reminder for the experienced writer, and a great cheat sheet for the beginner. Enjoy!

Fiction writers learn to write by writing. Although writing is an art, there are skills, tools, and techniques that can be learned in order to develop talent. And constructive criticism and feedback can help this process.

To be a good writer you need to read a lot, listen and observe everything about you carefully, and write a lot. Writing a lot takes discipline, because writing can actually be hard work- but very satisfying. Setting up a routine for writing is important; it is very easy to find something else to do besides writing. A compulsion to write is very useful.

Fiction writers should have a good grasp of the language, but most of all they must be storytellers. A really good story can compensate for less-than-brilliant writing, but brilliant writing will not save a bad story.

Readers of fiction want very much to find the writer’s work to be believable. It is the task of the writer to produce a story that does not jolt the reader into recognizing that the narrative is just the writer talking, just fiction. The writer should write about what he or she already knows through experience or can learn about through research. The narrative should read as if the writer really knows what he or she is writing about.

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Weekend warrior

Going into the weekend, I began to think…

I’m done working for the week, but am I done writing? HECK NO!

It’s strange. There’s an old saying…”You make time for the things you think are important.”

Aint that the truth! All week long you work 8 or 9 hours a day, then spend some valuable time with family, then, when all are asleep, you hit the old laptop for another 2 or 3 hours of typing. It’s funny, though…the typing just doesn’t seem like work!

Take, for instance, the Artifact Project we’re working on. A 5000 or 10,000 word chapter will take most authors a month to write. Our people are doing it in less than half that time, while still working away at their everyday jobs, and loving on their families…

…a labor of love just doesn’t seem like labor at all, does it.

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Collaborate the Artifact

Early on in the process of writing this book, we learned the importance of collaboration.

The life of the writer is often a lonely one, spent in the solitude of a cramped room with an uncomfortable chair and a computer (or Underwood, if you’re still in the 70’s).

When we decided to collaborate on the book, everything that would follow would go against the grain of conventional writing. Authors are generally very protective of their work…it’s like one of their offspring. We don’t want to be told it’s bad, or could be improved.

Oh, we say we love criticism because it’s the only way we can improve…but down deep, we want to believe that draft #1 is as great and perfect as it will ever get.

The group involved with this project has stepped outside of that comfort box, and has been willing to take…and give…honest criticism.  And only then was the true meaning of collaboration able to blossom.

Also, we found that daily communication through a chat room has been crucial. It’s the next best thing to hanging out in a coffee shop with each other.

So, if your new to writing, or beginning a project like ours, these would be my 3 tips:

1. If you’re gonna dish out criticism, be able to take, and accept, it.

2. Know that draft #1 is not, will not, and never will be, the only draft.

3. Find a way to keep constant communication open with the writers in your project, or other writers who truly care about this craft.

Ahhh…words to live, or die, by.

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