Happy New Year! Another year of storytelling is at my back and another year of storytelling possibilities stretches out in front of me. Which is a good thing. Mostly. As you may be aware, holiday celebrations can bring up strong emotions. And for me, New Years is an annual review where I suddenly discount accomplishments (new home! new baby!) and focus on projects left incomplete … Continue reading Time and Creativity
This time of year is filled to the brim with celebration and ritual. There are holiday parties, special foods, and time spent with family. The holidays evoke feelsings of nostalgia, joy, and (for many, a huge amount of) anxiety. True. But how does that help with writing? The holidays provide rich sensory experiences and extreme emotions that are just ripe to be stolen borrowed for … Continue reading Celebration In Story
A quick break from the regularly scheduled programming to express my gratitude for my creative community. (Yes, you are a part of my creative community.) My life would be poorer without the people in it who support, push, and encourage me every day. I am inspired by the bravery and compassion I see you all bring into the world. You make me feel safe enough … Continue reading Happy Thanksgiving
Ceramic artists work with clay. Painters use oils. And writers use words.
the really difficult part of creating art is creating it
I like to believe we have all been there. The book doldrums, where everything you write feels stale and boring and just plain bad. I’m in them now and let me tell you it is not a fun place to be. In my experience, if it is boring for you to write, then you better forget about it being interesting for the reader. I am determined … Continue reading How to Escape the Book Doldrums
The origin story of the phrase “the hero’s journey” comes from Joseph Campbell’s work and his book “A Hero with a Thousand Faces”. Campbell took a look at myths and stories across many different cultures and throughout history for similarities. It brings forward questions like: What makes a story a story? and What makes stories so important to humans? Campbell has been a conscious influence on everything from “Star Wars” to “Community”, and a subconscious influence on countless others.
His work is basically, exactly my jam. These are the questions I ponder and struggle with and argue about with friends and loved ones.
His work is used as a kind of writer’s 101. When you’re stuck, or the story isn’t working, or you don’t know what should happen next, check your story against the framework of “The Hero’s Journey”.
The thing is, I worry that some heroes are left out of this model. Like maybe the heroes from my stories? Continue reading “Does The Hero’s Journey Limit Heroism?”
Now for the sake of this article, I consider The Avengers to be the OG crew of: Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Thor, Bruce Banner, Clint Barton, and Natasha Romanoff. I’m going to remove Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff from this equation, since they are kind of an item/power couple and yet both of them have an ‘it’s complicated’ status on Facebook right now. And to keep the list from feeling sparse, I’m going to include Ant-Man for the purposes of this discussion only.
As a feminist, do I see the irony in making a list that ranks women? Yes.
Is that going to stop me? No. Continue reading “A Feminist Ranks the Avenger’s Girlfriends”
Here is a secret that I don’t think is said aloud enough: stories are better when you can discuss them with others. Continue reading “Is Fandom the New Literary Discourse?”
The past few weeks I have been doing a self-imposed crash course in story structure. I have read Story Engineering by Larry Brooks and The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne, and I’ve been desperate for a way to apply all that I’ve learned. Continue reading “Guardians of the Galaxy: A Structure Case Study”