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Showing posts from 2023


 Writing your novel can feel nearly impossible, but many techniques can help keep your readers engaged. One such method is using parallel stories, which writers can use to create tension and suspense. An effective way to do this is to end your scenes so that you cut between them at moments that leave your readers hanging. Writers sometimes call this technique “Meanwhile, back at the ranch.” The nickname dates back to silent movies when title cards between scenes signaled transitions. In the earliest days, studios didn’t make new cards for each movie but used a set of stock cards: “One Year Later,” “Comes the Dawn,” or “Wedding Bells.” “Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch” was the card used most often when the action, for example, cut away from the heroine being tied to a log just as the villain turned on the sawmill. The literary version of this technique dates back to at least Homer. Still, it was probably perfected in the nineteenth century when newly popular magazines serialized novels.

Write your chapters backward

Sting is one of my favorite singers and songwriters. He uses literary devices to tell visual, emotional, and thought-provoking stories. I've read a bit about how he opens himself up to the writing process and have found that some of what he espouses works for me. He applies a blend of intuition, observation, and technical mastery to his writing that I believe can be applied to the art of storytelling. Embracing Intuition: Sting often begins by letting go of conscious control and allowing his subconscious to guide him. He describes this as "listening to the music and asking it to tell me a story." This intuitive approach taps into the writer's inner world, drawing on emotions, experiences, and memories that can form the foundation for powerful narratives. In first drafts especially, I find myself taping into a trance-like state that opens my mind to unplanned characters and ideas. The subconscious is a marvelous thing. Ob

Dealing with Rejection

 Every writer gets rejected. It doesn't matter how many books you've written or how many you've sold. There's no way of getting around it. I remember an interview with Barbara Streisand, and she said if someone rejected her for a project, the onus was on the producers for failing to recognize her talent and ability. Paraphrasing, “What, are they nuts?” I like that. Editors and producers don’t know what they want until they see it. It’s kind of like pornography as defined by Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, “I know it when you see it.” Gatekeepers don’t know what they want until they see it. However, that doesn’t soften the sting of rejection. Dealing with rejection is a difficult skill, but it is essential. Everyone experiences rejection at some point, whether in the form of a job application not being accepted, a romantic interest was not reciprocating feelings, or a friend group excluding someone. While rejection can be painful, it is essential to remember

Navigating the Digital News Landscape: Detecting Fake News in the Information Age

I spent over thirty years in the news business and teaching news writing at the college level. It has never been more critical to determine what is true or false. In today's hyper-connected world, news travels at lightning speed, but not all are accurate. The rise of fake news, intentionally fabricated or misleading information presented as legitimate news, has become a significant challenge to informed decision-making. As responsible information consumers, we must develop the skills to discern fact from fiction and protect ourselves from the pitfalls of fake news. Identifying Red Flags The first step in combating fake news is recognizing its telltale signs. Sensational headlines, exaggerated claims, and a lack of credibility are often red flags. Be wary of news sources consistently using emotionally charged language or employing ALL CAPS to grab attention. Verifying Sources Reputable news organizations have established reputations and are transparent about their journali

Army of Shadows

Finishing up the nineteen sixty-nine classic. Extraordinary performances And terrific writing. This is a film that had lost favor over the years but was recently found and re-released. Check it out.


For me, a story's genre is like a painting's frame. The story fits into the frame and meets the expectations of the viewer. You won't see a portrait or landscape if you're in a gallery featuring abstract work. But, if you do, you'll notice something added to or taken away from that depiction. However, the frame around the picture could be similar.   Like the contents of the picture, framed by the viewer's expectations, most stories can fit into a specific genre. Go to a bookstore, and you'll see books shelved under different levels. Some stories are not as easy to classify and cross genres, like a Romance with Comedic elements. There are Horror stories with Thriller elements, etc. Here are some of the genres available to storytellers. A loose definition of genre is a category that groups novels with similar themes, tones, or styles. Choosing a genre can help novelists meet their readers' expectations and follow some conventions and guidelines for the


 I've been uploading videos of my dog and book reviews. The Odie videos are doing the best. Out of all of them TikTok and FB Reels, is a video I made while zipping through the French countryside.  What does it mean? I can't figure it out. 


