Author Archives: MDWiselka

Spider-Woman 1979: Episode 9 – Shuttle to Disaster

The argument that 1970s-1980s children’s programming wasn’t “educational” might have some validity. In example, I offer an episode of Spider-Woman entitled “Shuttle to Disaster.” A somewhat prophetic title, in light of later developments. Spider-Woman makes a marionette out of a … Continue reading

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Every Spiderwoman 1979 Episode in a Nutshell

Spiderwoman 1979. Credit for giving a woman the lead in a show, but that’s about all you can say in praise of this poorly written, poorly drawn cartoon. Like most cartoons of its time and later, Spiderwoman 1979 relies heavily … Continue reading

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Plot Workshop: The Runaway Bride, 1972

I just finished reading The Runaway Bride by Lucy Gillen, a Harlequin Romance written in 1972, so you wouldn’t have to. The heroine and her love interest are pretty standard 70s fare–a childish woman who doesn’t know what she wants, … Continue reading

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Science Fiction as Social Commentary: The Green Rain

Let’s break down the structure of The Green Rain to see how it works as a piece of science fiction and a piece of social commentary: Inciting incident: a rocket containing a chemical called chlorophylogen, intended to terraform the moon, … Continue reading

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The Green Rain by Paul Tabori

“Whatever man has built throughout the centuries has been destroyed by man himself–because he could not leave Nature alone.” This underappreciated science-fiction novel, which was written just five years after Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a … Continue reading

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Editing Dialogue

While working the second draft of my latest novel, a romance with a time-travel twist, called Passing Strange, I revised a key piece of dialogue between my two main characters, David and Cole. Here is the original: “Lady, this place—it … Continue reading

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The Perfect Ending: Example of a Satisfying Romance (1886)

Below are the last several chapters of Rhoda Broughton’s 1886 novel, Doctor Cupid. As this is an excellent denouement to a romance novel, I thought it would be a good example of how to tie up loose ends in a … Continue reading

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Complex Villains

My current work in progress, A New Tune, is a nonlinear story about a couple who are struggling to keep the flame of their love burning after a year of marriage. One is a famous rock star, the other a … Continue reading

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Pros and Cons of Frame Stories

Frame stories have been, and still are, the rage. 2008’s Iron Man is a perfect example of a frame story. Tony Stark is demonstrating a new missile his company has developed. On the way back from the demonstration site, he … Continue reading

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How Should I Start My Novel?

How should I start my novel? With dialogue: “She jumped out the window. For no reason.” “Come on, Carl. There must have been a reason.” “I tell you. There wasn’t. Her old man was loaded—and he gave her anything she … Continue reading

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