Organized by topic for your ease and enjoyment

Welcome to my home!

Pull up a chair, kick off your shoes, and let’s have a jolly ol’ time.

Here’s our chance to get to know each other.

I write in South Berkeley, California, where I also enjoy reading what other people on Medium have to say in their posts. I used to be…

Scenes, plots, structure, cliches, punctuation, and more

Want an easy go-to list for writing narrative?

Well, here you go.

I have found that, from time to time, it’s useful to suggest one or more of these links to students or clients.

Have at it!

Elements of a complete scene

Dwight Swain’s Techniques of the Selling Writer is good to buy if you can, and if you can’t, there are summations…

How people with unstable self-esteem treat you and why

Understanding Self-Esteem-People

It becomes eventually clear that, all along, their relationship with you has been primarily about enhancing their sense of themselves. They’ve been using you to get that dopamine high.

Self-Esteem People don’t love you. They don’t love anyone. Not even themselves.

They can’t help it. Almost everything in their lives…

As a longtime aura viewer, I noticed this pattern

Protective Layer Around the Self

As an aura viewer, I discovered something which I call the “scurf rim.” I’m using the descriptive term that has become somewhat popular due to the pseudo-science of iridology. Though iridology has been thoroughly debunked, I find the terminology useful to steal for this purpose. A scurf rim is the…

Shaking up the default expectations of humanity

Messing with your mind

Obviously nearly all popular narratives will always be about people. That’s what you’ll write, because readers get excited about suspense regarding whether the protagonist will achieve his or her goals.

But if you like to play around outside the box in your stories, let’s release humanocentrism. …

Characters embody traits that you should familiarize yourself with

Why Not Just Study Writing Craft?

A great way to create characters and the subtext within their interactions is to study psychology. You don’t need a degree, but take advantage of the material of experts writing books and putting out videos, such as Richard Grannon on codependency and Sam Vaknin on narcissism, for example. We all…

Brainstorming, Submitting, Joining Movements, Being Part of the Scene, and Changing the Conversation

How Can You Get Started Writing Something without a Formula?

Writing ideas can come from your dreams, from trying to approximate a mood half remembered, from spontaneously writing from a trance-like induced dream, not knowing where you’ll go, line by line, just settling into the delight of play, not trying to say anything with an agenda, but starting and letting…

The clash of the past and present

Imperialism created supernatural fears

True Gothic fiction always includes the clashing relationship of the present time with foundational history, usually in relationship to the occult, to make a statement about society: that’s one of the genre’s most core definitions.

The development of that type of fiction arose when England’s trade partners, slaves, harems, colonies…

Tantra Bensko

Gold-medal-winning psychological suspense novelist, writing Instructor, manuscript editor living in Berkeley.

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