ImmerseOrDie Index


All the ImmerseOrDie goodness, gathered together in one sortable, searchable index.

Clutch: Book One of The Wrecked Earth, by CEL Welsh (5:14)Today we see that opting for a “big-picture history” prologue is like attempting a triple-lutz …2017/01/20
Colossus, by Jette Harris (6:26)Today we see that one disruption of immersion can be the cause of more disruptions later. What …2017/01/18
From a Foreign Shore, by Andrew Knighton (40:00)Hey, gang! Another survivor! This one shows us that when it comes to alternate histories, …2017/01/16
Lament of the Fallen, by Andy Peloquin (33:08)Today we see that a book can start strong, but stumble when it tries to …2017/01/13
The Space Between, by Scott J. Robinson (33:30)Today we see that major story motives have to be convincing or readers won’t buy …2017/01/11
The Drifter: and other short stories, by Robert Scott-Norton (17:34)Today we see that invented or foreign prose that is close to English needs to …2017/01/09
White Rabbit Society, by Brendan Detzner (3:59)Today we watch an intriguing story set in a magical house get derailed by distracting and unintended …2017/01/06
The Weatherman, by Laurie Axinn Gienapp (10:14)Today we see that even if you’re trying to create a bit of mystery, some …2017/01/04
Duty: Suspense and Mystery Stories from the Cold War and Beyond, by Martin Roy Hill (2:50)Today we see that strong emotional experiences should hold the narrator’s interest for more than an …2017/01/02
A Man With One Of Those Faces, by Caimh McDonnell (40:00)Today we get a thoroughly enjoyable start, and the first pure mystery novel to survive …2016/12/23
Cross Examinations: Crime in Columbus, by John Hegenberger (2:16)Today we see that description readers can trust is twice as important in a crime …2016/12/19
Enchanting the King, by E.D. Walker (4:21)Today we see that when the visuals are in conflict, readers can get trapped trying …2016/12/14
There Comes a Time, by J.J. Green (2:24)Today we are reminded that most people expect the near future to still have access …2016/12/12
Invasion, by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant (40:00)Today we see another IOD survivor, and appropriately enough, it’s a story about survivors. But …2016/12/09
Threw Lake and other short stories, by Les Bill Gates (3:15)Today we see that a single paragraph can unravel a page’s worth of reader interest. What …2016/12/05
The Ring and the Flag, by William L. Hahn (7:21)Today we see that tiny issues may not bust immersion, but when they gather in sufficient …2016/12/02
Grey Magic, by JT Lawrence (4:13)Today we see that if a reader cannot trust the typography, they will never relax fully enough …2016/11/30
Three Mermaid Tales: Short Stories, by Anne Seaworthy (2:00)Today we see that the more conclusions you draw for a reader, the less interest they …2016/11/28
Demoniac Dance, by Jaq D. Hawkins (3:26)Today we see that when you’re trying to set the hook, it’s better to tell …2016/11/23
The Storm Fishers and Other Stories, by Everitt Foster (1:44)Today we see that tangled comparisons can bust immersion. What I gleaned about the stories: Contrary to …2016/11/21
The Butterfly and the Sea Dragon, by Tyree Campbell (2:20)Today we see that a story has to move quickly and unerringly to establish the setting …2016/11/18
Dymond’s World, by C.W. Crowe (12:06)Today we see that failing to meet the expectations of your genre audience can undermine the …2016/11/16
Thirteen, by Jonny Newell (2:33)Today we see that changing the meaning of your punctuation in mid-sentence is a recipe for a shipwreck. …2016/11/14
Muddy Mouth, by C.A. Newsome (9:08)Today we see that POV has a kind of momentum. What I gleaned about the …2016/11/11
To Live is to Fight, by Amber Frost (0:52)Today we see that leaving out a key fact can produce a disruptively amusing image. …2016/11/07
Hitler Out Of Time, by David Avoura King (1:43)Today we see a fun premise brought down by distracting prose. What I gleaned about …2016/11/04
Greysuits, by Nathan Lee Green (15:44)Today we see that a good story needs more than just a sequence of plot …2016/11/02
Journey Back to Mars, by Hugh Huesca (1:10)Today we see that if a reader loses trust in the prose on page one, …2016/10/31
Deviants of Giftborn, by Zuri Amarcya (2:13)Today we see that too many details all at once can actually paint an incorrect image. What …2016/10/26
Wanna Take a Ride?, by Gary Val Tenuta (2:42)Today we see that one case of misused punctuation can undermine the tone of your entire …2016/10/24
Amber Fang, by Arthur Slade (40:00)Today brings us another winner! This time it’s a spunky vampire librarian assassin. What I …2016/10/21
The Seal of Throkar, by Marniy Jones (6:43)Today we see that subtle word misuse can create unintended comical effects that break immersion. What …2016/10/18
Mage Slave, by R.K. Thorne (3:50)Today we see that pronouns are like pit bulls. What I gleaned about the story: …2016/10/14
Viridian System Sampler: Eight Short Stories, by Jemima Pett (5:55)Today we see that the speech patterns of non-native speakers should either be close enough …2016/10/10
Fools’ Apocalypse, by Anderson Atlas (4:56)Today we examine an effect I’m going to call “evasive narrating” in which the narrator appears …2016/10/07
Sebasten of Atlantis and the Forgotten Goddess, by Olivier Delaye (7:58)Today we define dumping as exposition given before it is needed. What I gleaned about …2016/10/05
Get Out of My Head: Ninth Anniversary Edition, by William Coker (2:02)Today we see that ebooks converted from print really do require different considerations. What I gleaned …2016/10/03
A Heretical Divide, by Serban Valentin Constantin Enache (6:47)Today we see another story with a strong sense of character brought down by a …2016/09/30
A Curse Upon the Saints, by J. Rutger Madison (12:15)Today we examine the impact of speech attribution on scene choreography. What I gleaned about the story: …2016/09/28
The Dark Verse, Vol 1: From the Passages of Revenants by M Amanuensis Sharkchild (1:47)Today we see that a precious or arch narrative style is like a fresh razor; …2016/09/26
Why You Were Taken, by J.T. Lawrence (3:21)Today we see that talking directly to the reader immediately breaks the immersive spell. What I …2016/09/23
Campaign 2100: Game of Scorpions, by Larry Hodges (4:13)Today we see that the metaphor of your title should be a long, slow burn. …2016/09/21
Stories, by Samie Foster (0:46)Today we see that, as a publisher, you need to make sure that your book is …2016/09/19
More Than Monsters, by J.M. Riou (16:33)Today we see that if an author can’t handle common verb tenses, even a strong …2016/09/16
Awakening, by Katherine Wynter (9:45)Today we see there’s a hierarchy of intrusiveness when it comes to typos. What I gleaned …2016/09/14
Star Crash: A Space Anthology by Vera Loy (2:13)Today we see that if you tell a reader something they have already assumed, it …2016/09/12
The Tilt, by M.A. Robbins (17:04)Today we see that when characters experience facts but have no emotional reaction to them, …2016/09/09
The Rat Collector, by Chris Yee (6:21)Today I am reminded that when the problem is a stylistic one, examples can recur …2016/09/07
Short Stories, Crimes, Cults and Curious Cats, by Jonathan Day (2:40)Today we see that tripping over things a proofreader should have caught shakes a reader’s faith in the …2016/09/05
Upriver, Downriver, by Aaron Ward (4:53)Today we are reminded that the job of narrator is a sacred trust. Betray that trust and he’ll …2016/09/02
My Delicate Destruction, by Jillian Ashe (11:25)In today’s episode we see that when the viewpoint isn’t nailed down securely, people die. …2016/08/31
Rejects From The Idea Factory; A Flash Fiction Anthology, By Ray Daley (1:37)Today we see that sometimes you can judge a book by its cover. What I …2016/08/29
