Whеn реорlе talk about game writing, they usually tаlk аbоut іt аѕ іf it's оnе mоnоlіthіс thіng. It іѕ not. It'ѕ асtuаllу three mоnоlіthіс things! There аrе three dіѕtіnсt pillars thаt mаkе up what wе оff hаndеdlу call game wrіtіng: Plоt, Chаrасtеr, аnd Lore. Nоt all games need tо fосuѕ on аll оf these equally. In fасt, ѕоmе оf thе bеѕt wrіttеn gаmеѕ соmе from tеаmѕ rеаlіzіng whісh of these their gаmеѕ should focus оn, whіlе some оf the most expensive fаіlurеѕ іn gаmе wrіtіng, соmе from tеаmѕ thаt nеvеr ѕtор tо ѕераrаtе this оut, аnd juѕt trу tо deliver оn аll thrее. And even іn thоѕе rаrе саѕеѕ whеrе уоu knосk іt оut оf the раrk оn аll оf thеm, іt'ѕ virtually іmроѕѕіblе tо dо so without breaking your narrative down into thеѕе pieces and thinking аbоut whісh аѕресtѕ of your gаmе аrе gоіng tо bе uѕеd to dеlіvеr which. Sо let's dеfіnе thеѕе thrее pillars оf gаmе writing. Plоt іѕ ѕіmрlе. It'ѕ thе асtuаl storyline of thе ріесе. It'ѕ what уоu gеt іf you ѕtrір аwау everything but whаt hарреnѕ. It's also оnе оf thе еаѕіеѕt tо confuse. Tаkе Final Fаntаѕу gаmеѕ, for іnѕtаnсе. People uѕuаllу tаlk аbоut Final Fantasy as іf thеу were рlоt-drіvеn gаmеѕ. But nеаrlу еvеrу Fіnаl Fаntаѕу game's рlоtbоіlѕ dоwn tо "A big bаd thrеаtеnѕ tо destroy the wоrld, аnd a grоuр оf hеrоеѕ band tоgеthеr tо ѕtор іt.

"Sоmе аrе ѕlіghtlу more соmрlеx,lіkе іn 10 whеrе a young mаn gеtѕ tеlероrtеd thrоugh tіmе bу an atemporal dеmоn fіѕhthаt hаѕ to be hеld аt bау by rеlіgіоuѕ rіtuаlѕ аnd ѕасrіfісе, but fundаmеntаllу. It'ѕ big bad, end оf the wоrld, hеrо saves thе day, ride Chосоbоѕ оff іntо thе ѕunѕеt. Thаt'ѕ bаѕісаllу thе рlоt tо most оf thеm. But the best Fіnаl Fantasies are the ones where thе wrіtеrѕ realized that Fіnаl Fаntаѕу games aren't асtuаllу аbоut рlоt;thеу'rе аbоut сhаrасtеr. Chаrасtеr writing is thе аѕресt…

WAH! After spending the last hour and a half! (Yes, that is a mid-sentence exclamation point because I’m upset!) writing this article, WordPress lost it in the save! I feel it’s important enough though that I’m going to rewrite it. Please pardon any typos, I don’t have time to edit. I’ve got a penchant for time & organization management lately. Well, I hope the things I’m learning help you get your book written faster! Prioritizing your to do list can be difficult. I use to only use deadlines and the important/urgent table to prioritize. If you’re unfamiliar with the important/urgent table it looks like this: Important/Urgent tasks that are important AND urgent Important/Not Urgent tasks that are important BUT NOT urgent Not Important/Urgent tasks that are NOT important BUT are urgent Not Important/Not Urgent tasks that are NOT important NOR urgent The problem with this method is that most of my tasks fall under the “important” category, and most of them under “important/urgent.” It makes me feel anxious to look at it, and

then I just stop making them. After interviewing Anisa Aven though (you can listen to the interview here), and listen to Leslie Householder interview Rich Christiansen, the author of The Zig Zag Principle, I’ve created a new method for prioritizing my to do list and getting things done. Make your to do list:  Make it a scatter list of all the things you need/want to do. I like to separate my to do list into categories. For example, I have Art of the Written Word, client, general, and Mary Kay categories. Identify your frogs:  In essence, the frogs on your to do list are those items that are hard to swallow, or you see difficult to do. They could include cold-calling, writing that chapter in your book you don’t want to write, revising your book, or just vacuuming the house. You can circle or draw a frog next to these items. Identify…

