Using What Ifs to Generate Story Ideas

Picture of Michael at a NaNoWriMo event

[Originally posted on my former blog, Michael Runs the Gamut] I have (over the past two years) written a few posts about the idea of using the phrase “What if” as an idea generator for developing a plot. “What if” novels are often about large historical events, like Kennedy’s assassination, the D-Day invasion, or the …

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A Writing Space of My Own

Picture of Michael at a NaNoWriMo event

After Minay and I got married in August 1982 — yes, it’s been nearly thirty-two years, and she hasn’t killed me yet — I made sure I had an area to write in. Sometimes it was makeshift, like the corner in the second bedroom of our first apartment (which also served as our exercise room …

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Painting Our Caves as Writers

Picture of Michael at a NaNoWriMo event

A few days ago, my wife, Minay, and I took a behind-the-scenes tour of the Cave Paintings of Lascaux exhibit that’s running at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. It will be here in Houston through March 23, 2014. It has already been displayed in Bordeaux, France, and at the Field Museum in Chicago. It …

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Allegedly About the Words “Alleged” and “Allegedly”

Picture of Michael at a NaNoWriMo event

I have a few pet peeves regarding language. One is that I think the word “allegedly” is often misused. If you pay attention to news broadcasts, you have probably noticed the constant use of the words “alleged” and “allegedly” in describing persons who have done something, most often associated with a crime. I’m not trying …

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Why I Waited So Long

Picture of Michael at a NaNoWriMo event

[Originally posted on my former blog, Michael Runs the Gamut] I’ve been writing all my life — plays, poetry, short stories, work-related writing, even a few stabs at novels — often with the thought of being published or produced, but I didn’t fully commit to it until five or six years ago. My excuse was …

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Contests

Picture of Michael at a NaNoWriMo event

[Originally posted on my former blog, Michael Runs the Gamut] As a former actor, I understand the trials of marketing oneself (and accept them, begrudgingly). Many of the things we do in life are contests of a sort. Job interviews are a competition against others to see who will win the prize of being hired. …

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3-Day Novel Contest

Picture of Michael at a NaNoWriMo event

[Originally posted on my former blog, Michael Runs the Gamut] Yes, I know. I’m crazy. The idea of the 3-Day Novel Contest is to start writing at midnight when the Labor Day weekend begins (five days from now), and finish and upload your novel for judging before midnight on September 3rd. It’s like writing a …

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What If…? (Rush Hour Traffic)

Picture of Michael at a NaNoWriMo event

[Originally posted on my former blog, Michael Runs the Gamut] Disclaimer, regarding the post below: No, I wasn’t texting and posting while driving. I wrote this in the present tense after the fact. It’s about 3:30 pm, and I’m on I-45, the freeway in Houston that runs north and south through downtown. South of downtown …

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What If…?

Picture of Michael at a NaNoWriMo event

[Originally posted on my former blog, Michael Runs the Gamut] The most common question writers get asked is “where do you get all your ideas?” Every writer has a different answer, but many times what happens is the author read or heard or saw something that sparked an idea, and that usually followed by them …

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