There is Nothing New Under the Sun Remember that old saying? Years ago, when TVs had rabbit ears and PBS was the only way to watch without commercial interruptions, I saw Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth. It was 1988 and this professorial man … Continue reading The Quest as Genre: A Plot Outline
Well, it looks like there’s about a week until school starts around here, so this will be yet another year I won’t be teaching in the public school system. I sat down today to think of what are some of the positives and negatives about … Continue reading The Pros and Cons of Classroom Teaching
One frequent piece of advice for avoiding writer’s block we hear is: write something, anything. But where do we start? How do we seek out and capture that elusive abstract we call inspiration? I had the chance to lead a young writing group recently. I … Continue reading Finding Inspiration at the Library: Two Writing Sessions
Food is an intricate part of literature. Eating While Reading A joke from I don’t know how far back is that literature is a one-handed occupation, ostensibly because the reader is supposed to be doing something with the other hand. I confess that usually … Continue reading Food and Literature
We call main characters protagonists. We like to call them heroes. Then there are those pesky anti-heroes, when the main character we root for is really a bad guy. But what if main characters aren’t particularly heroic? Is it enough that they just survive? How … Continue reading Is Survival Enough for a Dystopian Hero?
What does it take to become a generation worthy of respect? Is there really something special about some generations? Is there something wrong with others? At a recent book club meeting, we were discussing The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. (This novel depicts the lives of … Continue reading Tempered Steel Makes the Character
In my pursuit of advice about crafting villains, one idea comes up again and again: the villain doesn’t know he is a villain; the villain mistakenly thinks he is the hero. Now that I’ve found my villain and made him into a cruel and selfish … Continue reading A Villain’s Fatal Flaw