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Getting into the Games

After much nagging from my kids, urging from writer friends, and the debut of the movie–which I thought was really well done–I finally decided I needed to read The Hunger Games. I’m not big into young adult fiction–though I loved the Harry Potter series–but I can see why Suzanne Collins’ books are such a big

Lightbulb moments

Writers who talk about structure often reference the concept of story beats. Like beats of music in a song, story beats are the little moments that are strung together to make a novel or screenplay. But I never quite understood how long a story beat was until I started reading STORY by Robert McKee. He’s

Same or different?

When my oldest son was in second or third grade, we lived about two hours from my parents. Whenever we visited, my son would go from room to room pointing out everything that my parents had changed since our last visit. My son is into the details. I’m the same way. I notice the bumper

Blowing it

When I was seven, I was tasked with bringing my friend to the basement of our apartment building (overseas base housing in Germany often had odd things like basements and attic maids’ quarters) for a surprise birthday party. Terrified that I was going to somehow mess up and bring her in before everyone was ready,

Get intimate with your characters

I recently picked up a book called Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You by Sam Gosling. Not only did it sound interesting, but I figured I could pick up something that would help with characterization. While the book wasn’t quite the field guide to which traits certain bits of “behavioral residue” were linked to

Fun with Dick and Jane

Goal: Determine GMC for my main characters Motivation: To write a better story with believable actions and conflict. Conflict: It’s hard work! I want to know what my characters want, why, and why they can’t have it. Yes, I’m working on my new book’s GMC. Again. Here’s the thing. This time around, I really need

Tomgirl or tomcat?

Until I had boys of my own, I’d never given much thought to how difficult it can be for boys who don’t conform to traditional male roles in our society. Some might call them tomgirls. Others might label them gay, regardless of their sexual orientation. Maybe I didn’t think about it because I grew up