Archive for the ‘Information Center’ Category

Stories that Teach: Adventures on the Crossroads of Fiction and Non-fiction

by Alex Woolf

One trend that I think is likely to have more enduring appeal is narrative non-fiction (NNF): the blending of story elements with non-fiction. Typically, this involves the author inventing characters and a simple plot device, such as a journey. Along the way, the characters discover real-world information, be it about science, history or geography. The idea is that by employing narrative techniques such as characterization, dramatic tension, dialogue and atmosphere, the process of information acquisition is made a lot more compelling.

Military Logistics for Fantasy Writers

We all know ‘an army marches on its stomach,’ but it’s not like Napoleon discovered something new. Vegetius (De re militari) and Sun Tzu (The Art of War) were well aware of this concept, as was Alexander the Great (Engels, Alexander the Great and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army, 1980). And it wasn’t news to them, either. Pre-modern military commanders knew this; they planned for this. They paid attention to logistics.

Fantasy writers should, too.

Waking up to Productivity: Robin Sharma’s “The 5 AM Club”

by Deborah Walker

A few months ago, I began to hear great things about Robin Sharma’s bestselling, new book, “The 5 AM Club.” Sharma is a productivity guru whose work is ’embraced by rock stars, royalty, billionaires and many celebrity CEOs’. When I heard the glowing testimonies from more ordinary folk (albeit productivity types), I was quick to order a copy from my library.

Lovable Predictability: The Pleasures and Challenges of Writing a Children’s Fiction Series

by Alex Woolf

“Why do we always have to reinvent the wheel?” my editor once asked me.

When a new book is launched, it’s like introducing a stranger to a largely disinterested world. Potential readers know nothing about its characters or the kind of plot they might expect. Publishers are forced to spend a great deal of money on marketing to give the book a comforting, pseudo-familiar feel. The title and cover design will be reminiscent of other, similar books that readers might already have enjoyed.