SA362 What if I’m Not Creative?


By stone-admin

“What if I’m not creative?” We get this question all the time, and we always shake our heads. Today, Sean talks about his belief that everyone is creative to some extent, and how creativity can be developed. It’s like a muscle that becomes stronger as you work it. Another big part of creativity is making […]

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SA361 Authenticity in Your Art


By stone-admin

Struggling with how to relate your story to your readers? Try adding a little authenticity into the mix and see what happens. In this episode of the Smarter Artist Podcast, guest host Jamie Davis shares his experiences in his real-life medical training with his fantasy readers to create an authentic experience that draws the readers […]

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SA360 Why You Should Use Both Autoresponders and Broadcasts


By stone-admin

Want to turn readers into fans? Acquisition is always first, and next comes the autoresponder. Finally, broadcasts. Today, Sean talks about autoresponders (welcome emails to someone new on your list) and broadcasts (list-wide emails for everyone). Your new audience members will become fans, and your fans will become your customers. And YOU will be a […]

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SA359 How to Balance Drafts and New Book Preproduction


By stone-admin

Some people who will never have the problem of beginning a new book while editing drafts of another. But others who want to churn out books more quickly, it becomes an issue to swap back and forth between your ‘mental muscles.’ Johnny talks about how he manages multiple project at different stages, like separating things […]

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SA358 Statements, Descriptions, and Light on Broken Glass


By stone-admin

Show don’t tell; odds are very good that if you’ve been writing for very long at all then someone has given you that piece of advice. What does it actually mean, though, and how do you get it done? In this episode of The Smarter Artist, guest host C. Steven Manley attempts to answer those […]

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SA357 How Do I Use Metaphors?


By stone-admin

Metaphors are amazing for lighting up your readers’ brains with imagery, to help them ‘see’ your story. But you have to use metaphors carefully. Johnny talks about metaphor usage and how NOT to sound pretentious and over the top. He explains the simple ways to use metaphors effectively. Help a friend…FacebookEmailTwitterBufferGoogle+MoreHelp a friend…FacebookEmailTwitterBufferGoogle+More

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SA356 What if I Don’t Have an Audience?


By stone-admin

One thing EVERYONE faces in the beginning of their authorpreneur journey is having no audience. It’s one of our most-asked questions. The answer is simple: build one. It’s easier said than done. Sean takes you through the strategy of building an audience on something substantial, and going from one fan to ten, ten to a […]

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SA355 Why You Should Watch the Toy Story Movies


By stone-admin

Toy Story is one of Sean’s favorite movie franchises, and he’s got a passion for Pixar’s ability to tell stories. Today, he talks about how Pixar surged after years of work, how their sequels were better to the originals (in his opinion), and what makes them so great. If you want to dig into some […]

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SA353 How to Write a Sideways Story


By stone-admin

Ever heard of a ‘sideways story?’ Think Rogue One and how The Plans ended up in Princess Leia’s hands. Today, Sean talks about how to take your world and your characters and use them to answer questions raised in your story that weren’t answered there. Entice your true fans and remind them why they love […]

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SA352 Relationships Are Complicated


By stone-admin

Relationships are complicated. You’re a living person in the real world, so you know this. But if your stories lack complicated relationships, if everyone has cookie-cutter lives, then your stories lack reality. Today, Dave talks about how to create complicated relationships. He explains how writers can investigate unusual relationships in their fiction that can affect […]

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SA351 Five Plot Points to Help Finish that First Draft


By stone-admin

Having trouble finishing the first draft of your novel or maybe just looking for a way to help you focus your writing? In this episode, guest host and speculative fiction author C.Steven Manley borrows a lesson from great screenwriters to suggest a five plot point method to help you get from “Once Upon a Time” […]

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SA350 What an Old Fisherman Taught Me About Luck


