Category Archives: characters

PIXAR’S 22 RULES OF STORYTELLING

I bet you’ve seen these before—at least a few of them quoted here over the years. The list is all over the internet. I found it at iO9. But this week I’d like to share all twenty-two of what Pixar storyboard … Continue reading

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WHERE TO BEGIN?

I’ve written before on the subject of a story’s first line, or a novel’s first paragraph, and starting a story—pulp fiction style—with a “bang,” but there’s really no way to overstate both the importance of the first line or first paragraph … Continue reading

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CHARACTERS, CULTURES, AND GROUPS

I used to teach in-person then online courses, and one of the most popular was my worldbuilding course. Though it’s been a while since I’ve actually taught these courses, one of the exercises continues to stay lodged in my brain. … Continue reading

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NOTES ON CHARACTER-DRIVEN DIALOG

In Bird By Bird, Anne Lamott tells us that, “One line of dialogue that rings true reveals character in a way that pages of description can’t.” Absolutely true. Each of your characters, like each of the people you know in the real … Continue reading

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DEFINING MY TERMS

It’s rather funny how a word sometimes sneaks into a family and gets itself adopted. Where does it come from, I wonder? I’d very much like to know. —Jean Cocteau, Intimate Relations (Les parents terribles) In pretty much all of my writing … Continue reading

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A WEIRD STORY MINI-FORMULA

In my look, last April, at the book Science Fiction Handbook, Revised, by L. Sprague de Camp & Catherine de Camp (Owlswick Press, 1975), I wrote: Speaking of the pulp tradition, the de Camps quote Jack Williamson and Edmund Hamilton’s “formula” for a science fiction story … Continue reading

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JUST THROWING THIS STUFF OUT THERE…

“Work as joy, inaccessible to the psychologists.” —Kafka Okay, I have to admit it, I haven’t put a lot of thought into this week’s post, but damn it, I’m going to post something of value! I’ve just been super swamped with multiple … Continue reading

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ALL FICTION IS “AUTOFICTION”

In “Autofiction: What It Is and What It Isn’t,” Brooke Warner wrote: “Autofiction, which is short for autobiographical fiction, is one of those labels that ultimately doesn’t matter to the industry.” I agree, so let’s dispense with the term up … Continue reading

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BOOKS FOR FANTASY AUTHORS XXVIII: HISTORY OF ATLANTIS

From time to time I’ll recommend—not review, mind you, but recommend, and yes, there is a difference—books that I think fantasy (and science fiction and horror and all other) authors should have on their shelves. Some may be new and … Continue reading

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WHAT CAN YOU GET AWAY WITH IN FICTION?

Great question, easy answer: Anything. In fact, the question itself is silly. You don’t have to feel you’re “getting away with” anything. An epic fantasy novel featuring a gender-fluid protagonist? Why not? In fact, the only argument against is necessarily … Continue reading

Posted in authors helping authors, authors to writers, best fantasy blogs, best genre fiction blogs, best horror blogs, best science fiction blogs, best websites for authors, best websites for writers, Books, characters, Dungeons & Dragons, fiction writing blog, fiction writing websites, Game of Thrones, help for writers, helping writers become authors, how to write fantasy, how to write fiction, how to write horror, how to write science fiction, Publishing Business, Pulp Fiction, SF and Fantasy Authors, websites for authors, websites for writers, writers to authors, Writing, writing advice, Writing Community, writing fantasy, writing horror, writing science fiction, Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments