Exploring the Story – World of Warcraft

I’m not a huge gamer. The most recent systems in our house are a Gamecube, which I’ve had for over 15 years — maybe 20, which is scary — and a PS2, which we just took from my in-laws’ house because my brother-in-law didn’t want it anymore.

However, there are a few games that I will always love to play. The main one, if you hadn’t guessed, is World of Warcraft, an MMORPG that first came out in 2004. I started playing in 2005, and I played off and on until about 2014.

Once again, the drums of Warcraft are beating in my heart, and I’m probably about to start playing again. There are a thousand reasons why I love this game, but the primary one is my love of exploring this world.

Continue reading “Exploring the Story – World of Warcraft”

CLICK. by Luther M. Siler – Quick, Fun, Inter-Dimensional Action

I got Click. directly from the author after I won a contest on his site. I was the first to comment a random word from a video he posted, proving I actually watched it.

Click. is an exciting and action-packed story that’s easy to digest and hard to put down. As is typical with Siler’s stories, the dialogue is snappy and sarcastic, with one-liners and pop culture references peppered throughout.

Continue reading “CLICK. by Luther M. Siler – Quick, Fun, Inter-Dimensional Action”

Poorly Written Headlines #4

This one was a sub-headline, but I still have issues with it.

Want to learn how to write good headlines? Check this out. Perhaps it’s time to write a post about creating good sub-headlines…

What this sub-headline does right:

  • Tells us the author’s purpose for writing the book… I guess?

What this sub-headline does wrong:

  • Takes a cliche expression and makes it blander.
  • Doesn’t actually tell us anything about the book.

History repeats itself, if we ignore history we are doomed to repeat it, etc. This sub-headline is essentially those cliche phrases except worded more poorly.

We can glean from this snippet (and the headline if you saw it), that this is for a historical novel. What type of history? That’s a mystery! (Not even the headline made that clear.) Maybe this book is really a detective caper where we have to guess which historical event it’s actually talking about, giving us clues along the way, but then there’s a big twist at the end!

The sub-headline of a press release is supposed to provide those little extra details that are just too wordy for a short snappy headline.

Here’s the how Google populates the press release I sent announcing that WoEM had been published. See that smaller text beneath the main headline? That’s officially called the meta description, but for a press release, that’s where the sub-headline would populate.

My sub-headline isn’t perfect, but it provides at least a little extra information. Notice how Google truncates it after about 150 characters? That makes it even more important that you front-load that summary with information that potential readers can act on.

What could be done differently:

Just rewrite the whole thing. Replace it with a description of the book, perhaps an actual piece of advice that could be taken from this mysterious history lesson. Or maybe tell us When and Where the book could be purchased.

As it currently reads, this sub-headline is effectively wasted space.

Steve D

Building a Plot through Dialogue

Plotting the first draft of a novel can be difficult. Oftentimes, you’re not sure exactly where the story is going until you get there. Weaving together multiple characters, their micro-conflicts, and the larger plot is impossible unless you already know how the tapestry should look.

I’ve been having trouble recently with writing my first draft for The Warden of Everfeld: Legacy. Some of that has been due to travel and other things going on in life, but a big part of it has been a bit of writer’s block. Luckily, I found a way around that, at least for now. Continue reading “Building a Plot through Dialogue”

Midway Check-In: 2019 Book Marketing Goals

We’re a little over halfway through the year, so I thought I would provide an update to the marketing goals I set earlier in the year for my book and this website.

To be fair, I haven’t given much thought to my book marketing goals since Awesome Con in April. Granted, I was much more focused on finding a job most of that time, but this will be a good refresher for us all. Continue reading “Midway Check-In: 2019 Book Marketing Goals”

Following that Narrative Thought

My writing pace has slowed down a bit in recent days, and for once, I don’t mean in pure word count.

Maybe a week ago I completed a longer chapter centered on one’s character’s POV. I knew how I wanted the chapter to go, it just took a lot of writing time and words to get there.

I’ve since moved on to the next chapter with my favorite character–Arden–and I think my writing style has shifted a bit. Continue reading “Following that Narrative Thought”

Exploring Úr’Dan: The Firelands and the Northern Uplands

With all of the narrative shifts, outlining, and pondering I’ve done about The Warden of Everfeld: Legacy and related stories recently, I wanted to revive my world-building series.

And boy was I shocked to find that I haven’t written an Exploring Úr’Dan post in over a year! Here’s a refresher for all of us (myself included) of the fantastical ground we’ve covered previously:

Continue reading “Exploring Úr’Dan: The Firelands and the Northern Uplands”

May Write Day: Little Writing, Much Awesome

I did not write very much in April. I honestly cannot tell you what I was doing instead of writing.

I applied for a bunch of jobs. We road tripped around Lake Michigan for 10 days, and then… Awesome Con. Writing was completely lost in that mix, but it was still a great month overall.

Continue reading “May Write Day: Little Writing, Much Awesome”

Quarterly Sales Report: Awesome Con was Awesome

Awesome Con was fantastic. I talked to a ton of cool people, connected with a couple authors, and sold some freaking books.

I wish I had the budget right now to do more conventions, but I’ll just have to be patient. At the very least, I can plan to be at Awesome Con again next year. For now, let’s have a look at how well my first novel actually sold at my first convention. Continue reading “Quarterly Sales Report: Awesome Con was Awesome”

Awesome Con is Here!

The day of reckoning has finally arrived. In just a few minutes, I’ll be heading down to DC for Awesome Con!

I have parking spots reserved for each of the next three days, and I got my books on time! These are the boxes I have to haul down there.

And here’s my actual merch, my newly printed matte-finish books and bookmarks!

I think the matte finish came out really well, even though it’s not as dark as the bookmarks–that was sort of the idea.

I have 35 books with me, which is probably way too many, but I wanted to have some extra anyway for whatever my next chance to meet readers will be.

I forewent buying flyers for “The Grand Mythos” or a banner, due to budget and time constraints (a.k.a., I’m unemployed, and I did not give myself enough time to prepare), so I printed some promo text on the back of these bookmarks.

I included a blurb for Aston and Jaed, a promo for “The Grand Mythos”, and some info on where people can find me. It’s not fancy, but it was easy to do and it gets the point across.

I’ll be posting pictures from the convention on my Imgur account: WardeOfEverfeld.

And I’m sure I’ll have tons to recap after the event. Today is an 8+ hour day, so I might be a wee bit tired. We’ll see.

Okay, no more delaying! I’m nervous and excited as hell. To Awesome Con!

Steve D