Give your character false goals at first.

David Mamet’s new "Masterclass" is being promoted as a hot new "learn how to write" on-line class. I’ve watched some of Mamet’s work over the years and I am indeed a fan of some of it, but I’ve also learned through the years that his formula doesn’t work for me. Mamet’s most famous piece on […]

I never have perfect ideas, but I often write good stories!

Imposter syndrome is one of those things that haunts me as a writer (and probably a lot of other writers as well). Recently, there have been a few articles that have made my imposter syndrome ever sharper, and Jo Eberhardt, who I usually admire, wrote a piece on writing that made my anxiety flare ever […]

Good writers explain. Great writers tell stories.

This weekend, I attended Norwescon, an SF convention held every year in the Seattle area, and in the dealer’s room, there were both general booksellers and individual tables for small presses. At random, I picked up Mira Grant’s Rise. For some teachers, putting on the Kevlar gloves and strapping their service pistol to their waist […]

Dude, did you even watch this movie?

Last night I bought the second (or third) Blake Snyder book on plot and genre, Save The Cat Strikes Back, and in chapter one, while he’s describing his “one line” plot descriptions, we come across this gem: On the verge of returning to Earth after another routine mission, a rules-obsessed warrant officer lets an unknown […]

“I’ve always loved dogs.”

So, there’s this scene in Jupiter Ascending where Jupiter and Caine are talking, and Caine reveals that he has more in common with a dog than with exalted bioroyalty like Jupiter, and Jupiter responds with “I’ve always loved dogs.”  Caine, distraught by her willingness to engage in what he perceives as bestial, leaves, and Jupiter stands there, […]

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