On Heroes and Villains

When I was in Grade Ten, I performed in a one act play. I can’t, for the life of me, remember what it was called. Checks Google. It was called ‘He Done Her Wrong‘ by Anita Bell. Thank you, Google. All hail.

Anyway, it was a melodrama full of all the classic tropes. I played a villain called Fleetwood Dashaway. Complete with tophat, cape and twirly moustashe. He was a very fun character to play, equally shallow and cardboardy as the rest of the cast. It worked because of its nostalgic approach to vaudeville theater.

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Plot, Premise and Story

We’ve all been there: staring at the screen or notebook wondering how to write the middle of your story. You’ve built a wonderful world and crafted some deep characters. You might even have done a great job at setting the stage and have a great idea on where you want to end up. You’ve written down a few scenes and they are glorious. But still the flashing cursor looms.

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Words to Kill

Part of the self-editing process (you do self-edit, right?) is to clean-up passive voice, needless adverbs and filler words. This is typically done in a pass that doesn’t pass any judgement on the content itself. It’s a mechanical exercise.

So, why not use the awesome power of your computer to get it done. Write down a list of words that indicate writing that could be tightened up. Use an angry red crayon, if it helps. Start with these gems: was, were, had, just, that, started, think, thought, only. Add words to the list you often overuse. Search for them using the so-named function of your word processor. Don’t automatically remove, but challenge them. Are these the best word choices? Read More

A Novelty Program

“So I think I’m going to write a book!”

It’s a fairly common scene: You’ve met with your friends for coffee and during the round table of fabulous new things everyone has going on in their lives, a ‘friend’ has decided to write a book. Amazing, right? What an ambitious goal in life! Maybe you catch yourself wondering if this is going to be like one of the last five times this idea has come up; where you’re going to sit quietly Read More