How to Plot Character Choice and Change

Change. The tempting goal we strive for every day. I’m sure you can think of five things you would like to change about your life off the top of your head. (I know I can.) You may even be making steps toward those goals by changing how you eat, spend your money, and vote. But change is HARD.

That is why I love stories.

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Gender, Pronouns, and Storytelling

One of the many perks of having a child is that I have the opportunity to read a lot of children’s books. I have a great collection. Some are old classics lovingly saved by my parents, some are new gifts from friends and family. I love being able to look again at books I remember being read as a child, as well as reading the … Continue reading Gender, Pronouns, and Storytelling

You Can’t Bullshit an Ending

Human’s are natural storytellers, and as such, we can sniff out a bullshit ending a mile away.

At a lecture this weekend, Benjamin Gorman (Not A Pipe Publishing) spoke about the covenant between authors and their readers. While he was speaking about the world-building part of the equation, the set up, I want to talk about the pay off. The ending is where readers find out if you make good on the promises of an interesting, moving, surprising story. If the pay off doesn’t pay out, then you have betrayed the covenant. You’ve lost the reader’s trust.

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Starters and Finishers

I loved reading Gretchen Rubin’s book, “Better Than Before”. Throughout the book she suggests that through knowing yourself better, you can manipulate yourself better. Something I have found to be a powerful tool in self improvement. In particular Rubin loves to divide people up into two groups. The aspect I want to discuss today is the difference between starters and finishers.

Starters love taking the first scoop in a tub of peanut butter, and cracking the seal on a fresh tube of toothpaste or chapstick. Finishers, by contrast, scrape clean a peanut butter jar, push out the last of the chapstick, or squeeze out the last toothbrush full of paste from the tube.

I am a hard core starter. I think I am in the majority here. Continue reading “Starters and Finishers”

Time and Creativity

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

Celebration In Story

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