Human Again, by Moran Chaim (3:08)Today we see an example of nuanced prose where the nuances feel wrong. What I gleaned about …2016/08/26
Pantheon, by Scott Beckman (10:00)Today we see that every sentence in a story needs to have a reason for …2016/08/24
While the Black Stars Burn, by Lucy A. Snyder (40:00)Today we see that if two stories are in the same collection, readers will carry …2016/08/22
Cannibal Hearts, by Misha Burnett (33:09)Today we see that even when the reader is fully engaged and loving the story, …2016/08/19
Endgame, by Susan Kelly (4:40)Today we see a writing tic that will convince your readers you think they’re morons. …2016/08/17
Pushing up the Digits, by Pascal Inard (8:12)Today we see that with an unknown publisher/author, variations in formatting come across as inexperience …2016/08/15
A Facet for the Gem, by C.L. Murray (11:00)Today we see that a fight needs to be choreographed logically and conveyed clearly, or readers …2016/08/12
Colony One, by E.M. Peters (3:58)Today we see that exposition about the politics of a place is uninteresting if we …2016/08/10
Life in a Grain of Sand, by Geoff Le Pard (1:59)Today we see that the comma, the lightest of punctuation, can have the heaviest impact …2016/08/08
Cold Reboot, by Michael Coorlim (18:15)Today we see that once a reader has formed an impression of what’s going on, they …2016/08/05
Get On Board Little Children, by Victoria Randall (4:05)Today we see that any conversation beginning with “You already know this…” is heading for the rocks. …2016/08/03
Forgive Me, Bloody Hell And Other Stories, by Steven Soul (1:19)Today we see that readers expect a story to be about the significance of events …2016/08/01
Pandora Red, by Jay Tinsiano (3:55)Today we see that presenting information by having your protagonist think about it does not turn …2016/07/29
The Aeronaut, by Bryan Young (3:27)Today we see that any unbelievable thing can happen in a story, so long as …2016/07/27
Flash! Vol 1, by Brady Koch (2:13)Today we see that giving flavoursome detail before defining qualities is gambling that the reader …2016/07/25
Hungry Gods, by J.D. Brink (8:56)Today we see that a casual reference to a common human experience that is not …2016/07/21
The Cartel, by E G Manetti (3:49)Today we see that the right to tell backstory has to be earned, by first …2016/07/20
Fantastic Visions 2, by Julian M Miles (2:50)Today we see that contradictions can damage immersion more easily than strong images can create …2016/07/18
Finished With Life But Unable To Die, by Scott Bartlett (8:05)Today we discuss the promise that every story has to make. And what happens when it …2016/07/15
Rider’s Revenge, by Alessandra Clarke (6:18)Today we see that paragraph breaks are like commas, and that having too many of …2016/07/13
Earth and Other Small Things, by Daniel Masterson (3:42)Today we see that readers expect narrative voice to be both consistent and emotive. What …2016/07/11
Architects of Destiny, by Amy DuBoff (6:45)Today we explore why a word choice with the wrong connotation can cripple a scene. What …2016/07/08
Salvage Trouble, by J.S. Morin (40:00)Today we see that sometimes, the limitations of physics present an opportunity to be awesome. …2016/07/06
Aurelia: six ghost stories, by David Bramhall (0:56)Today we see that immersion needs more than a series of statements connected together.  What …2016/07/04
The Path of Flames, by Phil Tucker (40:00)Today we see that another way to grab readers is not with action, but with the imminent …2016/06/29
Engraved on the Eye, by Saladin Ahmed (40:00)Today we see that an established author can work just fine without the safety net of …2016/06/27
Trophies, by J. Gunnar Grey (12:22)Today we see that deviating from publishing conventions can create unintended problems for the reader. What …2016/06/24
Along For The Ride, by Martin Alvarez (2:35)Today we see that stories need a firm framework of description. What I gleaned about …2016/06/20
Unleashed, by Dirk Patton (16:49)Today we see that when the narrator’s thoughts are cold and distant, it’s hard for a reader …2016/06/17
Broken People, by Ioana Visan (3:24)Today we see that if your silhouettes have neither backlighting nor total shadow, you might not …2016/06/15
Dancing and Other Stories, by Harriet Steel (2:14)Today we see that mistakes on the first page of a story can push a …2016/06/13
Magic Unbound, by Jill Nojack (3:43)Just as exposition dumping is a bad way to present backstory, today we see that it …2016/06/10
Call Me Yesterday, by Tim Beresford (3:40)Today we see that seven of nine can either be sexy or frustrating, depending on …2016/06/08
Itch: Nine Tales of Fantastic Worlds, by Kris Austen Radcliffe (1:53)Today we see that even if a scene is well-written, it won’t engage readers if …2016/06/06
Wrong Side of Hell, by Sonya Bateman (5:25)Today we see that if a prologue can be replaced with 5 words of exposition, it probably …2016/06/03
Community 17, by James Cardona (3:20)Today we see that conflicted imagery weaves impenetrable armor against immersion. What I gleaned about …2016/06/01
Tra-Con-Per-Ski!, by HM Reynolds (6:46)Today we see that if you reduce characters to a pronoun rather than giving them …2016/05/30
Second Skyn, by Damien Boyes (40:00)Today we see that a compelling premise, revealed quickly, can suck readers right down the …2016/05/27
In Strange Worlds, by Brenda Cheers (6:15)Today we learn a great way to ensure your readers do not invest emotionally in your …2016/05/25
Autumn Harvest, by Mark Kasniak (0:53)Today we see just how quickly a reader can bounce out of your book and …2016/05/23
Recovered, by Amber Polo (6:01)Today we see that there’s more to telling a story than just stringing together a sequence …2016/05/18
Ten Orbits of the Sun, by David Milligan-Croft (4:58)Today we see that a single mistake can overwhelm good prose if the mistake is …2016/05/16
A Secondhand Life, by Pamela Crane (2:16)Today we are reminded that trying to sound writerly is not the point of writing. …2016/05/13
The Colossus, by Ranjini Iyer (5:10)Today we see that physical movements are eye-candy for the visual cortex, but that the …2016/05/11
The Odyssey of Hans Kessler, by Brad L. Smith (1:19)Today we see that if you call attention to an action or detail that readers would …2016/05/09
Loss of Reason, by Miles A. Maxwell (8:15)Today we see that if you aren’t sure who’s telling the story and why, readers …2016/05/06
The Enigma Strain, by Nick Thacker (14:30)Today we meet a problem that I call the flashmob of disbelief. What I gleaned about …2016/05/04
Monsters & Demons, by Brian Rella (1:33)Today we see that if your first paragraph throws up a barrier, readers might not …2016/05/02
Daddy Soda, by Mira Gibson (3:08)Today we meet the Frankensentence. What I gleaned about the story: Candice has been run …2016/04/29
On Lucky Shores, by Kerry J. Donovan (25:47)Today’s story reminds us that action may distract readers from minor prose problems for a …2016/04/27
Honest Fibs, by Nicholas C. Rossis (40:00)Today we see that every time a reader needs to unravel the formatting, immersion falters. …2016/04/25
Anonymous, by Christine Benedict (1:54)Today we are reminded that beta readers are no replacement for a good editor. What …2016/04/22
Asylum – 13 Tales of Terror by Matt Drabble (1:11)Today we see that combining two things that damage immersion only damages immersion faster. What …2016/04/18
Patchwork Man, by D.B. Martin (40:00)Today we see that a story does not have to be exciting in order to …2016/04/15
The Galapagos Incident, by Felix R. Savage (28:50)Today we see that if you tell us FTL comms are not possible, you should …2016/04/13
Blood Moon 2, by Cody Toye (2:01)Today we see that with adjectives, more is not merrier. What I gleaned about the stories: …2016/04/11
