Fantasy is more than dragons

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" I really can't think of another series that tied the world of fantasy and sci-fi together so well since Pern... a truly original viewpoint of fantasy, and I loved it."
~ Riley Westbrook

Welcome!

Found on laura-marshall.com

Found on laura-marshall.com

Thank you for visiting the Nicholas C. Rossis author blog! Before becoming an author, I had no idea just how much work book marketing entails: it’s never been easier to publish your work, but it’s never been harder to get people to read it. So, my blog is mostly aimed at helping authors with their book marketing efforts and at sharing every trick of the trade I pick along the way.

You may also be interested in my web design services aimed at authors. I also post writing tips and free stories. For some fun reading, visit the Fun Historical Facts and the Entertainment sections. If you like what you see here, check out my books on Amazon. And if you leave a comment or contact me, I’ll keep you up-to-date with my news and send you exclusive short stories as a ‘thank-you’. Oh, and please feel free to reblog and share. I’ll be grateful to you if you do! For an easy way to do so, or for those who have trouble viewing this blog, I have set up a mirror blog on nicholasrossis.wordpress.com.

Recent Posts

The Adverb Strikes Back

The Adverb Strikes Back

We all know how adverbs are supposedly an author's archnemesis. They are to be avoided like, well, passive voice. We're to go through our manuscripts, find each and every one of them, and kill them while crying out, "die, rebel scum!" Hemingway has a lot to do with...

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Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

Even though Greece doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving, I went to an American school so the family and I sort of do — mostly because we love the idea of a day dedicated to gratitude. In that spirit, I am very grateful to all of you for your love and support all these...

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I’m on the Voice of Indie Podcast

I’m on the Voice of Indie Podcast

Something to be thankful for: if you've missed my nuggets of wisdom and anecdotes from Greece and Scotland, don't despair. I was invited over at the Voice of Indie podcast by two very charming gentlemen, Beem Weeks and Stephen Geez, of Fresh Ink Group fame. We...

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Ye Olde Spelling

Ye Olde Spelling

Have you ever wondered about the ubiquitous "ye" in old publications (and certain Bible translations)? Did people actually go around using "ye" instead of "the"? How about quaint shops with signs like "Ye Olde Coffee Shoppe" — or even "Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese"? How...

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What Were Stone Age Clothes Made of?

What Were Stone Age Clothes Made of?

Many fantasy books mention clothes. These are usually made of wool or linen. If there's an "Asian" civilization nearby, perhaps even silk. But what did early civilizations really use for their clothes? I'm not talking about Medieval clothes or even Roman ones. I'm...

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Is There Life on Venus?

Is There Life on Venus?

A hundred years ago, people thought there may be life on Mars. However, it turns out that moons like Europa and Titan are more likely candidates for life. Now, Venus is added to the list of possible life-bearing destinations on our doorstep. As Popular Mechanics...

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The Cossack Sorcerers

The Cossack Sorcerers

Almost everyone knows about Japanese Ninjas and Chinese Shaolin monks. How about the secretive and magical Warrior Society of Ukraine, though? I am, of course, talking about the Cossack Sorcerers. Never heard of them? Well, neither had I until I came across a...

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The Real Tower of Babel

The Real Tower of Babel

"Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then...

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Anvil Weddings and Gretna Green

Anvil Weddings and Gretna Green

Scotland and England were ruled by a single monarch until James VI of Scotland became James I of England, upon Elizabeth I’s death in 1603. However, it was only when the Act of Union was passed, in 1707, that they were united under a single parliament. One of the...

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A Nafplio Visit

A Nafplio Visit

One of the best things about living in Greece is the history. Literally, with every stone you lift, you're bound to find a wee bit of history underneath. This weekend, we went to Nafplio and visited the castle of Palamidi. Nafplio was the second capital of Greece,...

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North American Vikings

North American Vikings

I was just writing the other day about the 1339 monk who wrote about the discovery of America. Now, analysis of wood from timber-framed buildings in the L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland shows a Norse-built settlement over 1,000 years ago - 471 years before Columbus....

