Styling the Fight: John Scalzi

The Young Siward fight from Macbeth in the style of John Scalzi. Scalzi is one of my favorite living authors. His style is heavy on dialog and tends toward comedy (which I’m obviously going for here) but also features tremendous emotional depth, especially in his empathy for peripheral characters. I’m doing him a disservice in […]

Styling the Fight: Mark Twain

The Young Siward fight from Macbeth in the style of Mark Twain. [1] I asked him his name, and he said, “Thou’lt be afraid to hear it.” Well I didn’t put much stock in that. I can’t think of a time I ever met a man and was afraid to hear his name. I wondered […]

Writing the Fight: The Single-Move Fight

Long, long ago, I took a stage combat workshop where we had to choreograph a fight scene but were limited to a single move (for contrast, a typical stage fight might be 10-20 moves long). [1] What could we do to make one move interesting? Eventually we realized that we’d have to focus on the […]

Styling the Fight: Edgar Allan Poe

The Young Siward fight from Macbeth in the style of Edgar Allan Poe. [1] I originally wrote this as an exercise after reading some Poe for an assignment at Stonecoast. A few things struck me about Poe’s writing (aside from the gloomy subject matter)—he tends to over-description, piling on the adjectives, never settling for one […]

Styling the Fight

Another series, in which I plan to rewrite the Young Siward fight from Macbeth in a variety of styles, experimenting with person and tense (first person present, third person past), restriction (no adjectives, no letter e), emulation (in the style of Poe or Twain) and format (as a series of tweets or a Kickstarter campaign). […]

Main Character vs. Protagonist vs. Hero

So, I recently directed Henry IV, Part One for the Hawaii Shakespeare Festival, and I noticed something curious—the title character, the main character, the protagonist and the hero are four different people. Check my math:  Title character—King Henry. Obviously. Main character—Falstaff. He’s got by far the most lines and scenes. He’s also the most memorable […]

2020 Year in Review

Ouch. This is a post I’ve put off writing for more than nine months because 2020 was so personally and professionally painful. These review posts are important for accountability and self-assessment. There were some highlights; let’s start with those: I rewrote my twelve-episode web series, Calliope, tailoring it to the pandemic, and shot it with […]

Affordance

Affordance is an invented word [1] that has a history of redefinition, so it’s an appropriate first entry for this Writer’s Grimoire in which I’m going to redefine, repurpose or reframe words such that they serve as convenient handles for concepts that are useful for writers. I’m familiar with affordance from the tech world, where […]