The Universal Value of a Good Outline

Talking with my family over dinner one recent evening, the topic of conversation came around to outlines. They’re an integral part of writing, but I hadn’t realized just how useful a good outline is in completely different careers. I used to aspire to be a pantser (one who manages to sit down and write a book from their heart with minimal input) and now I’m very firmly a plotter, as I always have been. Aka, one who uses outlines. Continue reading “The Universal Value of a Good Outline”

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Back To School

Ongoing education is kind of a big deal, because it keeps your brain sharp and it also helps make you competitive in the terrible modern job market. It’s also, unfortunately, something that I have to do myself. Continue reading “Back To School”

Disappointing Endings

Finally, months after most of them finished, I’m catching up on the TV shows I watch. Unfortunately, for the most part, I am underwhelmed, and even the ones I liked were usually depressing. (Seriously! Is no one on TV allowed to have a happy ending anymore?) But it got me thinking about story endings, and what makes them good or bad. Continue reading “Disappointing Endings”

I Am Boring

It’s really hard to figure out what to blog about when I have no particular areas of expertise and am not a very interesting person. I’m not. I don’t go interesting places, I stick pretty much to myself so it’s not like I’m getting into these crazy adventures all the time with my friends. Not that I don’t still have adventures, they’re just spaced out. I have my schedule and my to-do lists that I follow. I go to work, I come home and write, watch a bunch of TV. Continue reading “I Am Boring”

Making a Good Series Finale

(Last one, I promise!) In case it isn’t clear, I really enjoyed Star Wars Rebels and I think people should watch it if they like Star Wars and cartoons. It’s a fun series, and there’s a lot of things I think they did right when they told these stories. I know I said rules in the title, but it’s really more a set of observations about things that work well. Not all of them apply to all stories, and some of them might just be fun story elements for all I know.

Anyhow, here’s a few things that make a good series finale. Continue reading “Making a Good Series Finale”

What Makes a Great Sequel

Star Wars Rebels is also a sequel, and a pretty darned good one. Not so much to Star Wars I-III, but to the Clone Wars TV show. It reuses both the half hour cartoon format, and a few of the characters. And like being a prequel, there are a few things that make it a good sequel that I think can apply to other stories. Continue reading “What Makes a Great Sequel”