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The Delayed Buyer Effect

The Delayed Buyer Effect

Mina Baturan recently shared a helpful tip on her Facebook Group, AmWritingFantasy. She calls it The Delayed Buyer Effect and it is the result of what happens when someone sees your ad, wants to read your book, but doesn’t buy or download. Or does download with Kindle...

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Punching an Asteroid

Punching an Asteroid

I don't know if you've heard the news yet but NASA is launching an unusual mission: to punch an asteroid in the face. As LiveScience reports, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), is scheduled to launch on Nov. 23. According to NASA, it could help figure out...

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Ending Letters

Ending Letters

Have you paid any attention to the letters we use to end our words? For example, you won't find any words ending in U, V, I, or J. Why is that? Gareth Adamson has the answer on Quora. And yes, it has to do with history. But also with grammar. Ending with a J ‘J’ is...

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Hardcover Books on KDP

Hardcover Books on KDP

A while ago, I was notified by Amazon that hardcover versions are now available for my books - but that this was still in beta and I wasn't supposed to mention anything. Now, hardcovers are officially here and Dave Chesson, aka Kindlepreneur, has published a helpful...

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Do You, Like, Like Like?

Do You, Like, Like Like?

I mentioned in my previous post how we had some American friends stay with us over the summer. One of them was a teen girl who, as teens do, used "like" every now and then. A habit I soon found myself repeating. Then I came across an interesting article on The...

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A Long Hiatus

A Long Hiatus

I swear, I didn't plan on disappearing for this long. It was only when I saw that my last blog was published two months ago, on August 3rd, that I realized how time had flown by. However, I couldn't not share a little gem I came across today as I was buying food for...

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Reigniting Your Passion

Reigniting Your Passion

I apologize for disappearing lately. It's summer, which means I'm trying to get some rest and enjoy the Greek sun and sea. We also have friends over, which adds to the temptation to drop everything and head to the beach. Plus, of course, I still need to work. And...

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Real-Life Aliens

Real-Life Aliens

What might life on another planet look like? What the British Antarctic Survey came across earlier this year (2021) may shed some light. As Wired reports, the Society wanted to study the history of the floating shelf. Instead, they came across strange creatures that...

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Past Visions of the Future

Past Visions of the Future

How did our grandfathers imaging our present? Robert Langkjær-Bain of Fivemedia has an excellent article with some (often hilarious) illustrations answering that very question. Flying Cars With AirCar completing its first flight on June 28th, 2021, maybe we're finally...

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Pixar’s Screenwriting Tips

Pixar’s Screenwriting Tips

In my last post, I discussed how to create memorable characters the Pixar way. This one has some more writing tips from No Film School. This one includes several tweets from Director and Pixar storyboard artist Emma Coats (@lawnrocket). I hope you find them useful!...

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Create Memorable Characters the Pixar Way

Create Memorable Characters the Pixar Way

No Film School has published some of Pixar's tips for creating memorable characters. From Woody to Nemo, Pixar's characters have a unique way of sticking with you, whether it's due to their hilarious banter or heartbreaking humanity. But what is it that makes them so...

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Survey: What Readers Really Want

Survey: What Readers Really Want

A few days ago, Written World Media (WWM) published the results of a survey on what readers really want. The company has five reader-facing brands such as Freebooksy, Bargain Booksy, and Red Feather Romance, that allow authors and publishers to reach the right...

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Medieval Name Generators

Medieval Name Generators

You may recall my previous posts on naming your characters (Old Anglo-Saxon Character Names, Free Online Character Name Generators, and Naming your Characters the Easy Way). There is now a new character naming tool on Reedsy, the Medieval Name Generator. If you’re...

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Are There Any Celtic Words in English?

Are There Any Celtic Words in English?

Long-time followers of my blog may remember my post on the origins of English. The language tree in that post shows that English is largely derived from Germanic, specifically Anglo-Frisian. So, where are the Celts? Are there no Celtic words in English? As several of...

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Space Farts and Crappy Jobs

Space Farts and Crappy Jobs

The wee one's fascination with bodily functions (as witnessed by her poetry) must be rubbing off on me, as I couldn't stop browsing Quora to learn more about toilet habits, old and new. Sher Afgan and Silvia Serra have shared a brief illustrated history of toilets...