My Tomorrow Your Yesterday, by Jason Ayres (10:35)Today we see that if all your narrator can talk about is himself and the litany …2016/04/08
The Viper and the Urchin, by Celine Jeanjean (3:35)Today we see that if a character claims elegance, the prose with which he does so …2016/04/06
Facets of Fantasy, by Arthur Hall (2:52)Today we see that robots make ghastly layout artists. What I gleaned about the stories: …2016/04/04
The Natural Order, by R.J. Vickers (13:20)Today we see that if your pacing is glacially slow at the beginning, you might …2016/04/01
Into Autumn, by Larry Landgraf (2:40)On very rare occasions, a book will defy common publishing practices for brilliant effect. This …2016/03/30
The Uncanny Valley: Tales from a Lost Town, by Gregory Miller (3:46)Today we see that inconsistent punctuation can be just as jarring as inaccurate punctuation. What …2016/03/28
We, The Watched, by Adam Bender (5:14)Today we see that whatever the POV character is experiencing, he should get on with …2016/03/25
Broken World, by Kate L. Mary (14:30)Today we see that poor character decisions are a quick way to alienate readers. What I …2016/03/23
Robots Vs. Fake Robots: And Other One Act Plays, by David Largman Murray (7:18)Today we see that a story doesn’t have to be conventional to hold a reader’s interest; …2016/03/21
Strawman Made Steel, by Brett Adams (15:57)Today we see that drama and a strong character can overshadow a recurring problem, but …2016/03/18
Rated R: Kill Team One, by Mike Leon (11:02)Today we see that narrating a movie-watching experience is a lot trickier than it sounds. What I …2016/03/16
The Dark and Shadowy Places, by Caitlin McColl (2:27)Today we see that poorly balanced clauses trip the reader and make otherwise minor issues more …2016/03/14
The Lust for Blood, by Charmain Marie Mitchell (2:05)Today we see that even deliberate echoing can be distracting if the surrounding prose doesn’t support …2016/03/11
Juma’s Rain, by Katharina Gerlach (6:19)Today we see that when the prose lacks nuance, it amplifies other problems. What I …2016/03/09
Poisoned Apples, by James Loscombe (1:36)Today we see that if you move from a colloquial voice to the absurd or …2016/03/07
One Kill Away, by Alex MacLean (15:32)Today we see that the rhythm of narration needs punctuation, just as sentences do. What …2016/03/04
Age of Torridan, by Kai Herbertz (7:52)Today we see that a good story immerses not just with plot and themes, but with …2016/03/02
Glass Within Glass: Three End of the World Stories, by Nathan Kuzack (1:24)Today we see that awkward prose can come in many forms. And many places in the book, …2016/02/29
Allies & Enemies, by Cheryl S. Mackey (2:51)Today we are reminded how important it is for authors to actually visualize the scenes …2016/02/26
Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It, by Michelle Proulx (7:07)Today we see that if the little details don’t agree, readers will be distracted from …2016/02/24
Threesome: Three Dark and Twisted Tales, by Jacky Cowper (1:47)Today we see that if there is an error on page one, then readers will …2016/02/22
The Last Incarnation, by J.A. Giunta (15:56)Today we see that some aspects of typography are not optional, and without them, immersion …2016/02/19
To Trust The Wolf, by Peter Birk (6:20)Today we see that if the author is reluctant to refer to characters by name, …2016/02/17
Become Like a God: Short Science Fiction Mythologies, by McCamy Taylor (40:00)Today we see that a great story only holds the reader if they make it …2016/02/15
Skeletal, by Katherine Hayton (27:41)Today we see that when repeated word patterns are persistent, immersion is impossible once you’ve …2016/02/12
Awakened, by C. Steven Manley (5:45)Today we see how important it is to carefully manage the reader’s mental camera. What …2016/02/10
Cold Pulp Trio, by E.R. White, Jr. (1:02)Today we see that authors lose credit faster for shaky description than they gain it …2016/02/08
Groom of the Tyrannosaur Queen, by Daniel M. Bensen (16:50)Today we see a great premise weakened by a bit of sloppy spelling. What I …2016/02/05
Cats and Other Tales, by Julia Underwood (5:26)Today we see that, if the narrator and characters don’t show emotion, readers won’t feel …2016/02/01
Saving Hitler, by Ian James (2:06)Today we are reminded that narration needs to subtly manage the reader’s attention, but without being …2016/01/29
Three Culture Shocks, by Tony Thorne (1:36)Today we see that if your prose doesn’t pull the reader deep, the smallest issue …2016/01/27
Ignifer Tales, by Michael John Grist (2:16)Today we see that if you evoke a sense of immediate and visceral horror in …2016/01/25
Three Tales for Christmas, by Steph Bennion (40:00)Today we see that if all the characters so far have obscure names from a …2016/01/21
The Crown and the Mage, by Corinne Morier (3:34)Today we see that characters should not have information that the physics of their situation …2016/01/13
The Vampire of Northanger, by Bryce Anderson (40:00)Today we see an example of a stylistic homage paid in brilliant coin. Jane Austen’s …2016/01/12
Bodies Everywhere, by Barbara A Martin (1:49)Today we see that if a phrase is open to interpretation, prior paragraphs influence which …2016/01/11
Strategy of Numbers, by Clint Irwin (6:04)Today we see the perils of having a strong opening line that is not borne …2016/01/08
The Glass Beacon, by John Day (5:52)Today we are reminded that authors should never tell the reader how brilliant the hero …2016/01/06
A Visit from the Soul-Eater, by Talisha Harrison (1:22)Today we see that if you don’t prime the reader to expect unusual usage or structure, when …2016/01/04
Project Fifteen: Rain of Ash, by Rachel Judd (4:52)Today we see that small editorial issues can bring you to a halt if they …2016/01/01
The Devil You Know, by Richard Levesque (40:00)Today we are reminded that when demons abound, a little debauchery and excess is just …2015/12/25
Damage, by Stephen Shea (40:00)Today we see that dread does not come from a firehose. It trickles at us …2015/12/22
Mysterious Darkness: Short Stories, by Melvin Rivers (1:08)Today we see that consigning a horrific event to less than a sentence creates a …2015/12/21
No One’s Chosen, by Randall P. Fitzgerald (4:59)Today I am reminded that the more promising the story is, the more weak editing …2015/12/16
White Liners: Hunter Rayne Highway Mystery Sketches, by RE McDonald (2:09)Today we see that having the reader trust your description is crucial if you are …2015/12/14
Pilgrim of the Storm, by Russ Linton (40:00)Today we see that an alien scenario—or character—can take longer to orient the reader, but that doesn’t need …2015/12/11
Grenheim’s Thorn, by Clay Lewisson (2:26)Today we see that when three or more characters are in a scene, some kind …2015/12/09
The Living and the Dead, by Todd Travis (1:37)Today we see that self-publishers must be diligent in the entire book production process—not just …2015/12/07
Winds of Aerathiea, by T.E. Adams (10:21)Today we see that when a plot hole shows up on page one, it can …2015/12/04
Bartleby and James, by Michael Coorlim (40:00)Today we see that even a really engaging story can be tarnished by an insufficiency …2015/12/02
Let the Water Rise and Other Stories, by Matthew Burgos (1:25)Today we see that if the opening sentences of your book are incoherent, readers will be …2015/11/30
Death of a Hero, by C.B. Wright (16:22)Today we see that POV miscues can really rattle the immersion cage. What I gleaned …2015/11/27
The Stolen Guardian, by R.A. Meenan (4:49)Today we are reminded that having characters explain things to a character who should already …2015/11/25
