February 2014 archive

Feb 27

What if?

There are many ways to come up with a story idea. Some of the best stories start with the simple question of what if? The what if can be reasonable, i.e., what if a boy meets a girl and they fall in love and then break up? Or the what if can be outlandish, i.e. …

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Feb 24

Food for Thought: On Being Read and Reread

Every once in a while, I go to a website where I can listen to people tell stories about their lives.  The tales are entertaining and inspirational and represent, to me, the ancient tradition of oral storytelling that is all but gone today.  Sure, grandma and grandpa may share memories with their grandchildren, but the …

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Feb 23

What makes a story suspenseful?

Reality makes fiction writing suspenseful. That may sound like an oxymoron, but fiction also includes science fiction and fantasy, both of which skirt reality, and in so doing also skirt suspense. For example, ever met Superman? Me neither. His character is suspenseful though, and great fun to read or watch.  But I know it is …

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Feb 21

Finding Something to Write About

I think one of the hardest parts about writing is finding something to write about, especially if you decide to start thinking of a topic at your computer. There’s nothing like that large, blank, white piece of paper staring back at you from the screen to drive all the ideas that were playing at the …

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Feb 18

The Writer’s Life

I have been a writer since age 5, but it has taken years for others to realize that. I was always a writer, or, more directly, I was always writing.  The act of writing does make one a writer, but the subtleties of that are profound.  Writing is an activity that kids do as a …

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