Plot Armor (And How To Avoid It)

We’ve all seen it. The character that always scrapes by because they’re the main character (or the main love interest), no matter how ridiculously high the stakes are and no matter how unrealistic it is for them to come out okay.

Some genres demand a happy end for the book (Romance, in particular), but that doesn’t mean that your characters should just have everything work out through sheer force of luck and having you on their side.

That level of un-realism takes away from the story.

So here are a few things you can give your character in lieu of plot armor.

Knowledge

Give them the information necessary to realistically survive what you’re throwing at them. Some battles are best won with brain rather than brawn.

Build a subset of knowledge into their background (a hobbyist in the family who liked learning about the things they’re facing or maybe a previous job that had parallels). Make them research and plan.

Or just straight up give them a teacher.

Mentors can be excellent side characters.

Skills

Make these people practice. Make them learn combat or lockpicking or endurance running.

Maybe they ran track in high school. Maybe they were in the army or your book’s equivalent. Maybe they dropped out and lived on the streets, stealing what they needed to get by.

Or maybe their life changed at the beginning of the book and they found a mentor for the skills they’d need. Trial and error is a pretty harsh teacher, but also an option.

Allies

More than one person working toward the same goal will almost certainly increase the chances of achieving it.

Now, these people aren’t meant to be bullet sponges or cannon fodder, though some may end that way.

But a prepper friend can teach your MC about filtering water and keep them from getting dysentery in the apocalypse.

A friend who’s also a cop could help them talk down (or subdue) an assailant.

The Ending

Maybe give them the realistic ending. Tragedies may not be as common now, but they are part of literature. And though it might mean a genre change for some (dark romantic fantasy instead of dark fantasy romance), it could be worth it to stick to what would really happen.

That last one is the choice I would go with, but that’s just me.


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Writing Rules Are More Like Guidelines

There are so many rules for writing that it’d be hard to count them all, even more so if you consider all the advice that’s out there.

Show don’t tell, don’t edit as you write, write every day, avoid adverbs, write in the morning, write at night, write drunk/edit sober, avoid passive voice, plan your book, don’t plan your book, write to market, don’t use sentence fragments, avoid dialogue tags other than ‘said,’ avoid using the dialogue tag ‘said’…

The list goes on and on and on. It’s enough to make your head spin.

Following them all is pretty much impossible, especially when they contradict each other (like some of the ones I mentioned up there). Not to mention the fact that following every single one eliminates any wiggle room for personal style.

Which is why I like to think of them as guidelines.

Everyone is different.

That’s a pretty well accepted fact.

And it means that everyone works differently and likes different things.

So, for the sake of standing out from the crowd, for the sake of truly expressing ourselves and the stories we have in our heads, for the sake of allowing ourselves to write in a way that actually works for us and our lives/personal challenges, some rules must be broken.

Or at least bent.

I use sentence fragments and short paragraphs all the time. I start sentences with conjunctions (which is technically a correct sentence format but everyone thinks it’s wrong). I don’t write every day, I never plan my books, and I always do some level of editing while I write.

Because those are some of the rules that just don’t work for me.

But it is important to learn the rules, to understand why they are the way they are, so you know when to break them.

For example, writing every day is a good way to get into a habit and keep the creative juices flowing.

But allowing myself to skip a day of writing helps me not feel guilty so that when I do write, I’m not psyching myself out by trying to make up for lost days. I don’t have time on days where I work twelve hour shifts, and sometimes I need to edit instead of write.

So, skipping days is fine for me. I don’t need the habit to get myself to finish my books.

Another thing I do that isn’t necessarily correct according to rules… Sentence fragments, short paragraphs, and starting sentences with conjunctions.

People just aren’t typically accustomed to these things. There is the risk of pushing a reader out of the narrative simply because these aren’t the norm. Same with first person/present tense.

But.

They work for my writing style, my author voice. They go a long way toward establishing flow, getting the cadence just right. And for me, that’s important. It fits with my writing style.

So, take the time to learn some of the writing rules. You should know them, really. But don’t be afraid to step outside the lines and move beyond those rules.

Writing is, at the very core of its essence, an act of creativity.

Just like some painters throw colors together that shouldn’t go together (and somehow make them work) and some musicians combine genres that just shouldn’t work (and somehow make them fit), writers have the amazing ability to do things that just shouldn’t make sense…

And somehow, make it work.

Learn some rules, and then decide if they work for you, your story, and your style.