Stellar Cloud, by Charity Bradford (3:59)Today we see that once a reader has lost trust in the author they are much …2015/11/23
Catskinner’s Book, by Misha Burnett (40:00)Today we see that a reader captivated by a smooth opening is much more forgiving …2015/11/20
Operation: Blackflag, by Richard J. Kendrick (12:38)Today I am reminded that when I have trouble taking the basic premise seriously, I …2015/11/18
Dark Days, by Chris Harris (1:46)Today we see that ill-matched tenses confuse readers. What I gleaned about the stories: People …2015/11/16
The Darkening Dream, by Andy Gavin (31:32)Today we see that even well-written stories can be vulnerable to pesky anachronisms. What I gleaned …2015/11/13
Beyond the Plains, by Travis Bughi (9:08)Today we are reminded of the pitfalls of too much exposition without anything to draw the …2015/11/11
Rogue Cosmos by Theo Taylor (3:11)Today we see that when the narrator suppresses relevant facts for no good reason, the reader …2015/11/09
Running Into Time, by Douglas R. Black (5:03)Today we see that there’s an important distinction between a world in which people talk …2015/11/06
Rarity from the Hollow, by Robert Eggleton (10:12)Today we see that adult topics in children’s dialogue can strain credibility, especially when the children …2015/11/04
The Colour of Dishonour by Rayne Hall (40:00+)Today we see that readers might treat a single typographical error as an aberration if …2015/11/02
Rust: Season One, by Christopher Ruz (40:00)Let the strumpets cry out as another contender crosses the line with arms raised! What I gleaned …2015/10/29
Three Short Stories: A Journey Through Time, by Amy Wolf (2:12)Today we see that the technical aspects of an ebook are as important as the …2015/10/26
The SHIVA Syndrome, by Alan Joshua (3:36)Today we see that an inconsistent narrative voice can quickly undermine the authenticity of the story being …2015/10/22
Cringe-Expect The Holy: A Suspense Thriller Short Story Collection, by Damian Fredericks (2:05)Today we see that short-story collections can be more susceptible to character name confusion than …2015/10/19
Foul is Fair, by Jeffrey Cook and Katherine Perkins (4:54)Today we learn that using a pronoun to refer to somebody who has not yet …2015/10/15
A Sip of Fear, by Brian Rush (12:05)Today we see that when authors manufacture a convenient deduction, the result may feel convenient and …2015/10/08
Somewhere to Turn: stories by Linda Courtland (27:53)Today we see that poor layout can hide good prose. What I gleaned about the …2015/10/05
Malus Domestica, by S.A. Hunt (40:00)Today’s survivor shows us that spooking the reader works best if you first take the time to make …2015/10/02
Cooper Omnibus by Bill Bernico (2:06)Today we see that it’s actually possible for first person narratives to lack intimacy if not …2015/09/28
Brooding City, by Tom Shutt (7:17)Today we see that leaping to conclusions is not a sign of a good detective …2015/09/23
Rotten Bodies, by Steve Jenkins (2:53)Today we see that a little italic emphasis goes a long way. What I gleaned about …2015/09/21
Blade of the Destroyer, by Andy Peloquin (4:46)In today’s report we are reminded that if the author doesn’t properly establish the scene …2015/09/18
Dark Matter, by Brett Adams (40:00)Today I am reminded that when the writing is really good, you find evidence of …2015/09/16
Supernatural Fairytales by Dorlana Vann (2:57)Today we see that even inarticulate exhalations of emotion have rules of spelling. What I gleaned …2015/09/14
Why Grandma Bought That Car by Anne R. Allen (8:32)Today we see that consistency is just as important as correctness. Maybe moreso. What I gleaned about the …2015/09/07
Wings of the Sathakos, by Scott Beckman (8:34)Today we see that the reader will only tolerate so many digressions to backstory before …2015/09/04
Slay Ride, a Christmas Miscellany by Simon Kewin (3:59)Today we see that without context, references to other works are either confusing, boring, or both. …2015/08/31
The Girl at the End of the World, by Richard Levesque (40:00)With today’s IOD survivor, we see that sometimes, awesome comes in a misleading package. What I …2015/08/26
Commitment and Other Tales of Madness by Glen Krisch (1:12)Today we see that if a story confuses a reader on the first page, they …2015/08/24
Cthulhu Doesn’t Dance, by Justin MacCormack (3:06)Today we meet a book that claimed all the errors had been removed. Guess what happened. …2015/08/17
Hidden Pictures by Angela Castillo (4:14)Today we see that partial echoes can be more distracting than full ones if the …2015/08/10
Bells On Her Toes, by Diana J. Febry (7:23)Today we see that having the protagonist keep secrets even in their thoughts is not drama; it’s …2015/08/07
Cold Sweats and Vignettes, by John Bowen (5:38)Today we see that not checking your invented words can result in readers doubting your …2015/08/03
Dark Horse, by Jay Swanson (8:45)Today we see that inauspicious word choices can shatter the spell of immersion. What I …2015/07/29
The Killing Fields: Short Stories, by Nikesh Murali (4:32)Today we see that the poor flow of text can overcome the draw of the …2015/07/27
Witch’s Sacrifice, by Crissy Moss (3:20)Today we are reminded that authors must work carefully through their action sequences, or risk …2015/07/24
Klondaeg Omnibus by Steve Thomas (4:25)Today we see that even if events are nonsensical, the descriptions must still make sense. …2015/07/22
Fencing Reputation, by William L. Hahn (26:50)Today we see that no matter how engaging the story, if the same issue keeps …2015/07/17
The Starfall Knight, by Ken Lim (8:10)Today we see that no matter how well drawn the world is, if the characters …2015/07/15
By Sword Stave or Stylus – Andrew Knighton (40:00)Today we see that even a single mistake can push a reader out. What I …2015/07/13
Cold Run, by Rachel A. Brune (3:54)Today we see that first-person tough guys are harder to write than you think. What …2015/07/10
In A Right State, by Ben Ellis (19:33)Today we see that when an author disregards established story points, readers lose faith. Even if …2015/07/08
Twisted Endings, by Timothy D McLendon (1:23)Today we see that when problems come close together, the reader is less likely to give the …2015/07/06
The Shadow of the Gauntlet, by Casey Caracciolo (4:54)Today we see that unintended patterns in your prose are like squashed bugs on a window. What …2015/06/30
Dr Ty’s Strange Fiction Volume 1, by Ty Walsh Trez (2:47)Today we see that adding something that most books don’t have can reduce the feeling …2015/06/29
Stranger Worlds than These by L J Cohen (40:00)Today we see that less can be more when it comes to the speculative elements. …2015/06/22
Mists of the Miskatonic, by Al Halsey (3:36)Today we see that without context, information can push the reader away rather than drawing …2015/06/15
THIRTEEN: a collection of 13 dark tales, by Adam Hainline (12:28)Today we see that readers assume sentences are structured in a certain order, so changing …2015/06/08
Digital Divide, by K.B. Spangler (13:30)Today we see that even when a reader wants an explanation, that’s still no license …2015/06/03
And So May The Wonders Unfurl by Richard Simpson (1:03)Today we see that an odd layout can lose a reader as fast as a …2015/06/01
Mina Cortez: From Bouquets to Bullets, by Jeffrey Cook (6:43)Today we see that flawed description of a scene’s physicality can destroy immersion. What I …2015/05/26
What Looks Back by Zachary Adams (0:53)Today we see that the time saving of using find-and-replace can be a false economy. …2015/05/25
A Wizard’s Gambit, by Ryan Toxopeus (5:52)Today we see that the choppy, frenetic prose of a battle scene is fertile ground …2015/05/21
King Callie, by B. Lynch (7:37)Today we see that authors should report all significant changes in a character’s stance or position, to prevent seated …2015/05/19
