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Showing posts from April, 2021


When I was teaching creative writing I would give the students a process that could help them begin and shape their stories. It's just one way and it's not the only way, but it can help with writing and more importantly, rewriting.  IMO, all stories are about revealing identity. That end goal can be most successfully reached by characters who are diametrically opposed when exploring a philosophical question that had no settled answer. For example, Star Wars. For me, the question of SW is, Is good stronger than evil? The main character is Luke and his nemesis is Darth Vader. Luke doesn't know his true identity at the beginning of the story and by the end a farm boy becomes a war hero. That's his new identity. Darth is the biggest obstacle to him becoming the celebrated pilot who destroyed the Death Star. Along the character's journey he meets others who are allies, Han and Liela, and minor enemies. All of these characters work with or against Luke as he takes on his

Oscars 2021

A weird awards show for a weird year. So glad Jon Batiste just won for Soul. So far, the only surprise for me was Minari for supporting actress. I guess I'll need to see this ASAP.  Best original screenplay... Promising Young deserving. No surprise for Frances, but disappointed that Chadwick didn't win.  Next year will be different and so will the business. 

Pet Peeve

 So tired of movies/tv shows introducing characters waking up. It's lazy and doesn't say anything about the character that makes them different from any other character. I liked the first episode of the new HBO series with Kate Winslet, but the open is terrible. Luckily, the episode got better and will likely be great.

Know the Ending

 It's not imperative that you know the ending of the story before you begin, but I've found that when I start I need to see at least the shadow of the end. I had a chance to interview one of my idols a long time ago over the telephone and John Irving said that he has to know the last line of a novel before he begins. That doesn't mean that he knows how the novel is going to get to that last line but he has to have some sort of a lighthouse at the end of the story where he can point his narrative to and make sure that the effective ending that he's hoping for can be obtained. I like to review the endings of novels and movies because I try to understand the question that is answered by that ending that is ask at the beginning of the story and also the emotional effect it has on me after I watch it multiple times. I watched the end of The dark Knight because it is an interesting story that asked the question involving a person's identity. I watched the ending of gravit

Write something someone wants to read

 I believe that you're most likely to be successful and selling a book if you focus on a particular kind of story that you are familiar with. That means studying the genre that you most enjoy following. Let's say that you like reading James Patterson's thrillers. Well you don't have to write the next James Patterson novel, it's probably an area that you already are interested in and that you can possibly find a story in your own voice that would serve the reader that is used to picking up a copy of the James Patterson novel at the airport. The same goes for anybody who is a fan of John Grisham or Stephen King. These are well known genre writers who have immense audiences and if you're a fan of one of these writers then finding your voice in those genres will help you find a story that readers will want to read.


 This horror/comedy/body sway movie gives Vince Vaughn his best role in years. If you can stand the serious gore... serious...then check it out. 

A Brief Visit

 I've had a glancing blow by the American Healthcare system after a funny feeling in my left arm. No heart attack or stroke but like a TIA. Feeling ok but will wear a monitor for a couple of weeks. Everyone at the hospital were great and caring. Now, if we could make it affordable for everyone.

Adaptation Part Deux

 Nearing the end of the first episode and following the book pretty closely. I haven't read the novel since I signed with my publisher last year and am surprised at how good it is. Maybe this is the one.

Keeper of the Flame

 1942...starting Spenser Tracy and Katherine Hepburn. A former war hero dies in an auto accident before he can begin a Fascist regime in America. Sound familiar? Only difference is ours was a game show host.

Accessing Flow

There was a time that I had to play loud music when I wrote but now accessing the trance-like state is easier. I don't need the music now and instead like my writing room to be quiet.  A favorite book on the subject is  Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by  Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi . This study explains how artists find a way to inhabit their work, allowing the most effective and affecting art they can produce.