Category: 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 […]

March 26, 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
Show Don’t Tell Alternatives

Show Don’t Tell Alternatives

‘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
Kill Your Darling Alternatives

Kill Your Darling Alternatives

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
Captain America and Modern Heroes

Captain America and Modern Heroes

Captain America has a list in The Winter Soldier to keep track of all the things he’s missed in our very modern society. We have the newest technology, decades of great music available at the touch of a button, and the broadest knowledge that the world has ever seen. But Part 1 of this series […]

May 13, 2016 | Posted in Character, Story Courses
Captain America and Character Journeys

Captain America and Character Journeys

Part 2 Part 2 in the Captain America series begins at the end, after the action, when certainty has replaced questions and conundrums and the struggle to find the right path. It began at Comic Con in 2011 when my best friend and I went to see Captain America: The First Avenger. I loved Cap. […]

May 11, 2016 | Posted in Character, Story Courses
Captain America and Responsibility

Captain America and Responsibility

This is actually part 3 in a series; a long running discussion with one of my best friends not about Captain America and Responsibility but where Captain America continues to end up right in the middle of what we’re talking about. So, this week is a series in reverse. Part 3 We begin with Captain […]

May 9, 2016 | Posted in Story Courses