Disney vs. the Beat Sheet

It occurred to me the other day that of the three Disney films I’ve seen recently, only Wreck-It Ralph really follows the beat sheet, the much maligned guide to writing movies that came out about ten years ago. In Wreck-it Ralph there’s the opening scene that sets tone, the debate (which really is a debate!), […]

Why I love fanfic writers…

I love fanfic writers. Fanfic writers break the rules. Fanfic writers let their characters say “I don’t know.” A lot. Fanfic writers let the plot take forever to get to the point, there’s none of this wham “get the story moving in the first 100 words” bullshit. Characters have no relationship at all to their […]

Fighting my addiction to Brain Crack…

I stand in a cold, basement room painted that most banal of industrial beige-yellow with brown faux wainscotting, the institutional-quality rug thin and worn from years of feet, the brown, unupholstered folding chairs arranged in a circle with an opening toward the door. “Uh, hi. I’m Elf Sternberg. And, uh, um, I’m here because I […]

The Woodshed and the Story’s End…

As an erotica writer who’s always attempted to portray both men and women as realistically as possible (yes, even my dragons, centaurs, and so on), I have a deep sympathy with the crisis Kameron Hurley shows in her brilliant essay, We Have Always Fought: Challenging the Women, Cattle and Slaves Narrative. The essay is about […]

The simple truth: I’m swamped

I got an email today asking me if and when I was going to fix the Yowlers series so it was at least readable. ┬áThe answer is “Yes, I will, but…” Ever since the great layoffs of 2008, I’ve been in one of two states: either fully employed with a wife and two teenage daughters […]

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