July 3

Birthdays: Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860), Franz Kafka (1883), M.F.K. Fisher (1908), Tom Stoppard (1937), Dave Barry (1947)

Tip: Be careful about overusing tropes (a common theme that shows up in a lot of books). They can be used to your advantage, especially in some genres, but use them carefully.

Thought for the day: “Perfection is attained by slow degrees; it requires the hand of time.” – Voltaire

Jumpstart: In 1863, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania became the center of the conflict between the North and South. Put your character there. What side is s/he on? Is s/he a fighter or a civilian? What happens?