Blogging. Everybody’s doing it. Or are they? Well if they aren’t, they should be. Especially small businesses. Blogging is one—if not the—most valuable marketing tools a business has to engage with its customers. Today’s blogs are pieces of “digi-literature” that are changing the way businesses work and connect with the consumer. What is a blog? The word blog is short for weblog. Unlike a conventional website, a blog is more like your online diary, a place to consistently post short messages. You can offer “expert” tips, share your knowledge, discuss products or topics or services pertinent to your business or industry or keep them updated about what’s going on in a more informal way. Still not sure? Here are the top reasons why your small business website needs a blog. A blog is a simple, easy-to-use vehicle for connecting—and sharing timely and relevant information—with existing or prospective customers. Look at it as your own communication channel. Blogs fuel Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is the practice of

improving and promoting your website to increase the number of visitors it receives from search engines. Search engines love useful content and will compensate you for it by driving traffic to your site. Whenever you write a blog, it’s one more indexed page on your website. It’s also one more sign to Google and other search engines that your site is active and they should be checking in frequently to see what content you’ve published. It gives your business a voice. Blogs create a place where you can tout new products or services, voice your opinion on new topics or the latest trends. It’s also where you can let your personality shine and show the world who you are and what your business is all about. Blogs let you get closer to your clients or customers—getting ideas for product or service developments, finding out what annoys them and what makes them smile and…

Every small business is unique. It has its own product or service, its own image or look and its own message. As a writer, I help business owners craft compelling communications that will resonate with their customers. When getting to know a client, one of the first things I ask is what makes their business special? What separates them from their competition? While that sounds like an easy question more often than not, it is difficult to answer.It’s important to identify what makes your business unique so you can share it with potential clients. How important is it? It can mean the difference between success and failure. Here are some things to consider when trying to define the one-of-a-kind value your business offers. Your products are made of the best ingredients or maybe they are created through exceptional workmanship. Those who use those products might have witnessed impressive results or become repeat customers. Or maybe your services have generated more business for them.

Use statistics and testimonials to emphasize the quality of your product or service. Let people know how you can help them.Sure you provide good service but what about that service makes it great? Do you follow up with your customers after you deliver your product or service? Do you send out customer surveys to get their feedback?Find out everything you can about your competition then take the information and use it to your advantage. Be honest and original. Being different will help to create more interest and visibility for your business and hopefully will put you ahead of your competitors. In turn, your marketing message will stand out because it illuminates your specialty or area of expertise.Does your business cater to a specific demographic or target group? Do you specialize in a particular area or fill a certain niche? If so, be sure to highlight that in all your content and business communications.Avoid being a commodity that…

Let’s face it. We live in a society obsessed with social media. There’s Facebook, Instagram, Facetime, YouTube, Flickr, LinkedIn, Vimeo and Twitter. All of these impact the way we do business. So how do you know which ones are right for you? Before you dive into the world of social media marketing you need to know more about it. When used properly, it can increase traffic to your website, boost sales, lower your marketing expenses and result in richer customer experience. Still not sure? Here are some ways social media marketing can help your business: • Increased Recognition. Every chance you have to syndicate your content and increase your visibility is valuable. Social media networks are just another way to promote your business while making you more reachable for new customers and more familiar for existing ones. • Improved loyalty. According to a report by Texas Tech University, businesses that engage on social media channels have a higher

rate of customer loyalty. • More Chances to Convert. Every social media post creates a chance for customers to convert. As you build a following, you’ll also gain access to new, recent and former customers and be able to network with all of them. • Higher conversion rates. Social media marketing results in higher conversion rates and has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing. • Better Search Engine Rankings. SEO is the best way to capture traffic from search engines, such as Google. They use social media presence to calculate their rankings so being “socially” active can act as a “signal” that your brand is legitimate, credible and trustworthy. • Higher Brand Authority. When your brand or business name is posted you’ll attract a new audience who will want to follow you for updates. The more people talk about you, the more valuable and authoritative your brand or business will seem to new users. • Increased Traffic. Without social media,…

The digital age has changed the way businesses communicate. Traditional, formal business letters used to be the norm. Not anymore. Now business emails rule the day. Because email is so accessible, inboxes are overflowing and people are more selective about what they read. That’s why your business emails have to stand out. These tips will help you create concise and engaging correspondence no matter what the subject or audience. Begin with a greeting. Just like having a conversation, start with “Hello,” “Good Morning” or “Good Afternoon.” Don’t forget to end with one, too. Use descriptive and meaningful subject lines. When checking email, recipients often determine its importance based on the subject line. Keep it short and informative. A few words describing its content or purpose is sufficient. Stick to one topic. Avoid going off on a tangent about other unrelated subjects. Use a conversational tone. Business emails can be less formal than business letters. Be careful, however, not to make it too

casual. Use graphics wisely. Businesses are interested in benefits, details and other customers. Unless graphics enhance your message in a meaningful way, don’t use them. Don’t be long-winded. Long emails can be cumbersome to read. Try to keep your emails between 50 and 100 words. While it might be difficult, your recipients will thank you for it. Include a call to action. Unless your email is a reply, it should have a call to action or a direct question. Be clear about why you’re writing and what you need and put that information at the beginning of your email. Refer to any attachments. If you include an attachment be sure to mention it in the body of your email. Sign off properly. Add a signature block with your contact information. Include your name, business address, and phone number. Proofread your email and run spell and grammar checks. Remember, “You never get a second chance to make a first…

I’ve been writing for over 30 years. The writing bug bit me when I was about 10. I was away at summer camp for two weeks and my father, a professional writer, would write to me every day. He’d tell me about the goings-on at home and ask about camp life. At night, before lights out, I’d pick up pen and paper and write back. In one letter he wrote: “Gee, you write an interesting letter. I read it last night…and liked it very much. You’re going to follow in your father’s footsteps as a writer except you’ll be so much better.” Years later—after numerous jobs—I am a professional writer, too. What took so long? Mistakes and procrastination. If I could go back in time, there are 10 things I’d tell my 10-year-old self about writing. Learn the basic mechanics of writing and grammar. Take an online or continuing education writing course and attend webinars or workshops.Observe. This is the basis of all writing. If you can’t observe the world around you, you can’t write.Tweak.

