Stephen Spielberg’s Poltergeist: The gold standard of ghost stories

Happy Halloween! I've been thinking about why I love to be scared, why I love exploring and writing horror. Saturday night, my husband and I sat down and watched the original Poltergeist and I realized I had my answer. As a child I kept a blanket over the black and white tub TV in my... Continue Reading →

Why did you do that?

LCW Allingham

If you were having drinks with your friend Carl and, in the middle of a deep conversation about locally brewed IPA’s, Carl grabbed your gin and tonic and dumped it on the floor, you would want to know his motives. If he had no explanation for his actions you might then decide you no longer want to hang out with Carl. The same goes for characters in stories.

A writer always has a reason for a character’s actions. To set up an event, to get someone out of a bad situation, to allow for romance or just adding some interest to a filler scene, character actions drive a story. But while the writer is god of the world they create, they should never remove free will from their characters.

So every time a character does anything you, as a writer, need to ask them why. And they need to be…

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Do you believe in ghosts?

Tis the season to freak yourself out. In my house, ghost stories were a family tradition. Every time we gathered with our grandparents we would beg to hear their accounts that they couldn't quite explain. In fifth grade, when we were assigned our first research report on any subject, other kids in my class did... Continue Reading →

Fuck addiction

Here's an old poem of mine that needs to be posted today The Devil’s Games Most of us have flirted, caught a whiff of his cologne, maybe even dwelling in his gardens for a spell But the devil, he’s tricky, and his potions are tempting. The higher you fly the closer you come to hell.... Continue Reading →

Should you outline your project?

The short answer is yes. But I understand your hesitation. For years I resisted outlining, preferring my stories evolve organically. And this worked for me... kinda. Really interesting twists would show up, characters were able to define themselves on the pages and I wasn't trying to force anything to conform to a preconceived idea. But... Continue Reading →

The laundry list description

We want to establish how our characters (especially our MC) look from the beginning. It feels important to us because we have a clear view of them that we want to give our readers. Unfortunately, most people stumble into a bad habit early on in their writing of making a list and it sticks out... Continue Reading →

As far as I can go on my own

I like to learn by mistakes. That's a total lie. I hate making mistakes, suffering set backs, not getting things right the first time (or the 18th), but I seem to learn best by failing and I have come to embrace that. I have failed my entire writing career. I am a much better writer... Continue Reading →

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