Writers, Know Your Archetypes: The Shadow


I will be participating in The Great Villain Blogathon next week, so what better way to set the tone than a post about the shadow archetype?

1. I’ve already done a post with tips for creating a great antagonist, but shadow characters don’t necessarily have to be antagonists or villains.

As I will demonstrate with examples, it’s perfectly possible for shadow characters to have functions in a story other than that of the antagonist.

2. That said, shadow characters make fantastic antagonists.
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Great Villain Blogathon Reminder!


I will be participating in The Great Villain Blogathon next week! My subject is Waldo Lydecker from the classic film noir Laura. Please take a moment to check out this AMAZING line-up of bad guys and gals!

Originally posted on SPEAKEASY:

Attention bloggers and movie fans: this is your reminder that the revelry in villainy known as the Great Villain Blogathon (links to original announcement) will begin in little more than a week (April 20th through the 26th).

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Pop Culture Roundup March 2014


1. The Oscar telecast didn’t totally suck!

I was not crazy about host Ellen DeGeneres’ opening monologue (look, Liza Minnelli is fair game, but don’t insult her to her face on live TV where close to 1 billion people can see her reaction) but otherwise she did a good job. I thought the “selfie” segment was cute, and so was calling up for pizza. Both moments had genuine elements, such as nominee Lupita Nyong’o’s brother Junior jumping in with some of the biggest stars on the planet for the photo and a real pizza guy distributing the pizza.

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My Review of the Movie Divergent, Where I Don’t Compare it to That OTHER Franchise



There was once an episode of All in the Family where Edith was recounting the story of how she hit a car with a can of cling peaches (in heavy syrup). Archie got so sick of hearing her say cling peaches, Edith began replacing the words with “Mmm-Mmm.”

I am so darn sick of reading reviews about Divergent comparing it to The Hunger Games (and alleged “think pieces,” like this especially jerky one by Entertainment Weekly’s Owen Gleiberman) that any time I feel compelled to do the same, I’m going use “Mmm-Mmm” instead.

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8 Things You Need To Know About Character Arcs


No new post this week–I’m suffering from a muscle spasm in my back, so sitting at the computer is kind of difficult. So I dove into the archives and came up with this post. Hope you enjoy!

Originally posted on MOON IN GEMINI:

Jaime-Lannister1. Character arcs are not 100% necessary. I’m going to get this out of the way first thing.

This argument is made all the time, and there’s some truth to it. There are some very successful characters that never have a character arc. James Bond is the one most mentioned. While he was retooled somewhat when Daniel Craig took over the role in the movies, the character has never undergone a significant arc. Miss Marple never has an arc, or Hercule Poirot, or Stephanie Plum.

See a pattern here? They’re all characters in a long-running series of stand-alone books. While there are series characters that have arcs (I would argue Indiana Jones is an example) most don’t have them. Mainly because having the characters change would disrupt the series too much.

2. However, not giving your character one can simply be laziness on your part. Just because there are…

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J.K. Rowling, Lynn Shepherd, and Why Putting Down Fandoms is Stupid


Hey, writers, did you know J.K. Rowling is the reason you’re a big-ass failure?

That’s according to author Lynn Shepherd, who writes literary mysteries. She wrote an opinion piece on Huffington Post’s U.K. site. In a nutshell, she accuses J.K. Rowling of taking away HER chance of being a best-selling author because she’s stealing all her shelf space by writing adult books in her genre.

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Zimbio Quizzes Are Ruining My Life


You must have taken a Zimbio quiz or two, right?

They’re fun, aren’t they?

At least, they started out being fun for me.

One of my Facebook friends posted the Which Game of Throne Character Are You quiz. I thought, what the heck, I’ll take it, too.

I was absolutely thrilled to find out I was Daenerys Targaryan.

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Writers, Know Your Archetypes: The Shapeshifter


In Part 6 of my series about archetypes, I will examine the Shapeshifter:

1. As the name implies, a shapeshifter is a character who is not what he or she appears to be, either to the hero, the reader, or both.

2. Shapeshifting may be a literal part of the character. Obvious examples would be vampires, werewolves, magicians and wizards. The Harry Potter universe has several shapeshifting characters, including Professor McGonagall, Remus Lupin, and Sirius Black. Dr. Jekyll from Robert Louis Stevenson’s story The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde changes himself into a psychopath by taking a potion he invented.

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Black Sails: Starz’s New Pirate Show Really Floats My Boat



(He-he, sorry, couldn’t resist that title.)

I did not subscribe to Starz a few weeks ago. Then I stumbled on a preview episode of their new pirate series Black Sails on the Audience Channel.

I thought, “What the heck, I’ll watch for a few minutes. Michael Bay is an executive producer, I’ll probably HATE it and turn it off right away.”

Within about 15 minutes I was totally hooked and within a few moments of the end credits rolling I was a subscriber to Starz.

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Pop Culture Roundup January 2014

jesseplemons1. The Star Wars screenplay is finished! The Star Wars screenplay is finished! Commence hysteria about casting and other production issues! Director JJ Abrams announced that he and Lawrence Kasdan have finished the Star Wars Episode VII screenplay. Carrie Fisher confirmed that she will be in the movie and that shooting is supposed to start this spring.

Casting rumors abound. Realize with a movie like this, they see EVERYBODY. So news items that they met with this mega-star and that rising starlet and this beloved character actor usually mean nothing except that some meetings took place. However, there was one rumor–Jesse Plemons (Friday Night Lights and Breaking Bad) auditioning for the role of the young lead–that may have a bit of heat to it. JJ Abrams took the trouble to confirm the rumor. Plemons was amazing as Todd the sociopathic aspiring meth cooker in Breaking Bad. Fingers crossed that they reach a deal.

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2014 Starts on a Writing High Note: I’m a Project REUTSway Winner x 2 (and a half)!


As mentioned in a previous post, I participated in Project REUTSway, a short story contest held by REUTS Publications. I found out a month ago that I was one of the finalists. Today the winners were announced and TWO out of my three stories were chosen for the anthology! My third story is a runner-up, which means it will be posted on their blog at some point in the coming year!


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