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Interview with a…Muse – Guest: J.A. Paul

J. A. Paul picture

“Hey, Jami, now that you have a bazillion things to do and no time to get it all done, what are you going to do?” “I’m going to Disneyland!” That’s right.  I threw up my hands and decided everything could wait a week while I head to Disneyland with the […]

May 10, 2011

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Make Your Antagonist a Force for Good

Sinister man

Wait…what? Well, we want to make our antagonist good for our story anyway.  *smile* Kristen Lamb has been running a fantastic series on antagonists (Part One, Part Two, Villains, Balancing Evil, Inner and Outer Demons).  She shares more gems than I can capture here, so definitely check out her posts. For […]

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May 5, 2011

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What’s in a Name?

Shadowy figure in a hallway

When we first get an idea for a story, the characters who will populate that story often start out shadowy and vague.  Either before the writing process (if we’re plotters) or during the writing process (if we’re pantsers), we have to develop those characters into something solid and colorful.  We […]

May 3, 2011

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Do You Have a Muse?

Time lapse photography of star trails and fireflies

All writers get their ideas from somewhere.  The question is—where, or what, is that somewhere? I don’t believe muses are entities like those venerated in Ancient Greece.  However, when my subconscious comes up with things I never saw coming and never could have consciously created in a million years, it’s […]

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April 28, 2011

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6 Techniques for Using Music to Help Our Muse

Girl with Headphones

Lately I’ve been struck by how similar music is to writing.  Both arts use a non-visual medium to create an emotion.  And often, just like writing, music is meant to create movies in our mind for a do-it-yourself music video. If you’ve ever watched a movie with the sound turned […]

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February 15, 2011

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When Is a Story Worth Writing? – Part Two

Green eggs and ham

Writers are often overwhelmed with story ideas.  When I’m in the middle of difficult revisions, it’s normal for me to think of several other shiny ideas that I would much rather work on instead of doing yet another round of edits.  But not every idea is worthy of a story, […]

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January 20, 2011

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When Is a Story Worth Writing? – Part One

Tree growing from book

Every story begins with an idea.  Sometimes this idea comes to authors out of the blue.  Sometimes a dream provides the spark.  Sometimes “people watching” or an overheard conversation will trigger the thought.  But no matter where it comes from, the idea kicks off everything else, like a seed from which […]

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January 18, 2011

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The Best Reason to Blog

Thanksgiving Candle

Today is Thanksgiving in the U.S.  The day we eat too much food, roll our eyes at the antics of our extended family, and think about all the things we’re grateful for.  Or in my case, have epiphanies. So there I was, trying to think about my manuscript’s last-minute revisions […]

November 25, 2010

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Strong Character Wrap-up & Veteran’s Day

Puzzle with One Red Piece

Okay, what have we learned from the big series on creating strong characters?  To feel realistic, characters need to have goals, a delusional self-image, multiple personalities, flaws, and a reason for their actions.  Hmm…  All that makes them sound a touch crazy, doesn’t it?  (Not as crazy as I am, […]

November 11, 2010

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How to Create a Strong Character: Give Them Flaws

Cracked Statue

We’re almost through with the list of how to create strong characters.  So far, we’ve ensured they had goals and contrasted their self-image and persona.  Next up… Do They Have Flaws? To feel lifelike, our characters must have flaws like real people.  Without flaws, our characters risk making our whole […]

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November 4, 2010

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