Avoid at least some of the mistakes writers make. Read, enjoy, and share!

Wisdom… or something

  • Writing is Magic

    I’ve been scarce on social media (including this site) as of late… building up my identity as a Western Romance writer has been much more time-consuming than I thought it would be. Which is probably funny for most people, considering the assumption of most is that I already have at LEAST seven or eight other […]

  • AN MbC MUST-READ: Ten Steps to Overnight Success…

    (… or, How it Only Took a Decade to get Paid)   The top 1% of members of the Writers Guild of America — the folks who make between $600,000 and the “big money” (seven figures) number in the mere dozens. Of the rest of them — members of a group that as a rule […]

  • Epub vs. Tradpub

    There are a lot of articles across the interweb (and if it’s on your computer, it must be true!) about which is better – traditional publishing or epublishing. Oddly, they seem to come down across party lines: people who are traditionally published, or who work for large publishing houses, tend to say that trad-pub is […]

  • AN MbC MUST-READ: Success is BAD

    I am often asked questions about the business of writing – how to self-pub, how to market, how to amass a group of loyal fans – but the question I am most often asked (in some form or other) is this: “How do I become a successful writer?” For a long time I tried to […]

  • What Good is Horror

    I hear it all the time: why do you spend your time on horror when there are so many other “good” things you could be writing? And it’s a legitimate question. A lot of people’s opinions on horror are shaped by the images they see on movie trailers, or confined to the vague idea that […]

  • The Magic of Misleading

    When I was a teenager, my mom used to like popping out from around corners and scaring me. I had to be super careful when I came home and the house was dark; just getting from the front door to my room was an adventure because at some point along the way, I knew she […]

  • Dealing With Bad Reviews

    Okay, so, you’re published. Your book is “out there.” It’s “in the world” and “up for grabs.” People can “read it” and “peruse it” at their “leisure” (I like quotation marks). And at first, things seem all right. Fairly predictable. The book doesn’t become an instant bestseller, but it is selling. Your mom bought it, […]

  • Typing Down and Dirty

    Something I’m often asked about is how I manage to write so quickly. I’m also often asked about how I manage to murder with a smile on my face, and why Honey Boo-Boo is so popular with the American public. Two of these questions are Deep Mysteries, only answerable by God and perhaps certain network […]

  • A Snowball’s Chance in Marketing

    I recently received an email from someone on my “official Michaelbrent Collings Facebook Fan Page” (which is still kinda weird to have, truth be known), asking in essence what he could do to sell his books to more than just his close personal friends and family… and promising me a kiss on the lips if […]

  • Horror and Hope

    I am a guy who writes scary stuff. It’s basically all I do. I’m one of the bestselling horror writers on Amazon, and as of this writing one of the scary movies in Redboxes and video stores all over the world has my name after the “screenplay by” part. I specialize in ghosts and goblins. […]

  • Where Scary Ideas are Born

    As a horror writer, I am often asked where I get my ideas from. (I’m also asked about the voices in my head – sometimes by the other voices in my head, which is weird – but that’s a whole other therapy session.) And the sad answer is that there’s no one answer. The ideas […]

  • Creation in Writing

    There are several reasons we write. For personal satisfaction, as a way of making sense of the world around us. We write to create emotions in others, to teach lessons that will (hopefully) make the world a better place. We also write (perhaps most important) as a way of creating community. Think about it: not […]

  • The Most Important Kind of Writing Is…

    When asked what is the most important skill to learn as a writer, I always say the same thing: turning water into gold. However, because most people have failed to take their required alchemy classes at the local community college, I often have to start over and come up with something that any ol’ muggle […]

  • Writing Terror That Chills

    Fear is like laughter in that both rely on a good setup, then providing the unexpected. They are also both about delivery. Ever heard a good joke that was killed by someone who had no sense of timing or who let the setup go on far too long? Terror is the same way. What do […]

  • Speling Matturs

    “What do you dew when everyone you know – friends, family, everyone – is trying to kill you? You RUN.” The above is the tagline for my amazon.com bestseller, RUN. Or rather, it isn’t. The tagline actually reads: “What do you do when everyone you know – friends, family, everyone – is trying to kill […]

  • Research BAD

    Write what you know. That’s what they say (whoever “they” are). And they’re right. Sort of. But what if you desperately want to write about a diabetic serial killer who has taken a group of high school students hostage and is killing them one at a time unless the police give in to his demands […]

  • On Clarity

    Be clear. This is something that is both very easy sounding and extremely difficult. It is especially difficult in the realm of fantasy and science fiction, as well as other genre writing like horror or supernatural works. People read fiction to be transported to another place, to give them some experience that they would not […]

  • Novels vs. Screenplays

    People often ask me things. Things like, “How can I improve my protagonist’s character arc?” and “Why is it important to have three acts?” and “Could you please stop staring at me? It’s creeping me out.” And those are all good questions. Except the last one. I wasn’t staring at you, I just lose the […]

  • Musty Writing

    When considering self-publishing on Kindle, there are four things you must do (“Must”y writing – get it? Ha!). They are like the mustard on my hot dog: a non-negotiable element. Without it, you may as well not even try. ‘Cause I won’t bite. Now, before I dive into what those elements are, I should probably […]

  • I Love You I Love You Now PUBLISH ME

    Some time ago I had a phone call. It went like this: “Michaelbrent! Hey, it’s John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt.*” “Hey, JJJS,” said I. ‘Cause that’s how I roll, baby. “What’s up?” “Not much,” he said. “Hey, I know we haven’t talked in about five years, but thanks for sending me an update every so often.” […]

  • Finding God Among the Damned

    I am often asked how I come up with my ideas. The answers range. For my book RUN, I visited a working silver mine and decided that I had to write a book that had a chase scene set in a mine. For my young adult novel Billy: Messenger of Powers, I got the idea […]

  • Defining Greatness

    Some people ask me, “What do you think makes a great book great?” Some people also ask me if I think polar bears should be allowed to marry penguins. Which tells you what kind of people I hang with. But back to the other question. The first one. About the writing thing. I guess it’s […]

  • Die, Poop Bird, DIE!

    One of my least favorite things about today’s world is the prevalence of people who say, “It is what it is.” Forget about the threat of global financial meltdown, skyrocketing teen pregnancy, and the pervasive appeal of the Kardashians – whenever I hear someone say, “It is what it is,” it makes me want to […]

  • Chubby Writing

    Let’s talk about our activity levels, shall we? Obesity, as I’m constantly being reminded every time I turn on my radio, is one of the top problems facing America’s people today. It comes largely from a sedentary lifestyle, a passive engagement in activity. Okay, then let’s talk about the darker side of that problem: fat […]