How do books by R. L. Stine such as the Goosebumps series diverge from those written by Stephen King — if both authors scare their audiences?

If you are just curious about how horror works for children, or if you are an aspiring author thinking about writing children literature, or even if you just love the Goosebumps series, perhaps you would like to read the 13 rules that follow.

13 because, well, it is a scary number. Even Stephen King is afraid of it.

So, first of all: It isn’t easier to scare children than it is to scare grown-ups.

It is not a matter of complexity, but a matter of understanding what frightens each audience.

You can think, “Why, of course it is easier to…


Hint: He wasn’t drinking a $10 Latte Macchiato at Starbucks.

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Before I start, let me ask you something:

What do you need to put your words down on paper?

What are the conditions you need to fulfill before you can say, “All right, it’s time to write”?

Perhaps you can only write on a specific app like Scrivener, Microsoft Word, or Bear. Otherwise, it might not work for you.

Perhaps you can only write at home, where you feel comfortable and free of distractions. Otherwise, when you attempt to write in alien environments or with people chatting around you now and then, the ball doesn’t roll.

My point here is…


As an anesthesiologist, these were my worries before taking the vaccine

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I was waiting in line to receive my first dose of the vaccine — the kind of anxiety many people crave to have right now. There, standing in front of me, were many workers of the same hospital I work in as a resident doctor in anesthesiology, most Germans, but some — like me — of foreign background. We were there, wearing our FFP2 masks and standing as distant as it was socially acceptable from each other.

Our purpose was the same: to get the first dose of the BioNTech vaccine. Like most states in Germany, Saarland received first a…


Hint: I wrote about something I do know.

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While some fellow Medium bloggers claim to maintain a curation rate – the rate of one’s posts that get distributed in topics – of around 75%, it is a different story for many of us.

None of my first twenty, thirty stories got curated. Not distributed in topics was the expected message after a few days of publishing a piece. I thought I was doing something wrong, probably.

Until that one post.

A few months ago, I reached an egocentric milestone on Medium: I wrote my first curated article. …


And how you can do it too.

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Even though we are (finally) reaching the end of the catastrophic year that is 2020, there is something I want to tell you about 2019.

Yes, 2019, or 1 b.C. (before Corona).

I have never read so many books in a year as I did in 2019. I fell one book short of seventy. I haven’t taken part in any special reading challenge or struggled to squeeze reading time into a tight routine, and I don’t do any form of speed reading (spoiler: I think speed reading fiction is a complete nonsense). …


Read this if you want to contribute to the publication.

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So you want to write for The Indie Writer.

That’s great — and it would be a pleasure to have you as a contributor.

Please read the following Q & A to see whether you are a good fit:

Who can contribute to The Indie Writer?

Anyone with a background in independent writing. That means self-published authors, bloggers, freelancers, ghostwriters, copywriters, and so on.

What kinds of stories are we looking for?

We want experiences.

Successful things you did, failed things you did. …


No, not even Hemingway did it.

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I just hate it that creative writing — just like other forms of expression — is often misunderstood as the stuff of troubled geniuses.

You have probably come came across people who had this mindset. People who regard themselves as the crème de la crème of artistic sentimentalism, affirming that they “feel” things more profoundly than regular human beings.

Or perhaps you just think artists need to be in an altered state of mind to be productive.

Regarding this conception, plentiful of myths serve to further consolidate this mess. …


Or: How to Launch a Book Like an Amateur in 5 Unprofessional Steps

Photo by Fabiola Peñalba on Unsplash

I have been there.

I dreamed of being one of those many indie authors who “made it” — people who can boast about their hundreds of fans, their five-figure paychecks, and the wide recognition of their work.

In my first attempt, however, I did exactly what they don’t do.

I didn’t know how to be an indie author; I didn’t research enough, and I took the steps exactly like the amateur I was. And it sure showed.

I approached self-publishing as I thought one would approach traditional publishing: I focused my efforts entirely on the word count, I tirelessly revised…


Even if you don’t have time — and we both know you have.

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I don’t think lack of time exists.

Time is our most abundant and most precious resource. We have a lot of it — enough to waste it with pointless activities that bring no positive outcome. Those hours scrolling down our feeds on Instagram and Twitter, for instance.

But time management seems, sometimes, as an alien entity that only people with superpowers can tame. We look at our colleagues who would fit the label overachiever and ask ourselves what is the magic ingredient to their productivity. …


After so many books read in this period, these are the words that touched me the most.

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When I first bought a Kindle, one of its functions promptly caught my attention. It is pretty mainstream nowadays, but it was groundbreaking for a person used to old-school reading.

It was highlighting.

Yes — the same thing we do here on Medium. You read a passage that for some reason resonates with you and mark it. After that, the device stores these specific words for a transient eternity.

Highlighting is not simply a way to accumulate quotes (even though it also does this), but it also hints at your emotions, desires, troubles, and interests. You and I can read…

Morton Newberry

Author and radiologist living in Germany. Likes creepy stuff and writes interactive fiction. mortonnewberry.com

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