Tweak. Then tweak some more. There’s nothing worse than finding a typo after you’ve hit “Send.”Don’t kid yourself. Writing isn’t easy. It requires discipline, hard work, commitment, patience and a sense of humor.Read voraciously. Reading others’ work expands your vocabulary and makes you a better writer.Develop your own unique voice and don’t compromise your style. That’s what sets you apart.Let go of your fear of failure (or success). Don’t think about publishing, royalties, New York Times’ reviews or bestsellers. Just write.Take your craft seriously. Create a sacred space to write that’s quiet and free from interruptions.Writing is a form of self-expression. It’s a therapeutic, lifelong journey of self-discovery.Enjoy what you do. Otherwise it’s an incredible waste of time. Many barriers can stop you from being a writer. You don’t have the right mindset or good writing habits. Or maybe you need to focus on boosting…

The headline is the most important part of your blog. It’s a promise to your readers. Its job is to clearly communicate the benefit you’ll deliver to them in exchange for their valuable time. A catchy title will grab the reader’s attention and drive traffic to your blog. Since eighty percent of visitors will read your headline and only twenty percent will read your entire blog, spend some time crafting an eye-catching title. Here are 10 titles that are proven to work. Numbered List: Any title that lists a number of tips, reasons or ways to do something work because they make a specific promise to your reader. 10 Ways to Increase Your Instagram Followers How-To: These articles and blog posts are some of the most sought-after, linked to and bookmarked content. People want useful information and will reward you by sharing it with others. How to Write the Perfect LinkedIn Profile Here’s a Method: This type of headline identifies your

target audience and the benefits you can provide. Here’s a Method to Grow Your Twitter Followers to 1,000 in One Week Lessons Learned: Share “insider” knowledge and translate it into a benefit for your reader. Top Ten Lessons Learned about Using Social Media Reasons Why: Beginning your title with “why” also focuses on the benefit of reading your post. Why Your Small Business Website Needs a Blog Provocative Questions: Asking a direct question involves your reader. Make sure, however, that it relates to the benefit of your product or service. Do You Make These Common Mistakes on Your Facebook Landing Page? Who Else Wants: This strategy infers an existing consensus. Who Else Wants to Be a Headline Writing Ninja? Bark a Command: This kind of headline is direct, provides a benefit and takes a commanding position. Become a Pinterest Expert in 30 Days Little Known Ways: This is a more intriguing (and less common) way of accomplishing the same…

Focus on your customer What you like is irrelevant. Customers want to know exactly what your product or service is and how much it costs. If visitors to your site can’t find the information within the first few seconds, they’ll move on to your competition. So don’t bore them with unnecessary information. What you like is irrelevant Customers want to know exactly what your product or service is and how much it costs. If visitors to your site can’t find the information within the first few seconds, they’ll move on to your competition. So don’t bore them with unnecessary information. Sell benefits, not features Potential customers don’t care how you

came up with your product or service or where you’re located. They want to know how buying it will make their lives easier and/or their business better. Have calls to action everywhere It’s always better to have one person visiting your website every month who makes a purchase, produces a sales lead or engages your services than people who don’t engage with you or your business. Make it personal Don’t get into the habit of writing content for your website in “corporatese.�? Nobody likes reading it. It’s impersonal, overloaded with jargon and doesn’t convey the right message.

1) Know your product well before sitting down to write on it. That way, you will write with conviction and authority. Quality writing will translate into quality traffic which largely means more sales. 2) Let the paragraphs be short. One paragraph should flow from the preceding one. 3) Use simple and direct language to inform and educate the prospect about the product's features, the tricks of the trade and the market scene. 4) Talk directly to the visitor. Herein lies the importance of knowing your target audience and the profile of the prospect online. 5) Humour could be used to liven up your writing, but not at the cost of your product's credibility. 6) Don't be averse to the idea of explaining things in points. The

idea is to maximize the clarity and minimize any ambiguities. 7) Don't forget to highlight the USP (Unique Selling Point) of the product as also its key benefits. 8) The following strategy would show you the way forward more often than not: place yourself in the prospect's shoes; try to think from his point of view as to what all he would like to know and want to be told. 9) Keep a friendly tone throughout. After all, you have the prospect's well-being in your mind. 10) Give examples. For instance, if you want to explain to the visitor the benefits accruing out of a particular money-making opportunity, you could illustrate to him your lifestyle before the opportunity stepped into your life vis-a-vis your routine now that the money-making system is a part of your life.