How to use games for world building

How to use games for world building

World building. There are tons of places to find inspiration for your fictional landscapes, cultures, and conflicts in your story. New writers are told to read what you want to write, not to copy, but to emulate. Books, movies, current events — they’re all fair game. But some of the most influential slices of entertainment

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Realm Makers 2016: A New Trope

Realm Makers 2016: A New Trope

Note: This was supposed to be about 700 words. There is no way, my friends. No way that’s happening. In fact, this will probably my closest attempt to publishing a full-length novel. I hope you enjoy. (Feat. photo credit: Gretchen Kuykendall Engel) When I mention Realm Makers to folks, they always ask me what it

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Sharing what you love – A Ren Faire experience

Sharing what you love – A Ren Faire experience

We went to the local Renaissance Faire this weekend. It wasn’t the biggest one I’ve attended, but it was a really enjoyable event. The day was gorgeous, sunny with a cool breeze. Perfect for wandering amongst costumed anachronistic characters welcoming us as, “milord, milady,” declaring our toddler’s stroller her “royal carriage,” and gasping at our

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In the Crosshairs: Heroes Among Us

In the Crosshairs: Heroes Among Us

What does it mean to be a hero? The fantasy/sci-fi genres are typically based on the fact that there’s this hero, and he or she is going to save the day/universe/dimension. They will do this by accomplishing  a nearly impossible goal and hopefully defeat the bad guy. And they do all this to ensure that good triumphs

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Write Now: Creative Wisdom from Pooh Bear

Write Now: Creative Wisdom from Pooh Bear

Wisdom can be simple, right? Have you noticed that, too? It doesn’t have to be complicated. I was reading stories from Winnie the Pooh to my 9 month-old this week and realized that very thing. There’s the kind that knocks you off your feet. You know, that mind-blowing statement that you hear for the first

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Fandom Fix: The Seven Sleepers Series

Fandom Fix: The Seven Sleepers Series

I’ve said before that my father and brother were instrumental in getting me interested in speculative fiction. But the person who got me into reading it  wasn’t a relative. It was a secret crush I had. This boy was so fun, cool, and funny. He’s never going to read this, but I’m definitely not naming

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Write Now: 5 Practical Tips for Busy Moms

Write Now: 5 Practical Tips for Busy Moms

The other day someone asked me how I, as a new mom, balance having a little one and getting my writing done. I laughed. Honestly? I think back enviously to a year ago when I used the excuse of having a full-time job and “being tired” for not writing. I now have more respect than

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Fandom Fix: Life’s Little Easter Egg Surprises

Fandom Fix: Life’s Little Easter Egg Surprises

Well, Easter is now officially over. Visiting family has gone home, the candy is all eaten (unless you’re like me and are just stocking up on all the discounted chocolate!), and the Easter eggs are all found and the contents devoured. Or at least, mostly found. I’m sure most of us have had the pleasure

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