July 26, 2017

Music is a big part of my creative process. There’s a lot of power in playing just the right song, at just the right moment. The fight scene in the second chapter of Elevation, for example, would simply not exist as it does without Woodkid. I was stumped, and then those drums woke me up….

August 23, 2014

Good Dialogue–it’s the difference between:    “Look, Your Worshipfulness, let’s get one thing straight. I take orders from just one person: me” And:    “I wish that I could just wish away my feelings.” (Ugh. I wish that I could wish away that whole movie.) Great dialogue can do so many things: characterize the speaker,…

November 15, 2013

Strong, well-developed characters are the key to great fiction. But how does one create them? If you google character building you’ll find a lot of great tips—questionnaires to fill out, interviews, etc. Prompts to help you determine a character’s background, disposition, and goals. All of this is good—you should do it. But usually this is…

August 16, 2013

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about subtlety in writing, both in characterization and on the small-scale prose level, and why it is so affecting. My husband and I have made a project of watching all of the AFI top 100 movies. A few nights ago we watched The Searchers.  I’d seen it once before,…



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