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.
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
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.
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?
Hi Jim, I’m having trouble with two separate stories I’m writing. I’ve got both of them complete, but neither one of them is particularly long and I don’t think they’re strong enough to stand by themselves. I wrote them as sort of a separate story in the same universe where the characters from both stories meet up at the end and basically finish off … Read More Two Stories In One
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?
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.
So this isn’t actually a question that someone asked. It’s something I’m currently encountering in a book I’m working on. Not only that, we see it in various other stories as well. In The Orville, we see an amoeba-like creature hitting on a human woman. She rejects his advances of course, but that got me thinking. So the question stands… in Fantasy, where does … Read More Interspecies Romances in Fantasy: Where Do You Draw The Line?
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
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.
Anyone who has read my blog, knows that I have had to field many questions regarding how to handle criticism and reviews. My advice has always been a hands-off approach of engagement. Discussion and dialogue are always the best way to understand another person’s criticisms and concerns. In the end, you may find out that the other person has a valid point that you … Read More Silencing Critics, Validates Them.
Hi Jim, I’m just about to publish, but I don’t think the book is ready. I set a release date so that everyone would be ready and excited, but now I feel like I’ve really roped myself into a corner. I want to do more work on the book, but I don’t want to disappoint my fans. What should I do? -Miles Hi … Read More Delaying the Inevitable.