Friday, November 1, 2013

I'm having a product sale to make room in my office. (FREE U.S. Shipping!)

I have the following products available in case you are interested. Shipping is FREE to U.S. residents. I can autograph or personalize each. The DVDs are not from the online classes...I specifically produced them for DVD. Pay via credit card or PayPal with product-specific links:






Michael Knost

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

New Online Writing Class: The Art of Subtlety in Fiction

The Art of Subtlety in Fiction
Friday, November 1, 2013 – 9:00PM EST.

Finesse elements you can use to turn good writing into great writing.


Use the following link for credit cards or PayPal:

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Astronaut for a Day

I don’t remember how old I was, but I do know that I was very young. It was getting close to Halloween, and my mother and father were working hard on my costume. I wanted to be an astronaut, so they worked at piecing together what looked very much like a spacesuit. It was fantastic. Every detail was perfected and looked authentic—including the space helmet.

We had an old space-age television set that didn’t work. It was a perfect white sphere with a plastic screen that looked just like an astronaut’s face shield. Dad gutted all the electronics from the set and cut a hole in the bottom so it would fit over my head—it as perfect of an astronaut’s space helmet as you’d ever see.

On Halloween night my next-door-neighbor’s father took his children and me trick-or-treating near the rich part of town. We absolutely racked up on candy and goodies. I had a shopping bag practically full, and was still ringing doorbells when we reached the house that turned everything upside down.

As my chubby little finger moved closer to the warm, glowing button that would ring the doorbell, the front door opened very quickly. Jumping nearly out of my skin, I found an old witch—complete with green skin and all—standing at the door and cackling eerily. We were all so terrified that we slowly began backing up to get off the porch, when all of a sudden another witch came running from around the side of the house, screaming wildly and heading straight for us!

I turned around so fast that my space helmet stayed in place—meaning it was now on backwards and I couldn’t see a thing. But that didn’t stop me from running! I was screaming with everything in me, and running as fast as my little fat legs would carry me. Candy and goodies were flying everywhere as I was literally running for my life.

I didn’t know it at the time, but I’m told I was heading blindly for a huge tree when my friend’s dad finally caught me. Well, I thought one of the witches had grabbed me so I kicked and fought like a wild man. Mr. Shepherd could barely hold me because he was winded from running after me, but probably more so because he was laughing so hard at the whole situation.

“It’s okay, Mike,” Mr. Shepherd said. “Those are people dressed up like you.”

“Are you sure?”

“I’m positive,” he said. “Now where is your bag of candy?”

“Huston, we have a problem.”

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013


If you could sign up early, I would appreciate it. I cancelled the last course because I didn't hear from anyone until the last minute, and by that time, I'd cancelled the class. Thank you.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013 9PM EST
STRUCTURE AND STRUCTURE - Workshoppers will learn many techniques in structure, as well as ways to allow great passion to come through without losing the elements needed for the story to work
Class cost: $30.00
Pay via credit/debit card or PayPal with the following link:

Michael Knost

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Thursday, June 6, 2013


This is a course for writers who want to find and fix what is wrong with stories. Whether it is from a story standpoint, grammar or spelling standpoint, and/or everything in between, this course will have you ready to pop the hood of any manuscript (your own or those of others) and make suggestions to make the story run smoothly and efficiently.

Thursday, June 20, 2013 @ 9:00 - 10:30PM EST

Thursday, June 27, 2013 @ 9:00 – 10:30PM EST

Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 9:00 – 10:30PM EST


Click the following link to pay via credit/debit cards or PayPal:   

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013


I will accept only the first ten students who sign up (first come, first serve).

TUESDAY, MAY 14, 2013 – 9:00PM EST
“Show, Don’t Just Tell.”

TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2013 – 9:00PM EST
“Flashbacks and Backstory.”

TUESDAY, MAY 28, 2013 – 9:00PM EST

TUESDAY, JUNE 4, 2013 – 9:00PM EST
“Prologues and Epilogues.”


