SA62 How Much Exposition is too Much


By stone-admin

What is exposition? It’s when a writer dumps a lot of information about their world or characters in an inelegant way. Today, Dave talks about how to use exposition, and how not to come off heavy-handed, especially in celebrating a world you’ve built. (cut silence) Help a friend…FacebookEmailTwitterBufferGoogle+MoreHelp a friend…FacebookEmailTwitterBufferGoogle+More

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SA61 The One Thing You NEED to be a Writer


By stone-admin

Many writers are looking for formulas, templates, and write by numbers to try to get started. But there’s only one thing you really need. Today Sean talks about what that is, and why you don’t need the rest. He also talks about how he, Johnny, and Dave have applied that in their own writing. Help […]

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SA60 Ideas Versus Execution and What Matters


By stone-admin

When you write 5 million words, you learn a thing or two. Today, Sean shares one of the most important lessons: ideas are everywhere, but what really matters is execution of those ideas. At times, Sean sees new ideas as the ‘enemy,’ especially when he’s trying to develop the ideas he has. Your job as […]

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SA59 Why Crappy Books Sell and Yours Do Not


By stone-admin

So… is it jealousy you’re feeling? The truth is, if the book is selling very well and has great reviews, then the problem is probably you. Yep, it’s hard to hear as a writer, but you’ve got to be honest with yourself. Maybe you just haven’t found what’s going to take off for you. It’s […]

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SA58 Using Social Media


By stone-admin

Love it or hate it, social media is how you can connect with your fans in a way that traditional publishers don’t do, or don’t even understand. Today, Johnny talks about how Sterling and Stone finally started leveraging the different platforms, how they narrowed their focus to be more effective, and how you can apply […]

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SA57 How to Succeed as a Writer


By stone-admin

This is an overlooked set of instructions, and one that other authors take for granted. Today, Sean explains one of the best ways to become a great writer, and that is to READ, READ, READ. For a writer, nothing beats it. Learn how Sean chooses his books, the ‘rules,’ and why you’re probably going to […]

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SA56 Where to Find Inspiration


By stone-admin

This is similar to where to get your ideas, but there’s an important difference. Today, Johnny talks about inspiration, where he gets it, and ideas where you can find it. It’s like we say: ‘good artists create, great artists steal.’ Not in the plagiaristic way, but in the Picasso way. Help a friend…FacebookEmailTwitterBufferGoogle+MoreHelp a friend…FacebookEmailTwitterBufferGoogle+More

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SA55 How to Make Your Villain Seem Real


By stone-admin

It’s waaay too easy to have an overly simple villain. But they aren’t created in a vacuum; they have their own motivations. Today, Dave talks about how to make your villain seem real, and one great strategy is to picture your villain as the hero of their own story. Give your villain a reason, create […]

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SA54 What I Have Learned Writing 5 Million Words


By stone-admin

Can you imagine writing 5 million words? Take it from someone who has, it’s a necessary thing. Today, Sean talks about why you should shoot for 5 million words, and it’s a reason that doesn’t rely on luck for opportunity. Want to make a living writing fiction? Then you’ll love what Sean has to say […]

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SA51 Why Your Story World Must Be Consistent


By stone-admin

Your story world is one of the most important things in your storytelling, and it’s really easy to undervalue. Just like characters, consistent story world gives your world authenticity. Breaking story consistency is like breaking characters, and your readers won’t trust you. Unicorn Western is a great example… pink gun smoke is silly, unless it […]

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SA49 Staying Healthy While Sitting as a Writer


By stone-admin

If you’ve been listening to the Self Publishing Podcast, or, gods forbid, the Worst. Show. Ever., then you know that Dave’s made a huge change for the better in his health. Part of that has been standing up more often, which can be difficult for writers who sit all day. Dave shares some of his […]

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SA47 How to Name Your Locations


By stone-admin

Today, Sean talks about naming locations and how important it is. From being too forgettable to too complicated, many authors have a difficult time hitting the sweet spot. Whether you realize it or not, it can be a huge barrier to people coming into fantasy and sci fi. There’s a way to be accessible while […]

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SA46 What to Do if You Are Bad at Grammar


By stone-admin

Today Johnny talks about grammar, the terrors of high school English class, and some definite rules. One of the best ways to learn acceptable grammar is to read other authors. There’s a way to have your own style and voice, though your grammar should never inhibit reading. Johnny’s advice is to know the rules, but […]

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SA45 Two Quick Tips for Writing Better Characters


By stone-admin

Characters are the driving force of any great story, and today, Sean gives two quick tips on how to write better characters. First includes giving your character friends. Second, ask yourself, how do those friends influence my character? You don’t have to write out entire character sheets, but feel out the friends’ lives. Do they […]

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SA44 What if I Have No Education


By stone-admin

Believe it or not, Sean didn’t go to school to become a writer. In fact, he didn’t even finish high school. After that, he bought his first business and married… a teacher. Today, Sean talks about your level of education, and what matters the most. It’s not who you were, it’s what you do now. […]

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SA43 Should I Know My Theme Before I Write


By stone-admin

There are plenty of themes that arise in stories that weren’t intentionally there. Today, Johnny talks about choosing themes or letting them come up naturally. He discusses the way he and Sean go about Realm and Sands themes, and how they can be layered, especially when there are big questions being asked. Help a friend…FacebookEmailTwitterBufferGoogle+MoreHelp […]

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SA42 Dealing with Criticism of Your Art


By stone-admin

In order to efficiently deal with criticism, you need to understand the two groups: critics and haters. Today, Johnny talks about how to deal with people from both camps, and also points out the most important fact: if you have haters, you’re doing it right! Also, if a critic is thoughtfully talking about your work, […]

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SA41 The 80 20 Rule for Authors


By stone-admin

Sean is especially guilty about chasing after ‘shinies,’ and so there’s a lot of consideration about which activities are really important. Hence, the 80 20 rule. Sean shows how he and the Sterling and Stone guys make use of this rule in their everyday writing life. Want to design your own book cover? Think again! […]

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SA40 How Do I Achieve a Work-Life Balance


By stone-admin

Dave claims to be the least balanced when it comes to work/life balance, and he falls on the work side of things. Today, Dave shares his strategies to overcome the work-heavy life. He lays out some of the problems you’ll face, especially when your breaks from work don’t include your loved ones. Help a friend…FacebookEmailTwitterBufferGoogle+MoreHelp […]

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SA38 Three 30 Minutes Exercises to Get Smarter Faster


By stone-admin

Sean thought early on that he wasn’t very creative, because he wasn’t creative in the same way that his sister is. He soon found out that wasn’t the case, and today, Sean shares three great exercises that will help you be even more creative! From opening lines to fiction, and non-fiction to sales copy, so […]

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SA37 How Do You Feel When Someone Copies Your Work


By stone-admin

Most people would be up in arms if someone else copied their work. Sean has a completely different take on it, beyond imitation being the sincerest form of flattery. He uses Quintin Tarantino as an example with his beloved grindhouse movies from the 70’s. Plagiarism, however, is totally different. Instead, when you copy, do it […]

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