Tag Archives: Characters

Storytelling—The Journey from Darkness toward Light, from the Existential Scream to the Universal Sigh

Here’s the thing, being human isn’t easy. We are human and we are animal—savage and tender, mindful and thoughtless, loving and cruel, base and divine—and then toss our heart and spirit into the mix and—wait, shhhh, hear that existential scream? Yup, understanding the complexities of human nature is an ongoing challenge. If you have any desire to try, and if you are a writer, painter, musician, actor, creative seeker of any stripe, you are a storyteller and you are on the journey toward transformation and Continue reading →

Breaking News: Crisis Reveals Character

With the daily carnage on our streets and all the conflict pouring out of the Middle East, it’s hard not to despair. You might recoil from all the violence and hate-speech, but if you’re writing a novel—and can keep your hands from shaking—I suggest you shed your fear and open your eyes. There’s no shortage of villainous material. If you need a model for your antagonist, there are plenty of individuals clamoring for your attention. And in the midst of crisis, you can count on the Continue reading →

A Conversation in a Target Store

I was only there to buy some coffee cup coasters. That was all. For my office. And the checkout lady glanced up at the woman in front of me who had a whole cart full of towels, dresses and children’s puzzles, and she mumbled, “So, how are you.” And it wasn’t really a question. And the woman said, “Fine.” And it wasn’t really an answer. Then she wordlessly unloaded her items one by one and the checkout lady dutifully scanned them. At last, without a Continue reading →


“My only note – your Bad Guy talks too much. The thing with Bad Guys – they’ve got tight, thin mouths and they don’t say a lot – except for their aria.” Think about it – the conciseness, the awesome, nailing-it truth. I somehow doubt that that is taught at, say, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, or at other bastions of Literary Integrity. But it should be. Instead, Bruce Lansbury, commenting on the first-draft of my Wonder Woman teleplay, spoke those piercingly insightful words to me. Continue reading →