Category: Opinion

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The Phoenix Effect: After Being Burned by Bad Reviews #Writing #Author #Advice

Hi Jim, I’m really upset about the feedback one of my book has been getting. For the most part, the reviews have been constructive, but they’ve mostly been negative. The book in question is a sequel to one that got a lot of positive reviews. The story had a great following, but now I’m afraid the sequel may have ruined it. I was really … Read More The Phoenix Effect: After Being Burned by Bad Reviews #Writing #Author #Advice

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Social Commentary/Political Agenda in Writing, The Good and Bad. #Writing #Author #Advice

Hi Jim, I’ve been reading through some of your posts regarding avoiding politics, and escapism in entertainment. You seem to be extremely anti-politics in your advice. You use Marvel Comics and others as your primary example, but you do realize that they have always been political, right? Most of the mediums and genres you’ve addressed have historically been political. So I’m not really sure … Read More Social Commentary/Political Agenda in Writing, The Good and Bad. #Writing #Author #Advice

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The Ins and Outs of Publishing, A Directory of Advice. #Writing #Author #Advice

Okay, so it looks like I’m still getting a lot of publishing questions. These are recurrent questions I get on a regular basis, and while I want to try to respond to everyone who reaches out to me, I don’t want my blog becoming redundant. So I think I’m going to repost this on a weekly basis from now on to help people navigate … Read More The Ins and Outs of Publishing, A Directory of Advice. #Writing #Author #Advice

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Character Creation, The How To #Writing #Author #Advice

Hi Jim, I’ve been working on my story for a while, but am having trouble coming up with new characters. I was wondering if you had any advice about how you create yours? By the way, I am a huge fan of Vlad from Soul Siphon. I love how you made him a salty old Soviet Commie! Thanks, Ty Hi Ty,   Glad you … Read More Character Creation, The How To #Writing #Author #Advice

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Endings: Memorable is More Important Than Happy or Sad. #Writing #Author #Advice

Hi Jim, I’m getting ready to publish my first novel. I’ve finished the rough draft and have given it to an editor. They came back with a critique and it honestly got me thinking. He said that my ending may shut readers off because of how sad it is. I will admit that my story doesn’t end on a high note, but now I’m … Read More Endings: Memorable is More Important Than Happy or Sad. #Writing #Author #Advice

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Is Spellcheck Enough? #Writing #Author #Advice

Hi Jim, I’m sure you’ve answered this before, but I can’t find it in any of your recent posts. I finished my book and just finished running spell check. Everything looks good and the only things it says I still have to fix are grammar errors that are part of the dialogue. Is that sufficient for submitting it to publishers? Thanks, Michel Hi Michel, … Read More Is Spellcheck Enough? #Writing #Author #Advice

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Expert Consulting on Fantasy? #Writing #Author #Advice

Hi Jim, I have a question maybe you can help with. I’m trying to write a fantasy novel dealing with biological warfare, but I don’t have a lot of scientific or medical knowledge. I don’t want it to sound like I have no idea what I’m talking about, but I want to try to explain the mechanics of how certain things work in the … Read More Expert Consulting on Fantasy? #Writing #Author #Advice

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Being Preachy Doesn’t Sell. #Writing #Author #Advice

Hi Jim! I’m hoping you can help me here as a lot of your posts have been about political ideologies making bad stories. I want to write a fictional story with a moral and a political message, but upon rereading what I’ve already written, I’m worried about it being too preachy.  Do you have any advice for me? Thanks! Leah Hi Leah, Good question. … Read More Being Preachy Doesn’t Sell. #Writing #Author #Advice

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Writing Modern People in Fiction #Writing #Author #Advice

Hello, Jim– I was wondering if you had any insight to offer on a dilemma I’m facing in a current novella draft: The story is a blend of Alternate History and general scifi, set in a world where a much more aggressive Space Race and Cold War has led to the establishment of a joint USA-USSR colony on the Moon by the late 1990s, … Read More Writing Modern People in Fiction #Writing #Author #Advice

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The Ins and Outs of Publishing, A Directory of Advice. #Writing #Author #Advice

Okay, so it looks like I’m still getting a lot of publishing questions. These are recurrent questions I get on a regular basis, and while I want to try to respond to everyone who reaches out to me, I don’t want my blog becoming redundant. So I think I’m going to repost this on a weekly basis from now on to help people navigate … Read More The Ins and Outs of Publishing, A Directory of Advice. #Writing #Author #Advice

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The Ins and Outs of Publishing, A Directory of Advice. #Writing #Author #Advice

Okay, so it looks like I’m still getting a lot of publishing questions. These are recurrent questions I get on a regular basis, and while I want to try to respond to everyone who reaches out to me, I don’t want my blog becoming redundant. So I think I’m going to repost this on a weekly basis from now on to help people navigate … Read More The Ins and Outs of Publishing, A Directory of Advice. #Writing #Author #Advice

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Private Life. Professional Appearance. #Writing #Author #Advice

  Hi Jim, Since starting writing both my books and my blog, I’ve been getting a lot of friend requests to my primary social media accounts. Part of me doesn’t want these people to have access to my personal information and the things I talk about with my friends… I’ve heard of being doxxed for their opinions, stalked, etc. However I really don’t want … Read More Private Life. Professional Appearance. #Writing #Author #Advice