No Wasted Ink Writers Links


From Nanowrimo, to fountain pens, and general writing tips, this week’s article links are sure to help you get ready for National Novel Writing Month.  This year I’m writing a science fiction novel set on the planet Mars.  What are you working on?  Enjoy the articles!


What Shapes Do Fountain Pens Come In?


How to Injure or Kill Horses in Fiction

6 Lifestyle Changes You Can Make to Protect Creativity

How to Improve Your Writing: My Top 7 Fast-Acting Methods

Getting Ready for NaNoWriMo

When the Pieces Don’t Seem to Fit

When Writing, It’s the Journey That Matters

Preparing for a Writers’ Conference

The Libraries of Famous Men: Louis L’Amour

No Wasted Ink Writers Links


Here we are on another fine Monday.  This week’s links have a little bit of everything from podcasting, websites, bullet journaling, and workshop etiquette.  Pour yourself a cup of joe or brew your favorite tea.  There might be a few articles to tempt you here.

Do You Use ‘Text to Speech’ to Read Your Work Back to Yourself? – #Editing Tips

9 Ways to Reduce Reader Confusion


Why I Love Broadcasting My Podcast Recordings Live

7 Common Newsletter Problems Solved

5 Ways that Journaling Can Make You Happier at Work


The Sitting / Standing Desk Combo That Eases My Back and Neck Pain

How to Cure A Pandemic in Fiction

4 Ways to Amplify Your Characters’ Subtext

Author Interview: S.A. Gibson

Author S.A. Gibson has five books and several short stories set in a future where modern technology has been lost. All his stories are suitable for a wide range of ages, from 5th grade on up. Please welcome him to No Wasted Ink.

Author SA GibsonGrowing up in Southern California, I have held many jobs over the years, computer tech, administrative support, community organizing, and book writing. After years of work, I returned to school to study for a Ph.D. in education. For the last several years, I have been publishing academic articles, books, and book chapters. I am looking a what qualities make individual good teachers, under difficult conditions and low pay. I now live with my spouse and a small dog, working on school work and fiction stories.

When and why did you begin writing?

From childhood to the present, I have been reading huge numbers of science fiction stories and books. Finally, by the 2010s I was finding it difficult to find more of the books that I wanted to read. I sometimes would read more than 2 books a week. I wasn’t able to find as many of the stories that would keep me up all night, that I desired. So I decided to write a story I would want to read. My first fiction book was A Dangerous Way, 2014, about a library swordsman who wanders the land restoring peace to a fractured society after the collapse. It was a way for me to get another story I wanted to read.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

For the last few years, I’ve become a super fan of books I enjoyed. On Goodreads and Amazon, I followed authors and envied those published authors. Hearing that it was possible to self-produce an ebook appealed to my desire to join the exalted rank, in my mind, of published authors. When seeing my name on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, and Goodreads, I first considered myself an author. I now have a higher bar and respect the reviews offered by readers and the work of professional artists and editors that make it possible for my work to shine.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

Asante’s Gullah Journey is set in a future of the America South when advanced technology has been lost. Beneda is a teenage girl whose mother owns a large farm in the Gullah lands. She is a Black girl living in the community that shares a common background and culture. When the land is threatened Beneda and the farmers appeal to the Library to help them. In this society, libraries and librarians have major power because of ownership of the knowledge in books. Library Scout Asante, from Africa, helps the farmers against their enemies and attempts to preserve the peaceful order.

What inspired you to write this book?

After writing several stories in this low-tech world of the future, I wondered what kind of story could be told about one ethnically distinct group. Because of my background and relatives, I tried it first with Black Gullah inhabitants of the American South.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I write third person, in the POV of different characters during the story. I want the reader to walk in the characters’ shoes during the journey. While I include violence and some warfare in my tales, I want all readers to be able to follow them, so there are no excessive or gratuitous scenes. I hope my stories can be enjoyed from middle school age on up. Part plotting and part pantsing mean the story conclusion is planned, but there might be detours during story construction.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

This book was conceived as the first of a series that follows one of the main characters. I thought the African swordsman Asante would be that character. That explains his name in the title. To let potential readers know what to expect, the Gullah term was added. Gullah is used to describe a people, a culture, and a language shared by individuals in part of the American South. So, Asante’s Gullah Journey was seen as announcing the story for readers.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Shades of grey are in each character in the story. The evil ones are not purely evil, and our heroes don’t always make the right decisions. There is a chance for everyone to grow, and people should be given a chance to change, sometimes.

