September 26, 2023

Truth Bomb: Talent Has Very Little To Do with Writing Success

By Paul Goat Allen

I watched a presentation recently given by Mike Tomlin, the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he said that talent has very little to do with success in football. “It’s not what you’re capable of, it’s what you’re willing to do. I know plenty of people that are capable. […]

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June 14, 2023

The One Mistake that is Guaranteed to Tank Your Novel

By Paul Goat Allen

As a reviewer—and a graduate writing instructor—my biggest red flag, the one thing that warns me of a truly terrible reading experience ahead, is the inundation of grammatical errors.

It makes my blood boil just thinking about it.

Ever read a novel that includes hundreds of grammatical errors? Shocking, […]

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November 9, 2022

The Ending is Everything! Is Your Novel’s Conclusion Strong Enough?

By Paul Goat Allen

Straight from the files of Stating the Obvious comes the next BlueInk blog about the monumental importance of a novel’s conclusion. It’s a no-brainer, right? Your novel needs a memorable ending in order to have any chance at commercial success.

But then why do so many novels have weak conclusions?

[…]

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July 7, 2021

Three Ways Writers Can Create Opportunity

By Paul Goat Allen

One of Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw’s most iconic quotes is a fitting way to begin this blog: “Don’t wait for the right opportunity: create it.”

Creating opportunity—it’s a huge deal when it comes to self-published and traditionally published writers alike. Writers may not want to be reminded of the […]

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December 9, 2020

Hercule Poirot in Ancient Egypt: BlueInk Review Talks with N.L. Holmes

By Paul Goat Allen 

The pseudonymous N.L. Holmes burst onto the literary scene in 2020 with not one but two stellar sagas: the Lord Hani series, a historical mystery saga set in pharaonic Egypt during the reign of Akhenaten; and the Empire at Twilight, a historical fiction series which takes place in the last […]

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November 17, 2020

The One Question Many Indie Authors Fail to Ask Themselves

By Paul Goat Allen

Besides reviewing genre fiction for companies like PW, Kirkus, and BlueInk, I work as an instructor and mentor in Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction program. During my time with these student writers, we discuss the respective strengths and weaknesses of their manuscripts in great detail, as well as how […]

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October 21, 2020

10 “Must Read” Indie Novels Perfect for Halloween

By Paul Goat Allen

Growing up and now living back in Upstate New York, I’ve always loved Halloween. The temperatures drop, the leaves on the trees turn kaleidoscopic colors, and the air smells like ripe apples and cinnamon sticks. Yeah, there’s the trick-or-treating and the gluttonous consumption of candy afterwards but seeking out and […]

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August 11, 2020

10 Indie Books You Won’t Believe Actually Exist

By Paul Goat Allen

I’ve reviewed a lot of books over the last 25+ years and many of those have featured formulaic, rehashed, and predictable storylines, premises, and ideas. When it comes to traditionally published titles, I get it—publishers need to make money and they only publish what books that they think are going […]

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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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