Tag Archives: writing

finding another career for Charles Dickens

The word novelist is a generic one, comprising many and various species of writers before one gets down to the actual individual practitioners. For the kinds of book-length fiction fall along a wide spectrum. A natural way to categorize novelists … Continue reading

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the hermit (crab) comes out of his shell again

Today I finally caved and bought some new writing software. After spending a few days acquainting myself with a trial version of Scrivener, an all-purpose rough-draft-generating application produced by a writer-turned-developer (or vice versa) named Keith Blount in 2007, I … Continue reading

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page fright

The above title is an expression I came up with as an alternative to the familiar phrase “writer’s block.” I thought that it encapsulated the emotional quality of the experience, rather than the more psychoanalytic or even engineering tone of a … Continue reading

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creating characters, part 5: combining archetypes

I’ve been sharing my discoveries about the art of character creation in storytelling. The idea here is to build characters from the inside out, to make vital, interesting characters from scratch instead of trying to create characters based purely on … Continue reading

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creating characters, part 4: story archetypes

In part 3 I described how to start building a character by snapping together 2 different kinds of archetype: a heroic archetype, using the book The Complete Writer’s Guide to Heroes & Heroines: Sixteen Master Archetypes by Tami D. Cowden, … Continue reading

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creating characters, part 3

Welcome to another installment of my character-creation process for storytelling. I started out by calling the series “creating characters in epic fiction,” but really I’m talking about creating characters in general, so I have shortened my title accordingly. I would … Continue reading

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art is like life: scary

So much of the writing life—as with the rest of life—is about managing fear. Maybe managing is not the right word, since it seems to imply competence and control. But fear plays a big part in our lives, shaping the … Continue reading

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developing a story

Once you’ve worked out what story is, it’s time to figure out how to write one. This part-developing a story-isn’t easy; for some of us, it can take longer than the natural human lifespan. But now, more than ever before, … Continue reading

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what does story mean, anyway?

Storytelling became something of a dirty word in the 20th century, at least among writers of serious fiction. It was seen as the concern of lesser, commercial writers. I’m not sure things are changing even now, but in this serious writer’s … Continue reading

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a literary Casanova

When I was about 16 I read You Can’t Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe. The protagonist, George Webber, is a writer whose working method, if you can call it that, is to become seized with intense bouts of inspiration … Continue reading

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