Check out my gritty, literary sci-fi and fantasy books here.

Want to help fund this blog and my writing efforts? You can support me directly here.

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A Message To New (Or Experienced) Writers About Doubt

Do you ever feel like a hack? Like a terrible writer masquerading as someone worth reading?

I do.

I wish I could tell you that it goes away, that once you write a certain number of books or sell a certain number of copies, you’ll magically feel better about your writing and never have doubts ever again.

But that isn’t quite how it works.

How do I know that?

I’ve written 12 books, working on number 13 at the moment, and I’ve published 7 of those so far. I have a small group of people who love my books, who follow me from one genre to another because they like my writing style. I’ve sold a respectable number of books (not a bestseller by any means, but respectable).

But this past weekend…

I’ve been questioning everything, wondering if I’ve lost my touch, if I ever really had it at all, if this next book will be the one that shows everyone that I’m actually terrible and should be shunned or laughed at.

All authors go through that, time and time again.

Self-doubt and imposter syndrome are pretty common among creatives.

It’s an unfortunate side effect of working with such subjective mediums. Whether it’s painting, writing, sculpting, playing music, whatever. Anything so subjective as art leaves the artist (yep, that includes writers) open to potential criticism that might conflict directly with praise from another source. It makes it hard to evaluate our work objectively.

And that’s where doubt comes in.

It makes us wonder which piece of feedback was right, and the worst part is… sometimes it’s all correct because opinion plays such a huge role.

Add in the struggles of actually writing (writer’s block, the absolute mountain range that is advertising, avoiding scam publishers, etc.), and there are a lot of things to get a writer down.

And it all contributes to the self-doubt.

Some days, you feel equal to the task at hand. Other days… not so much.

So how do you combat it?

First, by learning to trust yourself and accepting that you’re human. Which means that achieving perfection isn’t possible.

Second, by getting feedback from multiple sources. Assess all feedback for common threads. Then, hold onto the positive comments and learn from the negative.

Doubt doesn’t have to be a stumbling block.

It can be a tool to hone your skills.

After all, a person who never doubts their abilities never sees either a need or a way to improve.

Third, and most importantly, write anyway. Even if you’re doubting yourself, write anyway.


Check out my gritty, literary sci-fi and fantasy books here.

Want to help fund this blog and my writing efforts? You can support me directly here.

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A Day in the Life of a Writer

I’ve been asked a few times what my writing schedule looks like, so today, I want to show you.

I don’t exactly keep a normal schedule. But I still get a surprising amount of stuff done. Never as much as I want to get done thanks to my high standards for myself, but I think that’s probably true for most people.

With my job and my writing, I tend to stay up until about 5am most nights, 3am if I have a 12 hour shift the next day.

But basically, I get up and take care of my small army of cats, then catch up on social media and do my post for the day.

Then, if I’m off work, food. If not, I get ready and go to work for 8 or 12 hours, using whatever precious little downtime I get to type up a sentence or two on my phone, a whole scene if I’m lucky.

If I’m home for the day, errands and cleaning and maybe a dash of video games or reading end up taking up about as much of my day as work would.

Sometimes I end up starting early, organizing book tours or researching things for ads in normal daytime hours.

But usually, I start on my books between midnight and 2am and do something book related until about 5 or 6am.

I’m almost always working on multiple projects, so I try to do something with each one in that time.

Right now, I’m working on three projects (writing Sihetva, editing A Blessed Darkness, and editing The Regonia Chronicles), so I try to do a chapter of each. More, if I can.

But sometimes I don’t get to all three projects.

And that’s okay.

The last half hour of my book time is usually spent wracking my brain to figure out what to post on social media the next day or two. I’ve tried the whole planning-posts-a-month-ahead-of-time thing before, and it just didn’t work for me.

It just felt like the massive block of time I was using for that month’s worth of planning was about the same total time as doing it day by day.

And it felt less personal, somehow.

Like it was removing the normal day to day stuff from my platform, and since one of the main purposes of an author platform is to let readers get to know the person behind the books, I didn’t like that.

Now, there are a few days that are exceptions to this. Days where I work a 12 hour shift go a little differently. The night before is cut off at 3am, so I only get about an hour for my books those nights.

And Sunday nights are usually rough.

I get home after a 12 and two or three hours later, I finish everything else done that I couldn’t do thanks to work and sit down to do my blog and newsletter for the week.

