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Posts by Cedar Sanderson

Psychopathy and the Successful Villain

When writing a tale, the temptation can be to simply put in an evildoer for your hero to struggle with. That way lies cardboard villains, and although it may be easier on the writer not to have to empathize with their bad guys, or to understand their motivations, it’s far better for the readers if you take the time to truly understand what your villain is after. Read more

Blast from the Past: Ooh, Look, More Advice

Amanda is all tied up this morning. Er, not literally. At least, I hope not! This post from 2015 still rings true, so I’m bringing it forward in time to share again until she escapes her current predicament.

Yesterday, on one of my few forays onto Facebook, I saw several authors debating the so-called wisdom of an article posted in the Huffington Post. The article is basically a warning for self-published authors not to write four books a year.

Yep, you read that correctly. The headline for the article implores indie authors not to write — not publish — but write four books a year. Read more

The Uncertainty Of Creation

You should know, before you start reading the words that come after this, that before I started writing them I sat here staring at the blinking cursor on the pristine screen for far too long. I often approach Mad Genius like this. ‘Who am I,’ I ask myself silently, ‘to offer any advice whatsoever on writing? I still don’t know what I’m doing, much less how well I’m doing it.’ But here I am, and I am determined to honor the privilege of my position because… Because I was given so much help when I first started. And now I’m here, a little way in on the journey, able to reach behind me to give some encouragement to those still staring at their blank screens.  Read more

Authorial Sartorial Tutorial (a guest post)

Cedar here: I have been rather sick the last couple of days. I’m not saying it was the Wendy’s Grilled Chicken Sandwich, but I will say that’s the only thing I ate before coming home from work and proceeding to get rather ill. My dear, dear husband, who is Not a Writer, offered to write a blog post for me in case I wasn’t feeling up to it. And I wasn’t going to say no at that point. I’m feeling better, but it’s interesting to get a reader, or in this case, Fan Perspective here from time to time. Not that he’s a normal reader, or fan! Read more

Constant Scrutiny

As I was chatting with a fellow author last night, the topic came up of Amazon and their predilection for pulling reviews they find suspicious, or suspending the accounts of authors they think may be gaming the system. It was something John van Stry had talked about on the trends in Indie Publishing panel he and I were on, along with Jim Curtis and Lawdog. (Great panel, I was listening more than talking, and we had almost two hours so we got into the meat of the matter).

The upshot of that conversation, and the more private one later, is that as authors we must avoid all appearance of evil. Read more

The only thing that I’d do

Sometimes I wonder if you could write a story using predictive text, and if it would make any sense at all. Probably not. For one thing, in order to have a truly rich vocabulary, you’d have to write a lot, first, and then, why? Why bother with something so nonsensical and simplistic? Writing stories is about so much more than simply putting words on paper. Read more

The Slothful Writer

The sloth earned it’s name not from it’s habits, but the human perception of them. You see, there’s a sin of slothfulness: laziness, the inability to get things done, much less in any kind of timely manner. So how did the innocent animal get named for a sin? Well, it’s slow. Takes the sloth a while to get anywhere. Takes the sloth a really really long time to poop (look, I was briefly a children’s librarian. Kids love poop facts. More than that, they love to share them with any adult in range. What can I say? Did you know the wombat has square poops?). Read more