Empty Quiver: Tales from the Crimson Son Universe by Russ Linton (40:00)Today we see that even one error can overcome otherwise engaging stories. What I gleaned …2015/05/18
The Park, by Voss Foster (21:13)Today we learn that if the reader cannot connect events to what has happened before, …2015/05/15
Ours Is The Storm, by D Thourson Palmer (9:54)Today we see that when a mistake occurs regularly, it can sensitize the reader to seeing …2015/05/12
The Disturbing Collection, by David J Skinner (1:44)Today we see that telling the reader what they are thinking only works if you …2015/05/11
The Search for Cern, by F A Baker (1:36)Today we see that If the prose on the page doesn’t instill confidence, the quality of …2015/05/08
Feyland: The Dark Realm, by Anthea Sharp (8:38)Today we see that if the reader doesn’t buy the protagonist’s plight, nothing can save …2015/05/05
Bionic Punchline, by Damon L Wakes (12:04)Today we see that an error at the end of a section stands out just …2015/05/04
Opal Eggs of Fire, by James Calderwood (4:38)Today we see that weak or inconsistent prose on the first page is likely to …2015/05/01
Born to Magic, by David Wind (5:25)Today I realized that the typo-gremlin likes to strike when the reader is most vulnerable …2015/04/28
Snapdragon: And Six More Stories with Bite by Jack Kardiac (4:21)Today we see that the best formatting is the kind the reader doesn’t notice. What I …2015/04/27
Division: A Collection of Science Fiction Fairytales by Lee S Haw (9:13)Today we see that readers make almost immediate judgements, so the smallest confusion can fatally …2015/04/20
Law of the Wolf, by S. A. Hunt (5:46)Today we see that sequel books have their own peculiar set of issues that can trip …2015/04/15
Collection of Fear by Brendon Meynell (3:03)Today we see that if the text isn’t free of errors, readers will assume odd …2015/04/13
1/2986, by A. Wendeberg (3:42)Today I realize that with some books, it’s hard to extract a new lesson to …2015/04/07
Green Zulu 51 and Other Stories from the Vyptellian War by Scott Whitmore (13:15)Today we see that engaging plots and characters lose their power if readers don’t trust …2015/04/06
Exodus, by Andreas Christensen (3:03)Today we see that the phrase “and then one day,” is a sure sign your …2015/04/03
Days Gone Bad, by Eric R. Asher (3:21)Today we see that galloping I disease isn’t just about the narrator—other characters can trigger …2015/04/02
The Group, by Kevin R. Doyle (9:30)Today we see that exposition about nameless, unspecified people doesn’t engage. What I gleaned about …2015/04/01
Purenet, by HJ Lawson (5:32)Today we see that alternating between “I” and “I’ve” is not enough variety to break …2015/03/31
Ghostoria by Tam Francis (8:16)Today we see that consistency of voice and tone is doubly important in a genre …2015/03/30
The Upheaval, by Erica Stevens (8:45)Today I learned that when numerous unflaggable issues go by, it lowers my tolerance to …2015/03/27
Operation Chimera, by Healey and Cox (9:23)Today we learn how to tell what an author thinks the scene is about. What I …2015/03/26
Company Daughter, by Callan Primer (19:14)Today we see that the secret to creating worlds with character is to create characters …2015/03/25
Cyberbully Blues, by Rubin Johnson (7:50)Today we see how distancing language can chill the tone of the scene and hold readers …2015/03/24
Night Terrors by Valentine King (5:50)Today we see that considering how readers read is as important as word choice. What …2015/03/23
The Tube Riders, by Chris Ward (4:41)Today we see that a moment’s inattention to continuity can undermine an otherwise engaging moment. …2015/03/20
Hero for Hire, by C.B. Pratt (12:04)Today we see that when the narrator only states facts, there isn’t much to keep …2015/03/19
Dark Space, by Jasper T. Scott (8:58)Today we see that plenty of science fiction fans don’t care about the credibility of the physics. …2015/03/17
Legacy Code, by Autumn Kalquist (4:59)Today I begin to dig a bit deeper into what causes declarative sentence parades. What …2015/03/17
Invasion of Privacy and other short stories, by Jim Liston (9:08)Today we see that however intellectually satisfying a reader finds a structure, if he has …2015/03/16
Breaking News: ImmerseOrDie doing a StoryBundleI’m hijacking the IOD report stream to share this exciting announcement with everyone. This has been brewing since last …2015/03/13
Last Flight for Craggy, by Gary Weston (3:11)Today I notice that a preoccupation with describing the physics of a scene can rob …2015/03/13
Extensis Vitae, by Gregory Mattix (10:00)Today we see that if the narrator isn’t involved in the story he’s telling, the reader …2015/03/12
Nano Contestant, by Leif Sterling (2:47)Today we see that unusual chapter breaks can throw readers off their stride. What I …2015/03/11
Everflame, by Dylan Lee Peters (5:41)Today I am reminded that sometimes, even simple past tense can create problems. What I …2015/03/10
Stirring The Grass and other stories, by David Winship (5:10)Today we see that prose that doesn’t fit the established style pushes the reader out …2015/03/09
Shiftless, by Aimee Easterling (8:31)Today we see that if the narrative language does not feel natural to the context, …2015/03/06
After: The Shock, by Scott Nicholson (38:03)Today we see that even with the goal-posts looming in sight, a short clump of …2015/03/05
The Game, by Terry Schott (2:05)Today we see that when the editor is absent, the evidence mounts quickly. What I …2015/03/04
Sworn to Raise, by Terah Edun (3:34)Today we see that when you repeat an entire phrase, it can actually insult your …2015/03/03
Darkest Before The Dawn, by HM Reynolds (3:13)Today we see that punctuation is only visible when it goes wrong. What I gleaned …2015/03/02
Frozen Prospects, by Dean Murray (40:00)Today we see that even with a penchant for echoing headwords, a good story can …2015/02/27
Schism, by Laura Maisano (7:28)Today I learn that editing is like polish for a mirror. Without it, your gaze …2015/02/26
Meadowcity, by Liz Delton (8:39)Today we see that there is more to scene description than reporting the physical facts. …2015/02/25
Graveyard Shift, by Angela Roquet (1:37)Today we see that address modes matter. What I gleaned about the story: Lial Gordon …2015/02/24
Thin Men, Paper Suits, by Tin Larrick (40:00)Today we see that a small error has a larger impact if it occurs at …2015/02/23
Reader, by Erec Stebbins (7:24)Today we learn that profound insights cannot be faked. What I gleaned about the story: …2015/02/20
Mind Me Milady, by Hicks and Rothman-Hicks (12:05)Today I learned that if your exposition changes the focus of the scene, that’s when it officially …2015/02/19
Cold Hands, by Matt Perkins (29:42)Today we see that a strong story can hold a reader, even over the bumpy patches. …2015/02/18
Call of the Kaiju, by E. Stuart Marlowe (8:17)Today I noted that when the narrative voice is passionless, the reader disengages. What I …2015/02/17
The Zoey Chronicles, by Sophia Grey (2:01)Today we see that dense or figurative language increases the risk readers will lose immersion. …2015/02/16
Infinity Squad, by Shuvom Ghose (5:05)Today we see that nobody believes in life after death—not really—until they’ve been there many times. …2015/02/13
Daimones, by Massimo Marino (3:32)Today we see that if an author doesn’t speak English fluently, he should probably hire …2015/02/12
Sanyare: The Last Descendant, by Megan Haskell (15:04)Today we see that even world situations that are totally acceptable can disrupt a story if …2015/02/11
A Game of Greed and Deception, by John Mathews (7:42)Today I learned that a hiccup in the rhythm of the story can throw a …2015/02/10
