All Flames Cast – Harael VII

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The fog was finally beginning to thin out when they crested the ridge and looked down into a long, narrow valley. Harael could see a small lake, nestled against a sheer cliff along the east side. The village itself stretched along most of the length of the valley, hugging the shore of the lake for much of its breadth. As they made their way down the trail, winding back and forth against the slope, their view became clearer and clearer.

By the time they reached the bottom, Harael couldn’t help but stare: the valley was mostly brown, of course, but the winter couldn’t fully grasp the pines coating the far slope. Tall and oddly angular, they gave the area a sort of green fur unlike anything he was used to in Letaal—or even in his hometown of Arbor, many miles north of the capitol. The peaks, rising high ahead, were crowned with white. Continue reading

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Headlines Are Hard

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The difficulty of generating good headlines—and from there, more clicks and more conversions—is a reality that all marketing and copy writers face. There are easy ways out, of course, and often utilized. You only need to jump over to Twitter or Facebook (even with their recent crackdown on clickbait) to see swarms of headlines teasing lists of “things you didn’t know” or “things you need to know”. The number of “you wouldn’t believe who did ____” headlines I see pop up is absurd.

The thing is, even these easy-out, clickbait headlines don’t serve the same purpose as a solid, attractive sales headline. They don’t draw in customers, or convince the audience to want a product or to invest their interest. All those headlines do is pluck at the strings of curiosity—an important aspect of a good headline, to be sure, but not the whole picture.

A more complete and effective headline needs to not only establish curiosity, but promise something that compels the audience to set it apart. When there are twelve Buzzfeed lists on your news feed, it’s easy to just keep scrolling. When a compelling headline about a snazzy new product on sale catches your eye, you’re a lot more likely to give it credence, especially online, where we are inundated with a never-ending stream of advertising.

Drew’s State of Writing – October 2014

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It’s been nine months since my last State of Writing update. Back in January, I talked about a lot of the future projects I have planned, and about how I was getting pretty close to finishing All Flames Cast. That…ended up being very wrong. That, among other developments, has me where I am now.

First, All Flames Cast. If you’ve been keeping up with things around here lately, you know that several more chapters have popped up. Continue reading