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Book Review: Eden’s Serum by Angelique S. Anderson

Review of Eden’s Serum Eden’s Serum by Angelique S. Anderson is a speculative fiction novel set in the near future. This work borders on fantasy due to some pseudo-tech that is more like magic than science. Especially in the time frame presented. This is a fast read and I blasted through the book in two […]

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Book Review: The Farmed by Lisa Caskey

Review of The Farmed The Farmed by Lisa Caskey is a dystopian science-fantasy novel set in the late 21st century in the remnants of San Francisco. I categorize this as having a fantasy element because there is telepathy, while not being magic, it is a speculative metapower outside the realms of science and technology. This […]

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Book Review: Fragment by Alvin Atwater

Review of Fragment Fragment by Alvin Atwater is an epic fantasy. Though the promotions for the book don’t suggest young adult, this material, its pacing and clean nature strike me as being for a young adult audience. The topic, the interaction with mythology, and the setup all are reminiscent of Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus […]

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Book Review: The Rise of Nazil: Secret of the Seven

Review of The Rise of Nazil: Secret of the Seven The Rise of Nazil: Secret of the Seven by Aaron-Michael Hall is an epic fantasy novel and the first of series books that so far include Rise, Seed of Scorn, and the recently released Piercing the Darkness. With a large number of characters and locations […]

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Book Review: Chaos Bound by Adriaan and Rebecca Brae

Review of Chaos Bound Chaos Bound by Adriaan and Rebecca Brae is a young adult urban fantasy (it also might be categorized as paranormal). There is a science-fiction element but even by the end that aspect is more teaser than anything else. I am calling it urban fantasy, but the magic through to the half-way […]

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Writing: Is That Plot Thickening

Writing: Is That Plot Thickening? As people, our lives would be pretty difficult without a spine. The spine is the core support for our bodies that carries the vital signals that tells our arms a legs what to do. The plot is to your story, as your spine is to you. Without a plot, your […]

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Slog dragging us into the quagmire of exposition.

Writing: Show Not Tell –The Story of Slog

Show Not Tell — The Story of Slog This is the story of Slog. Everybody knows slog, he hangs out in newspaper articles and text books, he’s like that gum stuck to your shoe and twice as sticky. He’s the nuisance that writers can’t live without but often overdose on. Slog is the narrative killer, […]

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Pop Culture: Comics, stop with the stigma already

Comics – Wake Up Yes, I’m a breathing society-contributing adult with a 9-to-5, hobbies and other normal stuff including a fondness for comics. Okay, some of my hobbies are odd: writing, gaming, anime… nothing dangerous (except possibly to my reputation). Okay, so what’s got me whining? Check this, I recently did a nerve wracking presentation […]

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Badges -- these stinkin' badges we need

Events: San Diego Comic-con (SDCC) 2016

Rolling up on SDCC 2016 Yes, I got into SDCC again. Every year just getting in seems to be more of an accomplishment than the one previous. Remember when you could just line up and get tickets? Yeah, ancient history. I’ve been attending since the attendance was measured in the hundreds, not thousands. I remember […]

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Writing: Viewpoint, Perspective, and Time

Writing: Viewpoint, Perspective, and Time

Writing: Viewpoint, Perspective and Time “Time” is something that many writers don’t think about while writing. Yet it has a vital role in how characters (and readers) perceive the flow of events. It relates to the nature of language and communication, and ties directly to how human beings perceive and rationalize our environment. People perceive […]

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Writing: Dynamic Beginnings (2 of 2)

Writing: Dynamic Beginnings (2 of 2) If you read the material on Dynamic Beginnings and the 8 rules for starting a novel or short story, this article contains additional “starter” tips and some concrete examples for launching stories. One mechanism that is good for teaching writing self-discipline and makes for an evocative story opening is […]

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Writing: Dynamic Beginnings (1 of 2)

Writing: Dynamic Beginnings (1 of 2) The opening of your novel or short story is crucial. It must be well written, catchy, and evocative. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, your opening doesn’t move the story forward in the proper manner. This may not be a shortcoming in your writing ability, but a reflection […]

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tropes, the matrix stole from anime, but its still good.

Writing: Genre tropes, friend or enemy?

