how-to

Fantasy Genre Tropes We Love and Hate

Fantasy tropes we love and hateI’ve been challenged to write an epic fantasy genre story, so I’m reading a lot of current fantasy fiction. It varies from ‘meh’ to ‘aarrrgghh!’ not only for the quality of the writing, but the vast number of fantasy genre tropes we love and hate.

A trope is any type of figure of speech, theme, image, character, or plot element that is used many times. All genres have them, but the fantasy genre is piled higher than Khazad Dum (too geeky already?). …

Seven Deadly Fears of Writing

Edvard Munch - The ScreamWhat’s been stopping you from producing that magnum opus? Taken from the opening of Jurgen Wolff’s 2007  Your Writing Coach, what follows is our take on his Seven Deadly Fears of Writing; those fears that stop would-be, and even some professional writers getting on with the job of writing.

Artwork for blog posts

Image: Mini Piggy Bank Money Box - aliexpress.com
Image: Mini Piggy Bank Money Box – aliexpress.com

As I have to keep telling clients, the bad old days of text-only blogs is over. Every post needs at least one image at the top so that it has some visual interest on the page and in any list of search results.

You need not only to find that image, but know how and where it will be displayed and at what resolution, in order to avoid that ‘elementary school project’ look.

How-to: Write a Blog Post

Blog posting how-toA couple of years ago, I calculated that I’d racked up about four and a half thousand blog posts across all my personal and professional projects. Yes, I’ve been doing this a while.

I won’t say there’s a set formula (if there is, I break it regularly), but there are definitely good practices.

Outlining a book

 

Harry Potter Outline
Harry Potter outline – J K Rowling

Sixty, seventy, eighty thousand words or more. That’s your typical novel. Somehow you have to get to there from a blank page. Unless you’re an accomplished free-writer, that’s where an outline can help. …

How-to: Use Dashes and Hyphens on the web

How-to: Use Dashes and Hyphens on the webThere’s a brilliant article on A List Apart: The Trouble With EM ’n EN (and Other Shady Characters) by  from way back in October, 2001, now sadly marked “This article, while brilliant for its time, is now obsolete.”

However the topic doesn’t go away and we’re still struggling, not only with the style guide but how to render these shady characters for the web when there are all sorts of technical issues.

How-to Decide What NOT to Post On Facebook Part I [guest post]


Facebook - avoid oversharingCan I stop you for a moment to talk about a particularly modern, Western habit? Over-sharing. Not content with talking indiscreetly in lunch queues, on instant messaging and in email, people are habitually sharing all manner of personal information and opinions on Facebook without a second thought.

Why? Facebook has garnered a hideous reputation for security and the almost complete lack of privacy, violating many of its’ previous rules every time it goes in for a face-lift. …