Category Archives: characters

DO YOUR CHARACTERS QUESTION THEIR OWN MOTIVES?

You know, by now, how strongly I feel about the importance of strongly motivated characters—heroes and villains alike. Last October, I got into this in “Why? The Heart of Character Motivation” when it comes to villains: Evil, like good, is … Continue reading

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READ THIS INTERVIEW WITH RAY BRADBURY

This week, I’m just going to toss this over to The Paris Review and an interview with the great Ray Bradbury, The Art of Fiction No. 203. Read this interview while you still can—it might drop back behind their paywall. In any case, … Continue reading

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WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM A RANDOM SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL: PERRY RHODAN #1 ENTERPRISE STARDUST

This loose series of posts started out in response to my random science fiction (and fantasy and horror and now including other genres) paperback grab-bag box, but let’s expand that out to the series I’m collecting as well, which I talked about here … Continue reading

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NOT EVERYONE IS THE HERO OF THEIR OWN STORY

Sometimes villains know full well they’re being villainous, that they’re hurting people, that what they’re doing is wrong and so must be done in secret, and so live in fear of being caught. When they are caught, they might at … Continue reading

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I COLLECT BOOKS, DAMN IT

There, I did it—I came out! Well, not really. I’ve talked about my Ace Doubles collection and even my Star Trek shrine in the past, but this whole book collecting thing has been ramping up for me over the past several years … Continue reading

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WHY? THE HEART OF CHARACTER MOTIVATION

The truest anger or distress is conveyed by authors who actually feel anger or distress in their soul. Thus the best writers are those who are either highly gifted or insane. —Aristotle, The Poetics A good fiction author is at least … Continue reading

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10/80/10

“Ninety percent of everything is crap.” —Sturgeon’s Revelation Science fiction author Theodore Sturgeon meant that about fiction in particular, but since then (and not to take anything away from Mr. Sturgeon, before then) it’s become a sort of rule or … Continue reading

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I RANDOMLY GENERATED A RELIGION

…and here’s why, how, and what I ended up with… This is part of what at this point is just kind of a fun exercise, exploring the idea of writing a randomly generated fantasy novel as part of an effort to maybe write … Continue reading

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WHEN THE MOMENT PASSES YOUR STORY BY

How many times have I cautioned against following trends with your writing? Well, “current events” can be just as tricky. When I sat down in December 2019 to write the short story that follows, a lot of what was going … Continue reading

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SHOULD WE STOP CONJURING THE APOCALYPSE?

Right from the start let me make sure you know that I in no way subscribe to any version of the “Satanic Panic” or its second incarnation, which was to blame “violent video games” for any and every real life … Continue reading

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