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Category: Writing

Wounds: Unforgettable Characters are Fashioned from Damaged Pieces

Wounds provide friction vital for conflict, No conflict, no story. Conflict turns pages, sells books, and cultivates passionate fans.

FEAR: Why Humans Crave Stories That Scare Them

Since fear practically saturates every area of our lives, readers are gravitating more and more to books that allow them to put a face to the fear and then kick its metaphorical @$$. We can’t do much of anything about escalating tensions with Iran and Iraq or the Fukishima reactors that continue to pollute the oceans. And, since we DO NOT LIKE feeling powerless, these stories hand us back some form of agency and ease our terrors.

The Evil Has Landed: Villains Could Be Much Like You…or Even Me

Much of what goes into forming villains that gets underneath the audience’s skin is to understand—really understand our story—make sure it is strong enough and then search out those pain points that will likely exist in our readers. That’s how to know what variety of evil will unravel them the most.

On Writing: Why Mastery Should Matter to the Serious Author

Craft classes and grammar lessons aside, reading helps fill our toolbox. We are artisans, crafting people, places, worlds, and concepts with combinations of twenty-six letters. Would you trust someone to build your house who only owned (and knew how to use) a hammer and saw? Or a doctor who only knew how to wield a scalpel, but skipped learning how to suture?
Yet how many writers are publishing books and they don’t even possess the basic fundamentals of our craft? And are more concerned with a new marketing plan then why people don’t WANT to read their work, let alone PAY to read it?

Do Some People Lack the Talent to be a Successful Author?

Stephen King equates talent to a vein of gold in a mine. One has to do the hard work of digging for the ore, refining, etc. (the nasty work most people don’t want to do). He says if you spend an hour and a half a day writing for ten years, at the end of ten years, you’ll be a pretty good writer. Just as if you spent an hour and a half a day digging, mining, and refining ore, you’d eventually have decent stockpile of gold.