Gifts for Writers & Readers: 6th Day of Pre-Christmas

on December 18, 2015

12 Days of Pre-Christmas: Gift Six For Your Writer Friend

Writers don’t always subscribe to the most ergonomic work choices, and even when they do, their hands get tired. There’s an ache that can be felt at the base where the thumb meets the palm, that only a good massage can help. But who has time for daily massage? Instead here is a gift that is healing and preventative… Chinese Medicine Balls What they are: Also known as Boading balls 保定健身球, after the city where they are made, you will recognize these as Chinese medicine balls. They are small enough to hold in one hand. Originally made from iron, most are steel these days, and I’ve seen some that are solid jade. The steel balls contain a chime that sounds when the… Continue Reading

Gifts for Writers & Readers: 2nd Day of Pre-Christmas

on December 14, 2015

12 Days of Pre-Christmas: Gift Two For Your Writer Friend

Writers might use their computers to write, but there are few who don’t love the texture, movement, and freedom of curling up in a chair and dabbling with words, thoughts, or ideas without the constraint of pressing ‘save’. Which leads me to the gift which is an obvious classic – the journal. The Journal What it is: Okay, let’s face it. It’s a stack of blank paper held together by binding, with a cover of some kind, preferably a unique one. Why it’s great: It’s not just paper! It’s a home for your dreams, goals, and deepest desires. It’s the repository for all your great one-liners. It’s the place where you can secretly write a chapter at the beach because you promised your… Continue Reading

Writerly Wednesdays: Needs Vs. Goals in Character Development

on October 28, 2015

The difference between a character's need and a character's goal.

Other writers and teachers may differ, but this how I explain it. A need is an internal, emotional driving force for a character, inherent to who they are. A goal is a short term, outward objective that drives the action, and in best of stories, is linked tightly to the character’s inner need. A character “need” is something that is part of who the character is in life – the thing that defines their purpose. Even when I study my family and friends, I can see how all their decisions are driven by that need, and through that filter. It’s not necessarily the only filter, but as an individual, there is usually a very strong one for each of us. In my last… Continue Reading

Writerly Wednesdays: 5 Tips for Writing Memorable Characters

on October 21, 2015

5 Tips to Write a More Compelling and Memorable Character Are you wondering why your character is not quite standing on her own or driving the plot forward? Have a look at these quick writing tips to see if you can revitalize a weak character and give him or her something worth fighting for! Give them a human need that they require above all things to be happy in life. This might be something like having a purpose or being completely free to do as they want. Perhaps it’s acceptance, belonging, or knowing they are respected or honored. Sometimes it is to protect, or serve justice, or know the truth. Rarely is someone’s ultimate need to be loved. But it might… Continue Reading