Category: Story Courses

5 Essential Lessons from The Brave

5 Essential Lessons from The Brave

NBC recently cancelled The Brave which means, much like Haven, I was one of the few people watching it. Which is sad because it was really good. It’s not on Netflix or Amazon Prime (yet) but it’s on Hulu and probably on demand with your cable provider. It’s only 13 episodes so they’re easy to […]

May 14, 2018 | Posted in 5 lessons, Story Courses
Once Upon a Time Exposes the Lie of the Moonlighting Curse

Once Upon a Time Exposes the Lie of the Moonlighting Curse

Perhaps you’ve heard of the Moonlighting Curse. The idea that once a couple gets together on a tv show it ruins either the relationship or the show entirely. It began, of course, with Moonlighting which starred Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis. Their bickering and sexual tension carried the show for 3 seasons. And then they […]

May 7, 2018 | Posted in Plot, Story Courses
5 Essential Lessons from Haven

5 Essential Lessons from Haven

I feel like Haven is one of those shows that I’m the only person who watched it. But I still find it fairly interesting and it definitely has some valuable storytelling lessons to glean. I’ve tried to limit spoilers so you can access the writing lessons without ruining the show. I binged two and a […]

April 23, 2018 | Posted in 5 lessons, Story Courses
5 Essential Lessons from Reign

5 Essential Lessons from Reign

Sometimes I can’t explain what I like about Reign. I can tell you all the things I don’t like easily enough. And a lot of those are the essential lessons in what not to do in our storytelling. And yet, even with its flaws there’s a lot I enjoy about it. I enjoy most of […]

April 9, 2018 | Posted in 5 lessons, Story Courses
What is contrived conflict

What is contrived conflict

Conflict is the life blood of drama. YA authors gleefully thrive on the tears and broken hearts of their readers. Readers wail and cry and tweet and then come back, hungry for more. But contrived conflict is another matter altogether. It destroys your reader’s trust and dare I even say it has the potential to […]

April 2, 2018 | Posted in Craft, Story Courses
5 Essential Lessons from Once Upon a Time

5 Essential Lessons from Once Upon a Time

*Note this only covers the first six seasons, it doesn’t (necessarily) address the reboot in season 7 Once Upon a Time is a rather fascinating study. It is imminently appealing and incredibly flawed at the same time. Which means, in many ways, it’s the epitome of a show you love to hate. Or perhaps more […]

March 19, 2018 | Posted in 5 lessons, Story Courses
The 4 Worst Words in Any Story

The 4 Worst Words in Any Story

If you watch much tv, you hear these words all the time in almost every series. Some tv shows, you hear them every episode. Writers use them to create conflict. Not just conflict but high stakes. They use them to have a character act out of their nature; to pit allied characters against one another. […]

March 12, 2018 | Posted in Character, Craft, Story Courses
Down with show don’t tell

Down with show don’t tell

‘Show Don’t Tell’ is one of the most common pieces of writing advice around (followed closely by ‘Kill Your Darlings’ which is daft but that’s another post). The problem with show don’t tell is that it’s unspecific. And also just kind of impossible. Let’s start with the impossible (and I’m going to be very literal […]

August 8, 2016 | Posted in Craft, Story Courses
The Darling Killings

The Darling Killings

I have always thought, ‘kill your darlings’ was terrible writing advice. I, therefore, mostly just disregarded it. No, let’s be honest. I kind of spitefully worked to prove that they were worth keeping. I wasn’t always correct, which is where a good editor is important. But I still don’t think you should kill your darlings […]

July 4, 2016 | Posted in Craft
writing like an actress

writing like an actress

I grew up as an actress. For a multitude of reasons as complex as my fluid perspective on identity and as simple as being cast as the lead in the kindergarten play. I was in plays throughout high school and college. I moved to LA, got an agent and had a co-star role on a […]

June 20, 2016 | Posted in Story Courses