give sorrow words

"Give sorrow words."  William Shakespeare, Macbeth Every once in a while someone puts words together in such a way that they seem to change the molecular composition of our hearts: “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.”  C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed When evoking something as subjective as grief, give it tangible properties … Continue reading give sorrow words


Every character has a unique world view. For whom is this paradise?  photo: Al Crane, US Fish & Wildlife and this? Writing Prompt: In 50 words each, create two characters, one from each photograph. Then, using a maximum of 200 words, bring them together for the first time as they wait in line at the Department … Continue reading paradise


   Steve Hillebrand U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service There are many ways we can reveal who characters are without 'telling'. How someone lives, how they perceive themselves and others can be manifested in what they call home. Or in what they drive:  Writing Prompt: Who lives here and drives this car? Use the qualities of house … Continue reading reveals

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first trigger

  Stories are made because something, in a moment, changes everything. This moment is the story trigger. Until this moment, life, no matter how dysfunctional, has gone on, and the character has maintained a balance, no matter how precarious. Though the trigger is significant, it needn't be a literal explosion. It might be as subtle as a strand … Continue reading first trigger

setting character

Create a character through the observation of this setting. Look for aspects and qualities of this photograph that evoke who the person is, how they conduct themselves in their lives, what they desire, what they fear, how they see themselves, how others see them. There are infinite ways to communicate who a character is - we … Continue reading setting character

write madly

What do Lady Gaga and 2002 Nobel Prize winner in economic science Daniel Kahneman have in common? An appreciation for the heat of emotion. In his research, psychologist Kahneman has explored “hedonic psychology”: the science of happiness. His book, Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow, describes two systems of information processing: emotional/intuitive (fast) and rational/deliberative (slow). Kahneman … Continue reading write madly