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
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?”
Where I try to pin down what exactly everyone means by “story”. Continue reading Defining Story
And therein resides the hard work of storytelling. Because, if you’re playing God, you need to get it right. ~ Larry Brooks, Story Engineering Continue reading
Whenever you start out to learn an art, skill or craft you are drawn to seek out advice from those more experienced. Continue reading “Paradoxes of Art: Advice”
I finally got around to watching Mad Max: Fury Road, which put before me the most compelling fantasy world I have seen on film in a long, long time. Continue reading “How to Build A Compelling Fantasy World”