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know or events in your own life?

All the events and individuals in this story are fictitious. For this story to come true, modern technology would have to be lost due to an apocalyptic disaster. Then the Gullah people in the Carolinas would have to survive and thrive, maintaining their culture. While basing this story on how I think humans behave, I hope our descendants don’t have to face this future.

What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?

I was able to escape the world when young, through the portal of science fiction books. The authors I read included Robert A. Heinlein, Frank Herbert, A. E. van Vogt, and Andre Norton. Those authors and others opened my eyes to other worlds, on this planet, and others. I believed almost anything was possible, and humans could improve. More recently, authors like Lois McMaster Bujold have shown me it is possible to write science fiction with heart, soul, and emotion. I feel inspired to think I can write in ways that can change people’s thoughts and lives.

If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor? Why?

My writing has dramatically changed since meeting the development editor I work with today. Two years ago I first worked on a short story with help from E. J. Runyon. Working with E. J. has taught me the importance of the editing step in writing. I believe my writing quality has vastly improved, and excitingly, I believe there is even opportunity for greater improvement in the future. I enjoy and learn from E. J.’s fiction and nonfiction books.

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

Aaron Radney agreed to illustrate the cover for Asante’s Gullah Journey. I saw a piece he was working on for another project and it made me think of librarians. I knew I wanted the two mains, Beneda and Asante with a library background. It was a pleasure to work closely with him through the process from design, sketching, drawing, and coloring. He brought to life, the vision in my mind.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

I now believe editing is one of the most powerful parts of the writing process. Editing can take an average manuscript and turn it into a valuable intellectual property. While many stories have interesting premises, plots, or characters, how they are presented will determine whether readers will stay with them and appreciate them. My advice for any writer is to find an editor who brings out the best in you. A good editor will work well with you, and enable you to feel good about your work. You should see your work improve and develop your ability to craft better passages, scenes, and books.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I can’t say enough of how I feel about my readers. You are why I do what I do. My efforts are dedicated to building a world that will envelop you and carry you away. I want to create for you what the science fiction writers of yesteryear did for me. May your reads always be enjoyable, may your reading journeys be long, safe and fulfilling.

Book Cover Asantes Gullah JourneyS. A. Gibson
Pasadena, California


Asante’s Gullah Journey

Cover Artist: Aaron Radney


No Wasted Ink Writer’s Links


Sometimes it is good to be back to the basics.  Most of this week’s writer’s links are general writing tips to help you enrich your writing process.  I hope you enjoy them all!

How to Keep a Short Story Short

How to create your Author “Pit Crew” Part 5: Graphic Artist

Authentic Female Characters vs Gender-Swaps

The Evolution of Female Pen-Names from Currer Bell to J.K. Rowling

The 7 Writer Types You Should Avoid Becoming

Less Than Meets the Eye: Print Book Use Is Falling Faster in Research Libraries

9 Reasons Why We All Need Accessible Ebooks

How sci-fi from China became a global proposition

A New Type of Library in a Once-Abandoned Colorado Ranch

15 Figures of Speech to Color Your Characters

No Wasted Ink Writer’s Links


Welcome back to another Monday of No Wasted Ink Writer’s Links.  This week I have a bunch more general writing tips for you along with a nifty online tool, a funny story about Terry Pratchett and his final unpublished works, and a little about typography.  Relax and enjoy.

Terry Pratchett’s unpublished works crushed by steamroller

How to create your Author “Pit Crew” Part 4: Social Media Manager

Why Characters Need Choices in Fiction

You Blockhead: The Psychology of Writer’s Block

Time Scales

Why Your Memoir Won’t Sell


Weaving Backstory Into Frontstory

The Typographic Details Behind Typewolf’s Favorite Sites

3 Simple Steps to Silencing Your Inner Critic

Author Interviews * Book Reviews * Essays * Writer's Links * Scifaiku

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