5 Tips for Better Critiques

We all receive critique, and often not particularly good critique, which can be frustrating. So I am writing a quick guide on what I find in good critiques. Obviously, this is not all inclusive, or an authoritative guide, but I hope it helps those who maybe want to help more and aren’t sure how.

Good critique should... Identify the Problem

Seems like a no brainer, right? Well, I wish it were. A good critique focuses on specific problems, such as:

Grammar and Spelling Pacing Plot Consistency (or Lack Thereof)

… and many more, but you get the idea. If your critique is “this story sucks”, then you haven’t told the author anything. For all they know, it’s just a personal opinion they can’t do anything about - which brings me to my next point…

Be Actionable

If you give an author advice that they can’t do anything with, your critique is still unhelpful and uninformative. “Write better” is not actionable advice - “vary your sentence structures” is. While this can sometimes be difficult to do, like w…

Grammar vs Style

So, today I received feedback for my book from the Writer’s Digest 25th Annual Self-Published Book Awards and first, I didn’t even know I was going to receive feedback; second, it was really well thought out and actionable feedback. It did, however, have one point I contended, which I would like to share with you all.
Here is the portion of the feedback I am contending:
"... the most consistent error is found with quotation marks and attribution. When a speaker’s words end and they’re not followed by attribution (he or she said is the most common), there should be a period, not a comma. A new sentence, rather than a clause, should follow. While examples can be found throughout the book, look to page 5 for examples. Every paragraph on the page has at least one example of this issue. To explain further, the sentence that begins with “Sir Timberbrand folded” should have a period after “smile” before he speaks. In the next paragraph, “Order” should have a period, and then “Allaha” s…

Black Friday Sale and Digital Book Signing!

I'm having a digital book signing for Wildflowers, Part I: Allaha of the Mountain! 
Get my book personalized, signed and mailed to you at the discounted rate of $10 for the first 28 purchases! 
Why 28? Because that's how many physical copies of the book I have right now, so after that I will need to order more, which will raise the price to $12 to cover the cost of shipping to me - but that's still $3 off for you! 
(Unfortunately, I will have to back order in groups of $16 to make the shipping price work, so if I can't reach that number, I may have to put off getting more copies.)
I will also offer digital signatures for those who already have my book or would like to purchase the ebook at the sales rate of $1.99!
First 28 purchase get a guaranteed, signed copy of my book for $10 + S&H
If we can reach at least 16, all others will get a physical signed copy for $12 + S&H
Ebook copies with a digital signature will be sold at $1.99!
Digital signatures cos…

I Like It Because It's Good vs It's Good Because I Like It

Just a short examination of something I tend to think about - why people seem to take an insult against something they enjoy personally. 
I think the root of the problem is the perspective of "it's good because I like it" - which isn't true at all. Just because you like something doesn't make it inherently good. There's nothing wrong with liking it anyways - if it's something that makes you happy, you should like it. Anyone that tries to tell you otherwise is either an asshole or jealous of your happiness (possibly both). I personally like a lot of stupid things - I know they aren't good, but I like them anyways. Why? Because they make me happy, and that's all the reason I really need.
Now, that isn't to say we shouldn't be critical of the things we like - quite the opposite. By acknowledging that something you like isn't necessarily good, you're already looking at it objectively. We should always be critical of the things we like…

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 - I Have a Lot of Feelings

So I saw Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 opening night - and holy shit was I blown away. I described it as “everything I wanted and nothing I expected” - which, honestly, is the best kind of movie.

There are so many things I loved about this movie that I don’t even know where to start. But, to make things simple, I’ll go with the big things first, and then delve into the small things.

Spoilers Ahead

Twitter Poll: Where Would You Like to Know More About?

I have a few detailed entries for countries in Magdra - the fantasy world of my book, Wildflowers, Part I: Allaha of the Mountain - and I'm holding a poll on twitter to find out where others might want to know more about! Check it out here!

New Pages! I Play RPGs

I decided to post the shorts I like to write for my RPG characters in lieu of a standard backstory. Check them out by clicking the "RPG Writing" tab at the top, or the link here.

Nemain is a 6'6" Strix that is a Magus variant multiclass barbarian. Her favorite spell is a furious fire breath, and her best skill is her +19 to Intimidate checks. She uses them to scream at her opponents.

Coughing. Hacking. Wet, scratching tar and ash - it pools under her, blood so polluted it looks black. Every movement sends glass stabbing through her muscles, pins and needles burning in the wake of her stillness. She pulls herself up to her elbows, just enough to hack up the bile in her lungs without drowning in it. Her hair - what’s left of it - curtains her face, ash, dirt and mud hiding the color entirely. It’s matted and uneven, bloody pieces of scalp showing where it was pulled out roughly. Cuts and bruises mark the entirety of her black skin, and one ear is shorn off entirely. Sh…