About This Issue # 79

About this Issue

Vision Issue # 79




Welcome to the second issue of 2015. This issue is filled with some great new articles on writing and I've also linked to a few of the older articles on world building that you may have missed in our 15 years of publication.  I hope you both enjoy this issue and find material that will inspire your own work.

Our publishing schedule has changed:

  • February/March/April/May
  • June/July/August/September
  • October/November/December/January


We need new articles on writing-related topics. We accept both previously-published work and blog posts, as long as they are about writing, which includes everything from inspiration to reviews of equipment, programs, websites and writing-related books.

Share your knowledge and help other writers. If you have found something that helps you, whether you are otherwise published or not, consider writing an article and sending it my way.

Thank you


In this issue:

From the Editor: June Already?

Despite having cut down to three issues of Vision a year, this one is still a bit behind.  The end of May was crazy with things that had to be done right now.  So here it is June 1st and I'm working at getting the last of Issue #79 put together.


Workshop: Conflict

Conflict is the engine that usually pushes a story forward.  Conflict can be either external or internal and most stories have both kinds.  A character teamed up with someone he doesn't like would have the internal conflict of dealing with the emotional baggage from previous problems they'd faced (which might include outright bigotry) while at the same time they could both be facing an outward problem in the form of a dangerous situation. 


Indie Corner: Summer Productivity

By J.A. Marlow

With the arriving of the summer months come a myriad of distractions. This can really mess up the writing, which is the lifeblood of an Indie Publisher. As with any other kind of publisher, we need new product to release to the reading masses.


Embracing Change in the Writing Life

By Ashe Elton Parker

Not all writers have the same habits. As each writer is different, so, too, are their writing habits and traditions. There are even some writers who don't keep all the same habits and traditions throughout their writing career.


When Ideas Are Seeded: Writing From A Prompt

By Dawn Bonanno

Ideas are marvelous things, floating in the air, waiting for the lucky writer to snatch it and mold it into literary magnificence. Consider for a moment, what would happen if someone handed you an idea, something different than you'd normally consider? It's a good stretch for the writing muscles, but it might also spark a story you'd never have thought of on your own.


Writing with Kids

By Amy Keeley

I have eight children.

Oh wait. Do you need a chair? Water? You’re good? Okay.

As I was saying, I have eight children. I started trying to learn how to write professionally when my second-born had just become a toddler and quickly found it was an enormous struggle to do both for two reasons.


Hero Points

By Lazette Gifford

Let's pretend that stories are written on a point system.  Your characters, especially main characters, only have a certain number of points they start with just because of what they represent in the story.  Let's say a Main Character Hero or Heroine starts with ten points.  However, they can lose those points and become dead weights in the story and then you lose readers.  Points are lost through character stupidity and obvious author manipulation. 


A Few Simple Marketing Tips

By Deb Salisbury

Do you dislike Twitter? Do you distrust Facebook?

There are still a few simple things you can do to promote your books.


7 S's of a Successful Writing Career

By April Aragam

You can have a successful writing career if you're willing to work at it. Writing success doesn't just happen over time. It takes good habits and tenacity. This article outlines seven steps that will help take your writing to the next level.


Website Review: HabitRPG – Make A Game Out Of Your Writing Habits

By S.E. Batt

Some writers are gifted with the ability to enjoy writing for writing’s sakes. They do not see writing as a hill to climb, but something to savour and pour time into. For some writers, however, they have days where it feels like they are pulling a sentence tooth out of their muse’s mouths. A little encouragement would be nice – but when the novelty of writing a novel wears off, where can that encouragement come from?


Book Review: Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon

By Ern M. Hartshorn

This pair of books takes a very practical approach to living a creative life, whether that’s as a visual artist, a writer, or a musician. The first book, Steal Like an Artist, talks about drawing inspiration from everywhere, and the value in tracing back the roots of what inspires you


World Building (Back Issue Articles)


Adapting Earth Animals into Alien Lifeforms (Vision 10)

By S.L. Viehl

Here’s a bit of movie trivia you probably don’t know: Charles Bailey III, the Chief Model Maker and the man who helped created Stephen Spielberg’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1981), told a reporter that he inverted a domestic cat’s head when he made the preliminary sketches of the much-beloved alien’s face.  By turning a feline’s slanty, slightly wicked features upside down, he was able to produce a tender, sympathetic yet-still-inhuman face that would appeal to everyone, especially children.  E.T. went on to gross over $400 million dollars at the box office, so I’d say he had the right idea.


Background Color in World Building(Vision 10)

By Steven Swain


You’ve named your world, chosen your main characters and your villains, and figured out a plot. You’re all ready to charge headlong into your novel, right? Sure, if you want your novel to be bare of all background color.

I can hear you now: “Background color? What are you talking about?”


Cavemen, Explosions and Psychothyretics: The Future History of Art (Vision 12)

By Bob Billing

When humans first moved into caves, they began to decorate the walls. It's reasonable to guess that they were responding to a deep-seated desire to represent what they saw around them, to practice make-believe about good hunting. And perhaps they simply wanted something nice to look at. What they did was largely dictated by what they could do; by the pigments they could find and the natural fibres that made the first artists' brushes.


The Alternative Rules (Vision 2)

By Lazette Gifford

This is not a scholarly look at forms of government, but rather a gathering of information to help writers gaze beyond the hazy democracies or easy kingships that rule the books we read and write.  Even on Earth the ways of governing are not only myriad, but constantly mutating as well.  Adapting any form of government to other worlds (either SF or Fantasy) is bound to create even more interesting variations.  Imagine something beyond the facts.


Name-Building: What's in a Name? (Vision 14)

By Ellen Wright

Open up many fantasy or science fiction books, and you will find names that are nonsensical, unpronounceable, or just plain silly. From the reader's perspective, this is carelessness on the author's part. But from the writer's perspective, how can such names be prevented?


Dangerous Creatures: Finding the "Wild" in the Wilderness (Vision 10)

By Keri Bas

Whenever a character encounters a non-urban area, especially an untamed wilderness region, there are dozens of threats to health and survival that can go unnoticed.  A character's trips through wooded areas or unfamiliar landscapes can easily become torture because of the natural dangers inherent in such an area.