• Cinema Therapy

    Recently, I have really been enjoying Cinema Therapy videos on YouTube. They are definitely for adults (some swearing and adult references), but they are pretty clean. They analyze movie characters from the perspective of a therapist. However, the two hosts are a therapist and a film maker, so they have some neat insights into film… Continue reading

  • Character Stress and Motivation

    I have some time to myself today for the first time in quite awhile. I also am taking time to relax for the first time in quite awhile. It’s the perfect writing weather for me: cool and misty. So I have a cup of tea, and my 00’s rock music is playing. I’m not in… Continue reading

  • The Ghost Character

    Have you gotten halfway through a scene to suddenly realize one of the characters you specifically mentioned as being in the room at the beginning of the scene has done absolutely nothing for the entire scene? It’s like the character is some unseen ghost hovering in the background. I used to go back and add… Continue reading

  • Characters: Suffering and Anxiety

    Writers are supposed to make our characters suffer. But there is one kind of suffering that I hate to give my characters: anxiety. Continue reading

  • Renaming Party

    Well, life has sure been crazy the last several months. On top of teaching 10-20 hours a week (plus the accompanying paperwork, prep work, and communication), I have a couple of writing projects and some other things. I feel like I have four jobs right now. I haven’t had much time (any, really) to write… Continue reading

  • Character Relationships (more Voltron)

    Relationships between characters are really important. You can have a few great characters, but if their interactions are cardboard or inauthentic or just badly done, it doesn’t work. I really like the situation of Star Trek Voyager, and I love individual characters, but in Deep Space Nine, I love the way all the characters work… Continue reading

  • The Most Perfect Story–because of characters!

    (I tried to avoid spoilers, but be forewarned!) Voltron might be the most perfect story I’ve ever experienced (personal taste, of course). I love fantasy and sci-fi, especially when they blend. I love deep emotion and meaningful tears–not just wrench-your-heart-out junk but when characters have meaningful relationships that are sweet and sometimes bitter. But I… Continue reading

  • When Characters Grow and Change in Surprising Ways

    I love learning about characters and seeing them grow. One of my favorite things is when characters surprise me in ways that make sense. Like when I expect a character to act one way, but their character arc leads them to act differently. This usually happens when I have a rough outline of a story… Continue reading

  • The Wrong MC Again

    I’ve had an idea percolating for awhile. I typed up the first 20 pages for a workshop. The response I got surprised me. To be vague, the story followed a teenage girl who had some crazy stuff happen and some special abilities manifested (it’s sci-fi). She met a man with abilities like hers who had… Continue reading

  • Compelling Characters

    I’m realizing the characters I find most compelling are the bad guys who struggle with being good. It drives me crazy when good guys do bad things if they don’t struggle with it. The struggle is what’s compelling, so I like good characters who struggle, too. But if a bad guy does a good thing,… Continue reading

  • The Little Things

    Ask some simple questions about your character. These may not seem important, but they help you get to know your character and can be a good reference later on (I love knowing that for a hot drink, my MC prefers tea with lemon. I’ve used that several times.) How does your character respond to hello?… Continue reading

  • Character Room

    Describe the character’s bedroom. What sorts of decorations are on the wall? What kind of furniture does she have? What sorts of collectable items are displayed? Is it messy or clean? If she shares a room, what does her roommate’s side look like? What contrasts are there? If she shares a room, does she have… Continue reading

  • Family Background

    Pick one of the character’s family members. In this instance, I chose a sibling. What comes to mind when that sibling thinks of the character? I got this idea from a free writing prompt: What scared you? I’m not sure how I decided to write from the POV of the sibling of a secondary character,… Continue reading

  • Point of View Switch

    Even if your story has only one POV character, try writing a scene from a different character’s point of view. Experiencing the world through a different character can actually help you realize things about your POV character. When I added a secondary POV character to my story, I learned a lot about my primary POV… Continue reading

  • Describing Your Character

    Describe your characters from the POV of multiple other characters. Knowing how others see your character can help you as a writer in defining him. Describe your character without mentioning her hair or eyes. Think like Sherlock Holmes. What would Holmes know about your character just from looking at her? What about her appearance gives… Continue reading

  • Getting to Know Your Characters Series

    The way I come up with stories is by asking “What if?” questions. The few times I’ve thought up cool characters, I haven’t been able to milk a story out of them yet. I find it interesting then that the most consistent compliment I get on my writing is that I have solid characters, and… Continue reading

  • What to do with Obi-Wan

    Did a revision of part one, and it’s actually pretty good! I just have three plot points to adress: the romantic interest, the telepathy, and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Obi-Wan is throwing me. He doesn’t appear much in this first part, which made me wonder if he was necessary. Can my MC learn the force on his… Continue reading

  • Too Focused

    Okay, okay, I think I know what part of the problem is. I’m terrible at description. That’s the main glaring problem with highschool draft of Epic Novel. It’s all very terse, very telly, all action and dialogue. In my current draft, I have really focused on description. Perhaps too much. One compliment I always get… Continue reading

  • Better Writer

    Argh! Is it possible that I was a better when I was 17 pre-MFA—pre-any-kind-of-creative-writing-class-ever? I keep looking back at my highschool draft of the Epic Novel. Yes, in many ways it was terrible. Yet, the characters seemed more real, more authentic. They certainly seem more like teenagers, which I suppose shouldn’t surprise me. What really… Continue reading

  • Letting Go

    I have an interesting dilemma. Increasingly, it seems that 2ndary POV character is falling in love with one of the girls—and she seems to like him, too. (Totally unexpected in my mind. They are so very different.) The problem is 2ndary POV character was supposed to date one of the other girls. If he doesn’t,… Continue reading

About Me

I have always loved writing stories, but I was surprised as an adult to learn I love teaching as well. I hold a B.A. in Digital Writing and an M.F.A in Writing for Children and Young Adults. Fantasy has always been my first love in literature. Superheroes and science fiction also hold a special place in my heart. My favorite audience is middle grade readers, but I enjoy young adult fiction as well.


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