Novel writing

Wonder Woman

What distinguishes a well-written female protagonist from a poorly-written one?

In my view, a well-written character, irrespective of gender, should have nuance. Not every character will be fleshed out in three dimensions by an author—there have to be some red-shirt characters. Some might even make it to two dimensions, like the ones Harmonica guns down in the opening of Once Upon a Time In the …

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Music to Write By. Samurai Stories

Music to Write By. Samurai Stories

The soundtrack for Shogun Assassin is where my writing music started. Here Lone Wolf defeats three ninja women who are disguised as dancer acrobats in the circus de soleil of their day. Some writers like to immerse themselves in the place and setting of the action. We put on our music and takes us to …

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zatoichi dance scene

Dancing in Samurai Film

Painting the life of the common people in a world where the major daily chore was finding enough food, can lead readers to think they are indeed being presented with a bleak world. And yet, the Japanese culture has always been one of songs and dance and laughter. Some genre readers are excited by the swordplay, but wonder why …

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A Woman Samurai in the Era of Genji

A Woman Samurai in the Era of Genji

The Yamabuki series traces the adventures of a young samurai set shortly after the time of The Tale of Genji. It is in large part a homage to Genji’s author, Lady Murasaki, while never forgetting it is a head-on story of a warrior in the tradition of Japanese chambara (crashing swords) and jidaigeki…

81301 Coffee in Durango, Colorado

High Altitude Coffee

Writers who write first thing in the morning, even if before sunup—especially before sunup—often get their initial boost of wakefulness from coffee. I come from Seattle, so you’d think I knew something about coffee. Why Seattle has a reputation for coffee, I don’t know. All I remember from growing up was Mrs. Olsen, a Scandinavian, …

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S is for Shakespeare

My first experience with Shakespeare was a good one.  It was Hamlet. As a fifth grader much of it was over my head, but the ghost carried the day. Black and White, the film adaptation starring Lawrence Olivier sparked my interest. Recently I ran across video about Shakespeare, the first having to do with original …

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“J” is for Journey

“J” is for Journey

Life is a journey, not a destination. Ralph Waldo Emerson A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man. Joseph Campbell …

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