The Top Ten Self-Publishing, Fantasy, and eBook Stories of 2014

Jennifer Bresnick

Victorian clock face

Hey there, guys!  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas (or at least a brief break from work/commuter traffic/annoying office mates, for those who didn’t celebrate).  I don’t want to distract you from composing your reviews of Dark the Night Descending, which I know you’re all doing in the final two weeks of my contest, but I thought I’d share with you an end-of-the-year roundup of the top posts on Inkless.  2014 was a good year for my humble little blog, and I think it’s kind of fun to revisit the stories that attracted the most eyeballs over the past twelve months.

Ready to count down?  Here we go!

10. Short Story: He Belongs to the Sea

It was nightfall when the blood came.  William had been set to sitting and watching, so the surgeon could attend to others.  He had never seen so much before.  The…

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Beasts, Alphas, Doms, and the BDSM Line

Notebook of a Black Sheep

First, I’d like to thank my anonymous reviewer for their compliment, in saying that my story was well-written. But second, I would like to address some concerns that this reviewer brought up.

For those of you who haven’t read the review, the subject is the mentality behind alphas and dominants, and what that tendency actually says about the person in question. This begs the question of whether an alpha can ever be considered a well-rounded character. Since one of my two main characters is a beast character, and he is the focal point, this tension is makes up the crux of my story.

“I have always found over-the-top ‘alphas’ or ‘doms’ to be more than a little repugnant…”

Alphas and dominants certainly cater to a particular taste. The stories that revolve around them often center around the issue of control. This is because being an alpha means being at the…

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On Colloquialism in Fantasy Writing

The Waking Den

Language is a powerful thing. So much is wrapped up in that word, so many divisions that separate and define people–Southern Americans versus Midwesterners, Cornish versus Cockney, etc. Any writer knows this. Achieving proper, distinct diction in writing can add a whole other layer to immersive quality.

Unfortunately, it takes time to develop the ear and the eyes in that direction. For the unwary reader, it can stumble them–look how many fumble with the Great Bard’s classic speeches and Twain’s twangs these days, and how many miss out on great works because of them.

I love colloquial speech, but especially in a fantasy world, where readers are already trying to settle their feet and get a feeling for the world they’ll be sifting through, I fear it can be too much. Good colloquialism is something that, when done well, is something you cease to notice very swiftly. But I dare…

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Facts for fantasy writers: weapons and armor

North of Andover

Everyone probably knows at this point that any writer of contemporary fiction who gets facts about guns wrong in their stories will receive a lot of email and comments and reviews letting them know exactly where they made mistakes (even if it’s the person making the comments who has it wrong). On the other hand, I’ve seen a lot of comments about non-contemporary fiction — or at least fiction containing ‘old-fashioned’ weapons — to the effect that ‘readers don’t know and don’t care’ if the author botches a description of sword combat, or calls a bracer a gauntlet, or has a character wearing mail without anything underneath.

Trust me, some readers will know and will care if you get that stuff wrong.  As with all things, it is better to leave it out, be a bit vague, than to get it blatantly incorrect.  Here are a few of the more common…

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How to Market Your Fantasy Novel on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and more

E.E. Rawls Writes

This is an excerpt from

You don’t have to be Neil Gaiman, Robin Hobb, or George R. R. Martin to have a successful career as a fantasy writer. Whether you write epic fantasy, paranormal romance, magic realism, steampunk, or one of the fantasy genre’s many other sub-classifications, you just have to find the readers who also love that same brand of fantasy fiction. So, where do you find and engage with the readers who want the type of fantasy you write?

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What Makes Good Fantasy?

Modern Fantastic

Taken from Carl Jung's personal diary The Red Book, Liber Novus Taken from Carl Jung’s personal diary The Red Book, Liber Novus

(Ah, Where Fantasy and Psychology meet!)

I talked to a woman yesterday who had an interest in what I did in my free time, while not at work. I told her I wrote fantasy novels, and she instantly smiled a matronly smile and asked what kind of fantasy. Choosing to talk about the latest WiP, I told her it was High Fantasy, where a bunch of people go on a journey. As an afterthought, I added it was similar in style to Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, though not so descriptive.

She sighed. “Ah. Do you write anything else? I’m not much of a fan of Tolkien’s work.”

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