Author Archive

Video Saturday: Ta-Nehisi Coates on Writing Marvel’s Black Panther

This week’s video is not specifically writing advice, but I definitely wanted to hear this and so y’all are getting it too. Considering the popularity of the character in the latest Captain America: Civil War I have a feeling a lot more folks are going to learn about T’Challa.

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Appropriation versus Appreciation

When it comes to #writing and #diversity there are a lot of questions around the idea of appropriation versus appreciation and although the words get thrown around, the meanings are never fully defined or clear, and it seems that many folks are left wondering where they stand. Interrupt Magazine has a great little article that has a simple series of questions that, while it may not definitively answer the question certainly gives one a better idea of the constantly shifting sands.

Granted their example is about fashion but with a few typing tweaks below are their series of questions I altered for writers. Take a look at the questions. Take a look at the article. What do you think?

  1. What culture does this story reference, and what is my relation to that culture?

  2. Why am I writing it?

  3. Check my resources and research – Who wrote it? What is their perspective? Is it true/accurate?

  4. How accurate/respectful is it?

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Video Saturday: Neil Gaiman – Advice to #Writers from the Nerdist

I am little surprised and embarrassed to discover that I have never had a Video Saturday from Neil Gaiman. As a lover of his books and comics I realized that just wouldn’t do and so I give you NEIL GAIMAN from the Nerdist Podcast. Which, by the way, if you haven’t listened to, I strongly advise you to check them out: Nerdist Podcast.

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Video Saturday – John Cleese on “5 Factors To Make Your Life More Creative

Found a lovely gem of a video at Brain Pickings the other day that I had to share.  I’m currently in the midst of a down-cycle in my writing.  No, that doesn’t mean I don’t have a lot of writing to do, quite the contrary.  It means I’m NOT writing.  Unfortunately, I have several pieces due (including this blog post).   In this great snippet John Cleese, actor, comedian, writer and film producer talks about things that encourage creativity.

To be creative, one has to be open. There are 5 things that help you achieve this state and therefore be more creative.

Space  – “You can’t become playful, and therefore creative, if you’re under your usual pressures.”

Time – “It’s not enough to create space; you have to create your space for a specific period of time.”

Time – “Giving your mind as long as possible to come up with something original,” and learning to tolerate the discomfort of pondering time and indecision. Giving yourself the opportunity to not just take the first (and potentially easiest) answer but to continue and then discover a more creative one.

Confidence – “Nothing will stop you being creative so effectively as the fear of making a mistake.”

Humor – “The main evolutionary significance of humor is that it gets us from the closed mode to the open mode quicker than anything else,” and what good is solemnity?


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Video Saturday (Repeat) – Elmore Leonard’s Advice to Writers

As many of you may be aware, Elmore Leonard passed away this last week.  There have been a ton of folks posting tributes and notes and tips that he gave on writing.  And we’re going to do the same.

Unleaded posted a Video Saturday about a year and a half ago of the American screenwriter and king of the hard-boiled novel.  It’s a great video that really lets you see his love of dialogue and voices and gives you a hint of how he brought his characters to life.  Definitely worth a repost.

So let’s raise a glass and toast Mr. Leonard!  Safe journey.


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@DL_Thurston is King of the Blog

I know, I know, today is for WWW – DL Thurston’s Wednesday Writerly Words.  Unfortunately, this week has been a busy one and yours truly and my friendly neighborhood writer-partner, have not posted earlier in the week.  Ya’ll might not be aware of it, but similar to the shouting of “King of the Lab” which can be heard on the television show, “Bones” for the technician declaring superiority over his fellow beings, we have a “King of the Blog.”  And that would be DL Thurston when his WWW posts show up one immediately after the other.  In short, the rest of us slackers hadn’t posted in a week.

Now being the sad sort of person that I am and considering that he gets a prize as well as “King of the Blog” every time the rest of us are bested by our own lack of writing prowess, I am taking this opportunity to try and snipe his posting today JUST to prevent his reign.  *checks watch*  I should just make it.  🙂 

Of course, I guess this just makes him a bigger King of the Blog…


King of the Blog video from Bones

(Note:  In penance, I will be doing additional posts this upcoming weekend so stay tuned!)


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