Commentary

Five Insufficient Reasons for Including Bigotry in Your Story

When should you add real bigotry to a story? This is a complex question, but one thing is generally agreed on: you need a good reason. If you’re not a target of that bigotry, you need a really good reason. Unfortunately, many authors continue to add bigotry to their stories when it isn’t needed. As an editor, I have seen this more times than I’d like to say. To help you avoid this awkward conversation with your editor, I’ve listed the five most common reasons I see, and why they aren’t good enough.

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Storytelling

Six Tips for Sequels

Cover art from Ghost Brigades.

Everyone loves sequels. Audiences love them because a sequel means more of a story they’re attached to. Storytellers love them because a sequels have a built-in audience. But sequels are no cakewalk. They must live up to the expectations of the original, while adding something … read more »

Story

Ambush at the Office

Antique swords and grenades laid out with yellow and blue labels

Thank goodness it was Sunday; the museum offices would be mercifully vacant. The back parking lot lay empty, the silence beguiling. No one would distract Rita from her critical mission: submitting the grant proposal. Museum admissions barely covered the salary for her underpaid and overworked staff. Year after year, the rafters rotted and the plaster cracked, and she had no funds to repair them or anything else. Either she got that grant, or her museum was done. Read more »

Writing

Six Habits That Sabotage Audio Stories

A big set of headphones on an open book.

For a long time, prose stories were written with the understanding that they’d always be read off a page. That’s no longer the case. Audiobooks were once a niche market, but with the prevalence of smartphones and mp3 players, audio has exploded. These days, nearly every major … read more »