Tropes: Friend or Enemy I recently did a presentation for a fairly large group of people (about 300). They came to see the sci-fi writer nerd guy talk about science fiction and suspension of disbelief. I did a lot of research and noodling to come up with an hour of material interspersed with popular references […]

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Writing: Writing Groups and Participation

Writing Group Participation When you write in a vacuum at your own pace, the only taskmaster is you. There are no repercussions when your discipline slips. It is easy to get sidetracked and your work may sit for weeks without progress. This is one of the reasons that people join read-and-critique groups (online or face-to-face). […]

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Review copy of Pouraka

Book Review: Pouraka by Dianne Lynn Gardner

Review of Pouraka Pouraka by Dianne Lynn Gardner is a young adult urban fantasy romance. That’s a lot of things, but I arrive at that like this: it’s young adults, romantically involved, who happen to be mer-people (fantasy) in a contemporary (urban) setting. When I do reviews, I feel the first item on the agenda […]

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A Spell in the County by Morgan Smith

Book review: A Spell in the Country by Morgan Smith

Review of A Spell in the Country A Spell in the Country by Morgan Smith is a fantasy narrative in the first person style. Author Smith immediately pulled me into the character Keridwen of Orliegh. The voice of Keridwen is clear and clipped with a worldly attitude and a sense of irony. The story opens with […]

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Book Review: Dreamscape by Jenna Whittaker

Review of Dreamscape Dreamscape by Jenna Whittaker is a speculative fiction novel that explores a multi-dimensional conflict fought through human instruments. I call this speculative fiction because there’s no magic (at least in the traditional sense), although there are fantasy elements.  I can’t call it science fiction, the story’s through line doesn’t “apparently” depend on […]

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Book Review: Watership by Jenna Whittaker

Review of Watership Watership by Jenna Whittaker is a genesis post-apocalyptic science-fiction narrative. If you were looking for a book about rabbits, which is the first thing I thought at seeing the title, that book is written by Richard Adams and is Watership Down. There are no rabbits in this book. What is in this […]

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Ring Realms Cycle — The Books Ordered

Ordering the Ring Realms The titles for the Realms books on Amazon need to be fixed and my publisher is besieged. So, for those who want an easy to follow list. Here they are in timeline order.  I currently have two books completed and pending release (noted below).   Raw List (Items in red unreleased, […]

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Book Review : Ja’Hanna (Wildvine Series, Book 1)

Review of  Ja’Hanna (Wildvine Series, Book 1) Ja’Hanna, the first book of the Wildvine series by Michelle Levigne is a lot of things.  It is a well-written pseudo science-urban-fantasy coming-of-age / romance.  I realize that’s quite a jumble but it tries to be all those things and couple besides. The story revolves around Dayree, the young […]

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Book Review : Demorn: Blade of Exile (The Asanti Series Book 1)

Review of Demorn: Blade of Exile (The Asanti Series Book 1) Demorn: Blade of Exile by David Finn is a wild science-fantasy stream of consciousness that thrashes and dashes from one dimension-scape to another. This is not plodding fantasy, it is more like psychedelic prose-poetry that defies convention with a hardy kick in the face. […]

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Book Review : Shining Ones: Legacy of the Sidhe

Review of Shining Ones: Legacy of the Sidhe  Shining Ones: Legacy of the Sidhe by Sanna Hines is an urban-fantasy mythology centered around the secret immortal descendants of the Tuatha dé Danann. The mythological aspects feel very authentic and the characters are diverse and realistically motivated. The antagonists of the story are a serious challenge […]

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Essay Writing: The Thesis, From Chaos to Success

The Thesis, From Chaos to Success Any serious discussion about essay writing will talk about the thesis statement. Previous articles have touched on the importance of the core assertion and points. However, the thesis statement is so critical to essay writing that it is worthy of being treated as a topic by itself. A strong […]

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San Diego International Comic-Con 2015 — DAY 4

SDCC Day 4 We’ve arrived at the last day of Comic Con 2015. A bunch of things have happened. A rare first like all of Hall H being treated to a concert at the stage behind the convention center. This is the first time in memory that such support and appreciation for the fans that […]

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San Diego International Comic-Con 2015 — Day 3

