JOIN US!!! >:O Have you been meaning to start writing more? Do you need a little more encouragement, maybe a little more motivation? Well, dagnabbit, so have I, them, and us! Join us at the brand new section of the Imagine website called the Writers Club, where we’ll be talking tools and dropping writing prompts and challenges and having a gay old time just trying to get each other to pick up the perverbial pen (see what I did there?) The primary goal is obvious – get us writing, then maintain momentum. Participation in the group isn’t mandatory. You can sign up and pop in whenever you feel like it. Writing prompts are going to start off at one per day, and writing challenges will be posted on Saturday of each week to begin with.   To join the group, simply register for an account here at Imagine, and visit this page: https://imagine-magazine.org/groups/writing-club/ Hope to see you there!

So, you’ve finally done it! You’ve written your masterpiece! You took the time, you put in the hard work, you lost the appropriate amount of sleep, you’ve done all you could to rub the severe ache out of your sore and tired fingers! It’s finished! Your project! Your baby! Yay! Hold it up to the sky like Simba in “The Lion King” and beam with all the pride you deserve! You’ve earned it! Now… I want you to take that healthy piece of work, give it a loving kiss… and then start HACKING IT TO PIECES!!! Fingers, toes, arms, legs… it’s time to butcher your creation and hope for the best. Such is the plight of the internet author. Or any author, for that matter. It can really suck sometimes, but if you want your story to be as potent and as effective as you’re hoping it will be… then sacrifices must be made. So make them, we shall. Hopefully, this article will help you to trim some of theContinue reading »

After all of the fuzzy warm feelings that I’ve conjured up online for the stories many of you have come to enjoy, you might be surprised at how much of a ‘dark’ individual I can be a times. Hehehe! I can’t help it. I was an 80’s kid, and growing up during the slasher flick era was AWESOME! We’re talking “Halloween”, “Nightmare On Elm St.”, “Friday The 13th”, “Child’s Play”, “The Howling”…my friends and I were the kids who got together in somebody’s basement every weekend, turned out all the lights, and blazed through whatever we could afford from the local video store. I was that kid with the ‘Fangoria’ magazine subscription and the fake vampire teeth. As much as I absolutely LOVE writing romance and erotic fiction, my foundation has always been one part Horror, one part Science Fiction, and one part Comic Books. I was practically a character from “Stranger Things”! Hehehe! (If you haven’t seen that on Netflix…you need to remedy that as soon as possible!) So,Continue reading »

You’ve seen this before, haven’t you? In a book, in a movie, in a TV show? This particular character, this particular situation, this particular action scene, this particular kiss under the stars? Nope… it’s not Deja Vu you’re experiencing. It’s what is commonly (and often negatively) referred to as the story cliché. And you will run into them time and time again in the future, guaranteed. The more you read, the more you’ll see them. As a writer myself, you’re probably thinking that I’m going to sit you all down and write an entire article about how you can cleverly get passed writing clichés and work your way around them to create the most incredibly unique, one-of-a-kind scripture in all of literary history! Right? Wrong! (How’s that for a plot twist?) I’m not going to do that at all. In fact, I’m going to do the exact opposite. So get comfortable, and let me tell you what I’ve learned over the years about the awful cliché of avoiding clichés. I’mContinue reading »

Whenever you write a story, whether it takes you to the house of the boy next door or to the distant ends of the known universe…whether it took place in the last few weeks, or during the turn of the last century…you are essentially creating a fictional mythology with everything you write. You’ve become the sole author of a world that you control, guiding the destinies of everyone who inhabits that world. You are the hands of fate. If you want to make it rain, make it rain. If you want your favorite character to break his leg, he breaks his leg. And if you decide to kill someone off to benefit your mysterious master plan…well, we all know how THAT turns out, don’t we? Hehehe! You, and you alone, can build and manipulate the events that you’ve put into motion in any way that you see fit. There’s a lot of fun to be had doing that. And if you want to expand on that idea, you can (feasibly)Continue reading »

