The Motherlode of Writing Prompts

If you’re a writer and you have not already discovered the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, I highly recommend it. It’s a compendium of freshly coined words for feelings we don’t have words for in English. It’s also the single greatest source of writing prompts I’ve ever seen. Let me show you a little of what this site has to offer. We’ll start with altschmerz, which the Dictionary defines as “weariness with the same old issues that you’ve always had—the same boring flaws and anxieties you’ve been gnawing on for years.” Lock has a moment of this in Chapter 3 of Locksmith’s Journeys, when he sees a cougar ripping into the carcass of a deer and realizes that even after the climactic fight th

Satellite Characters

First, the bad news — I’m not going to have Altered Seasons: Monsoonrise out until early next year. Which means I’m going to miss out on the holiday shopping season. (At least for this book. I have others.) Now for something I’ve been thinking about since a talk an author gave at a conference I went to recently. (If you’re curious, the author is Viet Dinh. His book After Disasters is on my to-read list.) I’ve been thinking about Satellite Characters. Satellite Characters are supporting characters who act like supporting characters, and even seem to think of themselves as supporting characters. They are characters whose life seems to revolve around the main character, who seem to be more

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