The Problem With Star Wars

Star Wars has been a phenomenally popular movie franchise. The original Star Wars came out in 1977 and was an instant success. But when I first watched it, I was not impressed. My first impression was that it was the King Arthur legend in outer space. Even at the age of 14 I had expectations of my science fiction adventures. […]

Avatars: Your Ideal Reader

Recently at Agile Writers the topic of what is “allowed” in certain genres came up. In particular, a couple writers are working on Christian Inspirational fiction and wondered what words or topics were taboo. In that genre, readers are very sensitive to words that are perceived as “swear” words. Our own Cat Brennan related a story of how a Christian […]

Plumbing the Depths of Your Own Life

In a recent chapter of Lawrence Block’s Telling Lies for Fun and Profit he talked about a phenomenon he calls “burning the raft at both ends.” By which he means, consuming one’s own life experiences in the service of one’s writing. According to Block, you can use up your life. You can run out of experiences. You can write through […]

Developing Secondary Characters

The Agile Writers approach to writing a novel focuses clearly around the hero figure and their story. But, the more you step into the world of your hero, the more you recognize the need for fully developed secondary characters. The hero can only have as much depth as his or her world, after all. So, while deliberate strategies for fleshing […]