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History of the Cuirass

History of the Cuirass

Cavalier guards, the charge is short, and therefore so sweet. The trumpet sings, the field is open, and somewhere saber ringing is heard. The sound of strings still echoes but the captain's already on the saddle. Do not promise young maidens eternal love on earth...

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The City that Vanished into the Sea

The City that Vanished into the Sea

When people speak of climate change, I often think of Dunwich, a town on the Suffolk coast that has almost entirely vanished into the sea. Dunwich is a pleasant city that consists of just about one street and a museum, a shingle beach, and a nearby forest. As George...

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The Workers Who Tricked the Devil

The Workers Who Tricked the Devil

I came across a delightful story on Atlas Obscura the other day and wanted to share with you. When the Gothic-style St. Mary Church (Marienkirche) was being built in Lübeck in the mid-13th century, local legend has it that none other than Satan himself stopped by the...

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Medieval Matresses

Medieval Matresses

First of all, let me apologize for the week-long delay in posting. I had my first vaccine (Astra) and it had quite the kick. Then, Electra had it and she was even worse than me. Between taking care of her and the wee one, I had precious free time in my hands for the...

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Top 60+ Most Popular Social Networking Sites

Top 60+ Most Popular Social Networking Sites

We keep hearing that we must promote our books on social media. Given the billions of people who get online every day, this seems like a great idea. With so many media out there, however, how can you choose which one's right for you? Thankfully, Hostgator Coupon Code...

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Understanding Old English

Understanding Old English

How far back in history could you go until you could no longer understand the English language?Stanislava Suplatovich has the answer in Quora. To answer this question, she uses three examples. Here's the first one: “See ye not yon twa bonny boys, As they play at the...

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Sea Shanties of the Ancients

Sea Shanties of the Ancients

When I was at school, we learned of Ri-Pa-Pe - the rhythmic chant of Athenian oarsmen pulling a trireme's 180 oars. Contrary to what you might think, triremes were manned not by slaves but by some 200 free men from all social strata. Indeed, for a 5th-century BC...

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The Mold Cape

The Mold Cape

I'm fresh back from my Easter break, and have the story of one of the most impressive treasures ever found in Britain to share with you: the Mold Cape. No, it's not moldy (although after so many centuries buried underground, I wouldn't be surprised if it were). This...

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Happy Orthodox Easter

Happy Orthodox Easter

It's Orthodox Easter today. Visitors of this blog may recall my older posts on the quaint Greek customs such as shooting rockets at each other. Because what better way to celebrate Jesus' resurrection, right? Not that Medieval killer bunnies are much better, of...

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Creating Universal Links with Booklinker

Creating Universal Links with Booklinker

Many of you have asked me how you can create universal links. These are easy-to-remember links like "mybook.to/pearseus" that automatically link people to the appropriate Amazon store depending on their location. The answer is simple: Booklinker. Booklinker lets you...

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Hello, Kindle Vella

Hello, Kindle Vella

Have you heard the news? Amazon just announced the Kindle Vella system. This is sort of "Wattpad on Amazon," as a quick recap will show you: You publish your book, one chapter ("episode") at a time. Episodes are between 600-5,000 words long. Readers find your story in...

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10 Effective Ways to Avoid Distraction While You Write

10 Effective Ways to Avoid Distraction While You Write

As writers, we’ve all struggled with people, thoughts, and objects constantly distracting us while writing. In my case, it's an energetic 5-year-old who loves interrupting me to show me stuff like the dragon egg she painted as soon as I sit down to write. However,...

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More Shakespearean Insults

More Shakespearean Insults

From the story of how Shakespeare died a nobody, then got famous by accident to a Shakespearean insults infographic, the Bard keeps fascinating me. Having died 400 years ago last week, as The Independent reminds us, the great William Shakespeare was quite creative...

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New Release: Hands

New Release: Hands

It feels like I've been writing about nothing but my new releases lately, but this isn't one of mine. Well, I helped publish it, but it was written by Ariadne Frey, an incredibly talented 14-year-old girl who wrote one of the most original stories I've read in recent...