 Will AI change society? How could it not? Creative projects generated by typing in just a few words in a prompt that can produce emails, letters, pictures, and soon, videos.  Will they be any good? At first, no. But as the machines learn the quality will improve. I think there needs to be a watermark indicating what was created by AI. It's only fair to creators like me. We need to know how our competition works and what the final outcome will be. 

Robert McKee's Story

I found Robert McKee's Story a helpful and informative handbook for writers. I haven't taken his weekend course, but I know some writers who have, and they've all said it was well worth the time and money. McKee is a renowned screenwriter and storyteller who has been teaching the craft of storytelling for more than 40 years. Numerous writers, filmmakers, and other creatives use his teachings to create powerful stories. He believes there's a universal foundation for all great stories built on the foundation involving strong characters and plot structure. McKee bases his methods on the principles of classical storytelling, which focus on character development, plot structure, and theme. He also emphasizes how important it is to understand each character's motivations to create a compelling story. In addition, he believes that all stories should have a clear beginning, middle, and end to ensure that it resonates with an audience. McKee's ideas are practical b

Using Jung to Create Characters

  Jungian archetypes are universal, symbolic patterns or themes that exist in the collective unconscious of all humans. Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, developed the concept of archetypes to understand the human psyche. Some examples of archetypes include the mother, the child, the hero, and the wise old man. Jung believed that the collective unconscious comprises these archetypes, expressed through symbols and imagery in myths, religious texts, and other forms of cultural expression. He thought psychologists could observe an individual's behavior, dreams, and artwork and that understanding them are essential to understanding the human experience. The concept of the collective consciousness refers to a group of people's shared beliefs, values, and customs. Jung believed that the archetypes of the collective unconscious shape the collective consciousness and that it plays a role in shaping the behavior of individuals within a society. In summary, Jungian

The Dan Harmon Story Circle

The Harmon Story Circle Have you ever wanted to write an enthralling story that captures the imagination of the audience? Here’s some helpful information about the Harmon Story Circle. Developed by Dan Harmon, the creator of television's Rick and Morty and Community, the Harmon Story Circle is a powerful tool for narrative storytelling. In this blog post, we will discuss how to develop engaging narratives through characters and plot structures and the benefits of using the Harmon Story Circle. By the end of this post, you will have a better understanding of the Harmon Story Circle and how it can help you create captivating stories. A Guide To Narrative Storytelling Storytelling is one of the essential skills that you can develop as a writer. It's a skill applied in many different contexts, from personal essays to novels to movies. However, storytelling isn't easy – creating genuinely captivating stories takes practice and much finesse. That's where the Harmon Story Circ

The Hero's Journey

  Joseph Campbell And the Hero's Journey The Hero's Journey is a concept that novelists and filmmakers have used for decades, but few know its origin. Joseph Campbell first developed it in his 1949 book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces. This blog post will discuss the specifics of Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey and how those ideas can help writers create better stories. We will also discuss the differences between using the Hero's Journey in movies and literature. By the end of this post, you should have a better understanding of the Hero's Journey and how to use the ideas to craft compelling stories. What is The Hero's Journey Joseph Campbell is one of the most influential thinkers in history, and his work has dramatically impacted the world of storytelling. Campbell was born in the late 1800s, and during his lifetime, he wrote extensively on mythology and the hero's journey. The hero's journey is a popular model used to explain how creators

How to Increase Sales of your Novel

  There are many strategies you can use to increase sales of your novel. Here are a few ideas: Build an online presence: Having a website and social media accounts allows you to connect with readers and share updates about your work. You can also use these platforms to promote your book and interact with your audience. Use online marketing: There are many online marketing tools and platforms you can use to reach potential readers. This could include advertising on social media, running promotions on book websites, or using email marketing to connect with your email list. Get reviews: Positive reviews from other readers can be a powerful way to convince people to buy your book. Encourage readers to leave reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and other book websites. Participate in events: Attending book festivals, writing conferences, and other literary events can help you connect with readers and sell books in person. Collaborate with other authors: Partnering with other authors can be a great