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Beta Reader — information on beta readers and how-to

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Critique Me — use so others know it’s cool to critique your story
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Writing Tips — in general help for better, more complete writing Writing Tips from Writers —look here for writer to writer posts Writing Prompts — look here for inspiration to get words on paper Writers on Writing — reflections on the work of writing…


Join me on Twitter for curated writerly and bookish articles!

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…


Part One of uncommon tools I use to solve story problems.

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…


He slumped into the chains around his neck awaiting the execution he wouldn’t escape.

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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…


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

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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”…


Burn It Down: A Series of Unfortunate Writing Advice(s)

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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…


My search for the heart and soul of Medium.

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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…


Five surefire ways to start the flow of words.

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Writer’s block is the age old enemy of the wordsmith, and most advice goes about addressing it all wrong.

Worse than strategies that often redirect or disconnect your attempts to put words to paper is that much of the advice out there build up Writer’s Block with a mystical aura, speaking of it’s existence as if it were an evil sentient force bent on traveling the globe, looking to diminish the writing capacities of professionals and hobbyist alike.

When we take a look at Writer’s Block with more logic, it’s far more mundane than all this. Truthfully it’s our anthropomorphizing…


What you really want is “All from following” — I’ll show you.

Leave the Medium Homepage Behind — raised fist in defiance
Leave the Medium Homepage Behind — raised fist in defiance
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

My unremarkable return to Medium was not what I expected.

Generally speaking I followed Medium on most social platforms and even though I haven’t contributed much I have been consistent in my membership since I first payed for it. I always planned to return and do something with the investment but I was happy imagining maybe some of the writers here were benefiting from my monthly payments.

The last few weeks have shown me this isn’t quite the case. There is so much hubbub about the platform, from changes in payment structures to homepage drama, to a branding update? I…

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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