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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,400 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 40 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Novels & The “Knockout” Ending

For any writer out there, Kristen Lamb’s blog is a must-visit. She has a volume of past posts that are worth reading too.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

The past few posts, we’ve been talking about the fabulous James Scott Bell’s LOCK System. LEAD, OBJECTIVE, CONFLICT, and, finally, KNOCKOUT. Jim’s given me permission to talk about his system, but there is NO substitute for his fabulous book Plot & Structure. It’s one of the BEST writing references out there.

I am sure many of you’ve had this same experience with either a book or a movie. The characters are great, the story riveting, tense, and you can’t wait until the…..eh? WTH? Was that the ENDING? Really? I invested TWELVE HOURS of reading for THAT? And then you toss the book across the room or tell every friend you know not to watch Such-and-Such movie. I think it’s worse with novels because readers have a lot of time (they don’t really have to spare) invested.

I remember one book I read a couple years ago. It…

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The Stuff of Legends—Creating a Character Apocalypse

Kristen Lamb’s blog constantly offers insight into writing…it’s a regular visit for me, which I highly recommend to any author.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

My friend Piper Bayard is away for a few days and she asked me to pick up the Apocalypse Torch for the week. It is so tempting to write more about zombies and Kardashebola or Sharknado and maybe we will. But, today, we are going to talk about the apocalypse—what it is and what it means for really great writing.

When we hear the word “apocalypse” we think of doomsday prophesies, Mayan predictions, global catastrophes, and Mad Max movies. It conjures images of the end of the world. Yet, if we look to the original Greek word, an apocalypse, ἀποκάλυψις apocálypsis, from ἀπό and καλύπτω meaning ‘un-covering’, translated literally from Greek, is a disclosure of knowledge, i.e., a lifting of the veil or revelation (via Wikipedia).

When it comes to writing a great novel, the apocalypse must be present externally (plot) as well as internally (character growth).

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Succinct post on how to take writing critique like a man (or woman who can beat up said man)!

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Many, many moons ago I was in martial arts (I started Tae Kwon Do when I was 13). Because I’d had roughly eight years of dance, I tended to rely a bit too much on kicks when sparring, and I knew this was a weakness (especially since I was the only female competitor back in those days).

In short, I wanted to get better with my hands. So, when I was 19, I joined a boxing gym. This was 20 years ago, but the lessons learned in the boxing ring are useful for anyone in a creative profession, but particularly writers.

Toughen Your Soft Underbelly

Our profession, by its very nature, is delicate and connected to our soft underbelly (our ego and feelings). Our soft underbelly is exactly where critics will seek to strike.

Think of this job like boxing. We’re in the ring. Outside (and even internal) critics are…

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