No Mercy, by Wendy Cartmell (3:17)Today we see that if your character misquotes a famous saying without comment, readers might think …2015/02/09
Starf*cker, by Ian Thomas Healy (40:00)Today I learned that even a story from a genre I don’t particularly care for can survive …2015/02/06
The Cestus Concern, by Mat Nastos (2:58)Today we see that head-hopping can sometimes happen, even if you don’t change heads. What …2015/02/05
The Boy who Lit up the Sky, by J. Naomi Ay (9:40)Today I see that a strong scene concept is not enough to hold me in …2015/02/04
Siege of Praetar, by David Kristoph (21:02)Today we see that some stories may be stronger than their editorial execution. What I gleaned about …2015/02/03
Courtley’s Weird, Vol 1 by Christopher Courtley (6:28)Today we discover that a low-level of consistent issues increases the chance a reader will …2015/02/02
Clovenhoof, by Goody and Grant (21:50)Today we see that even with lots going for it, little frictions can pull a …2015/01/30
Cadman’s Gambit, by D.P. Prior (13:59)Today I learned that when the prologue confuses the reader, it isn’t doing its appointed …2015/01/29
Conspiracy, by Ian Welch (6:28)Today we see that readers want to find something original on the first page. What …2015/01/28
Darkness Creeps Forth, by Brian Greiner (4:15)Today we see that echoes do not need to be at the starts of sentences …2015/01/27
The Circus Infinitus Stories Volume 1, by Ethan Sommerville (2:58)Today we discover that telling the reader something is unusual falls flat if you do …2015/01/26
Wanderer’s Escape, by Simon Goodson (14:18)Today we see that a good story can be derailed by an unearned emotional beat. …2015/01/23
Lady Catherine’s Diary, by Terry Greer (3:02)Today we see that trivial proofreading problems can derail an otherwise promising story. What I …2015/01/22
Aristeia, by Wayne Basta (21:07)Today we see that a character can be believably expert at his job or he can be …2015/01/21
Warchild: Pawn, by Ernie Lindsey (40:00)Today we get a doubly rare treat: another survivor, and this one has a female …2015/01/20
The Archer Who Shot Down Suns, by Benjanun Sriduangkaew (6:02)Today we discover that readers are confused if two omniscient descriptions of the same event …2015/01/19
Pariah’s Moon, by Ian Thomas Healy (2:13)Today we see that if not even the author can keep the details straight, the …2015/01/16
After The Ending, by Fairleigh and Pogue (10:19)Today we see that some audiences crave the kinds of details that completely repel other readers. …2015/01/15
A Patriot’s Betrayal, by Andrew Clawson (11:39)Today we see that even a good sentence structure can be problematic if it’s used …2015/01/14
Quantum Tangle, by Chris Reher (31:23)Today we see a great story summarily executed by Chekhov’s gun. What I gleaned about …2015/01/13
Twisted Rixter, by Gretchen Rix (40:00)Today we discover that demonstrating competence with obscure words makes the errors stand out more clearly. …2015/01/12
Lodestone, by Wendy Scott (11:20)Today we see that even small clichés can erode confidence in the originality of the writing. …2015/01/09
Ever Shade, by Alexia Purdy (6:35)Today we learn that making readers hate your protagonist is a non-optimal way to start the story. …2015/01/08
Phrases of Light, by Richard J. Kendrick (10:23)Today we learn that if you want to hold things back to create mystery, you’d …2015/01/07
The Star Thief, by Jamie Grey (7:44)Today we see that when the protagonist’s problems solve themselves, the story becomes pointless. What …2015/01/06
Stories with Twists, by Larry Klos (3:46)Today we discover that while giving the reader a detailed enough picture of the scene …2015/01/05
Adversaries Together, by Daniel Casey (2:24)Today we see that instead of painting a scene richly, over-frequent adjectives can drain the vital …2014/12/24
The Winter Beast and other tales, by James R Sanford (9:46)Today we discover that readers expect the point of view to be a consistent retelling …2014/12/23
Forged By Battle, by Patrick J. Loller (4:33)Today we learn that inconsistent typography can knock readers off the pace. What I gleaned about …2014/12/22
Colt Coltrane and the Lotus Killer, by Allison M. Dickson (40:00)Today we learn that any story can be improved with robots. What I gleaned about …2014/12/19
Queen of Roses, by Elizabeth McCoy (1:54)Today we realize that relying on pronouns to orient a scene involving a dozen characters …2014/12/18
Nightblade, by Garrett Robinson (19:15)Today we discuss how villains who are easily duped undermine the dramatic tension of a …2014/12/17
Salvation, by Lizzie Ashworth (7:31)Too much hinting at secret knowledge can make your protagonist sound like he’s wagging his tongue …2014/12/16
Love Without Gun Control, by M Christian (10:51)Today we discover that less accessible prose makes readers less forgiving. What I gleaned about the …2014/12/15
The Last Great Hero, by Scott J Robinson (9:24)Sometimes I feel cheated when the minor WTFs mount up and the rules say I …2014/12/12
Eye of the Moonrat, by Trevor H. Cooley (8:31)It’s not enough that characters react believably to events in the story. They must also …2014/12/11
The Emperor’s Daughter, by Richard Flunker (3:02)Today’s book shows us that some writers are completely deaf to echoing. What I gleaned …2014/12/10
Supercenter, by Jason Rizos (5:15)Today we see that even if done for effect, a little bit of stylized voice goes a …2014/12/09
Living the Afterlife, by River Fairchild (9:36)Today we discover that readers expect inconsistencies to be purposeful. What I gleaned about the …2014/12/08
The Body Electric, by Beth Revis (18:54)Sometimes, good writing can overcome stylistic choices that the reader doesn’t normally enjoy. What I …2014/12/05
Tresspassers, by Todd and Tim Wynn (10:00)If none of your characters feel anything about the events unfolding around them, neither will …2014/12/04
Prospero’s Half-Life, by Trevor James Zaple (3:48)Sometimes, even correct grammar can cause immersion to break. What I gleaned about the story: …2014/12/03
The Seal of Solomon, by Ryan Mitchell (10:00)Even with good prose and decent mechanics, a sentence parade can still overturn the apple …2014/12/02
Riker, by Steve Loton (11:52)Today we discover that replicating the casual grammar of real life requires more accuracy not …2014/12/01
Immortal Clay, by Michael Warren Lucas (6:58)Today we see that drama is a dish best served alone. What I gleaned about the …2014/11/28
Missing, Assumed Dead, by Marva Dasef (9:44)Today we learn that even disguised as a chapter, a prologue with no information is still …2014/11/27
Ghost Moon Night, by Jewel Allen (17:06)Today we see that scene and chapter breaks have a meaning. What I gleaned about the …2014/11/26
Pickles and Ponies: A Fairy-Tale, by Laura May (10:00)Today we see that if you call your characters ‘human,’ readers are going to assume things like feet …2014/11/25
Final Duty, by Kyle Pratt (6:50)Today we discover that writing hard sci-fi doesn’t let you use complex words and exposition …2014/11/24
The Mayonnaise Murders, by Keith A. Owens (7:04)Today we see that alphabet fatigue can disorient readers quickly. What I gleaned about the story: When a …2014/11/21
Magical Girls, by Jesse Brown (29:47)Today we see that people read stories for the same reason emergency response crews practice city-wide disaster scenarios. …2014/11/20
Sarah’s Spaceship Adventure, by Stan Morris (7:48)Today we see that clarity is crucial for immersion. What I gleaned about the story: Sarah has …2014/11/19
The Juice and Other Stories, by Bill Jones Jr. (40:00)Today we discover that the best writing is writing that doesn’t show its workings. What …2014/11/18
Warrior’s Scar, by Shawn Jones (13:03)Today we see that the numbers in your story have to add up. What I gleaned about …2014/11/17