Every story that you have ever read, every movie that you have ever seen, has a potential backstory to it. Every last one. Now, maybe it’s a backstory that doesn’t need to be dwelled upon for that particular tale…but believe me, it’s there. And if you work to create characters that are compelling enough for your readers to want to know more about them…teasing them with bits and pieces of a backstory can add depth and complexity to your main character and the characters around them. IF it’s done right! So this month…let’s talk backstories. If the characters in your story have any importance at all in the plot, they might have an interesting backstory trailing behind them. They didn’t just appear out of thin air. Something brought them there. Something put these current events into motion. That’s what backstories attempt to explain. They reveal pieces of history that come before, and lead up to, the tale being told. It gives people a detailed idea about that character’s motivations, orContinue reading »

All you really need to start writing a story is an idea and some time to spare. The funny thing is, many people shy away from writing because they think it’s too hard, especially when they hear things like character and plot building, planning, research and the dreaded “G” word, otherwise known as “grammar”. If you’re just starting out in the story-writing world, forget all of those technical aspects and concentrate on your enjoyment.  If you’re going to write something, you have to want to do it. That said, until you’re comfortable with taking your writing to the next level, all you need to start writing is an idea. Nothing else. The idea you have for your story doesn’t have to be complicated or profound at all.  In fact, it’s usually better for it to be simple. That will give your idea a lot of room to grow as you write your story. Some examples of simple ideas are: Boy meets boy, falls in love. Newly discovered power (like super-strength,Continue reading »

There’s a certain something to be said about sharing moments of intimacy with someone you truly care about. Someone you love and cherish. Trust and fight for. And during those times when you’re writing a story and the moment feels right… it’s always fun to add a little naughty text to your work and give it the kind of heat that raises every eyebrow (among other things) from every reader that comes across it. Hehehe! And why not? Sex is a beautiful and natural thing! From gentle foreplay to desperate release… and every joyously carnal moment of graphic grinding and heavy breathing in between. When writing erotic fiction, it’s the explosive payoff that a large percentage of your audience has been waiting for. There’s nothing wrong with that. But do your main characters have to actually get sweaty and naked to be sexy? From my experience, I think that it can be a difficult balance to maintain sometimes. Because the last thing I want is for half of my readersContinue reading »

– You can feel it, can’t you? You’re ALMOST done with your writing! You’re wrapping the whole chapter or story up with the last few sentences, and you know that the nightmare of creation is almost at an end! And then… you put that last period at the end, and YES!!! You’re done writing! Thank the stars, you’re finally FINISHED! Now comes the HARD part! Hehehe! See, your creative right brain gets the big picture, and it’s totally happy to have played a major role in writing your very own story. Then your analytical left brain comes in and screws it all up, telling you everything is wrong and stupid and boring and it doesn’t make sense… it can be a real test, trying to struggle through that. Because even though you worked your asses off to put it all together, you’ve basically got to go back to the beginning and start all over from scratch! I make writing sound like so much ‘fun’, don’t I? Making it up isn’tContinue reading »

One of the most important parts of putting a story together is making sure that your main character, your protagonist, is a ‘likeable’ and relatable character. This is the one person that your audience is going to be spending most of their time with throughout the entire project, and if they loathe and despise your main character, chances are they’re just not going to want to be there after the first few pages or so. Even anti-heroes have to have something about them that keeps a reader engaged with what’s going on in the story. However… …Sometimes, an author can create a character that is NOT so immediately likeable, and use that to their advantage. It’s a bit more challenging, yes…but if done correctly, you’ll be able to craft an amazing story, where both your main character and possibly even your readers can learn something about themselves during their journey together. I like to call this a ‘redeeming character arc’. You’ve seen it done many times before, and it takes time and patience, both onContinue reading »

For any writer interested in truly connecting with their reading audience, you’re going to start pouring a lot of emotion into everything you write. The stories become a part of you. A display of the person you really are inside. And as time goes on and you become more comfortable with expressing those emotions…there may be times when you’re forced to deal with some rather touchy, maybe even painful, pieces of your life. Past events that you may not be really ready to deal with, much less put in a spotlight for the rest of the world to see and comment on. I speak from experience when I say that it’s not always an easy thing to do. And I don’t suggest you get into those personal parts of your psyche unless you’re truly comfortable with it. It may seem like it’s just ‘typing out a story’, but when you dig really deep…it can become an emotionally draining exercise. Sometimes, it can be downright depressing. So it’s not something toContinue reading »

