As the saying goes, the best time to prepare for a disaster was last year. The next best time is now. How do your characters plan to deal with problems before they happen? And how well do their plans match reality? Continue reading
How do you prove to skeptical strangers that you’re not under vampiric mind control? Continue reading
Who do your characters like to hang out with, and why?
In some stories this is more critical than others. In a James Bond-type spy thriller or a fantasy adventure or space opera bent on stopping the Evil Overlord from taking over the world, Continue reading
Okay, first off, I want to tell anybody who wants to read up on scientific research but may not already know this neat trick: if you go to the main JSTOR site and sign up as an independent researcher, you can get access to 100 free articles to read a month. It still costs you money if you want to download an article to print, but you can at least read them. And bookmark them to re-read later, if – like me – sometimes you just have time to run a search, not to read right that minute. And you can search the heck out of the whole site, with small previews available that are generally enough to figure out if the article is worth reading for what you want. On top of that a few of the articles are “Open access”, meaning you can download and print them without any fees.
(If writers don’t qualify as independent researchers, I don’t know who would.) Continue reading
Displayed at the side of a register screen, publicly yet not ostentatiously, lies a “gas store X” notepad marked Loss Prevention Department.
I will refrain from naming the store this notepad was in, but I can assure you it did not sell gas. Continue reading
When writing characters in conflict, there’s two things you need to keep in mind. What are your characters’ goals? And what are their motivations?
These two things are often confused as different terms for the same thing. And… they’re not. Really, really not. Continue reading
Background to this: I and an email pal some time ago figured out we have different base concepts of “blue”. Pal shades more toward true/dark blue, while mine edges more toward cyan. On due consideration (and examining various landscape pics sent back and forth), I suspect it’s heavily connected with what the sky looks like where we are. Continue reading
AKA The Vigilantes in Masks (2011, sometimes listed as 2010). Five out of five stars here, you can tell when the plum and cherry blossom scenes are green-screened but the rest is very well done, and the story just rocks.
I know I’ve mentioned that the Imperial Coroner would make a fun Leverage cross, but if you’re looking for “Leverage in Ancient China”, this is the series that so far comes the closest. Continue reading
If you can keep your head about you when all about you are losing theirs, odds are you’ve worked in retail a while. Continue reading
Secret identities. Hidden dark pasts. The orphan who turns out to be the king’s son. And all kinds of disguises, from the classic hastily-borrowed enemy uniform (see Raiders of the Lost Ark for problems with that) to carefully impersonating another sex, culture, or even species. Writers and readers love identity shenanigans. Continue reading