Which usually means I’m too exhausted to actually write or edit by the time I get those done and posted/sent out at about 4 or 5am Monday morning.

I’ll be honest, every week, I consider not doing a blog simply because I’m tired. Lol. Every week, I consider doing the blog and newsletter a different day or cutting them back to once a month, but there’s a reason I started them at this day/time. Because I know I won’t skip a week. I’ll get it done, even if I’m tired.

And that leaves all my book time throughout the week open for me to work on my books.

Forcing productivity, I suppose, because I don’t skip out on newsletters or blogs.

Every Sunday evening/Monday morning for… maybe two years? I’ve kept this up, and fully intend to continue doing so. Honestly, I’m a little proud of myself for not missing even a single blog.

There have been a couple times where I forgot to post about the blog on social media, but there’s always been a blog post. Lol.

And with as many projects as I work on and as quickly as I get them out, weekly newsletters seem appropriate for keeping readers up to date with what’s going on.

Now, I need to get better about advertising. I need to just block out a chunk of time every week to deal with that beast, to tweak the ads I have going and figure out how to make them work better. But before I can get any ad to actually do well, I have a feeling I’ll be enduring many more advertising classes.

Which I’m sure you can tell I’m really looking forward to.

Honestly, advertising is still the bane of my existence. Which sucks because it’s kinda necessary.

But in time, I’ll figure that monster out too. I’ve learned many a skill for the sake of my writing, and one day, I’ll be able to add that one to the list.

But for now, it’s not a daily activity.


Check out my gritty, literary sci-fi and fantasy books here.

Want to help fund this blog and my writing efforts? You can support me directly here.

Subscribe for sneak peeks and updates on my upcoming books (and get a free short story).

Self-Publishing Resources That Have Helped Me Out

There are a lot of steps involved in self-publishing. And I mean a lot. From searching the internet for good keywords to making pretty pictures of your book to post on social media, there’s a lot to do.

But there are also a lot of awesome resources at our disposal.

The trouble is, they’re hidden in all the garbage floating around online.

So, today, I wanted to give you a list of resources I’ve discovered in the past year that have really simplified things for me.

Some of these things are free. Some are not. But now that I have them, I can’t imagine not having them and having to do all this stuff by hand.

Category Finder

Figuring out what categories to put your book into can be an absolute nightmare. But there’s an awesome tool that finds all the categories a comparable bestseller in your genre is in so that you can use those categories.

Just go here.

Then, in a new tab or window, go to Amazon and get the ASIN or ISBN-10 of a book similar to yours that ranks in the top 100 in your genre.

Paste that number into the site above and let it work its magic.

And by the way, if you didn’t know (because I didn’t until this year), if your book is published through KDP, you can contact their support team and have them add your book to more categories. They allow two in the setup phase, but you can add an additional eight!

KDP Rocket/Publisher Rocket

This one’s useful for a lot of reasons, though the primary thing I use it for is finding keywords for my books. If you type in a keyword you think might be good, it does some tech magic and finds a bunch of stats for that keyword, as well as any similar keyword that’s been entered into Amazon.

It tells you: how many times that keyword is entered into Amazon and Google per month, how much the books with that keyword average in sales per month, how many books use that keyword, how competitive it is, and a few other things.

A recent update even color codes those stats to show you at a glance whether or not those stats are in a good range.

This one is not free, but it makes keywords so easy that I think it’s worth the $97 (USD) price tag.

Instant Data Scraper Plug-In

This little tool put Goodreads to work for you. You just find a list on Goodreads that has books similar to yours, give this plug-in the requisite link, and let it extract the information. With a little work in Excel to clean them up, you’ll end up with a bunch of book titles to target in ads.

Mock Up Shots

This site charges $198 for lifetime access, but gives you tons of professional mockups for your book. Just upload the cover and download as many of them as you want for as many books as you want mockups for.

Book Report Plug-In

KDP has a decent sales reporting system, at least compared to Ingramspark. But this plug-in shows you a more comprehensive view of your royalties, even breaking it down by individual books. Which is pretty helpful if you’re running a sale or an ad and want to know if a specific book or series is selling.

It’s easy to set up and use. Somehow, it reports sales that might not show up in KDP’s sales reports.

It only works for KDP books though. If it was published through any other publisher, the sales won’t show up on Book Report.


Check out my gritty, literary sci-fi and fantasy books here.

Want to help fund this blog and my writing efforts? You can support me directly here.

