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How to simplify a conflict diagram to make it more powerful

The thing about Conflict Diagrams is that you can do them in more than one way. Here’s a first stab at an “odd couple” romance: Lots of Bones of Contention — the jagged boxes. However, it’s hard to see the potential

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Posted in Outlining, Uncategorized, Writing Tips

Writing, illness and outlining

“It creeps up on you,” says my writer friend. “Yes!” I swig from my third coffee. It’s the only way I can stay alert. “Like a live lobster being cooked… gosh can I smell seafood?” We’re talking about the experience

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Posted in Outlining, Writing Life, Writing Tips

The Strife Ray

(An old LJ post recycled for a friend.) Fantasy as a genre seems to exist to transfer the Fantasy Vision from the head of the author into those of their readers. Look! Look! Here’s my Gate of the Death. Cool

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Posted in Writing Tips

Loncon3

Had a blast at Loncon3, though was a very small fish in a very large literary pond. Got to hang out with Joshua Palmatier after knowing him online for years, and spend quality time with Peadar Ó Guilín, another LJ

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Posted in Writing Life

At Loncon 3!

We’re shortly off to Loncon 3. A lot of my heroes will be there, but hopefully I can avoid any embarrassing fanboy moments like at World Fantasy Con last year: Charlie: Martin. Look behind you…. Hello Joe. Me: What..? (leaps to

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Posted in Writing Life

Using Scapple to plan a dungeon (or a mystery)

I’m experimenting with ways to use diagrams as a creativity tool when planning a Mystery. My tool of choice is Scapple (from the same people who brought us Scrivener). This is really simple but intuitively usable diagramming software. It’s very much a creativity

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Posted in Outlining, Writing Tips

Conflict Diagram for Die Hard

A reader said it would be useful if I did some diagrams of movies, so here’s a conflict diagram of the classic 1988 Die Hard. (You can read a full synopsis here.) I’ve used green to show McClane’s team, red to

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Posted in Outlining, Storyteller Tools, Writing Fiction Faster

WIP: Assault on the Sky Tomb of the Earth Kin

What with Kurtzhau underfoot with Miskatonic Adonisitis or something like that, I’ve had to pause my novels and focus on something shorter, in this case a short story I’ve had on my to-do list for  a while. As always I

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Posted in Outlining, Storyteller Tools, Work In Progress

And so it — drafting — begins

I have the opening to Barbarian in the City outlined: The cast list has also grown: OLD DOCK GANG Madok – Leader. DINDRAYN – Girl Thief. Blonde. RM calls her “little sister” and treats her as a Sword Triber. Catigern

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Posted in Barbarian in the City, Outlining, Scrivener, Writing Life

That stupid De Niro quote on writers

The stupid De Niro quote about writers is doing the rounds of Facebook:   This kind of thing makes me cross. Some of the greatest writers in my pond seem utterly angst free. For example, the serene Terry Pratchett and Stephen

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Posted in Writing Life