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Livia Blackburne
Neuroscientist, Writer
Neuroscientist, Writer

Livia's posts

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Brain Science For Writers Roundup 7/4/16
By Anonymous - , Public Domain, Featured: Fountain of Youth : The Secret Power of Friends and Family. Beyond the interesting biology, also underscores the importance of...

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Short Powerful Vignettes (Analyzing The Winner's Crime)
I recently read The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski.  So good! One thing I really liked about Rutkoski's writing is how she layers together small scenes that offer bits of insight into the characters. For example, this passage from Winner's Crime.  A short...

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Brain Science For Writers Roundup 6/20/16
By Wayne Short - Edited version of File:Boxing080905.jpg , Public Domain, Featured: The Limits of Fight-or-Flight Training Featured: Why We Snap : From Road Rage to Barroom Brawls Students who believe t...

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Setting up Surprises (Analyzing The Wrath and the Dawn)
I read The Wrath and the Dawn , a retelling of a thousand and one nights by Renee Ahdieh, and loved the lush, romantic story.  I also admired how Ahdieh set up expectations several times and then surprised the reader by going the the opposite direction. (Ma...

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Brain Science for Writers 3/3/16
© User:Colin / Wikimedia Commons, via Wikimedia Commons The articles in this week's edition are from early last year, actually. But still interesting! Top Pick: How Typing Is Destroying Your Memory Simple Jury Persuasion: “I will give you this car for $9,...

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Redesigned Lesson Plan Covers
Self publishing is a continual learning curve.  I recently decided I wasn't happy with the cover for my Creative Writing Workshop for middle and high school students.  It wasn't really standing out in thumbnail view. So I tweaked it to give it bolder colors...

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Brain Science For Writers 2/18/16
© Tomas Castelazo, / Wikimedia Commons, via Wikimedia Commons Top Pick: People low in agreeableness ("jerks") are particularly adept at selling their creative ideas Top Pick: The Creativity Bias against Women Cynicism May Cost You. Ha...

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Thoughts on Plans
In Marissa Meyer's Winter , the cyborg heroine Cinder and her allies make  a a daring plan to sneak onto the moon and overthrow the evil Queen Levana.  Unsurprisingly, their plan goes awry very early on. This got me thinking about plans.  When characters ma...

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Brain Science for Writers Roundup 2/4/2016
By Jty33 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons Top Pick: Why resurgence of therapy that unearths ‘lost’ memories is risky Top Pick: The Unfair Truth About How Creative People Really Succeed (via Pas...

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Quick thoughts on nonlinear structure and punctuation comedy. (Analyzing WOOL by Hugh Howey)
I'm really enjoying WOOL by Hugh Howey right now, and wanted to jot down two quick notes. First, some sections of make use of nonlinear structure.  The second section, for example, starts out with the main character in a jail cell, and then goes back severa...
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