Subscribe for sneak peeks and updates on my upcoming books (and get a free short story).

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Self-Publishing

The choice to pursue self-publishing or traditional publishing is a tough one, and the “right choice” is different for everyone.

For me, it was self-publishing.

But there are a few things I wish I knew ahead of time.

Today, I’m sharing them with you. 

It’s difficult.

This path takes so much work. You’re not just the writer. You have to be an entire publishing house.

That means that everything falls to you.

Unless, of course, you hire some of the work out. There are a few aspects of this route that most would recommend working with a pro (covers and editing, for example).

So, it can get pricey.

And it is definitely a lot of work. 

This should not be done alone.

I know, the “self” in self-publishing implies otherwise, but working in a vacuum is a dangerous thing, for multiple reasons.

You need feedback from others to know what works and what doesn’t. You’re too close to your work to see all the flaws, sometimes because of attachments to characters and sometimes because we know what’s going on and our brain fills in the things that aren’t (but should be) on the page.

But also because this shit gets stressful.

Having a group of writer friends, people who understand all the intricacies, or a few non-writers willing to learn about publishing through your venting, is pivotal. It really helps alleviate the stress sometimes.

And who knows, they might see a solution you don’t.

Or in the case of writer friends, they might have experienced the same problem you’re experiencing, and maybe they already have a workaround for it.

Start your author platform now.

I used to hate social media. I avoided it like the plague. I dragged my feet, posted inconsistently, and hesitated to start my newsletter.

But now, my author platform is kinda the only reason I’ve sold any books.

At all.

It’s how I reach people, how I meet other authors, how I connect with reviewers and readers.

And it takes time to build a solid author platform. I started late, so I’m not where most would like to be after releasing seven books. But I’m getting there.

And if you haven’t, you need to start building yours.

Even if you haven’t finished a book yet. 

You can post things about you, about how you write, what books you like to read (extra points if they’re in the genre you write in because that’ll draw in people who read in that genre).

Figure out which platform you want to start with and go for it. Start a newsletter ASAP.

And if you’re counting Instagram out because “What would I post pictures of?”… You. Books. Bookshelves. Character art. Mood boards. There are infinite possibilities.

Take some marketing and advertising classes.

Marketing and advertising (yeah, they’re different things) are the main reason I considered traditional publishing. Then, research revealed that a good portion would still fall to me even if I went the traditional route.

But instead of doing the smart thing and throwing myself into classes and figuring out how to do those things properly right at the outset, I… didn’t.

I don’t know why, honestly.

Dread, I think. Social anxiety and intimidation.

But I’ve been taking classes off and on, and trying to figure them out. I still have a long way to go, so I’m not about to do any advertising blogs, but I do suggest learning how to market and advertise your books.

As a self-published author, it falls to you to get your books out there, and it is not an easy thing to do. There are literally millions of books out there, and it’s up to us to figure out how to get people to first, see our books, and second, buy them.

This is a valid publishing route.

The self-publishing stigma is intense. So much so that for a while, I was ashamed of my choice. Of course, part of that is just me. (I tend to worry too much about what others think and whether or not I’m letting them down.)

But after more research, after talking to other (much more successful) indie writers, after seeing what’s out there, after paying attention to which books are indie and which aren’t (and seeing monstrosities and absolute gems in both publishing avenues), I realized that this is a valid publishing route.

And shame has no place in it.


Check out my gritty, literary sci-fi and fantasy books here.

Want to help fund this blog and my writing efforts? You can support me directly here.

Subscribe for sneak peeks and updates on my upcoming books (and get a free short story).

Success, Writing, and Other People (And How to Cope)

Upon hearing that you’re a writer, people will, almost invariably, ask if you’re successful. They ask in different ways.

Sometimes it’s, “Do you have anything published?” Or “Did you get a big book deal?”

Sometimes it’s, “How many books have you sold?”

It’s stressful, to say the least, especially since creative types (like us writers) are prone to insecurity and imposter syndrome.

But success is subjective.

One person’s idea of success is different from another’s. Where one person might see becoming a New York Times bestseller with three movies in the works as the only measure of success, another might see publishing a book at all as a measure of success. One person might need millions of followers, whereas another might want a small group of engaged followers.

And those differences are important.

Knowing what success actually means to you is the a pretty big step toward achieving it.

If you want a high follow count, if you want a close network of fellow writers, if you want to release a book before your 60th birthday, if you want to release three books in a year, if you want to sell millions, or if writing a book is what matters to you, then that’s your measure of success.