SDCC Day 3 No, you’re not imagining it, Spock lives. It would appear that he’s also found the fountain of youth and growth potions. Being well over six feet tall, the spectre of Spock spoke with a voice hauntingly similar to a certain science officer from the Enterprise. He beamed in during the Quick Draw […]

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Shannara Chronicles

San Diego International Comic-Con 2015 — Day 2

SDCC Day 2 So, the most influential panel in our con experience today was a hands down The Shannara Chronicles. Author Terry Brooks was on hand to promise a faithful adaptation taking place not on the movie screen but in a made-for-cable series, and the shocker, on the MTV network. The entire panel gushed laudits […]

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San Diego International Comic-Con 2015 — Day 1

San Diego International Comic-Con Day 1 So, day 1 has come and gone. We ended the day with Ric Meyers Super hero Kung Fu Extravaganza, which is always entertaining. This year’s entertainment was good fair, though I think the segment I liked best was Eric Jacobus’ Rope-a-dope 2. This and the short film before it […]

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Comics: Comic-con San Diego 2015 Starts

Comics: Comic-con San Diego 2015 Starts So it begins, much as it has begun before, not with a bang, but with a line and throngs of people 4 hours early. Yes, lines are a fixture at SDCC. You might say that SDCC veterans are professional line sitters. More, they know the secret, being punctual. Not […]

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Essay Writing Tips: Pyramid Power for Your Writing

Essay Writing Tips: Pyramid Power Seeing structure graphically helps to visualize and plan an essay before writing begins. The two diagrams below represent writing strategies. By definition, all writing is the process of conveying ideas (concepts). Organizing the ideas into ordered form enhances a reader’s ability to understand what you are trying to communicate.  More importantly, the organization provides a […]

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Writing: Workshop Critique Sheet

Writing: Workshop Critique Sheet Writers new to workshopping can be a little daunted by the prospect of providing feedback. Suddenly, it’s their turn to talk and thoughts fly out the window. Writing comments while material is being read aloud can also be a challenge. The sheet shown below is practically everything a reviewer might ever […]

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Essay Writing Tips: The I.D.E.A. Guide for Essay Haters

If you hate writing term papers, or do poorly writing them, and are looking for some essay writing tips, you’re reading in the right place. This guide can help you get on track to getting your paper written and getting a better grade. Using the I.D.E.A. model to outline your work before you write, you […]

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Writing: Story and Story-telling

Writing: Story and Story-telling By Will Greenway From the Narrative Innovation Workshop warm-up lecture In the previous article, Writing: Revising The Definition of Narrative we reviewed the meaning of narrative and what a writer’s interpretation of narrative should be. We differentiated between the stock definition of narrative and the story. Additionally, we established that ancient narratives were […]

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Writing: Revising the Definition of Narrative

Writing: Defining Narrative By Will Greenway From the Narrative Innovation Workshop warm-up lecture Let’s start by posing a simple question. What does the word ‘narrative’ mean to you? I pose this question not just academically. It’s a fundamental question that a writer needs to be able to answer and fully understand. Many writers, even advanced […]

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Writing: Narrative Layering

Writing: Narrative Layering By Will Greenway When portraying the human psyche in fiction the concept of layering is unavoidable. Humans are complex animals and our minds are never idle, continuing to process even when we sleep. Dreams are a raw example of our layers of thought and memory, haphazard tapestries of re-spun memories cast out […]

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Writing: World Building, not just for genre writers

Writing: World Building, not just for genre writers By Will Greenway Overview When we see the term “world building”, many writers tend to associate this concept with genre fiction, specifically science fiction, fantasy, and often horror as well.  However, building a world is something that all fiction writers must do. Simply because your world is […]

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Wolerine and Kitty Pryde

Comics: Why Traditional Writers/Authors Should Care

Comics: Why Traditional Writers/Authors Should Care By Will Greenway Comic books, kid’s stuff, right? If you agreed with that statement, then some or all of these things apply to you: A, you haven’t been in a movie theater recently, B, you have some preconceived notion about comics, C, you’ve probably never actually read a comic […]

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Writing: Pursuit of Publishing

