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Backstory: A Case Study (Koontz)

Tweet Last week I introduced the Biographical Priority Index. It’s the handy-dandy system we can use to rate elements of a character’s backstory based on whether and when to introduce them. Priority 1 information is stuff we need to introduce as soon as practical (note that says¬†practical, not¬†possible; it’s awkward if you force information into […]

Guts & Bolts: Have Dice Bag, Will Travel

Tweet I spent last month’s Guts & Bolts being pretty hard on Epic Fantasy’s promotional copy. That’s not surprising: I have a complicated relationship with the genre, even going so far as to quit it entirely while I was in college. But I’m going to try and be nicer this time around by dealing with […]

Kill Your Darlings: The Alpha and Omega of Stephen King

So, when I was pondering which part of Stephen King’s On Writing to share with you today, for some reason my brain said, “FIRST! LAST! PAGING THROUGH BOOK TO FIND UNDERLINED THINGS!” And I said, “Huh?” My brain just rolled its eyes at me. But then it explained….

Pulp Ain’t Just in Oranges: Remaking a Synopsis into Promo Copy

Tweet Last time I explained how unexpectedly good promotional copy caused me to be crowned King of Promotional Copy. (Kings and czars? I definitely have delusions of grandeur.) This time, I’m going to tell you how a really good job making bad copy led to discovering the Consortium Formula for promotional copy. But before that, […]

Working Titles and Story Questions

In today’s “Prewriting” post, we’ll discuss working titles, short synopses, and the ever-elusive story question.

On Marketing: Product Descriptions

Tweet This week we’ve got guest posts from my good friend and fellow Consortium Writer, Joshua Unruh. He’s back today to talk about writing product descriptions, or back-cover copy for your books. Last time I gave you a bit of my career background to help explain why Aaron crowned me king of back-cover copy. (Kings […]

Should I Self-Publish?

Tweet An Introduction to Kindle Publishing In January of 2011, I started taking a class called “Readings in Mass Communication” in pursuit of my Master of Professional Writing degree at the University of Oklahoma. It’s an interdisciplinary theory course that combines lectures and select readings in the academic literature to explore the changing role of […]

On Storytelling Terminology: Questions (2 of 2)

Tweet This week we’re talking about industry terms, and specifically focusing on the questions that keep people reading. Yesterday I talked about the gimmicks–hooks and plates–but today I want to talk about your load-bearing questions. These are the questions that form the foundation of your story. They’re the questions that drive your protagonist through some […]

On Kindle Publishing: The Role of the Global Information Network

Tweet On Tuesday I interrupted a three-week introduction to the Kindle publishing phenomenon for a case study near and dear to our hearts: Courtney Cantrell’s Kindle publishing success story. Now, admittedly she’s no Hocking yet. She’s a success regardless. She has already sold well beyond her immediate circle of friends and family, and even out […]

On Kindle Publishing: Credibility (1 of 2)

Tweet Last week I started this series on Kindle publishing with a look at some of its biggest players (Konrath, Hocking, and Eisler), and then spent a while discussing the technological changes that have made this publishing revolution possible. But even with the technological shift well and firmly established, there’s another shift that has to […]