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New Release: Fear Begets Murder

New Release: Fear Begets Murder

Remember how I mentioned I'd been ghostwriting a book a while ago? Well, the book has been published and is now available on Amazon. Fear Begets Murder: A Conspiracy Tale was written with my childhood friend, Sam, who had the original idea and steered the writing in...

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New Release: Hell’s Mall

New Release: Hell’s Mall

My short story "Would you like flies with that?" was published as part of the collection Hell's Mall: Sinister Shops, Cursed Objects, and Maddening Crowds.  Hell's Mall is the seventh book of April Grey's Hell's Anthology series. I should point out that despite the...

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New Release: Copywriting with Rayne Hall

New Release: Copywriting with Rayne Hall

You may recall my mentioning early this year a new release by Rayne Hall and yours truly titled Copywriting: Get Paid to Write Promotional Texts. This is Rayne's Writer's Craft Book number 34 (!) and, obviously, one of her best 😉 Seriously, though, working with Rayne...

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Can AI Content Generation Replace Human Writing?

Can AI Content Generation Replace Human Writing?

Back in 2015, I wrote a hilarious post about artificially created romance novels, whence the gem below. So, how are things 6 years on? Artificial intelligence (AI) has made automation the norm in more fields than ever. In marketing, AI has transformed the way we...

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Risk-Taking in the Face of Uncertainty

Risk-Taking in the Face of Uncertainty

Many of us write stories with protagonists who start out as timid persons, only to realize their potential by the of the book. When charting the hero's journey, we have to describe how they learn to take risks. Given that there’s nothing more intimidating than taking...

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Smart-Home Technology Trends

Smart-Home Technology Trends

When I was writing A Heaven for Toasters, my near-future sci-fi romance, I was trying to imagine what life will be like in a hundred years. For my research, I studied current trends in smart homes and was amazed to realize that the future is already here. What smart...

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Which Writing Style Should You Choose in 2021?

Which Writing Style Should You Choose in 2021?

I recently discussed the Oxford comma and Singular they. Both these are typical examples of style in writing. That is, there is no right or wrong answer concerning their use; it all depends on personal preference. So does the question of the writing style you choose:...

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3 Tips To Be More Productive After Work

3 Tips To Be More Productive After Work

Between the restless 5-year-old and my SEO copywriting, I haven’t done much fiction writing in ages. That’s why this guest post by Tracie Johnson appealed to me. Tracie is a New Jersey native and an alum of Penn State University. She is passionate about writing,...

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The Dancing Plague of 1518

The Dancing Plague of 1518

Vitmor Gomes recently shared on Quora one of the most fascinating Medieval stories I've heard: the dancing plague of 1518. In July 1518, in the town of Strasbourg, Alsace (now France), something unexpected happened. A housewife, called Frau Troffea, came out of her...

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The Oxford Comma

The Oxford Comma

I mentioned the Oxford comma recently in a conversation with Stefan. In case you haven't heard of it, here is the definition, courtesy of Grammarly: The Oxford (or serial) comma is the final comma in a list of things. For example: Please bring me a pencil, eraser, and...

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The Epicene Pronoun and Singular They

The Epicene Pronoun and Singular They

Back in 2016, I had written about the appeal and long history of singular they. I recently found myself referring to this old post on Quora, during an argument with someone who claimed its use was a mistake. "Singular they" is a so-called epicene pronoun: the pronoun...

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The “Lunar Ark” Project

The “Lunar Ark” Project

Tibi Puiu of ZME Science recently presented a backup plan in case we screw up this planet for good: a "Lunar ark" that would store DNA from millions of species in Moon’s lava tubes. The project, first described in a paper presented by researchers at the University of...

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Kids and Poetry

Kids and Poetry

I was reading an interesting post on the Washington Post on why kids need poetry in their lives, and how to spark their interest in it. The author, Jason Basa Nemec, was explaining how he was reading Amanda Gorman's "The Hill We Climb" to his 2-year-old and my...

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Unsung Heroines: Susie King Taylor

Unsung Heroines: Susie King Taylor

In honor of Women's Day, I thought I'd share with you the story of Susie King Taylor as told on Quora by Karin Muller. Susie King Taylor Every day at 9 am, Susie King Taylor and her brother would walk the half a mile to the small schoolhouse, their books wrapped in...