Getting Your Writing Published Put on your helmet and break out the body armor it’s time to gird the publishing industry. Strap in, you’re in for a bumpy ride that can tax the will and winnow the spirit.First and foremost, I want to stress that this business isn’t fair. It often isn’t logical. Most of […]

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Writing: Writer Interaction (3 of 3) : Critique Groups

Writing: Critique Groups and Writer Circles Perhaps you got a taste of read-and-critique at a conference, or the idea just intrigues you. Is it the thing for you and how do you find one? If you can’t find one, what do you do then?We’ll try and answer some of those questions. The first issue is […]

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Writing: Interaction (2 of 3) : Conferences and Seminars

Writing: Conferences and SeminarsYou’ve hit the bigtime, or you’ve steeled yourself to spend some bigtime mojo. Now were talking concentrated writer interaction—more hearts on sleeves than you can shake ten sticks at—writing seminars and conferences.It takes an iron resolve, some vacation hours, and a deep pocket but writing conferences are just the thing to either […]

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Writing: Interaction (1 of 3) — Online Resources & Workshops

Writing: Advice Materials and Online Workshops Aside from the occasional hermit, most people are social creatures—writers are no exception. Our hobbies are something we do in our leisure time. While we might derive some enjoyment being sequestered with our muses pounding away at a keyboard—there is another less-explored part of writing we tend to enjoy […]

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Writing: Putting the ‘Product’ in Productivity

Writing: Your focus, Putting the ‘Product’ in Productivity Who ever said writing was easy wasn’t talking about the whole process. If all we had to do was throw words on the page, the task would be simple. Ah, but such is not the case. We have issues to consider; annoying little contentions like story, characters […]

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Writing: Are We There Yet? Finishing A Novel

Writing: Are We There Yet? Finishing A Novel Done. Finished. Complete. Wrapped up. Fini. They are some of the loveliest words a writer can say. “So, how’s the book going?” It’s done! If you haven’t had the pleasure of saying it. Look forward to it. It feels good.The trouble with being able to say it, […]

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Writing: Surrounded by Alligators, Protecting Your Work

Writing: Surrounded by Alligators, Protecting Your Work All writers have their “process”. Whatever that entails, the final product usually ends up in a computer. If you are not using a word processor for edits, you are wasting productivity on a large scale. True aspirations of publishing nowadays invariably involve a computer, word processing software, and […]

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Writing: Writer’s Tools, a Topic of A-muse-ment

Writing: Writer’s Tools, a Topic of A-muse-ment Tools—what does a writer need with tools or artifices of any kind? After all, the only things a good storyteller needs are his or her imagination, a voice, and a willing audience. This is the raw reality that all author hopefuls should face and reflect on. If someone […]

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Writing: Making Time to Write

The brilliant gold sun shines down out of an almost perfect sky dotted with clouds. Did the sky at home look this bright? It’s tough to remember with all the discussion and events. Rising to your feet and brushing sprigs of grass off your clothing, you watch the heavy-set lecturer amble off into the shadows […]

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Writing: Having Not-So-Great Expectations

Break time in Wherever-Whenever land. Leaning back against one of the giant oaks and squinting up through the canopy to the bright blue sky, you doubt that’s actually the name of this strange place.  Of course, that name is as good as any other having never been told where you really are. Creatures chatter and […]

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Writing: The Write Decision?

How long has it been since you appeared on the grassy hilltop surrounded by oaks—a month or only a minute? It’s hard to say. Time seems to blend together in this pastoral place with the tittering of birds and the hum of the wind through the leaves. The sun gleaming in cirrus-dotted sky makes your […]

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Writing: Reaching for the Golden Ring of Story

Take a deep breath of cool comfortable air, lace your fingers and give your knuckles a nice loosening pop. Whipping the note stylus from its sheath at your side, you give it a shake and speak the words of enlightenment. Flashes of pyrotechnic color burst around you. With a stomach tightening lurch and a rasp […]

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Writing: Description, The Core Essence

A Practicum On Effective DescriptionDescribing the world of your story is one of the most important tasks a writer has before him or her when they sit down to compose their narrative. I see questions all the time about the “best” or “most effective” or “most evocative” ways to describe. Earmarks of good description: It […]

