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Antagonists Who Aren’t Villains

Does every story need a villain? There is a big difference between a villain and an antagonist.  A villain wants to impart physical or emotional pain to your story’s protagonist.  An antagonist is simply at odds with your protag.  Which means a villain is by definition an antagonist – but only some antagonists are villains. […]

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Language Learning in Literature and Life

As a language learner, things can get a little overwhelming at times.  Having a conversation one-on-one in a second language can be hard enough, but being dropped into an on-going conversation takes everything to the next level.  I still remember the first time I got into a car with a group of people who wanted […]

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Sticking The Landing

When you watch a gymnast doing a parallel bars routine, it is easy to get caught up in the grace and the power – coupled with an I-could-never-do-that kind of awe.  Nothing ruins that experience – or the gymnast’s score – faster than failing to stick the landing.  A double hop – or worse, falling […]

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Kintsugi and The Fine Art of the Character Arc

In real life, we resist change.  But our characters get pushed to change by the plot.  Some characters embrace change, and are more than ready to undertake a hero’s journey. Typically, though, protagonists don’t like change – especially difficult, painful change — any more than you do.  But you have to ignore their protests and […]

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Worldbuilding is People

Part of worldbuilding – whether you are writing an epic Sci-Fi story or a quiet romance – comes down to designing people.  Everyone is shaped by their surroundings, be they a small town in Montana or the confines of a space station.  Clothing, customs, economic structures – all of these were designed by people for […]

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Poetic Technique for Prose Writers

Blog Post – Poetic Technique for Prose Writers I love language.  The sound of words.  The way a pause can imply a character taking a breath.  The way a strong image can stay with you for days. The fact that I as a writer can tell you how my character feels inside, and if I […]

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The Freedom of the First Draft

I hope everyone survived NaNoWriMo.  How’d you do?  Even if you didn’t hit 50K, I hope you enjoyed the experience, especially if it was your first time.  And you now have more words than you started the month with. The thing I love about NaNo is the need to meet a deadline, which forces you […]

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