By stone-admin

Luck is a word that’s tossed around without much consideration, but when you consider how devastating it can be to someone’s hopes and dreams, you might not be so quick to use it. Today, Audra talks about a far better way to achieve what you hope for in life by creating opportunity. Help a friend…FacebookEmailTwitterBufferGoogle+MoreHelp […]

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SA349 Why Stories Should Hop Mediums


By stone-admin

One of the aims of the Sterling and Stone Story Studio is to make stories that jump mediums, much like The Matrix did. There were the movies, of course, but there was an entire array of content that spanned video games, comics, and more, that revealed more about the world. Sean talks about how you […]

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SA347 Dealing with Anxiety


By stone-admin

Being anxious is a normal feeling. But when that anxiety holds you back from the things you want to accomplish in life, you need a plan to confront it. Today, Audra talks about how she deals with anxiety, and one very poignant realization someone shared with her that changed the way she viewed herself. Maybe […]

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SA345 Why Writing Should Never be Miserable


By stone-admin

Here’s a hard truth: writing shouldn’t be miserable. If it is, then maybe you shouldn’t BE a writer. Today, Sean talks about how to keep writing from being miserable, from planning to framing, and much more about writing life in general. Something as simple as changing the name of a task can help change the […]

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SA345 Monsters Should Be Fun


By stone-admin

If you’ve read Sterling and Stone’s Yesterday’s Gone, then you know we like writing fun monsters. Today, Dave talks about Boricio, who is terrible in a way that is cathartic. It’s a little scary, though; Dave talks about how he sometimes asks ‘What would Boricio do?’ He also explains how you can write a fun […]

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SA344 Your Story Wants a Mini-Arc


By stone-admin

What IS a mini-arc? The concept is simple: it’s a series of stories within a story. You already do this to an extent with scenes and chapters, but if you’re intentional about it, your reader will be ravenous from page to page. Sean explains how to include mini-arcs in YOUR story, even if it’s something […]

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SA343 How Can I Change from Free to Paid?


By stone-admin

Many authors started by getting their words out to the world however they could, especially by giving away books for free. It’s never an easy transition going from free to paid. Today, Johnny talks about how to handle free-seekers versus actual buyers, how to make the transition as smooth as possible, and a strategy for […]

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SA342 Why Character Always Trumps Plot


By stone-admin

Plot is important. But it’s your characters that your audience will resonate with. If you can create memorable characters, you have a much better chance of creating something timeless. Sean explains how to create the type of character that will keep your reader interested. Whatever your plot, a character with strong motivations can carry a […]

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SA341 From Podcast to Nonfiction


By stone-admin

In this episode guest-host Jamie Davis shares a tried and true technique to overcome impostor syndrome and start writing that non-fiction book you’ve been planning. He also talks about how even a non-expert can utilize expert podcast interviews to build a successful book project over time and become the curator of expert information. Help a […]

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SA340 Traditional Budgeting Sucks, So Do This Instead


By stone-admin

There’s definitely a left brain, right brain divide between being and artist and being a business person, and a lot of artists get stuck on traditional budgeting. Spreadsheets and guesstimating aren’t the way to manage money for a lot of us. Today, Audra talks about the one budget tool that can take the pain out […]

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SA339 How do I Withhold Information from My Reader?


By stone-admin

Withholding information from your reader is one of the BEST ways to control your reader’s experience. If you don’t provoke curiosity, your reader might not be interested enough to keep reading. Today, Sean talks about several ways to withhold information, and uses tangible examples from S&S’s catalogue.   Help a friend…FacebookEmailTwitterBufferGoogle+MoreHelp a friend…FacebookEmailTwitterBufferGoogle+More

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SA338 How and Why to be Honest in Your Writing


By stone-admin

It’s paramount to be honest in your writing, but what about when you’re writing about aliens? That’s NOT the kind of honesty we’re talking about. Today, Johnny talks about being honest in your writing, not just in writing things that are graphic, but also in being truthful with your characters and what they do. Help […]

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