Wyrd Calling, by Shen Hart (10:49)Today we see that author-publishers are accountable for layout as well as grammar. That’s what the …2014/11/14
Harbinger, by Stephen Arseneault (2:56)Today we see that declarative sentence parades seem to arise from a mono-focus on physicality. What …2014/11/13
Into the Aether, by T.C. Pearce (9:39)Today we see that too many characters, introduced too quickly can be disorienting. What I gleaned …2014/11/12
Untimed, by Andy Gavin (40:00)Today we see that with some books, you only need to read the first line. What I …2014/11/11
Science Fantasy Short Stories Volume 1 by D T Yarbrough (9:02)Today we discover that odd emotional responses require proper foreshadowing to keep the reader from assuming …2014/11/10
The Brightest Light, by Scott J Robinson (11:59)Today we see that cognitive dissonance breaks immersion. What I gleaned about the story: Some kind of …2014/11/06
Sector 64: Ambush, by Dean M. Cole (31:36)Today we see that echoing sentence structures can distract just as much as headwords. What I gleaned about …2014/11/06
The Birth of Chaos, by Ethan James Clarke (6:18)Today we see that conflicting narration styles can undermine each other. What I gleaned about …2014/11/05
To Carry the Horn, by Karen Myers (8:37)Today we see that readers don’t like to feel tricked. What I gleaned about the story: A …2014/11/04
Ox Herding: A Secular Pilgrimage, by Jackie Griffiths (6:31)Today we see that repetition is no substitute for immersion. What I gleaned about the story: A …2014/11/02
The String Quartet, by Dan Hupalo (5:42)Today we see that trying to do fancy text with embedded images is a bad …2014/10/31
Exile’s Redemption, by Lee Dunning (9:11)Today we see that the show must sell what the exposition tells. What I gleaned …2014/10/30
Having a Whaley of a Time, by Donna Keeley (7:03)Today we see that characters who have no emotional reaction to their problems are creepy. …2014/10/29
Elona, by Steve Turnbull (9:13)Today we see that sometimes, a single word can just make your book its bitch. What I …2014/10/28
Unraveling Time, by Kurt R.A. Giambastiani (2:43)Today I’ll try to demonstrate just what I mean by “declarative sentences on parade.” What I …2014/10/27
Shooting Arrows by Beverly Ann Flynn (10:31)Today we discover that the smoothness with which you transition from one character voice to another …2014/10/25
Copper Knights and Granite Men, by DiBaggio and DiBaggio (11:06)Today we see that multi-dimensional digressions are bad for your health. What I gleaned about the story: A group …2014/10/24
Spindown, by George Wright Padgett (23:06)Today we see that sometimes, a sonic fork is just a fork. Even if it’s sonic. …2014/10/23
Madison Lane and the Wand of Rasputin, by Elle Carter Neal (19:51)Today we see that I flame out hard on teen romance elements. What I gleaned …2014/10/22
Jade Moon, by Julia Richards (10:00)Today we see that if your protagonist doesn’t care about their peril, the reader won’t either. …2014/10/21
Tiem Mechine, by Alex Hansen (24:11)Today we see that a rough patch can come at you like a bridge abutment …2014/10/20
At the Crossroads, by Andre Gal (9:42)Today we discover that mimicking the styles of the past can leave you on the …2014/10/18
Transit Point, by A.S. Webster (9:15)Today we see that early echoes are probably a sign of more echoes to come. What …2014/10/17
Silvana: The Greening, by Belinda Mellor (40:00)Today we see that stories don’t have to begin with frantic action to be entirely engaging. …2014/10/16
A Dodge, A Twist, and a Tobacconist, by Sophronia Belle Lyon (24:17)Today we see that readers want time to anticipate big scenes before they happen, and then …2014/10/15
Savage Dawn, by Inge Moore (16:22)Today we see that every cliché is a missed opportunity to actually write. What I gleaned …2014/10/14
The Amazing Adventures of Toby the Trilby, by Angela Castillo (14:56)Today we see that impassioned religious debates from logical mathematicians are a hard pill to swallow. What …2014/10/13
Before the Chase by Dara Fogel (14:51)Today we discover that where you explain your world can be more important than how …2014/10/11
The Only City Left, by Andy Goldman (16:15)Today we see that when you only have yourself to talk to, the “I” can be implicit. …2014/10/10
Paralan’s Children, by Katharina Gerlach (24:34)Today we see that leaving story points unresolved creates confusion and frustration for readers. What I …2014/10/09
A Summoner’s Confession, by Khana Santamaria (10:27)Today we see that a mistake in your magic system can throw your entire world into …2014/10/08
Flower’s Fang, by Madison Keller (4:17)Today we see that, with enough echoes piled together, even the walls of Jericho can …2014/10/07
Song of the Summer King, by Jess E. Owen (6:35)Today we see that if you’re going to write about intelligent animals, you need to gather …2014/10/06
Queen and Other Stories, by Lincoln CrislerToday marks the first in a series of four guest reviews being contributed by Dave Higgins. For …2014/10/04
Black Jade Dragon, by Susan Brassfield Cogan (5:42)Today we see that plodding sentences are detectable, and avoidable. What I gleaned about the story: A …2014/10/03
Reason For Vengeance, by Adrian D. Roberts (3:03)Today we see that an author without an editor is like a drunken highwire artist working …2014/10/02
The Wizard and the Rat, by Aaron C. Engler (6:29)Today we see that popular trends in editorial fashion are sometimes wrong. What I gleaned about …2014/10/01
Fancy Free, by Pam Uphoff (10:00)Today we see that opening in tell mode still keeps early immersion from forming. What …2014/09/30
The Tales of Abu Nuwas, by Marva Dasef (19:19)Today we see that even minor issues become large when they cluster together to form patterns. …2014/09/29
Fatal Infatuation, by Melanie Nowak (9:37)Today we ask the question: if a prologue falls in the forest but conveys no information, …2014/09/26
The Tainted Awaken, by Jodi Herlick (8:34)Today we see that any drama that comes from a disguised dream sequence is about as satisfying as the …2014/09/25
The Darkness Undivided, by Jesse Jack Jones (9:27)Today we see that internal contradictions form pincers that can crush immersion. What I gleaned about …2014/09/24
Black, by Catherine Winters (12:43)Today we see that I am a total deaf-mute when it comes to the language of the …2014/09/23
The Gentle Man, by Michelle Montague Mogil (8:27)Today we see that shifting verb tense is like changing lanes on the highway – proper …2014/09/22
Willem’s Tale, by J. S. Davis (4:23)Today we see that mechanical issues popped me out before I learned anything about anybody. What I …2014/09/19
Lethal Seasons, by Alice Sabo (10:45)Today we see that declarative sentence parades may be a sign that you’re looking at the …2014/09/18
Inquisitor, by RJ Blain (29:08)Today we see that plausibility needs to be more than skin deep. What I gleaned …2014/09/17
Henchmen, by Eric Lahti (10:00)Today we see that relentless telling can kill a witty narration. What I gleaned about the …2014/09/16
The First Book of Ezekiel, by Colby R Rice (2:36)Today we see that a copy editor is a cheap inoculation against awkward visuals. What I gleaned …2014/09/15
The Prophet’s Daughter, by Kilayla Pilon (3:19)Today we see that stories without details are just empty word husks swirling in a box. …2014/09/12
The High King’s Embalmer, by S. Copperstone (7:47)Today we see that sometimes a tricky detail can seem right, until you actually think about …2014/09/11
Space Junque, by LK Rigel (40:00)Today we see that even sub-genres that are not really my thing can survive the treadmill. What …2014/09/10
Dark & Day, by Israel Grey (13:56)Today we see another very promising story hamstrung by the editing. What I gleaned about …2014/09/09
