Put that Weapon Down -ways to avoid using overpowered modern weapons in Urban Fantasy

Image credit here! Urban fantasy has its fun points, but it can also get a little bit annoying to balance magic and technology. Questions often come up on: "Why use magic when you can use tech?" and such like that. I've been told that's why cyberpunk + fantasy might not work as well, however I…

Des M. Astor’s 100th BLOG POST! What were the most popular posts? What posts should have gotten more love?

The character art shown here of my avatar is by Gynesisx! Hey folks! I'm pleased to say that this blog has hit 100 posts. I started to post more last summer, trying to schedule something to go out once per week on Saturdays, at least. I've kept to that schedule well, and today I've hit…

Unpopular Opinion: Some Pop Culture References in Contemporary Fantasy are Okay

Image credit here This one might be a controversial opinion with regard to writing, but I feel it needs to be said. A definition of 'contemporary' is: "belonging to or occurring in the present." While you can sprinkle your world with vague references, directly talking about a piece of pop culture is perfectly fine. I…

5 Ideas for Redeeming a Villain and turning them into an ANTIHERO!

Art credit of Robert Smoke here! I absolutely love antiheroes, and it's a trope I consistently use in every novel I write. There's just something about bad guys double crossing other bad guys and joining the heroes that I adore. This can also go hand-in-hand with the enemies-to-lovers ship, another one that I adore. In…

Horror Discussion: Should you Show the Monster?

Image credit here! A heavy discussion point in the horror genre is whether or not to show the monster. I know many people say it's better not to see it, but I personally disagree. Granted, a badly-made monster is better left unseen, but that would be something I'd count as a major flaw in your…

The PROBLEM with Toxic Ships.

Picture credit here! The hatred for toxic ships goes farther than skin-deep. On the surface, it's something to be angry about because you're unhappy characters are together despite various toxic situations like gaslighting, jealousy, or abuse. Digging deeper, however, you begin to realize it might influence real life or even seep into your own. That's…

BUILD A CREATURE: 5 Things to Keep in Mind while Building Monsters in Writing

Art credit here One of my all time favorite things about world building is creating monsters! I typically grab a mythical creature and modify it into something that's mine, like what I did with my living vampires, but today I wanted to talk about creating an entirely new monster with no basis in mythology. That's…

Happy Book Birthday “Huntsmaster City”! My Thoughts on the sequel to “The Dancing Crow” & “Red Viper”

I'm pleased to talk about the favorite book I've written of the four so far, Huntsmaster City! This is the sequel to The Dancing Crow & Red Viper, where all of those character interactions come together for a glorious finale. This book also introduces magical training and mythical monsters like the hydra. I think the…

Make your readers SCREAM! Describing the sounds of HORROR – Auditory description ideas

Image credit here! WARNING! THIS ARTICLE HAS HORROR CONTENT SUCH AS SCARY NOISES AND GORE! One thing that's particularly hard to capture in writing is sound. Visual stimuli is the easiest, in my personal opinion, as you can describe color, texture, and movement. The sense of touch seems a bit more straightforward as well. Sound,…

DEEP DIVE: Vampires! What does Twitter think about them? What are some ongoing debates?

This art piece of my character Jasper is by Gynesis! Hey everyone! Today's deep dive subject is regarding some of my favorite humanoid monsters, vampires. As a vampire author, these dark concepts mean a lot to me, and I have my own version of them as well. I'll be discussing what creatives on Twitter think…