How “Awkward” Is The Enemy

How awkward. How embarrassing. How mortifying. How much we must save face, deny feelings, and little white lie.

I do it too. We all do. And I can’t for the life of me understand why it came to be this way. I will not go into the conspiracies of the internet nuts and claim the conformity agenda of some all-consuming other–I’m not one of those people.

It’s not happening because of any of that. Continue reading

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Writing Has Rules…Or Does It?

Writing has rules. I don’t think anyone who’s been at this writer thing a while would argue with that. But, at the same time, we artists tend to like to break the rules, don’t we? It’s an odd relationship, and it leads me to my topic of discussion.

How important are writing rules? Continue reading

On Inspiration–And What To Do With It

An interesting thing happened to me on Sunday night, and in my attempts to be more personal and open with you guys, I thought I’d share it with you.

I became inspired. I met inspiration. The taskmaster and–though often not permanent–companion of the working artist. And like a bomb blast in my head, a story came to me. Continue reading

Talent? Talent. Talent!

Talent is a double-edged sword. Not so much because of its existence. But because to a beginning artist, it can make or break them.

Artists will create regardless—it’s part of our souls—but I don’t think I’m going to get many people arguing against the idea that the thing that sparks the idea, the dream, of doing art for a living is the sentence: “Hey, look at that, you’re talented.”

And for pushing an artist to really start pouring their efforts into their craft, there is nothing more effective than some version of that sentence. And just the knowledge that somewhere, somehow, someone chose them to create, will keep an artist going for a long time. Enough to get them through the beginning cramps.

But then the sword swings backwards, and here’s the problem. You get so used to the idea that you can just ART without any effort, that you might think you don’t need to improve. I know this from personal experience. Continue reading

On Killing Characters

I put a pair of stainless steel steak knives from my thirteen-piece cutlery set through their fucking hearts.”

Sales Rush by Brandon Scott

“Something intimate. Something I had to dig for, rip into and pry from her. I wanted to see her soul. And I wondered how red that ebony skin was going to get before I found it.”

Waking Nightmares by Brandon Scott

“He stops. Cerebral fluid draining on the rich mahogany wood.”

Piano Player by Brandon Scott

***

I kill characters. I murder them. Butcher them. I delight in the well set-up destruction of a fictional person I created.

I admit it readily: I am a killer of characters. As serial as they come.

And I am not alone. Among the great destroyers of protagonists and fictional people are the likes of Josh Whedon, George R. R. Martin, William Shakespeare and even—if you think about it—J.K. Rowling.

Death is, and always was, a massive part of fiction. Because there is no more basic, primal fear than death. And damn is it good to create drama.

And while there might be plenty of lists online talking about why you should kill a character, and why you shouldn’t sometimes, I am going to talk about something different. I am going to tell you about how you kill a character. What you should at least consider when you decide that Joe Protagonist needs a spike through his head. Continue reading