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Here’s the deal. If you’re anything like me you’ve probably be writing your story for a while. You’ve probably also passed it along to random friends, family, maybe even the occasional acquaintance. From everything you’ve heard, your writing is great and they like it. Which no doubt feels nice.

But, there’s something inside you that wonders… is it great, really?

You think — it would be nice to get some kind of feedback. Maybe you’d hate it, maybe it would rip a hole in your soul to have someone really examine it.

Still, what could it hurt to get some…

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“If it’s bad, I’ll hate it because I hate bad writing. If it’s good, I’ll be envious and hate it all the more. You don’t want the opinion of another writer.”

— Midnight In Paris (Corey Stoll’s Hemingway)

When I first heard this in the feature film I laughed harder than any of those around me. As a writer the truth of the sentiment is palpable. For the age the film represents it made sense to perceive our writing competition in this way. Back then certain information was kept behind closed doors, shared only within networks you had to get…

As I’ve continued to invest my time and energy into Medium I’ve continued to see lots of problems and challenges that Medium writers are facing. While I have no illusions that I’m somehow going to solve all the problems I can see places where as a community we can support one another.

I’ve started this process on Medium by sharing some of the things I’ve done to improve my personal experience in hopes that it will help others.

Outside of Medium, I see constant conversation about the challenge of distribution. I see Medium’s own feeds filled with Self-Help, and Finance…

Wheel of Emotions via Pinterest

I know this wheel has made its rounds in various writing communities, and for it’s face value it’s been quite popular.

When I first saw it I thought it was an interesting representation of how I could better describe certain emotions. In essence it was about expanding my vocabulary. While I think this is valuable it actually misses something really powerful in its application.

As I sat longer with this wheel and wrote some, I began to discover how it could be used for validations for the character growth sequences I was writing.

Being a process and practicality oriented person…

Writerly Maxims: Part two of a series that will improve your writing.

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The Power of Tension

Without a solid helping of tension even the most action packed scene will fall flat, and the most heart wrenching reflection will solicit a yawn.

Think about the last book that you set down and never picked up again. What was the reason it fell off the ever important “to-read” list? Was it because you didn’t understand a character’s motivation? Was it because events were just seeming to happen with no discernable reason? Was it because you were just bored?

What about a book that seemed to stall…

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H e was resigned, beaten to the core of his humanity, the humanity he’d spent the last few weeks leaving behind. Now, in this moment, he was proud. Proud because he knew something everyone else couldn’t. Something that even if he told them they could never accept because to do so would go against everything that made up the world as they understood it.

He knew that the world would change, and that he was the reason for that change. They could kill him, but there was no stopping the forward march of progress. An avalanche would fall upon them…

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Show Don’t Tell

This is the most common maxims shared to new writers.

Yet, if you were to pick up any book on your shelf and read through a few pages, I’m confident that you’d find at least one, if not more than one instance of a solid tell.

In general “show don’t tell” is not bad advice, and understanding the execution of a good “show” rather than a “tell” is perhaps the most powerful discipline any writer will ever master for crafting a compelling story.

In practice however, those who have delved too greedily and too deep into the realm of “show”…

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Welcome to the first installment of an unproven writer submitting an unsolicited challenge against the most popular writing advice, so you can make a call on whether or not I’m out of my mind!

Our first piece of advice: “Read a lot, and write a lot”

I know what you’re thinking. This guy must be out of his ever loving mind coming for Stephen King, and you’re probably right, I am.

However, let me make something clear. I’m not challenging Stephen King’s prowess as a writer obviously the guy knows what he’s doing. I also don’t challenge his intent behind…

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I’ll keep this one short, sweet, and probably more than a little radical.

When I came back to Medium publications ruled my homepage, my suggestions, pretty much everything. I’m still working on building up my following and followed lists and I thought that a good mix of people and publications would be the way to go. So I both kept up to date and could spread my engagement to the widest range of writers.

Until I started to see a trend that all my article suggestions were overwhelmingly focused on showing publications. Considering that some people I found to follow…

James Calderon

Fantasy Writer, Marketing Professional, Ex-Game Industry & Self-Help, here to lift up fellow writers and share insights about the craft of writing.

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