Building character

I like to find less common sources of character-building inspiration. This post from Writer Unboxed provides several. Read one, pick a trait and use it as a writing prompt when you feel stuck on a character.

Writer Unboxed » The Science of Creating Authentic Characters


As I told some friends earlier today, I’m going to miss Leonard Nimoy. I remember being inspired to write one of my first science fiction stories because I liked Spock on Star Trek. I’m glad he, Nimoy, was able to live long and prosper.
Here’s an interview with him.

Leonard Nimoy: What I’ve Learned

Girls only?

I’ve spoken at a few schools over the years. Perhaps because I’ve visited as a journalist and not a book writer, I haven’t run into any gender segregation problems. But I think it’s something all writers should consider when offering to speak to students. Perhaps there is a good reason occasionally to speak to boys or girls alone, but in this case it seemed unnecessary.

squeetus: No Boys Allowed: School visits as a woman writer

Hearing voices

Voice is something I recognize in others, but I’m not always sure I know my own. In part, I attribute that to many years of training in the “neutral” voice of journalism. That’s why I like reading what other writers say about their voices. Here, for example, is David Arnold’s take on it.

Why YA? David Arnold Explains How He Found His Voice and His Readers « musing

Varied learning

Adding both authors and genres we don’t ordinarily read is a great way to learn as writers. I found Sunili Govinnage’s article from The Guardian intriguing.

I read only non-white authors for 12 months. What I learned surprised me | Sunili Govinnage | Comment is free | The Guardian

For another list of black authors, check out

Your one-liner

Did the Oscars — and all the other recent movie awards — inspire you to finish the screenplay that’s been buried in your hard drive for a while? Well, first ask yourself, “What’s my logline?”
I heard of loglines from Laurie Scheer at the Madison Writers Institute a few years ago. If you want to pitch a story, you’ll need one of these.

Movie Loglines Don’t Tease. They Tell. – Script Magazine

Good night, good doctor

Stictly speaking, this piece isn’t about writing. But its prose is a beautiful example of well-chosen and well-placed words. Oliver Sacks, who is a doctor as well as a writer, has bid us farewell. He should know he will be missed. And that he continues to teach those of us who would try to touch each other with words.

My Own Life –