Monthly Archives: March 2017

The Fire Nation Verb

The Fire Nation Verb-Tense-Aspect system: “wood” (irrealis) “burning” (incomplete) “ash” (complete) Ka-o ægni = The fire would burn/will burn/burns in principle Ka-i ægni = The fire is burning/burns often Ka-a ægni = The fire burned out/has burned out (combine them … Continue reading

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Mole Riding!

It would work, I tell you! from dumblr! https://danbensen.tumblr.com/post/158957171950/how-would-one-go-around-riding-that-burrows-like

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Awful Symmetry: The Believable Monster

Want to read the first chapter of the first draft of my how-to-make-good-monsters guide? Sign up for my mailing list. Here’s the introduction: Introduction: The Believable Monster The Imagine a tiger. Striped fur over bunching muscles. Its sharp, wet smell. … Continue reading

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Let slip the Birds of War!

This started as a conversation with the Great Khan Melissa Walshe about how Central Asian horse nomads like the Mongols had a big advantage over city-dwelling people (hint: the answer is “horses.”) Melissa isn’t a horse nomad, but she does raise chickens and she … Continue reading

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The Very Worst Thing

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. “Given her misbelief, what does she think the very worst thing that could happen would be?” Ruth … Continue reading

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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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