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…

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…

The Unspoken Horror in ‘Prisoner of Azkaban’

Sam, Happy Halloween! ‘Tis the season of ghost stories, Trick-or-Treating, and reflecting on our mortality in the face of the Dead. There’s one thing each of these traits of the Gaelic festival have in common. That common theme is the central topic of this post; wherein Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban will be the…

Write What You KNOW

Sam, The title of this post might be a phrase you’ve heard of before. If you’re a writer or just familiar with any great writer (Stephen King for instance), then you’ve heard this piece of advice repeated. It’s a word from the wise on a practical approach to writing. I wish to augment this truth…

Methods of Writing

Sam, In the nine years I’ve been writing, I have gone back and forth from handwriting to typing on a computer and back again quite a few times. My shaking things up from time to time comes from a need to keep my Inner Critic’s eye sharp. I know in previous posts, the Inner Critic has…