Bad Decisions: The Crucible of Great Stories
Kristen Lamb's Blog
by Kristen Lamb
2M ago
Bad decisions make the best stories. If we want to write about people who make the right choices, who plan their work and work their plan, who always keep a cool head, then that is the realm of self-help not fiction. Fiction is about good people—who mean well—doing selfish, foolish or downright dumb things. When we have characters who have all the looks, skills, talents, and can be counted on to always do the right thing—and do it with poise and grace. This can morph into what is called a Mary Sue Character. Granted, in the greater scheme of things, some decisions are better than others. Not ..read more
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Perspective: POV Can Revive or Ruin a Story
Kristen Lamb's Blog
by Kristen Lamb
2M ago
Perspective is one of those techniques that, I feel, doesn’t get nearly enough credit. Sort of like in theater. All the focus is on the actors and the sets, but no one really gives a fig about the lighting or sound…until someone mucks it up. Right? Whether we are watching a movie, a play, a concert or reading a book, it is super easy to take a lot of elements for granted. Perspective is one of those tools that doesn’t get near the attention it should. WHO is telling the story? HOW MANY PEOPLE are telling the story? This actually matters…a lot. We’ve talked about POV (Point of View) a handful ..read more
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Imposter Syndrome: Am I a REAL Writer?
Kristen Lamb's Blog
by Kristen Lamb
2M ago
Imposter syndrome is a feeling very common to many creative professionals, myself included. The irony about imposter syndrome is that it can afflict many hard-working, high-achieving individuals. There is no logical reason for feeling we don’t belong, or that our success is somehow a fluke. It’s bizarre to believe we don’t deserve what we worked very hard to accomplish, or that, at any moment, the gig will be up. We’ll be found out. Did I mention writers often make no sense? What I find so utterly hysterical (in the maniacal-laughing-losing-my-marbles way) is that, years ago, my mentor, NYTBS ..read more
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Why is “Suddenly” Everyone on the Spectrum?
Kristen Lamb's Blog
by Kristen Lamb
5M ago
A little while back I introduced the Neurodivergent Spectrum, what it IS, and why it could particularly apply to writers and creative professionals. I even revealed some about my life, struggles, and late diagnosis in my post Neurodivergent Authors: Not Lazy or “Broken.” There are many reasons for my late diagnosis, and we will cover some today. ***I am ALSO going to continue blogging on craft and brand, but this site has always focused on offering a holistic approach to creative professions—craft, branding, business, life and mental health. But, before we talk about the autism spectrum, I wo ..read more
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The Johari Window & Character Blind Spots
Kristen Lamb's Blog
by Kristen Lamb
5M ago
The Johari Window can be one of many powerful tools for crafting dimensional characters. It can also help creators develop layered stories (plots) that will resonate long after the audience reaches “The End.” Why? Because great fiction is even better therapy. And after the past four years in particular, who DOESN’T need at least a little lot of therapy? Yes, I’ve talked about the Johari Window before, but it’s been ages. Since I figured most of us have slept since 2021, it seemed like a fantastic topic to start off the year (especially for those who’ve set a resolution to write a book…prefera ..read more
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Meltdowns: Chaos & the Neurodivergent Author
Kristen Lamb's Blog
by Kristen Lamb
7M ago
Meltdowns, frequently referred to as “autistic meltdowns” actually happen all along the ND (neurodivergent) spectrum, meaning ADD and ADHD people are certainly not immune. And, if you read my last post Neurodivergent Authors: Not Lazy or “Broken,” I expressed my fairly educated hypothesis/concern that many creative professionals likely fall somewhere along the ASD spectrum. What does this mean? Probably a lot of folks who read this blog have spent years attributing their irritability, stress, and possibly even full on implosions/tantrums solely to being introverts, unaware there are other neu ..read more
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Neurodivergent Authors: Not Lazy or “Broken”
Kristen Lamb's Blog
by Kristen Lamb
7M ago
“Neurodivergent” (ND) has been a bit of a buzzword for the past decade, and even more so in the past couple of years. Seems like everyone is “neurodivergent” these days, like we are coming out of the woodwork. Yes and no (a post for another day). I’ve been hesitant to talk about this topic for a number of reasons, largely because it puts me in a super vulnerable place. Not easy for most people, and I’m certainly not immune. Additionally, I “get” I’m not an expert beyond my own experiences, so take the post for what you will. I feel that the qualities that make us “neurodivergent” are what mak ..read more
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Book Reviews: Why They Matter SO Much
Kristen Lamb's Blog
by Kristen Lamb
8M ago
Book reviews. Every author simultaneously loves them and loathes them. Today’s post, I hope, not only serves as a guide for my fellow authors, but for the book lovers out there as well. Even if you are the kind of person who only reads a book now and again, my goal here is to show how small actions make a critical difference. Believe it or not, book reviews are not just for our author egos. Book reviews are not a matter of vanity, rather of survival in an absurdly overcrowded marketplace. Before the digital age, there was what one called an “editorial calendar.” Traditional publishing houses ..read more
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Redemption: Can All Characters Be “Saved”?
Kristen Lamb's Blog
by Kristen Lamb
8M ago
Redemption is a much more prolific theme than most might realize. Whether it is a fun, romantic Helen Fielding (Bridget Jones Diary), a gritty Cormac McCarthy (The Road) or a therapy-inducing Ken Follett (Pillars of the Earth), they hold one common thread. Redemption. Will Bridget finally see the truth of herself—that she’s shallow—before she commits to loving the wrong man? In a world gone mad, can the actions of a Man and a Boy redeem faith in humanity? In a world of unspeakable violence and savagery, will justice ever be served? Is Tom Builder—a man who abandons his newborn by his wife’s g ..read more
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Crossroads: Do the Dead Tell Tales?
Kristen Lamb's Blog
by Kristen Lamb
8M ago
Crossroads refers, literally and poetically, to the place where at least two roads (paths, destinies, or decisions) meet. For over 15 years, all of my blogs have been on writing, the craft, publishing, and the writing business. I’ve also posted a lot on basically how to handle this thing called LIFE when one is called to talk to their imaginary friends for a living. I’ve never posted any of my fiction as a blog post. But, in the spirit (no pun intended) of Halloween and to celebrate my book release—TOMORROW—we, too, shall pause at a spot where more than one path converges. Instead of Kristen ..read more
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