Dancers and Instructors at Harvey Zumbathon in Round Rock, TX

The Zumbathon for Harvey

I wrote this Pantoum-mime poem in honor of the many people inside and outside of Texas who have given any aid to the victims of Hurricane Harvey. by R. L. Copple - 9/4/2017 The call goes...

R. L. Copple's Blog

Writing Tips

Tips on writing.

What Do Readers Want?

Author R. L. Copple examines the question: what do readers really want? And how do writers give that to them?

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What Does Your Story Say?

R. L. Copple examines when a story’s theme or message becomes an agenda.

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So You Want to be a Writer?

R. L. Copple encourages new writers to think through the realities of making a career out of the work. The bad news? It will take some work and persistence. The good news? It can be done.

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7 Common Pitfalls of Critiquers

Have you ever committed the seven most common pitfalls when critiquing someone’s story? Check out this list by author R. L. Copple, and see how you measure up.

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7 Top Ways to Ensure Your Story is Preachy

Here are seven sure fire ways to make your next story as preachy as you dare. Follow these rules and you can’t go wrong.

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Whose Vote Counts?

I recently read a comment along the lines that if a book sells well, that doesn’t mean it is a good book. Some awful books sell well, while “brilliant” books flounder in obscurity. One commentor to my recent column on Grasping for the Wind mentions that because a book sells well isn’t a measure of how well it is written. That comment has been rattling around in my brain. I know what they are saying, and on a certain level, it is true, but there is something inherently wrong about that statement as well. Let me see if I can pin down what it is.

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PDB Ebooks Easier Than Ever to Create

Out of the popular ebook formats, the hardest to create without buying an expensive program is the Ereader.com’s pdb files. Epub has Calibre, prc/mobi has MobiCreator, but pdb only has Dropbook. Whereas the others take an html formatted file, easy to do from Open Office or Word, and creates an ebook in those formats, Dropbook requires that you take your book, add in the tags designating chapter headings, italics, bold, etc., and then save it as a text file and “drop” it into the box. If all your tags are valid, it will spit out a pdb file.

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The Bible, Fiction, and Real Life

At the risk of hitting a dead horse, once again, I’m going to respond to something I’ve heard recently. I’ve heard it before, and I’ve responded to it before, but I don’t think I have on this blog…until now! What did I hear? In fear of Christian fiction devoid of bad words and violence, etc., someone inevitably brings up the line, “But the Bible is full of horrible violence and rough characters,” or its cousin, “The Bible is R-rated.”

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Smashwords Nuclear Code

A while back I wrote a blog article on how to prepare a document for Smashwords using the “nuclear” option but still retain the basic formatting like italics and bold text. Admittedly that is a long and tedious process, though not nearly as tedious as reformatting your novel.

Because of that, I intended to eventually create a macro in Word that would automate some of those tasks.

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Understanding Point of View

Learning how to handle point of view in writing is one of the first things I had to learn. My first short story that eventually become my first published short story, Dragon Stew, had three limited-third points of view, and I learned early on the importance of establishing the point of view character within the first paragraph, if not the first line of their section.

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  • Categories

  • Past Musings

  • Titles

  • Hero Game

    Second book in The Virtual Chronicles. A superhero space adventure!

  • Mind Game

    Mind Game Cover

    First book in The Virtual Chronicles. Virtual reality has never been so real!

  • Reality’s Fire

    Third book in The Reality Chronicles. The exciting finale goes to Hell and back.

  • Reality’s Ascent

    Reality's Ascent Cover

    Second book in The Reality Chronicles. An adventure with consequences.

  • Reality’s Dawn

    First book in The Reality Chronicles. 15 adventures of Sisko to enjoy!

  • Ethereal Worlds Anthology

    25 short stories and flash fictions written over five years by R. L. Copple.

  • Strange Worlds of Lunacy

    Let's go there. It's a silly place. Two flash fictions in this anthology: "Shake, Rattle, and Roll," and "Baby Truth."