Does My Story Need a Villain?

Someone posted on social media “Does a story needs a villain?” If you mean someone twirling their mustache and plotting evil deeds, no. However, your story does need an opposing force. Why? Without conflict there is no lesson learned and without a lesson learned, there is no plot. A series of events does not aContinue reading “Does My Story Need a Villain?”

Why I Allow Myself to Cheat on My Projects

When you have a creative mind, you’re always bursting with ideas. Some are inspired by your environment, entertainment, art, and some come from dreams. Have trouble writing about your dreams? Dreams are nonsense and have no plot, but your brain is free for the fantastical and is using a dream to work out a problem.Continue reading “Why I Allow Myself to Cheat on My Projects”

Don’t ‘Write What You Know’ Write What You Feel

Every writer has heard the advice “write what you know.” I like to say, “Write what you feel” or “write what you’ve observed.” I’ve lived up and down the East Coast and the Pacific Northwest. I’ve travelled around the world and I’ve had forty-five years to soak a lot up. Yet, most people who meetContinue reading “Don’t ‘Write What You Know’ Write What You Feel”

Banned Books Week

September 28th- October 3rd is Banned Books Week, celebrating the books that tackle subject matter some would like to censor. As a country that loves its freedom of speech there are those here (not to mention around the world) who still call for the banning of books. I don’t love all banned books, but IContinue reading “Banned Books Week”

After a Week of Smoke-fog, the Air is Clear!

After a week of the air quality index in the 250-300 Very Unhealthy Range, Western Washington is had a couple of rain storms, literally clearing the air. We lived in a gothic horroresque setting for an entire week, with a campfire-scented fog settling over the mountains and lakes of the PNW. Today, we’re sitting prettyContinue reading “After a Week of Smoke-fog, the Air is Clear!”

Creating Character Boards and Why They’re Useful Visuals

In preparation for NaNoWriMo, I’m doing character profiles for the story I plan to write Dot and Al’s Paranormal Detective Agency. Character profiles are part of my plotting process. It’s where I create backstory and discover motivation long before I know what’s going to happen. I think this is key to creating compelling characters. IContinue reading “Creating Character Boards and Why They’re Useful Visuals”

View from My Writing Desk

This is the current view from my writing desk. An overcast sky in September isn’t out of the ordinary in the Seattle suburbs, but this is smoke from the wildfires ravaging Oregon and California. (We’re not downwind of the ones razing Washington. Yet.) Needless to say, our air quality is in the crapper. So, IContinue reading “View from My Writing Desk”

Troublesome Tropes in Urban Fantasy, Romance, and Paranormal Erotica and How to Subvert Them

Alpha Male/Rich Asshole: The concept that a man who is power-hungry, aggressive, violent, stalkerish, possessive and territorially jealous as a romantic lead is worrisome. It not only promotes toxic masculinity, but might encourage readers to seek abusive or codependent relationships. It’s not just toxic for individuals, it’s toxic for humanity in general. We live inContinue reading “Troublesome Tropes in Urban Fantasy, Romance, and Paranormal Erotica and How to Subvert Them”

Another Draft Finished

I finished the rough draft of Tam Lin: A Modern, Queer Retelling last night and will think of a less on the nose title soon. In the meantime, I’ll send the draft off to alpha readers. They’ll look for things like pacing, tension, seek plot holes, and analyze the character arc. I ended the storyContinue reading “Another Draft Finished”

The Hero’s Journey Plot Rundown

The most important thing you must remember about any plot is that a good plot is a series of events that teach a lesson. Without that lesson learned, the story will come off as hollow and formulaic. The Hero’s Journey Plot The Set Up/call to adventure Every story must start up in the character’s ordinaryContinue reading “The Hero’s Journey Plot Rundown”