All posts for the month February, 2012

How to Write a Good Villain

What makes a good enemy, someone you love to hate? 1. A good enemy is a complex, nuanced character. Like all complicated people, a villain has streaks of good mixed in with all that bad. He is, in some way, vulnerable. Some people may sympathize with the villain. Some may even like him. 2. Ordinary […]

Do You Need to Know the Ending?

This is a “yes, but” situation. Yes: If you don’t know where you’re going, how can you chart a course to get there? A whole lot can happen in the middle, some of which might take you by surprise and affect the ending, but when you pull out your star charts, and man the ship’s […]

19 Reasons Why You’ll Never Finish

Spoken from my been-there, done-that, know-it-well life, here is what can complicate a nice, clean run to the finish: 1. Your brain has turned to gelatin. Your muscles are mush. Fatigue sets in. No energy, no writing. 2. Anything is easier than writing. The ironing. The kids. The vacuum. The correspondence. 3. Email and social […]

7 Stories I Won’t Tell

I had a professor in law school, a terrifying guy who nonetheless managed to leave me with one key teaching: the business of the law is to draw lines. That certainly turned out to be the case and I figure it’s the same for writers. Where do you draw your line? For me, here are […]

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