One of the big things I struggle with when starting a story is likeability. The general premise is that a reader needs to be able to connect with a character, that the character should have redeemable qualities so that the reader can like him or her. I have two issues with this. First of all, I’ve written nice alphas and I’ve written jerky alphas–no one cares. These guys don’t have to be likable. They need to be heroic. They can be jerks and still live by their own code of ethics. I have zero problems pulling this off, but it bugs that heroes are givenRead More →
Once I do a first draft I, naturally, put the story away for a number of weeks to allow it to grow unfamiliar and, thus, fresh in my brain when I reread it. Then, I read it, taking notes on big picture problems. My last project, I ended up with sixty-five different notes and the list was about six pages long. I’m preparing to go in this week and begin what I think of as deep revision. It’s a lot of editing, some rewriting, and a little adding whole new scenes. I’ll come out the other side with a new story on my hands; a deeper,Read More →
Notice a whole bunch of Benedict Cumberbatch to the right. Added WIP board from Pinterest. I get inspired every time I see him. So. Much. Yum. Right? My Pinterest Board for the story set in the 1950s that I don’t even know who would possibly publish such a thingRead More →
1. String two guys along. Not speaking of menage stories here. I’m saying a heroine does not spend the entire story unclear on whether she loves the hero enough to cut loose her backup guy. I don’t like women who do this in real life, I don’t respect them. I will not respect a heroine who pulls this trashy crap.
2. Run away. I know, I know this one happens all the time. I’ve read them. And enjoyed them. But… it’s not entirely satisfying.Read More →
Last week, I added a parenthetical remark to my list of things a heroine should do. That aside sparked the idea for this post. I’m limiting myself to ten randomly chosen ideas (broken into two weeks–my words go on and on!), but there are probably a million more. Please add yours in the comments.Read More →
When he screws up (and I don’t mean by being unfaithful), when his back is against the wall, when whole worlds wait in the balance–she doesn’t wait at home and hope he can put everything right again. She’ll be right by his side, standing up for him or wielding a gun and shooting it out with the bad guys. It’s not about him needing her help–though he does, we all need help when we reach our biggest crisis–it’s that she wouldn’t dream of letting him face it alone.Read More →
He sees things in her that others don’t. Maybe that she doesn’t even see in herself. Take my super independent chick from above. Everyone else thinks she cold-hearted, calculating even (because, hey, that’s what our society thinks of women like that–but that’s another post). But he sees that she has a soft side. Maybe he recognizes it in the way she take time to comfort a person because she can relate to them. Maybe, instead of kicking someone when they’re down and climbing on top of their unconscious body to plant a conquering flag in their backside, she offers to help.Read More →
This show has flaws: writing that serves the needs of the plot rather than the organic growth of the characters, for one. Reversals in feelings and character consistency are another, but those happen more in characters that are, quite frankly, rather flaky. Characters whose moral compass sometimes spins wildly with disastrous results. And all that makes it soapy fun, which–as I’ve established, I’m totally fine with.
But, at the end of the four or five episodes day, I care about the characters.Read More →
One of THE best writing articles I’ve ever read: Simply put, in every social interaction, one person has (or attempts to have) more of a dominant role. Those in authority or those who want to exert authority use a collection of verbal and nonverbal cues to gain and maintain higher status. But it’s not just authority figures who do this. In daily life all of us are constantly adjusting and negotiating the amount of status we portray as we face different situations and interact with different people. Novelists have the daunting task of showing this dynamic of shifting submission and dominance through dialogue, posture, pauses,Read More →
That’s my actual wall. Those are two of the seven GMC charts I have hung there. My two main protagonists, actually. On the top left, you’ll see an extra note: the lesson they need to learn by the end of the story. In this novel, my antagonist and her minion don’t have these. Because they fail to learn a lesson; they’re villains. Not all antagonists are villains, though. In some stories, an antagonist could be a friend or family member or even lover. In order to for the antagonist have a happy ending, they need to arc as well.Read More →