Magic = Science (Technology)

Sam, While I may not include ‘The Power of Belief’ in its title, belief is still relevant in the advancement of science and how we incorporate it into civilization. It’s been a slow transition from attributing natural phenomenon as acts of God to the mechanics of weather, gravity, solar activity, etc. I won’t go too…

Choose, Sacrifice, Adapt

Sam, One of the key elements to a story is having the protagonist make a sacrifice–pay a heavy price–at the climax or breaking point; what makes that good is when the author has had enough build-up to get the audience to care about the protagonist’s sacrifice and how they adapt. There is the creation of…

A Sense of Place

Sam, This post will be a summary of my experience at the third annual Looking Glass Rock Writers’ Conference. A more detailed account of what I gained and left Brevard College with will be found on the page with the conference namesake. Come here to read more. When I applied to this conference, I knew…

Be a Filter, Not a Sponge

Sam, You only have to participate in one writing critique group to understand the vital importance of being a filter, not a sponge. The phrase “everyone is a critic” may as well be engraved on the tombstone of every artist because . . . everyone really is a critic. When it comes to art, every opinion matters…

The First Spell: ‘Philosopher’s Stone’ Part II

Sam, In ‘The First Spell: Philosopher’s Stone Part I’, I discussed the expertise of the Scholastic’s layout job, and how Jo begins her story on a plane we (as uninitiated Muggles) can understand. She then gradually transfers our interest – our support – for characters from the Dursleys very quickly to their severely oppressed nephew, Harry….

When the Turkey’s Ready and Only Then

Sam, I write to you this post at a timely moment. November hosts the annual challenge many writers will take up: National Novel Writing Month. The objective of NaNoWriMo is to compose a 50,000 word manuscript within the dates of November 1 and November 30. Whether or not you accomplish the assigned criterion by November’s end…

Women As Characters Not Tools

Sam, I’m happy to say in my lifetime there has been an increase in the awareness of gender in story, and how both of them can play each other’s “traditional” roles as well as their own. There are still some kinks to be worked out that can only be solved in time with the generations. I,…

Regarding ‘Afterlife’ by Stephen King

Sam, ***CAUTION. MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS.*** Last fall we had to read a piece and present it to my Short Story literature class. I decided on Steven King’s Afterlife after having read/heard it while searching for interviews of him online. If you aren’t able to purchase a copy of the Tin House issue featuring the story, you can…

Regarding ‘On Writing’ by Stephen King

  Dear Sam, (btw, I thought I should remind new readers that “Sam” stands for “Somebody who Ain’t Me.” So that’s what I mean by “dear Sam.” Just FYI) Sit back, if ya like, because I’m going to going off the wall about how great a book On Writing is for prospective, new, and seasoned…

Regarding ‘Life of Pi’ by Yann Martel

  Sam, I saw the film adaptation of Pi before I ever intended to read the book. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The cinematography and actor choice was spot on. From what I remember, it’s been a while since I’ve seen it, the film thoroughly engaged me and made me want to continue to experience the life of Pi….