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Michael Thompkins
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Shrinking Fiction: How Psychology Can Help You Write Good Fiction

by Michael 3/12/2008 11:00:00 PM

"Following his packed workshops at our L.A. and Palm Springs events, back to SCWCSD, by popular demand is 'Shooting Shrink' series author and semi-retired psychologist Michael Thompkins."

That is how this blog column all began for me. I signed up to do a workshop with Michael Steven Gregory, MSG to his friends, and the Southern California Writers Conference in October 2006. A year later in LA, and a year and a half later in San Diego, we were still packing the rooms for workshops devoted to “how psychology can help you write good fiction.”


Then, a month ago in San Diego, after a tremendous amount of interest and support from the conferees and SCWCSD staff, it became obvious to me that there were blog articles to be written. Each article, whether it is on writing character or plot, once posted, will appear on the blog until I write the next one. Then, it will be archived on the site.

Shrinking Fiction #I: Earliest Maps of Character

Some of the earliest Emotional Anatomy maps of character structure come from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Western Folk Medicine, world-views inherited from the ancients. In TCM, and Western Folk Medicine (Naturopathy, Homeopathy, et al.), there is no difference between the practice of psychology and the practice of medicine. Specific emotions, patterns of thought, and attitudes are associated with specific anatomical organs and other physical structures in complete systems of correspondence.  In TCM these are often called Five Element Theory.  In Western Folk Medicine these are call humours.


The Shooting Shrink’s Palm Springs v.4 - Scenes from Gun Play

by Michael 3/12/2008 10:00:00 PM

Downtown Palm Springs Starbucks

"I turned the corner on Tahquitz and headed up to Starbucks… The wind was blowing a sensory sampler of sand, fertilizer, engine exhaust and freshly-brewed coffee."



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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions.