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The keys to writing Fantasy and Terror

Photo: Puntadas con Hilo

To train yourself as a good writer, first, you must read great writers. Growing up reading works by great authors such as Stephen King, Lovecraft, Alan Poe, Tolkien, etc., shows you a world of literary possibilities, whether it is fantasy or terror. I grew up with those genres, and I stayed with them.

Fantasy is one of the genres that gives you more freedom. You can write anything without fear of inconsistencies, but at the same time, everything has a limit. It is always good to give free rein to the imagination but sometimes you have to bring it back to earth.

To know how to write a specific genre, first it is better to define it:
Fantasy is the genre in which our mind flies to magical worlds, it is similar to the terror that leads us to dark worlds. When we write terror we get face to face with our greatest fears.


Fantasy as its own name indicates refers to something fantastic, normally this genre has been represented - in movies, video games, and literature - in medieval worlds, but in reality, it can be developed in any scenario, regardless of its historical time. As an example we have Dragon Ball, this TV series is developed in a futuristic world with space traveling, but is within the fantasy genre, due to its fantastic and full of magic scenes.
If at some point you have been told that writing fantasy is easy, they lied to you. Fantasy is a complex genre. A work of these must contain certain elements to be able to catalog it like this.

Basically, this means where the events are going to take place. A scenario in a work of Fantasy can be, from a magical world completely created by the author, or in a real city. Actually, for a novel to be fantastic it must not necessarily be set in an imaginary world, but I do recommend that you create your own universe because then all the content will be yours, your own mythology, which you can enrich while creating new chapters.

This is what will really define if your work is fantasy or not. To create a good argument I am going to give you the same advice that my teachers gave me: Trust in your imagination. For this genre, the best thing you can do is to use all that imagination. Feel free to create new races, your own language, a different universe, etc. However, do not write the first thing that comes to mind, you have to go around until you really believe that that is what you really want, you have to introduce the characters to your world. Everything that happens during your work, will help you improve your story and create interest. Look for inspiration in works by other authors, in movies, in music... If you decide to write fantasy get inspired by what makes you fly, and try to disappear from this world for a while, is undoubtedly the best you can do.


Although Terror and Fantasy start from the author's imagination, they are different. Terror is -among other things- creating situations to generate suspense, fear, panic, etc. In this case, the genre is usually set, mostly in modern times, but, an eye can also be set in medieval, futuristic or other times. A clear example is the film Alien saga, which is set in the future. And also, another personal one is my story, The Plague, which is set in a medieval world.
Although we have said that fantasy is not easy at all, terror is not easy either.

As in fantasy, your story's scenario is crucial. It can be created by the author or be a real one. The biggest difference, perhaps, is that the universe must be gloomy, it must inspire mistrust and create tension. I think one of the best tips to write this genre would be to discover your biggest fears, remember your most shocking nightmares, identify what you are afraid of and take all those fears, to create your own scenario.

In addition, we must add that both genres have several "subgenres", such as epic fantasy, dark fantasy or historical fantasy, an example of these subgenres would be, Tolkien's Lord of the Rings as epic, the trilogy of Mark Lawrence's Broken Empire as dark and Interview with Anne Rice's Vampire as historical.

On the terror side, there are psychological terror, gothic terror and the monster's terror, etc. Some examples would be Stephen King's Misery as psychological, Bram Stoker's Dracula as Gothic and Cthulhu's call from H.P. Lovecraft as monsters.
Clearly, there are many more subgenres, but what better way than to read more and discover them with time.

Gines Martínez



Inkspired Team

10 de Setembro de 2018 às 15:15 1 Denunciar Insira 5

A good book deserves a good cover and a good feedback

Photo: Mary Reich

The small details always matter. And in your own story too. For a writer, the most important thing is to write his/her novel, identify its characters, the plot, the outcome, and then, check the spelling, the grammar, that everything is fine and neat, and clear. But there are also other points that are sometimes forgotten and are just as fundamental as the story itself, for example: the cover and the readers' feedback.

It is clear that the story is the base, the trunk of the tree, but these details are the catapult to reach more people. After all, the goal of most writers (if not all) is to be read.

If your main goal is to publish your story, you must first create a good cover. In this mediatic and visual world, everything enters through the eyes, and if your story is interesting, but it doesn’t have a cover that catches the attention of the public, nobody will grab your book to read what it is about. Although a good cover doesn’t always mean it's a good book, this is your invitation to readers to get to know you.

There is already some market research in which they have discovered that books with good covers have increased their sales. However, the cover can not be a simple thing. It has to be done correctly, be functional, and go according to your story. In some way, it has to anticipate what the reader will find.

The cover is the only graphic (and non-textual) suggestion that you give the reader to imagine the story’s characters or scenarios. After all, you choose the design. You have two options to do it: create the cover on your own or leave it in the hands of a professional. Both paths are valid, both for an e-book and for a physical book. Of course, it must look professional. If it isn't, people will think that the novel is not either.

If you choose to do it by your own methods, there are several programs in which you can do it as InDesign or Photoshop, always taking into account the relevance between typography, colors, images or illustrations, etc.

And if you choose to leave it in the hands of a good professional (this is what we really recommend), you will save yourself work and you will have the security of having a functional and creative design because that is precisely their job. Of course, you must tell your designer exactly what your novel is about and what it is you want to convey so that he knows what resources to use.

On Inkspired, now you can hire this cover design service, which is in charge of some graphic designers expertise. There are three types of cover services: simple, photomontage or illustrations. The one you choose will depend more on the kind of story you have written. You can get this and other services by paying with credit card or with your Rewards Credits.

In addition to this, feedback from readers is another crucial point when writing a story, especially if you do it in a professional manner. One of the benefits of self-publishing is that you can receive this feedback from international readers. On Inkspired, BETA readers are a group of volunteers from different countries willing to read and leave comments to improve a specific chapter of your story. This service is extremely useful since constructive criticism is where you learn the most from. In our platform you can also hire this service.

Writing a story isn’t just about writing it. But also about worrying on how to promote and sell it, which also requires a strategy and constant work. These points mentioned above will contribute to this.

28 de Agosto de 2018 às 16:56 1 Denunciar Insira 3

#NewContest - Microfiction

Great stories don't need a lot of words, just the right ones. That's why Inkspired believes that Micro-stories are one of the most original and challenging ways to tell something, whether fiction or non-fiction, drama or suspense, romance or fantasy, whatever. A micro-story can be everything and nothing at the same time, but you have to know how to tell it.

For this reason, we bring you the new Microfiction contest. This consist on creating a micro-story of maximum 70 words, of any literary genre, that follows the rules of what a micro-story is and at the same time, engages the reader. This can be written in Spanish or English.

The BEST MICROSTORY - the most authentic and interesting - will be the WINNER. And of course, spelling and grammar will be taken into account. Any error of these will subtract points.

Start date: August 14, 2018

End date: September 5, 2018

But what does a micro-story is?

It is a very short story, which usually has between 50 to 250 words maximum. They are not summary stories, but the boiling point of a longer story.

Its key is to narrate the most important part of the plot and leave the reader the power to imagine what we do not say.

If you want to know more about how to write a short story you can read the following post here or see the following video tutorial from our Online Academy.

How does the contest work?

1. You must write a micro-story of any category, using 70 words maximum, and write it in the following form: https://goo.gl/forms/33wPUKM6Dv5XWVP93

2. The micro-story must have a title, your Inkspired username, email and 3 hashtags that define it. You must fill in all the fields of the form without exception.

3. The contest will have a single winner, but we will also have a second place. Both will be announced on September 12th.

4 The winners will be chosen by the Inkspired editorial team, based on the originality of the text, creativity, quality and respect of the rules.

5. A minimum of 20 participants is required for the contest to be official. Otherwise, it will not be valid.

Competition rules

1. People from any part of the world can participate, but the micro-story must be written in English or Spanish.

2. The story shouldn't have more than 70 words, but it can have less.

3. The micro-stories must be of your authorship, we do not accept any kind of plagiarism and there may be legal actions if this is infringed.

4. The micro-stories don't have to be exclusive, they can be published on other platforms, but they must be yours.

5. The micro-story should not be published on the platform, only in the previously indicated form, but you must be an Inkspired user to participate. In case you are not a currently a user and want to compete, you just have to register. It's free!

6. We will not accept any other way to send us the micro-story other than through the form.

7. The micro-story must have a title, your Inkspired username, your email and 3 hashtags that describe the story.

8. This time you can participate with a maximum of 5 micro-stories. No more than 5 stories by the same author will be accepted. If this happens, all the micro-stories of this author will be disqualified.

9. Anyone who makes spam will be disqualified.

10. The terms of the contest must be fulfilled. No work that comes out of this period will be accepted.

11. Once the winners have been announced, they should write to info@getinkspired.com to coordinate the delivery of the prizes. If the winner is not pronounced within 15 days, the prize will be awarded to the second place.

12. By participating in this contest, Inkspired is granted the right to publish the participating micro-stories (with their respective authors) in the new format that is about to be launched.

13. You do not need to participate from the first day, you can do it whenever you want while the contest is open.

14. Participation in this contest means that the user knows and accepts the bases.

15. We also have competitions in other languages -English and Portuguese-, you can see them in the contests section of each language.



First place: $ 50.00 (fifty US dollars) and an audio of his short story narrated.

Second place: A graphic design with the written micro-story and appear on our social network.

How to send the micro story?

1. Enter the following link https://goo.gl/forms/33wPUKM6Dv5XWVP93

2. Fill all the fields

3. Send the form (Remember that it must be one form per micro-story)

Happy writing!

13 de Agosto de 2018 às 21:57 14 Denunciar Insira 12

What goes first, publishing the book or attracting readers?


Photo: @lectoresdelibro

Many believe that a successful writing career depends only in the talent of the writer. Even, there are authors who prefer not to work in other areas, like for example sales and advertising.

It is clear that it would be an extraordinary experience, that after spending months or years working on a story, in the end, you simply put it on sale and VOILÁ! You have officially become a famous author. And why not? who has time to socialize when a "bestseller" is being created? Given that all your sacrifice has not been in vain, at the time you publish your book, you think that the impact will be such that you will have to wear sunglasses to go to the supermarket and avoid the crowds. Well, obviously, your book is for sale now.

Yes, how fantastic that would be! Well, except for the part of having to wear sunglasses to go to the supermarket, at least to me, I like the peace of being anonymous of my work. However, in the writing world, remaining anonymous will not take you where you want to go since almost every author seeks is to share his or her art, and eventually become financial rewarded for it. Being a writer is a life's profession.

But the question is: What comes first, the book or the audience?

Many will answer "the book" because without a book there is no author. However, there are those who form their career as authors before they have even published their first book. That’s why authors of these times can market themselves in a versatile and ingenious way.

In the following, you have a list of suggestions and tips that are currently leading modern authors to success, whether you are an independent writer or an author who aspires to be hired by a publishing house, these tips can be a great help for you.

1. Establish a homepage

You can use a website, a blog, or a Facebook page. The important thing is to have a place where you can be effectively found. This must contain the basic information about you, your work (already finished or in-process), and other services that you can offer and of course, a way to contact you.

This will give you credibility and promote you in a professional way. Generally, when someone recommends us a service or product, many of us ask for the web page to check what he or she can offer. This first impression that you get is always important because it will attract you or make you go away. Therefore, make your web page, your cover letter and keep it updated at all times.

2. Use Social Media and create your brand

Social media can be your best ally to let yourself be known. That’s why it is crucial to have a good use of your social network. My advice is that while you make yourself known, you should keep in mind what is the image you want to project and what audience you want to attract. It would be good if you always use the same name and the same profile picture to identify you in all networks. Also if you want to attract people interested in romance, then, looking for them in a "forum" where people prefer cars or horror movies wouldn't be so effective.

In your personal accounts –for example Facebook- never become harassing by talking to people only about your next book, or by asking them to visit your page and read your articles, you don't want to be "unfollowed" or blocked. This doesn't mean you can't share from time to time information about what you do in a certain way, and at the same time, also share about other things, it shows your human side. Show genuine interest in what others do and keep it clear, that the main objective of the social media is to connect people and be sociable. Let them know your story and everything else that goes behind that story. And of course taking into consideration the image you want to project, you decide how open you want to be, and what can affect your professional life.

So, you can share some family photos, but perhaps parting pictures might be in excess. This doesn't mean you don't have a separate life, but that it might be better to create another personal account for it.

In the media that you use more for marketing purposes -for example Instagram or Twitter-, you could share more content daily or several times per week. But also, be aware that posting the same thing every half hour, it might exhaust your followers. Keep always in mind, that the goal is to make your audience see you more often and recognize you.

And if you do not know what else to post, share your experiences, what inspires you, give advices to others that are learning or even share motivational phrases.

3. Help others

If you're passionate about writing, write more, even if you don't have a story that is ready, this will enhance your experience. Team up with others, or support them on their path on becoming the writer they want to be.

Share what you know about writing, publish reviews about other books; this could be done through your Youtube channel, Blog, or writers' communities. For example, here through Inkspired .;)

4. Make yourself known

For many writers, sharing their work is like getting naked. You are showing the world what goes on your head and your deepest thoughts. Why can this be a fantastic experience?

Because the only way to know where you are standing is through feedback. There are even platforms like Inkspired where you can publish your story without even finishing it. Meanwhile, you can ask other writers for advices or constructive criticism. This way you can become a better writer.

5. Be consistent and perseverant

Good stories take time to build. So be patient and consistent. If something is giving positive results, repeat the process. Take note of what works and what doesn't. The only thing you shouldn't do is giving up.

Good writers are made with years of experience and failures. If you only write once a year, or just apply these tips from time to time, it will be difficult to archive your goal’s on the long run. So write frequently, create an authentic plan and pursuit it.

6. Keep learning

Never stop reinventing yourself, improve what you know by getting out of your comfort zone. There is always something new to learn. Keep reading books, promote your creations and hear what experts have to say regarding your work.

Always keep in mind that a growth mindset will help you adapt to changes and stay fresh and up to date. Remember, wise is the one who recognizes that he knows nothing, and the fool is the one who believes he knows everything.

Micaela Sacarello



Inkspired Team

7 de Agosto de 2018 às 14:08 2 Denunciar Insira 3
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