Room to Breathe: Negative Space in Writing.

“Space is the breath of art.”

American architect Frank Lloyd Wright

Nowadays, a lot of us have had the experience of reading a fast-paced, action-packed book that jumps from one disaster to the next with no room to breathe. And according to most writing advice, escalating plot tension is the “correct” way to write. But it is not a reflection of real life. While many events may happen to us in a row, there is also downtime between events for us to grieve or process changes. There is also a baseline “before”, a status quo before things change. Life before the zombie apocalypse /oppressive government regime/ regulation of magic / dragon extinction, etc…

In a book, these “before” and “during” spaces give the reader room to breathe. A temporary release of the tension allows readers to process what they read and to form strong attachments to your characters. Repeat after me: A story needs downtime. A story needs room to breathe.

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Photo Prompt Friday: Through A Glass Darkly

“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

– Corinthians Chap 13, verse 12.
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Photo Prompt Friday: Fantasy Art

The greatest fantasy art tells a story without words. You can feel the setting, see the emotions on the character’s face, smell the sea or the woods. Great art transports you. What story are these works of fantasy art telling?

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Friday Photo Prompts: Doorways

Whenever I’m in a new place in my travels, I love to look at doorways. Doorways can tell you a lot about a place. Are they open or closed? Thin or heavy? Old or new? What colors are they? How tall or short? Are they simple or ornate?

But beyond their physical appearance, I think doorways can serve as metaphors. Doorways represent possibility. They represent potential for change. They could be beginnings or endings. Portals between one world and the next or even dead ends. Doorways can be invitations or, as with some vampire stories, obstacles. Doors can make you feel safe or fill you with dread…

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FRIDAY PHOTO PROMPTS: Art Installations

Happy Friday everyone! It’s time for – you guessed it – Friday Photo Prompts! Today I decided to post photos of art installations.

I love how art installations alter our perceptions of the world around us. They make us reconsider mundane objects. They transform ordinary spaces. I think there is potential for some great fantasy world-building in these photos. How could you incorporate elements of these pictures into a fantasy or sci-fi story?

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Writing Rituals: Creating a Third Space.

Let’s cozy up together…and talk about…writing rituals.

You might ask yourself: what’s the difference between a ritual and a habit? Well, habits are things we do every day without thought – drinking water, brushing our teeth, tying our shoes. Through repetition, these tasks have become effortless. Unlike habits, rituals are not passive. Rituals require mindfulness. Rituals are a choice we make, over and over again.

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Friday Photo Prompts

For today’s Friday photo prompt, I chose photos of people that invite you to tell their story. As writers, it’s easy to get caught up in the physical details – hair color, eye color, skin color – and lose a big portion of what makes us human. Characterization isn’t just what someone looks like – but what they do – their small gestures, habits, idiosyncrasies, the way they dress, the work they do, the things they create, the way they interact with people…

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April: Camp NaNoWriMo

Happy April everyone! I’m happy to report the weather is finally sunny here. While I have some free time, I’ve been trying to work on the last few chapters of my novel. Since it’s good to have a goal and something to work towards, I’ve decided to join April’s Camp NaNoWriMo.

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Friday Photo Prompts

If you’re looking for writing inspiration, go no further. These ten images will get ideas percolating in no time. Let these strange and awe-inspiring landscapes from real life inspire your next project!

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There Will Always Be Laundry; Make Time for Joy!

As many millions find themselves in self-isolation, it’s easy feel like we are squandering our time if we are not “productive” enough. Household chores and little fix-it jobs that we’ve left off for weeks or months suddenly seem imperative. But let me let you in on a little secret – since the dawn of time, since you were born, until you the day you die, there will be chores. There will always be dirty laundry and overflowing trash and drippy faucets and overstuffed closets waiting for us to organize them.

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