Conflict is an essential element to stories, though even in an action movie it gets boring if it is always physical, or between the protagonist and antagonist. Conflict between all of the characters, even if relatively mild, propels your story along and allows you to maintain an essential level of tension. Here is a trick … Continue reading A Method for Crafting Conflict between your Characters
While decades of conflict have created a degree of anarchy and lawlessness across Afghanistan, within Afghan culture there have long been romanticized portrayals of bandits that continue to the present day. Pashtun culture in particular is highly egalitarian, with strongly pronounced streaks of both individualism and justice. The ideal Pashtun male is someone who is … Continue reading Afghanistan’s Bandit Tradition
I began writing seriously with screenplays, and learned about using index cards to outline a story from my writing partner. Screenwriters have been using them for years, but I use them whenever I am writing a story that is too long or complex for the outline to easily fit on a page. They’re also particularly … Continue reading How to Outline a Story with Index Cards
When I watched the first two episodes of “The Mandalorian,” I watched it as a writer rather than as a fan.
Since starting to write full-time, I’ve discovered that I have a writing superpower. The most surprising thing about it, though, is that it isn’t really about writing. You almost certainly have this superpower, too. Let me explain. Any creative work is hard. Steven Pressfield calls the thing that makes it hard “resistance.” It’s that force … Continue reading My Writing Superpower
Afghanistan and feminism aren’t often thought of together, unless using the country as an example of one of the worst places in the world for women to live. But buried in Afghan history there is a women who deserves to be lauded as one of the world’s early feminists. Her name is Soraya Tarzi, and … Continue reading Queen Soraya: Afghanistan’s First Feminist