Bonus Friday: Favorite Book

Maybe we’re a glutton for punishing ourselves, but today at Story Empire each of us picked our favorite work. Not an easy thing to do. Stop by and see which of our own books we selected.

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Hey, SEers! This is one of those months with five Fridays in it. That means today is a group post.

The theme for today is Favorite Book Written and WhyWe’re each going to tell you our personal favorite. We encourage you to share yours in the comments.


Tortured Soul by Staci Troilo

Ciao, amici! Staci here. It was hard to pick a favorite, but I chose Tortured Soul. It’s the fourth and final book in the Medici Protectorate Series.

I won’t swear it’s my favorite, but it’s up there. And here’s why.

  • The writing is a lot stronger than at the beginning of the series.
  • It’s the culmination of a work inspired by my grandfather.
  • It’s a springboard to another series that I enjoy.
  • I love these characters.

You can read more about it here or purchase it here.


Hey SE Readers. Joan here.

So far, my favorite book to…

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Throwing Darts Blindfolded & Author Considerations

Lots of changes the past few years in the world of Indie Publishing. P. H. Solomon shares some thoughts today at Story Empire.

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Making choices self-publishing choices can feel like throwing darts blindfolded. With all the changes to publishing in the last decade or so it gets even more confusing. For instance, now there are opportunities with hybrid publishers which can open more doors for authors and leave them more perplexed than ever.

When indie-publishing really took off, the options were traditional publishing or self-publishing either through a vanity publisher or using Createspace and other such options. Now, Ingram and other distributors offer the opportunity for availability in their catalogs but that doesn’t get you to bookstore shelves. True distribution to bookstores is usually not available for indie authors even if you choose to make the book returnable and offer the standard 55% wholesale discount. Looking at it that way, making a book non-returnable and only offering 30% discount is much more profitable and allows authors to price print books competitively.

And then…

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An open dialog on characters

C. S. Boyack talks about character development today at Story Empire.

Story Empire

Hi, gang. Craig here again. I’m noticing that my posts tend to be more open ended than the other authors here. Part of that is because there are so many different methods to produce a good story. I like to discuss things and present options. This time the topic is characters.

I’ve been told I write good characters. (Both my fans said so.) I’m also on record as saying the character comes to me during the first draft more than any other time. There is a method to plotting a good character arc though. Readers expect the character to evolve over the course of the story. Imagine taking a conservative or a liberal, and making them accept some opposing points of view to get through whatever hellish torture you have planned for them. This evolution is the character arc.

I tend to write more stoic main characters, and surround them…

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How Do I Write Thee? Let Me Count the Words.

Staci Troilo writes about word count length for various genres. Check out her post today at Story Empire.

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Elizabeth Barrett Browning Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Ciao, SEers. Yep, I went the cheesy-route in the title. Hopefully Elizabeth Barrett Browning doesn’t mind me manipulating her masterpiece.

It’s February, the month of love. (If you subscribe to that, which I kind of don’t. I’m a romantic, so I think love is important all the time.)

Anyway, today I want to talk about word counts in fiction. Specifically, definitions of categories, ranges of words, and genre norms.

Word counts are important for both publishing and contest submissions. But breaking things down into categories is always easier than speaking in great yet nebulous generalities. So that’s what publishers did. When people talk about types of fiction, these are the categories and an estimated range of word counts assigned to them.

Categories/Word Counts:
  • Micro-Fiction: Up to 100 words
  • Flash Fiction: 100 to 500 words
  • Short Story: 500 to 7,500 words
  • Novelette: 7,500 to 20,000
  • Novella: 20,000 to 40,000…

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A Big Thanks To Our Readers

Hi Everyone! Most of you know that I’m a part of Story Empire along with five other authors. Today, we have a special announcement!

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Good morning, SE Readers. Joan here today with an extra post this week. Back in November, John Howell nominated Story Empire for an award on the Postive Writer website.

The winners were announced last week. Drum roll, please…

Story Empire was named as one of the top fifty writing blogs of 2018! Needless to say, the six of us are super excited about the award. But we know that we wouldn’t have been named if it hadn’t been for our readers.

Many of you went to the site and voted for us. So this award isn’t about Story Empire, but it’s about you. We strive to bring relevant and helpful content each week. Topics that will help you in your writing journey.

So, on behalf of Mae, Staci, Harmony, P. H. and Craig, I want to say, “thank you.” And take a moment to visit Positive Writer to see the…

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How Many Accounts is Too Many? #SocialMedia #MondayBlogs

Ever feel like scrambled eggs when it comes to social media? Think you’re spending all your time there rather than writing? Mae Clair shares some wise words on the subject today at Story Empire.

Story Empire

Happy Monday, SEers!  It’s a new week and a new subject. Lately, friends, family, and I have been discussing social media. Even co-workers. I’ve come to realize many people have a love/hate relationship with social media, or at least some of the platforms, and the bulk of activity that takes place there.

I’m not here to debate the merits of social media, rather to offer some suggestions on how to best use it as an author. As writers, we need to have a social media presence. The world exists online, therefore it’s a necessity we’re there too. Obviously, there are tons of social media outlets available, but when does your message become diluted?

Eggs with funny faces in an open egg carton on wood floor

In the world of advertising—regardless the nature of your product or service—the goal is to achieve Top of Mind Awareness. TOMA is the golden standard everyone hopes to attain.

If I say “dandruff shampoo” you’ll probably think…

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The Middle Child #WritingaSeries

As someone who has just published a “middle child” book, I can relate to this post. Check out Mae Clair’s thoughts on the middle book of a series.

Story Empire

If you’re a middle child, you’re most likely the peacekeeper of the family with a penchant for loyalty. Your older sibling tends to be an over-achiever who assumes leadership positions, and your younger sibling is the creative one who can be on the manipulative side. Does any of this sound familiar?

These are traits psychologists have attributed to birth order. You’ve probably also heard of Middle Child Syndrome, a philosophy that children who fall in the middle of the birth order can often be resentful of their place in life and their siblings. Anyone remember Jan from the Brady Bunch, wailing “Marcia! Marcia! Marcia!” (Visualize the foot-stomping that goes with this). Middles sometimes feel like the odd one out.

a trio of cats, with the center cat different in coloring from those on each end

But, because of their birth order, middles are often more inclined to be independent, empathetic, and become skilled negotiators able to bring about compromise.

So why am I talking about birth…

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