Pay with credit card, debit card, or PayPal via the following link:


Thanks again!
Michael Knost

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Monday, April 22, 2013


I don’t understand why most writers don’t get it.

I’m not talking about the trolls who take offense to any words of critique…I’m talking about the writers who want to learn, want to improve, and work at their craft daily. To be honest, getting accepted in a themed anthology is fairly easy.

First of all, you have to be able to write. You have to have a good understanding of grammar, sentence structure, story structure, and the craft in general.

But all of that aside, you should be smarter than the other submitters. Let’s say the anthology’s theme is classic horror tropes…and the editor defines (for the anthology’s sake) classic horror tropes as stories involving vampires, werewolves, ghosts, mummies, etc. Then the writer needs to submit a story like no one else’s.

More than likely, the majority of submitters will write a vampire story. It’s the first thing that pops into their heads. Let’s say I get 500 submissions for the anthology. Let’s say 300 of them are vampire stories, 50 are werewolf stories, 50 are zombie stories, 25 are ghost stories, 25 are mummy stories, 25 are water type creatures, 20 are demon creatures, and 5 are OTHER type of creature stories.

First of all, your story is competing with 499 stories to make it in the anthology. Next if you write a vampire story…yours must be better than 299 others because the editor will choose only one blood sucker out of the bunch. That’s heavy competition! But if you choose to write a story involving a classic monster that no one else writes about, your chances of getting in the anthology is very good…maybe even a 95% better chance of making the cut! Again, that’s if your story is good, mind you.

Think about it, you could have a vampire story rejected that is actually better than an accepted story of a creature very few submitted about…because your competition was so much stiffer in the vampire category. So think about the anthology theme and find a story or an angle that no one else will mine and your chances of acceptance will be great.

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Friday, April 19, 2013


I hated books.

I hated reading. I hated math. I hated English. I hated education. I hated everything about school. Except time on the playground…and obviously lunch.

Every new year of school I was amazed that my teachers promoted me to the next level—I always thought I would be held back at every level.

Things were no different when I entered the fifth grade. But after a few weeks, my teacher, Bill Marino, pulled me to the side, handed me a worn paperback, and said, “I’d like you to read this.”

“Come on,” I said, exaggerating ocular disdain. “I don’t want to do a book report or anything.”

Mister Marino shook his head. “You won’t need to turn in a book report. In fact, while reading the book you will be totally exempt of all homework—all you have to do is have a short conversation with me about the book.”

I tried to read his face. “Conversation?”

“Yeah, just tell me what you thought of the book.”

“And I won’t have to do any homework while I’m reading this?” I said, holding up the book.

“That’s right.”

That night I began reading the book with intentions of making the experience last as long as I could so I wouldn’t have to worry about homework for a few weeks. However, I quickly found that I couldn’t put the book down. My Theater of the Mind’s Eye was producing images and sounds I never knew existed. I found myself in a whole new world…and I loved it.

The next morning I brought the book back to Mister Marino and we talked about the story, the images, the sounds, the smells—It was as though I’d just returned from an exotic vacation.

He told me the book was mine to keep and placed a large box on his desk filled with classic science fiction paperbacks. “Better get started,” he said, sliding box toward me. “Same deal—as long as you are reading one of these, no homework.”

I devoured them all…Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Theodore Sturgeon, and dozens of others. I was hooked.

My thirst for education grew with each new book. I wanted to become a scientist, finding solutions for problems.

The name of that first book was Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke. I always laugh about the irony in that title because it became my own childhood’s end.

There is no doubt in my mind I would have dropped out of school if not for reading science fiction.

Bill Marino passed away before my first book was published. I think of him often while writing or speaking to MFA programs. I have dedicated a few books to him, and he was in my thoughts the night I accepted the Bram Stoker Award in Brighton, England.

This is why I think implementing science fiction in the school system is a wonderful idea. Imagine the future scientists and mathematicians we could possibly cultivate. Can you imagine reaching a child who hates education? I can.

Well, a few political leaders in my state want to implement science fiction in our public school curriculum. And I plan to be an advocate:

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