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Author Archives: Casey Blair
It all started innocently enough about five or so years ago. A fellow author sent me a link to an article about the Book View Café, and we figured: why don’t we do something like this? By this stage many of … Continue reading
A pop quiz for speculative fiction writers. Think about your current work-in-progress. Maybe it’s a short story, a novel, or a play. Now, thinking about your protagonist or main character, answer the following questions: What are your character’s greatest fears … Continue reading
Rian Johnson’s superb Knives Out has stabbed its way into our hearts and minds. It’s not often that a screenplay so expertly crafted makes this kind of a splash. So, let’s use Knives Out to learn about MICE—a handy approach to story focus and structure, incredibly useful for writers and re-writers. And as we go, we’ll use MICE to examine some aspects of Knives Out’s intriguing construction.
“But ser,” broke in one of the deckpaws. “The greatest jewel in the world is said to be guarded by the fearsome kraken, as tall as the queen’s castle with tentacles longer than ten vessels nose to tail!” “Which is … Continue reading
Guest Post: Mystery Cults and the Secret World of the Occult in Urban Fantasy by Laurence Raphael Brothers
The premise of magic-done-only-in-secret is not exactly an original conceit, and indeed it has become so familiar over not just years but generations of fantasy literature that it is hardly something to be questioned when it appears. It’s a convenient explanation for how magic can possibly exist in our familiar and ostensibly non-magical world.
Still, the idea of a very widely-kept secret to which thousands of people are privy may seem rather implausible. Surely someone would let the information slip? But as it happens, there are quite a few historical examples of widely-held secrets that were kept so well we aren’t sure what the truth of them was anymore.
So, love’s great, right? All types. It’s a fascinating quirk of brain chemistry that leaves us caring about each other so much we’ll sacrifice resources and fight against oppression for someone else’s wellbeing. Spending time with people you love is, … Continue reading
When I first started to take my writing seriously, I went to see Ray Bradbury at a UCLA event. I loved Bradbury’s work, my favorite short story being “The Veldt.” You can imagine my dismay when he stood on that … Continue reading
I do my writing in between the cracks of a fulltime job, four dogs, two horses, and the renovation of our house, in which a lot of the work is done by my husband and myself. So yes, my writing … Continue reading
I joked recently that it seems like every story has to end with some gigantic battle. That’s how we know it’s the end, right? Think about it. Which of the world’s great legends tell us that our problems should be … Continue reading
Treading the waters of diversity is tricky because we never want to disrespect the struggles that women, people of color, the LGBTQ community, or others have had to endure. As writers, we often want to include people like this in our stories because their stories are powerful and can make a difference. This sometimes manifests itself as ‘the gay friend’ or ‘the black friend’ or if you’re really batting for a home run ‘the gay black friend’. This character is great for diversity. He shows that those people exist and that we shouldn’t be afraid of them. But over time, if we see the gay black friend over and over it creates a subliminal message that all gay black men behave a certain way, and that can damage the community. I think we should allow those characters to break the mold and keep it to themselves.