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Writing: Point of View and the Essence of Character

People. If there is anything a writer should never forget, it is that stories are about people. Not only are they about people, they are even more importantly— for people. Make no mistake, whether your protagonist is a blue cetacean from alpha centauri, an anthropomorphic hip-hoppin rabbit, or a fifteenth century lady-in-waiting they all have […]

0 comments

Writing: Talking the talk, writing the talk

Writing: Talking the talk, writing the talk In the section previous to this, we discussed point-of-view and how it affects narrative. We touched on time and how developing an awareness of it creates an immersive experience for the reader. Additionally, we explored how character perspective creates a filtering effect for details and descriptions that creates […]

0 comments

Writing: The POINT of Point Of View

Writing: The POINT of Point Of View Opinions, viewpoints, perspectives, insights and revelations— all of them are different things, but they have one thing in common; they relate to an individual’s understanding of people, their environment, situations, and emotional contexts. They are also the critical aspect of any story. They are the eyes and ears […]

0 comments

Writing: The Energy of Showing and the Gravity of Exposition

Dark. You don’t remember when it became dark. You turn and look up at the laced branches of the oaks that seem to bend over you. The smell of dank earth mingled with the acrid scent of burned wood is heavy and sharp. The warm air of the clearing has turned cold and wet. It’s […]

0 comments

Writing: Narrative storytelling, the long and short

Leaning back, you gaze up at the cloud dotted sky. The sun shines down brilliant and hot. For some reason, it seems brighter than at home. Your gaze is drawn to the lecturer as he ambles off into the trees. You get to your feet to keep him in sight a little longer. What was […]

0 comments

Writing: Is That Plot Thickening?

Time to kick back in Wherever-Whenever land. Lounging against one of the massive oaks and peering up through the boughs to the brilliant azure sky, you doubt this strange place is actually called that. That name will have to do, however, because you’ve never been told where you really are. A cool breeze laced with […]

0 comments

Writing: What’s in a Story?

It might have been a month, or maybe only a minute since you appeared in the oak encircled hilltop clearing. You’re sitting in the cool grass, a warm breeze gently fingering your hair. Bright sunshine tingles on your skin beaming out of brilliant cloud-dappled sky. The chirp of birds and the stirring of leaves create […]

2 comments

Writing: First Steps Toward Skillful Storytelling

Writing: First Steps Toward Skillful Storytelling Draw a long cool breath, thread your fingers and stretch your hands until the knuckles loosen with a soft crack. Flipping the stylus from its holster on your belt, you spin it with a flourish and chant the words of illumination. Sparks spin around you in a spectral tornado, […]

0 comments

Writing: Being A Task Master

Writing: Being A Task Master The endeavor of writing is one of those processes that tends to be mystified for some reason. Some of us simply sit down and do it while others fumble around trying to figure out how to get started, how to continue, or how to finish. The main thing is that […]

0 comments

Writing: Atomic Narrative

Writing: Atomic Narrative If you’ve read some of the scene construction articles, the subject of the “atomic theory” of narrative came up. For New Year’s Day 2007, this will be something to file away as a different way to think about fiction writing (and all writing in general). The principle of atomic narrative is a […]

1 comment

Writing: Scene Choreography (3 of 3)

Writing: Scene Choreography (3 of 3) Welcome to the third installment of choreography in scene construction. In our first two pieces we talked about several different concepts that explain and dissect the techniques of scene rendering. Largely, we have been using movie and theatre analogies, correlating those approaches with writing. In part one, the main […]

0 comments

Writing: Scene Choreography (2 of 3)

Writing: Scene Choreography (2 of 3) In Choreography Part I, we spent a considerable amount of time getting across the idea of parallelism, and how the serial (sequential) medium of writing attempts to simulate action in life. I used some fiction examples to show how internally experienced phenomena, along with externally observed events were interleaved […]

0 comments

Writing: Scene Choreography (1 of 3)

Writing: Scene Choreography (1 of 3) In the previous installment on scene construction we talked about the transferring of a basic scene idea onto the page. We discussed our toolbox of writing phenomena and the stepwise refinement of getting rolling on a scene. As we move to scene choreography, let’s discuss that word–‘choreography’. Most people […]