  The stormy night. The darkness. Those things that go bump in the night. What is it about the written word that can have such a visceral effect on us when we’re reading scary stories? What primal instinct does it tap into? What emotional strings does it pull? It’s a skill, giving someone goosebumps when they’re reading something in the comfort and safety of their own home. When writing horror…you want that irrational response. You want the reader to jump at every noise in their apartment. You want them to search the darkness around them, or get up to close that ‘slightly open’ closet door. It’s a moment when a writer can invade the minds of his or her readers, and play on their basic fears and concerns in order to build a scenario that they can submerge themselves into and feel all the stress and discomfort that you want them to experience. It can be SO much fun when you get it to work! The question is…how? One thingContinue reading »

To write a love story, you would think that the typical ‘boy-meets-boy’ formula would only involve two people. Main character. Love interest. Period. And if you’re telling a short story from beginning to end, sometimes simplicity is the key to creating a great piece of fiction. However, for those of you out there who have plans for something a bit more extended, an ongoing series or a longer novel or novella length story… it’s always great to have a little bit of character support. What is character support? That’s when you include a few other characters besides the main boys involved in the meat of the story. These supporting cast members can come in the form of a best friend, a sibling, a mortal enemy, a wise teacher, a love rival, some comic relief… and pretty much anything else you can think of. Naturally, you don’t want to add TOO many supporting characters, as the storyline can quickly become complicated and confusing if you pollute it with too many peopleContinue reading »

The Internet is awesome.  It connects us to the world with a single click of a button.  It lets us speak with anyone anywhere at any time and helps us stay in contact with friends and family, regardless of where they live.  It’s filled with all sorts of information, all kinds of people, communities and interests and… it’s distracting! I don’t know about you, but whenever I sit down to work and get things done, the very moment I have the slightest problem, I turn to the Internet.  For example, I can’t remember the exact meaning of a word, so I check out the definition online.  It’s all downhill from there. It’s like a small explosion in my mind.  I find the definition and then decide to see what’s going on the Shack, then the Library, then The Vampire Warehouse.  From there I’ll check out my favourite blogs and then see if there’s any new books out on Kindle—that I don’t have the money to buy. Immediately following this, I’llContinue reading »

When writing your own stories, one thing to be aware of is the fact that your work will eventually be displayed in a place where other people can see it. And that place will probably have a ton of other authors as well, all competing to get noticed as well. So the question here is… how do you get people to read your story over someone else’s? It’s not like selling a car, where you can drape a hot, half-naked boy over the hood and holler at the crowd through a megaphone. Hehehe! Actually… I wonder what that would look like… hmmm… Ahem! Sorry! TITLES!!! ‘Titles’ is the correct answer. Choosing an appropriate title for your story can make all the difference between someone reading your story right away, saving it for a later time, or skipping over it altogether. It’s the one thing that people judge a book by before they even get to the cover. So it carries a certain amount of importance, believe me. This month, let’sContinue reading »

  Internet safety.  It sounds a bit like an oxymoron sometimes.  Nowadays there are so many things we have to take into consideration when visiting a websites; things like digital footprints and cookies, malware, spyware, viruses and Trojans.  When you think about it, the Internet’s quite frightening.  Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) knows everything that you’re doing online, websites track you, apps harass you and games offer you discounts on natural male enhancement…  I guess that’s what you get for searching ‘snail male’.  That tiny typo really screwed up your web experience, and that was more than a month ago! The web sucks.  It spies on you and lets strangers know where you live and what you’re doing.  People living on the other side of the world know your phone number and address and what colour underpants you’re wearing.  How?  Because you updated your status using a social media website and forgot to set the right privacy settings. Wouldn’t it be great if there was something you could do toContinue reading »

By Comicality   There is one thing that you always have to keep in mind as a dedicated writer. And that is… creating the story in your head, no matter how detailed that marvelous vision of yours may be… it’s going to be a completely different animal once you’re forced to sit down and actually put this great literature on paper. (Or on the screen, in this case) That part is a LOT harder. And it takes a LOT more time. We’re not talking notes and thoughts and scattered ideas here. We’re talking a long, often frustrating, process that will get what’s in your head out there where other people can absorb it. And while many, many people are AWESOME at the creation part of the process… the execution can be a bother and a chore to most. If you want to write, that’s something that you just have to overcome.   Consider this the beginning of literary boot camp! Hehehe! Because it won’t be easy. Half of you willContinue reading »