Your main character is walking down the street. “Hey,” he says to himself, “this walking business is tiring and inefficient. I really need to get to the villain’s secret headquarters, and this sign says it’s still three miles away. I wish I had a taxi.”
A taxi pulls up beside him and the driver leans out. ”You called, sir? Your phone must have pocket-dialed, and I heard you ask for a taxi. I was only a few feet behind you, so I figured I’d help out. There will be no charge, sir– my last passenger overpaid me, and I feel generous.”
What is this? It’s a coincidence, of course! How does one pocket-dial a taxi just when one is about to ask for a taxi? How does one even know a taxi driver’s number? How are taxi drivers polite?
And how does all that happen by accident? Read the full post »
Posted by Liam, Head Phil on May 17, 2013
I like reading about thieves. I enjoy all their faults: their conceit, their disregard for personal property, and their general dishonesty. Though there are other things that make me like such characters– perhaps they do have honor among thieves, or are willing to help those poorer than they, or their attitude toward life– I believe that their potential for change makes me love them more than anything else. I don’t see what they are, but what they could become.
Or not. It depends: are you in a philosophical mood?
But one thing that always is true for thieves is their plots. They never fail to embark on great journeys and quests that turn their characters around.
I’ve posted about character development before– how you must outweigh the bad with the good that comes later– but that had more to do with character development on a whim than character development through the plot. Read the full post »
Posted by Liam, Head Phil on May 14, 2013
Can you hear what I’m thinking?
I doubt it. Even if you could, your brain would be steaming right now, trying to process the double time paradox I was just concocting. (Even I don’t try to process those.) So if you could hear what I was thinking, you’re probably dead right now.
Now can anyone hear what I’m thinking?
You can hypothesize, you can deduce, or you can try for a telepathic connection, but chances are you can’t hear the thoughts of other people.
In a fictional narrative, authors frequently write in the viewpoint character’s thoughts. It’s a luxury prose writers have, to tell the audience exactly what’s running through the character’s head. Unfortunately, it can often be too much to know what the character is thinking, especially since it often runs afoul of the “show, don’t tell” advice everyone gives. I posted recently about a character’s imagination and the importance of writing that into a narrative, but not all thoughts are the greatest. Read the full post »
Posted by Liam, Head Phil on May 11, 2013
Today, author Matt Myklusch published a podcast containing five tips on writing that don’t include “Believe in yourself.” Since I gave him this challenge myself and since he mentions me, I thought you would like to listen to it as well.
Writing Advice: Part 1 | The Other Side of the Story Podcast.
I know I just posted a short post full of links, but this one is too awesome to ignore. It’s only fifteen minutes. Go listen.
Posted by Liam, Head Phil on May 10, 2013
Some people have noses.
You can’t hold it against someone that their face was in the wrong place at the wrong time, or that they were born with a defect (or reborn, as the case may be). Several people without noses have scintillating personalities and are lovely friends to have along on a picnic.
But some choose to be morose about their noseless state. They neglect themselves, letting their skins turn colors or deteriorate altogether, taking different, more frightening forms as the whim takes them.
You would not want them along on a picnic. Read the full post »
Posted by Liam, Head Phil on April 29, 2013