Replaying Xena: Season 3 – Camp, Comedy & Secondary Character Development

Will the real Warrior Princess please step forward?

Will the real Warrior Princess please step forward?

I originally started my replay of the seasons of Xena Warrior Princess to help me in re-conceiving an old, shelved novel of mine that I want to rewrite set in Ancient Greece.

Of course, I recognize that what will help me most in this endeavour is a thorough study of actual Ancient Greek history since Xena, although a rollicking good time to watch, is historical-ish at best – a work of historical fantasy that’s at times quite heavy on the fantasy, straining the linearity of the historical timeline to the limit.

(This season alone, Xena has dealings with legendary Celtic queen Boudicca, with Egyptian queen Cleopatra, in ancient China, and against the Persian army on their way to the Hot Gates at Thermopylae.)

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Watching Netflix Made Me a Better Writer (and I bet I’m not the only one!)

Netflix

It was around this time in 2014 that I first signed up for Netflix.

It’s hard to believe I’ve only been watching Netflix for a year, unless you happen to know me well. I’m perpetually late to everything new and cool.  The last thing I adopted early was Gmail back in 2006 when you needed to be invited to by someone already using it.

As well, I went through a period of about six years where I stopped watching TV and movies altogether. Continue reading

The Shortest Story I’ve Ever Written

For the record, I don’t like short stories.

Once upon a time the endI’ve written about 10 of them over the course of my writing “career” thus far, and almost all of them are flops.

Not because the writing is bad per se (although some of them were written while I was still in high school, so neither is the writing deathless prose). Rather, they don’t work because they aren’t really short stories at all.

They’re novel back stories masquerading as short stories.

That just seems to be the way my brain works: my stories come to me novel length.

(If my WIP is any indication, my stories come to me trilogy length.)

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Are Characters Born or Made? (The “Meet My Character” Blog Tour)

Novelist at work

Most writers, I’m sure, have heard tell of characters who seemingly develop “minds of their own” and “take over”  the stories they’re part of.

Maybe it’s happened to you.

Whether or not this phenomenon even truly exists was the subject of the second-most contentious discussion my writing group has ever had.

(The most contentious, unsurprisingly, concerned plotting vs. pantsing.  But that’s a story for another day.)

One writer from my group absolutely believed that characters can come to life, and that them doing so is a quasi-spiritual experience for the writer – a channeling of the divine, uncontrollable inspiration that exists all around us.

A writing of the story through us rather than by us.

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