December 2017

Flavorwire’s 50 Scariest Books of All Time: The End of a Reading List

So it’s official:  I’ve finished Flavorwire’s 50 Scariest Books of All Time, from beginning to end.  It’s been about three years, although I didn’t start out focusing on this one; I’ve been working on several horror lists with MB Partlow and Shannon Lawrence. The Nightmare Magainze’s Top 100 is another, which is done, and up …

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Simple Mystery Plots, Part 5: The Real Story

I found another one!  (Two, actually; another one tomorrow.) The mystery revolves around the fact that there are multiple versions of the truth (or conjectures of the truth), which are structured as separate chapters/sections of the book. A crime occurs. Various people try to solve the crime, or are called upon to give their version …

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Copywriting Technique: What Do Readers Want When They Want Your Book

I’ve been struggling with this one, which seems stupid.  I mean, isn’t this something that all writers should just know?  There was a reason you wrote the book in the first place, wasn’t there?  And yet: I regularly go through phases of, “Everything I write is terrible.” Therefore, why would anyone want to read the …

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Atmosphere Part 2: Okay, Also Atmosphere is Literally Just Background Noise Too

So the other day I joked about how atmosphere is literally just the weather (mostly fog).  But there’s more to it than that. There’s also background noise.* Go back to your list of atmospheric movies and/or novels, and pull up a scene/page from one of the items on the list.  The first movie on my …

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The That’s-Not-A-Christmas-Movie Christmas Movie List

I consider Die Hard to be a Chrismas movie.  I asked for other people’s suggestions to add to my list.  I got suggestions that had nothing to do with the winter holidays, some that were traditional Christmas movies (some of which I’ll include, oh well), and a few that people started getting snarky about because they weren’t …

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Atmosphere Part 1: Atmosphere Is Literally Just Fog

A thought experiment for you: Do a Google search for “atmospheric movies.” Check out how many of the movies had posters with some sort of fog, weather, smoke, or translucence in them.  Of the ones that don’t, if you’ve seen the movie, ask yourself, “Is some element of the weather a factor in the story?” …

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