Author Archives: dan

The Sommalier Theory of Genre Fiction

I’ve been wrestling recently with why I like some books and don’t like others, which has led me to drinking thinking more deeply about what genre fiction delivers to its readers. Emotional investment. That sense of what will happen to them next?? Also … Continue reading

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Why does Ruth want it?

I’m working through Story Genius by Lisa Cron and I thought I’d share some of the process. Here’s the sixth exercise in the book. “why does your protagonist want what she wants?” Ruth wants Johnnie Magician in jail because he deserves … Continue reading

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The Kingdom of Phoneme

This week, I’m playing with awkwords! The Kingdom of Phoneme is in turmoil, torn apart by the factions around the brothers Hluatat and Derifum and meanced by the great general S’LãGs̩ of Abjad, as they fend of the piratical attacks of Captain KuLaEn’ZuLe … Continue reading

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What Ruth Wants

I’m working through Story Genius by Lisa Cron and I thought I’d share some of the process. Here’s the fifth exercise in the book. “Write a short paragraph about what your character enters the novel wanting,” Ruth wants to see Johnnie … Continue reading

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Writing about sugar and colonialism

The alternate-history competition from last week has a winner! 2. Molasses Empire: sugar-fueled Bantu Merchant-Kings colonize the world (5 votes) Now I have to figure out a story that takes place in this timeline. Any ideas? EDIT: Turns out introducing a new … Continue reading

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Chapter 6 is done!

Chapter 6 of The Centuries Unlimited, bringing us up to 21% completion. Chapter quote: “Why are you perpetuating a childhood you grew up despising?” — Mona Rodriguez First line: “I opened my eyes to find myself facing a buffalo skull.” … Continue reading

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The Protagonist Before

I’m working through Story Genius by Lisa Cron and I thought I’d share some of the process. Here’s the fourth exercise in the book. “Write a thumbnail sketch of who your protagonist is before the novel starts.” Ruth was about to … Continue reading

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The Choice of Lady Yu

A girl from a stifling culture gets rescued by the Mongols and finds a place for herself in the Mongol meritocracy, but is self-fulfillment worth killing a third of the population of Eurasia?

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American dialect research

Hey does anyone know of a book or database or something that documents the change in American English over the course of the 20th century? Here’s what I got so far google n-gram viewer American Dialect Society Dictionary of American … Continue reading

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“What’s your What If?”

I’m working through Story Genius by Lisa Cron and I thought I’d share some of the process. Here’s the third exercise in the book. “What’s your What If?” What if there’s a technology – a time train – that carries you … Continue reading

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