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Viking Ulfberht Swords

Viking Ulfberht Swords

When we think of Vikings, our minds don't normally conjure a picture of a miner. So where did the Vikings (and others) get the iron ore to forge their tools and weapons? As Mats Andersson says on Quora, they literally fished it out of bogs. Bog Iron As Wikipedia...

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Surprisingly Progressive Pirates

Surprisingly Progressive Pirates

As a kid, when I thought of pirates I dreamed of absolute freedom with plenty of swashbuckling. When I grew up, I realized that pirates were bloodthirsty savages who deserved to be strung for their unforgivable crimes against countless civilians. So terrible was their...

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Plagiarism and Content Marketing

Plagiarism and Content Marketing

When I got my first SEO copywriting assignment from InSync Media, I expected them to ask me to proofread my copy on Grammarly. However, I was surprised that they also asked me to check my text using an online plagiarism checker. Then I realized how much sense that...

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Facebook Appeal Script

Facebook Appeal Script

Have you been running Facebook ads for your books and found your ad account disabled at some point? If so, then you'll find this Facebook appeal script that InSync Media's SEO guru, Mike Guess, shared with me a godsend. The top 3 strategies that Facebook marketers...

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France Is Bacon

France Is Bacon

I saw this today and just had to share. It's a story that first appeared on Reddit courtesy of a user called Lard_Baron. Or should that be Lard_Bacon? Anyway, the story goes like this... Knowledge Is Power When I was young my father said to me: "Knowledge is Power......

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Snowed In

Snowed In

I apologize for disappearing this past week but I had a good reason: snow. Yes, this is Athens; not Canada (or Texas). Specifically, it's our street! And this is our garden: Not only did it snow over a meter, it also resulted in power cuts that lasted well over 5...

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The Origins of Valentine’s Day

The Origins of Valentine’s Day

It's Valentine's Day today and we celebrate love. But why, exactly, do we do that? What are the origins of Valentine's Day? History.com has some interesting theories to offer. One theory is that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When...

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The Worst Time in History to Be Alive

The Worst Time in History to Be Alive

The ninth plague of Egypt was complete darkness that lasted for three days. But in 536 A.D., much of the world went dark for a full 18 months, as a mysterious fog rolled over Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Asia. The fog blocked the sun during the day, causing...

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Back to the Future of Gaming

Back to the Future of Gaming

This is a guest post by Anastasios Papadopoulos, a full-stack developer with a passion for writing. Back to the Future of Gaming “Video games are going to ruin our lives,” or so many people seem to think (and they may have a point, sort of). If you’re a near-future...

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7 Easy Tips to Craft the Perfect Story

7 Easy Tips to Craft the Perfect Story

This is a guest post by Bella Williams. As an Assignment Expert, Bella delivers online sessions at Expert Assignment Help, helping students with writing essays and assignments. She is the co-founder and education consultant at Top My Grades. Beyond work, you can find...

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5 Tips to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

5 Tips to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

If you're like me, always updating your LinkedIn profile and trying to perfect it, you may appreciate these 5 tips! You see, it can be easy for you to get so wrapped up in improving your employer’s brand or the brand of your company that you forget to work on...

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Mind-Bending Photos Of Jupiter

Mind-Bending Photos Of Jupiter

When NASA’s $1 billion Juno spacecraft completed its 11th high-speed trip around Jupiter, it sent back amazing new pictures of the planet. As Physics-Astronomy reports, the amazing spacecraft gets relatively close to the biggest gas giant planet of our solar system...

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How Latin Became Modern Italian

How Latin Became Modern Italian

In my last post, I explored some ways in which a new language is born. This post examines one of the best-known historical examples (at least for anyone in the West): the way that Latin became modern Italian. As Luca Guala explains on Quora, the road taken was neither...

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A New Language Born

A New Language Born

So, you have decided to go full-Tolkien and create your own language. But wait - how are languages formed, anyway? I mean, we know that languages die all the time. But are new languages ever born? This is exactly what Simge Topaloğlu discusses on Quora. As he...

