How to Include Humor in Your Stories
Some of us are naturally blessed with a sense of funny and some of us (like me) are not. So what do you do, when you want to include a funny scene or a shot of humor in your story?
You learn. That’s right, writing humor is a skill you can learn by watching and listening to comedy greats. Once you start observing people like Robin Williams, Craig Ferguson, Jerry Seinfeld, Ellen DeGeneres, and Michael McIntyre you’ll laugh, but if you pay attention, you’ll also notice patterns in their jokes — how they set them up, how they misdirect you, and ultimately how they surprise you at the end with the punchline. …
The Willful Defiling of America
Every nation has its dark moments in history — but striving to become something better than they were at their darkest time is what sets the best countries apart.
Those who have bettered the country through outstanding action in their chosen field are sometimes awarded a medal known as the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
This medal is the nation’s highest civilian honor and recognizes efforts made toward the nation’s security, world peace, national, cultural, or creative endeavors.
Past Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients include distinguished creatives and social contributors such as Maya Angelou, Kirk Douglas, Norman Rockwell, Bob Hope, Jimmy Stewart, Yo-Yo Ma, Ansel Adams, Johnny Carson, Bill and Melinda Gates, Tom Hanks, Mother Teresa, Buzz Aldrin, and Walter Cronkite to name a very few. Every contributor has made an outstanding contribution to not only their field but toward the betterment and enrichment of the nation and subsequently, the world. …
Should You Include Sexting in Romance Writing?
The term ‘sexting’ is a blend of sex and texting. It became a word in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary in August 2012.
The word might be new because of our evolving relationship with tech and our phones, but the idea is not. Communicating our feelings to a cherished other in some written form has existed for centuries. The medium has changed, but the feeling and drive behind our motivations have not. Expressing love and physical need is a part of the human condition.
The question, ‘Should sexting be included in a romance novel?’ was put to me by my fellow Medium writer, Sarah Hannan Richards after reading my piece on writing sex scenes, shown below. …
How to Make Readers Feel
Emotional scenes can be difficult, even exhausting, for both the writer to write and the reader to read. Not only that, achieving the desired result — making the reader feel and empathize with what the characters are going through can feel like an impossible task.
Most writers are tempted to ‘lay it on thick’ when it comes to emotion. Instinct and a lifetime of hearing ‘show don’t tell,’ leads to overwrought, over-the-top, unrealistic, bordering on hysterical scenes, or in a word, melodrama. The writer’s instinct is to put the emotions under a microscope to capture every tiny yet significant detail. Can we say, sensory overload? …
The Shame In Keeping Silent
When the #MeToo movement was at the forefront and women from all walks of life came forward to speak about their experiences, I stayed quiet. I supported them at a distance, in silent solidarity but I didn’t want to talk about my experience. I wanted to forget it and the shame I felt even after thirty-four years had passed.
I was sixteen and in my second last year of high school. I needed several hours of experience in my chosen field before I could qualify to enroll in the college that taught the program.
My mom decided that I would need a car of my own when I went to college (it was over two hours away) and for work. Seeing as her old Ford Fairmount was paid for, she got a loan for a new car. I felt like the luckiest kid alive, that I’d have my own car and a new one at that. The catch was that I’d have to find a job, or maybe even two to help pay for it. …
Give Your Novel a Powerful Start by Avoiding These Pitfalls
Getting off to a good start is important in any undertaking but even more so when writing a story. We know we have to intrigue our readers and hook them as soon as possible. We need to convince them the time they’ll spend reading our creation will be time well spent.
We know what we have to do, but it’s also essential to know what not to do. Knowing the pitfalls will help us craft a more powerful beginning. Let’s take a look at some of the most common issues.
Sometimes we start too soon. As writers, we like to begin gradually, get a setting in mind and get our feet wet as we start our journey. Readers don’t have time for that. They want to get to the point. …
How to Create Villains Readers and Audiences Love
Every great story has a great villain. Some stories have a villain so brilliant and relatable, readers and audiences love and root for them.
The mark of a one-dimensional villain is that no one loves them or cheers for them. This sort of villain has no redeeming quality and every villain should have at least one.
So how do we get readers and audiences to cheer for our villains?
We make them relatable. We make them human. Even Lucifer is relatable — he stood up for what he believed in. He stood against his own father for that belief. That’s strength, not everyone can do that. How many of us have had to stand against a family member over something we believed in? …
Review: A Blending of ‘Old’ Trek with ‘New’ Trek
In this seventh live-action incarnation of Star Trek, we are reunited with The Next Generation’s Captain Jean-Luc Picard portrayed by Sir Patrick Stewart.
He is older and embittered but as passionate as ever when confronted with the wrongs perpetrated by the evolving universe and its politico-military watchdog, Star Fleet.
Eighteen years have passed since the events of the movie, Star Trek: Nemesis.
The good captain has retired to his vineyard in La Barre, France and lives with his trusty pit bull companion, Number One, and two caretakers who manage both the vineyard and Picard’s day-to-day affairs. …
Blame the Owner, Blame the Breeder
The debate over dangerous dog breeds has raged for a long time, but the concept of what constitutes dangerous is an arbitrary list based on stereotypes of breed and size.
Large dogs, especially working-class dogs, like German Shepherds, Rottweillers, Dobermans, and others like Pit Bulls, Boxers and Bulldogs get the worst rap.
The fact is, there are no bad dogs. ‘Dangerous dogs’ are a human creation. No breed is naturally aggressive.
Aggression occurs because of human abuse and tampering — inbreeding, overbreeding, poor environment and behavioral demands on the animal’s personality and physical abuse. In abusive situations, the owners will beat animals until they become aggressive. …
Both Types of Voices Have Value
Every writer at some point in their career has heard the rule, ‘use active voice instead of passive voice.’
It’s one of those ‘in one ear and out the other’ rules, that people nod and agree with when they’re told about it, but are still caught doing it from time to time.
I think it’s important to understand what active and passive voice means and to know both have a place in our writing. They accomplish different jobs. They are both useful.
Active voice happens when the person or thing(called ‘the subject’ or ‘actor’) doing the action (called ‘the verb’) upon another person or thing (called ‘the object’)in the sentence comes first. …