And that should be your focus.

For someone with extreme anxiety, publishing a book that has your heart and soul carved into the pages, putting yourself out there in written form, is a daunting task and a worthy goal.

Whereas someone without anxiety disorders might not see that as the challenging part.

To someone burdened by ADHD, finishing a book might be the challenge, and thus the point at which to feel successful, whereas a person with an average attention span might not see that as quite so big of a challenge.

So, you need to figure out your measure of your own success.

And when someone inevitably asks if you’re successful, focus on that.

Most people who aren’t writers don’t know it’s such a stressful question, but they also don’t usually know everything that writing entails. (Or even half of it.) So, enlighten them, all while focusing what you say on the goals you have set for yourself.

For example, if your goal, your measure of success, is to land a book deal and you’re deep in the query trenches, tell them you’re looking for an agent, but finding one that’s accepting submissions like your book is challenging.

Or tell them about all the various side materials you have to put together before you can even submit to agents. Query letters, cover letters (because yeah, there are differences), one page synopses, three page synopses, single sentence summaries that include the ending, five year marketing plans, and all the other hoops writers have to jump through to get a book deal.

Talk about the research that has to be done to find agents to submit your book to, finding agents that work with your genre, subgenre, and age group who are actually taking submissions.

Talk about the unbelievably low acceptance rates, especially if you’re submitting directly to publishers (which adds extra layers of research because a lot won’t accept from authors to begin with and those who do accept maybe 1-2% of submissions).

Find your individual measure of success, and then stick to it, even when people ask about it.

If they measure success by becoming the next J.K. Rowling, explain how unlikely that is and tell them why your sights are set where they are.

Writing is a very personalized journey, and so is success.

Embrace it.


Check out my gritty, literary sci-fi and fantasy books here.

Want to help fund this blog and my writing efforts? You can support me directly here.

Subscribe for sneak peeks and updates on my upcoming books (and get a free short story).

How to Write like a Reader

Sometimes, as writers, we ignore one of the greatest resources at our disposal: our own experiences as readers.

A vast well of knowledge resides within us, but sometimes we get caught up trying to figure out the rules and completely forget about that.

Our pet peeves as readers should guide us as writers.

Examples from my own personal pet peeves (and thus, my personal guides for my own books):

Blurb vs Review Quotes

I can’t stand a back cover full of review quotes. I want to see the blurb when I turn a book over, not some quote calling it “derisive” or “nebulous.”

Kindly fuck off with that shit.

I want to turn the book over and see what it’s about.

So when I publish, I put the blurb on the back cover. I might have a pull quote somewhere on there, but the blurb is front and center. (Well, back and center because it’s the back of the book.)

Series Numbers

I don’t typically write series (my current, almost completed wip being the exception), but from my experience as a reader, I will have Book One or Book Two or Book Whatever Number The Series Reaches on the cover and spine. There have been so many times that I’ve picked up a book and learned after reaching the end of it that there are 4 or 7 more books.

It’s infuriating.

So as a writer, I won’t do that to my readers.

Inconsistent Characters for Convenience

I hate when characters make stupid decisions that don’t line up with their personalities but are convenient for the plot. So as a writer, I won’t do that.

Head Hopping

I love books with multiple POVs, so I often write them. But I hate when the point of view changes without warning/within the same scene or chapter. Even worse… within the same paragraph.

So for the sake of my readers, when I change POV in a book, I start a new chapter and put the characters name below the chapter number, because that’s how I prefer to read it.

There are so many little things that we’ve learned as readers that can make us better writers or improve the reading experience as a whole for our readers.

So, next time you’re faced with a decision about your cover or your formatting or whatever, switch from writer brain to reader brain.

Do whatever wouldn’t piss you off as a reader.


Check out my gritty, literary sci-fi and fantasy books here.

Want to help fund this blog and my writing efforts? You can support me directly here.

Subscribe for sneak peeks and updates on my upcoming books (and get a free short story).

Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Writing

Being an author has a pretty steep learning curve. There are a lot of lessons to learn, and thanks to hindsight, they seem obvious after the fact.

So, today, I wanted to share a few of those things with you to ease the learning process.

Regardless of your publishing path (traditional vs. self), you’ll have to do marketing.

When I started writing, I assumed that traditional publishers would do all the marketing. Then, I started querying and found that many publishers required marketing plans to be submitted along with the query. (One asked for a five year plan, even though most traditional publishers give a book a two year shelf life.)

