Amanda Marbais writes about, “ONE WEIRD THING: Disrupting the Ordinary World”

Amanda Marbais is the author of the short story collection Claiming a Body, as well as numerous essays. You can find out more about her on her website, www.amandamarbais.com, or by clicking here, read her last post here, and buy her books here. I once had a writing professor who said we were only allowed “one weird thing” in a story set in the ordinary world. It was unclear if he meant a touch of absurdism or a full trip into fantasy, and I was too inexperienced to ask. But he was convinced that any unexpected story detail would strain…

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Amanda Marbais on Character Motivation

Amanda Marbais is the author of multiple short stories, including the collection Claiming a Body. You can find out more about her on her website www.amandamarbais.com, or by clicking here, read her last post here, and buy her book here. Hitchcock is quoted as saying: “When an actor comes to me and wants to discuss his character, I say, 'It's in the script.' If he says, 'But what's my motivation?, ' I say, 'Your salary.'” Despite Hitchcock’s cheeky retort, this ubiquitous question is at the heart of characterization. If a character acts without an obvious motivation, the audience won’t invest…

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Amanda Marbais Asks Does Research Ever End?

Amanda Marbais is the author of short story collection Claiming a Body. This is her first post as a Blackbird Writer. You can find out more about her on her website www.amandamarbais.com, or by clicking here, and buy her book here. In my current work-in-progress, a murder takes place on a small farm run by thirty-somethings looking to escape city life. As a longtime Chicago resident, my challenge has been to make a full scale, slightly gothic farm convincing. Right away, I had to dive into outside research. This novel began during the pandemic when I indulged my mild obsession…

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