Monthly Archives: May 2014

Avoiding the Antihero

I wrote last week about the downsides of an “ordinary” protagonist, and about how I wanted to seek out an “extraordinary” protagonist. This means a character with history, with personality, with awareness and a pre-established identity. This sort of character … Continue reading


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The Myths We Make

If you’re anything like me (and for your sake, I hope you’re not), then you have developed a finely-tuned idea “diagnostic.” Any idea, however fragmentary, is run through a gamut of parameters meant to test its viability—for writing, for reading, … Continue reading

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Building the Generic Hero Motivation

A story is a character who wants something. It really can be that simple… or that difficult. Depending on the genre, structure, and skill of the author, a character’s motivation must be clear (as in having a definitive end point … Continue reading

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Public Domain Master List

In various attempts to try new strategies, I’ve often thought of doing adaptations. Working with characters, settings, and stories that are already written might help free your creativity up to experiment and play. However, adaptations of modern works are (for … Continue reading

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What’s in a Name?

[Most obvious title ever…] When you are inventing things and places (and people, though I won’t address naming characters in this post), you also have to invent their names. Especially when you’re working in a genre or world with few … Continue reading

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Plotting 101

I’m a pinch busy today, so I’m throwing up some random notes I found buried in my computer–lucky you! But they might have a bit of merit–even as incomplete as they are. 🙂 This is really not meant to be … Continue reading

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Encouraging Quotes

One book about writing and creativity I enjoyed was Seven Steps on the Writer’s Path by Nancy Pickard and Lynn Lott. Beyond the advice and exploration written by the authors, the chapters were furnished with a multitude of quotes. I’ve … Continue reading

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Ordinary vs. Extraordinary Protagonists

When you are raised on Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings and Star Wars and other classic hero’s journey stories, it is all too tempting to begin with an ordinary protagonist who is thrown into extraordinary circumstances. It increases … Continue reading

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Pilot Episodes

I wrote yesterday about episodic plotting, and how it can be a great way to combine a short attention span with a desire for a longer work. While yesterday’s post was about generic episode development, today’s is more specifically about pilot … Continue reading

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Episode Development

In a college class on Fantasy Literature I read a collection of Conan the Barbarian stories by Robert E. Howard (The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian). I was struck by the idea that these separate short stories telling the various … Continue reading

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