So clearly, some of the marketing falls to the author. And if you’re self-publishing, it all falls to you.

(Btw, this marketing effort includes your author platform. More on that in a minute.)

Self-publishing is a valid publishing avenue (but it is exactly what you make it).

Treating self-publishing as a “trash bin” when you get frustrated with querying actually perpetuates the stigma of self-publishing.

Please, PLEASE, don’t do that.

Self-publishing is a viable publishing avenue, and it will treat you exactly as well as you treat it. If you do your research, if you put in the effort, you can produce a quality product that readers (and you) will love.

And if you work on your marketing and advertising, you can sell a decent amount of books.

Your author platform is vital.

It connects you with readers, often for little-to-no money. There are a lot of ways to build it, and a lot of different platforms you can work with.

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, a website, a blog, Tumblr, Reddit, Snapchat, YouTube, TikTok, Goodreads, All Author, the list goes on and on. It seems like there are a million different social media options.

You don’t have to be on every platform. That’s way too much pressure, and you’ll be spreading yourself too thin.

Start with one or two that you’re comfortable with and build those. When you feel like you have a handle on that, branch onto another.

Post about what you’re reading and why you like it. Post about your projects and how you write or plot.

And be sure to start a newsletter. Send it out regularly (whether that’s every other month, monthly, weekly, whatever) and make sure your readers know when to expect it. You can get a bit more personal here, showing more behind the scenes stuff to engage readers.

The earlier you start your author platform, the better.

It takes time (a fuck ton of time) to build an author platform. The more (real, active) people you can count among your audience, the better your book release will be. And if you’re looking to go traditional, a good audience is a bragging point for your query or marketing plan.

Be you.

Who you are, your author voice, is what will make your books stand out. Make sure that comes through on whatever platforms you choose.

There’s a market for everything.

Please, stop worrying about whether anyone will like your idea. The world is vast and full of different types of people with different interests.

Even if your idea is a niche, there’s an audience out there for it. You just have to find them.

Chaos or organization, it doesn’t matter. Write the way that works for you.

Everyone is different. Everyone learns differently, and everyone communicates differently. So please, give yourself the freedom to write the way you need to, whether that means intensive planning or no planning at all.

Don’t pay publishers.

Publishers that charge you hundreds or thousands of dollars are scams. Plain and simple. Run far away from them.

Trust me.

I’ve dealt with them, and it’s fucking terrible.

Don’t pay reviewers.

Book reviewers might get a free book in exchange for an honest review if they’re an ARC reader or if they’re working with a book tour company. But if they message you saying that they’ll review and promote your book for a fee, don’t mess with them.

Even setting morals aside, a lot of sites will remove paid reviews, and that renders the money wasted. (I’m pretty sure Amazon is one of those.)


Want to help fund this blog and my writing efforts? You can support me directly here.

Check out my gritty, literary sci-fi and fantasy books here.

Subscribe for sneak peeks and updates on my upcoming books (and get a free short story).

3 Reasons Why Writers Should Never Stop Learning

Learning new things is important. It seems like such a simple thing to say, but it isn’t something we always prioritize.

So many people stop challenging themselves, stop learning new things. They get comfortable and think themselves exempt from continuing to learn and improve. And that’s a good way to stagnate.

And as writers, it’s especially important to keep learning because…

You never know what you might need to know.

Writing is a strange process in that any piece of information could come in handy at some point.

Your first book might require knowledge on the healing process from a stab wound to the gut or how long someone could live without water. Your next might require learning how bears show affection or what appliances were common in turn of the century kitchens. Another might require knowledge of food storage that requires no electricity, how to make candles, or even the exact speed of light.

Depending on the book and the characters (their hobbies, their jobs, their interests), there’s no limit to what you could conceivably need to learn.

(Btw, all of the things listed above are things I’ve either researched for a book or knew ahead of time and used in a book.)

You can never know everything.

There’s just so much to learn. Every new thing you learn can potentially open up more questions.

Which could provide perspective for your book or potentially inspire another.

People who don’t think they need to keep learning just aren’t aware of how much they don’t know.

It turns out that people who think they know everything and have nothing more to learn… really know very little. They haven’t learned enough to see what they’ve done wrong and thus think themselves the best.

And no one wants to be that person.

So, keep learning.

Keep improving.

Because if you stagnate, your books might.


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