How to avoid cookie-cutter characters

Cookie-cutter characters kill fiction. Weak villains and weak heroes, characters that we can easily forget. How do we avoid this to strengthen the books we write? Remember that childhood tale of the Gingerbread Man? Oh yes, he was cut out of cookie dough and ran away from the little old woman, shouting, “Run, run as fast as […]

Cookie cutter characters

Divinity and accountability in Fiction

When writing I have often pondered the futility of leaving God out of the story. His presence, whether embodied or as a distant spirit-being, omnipresent and omniscient, is necessary even in fiction. Without an ultimate accountability characters lose their punch. All stories need a level of good versus evil. Characters make choices between right and wrong. […]

Divinity and accountability in fiction

Sneak preview! The Phantom’s Blade

First draft of The Phantom’s Blade is done! Coming this Fall 2015 this novel is the highly anticipated fourth installment in The Sword of the Dragon series. I am pleased to present this sneak peak at the novel, its opening chapter. Enjoy! The Phantom’s Blade (The Sword of the Dragon series) book 4 Chapter 1: Despair beyond […]

Sneak peak The Phantoms Blade

How to Create Memorable Villains

Most good stories that stand out in my mind as extremely memorable involve an extraordinary villain. One of my favorite films is The Black Hole, an old Disney science-fiction film. All of the characters in that movie are dramatic actors and the villain (as played by Maximilian Schell) is extremely memorable. He is a brilliant scientist and […]

creating memorable villains

Sleep, Reflection, and the Writer

My mind is like an engine running overdrive. Ideas are pouring in all the time and I’m running with them. The visions I have for the future are pending realities I’m striving to bring to pass. This last few months has been crazy busy. Work, writing, website maintenance, travel, and now moving. Like it does […]

sleep reflection and writing

How I learned Patience building Ships-in-Bottles

From Dad’s basement workshop a scrap of pine wood, paints, and plumber’s putty. From Mom’s sewing supplies white or black thread, a needle, and twist ties from the kitchen drawer. Late into the night I used to work on building sailing ships in bottles. The work was delicate, requiring precision and diligence. And many times, […]

Lost art of patience

How we create Tomorrowland today

While watching the new Disney film Tomorrowland I found myself relating to its overriding theme: Negative thinking steers our world toward a negative outcome. Positive thinking steers us toward positive results. I found myself asking, “What kind of a future world do I want to create?” Doom and gloom. The news is full of it, and […]

Creating Tomorrowland Today