0 comments

Writing: Scene Construction: Lights, Camera, Action

Writing: Scene Construction: Lights, Camera, Action Writing is considered a creative endeavor, but the biggest part of the process is simply transferring the images in your head into words. The creative parts of that activity are coming up with the source material (i.e. the world, the characters, and the situation) and the word choices used […]

0 comments

Writing: Handling a Cast of Thousands (3 of 3)

Writing: Handling a Cast of Thousands (3 of 3) Congratulations: you qualify as legitimate glutton for punishment! You’re back for a third installment on managing groups of characters. In this section, we’re going to put the things we discussed in parts I and II into motion and give more concrete methods and techniques for putting […]

0 comments

Writing: Handling a Cast of Thousands (2 of 3)

Writing: Handling a Cast of Thousands (2 of 3) In the first section of this discussion (Handling a Cast of Thousands), we covered the concept of cast members and the importance of correctly selecting the viewpoints for telling your story. We covered some caveats about viewpoint and their effect on narrative. Lastly, we touched on […]

0 comments

Writing: Handling a Cast of Thousands (1 of 3)

Writing: Handling a Cast of Thousands (1 of 3) Few writing challenges are greater than doing justice to a large cast of characters in a novel or story. In fact, the difference between simply doing them justice and handling them well is a significant level of effort in itself. Sadly, this is one of those […]

0 comments

Writing: Scene business, style, and dialogue

Writing: Scene business, style, and dialogue Viewpoint is one the most important aspects of writing. It is the eye through which readers see your work. Creating a strong viewpoint “presence” within your story relies on several related narrative techniques. One of the most important is the handling of character interactions and specifically dialogue. Related to […]

0 comments

Writing: Scene business, style, and dialogue

Writing: Scene business, style, and dialogue Viewpoint is one the most important aspects of writing. It is the eye through which readers see your work. Creating a strong viewpoint “presence” within your story relies on several related narrative techniques. One of the most important is the handling of character interactions and specifically dialogue. Related to […]

0 comments

Writing: Handling a Cast of Thousands (1 of 3)

Writing: Handling a Cast of Thousands (1 of 3) Few writing challenges are greater than doing justice to a large cast of characters in a novel or story. In fact, the difference between simply doing them justice and handling them well is a significant level of effort in itself. Sadly, this is one of those […]

0 comments

Writing: Handling a Cast of Thousands (2 of 3)

Writing: Handling a Cast of Thousands (2 of 3) In the first section of this discussion (Handling a Cast of Thousands), we covered the concept of cast members and the importance of correctly selecting the viewpoints for telling your story. We covered some caveats about viewpoint and their effect on narrative. Lastly, we touched on […]

0 comments

Writing: Handling a Cast of Thousands (3 of 3)

Writing: Handling a Cast of Thousands (3 of 3) Congratulations: you qualify as legitimate glutton for punishment! You’re back for a third installment on managing groups of characters. In this section, we’re going to put the things we discussed in parts I and II into motion and give more concrete methods and techniques for putting […]

0 comments
Writing: Viewpoint, Perspective, and Time

Writing: Viewpoint, Perspective, and Time

Writing: Viewpoint, Perspective and Time “Time” is something that many writers don’t think about while writing. Yet it has a vital role in how characters (and readers) perceive the flow of events. It relates to the nature of language and communication, and ties directly to how human beings perceive and rationalize our environment. People perceive […]

0 comments

Writing: Scene Construction: Lights, Camera, Action

Writing: Scene Construction: Lights, Camera, Action Writing is considered a creative endeavor, but the biggest part of the process is simply transferring the images in your head into words. The creative parts of that activity are coming up with the source material (i.e. the world, the characters, and the situation) and the word choices used […]

0 comments

Writing: Scene Choreography (1 of 3)

Writing: Scene Choreography (1 of 3) In the previous installment on scene construction we talked about the transferring of a basic scene idea onto the page. We discussed our toolbox of writing phenomena and the stepwise refinement of getting rolling on a scene. As we move to scene choreography, let’s discuss that word–‘choreography’. Most people […]

0 comments

Writing: Scene Choreography (2 of 3)

