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Leverage Sunday: Splitting Up Is Hard To Do

Jul112014

As I think I’ve mentioned before, I’ve figured out why the last season of Leverage is my least favorite even though it has wonderful episodes: Each story moved the team closer to splitting up. As a writer, I applaud this. After four years, the team members are not just masters at what they do but tightly bonded in a family that nothing can destroy. Which means there’s no place else to go unless they find a way to destroy that invincible family. Thankfully, they didn’t do that, but they did change the community, moving toward Nate and Sophie’s marriage and retirement from the con and the new Leverage International headed by, of all people, Parker, ably supported by Eliot and Hardison. It was absolutely the right thing to do narratively and creatively, but it took away the thing I loved best about Leverage: that family of five working together. I’m not complaining, I don’t see any other way they could have gone in a fifth season, and I would have said, “Hell, yes,” to a sixth season, but still . . .
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Passwords To Remember

Jul92014

I recently changed all my passwords because of that damn Heartbleed thing, and I’ve been lost ever since. I knew all my passwords before because I’d had them for over a decade (that’s a bad thing), but finding secure new ones that I could remember turned into a nightmare. Then I found this post on Lifehacker that had this excellent password generator from security expert Bruce Schneier. Here’s my version of the Schneier method:
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Questionable: Sex in Stories

Jul32014

Deb Blake asked:

Sex. I have to put the occasional sex scene in my books, and it is SO hard to write sex scenes (or seduction, or even just attraction) well. Your sex scenes are among the few I actually like to read. Any suggestions?

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Questionable: 10 Things to Know About Publishing

Jul22014

Julie wrote:

How about . . . [a] Top 10 things nobody tells you about getting your book published, Top 10 things newbie authors need to know, middle-of-the-road/almost published authors should know…

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Questionable: Story Form and Function

Jun272014

Mary (Egads) Wrote:

I’d like your thoughts on how form affects story.
I’m reading Alone With All That Could Happen: Rethinking Conventional Wisdom About the Craft of Fiction Writing by David Jauss. Jauss gives an example of student writing that failed to flow, not because of syntax, but because of form. The short story had six scenes, each scene was about the same length and structured the same. Despite the good writing, the story was dissatisfying because “the sameness of length made the story’s rhythm seem choppy, almost staccato, and worse, it implied that each scene was somehow of ‘equal’ importance, when some were clearly more dramatic and life-altering than others.” He speaks to the similar scene structure saying, “the effect of six consecutive sections of similar structure and length was oppressive… This student’s story failed to flow because it was, structurally, repetition without variation.”
This probably comes up as part of revision, but what do you think about when you consider how form shapes story? How do you use form to give weight or emphasis? How can form reflect what is happening in the story?

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