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Heraldry Basics

Heraldry Basics

Any of you writing fantasy will appreciate Toni Šušnjar's post on heraldry, shared on Mythic Scribes. The History of Heraldry As Toni explains, distinctive personal insignia on shields had been used to identify warriors in battle since 9th-century BC Phrygia. But this...

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Early Wheat Recipes

Early Wheat Recipes

I recently wrote about what ancient Greeks and Romans used to eat. But how about earlier people? If your fantasy takes place in a neolithic or even paleolithic setting, then you can spice it up (pun intended) with these early wheat recipes, courtesy of Alice Twain of...

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How Amazon Plans to Conquer the World of Publishing

How Amazon Plans to Conquer the World of Publishing

This is a guest post by Nisar Ahmad, a digital marketing expert for Media Hicon. As you know, I put most of the blame for the current condition of the publishing world on traditional publishers, whose policies Amazon has cleverly used to its advantage. Nisar instead...

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Medieval Cistercian Numbers

Medieval Cistercian Numbers

If you're looking to enrich your fantasy or Medieval fiction, why not mention Cistercian numbers — the forgotten ciphers of Medieval monks? As Tibi Puiu reports on ZME Science, people have employed all sorts of systems throughout history, most of which are now...

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The Real Robinson Crusoe

The Real Robinson Crusoe

Everyone has heard of Robinson Crusoe. But how many know the real-life inspiration behind the character? As Alex Turner explains on Quora, this would be Alexander Selkirk: Selkirk was a Scottish sailor, born in 1676. He was a rather hotheaded man, who tended to look...

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How to Be a Good Content Writer

How to Be a Good Content Writer

As you know, I've been working as a freelance copywriter these past years. Amanda Dudley, a teacher and writer at an essay writing service, has submitted this guest post that explains what skills a good content writer needs to possess. Amanda is a writer, lecturer,...

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The Real Witches

The Real Witches

I kick off the new year with a matter close to anyone who's ever flirted with fantasy writing: witches. I mean, what's fantasy without witchcraft? Probably a rather boring Medieval existence, that's what. Of course, there's a big difference between fantasy and...

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Bye Bye 2020, Hello 2021

Bye Bye 2020, Hello 2021

As Tracey Hirt of Bored Panda points out, 2020 reads like a kindergartner’s first attempt at fiction: Um, so first an entire continent was on fire. But then there was this disease, and everyone forgot about that. So then the whole world had to stay home. And school...

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Is Santa a Superhero?

Is Santa a Superhero?

Superhero culture seems to play a similar part to ancient mythology, with superheroes being the modern equivalent of gods and demigods. So, you may be excused for wondering if Santa may, in fact, be yet another superhero. Confessions of the Professions has the answer...

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More Funny Similes and Metaphors

More Funny Similes and Metaphors

Seeing how much you enjoyed my recent post, Funny Similes and Metaphors, here's another one for you. This one's courtesy of Writer's Relief, which hosted a metaphor competition. Here are the results. I hope you like them! More Funny Similes and Metaphors First of all,...

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A Wizard’s Hat

A Wizard’s Hat

Have you ever wondered where the pointy wizard hat stereotype stems from? Someone on Quora did and Wendy Carolan had the answer. Where Does the Idea of the Wizard's Hat Come from? As you can well imagine, the question here refers to the stereotypical pointy blue...

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Funny Similes and Metaphors

Funny Similes and Metaphors

Mike Kerr, author of the Humour at Work series of books, has some hilarious similes and metaphors I think you'll enjoy. Use them as inspiration or steal them for your books. After all, Mike himself copied them from high school essays! Her face was a perfect oval, like...

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Responding to Negative Reviews

Responding to Negative Reviews

Mark Lindsey of Enplug has written an interesting article with tips on how to respond to negative reviews on social media. There seem to be two schools of thought when it comes to reviews. The first is that reviewers need to feel that Amazon is a safe space where they...

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Are There Any Primitive Languages?

Are There Any Primitive Languages?

Once again, Quora has a great answer on linguistics — and the emergence of language in particular. As Thomas Wier points out, the faculty of language is far, far older than our own species. And that, surprisingly, explains why there is no primitive language. Early...

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