Writing: Scene Choreography (2 of 3) In Choreography Part I, we spent a considerable amount of time getting across the idea of parallelism, and how the serial (sequential) medium of writing attempts to simulate action in life. I used some fiction examples to show how internally experienced phenomena, along with externally observed events were interleaved […]

0 comments

Writing: Scene Choreography (3 of 3)

Writing: Scene Choreography (3 of 3) Welcome to the third installment of choreography in scene construction. In our first two pieces we talked about several different concepts that explain and dissect the techniques of scene rendering. Largely, we have been using movie and theatre analogies, correlating those approaches with writing. In part one, the main […]

0 comments

Writing: Atomic Narrative

Writing: Atomic Narrative If you’ve read some of the scene construction articles, the subject of the “atomic theory” of narrative came up. For New Year’s Day 2007, this will be something to file away as a different way to think about fiction writing (and all writing in general). The principle of atomic narrative is a […]

1 comment

Writing: Being A Task Master

Writing: Being A Task Master The endeavor of writing is one of those processes that tends to be mystified for some reason. Some of us simply sit down and do it while others fumble around trying to figure out how to get started, how to continue, or how to finish. The main thing is that […]

0 comments
Slog dragging us into the quagmire of exposition.

Writing: Show Not Tell –The Story of Slog

Show Not Tell — The Story of Slog This is the story of Slog. Everybody knows slog, he hangs out in newspaper articles and text books, he’s like that gum stuck to your shoe and twice as sticky. He’s the nuisance that writers can’t live without but often overdose on. Slog is the narrative killer, […]

0 comments

Writing: First Steps Toward Skillful Storytelling

Writing: First Steps Toward Skillful Storytelling Draw a long cool breath, thread your fingers and stretch your hands until the knuckles loosen with a soft crack. Flipping the stylus from its holster on your belt, you spin it with a flourish and chant the words of illumination. Sparks spin around you in a spectral tornado, […]

0 comments

Writing: What’s in a Story?

It might have been a month, or maybe only a minute since you appeared in the oak encircled hilltop clearing. You’re sitting in the cool grass, a warm breeze gently fingering your hair. Bright sunshine tingles on your skin beaming out of brilliant cloud-dappled sky. The chirp of birds and the stirring of leaves create […]

2 comments

Writing: Is That Plot Thickening?

Time to kick back in Wherever-Whenever land. Lounging against one of the massive oaks and peering up through the boughs to the brilliant azure sky, you doubt this strange place is actually called that. That name will have to do, however, because you’ve never been told where you really are. A cool breeze laced with […]

0 comments

Writing: Narrative storytelling, the long and short

Leaning back, you gaze up at the cloud dotted sky. The sun shines down brilliant and hot. For some reason, it seems brighter than at home. Your gaze is drawn to the lecturer as he ambles off into the trees. You get to your feet to keep him in sight a little longer. What was […]

0 comments

Writing: The Energy of Showing and the Gravity of Exposition

Dark. You don’t remember when it became dark. You turn and look up at the laced branches of the oaks that seem to bend over you. The smell of dank earth mingled with the acrid scent of burned wood is heavy and sharp. The warm air of the clearing has turned cold and wet. It’s […]

0 comments

Writing: The POINT of Point Of View

Writing: The POINT of Point Of View Opinions, viewpoints, perspectives, insights and revelations— all of them are different things, but they have one thing in common; they relate to an individual’s understanding of people, their environment, situations, and emotional contexts. They are also the critical aspect of any story. They are the eyes and ears […]

0 comments

Writing: Talking the talk, writing the talk

Writing: Talking the talk, writing the talk In the section previous to this, we discussed point-of-view and how it affects narrative. We touched on time and how developing an awareness of it creates an immersive experience for the reader. Additionally, we explored how character perspective creates a filtering effect for details and descriptions that creates […]

0 comments

Writing: Point of View and the Essence of Character

People. If there is anything a writer should never forget, it is that stories are about people. Not only are they about people, they are even more importantly— for people. Make no mistake, whether your protagonist is a blue cetacean from alpha centauri, an anthropomorphic hip-hoppin rabbit, or a fifteenth century lady-in-waiting they all have […]

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Writing: Description, The Core Essence

A Practicum On Effective DescriptionDescribing the world of your story is one of the most important tasks a writer has before him or her when they sit down to compose their narrative. I see questions all the time about the “best” or “most effective” or “most evocative” ways to describe. Earmarks of good description: It […]

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Writing: Reaching for the Golden Ring of Story

Take a deep breath of cool comfortable air, lace your fingers and give your knuckles a nice loosening pop. Whipping the note stylus from its sheath at your side, you give it a shake and speak the words of enlightenment. Flashes of pyrotechnic color burst around you. With a stomach tightening lurch and a rasp […]

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Writing: The Write Decision?

