The Complications of World Building For an Author

A Writer's Path

by Doug Lewars

I enjoy writing in the Fantasy genre and World Building is a part of that. It may or may not be extensive. For example, you can simplify your life considerably if you use our existing world and just add a bit of magic here and there. J.K. Rowling uses that technique to good effect in the Harry Potter series. The magic is carefully hidden so we muggles won’t detect it but the world itself is the one with which we are familiar. Using a parallel world or a down-the-rabbit-hole technique is another approach. A fantasy world still needs to be constructed but some or much of the plot can take place here. Creating an entirely new world can be challenging but it’s also fun.

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What did Medieval People Really Wear?

Nicholas C. Rossis

Contrary to popular belief, people in the Middle Ages loved color – and could afford it. They also liked to be, well, naked. Which makes sense, considering how much Medieval people liked throwing rotten vegetables at each other.

Some people take the term “Dark Ages” a little too literally. There is a notion in popular culture that the Medieval Period was a time when everyone lived in absolute poverty, wore clothes that looked like they were sewn together by a 6-year-old, and bathed zero times during their entire lives. The dark-filtered movies and shows depicting the Medieval period are supposed to symbolically reflect how bleak everyone’s life was.

Medieval clothes: Holywood vs. reality

A great example of this is the filter used in the European portion of The Kingdom of Heaven, which holds a rather negative view of Medieval Europe.

Raggedy grey clothing and a dark filter (and swords…

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Artificial Intelligence Statistics

Nicholas C. Rossis

I recently explored the question of whether computer-generated writing could ever replace the human kind. I recently came across some interesting statistics on Artificial Intelligence (AI), courtesy of Kommando Tech.

Current AI technology can be roughly divided into “weak” and “strong” AI. A perfect example of weak AI can be found in your living room in the form of smart speakers. Siri, Echo, and Alexa all have programmed responses to certain demands.

Strong AI, on the other hand, is the most important and interesting artificial intelligence technology today. Strong AI is the kind of AI featured in sci-fi movies. It mimics the human cognitive process. While strong AI has a long way to go before we see widespread use, there’s no doubt that it will profoundly change our lives once it passes the prototype stage.

Key artificial intelligence facts

Artificial intelligence robot statistics | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

  • Chatbots are expected to cut business costs by…

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What Are New York Public Library’s Most Checked-out Books?

Nicholas C. Rossis

I recently wrote about the welcome fact that in 2019, more Americans went to the library than to the movies. At a time when the 2021 US budget seeks to eliminate funding for libraries, this is wonderful news indeed. But what books do library patrons check out?

Ron Charles has explored this very question. As he reports in the Washington Post, The New York Public Library has just released the titles of the 10 most checked-out books in its 125-year history. Bestsellers may offer a snapshot of passing fads, but this remarkable list compiled from more than a century of circulation data is like a literary cardiogram of the nation’s beating heart.

The 10 most checked-out books in the New York Public Library’s history

Books-library | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

Here is the top-10 list:

  1. The Snowy Day,” by Ezra Jack Keats (1962)
  2. The Cat in the Hat,”…

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How Much Did Kindle Unlimited Pay in January, 2020?


The Kindle Unlimited Per-Page Rate for January, 2020

$0.004411 is the per-page rate for KENP read for Kindle Unlimited in January, 2020. It’s down from December’s rate of $0.004664, which was also down from November. It takes a dip around this time almost every year, probably an effect characteristic of the holidays. Fortunately, even after the dip, it’s still significantly above $0.004 per page.

The KDP Select Global Fund rose to a record high of $28.2 million for January, 2020.

Write Happy, Be Happy

Chris McMullen

Author of the Improve Your Math Fluency series of math workbooks and self-publishing guides

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How Writers are Actually Actors

A Writer's Path

by Ryan Lanz

“As a writer, I am just an actor in a play, telling a story that needs to be told.”

-Rita Webb

I hate memorizing lines.

In my teens, I had a brush with the acting bug. I enjoyed the thrill of being on stage. The thunder of the applause was intoxicating. I lived in southern California at the time, and I briefly considered having a go at acting. The main problem: I hated memorizing lines.

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How To Survive The Guilt From Not Writing #WritingCommunity

Lucy Mitchell

Picture this scenario. Your second draft is stuck in what I call – the middle of the book quagmire. Feeling upbeat you decide to find a way out of the boggy middle bit of your draft novel and get writing.

It is not long before you decide to lie on the sofa, stuff Oreo biscuits in quick succession into your mouth and ignore the little promise you made to yourself about turning your author dream into a reality.

Ten minutes of lying on the sofa is followed by a conversation about writer motivation on Twitter, quickly followed by a strong urge to search Amazon for that writing craft book everyone on Facebook was raving about. The FB comment someone left claiming the craft book was magical and was responsible for getting them an eye-watering book deal is stuck in your mind. Just thinking what you could do after reading that…

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Reasons Why You Should Always Finish Your Draft #Writer

Lucy Mitchell

You’ve been working on the latest draft of your novel for weeks and it feels like such a hard slog. My goodness you never expected things to get this tough!

This is when the idea of not finishing it becomes so attractive.

Maybe you should walk away?

Maybe your inability to finish the draft is a sign from the universe you should work on that new shiny idea for a story which has been flirting with you for ages?

Maybe you should leave it for a couple of weeks? Months? Or even an undefined period of time?

Maybe it’s so hard because you are trying to create something which isn’t there?

You decide to give up on your draft and tell yourself writing a book shouldn’t be that much of a challenge.

Your writer demons cheer you on from the sidelines as you decide to leave the latest draft of…

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Historic or Historical?

Nicholas C. Rossis

You may remember the explanation of the origins of the idiom, a baker’s dozen by the Australian Writers’ Centre (AWC). Today, they dissect a historic event… or should that be, a historical event? Here’s a Q&A to help you determine which one is correct, courtesy of Dean Koorey.

Historic or Historical?

Historic Morocco | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksHistoric Morocco. Or is that historical Morocco?

Q: I was watching a sports game the other day. One commentator announced that the upset result made it “a historical occasion” for the sport. The other commentator agreed, but he called it “historic” instead. Who is correct?

A: A great question. And you’ll be pleased to know that despite many people often getting it wrong, there really is a clear correct answer.

Q: Wow, English finally comes to the party!

A: Probably three hours late and with no gift, but yes, they’ve made it.

Q: So who’s correct?

A: The second commentator…

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