The Melding of the Minds, Part 2 – My Story

Good morning, everyone! Today is a good day. Sometimes I have trouble thinking positively, even in the morning, but today feels pretty good so far.

Today, I’m going to finish my little duet on writing one’s gender opposite. My previous post, The Melding of the Minds, Part 1, discussed famous men and women who have written their gender opposite to great popularity. I also shared some insightful, interesting posts from other writers on this topic.

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I would like to thank everyone who replied and has been following and commenting. I have blogged before, but never about writing, so this whole experience is new to me. Sometimes I feel like I am stumbling along in the dark on a cobbled road, with witnesses! So excuse me if I occasionally let out a yelp as I stub my toe. One thing I’m really loving about writing this blog is…

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Ferguson: Civil Unrest & Change

Hear hear

Harlem Inner City Blues: Random Thoughts

CNN televised the fiery passionate expression of a people in great despair. Poor people, angry, disenfranchised citizens of Missouri, Ferguson living and witnessing the American experiment. It was a day of shame that imbrue the fabric of our national conscious.  This greasy spot will be forever burned on the entire nations memory.  Malcolm X, my spiritual father came to mind; the man who gave me my manhood from the grave. My asthma then began to flare up while viewing this, mixed emotions surfaced as my chest had gotten tight.  In the struggling final words of Eric Garner, “I can’t breathe”.

Ferguson civil unrest & change

Ferguson: Civil Unrest & Change

America has a very serious problem. Not only does America have a very serious problem but our people have a very serious problem. America’s problem is “Us”. It appears she doesn’t want us here.

However, some of our people act as if they don’t want…

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The First Writer Unboxed Un-Conference: Unbelievably Valuable

A New Fiction Writers Forum

I returned Friday night from the first-ever writer’s conference sponsored by the popular blog, Writer Unboxed, and my head is exploding. Thousands of writing blogs exist, but Writer Unboxed has always felt different and special to me. WU is a warm, welcoming community. It feels like family. And meeting all of the members of this community in person for the first time re-enforced that feeling.

There were so many take-aways from this conference that I don’t know where to begin. After each workshop, I found myself wanting to rush to my laptop and revise my work in progress, right then and there.

Unlike many writer’s conferences, the Writer Unboxed Un-Conference focused its workshops solely on the craft of writing, as opposed to marketing, agent meetings, and the publishing industry. The quality of the writing is what we as writers can control. There were also numerous opportunities to engage with other…

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Character-Driven or Plot-Driven

Savage and Lightning 5

Some months ago I asked an age-old-question. What’s the difference between a plot-driven story and a character-driven story? You would think that’s an easy question to answer, but it’s not.

The two popular answers I received looked something like this: plot-driven stories emphasize more plot twists, external conflict, and action; and character driven stories emphasize more characterization, inner conflict, and relationships.

In 2008, when I first started taking story telling seriously, I would have accepted those answers and went on about my non-business, but since then, I’ve read more fiction novels, books on storytelling, spoken to writers and other story tellers, so those two popular answers don’t sit well with me now. I’m not saying the responses are wrong, but those two definitions remind me of failed stories in both categories. The bestselling novels emphasize both definitions in both categories (I think). The difference between plot-driven stories and character-driven stories (Successful ones) is the stakes (I think). High stakes and crises are woven into the protagonist’s goal of plot-driven stories, but not in character-driven stories.

Now the question is do high stakes or larger than life crises drive stories?

I’m not sure. At this point, I don’t believe they do; I’m still researching the matter. Is it possible that high stakes and crises “help” to create an intense thrill ride?

As for, plot-driven vs. character-driven, it seems that many, if not all, successful stories have their fair share of characterization, inner conflict, relationship building, plot twists, external conflict, and action; give or take a few characteristics from story to story.


The Melding of the Minds, Part 1 – Two Writers Talk About Writing Your Gender-Opposite

I have been struggling to get this post out, and am sorry to say it is coming about two weeks later than I wanted it to. Life has gotten in the way, as it does sometimes. I decided as a sort of compromise that I might make this post into 2 parts, since it is a potential hot topic, with lots of people talking about it, and my own thoughts expanding and increasing.

This topic that has recently wheedled its way into my brain is:

How do women write from the point of view of male characters? How do men write from the point of view of female characters?

This is an interesting topic that was mentioned as part of a post on women being properly represented – in literature, in movies, etc. – in Julia Munroe Martin’s post over at Writer Unboxed. Julia focus was more on gender bias in…

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