What I’ve learned from Miguel Cervantes #amreading

Morality & factual, Cervantes life and more.


‘The Anarchist’s Design Book’ is Done Designed — Lost Art Press

Minutes before I left town last week to teach a chairmaking class I completed the layout for the expanded edition of “The Anarchist’s Design Book.” Megan Fitzpatrick is editing it (perhaps even as I type this). Briony Morrow-Cribbs needs to finish the illustrations. Plus we need a new index and the final slaying of the […]

‘The Anarchist’s Design Book’ is Done Designed — Lost Art Press

Employing polarity  #amwriting

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

When we have finished the first draft of our story and come back to revise it later, we find that in places, our characters seem two dimensional.

Certain passages stand out; the characters have life, intensity. Their emotions grab us, and we feel them come alive. We see them as sharply as the author intends.

In other passages, they are flat, lacking any sort of spark.

When we add contrast to the scenery – polarity – the setting comes alive. The imaginary world of the narrative becomes as real to the reader as the world of their living room.

The same is true for how we show our characters.

Word choice matters. How we phrase a passage makes an immersive experience or throws the reader out of the book.

Our goal is to make vivid sensory images for our readers.

John Keats used both polarities and similes in his work…

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Three Book Reviews—what I read this Summer #amreading

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

Here in the northern hemisphere, summer is winding down. The fall quarter of school begins today, and pumpkin spice lattes are suddenly available everywhere. During the summer I read several books that I would like to share with you.

First off, I chain-read the first two books in the sci-fi Harper Revolutionseries by Lee French.

Publisher: Clockwork Dragon

Publication Date: June 26, 2018

The series opens with the book Porcelain. Eighteen-year-old Emma Harper is struggling. Her beloved older brother joined the Marines and has been declared missing in action. To please her emotionally distant father, she is slated to attend a college she doesn’t want, to follow in his footsteps in a field she has no affinity for—accounting. Emma is a math whiz and an inventor. She loves all things physics and science. She has a mechanical mind and can build anything. She reads and absorbs every…

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After We Stop Procrastinating… — Live to Write – Write to Live

Last month I wrote a blog post about procrastination. Today I want to tell you how I actually get myself to sit down and write. Sometimes an idea comes and I just sit down and start writing. Or I jot down the idea and sit down and write as soon as I have a free […]

via After We Stop Procrastinating… — Live to Write – Write to Live


Character Growth/Arc #amwriting

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

When we think of epic fantasy, the first books that come to mind are J.R.R.Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Tolkien’s work was compelling not only for the quality of his prose and the events, but for the characters and how they grew and changed in the course of their adventures.

Genre authors spend a lot of time plotting the events a character will go through. Equal time must be given to character development.

A great story evolves when the antagonist and protagonist are strong but not omnipotent. Both the antagonist and protagonist must have character arcs that show personal growth or inability to grow.

Sometimes, an antagonist’s weakness is their inability to accept change and adapt to it. Other times, events cause them to devolve, sending them into a downward spiral. Either way, for the antagonist to be realistic, this must be clearly shown.


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