Derelict, by LJ Cohen (20:21)Today we see that important character abilities should be demonstrated before they become pivotal story points. …2014/09/08
Games of Chance, by William L. Hahn (20:51)Today we see that it can be disastrous to let style trump clarity. What I gleaned about …2014/09/05
The Journeyman, by Michael Alan Peck (40:00)Today we see another distance-goer, with a decidedly quirky bent. What I gleaned about the story: To …2014/09/04
Leap of Space, by Sharon T. Rose (6:04)Today we see that telling backstory is not the same as telling story, and eventually, …2014/09/03
Protégée, by James Gawley (40:00)Today the Legions of a faux-Rome fantasy drag us behind their chariots for the full …2014/09/02
Enter The Phenomenologists, by Gil C. Schmidt (5:50)Today I realize that my tolerance for mechanical errors is eroding quickly. What I gleaned about the …2014/09/01
The Five Elements, by Scott Marlowe (40:00)Today we see that, sometimes, I pull the plug for what turns out to be …2014/08/29
Sand and Blood, by D. Moonfire (31:01)Today a good story is eventually worn down by the accumulated abrasions of many tiny grits. What …2014/08/28
The Battle, by R. W. Allen (5:18)Today I realize that without specific details, a story isn’t really a story – it’s just an …2014/08/27
Shard Knight, by Matthew Ballard (8:02)Today we see that repeating yourself too often creates echoes that pop the immersion bubble. What …2014/08/26
Warrior’s Embrace, by Jodi Zeitler (3:08)Today we see that if the author-publisher releases a sloppy product, readers get cranky. What I gleaned …2014/08/25
Senlin Ascends, by Josiah Bancroft (10:00)Today we see another example of tell mode forming an immersion-proof coating that kept me …2014/08/22
Farsprocket, by Dustin McGee (10:00)Today we see that small problems can become big problems when they happen in clusters. What …2014/08/21
In Siege of Daylight, by Gregory S. Close (20:33)Today I learn that, for me, immersion sometimes breaks because of something the author didn’t …2014/08/20
Century of Sand, by Christopher Ruz (40:00)Today we see a book that took on water, but got the hull sails-up again and …2014/08/19
The Summerlark Elf, by Brandon Draga (10:13)Today we see that using unfamiliar words and styles without the safety net of an …2014/08/18
Grounded, by Emily Matthew (8:02)Today we see that if you want to monkey with known concepts, you have to get the reader to …2014/08/15
Thea of Oz, by Rebecca A. Demarest (34:59)Today we see that working in established worlds can be tricky. What I gleaned about the story: Years …2014/08/14
Trouble, by RJ Price (7:21)Today we are reminded that saving money on an editor is a false economy. What I …2014/08/13
As the Crow Flies, by Robin Lythgoe (30:57)Today I tease out a new and necessary component of immersion. What I gleaned about …2014/08/12
The Sorcerous Crimes Division: Devilbone, by Scott Warren (4:25)Today we learn how important it is to find a place to start your story …2014/08/11
The Meat Market, by James Chalk (8:47)A cool vibe trying to shine out from under the scar tissue of weak editing. …2014/08/08
Mad Tinker’s Daughter, by J.S. Morin (40:00)There are times when too little information might just be enough. What I gleaned about the …2014/08/07
Strictly Analog, by Richard Levesque (40:00)Sometimes a well-painted world is all it takes. What I gleaned from the story: In …2014/08/06
Apex Rising, by Tom Wright (6:16)Today we focus on the importance of having characters who experience their world in believable …2014/08/05
Iron Pen Anthology, by Multiple AuthorsToday I take another stab at an anthology, and I think a new policy might …2014/08/04
Justice in an Age of Metal and Men, by Anthony Eichenlaub (17:17)Today’s read illustrates the immersive peril of an author-puppet protagonist. What I gleaned about the story: In …2014/08/01
A Touch of Magic, by Gregory Mahan (11:11)An over-familiar opening got me started on a grumpy stride. What I gleaned about the story: A miller’s …2014/07/31
Sleepwalker, by Brandy Moss (9:37)An interesting setup, but harpooned by a consistent grammatical flaw. What I gleaned about the book: A young …2014/07/30
Lacuna, by David Adams (24:27)Good writing brought down by a string of unlikely coincidences. What I gleaned about the story: …2014/07/29
Hosanna in Hand, by Appropouture (2:38)I have no idea what this is. What I gleaned about the story: There’s a hermit. …2014/07/28
All Is Silence, by Robert L. Slater (24:39)Today I learned how sensitive I am to compounded implausibilities. What I gleaned about the …2014/07/25
Crimson Son, by Russ Linton (40:00)A little bit of petulant teen goes a long way, but strong writing and an …2014/07/24
The King’s Sword, by C. J. Brightley (8:27)Today we learn that there’s a difference between keeping things mysterious and simply not giving …2014/07/23
Murder out of the Blue, by Steve Turnbull (10:00)Today the treadmill reveals that even a well imagined world remains locked behind a plate …2014/07/22
Athame, by Morgan Alreth (34:40)A strong story that took me for a long bomb, but tripped over it’s laces …2014/07/21
Scarlet Angel, by C. A. Wilke (40:00)A slick, fast-paced whoami tale, with a juicy mystery that kept me on my toes. …2014/07/18
Wisdom Beyond Her Years, by J-L Heylen (17:18)Today we get stuck in the swamp of conspicuous exposition. What I gleaned about the story: …2014/07/17
Shiny New Swindle, by Simon Cantan (12:54)Even when the ride is going great, a little vibration can feedback on itself and …2014/07/16
White Dwarf One, by Dario Solera (14:36)On today’s show, we discover the need to establish a deadline for the immersion to …2014/07/15
Discovering Aberration, by S.C. Barrus (15:27)Today we learn that if you want to affect a particular historical style, it’s not …2014/07/14
The Unknown Sun, by Cheryl S. Mackey (13:00)Today’s read touches on about four things, right out of the gate, that I find difficult …2014/07/11
Unselected, by John Kipling LewisToday marks another experiment. John Lewis asked me if I accept collections of flash fiction. …2014/07/10
The Face-Stealer, by Robert Scott-Norton (5:28)Today I learned how strongly I feel about “borrowed” content. (Hint: I pulled the plug …2014/07/09
Pay Me, Bug! by Christopher Wright (40:00)Today’s book has been a test of the emergency awesome detection system. And I do …2014/07/08
Flummox or Bust, by Kevin Bowersox (16:17)Broad humor that gets in the way of the story doesn’t work for me. But …2014/07/07
A Noble’s Quest, by Ryan Toxopeus (9:11)Today I issue a cautionary notice: Those who choose to play in Tolkien’s backyard are standing …2014/07/04
Surviving the Fog, by Stan Morris (15:33)The take-away lesson from today’s reading is the importance of managing narrative time flow. What …2014/07/02
Self Made, by Darusha Wehm (18:09)Today I realized how hard I have to struggle, as a reader, to recover after …2014/07/01
Ultimate Duty, by Marva Dasef (19:45)A good example of how “Show don’t tell” doesn’t mean what you think it means, …2014/06/30
River of Possibilities, by Marti Lawrence (19:37)In today’s excursion, we learn that stories that don’t breathe can suffocate a reader. What …2014/06/27
The Improbable Rise of Singularity Girl, by Bryce Anderson (40:00)Today marks the first book to go the distance, and at the same time, teaches …2014/06/26
The Curse of Memories, by V. Griffen (26:26)As a curious counterpoint to yesterday’s lesson, today we learn that a good story can …2014/06/25
The Secret of Stonehenge, by Yury Nikitin (6:24)Today’s candidate teaches me that even grammatically correct and properly punctuated books with (presumably) a …2014/06/24
Chrono Virus, by Aaron Crocco (31:08)In today’s installment, we learn that even little details matter, and that story facts have …2014/06/23


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