You are browsing Writing



I have too much stuff.

Sherlock and Elementary: I’ve Changed My Mind


When Sherlock debuted several years ago, I was dazzled. I’m still dazzled by a “A Scandal in Belgravia.” Then somebody on here (can’t remember who) said, “Oh, try Elementary,” and I did, and I thought it was fine but it wasn’t Sherlock. Which I’m now thinking is a good thing. I’ve just finished watching all of Elementary in a two-week binge, and I think it’s just as good as the British Holmes and in some ways better. Some of this is, of course, tinged by Season Three of Sherlock because it was terrible, bad enough that I’m not terribly interested in a Season Four. But I’m also coming over to Elementary because seeing all the episodes together emphasized that this show has what Sherlock lacks: characters I care deeply about who change over time. read more >>

Filed in Writing | Comments (66)

Questionable: Emotional Shorthand


Suzanne said:

In my first draft, I’ve got characters grimacing, smirking, scowling, smiling, and laughing. In every subsequent pass, I work hard to go deeper into the character’s POV to figure out what he’s actually experiencing. But it’s hard because that leads to a lot of teeth grinding, gut clenching, and hands curling into fists (not literally, but you know what I mean). And that’s not good, right? I’ve been told not to do that–but isn’t that showing what they’re feeling viscerally? It’s overdone, for sure, but…? So how do we show/express a character’s emotions without being clichéd or…dumb? How do you do it differently for men and women?


Filed in Writing | Comments (17)



I’m still brain-frozen, but there are interesting things being talked about on the net about women in stories and agency. I first heard “agency” as part of characterization a couple of years ago and had no idea what it meant, so for those of you in the same boat, here’s Chuck Wendig’s definition: read more >>

Filed in Writing | Comments (61)

The “I Want”


io9 has a post by Ria Misra on Disney’s use of the “I want” song, the point in their animated musicals when the protagonist opens her mouth and sings, “I want this, I need this, I’m gonna get this,” the first one being Ariel’s “Part of Your World.” The post acknowledges the formula even as it defends it for its clarity: don’t make your viewer guess what your protagonist wants, just lay it out there. read more >>

Filed in Writing | Comments (34)