November 2, 2020

3 Elements Writers Need to Create Great Characters

By Paul Goat Allen

Well-developed and complex characters are integral to creating a novel that resonates with readers and critics alike. Even with other noteworthy narrative attributes like readability, immersion, plot intricacy, and thematic profundity, a storyline is inevitably going to fail without interesting and identifiable characters.

Ask yourself this: what are some of […]

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July 27, 2020

The Business of Writing: BlueInk Review Talks with Shelley Adina/Adina Senft

By Paul Goat Allen

Shelley Adina is the author of 42 novels published by Harlequin, Warner, and Hachette, as well as Moonshell Books, her own independent press. She writes steampunk and contemporary romance as Shelley Adina; writes classic Regency romance as Charlotte Henry; and as Adina Senft, writes Amish women’s fiction. She holds an […]

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June 29, 2020

5 Thriller Elements to Consider Adding to Your Novel

By Paul Goat Allen

Peruse any national bestselling list and I’ll bet you that somewhere near the top is a thriller of some kind—a psychological thriller, a crime thriller, a legal thriller, a medical thriller, etc. They’re everywhere! There’s an obvious reason for this—thrillers are the perfect (high-octane, fuel injected) vehicle for a few […]

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June 8, 2020

The Next Coming Golden Age of Science Fiction?

By Paul Goat Allen

Some people enjoy gardening in their free time. Or watching movies. I like to examine weekly bestselling lists—and watch the various mainstream fiction and genre fiction categories rise and fall in popularity. I’ve been doing it for decades—and it’s quite fascinating to try to connect the popularity of genre categories […]

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May 5, 2020

5 Things to Consider Before Starting Your Fantasy Novel

By Paul Goat Allen

So, you’ve been contemplating writing a fantasy novel for a while—or maybe you’ve begun drafting it out or are already in revisions. Before you go any farther, I want you to seriously contemplate this question for a moment: “Why are you writing this particular story?” If you’re writing this novel […]

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April 28, 2020

Familiar but Unique: The First Rule of Selling Your Novel

By Paul Goat Allen

I’ve had enough conversations with publishers, agents, editors, and writers over the last few decades to know that for fiction releases—and genre fiction releases in particular—to have any chance at being commercially successful, those novels need to be familiar but unique.

Sounds like a contradiction, right? But it makes perfect […]

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April 21, 2020

5 Ways a Bad Back Cover Blurb Can Kill a Good Book

By Paul Goat Allen

This may sound crazy but the back cover blurb for your novel—essentially a synoptic teaser—just may be the most important part of your self-published book. Here’s why: Some readers out there will buy a book solely on cover art—and cover art is hugely significant for that reason—but the vast majority […]

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April 14, 2020

5 Mistakes That Will Doom Any Self-Published Book

By Paul Goat Allen

For the last 25 years, I’ve been a full-time genre fiction book critic—writing for companies from BlueInk Review to Publishers Weekly to The Chicago Tribune. I’ve evaluated titles in every genre category and reviewed both traditionally published and independently published titles.

I’ve read and reviewed enough books (10,000+) to know […]

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