Crush S5 E14 (Buffy and the Art of Story Podcast)

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In Crush (Buffy the Vampire Slayer S5 E14), Buffy rejects Spike and Drusilla returns to Sunnydale set on bringing him back to his old self. Along with the recap, this podcast episode focuses on: (1) how his actions reveal a Spike vs. Spike subplot and his character growth; (2) why the story structure works well despite fluid, subtle major plot turns; (3) what keeps the pace fast though much of Crush focuses on overall Season 5 arcs; and (4) a podcast patron who dives into Buffy’s and Spike’s ...
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Blood Ties S5 E13 (Buffy and the Art of Story Podcast)

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In Blood Ties (Buffy the Vampire Slayer S5 E13), Dawn learns the truth about her origins, no one keeps Spike in the loop, and Buffy faces Glory. Along with the breakdown of Blood Ties, this podcast episode focuses on: (1)  how Blood Ties tells a fast, gripping story despite that Buffy and Glory don’t face off until the end; (2) the way Dawn’s arc deftly weaves subplot points and turns into the main plot; (3) story questions that keep viewers tuning in even after reveals about Dawn and Glory; ...
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Investigating A Difficult Woman

The Q.C. Davis mysteries are not message books. They're plot-driven, follow-the-clues detective mysteries. But I do begin each with a core idea. In The Worried Man, it was the pain of death by suicide as well as Quille’s family history. In The Charming Man, the concept of friends, many of whom are like family, trapped in an apartment complex during a blizzard sparked the story. And for The Fractured Man, I focused both on long-lost childhood friends and how the urge to recruit others to a cau...
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Checkpoint S5 E12 (Buffy and the Art of Story Podcast)

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In Checkpoint (Buffy the Vampire Slayer S5 E12),  the Watchers Council refuses to help Buffy defeat Glory unless she endures its grueling review. Along with the episode recap, this podcast episode focuses on: (1) unevenly placed major plot turns in Checkpoint that throw off the pace; (2)  subtle character and dialogue choices that tell the story of the Watcher’s Council and the theme of power; (3) using minor conflict to reveal exposition and set up later scenes; and (4) the ways Checkpoint t...
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Sneak Peek At Mystery In Progress

Q.C. Davis Mysteries 1-3
It's not every day you meet a man who might have murdered your sister. That's how the next Q.C. Davis mystery starts. This is the one where Quille looks into the murder of the sister for whom she was named: the original Q.C. Davis. No working title yet, but I am about two-thirds through a first draft. And I'm doing something new. Chapters in the earlier books were cleverly titled Chapter 1, Chapter 2, etc. Creative, right? Quite a few readers told me, though, that you prefer c...
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Triangle S5 E11 (Buffy and the Art of Story Podcast)

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In Triangle (Buffy the Vampire Slayer S5 E11), Anya and Willow conjure an evil troll as Buffy deals with post-Riley life. This podcast episode recaps Triangle, focusing on: Anya, Willow, and Xander are in a troll triangle and it's Buffy's show – so who is the protagonist? running season arcs but no subplots for Spike, Xander, Buffy, and Dawn; what less dramatic plot turns do to the episode's pace; and should you break your characters for a joke? Spoiler-free, except at the end...
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Into The Woods S5 E10 (Buffy and the Art of Story Podcast)

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In Into The Woods (Buffy the Vampire Slayer S5 E10), thanks to Spike, Buffy learns about Riley's dark side. This podcast episode recaps Into The Woods, focusing on: a shadow subplot for Riley about his life's mission; hooking the audience by ending scenes just before Buffy or Riley reacts to a startling revelation; what it means to be an antagonist (here, Riley) in romantic relationship plot; a conversation with Roberta Lipp, co-host of the They Coined It Mad Men podcast, about why...
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Listening To Fear S5 E9 (Buffy and the Art of Story Podcast)

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In Listening To Fear (Buffy the Vampire Slayer S5 E9), Joyce prepares for brain surgery as a dangerous alien stalks her. The podcast episode recaps Listening To Fear, focusing on: opening conflict grounded in Buffy's new normal – taking care of Joyce in the hospital; Riley's disappearing act shows the audience his inner turmoil – and puts the gang in grave danger; the challenges of a protagonist (Buffy) and antagonist (the demon from outer space) not knowing about each other until the...
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Shadow S5 E8 (Buffy and the Art of Story Podcast)

This time on Buffy and the Art of Story, Shadow, where Joyce waits for answers and Buffy fights a cobra demon who could reveal the truth about Dawn. This podcast episode recaps Shadow (Season 5 Episode 8 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and focuses on: (1) the way the episode weaves the cobra demon main plot into the subplots about Riley's and Buffy's inner conflicts; (2) how Buffy's pursuit of the demon shows the viewers her emotional turmoil; (3) different ways to read Buffy's need to keep it t...
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Fool For Love S5 E7 (Buffy and the Art of Story Podcast)

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This time on Buffy and the Art of Story, Fool For Love (Season 5 Episode 7 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer), where Buffy goes to Spike for answers about how he killed two  slayers. This podcast episode recaps Fool For Love and focuses on: (1) an origin story told in flashbacks; (2) Spike resolves his feelings for Buffy in a surprising way; (3) using action and setting changes to keep scenes moving; and (4) characters asking questions they don't truly want answered. Spoiler-free, ex...
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