“How do you get inspired to write?” 3 Straightforward Ways to get Inspired

Obligatory photo of my new wireless mouse!

Hi readers! Today I want to take a look at the toughest question of all – “How do you get inspired to write?”

Don’t forget to try and win a copy of both of my prequel novellas – The Last Gladiator and Roma Aeronautica!

Continue reading ““How do you get inspired to write?” 3 Straightforward Ways to get Inspired”

Day 15 – How to Write Plot Twists

Let’s explore plot twists in depth.

Hi everyone!

Today I want to talk about everyone’s favorite point in a novel – the plot twist. Whether you’re a reader, a writer, an author, a movie-goer or a television watcher, you’re familiar with the plot twist. Everything is going perfectly fine (or at least, in the same, expected direction) and then suddenly, a key component of the story is spun on it’s head. This forces the reader/viewer to adapt or even change their opinions about a character, event, or challenge.

Continue reading “Day 15 – How to Write Plot Twists”

What is NaNoWriMo?

Learn about NaNoWriMo inside! Part 1 of a 2-part series discussion NaNoWriMo and the writing process!


Hi everyone,

As many of you may know, this last year (time wise, not 2016 wise) I participated in both NaNoWriMo 2015 (November) and Camp NaNoWriMo2016 (July). I’ve compiled my thoughts on the experience so you can see if NaNoWriMo is right for you! This is the first post, detailing how the programs are similar and how they differ. The second one will focus on what I like and what I think could be improved

Continue reading “What is NaNoWriMo?”

Update To Brass Legionnaire’s Page

Updates to Brass Legionnaire’s Book Summary Page + 8 DAYS LEFT IN THE KICKSTARTER!

Hi everyone,

I’ve updated the information on Brass Legionnaire’s book page above. I’m planning on having a friend do some general clean up work on the book, which will be significantly revised in the next month. Backers of the kickstarter who pledge $25 or more or add some money for additional print copies of Brass Legionnaire will get the updated version. Already have a copy? No worries! I’m looking at cleaning up various problems and smoothing the story out, so your old version will not be ‘obsolete!’ and if I choose to add an additional chapter, I’ll make it available for free here on the website, as that’s fair for everyone. (Although I want you to buy my books, I don’t want you to buy a new copy of Brass Legionnaire just for another chapter, that’s silly!)

In essence, I’ve added character plots for Julius, Constantine and Corbus. See the overall design of their story plots in BL, and learn a bit more about the characters!

Also, there’s only EIGHT DAYS LEFT IN THE KICKSTARTER! Help us reach $1250 and everyone will get BOTH of my novellas for free! Woo! We’re only about $230 away, so every dollar helps!

Five Ways to Keep Your Self-Publishing Clients Happy & Coming Back for More

Five great tips for self-publishing support staff – editors, illustrators, small publishers, etc. Keep your sanity while keeping your clients happy and coming back for more!

By Daniel Ottalini

You want to have all your bases and operations covered!
You want to have all your bases and operations covered!

Hi all, this is a companion piece to my earlier article on how to make sure that your freelancers/self-publishing helpers do their best for you. But what about the flip side? What can you, as a freelance/small business editor, cover artist, etc., do to make sure that you give your customers what they want, keep them coming back, but also make money and keep your dignity in the process? Continue reading “Five Ways to Keep Your Self-Publishing Clients Happy & Coming Back for More”

Novellas and the Self Published Author: Remix Part 1

I go back and revisit the idea of novellas, Part One! Check it out!

Part 1

About a year or so ago, I posted this article on Novellas and the self-published author. I’ve put the original article on the bottom of this post for your enjoyment. I’ve now published two novellas, one through my traditional self-publishing system, and one through a small publisher, to try and see which approach I like more. I figured it would be beneficial to share my new insights and thoughts.

Continue reading “Novellas and the Self Published Author: Remix Part 1”

Do You Need a Glossary?

Do you need a Glossary? – Tips and Tricks for the Self-Published Author on creating a helpful glossary.

Hey there all you self-published writers!

Got a big book you’re about to bring out?

Does it have…

  1. A million characters to keep track of (Ala Robert Jordan, Tolkien, or Martin?)
  2. Words in another language (Real, made up, modified – this is me!)
  3. obscure military, technological, or scientific terms?
  4. a PhD worth of terminology?
  5. A fantasy world of made up locations, animals, magic, etc?

Then you, my dear compatriot, probably need a glossary.

Some simple rules to follow when creating a glossary.

  1. Follow my Significant Other’s rule – if she doesn’t know what it is, the average reader won’t (I.E. Better to leave it in than keep it out of the glossary)
  2. Add the humor or additional backstory – the glossary is a great place to add sneaky extra bits of information, backstory, or other fun, world building tidbits.
  3. But be careful – don’t say it is one thing in book one, then something different in book two.
  4. Find some examples from great fantasy books to help you out.
  5. When in doubt, ask your editor or beta readers to underline or identify the words they didn’t know to help you out!

There you have it! I hope this helped! Glossaries can really make your book much more approachable, and people will love finding those hidden ‘easter eggs’ in the back of your book (but never tell them where to look, it is more fun to find them on your own!)

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