Posts tagged Riley Amos Westbrook
What are all these "author rules" we're supposedly breaking?

It happens at least once a week. I receive a newsletter in my inbox telling me about the top 10 rules I’m accidentally breaking as an author or the top 5 rules I should NEVER break as an author. . .

First of all, I haven’t published a book in 4 years, so I KNOW that I haven’t broken any of these rules recently, but I can’t help but wonder where all these rules are coming from and what’s going to happen if I’ve broken one of them. Is my college professor who ruled over her grammar class like a dictator going to show up and lock me in grammar prison?

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Writing During the Holidays

Wouldn't it be nice if it didn't feel like every single week we had a holiday? Days where we could just relax and write to our hearts content? Well too bad, those days are long gone until next year. From surprise visits to holiday parties, and everything in between, there's a lot of foot traffic in my house during the holiday season.

I'm going to offer you some slacker suggestions on how to create time for writing.

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Creating an Audio Book

Creating an audiobook has been both easier and harder than I thought it would be. There's a lot more that goes into it than simply sitting and reading into a microphone. There's the timing and rhythm of your reading, as well as the possibility of a flub. Nothing that can't be fixed or overcome, but there are a million possible pitfalls that can hold your work up. Hopefully I can help you avoid a few.

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Do you write as a hobby or as a profession?

I think I'm going to go on a bit of a spiel right now. I just can't control my views on this anymore, because I'm tired of this argument. Whether or not you are a professional writer shouldn't be determined by whether or not you are published. In this day and age, the gatekeepers are gone, and the heathens are just as published as traditional authors. Some of us are proving even more prolific.

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Everyone's favorite part of the process! Editing!

In truth this is where I feel books take the most shape. Editing takes our rough, flawed work and polishes it to a beautiful shine. I mean, I may be editing on a budget, and my works are probably still riddled with errors, but I've learned there are always dust bunnies in even the most well written works. Even those with thousands of dollars in editing done to them have something that could be improved. Could you imagine a world with no editing?

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Writing Gore

I have an advantage when it comes to writing gore. Not only did I grow up imbibing horror movies and books, watching the monsters paint the walls red with blood, but I worked in the medical field. You see a lot of blood when you work with nurses. I really believe this up close and personal look at our bodies has made writing gore that much easier. We are nothing but  bags of meat and liquid, and having a front row seat to blood, it becomes easier to talk and write about.

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How to Research Without Seeming Like a Serial Killer

You’d be surprised how many times people ask me this question. When people find out the kind of things I write about, they inevitably ask me this at least once. I usually make a joke, something about needing to buy a pig farm for people who ask too many questions, but I’ve never seriously thought about it. That is until the other day when one of the other mods suggested it as a topic. I've been thinking about it for three days solid, trying to figure out if there is a way to not leave similar footprints as someone looking to commit a murder.

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How To Immerse Yourself In Your Fictional World

This has become an interesting question to me lately. For whatever reason, I've decided to slow down my planned release dates for several books I would say are “done” in order to get some distance and time away from them. As I come back and read the stories, I find myself slipping quite easily into the worlds inside my head. Sometimes it takes my wife several attempts to draw my attention away from whatever I'm writing and back to reality.

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Did 100(ish) Reviews Pre Book Launch Increase My Sales?

A couple of years ago, when I was preparing to release Everyone Dies At The End, I set myself a goal. That goal was to hit 100 reviews on the ARC of it. I spent many months searching for reviewers, I even have a blog about it on Big World Network. This was my way to test a theory that I have heard parroted, that a book with a lot of reviews will sell better. I've heard this quote from hundreds of authors, but only those who complained about struggling sales.

Now a couple of years have passed, the slacker life is difficult, and I realized that I didn't do a follow-up post. I thought today would be a perfect day to share my thoughts.

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How to store your ideas while working on your WIP. . .

Why do ideas flood me whenever I'm working on a project? I can't be the only one who experiences this phenomenon. Whenever I'm writing my brain seems to kick into overdrive. Before I know it, my mind is pulled off track as a new pressing idea shoves its way to the forefront of my thoughts. I blame it on my ADD, that part of me that begs for distraction.

The problem is, some of them are really good ideas! Today I'm going to discuss your options, and how to organize your ideas for future projects.

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Writing for a Deadline

I'm used to living the slacker life. I prefer things on the quiet side, and I love it that way. I don't have kids, no little Riley running around causing hell. I have two cats, but they are sweet and easy to take care of. And my wife is a wonderful independent woman who gives me plenty of time to pursue my favorite interests, such as writing. My life is pretty easy to enjoy, and I find myself with a lot of free time.

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Setting the Mood for Writing

Right now we are going to focus on when you have time, but not the mood. For all that our little fantasies are fun to write, sometimes putting words to page is more like a chore than the escape it's meant to be. You look at the screen and all you see is the hard work that lays before you.

So how do you get yourself in the mood? When you have time to write, and nothing stopping you but your own motivation, how do you find it?

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Story Lines and World Building

Say what you will, but nothing is better to me than creating your own reality.
In actual aspect, I use my roleplaying background a lot when I write. You have to consider every side of the story and your characters, make sure the atmosphere fits what you like to write. Hope you’ve caught all your errors, that everything fits the tools you've given them.

How much do you reveal to the audience? How much do you hide?

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The Image You See

I love world building: the stage at which you create literally everything about your world. Magic, religions, realism, everything down to the length of shoelaces if you want to delve that far. All of them are on the table at this stage, and all offer their own benefit.  

In this article I’m going to talk about different aspects of world building, and try to offer some examples from my own experiences.

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