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Zombie subplots

Multidimensionality: The Value of Subplots

Very often when reading slush for the Writers of the Future contest, I come upon stories that at first glance seem to be perfectly acceptable. They presented a protagonist who had a problem to overcome. The setting was reasonably well defined. The story proceeded at a good pace, with the problem escalating nicely. Often there was a surprise twist at the ending, and the conclusion seemed appropriate. Yet when I got done reading the story, it just lacked . . . something.

A chef

The Fine Distinction Between Cooks and Chefs

A lot of people want to give you writing advice. I’ve felt it—trust me, I’ve been there. During my long years trying to break in as a writer, I felt that I never lacked for someone jumping in to tell me how this writing thing had to be done.

Typewriter

Parts to a Story – From the inciting incident to the denouement

Recently I’ve had a number of my students ask, “What makes a story great?” For example, what sets apart a story that wins major awards from one that doesn’t? What makes one story monumental, a landmark in its field, while another story fades from memory?

Thor and Terl go at it at SD Comic Con 2017

Superheroes and Star Wars Characters Stand with Terl at Comic Con

Terl returned to San Diego Comic Con 2017 and found good company with superheroes as well as Star Wars characters Chewbacca and a baby Ewok and more.

Writer Winners - 1st Quarter

Writers of the Future 2nd Quarter 2017 Winners

The judging results are in! Here are the 2nd Quarter 2017 Writers of the Future Contest winners. Congratulations to you all!

Check Out How SD Comic Con Welcomed Writers of the Future

Over 500 Comic Con attendees had an opportunity to meet Writers of the Future Volume 33 winners Jake Marley and Andrew L. Roberts to get an autographed copy of volume 33 and the beautiful poster of the cover art, Crimson Dawn, painted by Larry Elmore.

Man reading a book

Grounding Your Reader

One reader asked me to discuss a bit about what I call “grounding” the reader. Quite simply, grounding is the fine art of letting the reader know what is going on. You need to focus on some basics …

Man reading a book

What Makes a Story Great?

Recently I’ve had a number of my students ask, “What makes a story great?” For example, what sets apart a story that wins major awards from one that doesn’t? What makes one story monumental, a landmark in its field, while another story fades from memory?

Jake Marley on stage with the Golden Pen Award

Writing the Future: Thoughts on the Writers of the Future Contest

I can admit that when I first heard about the Writers and Illustrators of the Future contest, I was skeptical. On the surface it seemed too good to be true.

Jake Marley at the Writers Workshop 2017

Meet the winner – Jake Marley

riters of the Future alumni C Stuart Hardwick interviewed the winners from this year’s contest. Here’s his interview with Jake Marley, author of “Acquisition.”