Category Archives: character development

Dear Writers, Welcome the New Year with Change

Hey, it’s 2014! I have a lot to look forward to, like a royalty statement that will definitively answer the question, “How’s Elisha Barber doing?” And the release of Elisha Magus in July, which I’ll be sure to talk lots … Continue reading

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Sowing the Seeds of the Perfect End

I recently submitted a story to an online journal, and received some feedback from the editor, a couple of changes she wanted to see: first, the character’s motivation was unclear, second, the ending didn’t work. Well, motivation’s not too hard, … Continue reading

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What’s in a Name? The Naming of Elisha

It has come to my attention from two different and equally interesting directions that some people are wondering about the name of my protagonist, Elisha Barber, specifically, his first name. Some folks have even wondered if it’s my name (it’s … Continue reading

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Racism and the Problem of the Hybrid Hero

It has been said that there are really only two plots:  A stranger comes to town, and someone leaves home.  What I want to look at today is the first one, the stranger–but not just any stranger, the stranger who … Continue reading

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“Avengers” and the vulnerable superhero

I went to see “The Avengers” again recently. Don’t ask how many times I’ve seen it–I’m not an addict, I can quit any time.  Really. The film got me thinking about the role of vulnerability in heroes.  Any time you … Continue reading

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No More Bad Villains!

During a critique session this weekend, a writer friend said she wanted to know if readers found her protagonist “too stupid to live.”  This is an issue we think about often in relation to our protags, but not often enough … Continue reading

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Review: The Drowning City, a flawed fantasy

The Drowning City by Amanda Downum My rating: 3 of 5 stars A promising work, that fell sadly flat. I’m always excited to see fantasy works with unusual settings and characters, so this is the first from my World Fantasy … Continue reading

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Review: Doc: A Novel (which blew me away)

Doc: A Novel by Mary Doria Russell My rating: 5 of 5 stars While I’m not inherently interested in the subject matter (Doc Holliday), I thought very highly of Russell’s book The Sparrow. In fact, it is one of my … Continue reading

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The Scooby-Doo Monster Effect, part 2: The Rubber Suit

In my last Scooby-inspired post, I noted that there were a couple of problems with the Scooby monsters and talked about the convenience factor in plotting.  I noted in passing that the other issue hinges on transportation.  Well, not just … Continue reading

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