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"Working with Anya has forever changed my relationship to writing, pulling it from deep in my unconscious up into the light of inquiry." -- Annie Lewis

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Fiction Writer; Poet; Teacher of Creative Writing; Manuscript Consultant; Writing Coach; Founder of the Writing for Social Change: Re-Dream a Just World Workshops; Writing Workshop Leader.


The Stories of Devil-Girl

The Stone of Language


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Archive for 'Character Development'

Beyond Formula: Writing Love Scenes that Support the Story with Spirit, Passion, Grit, and Character Truth: Independent class beginning January 12, 2012!

Dear Writers, I want to talk with you about my independent classes. I continue to teach Claiming Our Stories: Working with the Power of Autobiography and Autobiographical Fiction, Parts One and Two, with on the net, as you can see from my last posting. But I have been teaching Finding the Real Story: The [...]

Story classes news, and a little story!

Dear Writers, I am gathering a group for another independent online writing workshop. But here is a little incident that happened on the way to putting this on my Facebook page, something put into gear perhaps by the Great Narrator I can’t see. I got bold. I got tired. I know what happens in my [...]

Character’s voice? Neruda said, “Speak through my words and my blood.”

July 15, 2008   The re-entry into writing a blog after so long is a little thorny. Along the road, here is a wonderful quote from Faulkner’s Light in August, in which Mrs. Hines, Joe Xmas’s grandma, muses after his death:   “It is because so much happens. Too much happens.”   Alfred Kazin mentions [...]

Good stuff coming very soon! Online class; local mentorship groups.

Dear Friends, Get in on it!  February 25, 2008 I will begin teaching an online class for called Claiming Our Stories: Working with the Power of Autobiography and Autobiographical Fiction. There are not many places left, so if you have been fencesitting, jump in and sign up as soon as possible! I am very excited about it, [...]

The Return of Devil-girl! or, The Stories of Devil-girl, a novella

The Stories of Devil-girl is a novella which I recorded on a double CD set and released shortly before the war in Iraq broke out in 2003. It works at the crossroads of poetry and prose, and of autobiography and fiction, perhaps also of the brutal and the magical. I began writing it in 1989, [...]

Bad guys: characters who are unpleasant, embarrassing, evil, heinous, or even unsexy.

September 27, 2007  Dear Writers, This may the be first in a series of posts on bad guys, on miserable, annoying, cruel and unusual, evil types. You know, all that stuff we like to believe we contain not even a speck of within ourselves. In the good old days, a writer could name their characters something [...]

The Effect of Travel on Storytellers

Of course I have promised you “serious discussion” of issues of writing every couple of weeks, and in one way or another, I intend to fulfill this promise. Having just returned from 2 months out of the country, including about 5 weeks in Turkey, I am going to be “de-briefing” with you for a bit, [...]

How does a writer work to develop authentic characters and deepen characterization, whether in fiction or memoir?

For this first post, I’d like to address a question which comes up often in workshops and classes, and calls for a much longer response than this entry will be, a response from many voices: How does a writer develop authentic characters, and deepen characterization? My intent for the suggested writing exploration below is that [...]