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Machina Obscurum: A Collection of Small Shadows

Wednesday, December 2, 2015
By Phil Elmore
Machina Obscurum: A Collection of Small Shadows

I’m published again, this time in J. Edward Neill’s Machina Obscurum. This is a full-length (about 70,000 words) collection of short works, of which my flash fiction, “Ice Cream,” is one. I wrote “Ice Cream” specifically to see if I could get it included and was pleased when the answer was yes. I don’t... »

When Politics Get Personal

Friday, November 13, 2015
By Phil Elmore
When Politics Get Personal

Writers are an expressive lot, and like any group of human beings, they have politics. I am always a little surprised when an action writer is anything other than a conservative or libertarian, to be honest, but I recently found out one of the... »

Your Opening Is Weak

Friday, November 13, 2015
By Phil Elmore
Your Opening Is Weak

“Always grab the reader by the throat in the first paragraph,” said Paul O’Neill, “send your thumbs into his windpipe in the second, and hold him against the wall until the tagline.” It’s some of the best advice you’ll get when it comes to... »


You’re Not A Big Enough Thief: Writing Characters and Dialogue

Tuesday, November 10, 2015
By Phil Elmore

Characters are something I’ve always done well or, if not well, then easily. What I mean is that some authors spend a lot of time agonizing over both characters... »

Word Count and Writers’ Conceit

Thursday, October 29, 2015
By Phil Elmore

If you know a writer who proudly tells you all about the massive word count of his latest creation, you are talking to an amateur. Words, in and of... »

Your Special Little Friend, Profanity

Monday, October 26, 2015
By Phil Elmore
Your Special Little Friend, Profanity

How often should you swear? How often should your characters swear? Even among earnest authors telling serious stories, this can be perplexing. If you never use profanity, you may... »