ICYMI: Four Lovely Books With Pictures Released in 2018

Unlike fashion, books can’t become so-last-year (unless they started out as the button-down jumpsuit of the literary world). I browsed through books with pictures released in 2018 and below are four of my micro-reviews. I tried to cast a wide net, since there are so many subgenres of what for a long time were just… Read more »

Ask The Editor: Character Description

Dear Editor, I’m writing a novel in the first-person perspective, and one of my critique partners just pointed out that they don’t know what my character looks like. Is character description important? If so, how do I describe a character from their own perspective without having them look in a mirror? Sincerely, Wondering Dear Wondering,… Read more »

Deep Dive into Short Forms: Flash Nonfiction

It’s fitting, as a poet, that my first published foray into fiction, Let It Go, was a piece of flash fiction. The story clocked in at a brief 286 words. Brevity is the bedrock of writing flash. I consider flash writing forms as cousins to poetry. Grant Faulkner, the editor of the literary magazine 100… Read more »

Pet the Dog: Signpost Scene #8

Much like the second signpost scene (The Care Package) in James Scott Bell’s SuperStructure, the Pet the Dog scene gives the reader a chance to catch his/her breath while reinforcing care and concern for the story’s Lead (protagonist). Think about it, if the Lead thinks “only of himself,” readers “get a negative impression.” If we… Read more »

#5onFri: Five New Nonfiction Books to Inspire a Long Journey

It’s necessary for a writer to get out and view the world through new perspectives. Sometimes that means observing the regulars at your usual coffee shop or talking to folks in a different part of town, and sometimes it means undertaking something more substantial, something long enough to get lost in. A long journey can… Read more »

How to Build an Alien: Extremophiles

A few columns ago, I took you on a tour of the solar system in search of world building ideas. I hope you’ve had a chance to explore some of these ideas to create new worlds of your own, because this time on Speculations, we’re going to look at populating those imagined worlds. Just like… Read more »