How long has it been since you appeared on the grassy hilltop surrounded by oaks—a month or only a minute? It’s hard to say. Time seems to blend together in this pastoral place with the tittering of birds and the hum of the wind through the leaves. The sun gleaming in cirrus-dotted sky makes your […]

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Writing: Having Not-So-Great Expectations

Break time in Wherever-Whenever land. Leaning back against one of the giant oaks and squinting up through the canopy to the bright blue sky, you doubt that’s actually the name of this strange place.  Of course, that name is as good as any other having never been told where you really are. Creatures chatter and […]

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Writing: Making Time to Write

The brilliant gold sun shines down out of an almost perfect sky dotted with clouds. Did the sky at home look this bright? It’s tough to remember with all the discussion and events. Rising to your feet and brushing sprigs of grass off your clothing, you watch the heavy-set lecturer amble off into the shadows […]

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Writing: Writer’s Tools, a Topic of A-muse-ment

Writing: Writer’s Tools, a Topic of A-muse-ment Tools—what does a writer need with tools or artifices of any kind? After all, the only things a good storyteller needs are his or her imagination, a voice, and a willing audience. This is the raw reality that all author hopefuls should face and reflect on. If someone […]

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Writing: Surrounded by Alligators, Protecting Your Work

Writing: Surrounded by Alligators, Protecting Your Work All writers have their “process”. Whatever that entails, the final product usually ends up in a computer. If you are not using a word processor for edits, you are wasting productivity on a large scale. True aspirations of publishing nowadays invariably involve a computer, word processing software, and […]

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Writing: Are We There Yet? Finishing A Novel

Writing: Are We There Yet? Finishing A Novel Done. Finished. Complete. Wrapped up. Fini. They are some of the loveliest words a writer can say. “So, how’s the book going?” It’s done! If you haven’t had the pleasure of saying it. Look forward to it. It feels good.The trouble with being able to say it, […]

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Writing: Putting the ‘Product’ in Productivity

Writing: Your focus, Putting the ‘Product’ in Productivity Who ever said writing was easy wasn’t talking about the whole process. If all we had to do was throw words on the page, the task would be simple. Ah, but such is not the case. We have issues to consider; annoying little contentions like story, characters […]

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Writing: Interaction (1 of 3) — Online Resources & Workshops

Writing: Advice Materials and Online Workshops Aside from the occasional hermit, most people are social creatures—writers are no exception. Our hobbies are something we do in our leisure time. While we might derive some enjoyment being sequestered with our muses pounding away at a keyboard—there is another less-explored part of writing we tend to enjoy […]

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Writing: Interaction (2 of 3) : Conferences and Seminars

Writing: Conferences and SeminarsYou’ve hit the bigtime, or you’ve steeled yourself to spend some bigtime mojo. Now were talking concentrated writer interaction—more hearts on sleeves than you can shake ten sticks at—writing seminars and conferences.It takes an iron resolve, some vacation hours, and a deep pocket but writing conferences are just the thing to either […]

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Writing: Writer Interaction (3 of 3) : Critique Groups

Writing: Critique Groups and Writer Circles Perhaps you got a taste of read-and-critique at a conference, or the idea just intrigues you. Is it the thing for you and how do you find one? If you can’t find one, what do you do then?We’ll try and answer some of those questions. The first issue is […]

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Writing: Pursuit of Publishing

Getting Your Writing Published Put on your helmet and break out the body armor it’s time to gird the publishing industry. Strap in, you’re in for a bumpy ride that can tax the will and winnow the spirit.First and foremost, I want to stress that this business isn’t fair. It often isn’t logical. Most of […]

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