Tuesday, June 30, 2015

There Oughta Be a Flaw

by Gary Fearon

In virtually every story we write, it's a given that we will give our hero challenges to face.  Those obstacles we put in his/her path are likely to be external in nature, delivered by either circumstances or an antagonist.  But we can increase the drama further by slipping in some internal struggles for our hero too.

Besides making our protagonist more lifelike, a character flaw has the power to add the fascinating element of irony.  A hero who becomes the guardian of his brother's kids will have a worse time of it if he had vowed never...

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Spice of Life

by Gary Fearon

This weekend, a friend shared his childhood memories of the "family movie night" that was a weekly ritual in his home.  Each member of the family got to take turns picking the flick of the week at Blockbuster.  As you can predict, the kids always picked out movies geared toward children, while the adults chose more sufferable fare.

For every Ninja Turtles movie they watched, my friend's dad had them sit down to a classic like On the Waterfront. Or A Streetcar Named Desire. One week it was even Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. (Don't worry, grade school exposure to these...

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

10 Things Writers Can Learn from the Beav

by Gary Fearon

Jerry Mathers as The Beaver
Today being June 2ndthe birthday of Jerry MathersI thought it would be a fitting tribute to recognize some of the things any writer can benefit from through the TV classic Leave It to Beaver.

1. Give your characters a believable setting
The fictional town of Mayfield gained credibility via regular reminders of local landmarks like the malt shop, the fire station, and Friends Lake. Leave It to Beaver purposely included more outdoor shots than most other sitcoms of its time. A strong sense of place gives added personality to the story.

2. Find drama in simple things
Nowhere in its run from 1957-1963 do we experience...

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