I’ve shared with a few readers that the first iteration of SOME GIRLS BITE was, well, regrettable. Merit, the earnest main character, was in a band with her friend, Mallory. Merit was insulted by a club’s demand the band, which had performed at the locale many times prior, audition for its new owner. Merit went to the manager’s office to complain about the inconvenience, and she was attacked by a vampire in a dark, back hallway.
I know. Awful, isn’t it?
The next draft of SOME GIRLS BITE had very little in common with the first one—primarily the sneaky vampire attack and the friendship between Mallory and Merit. It took another character coming to mind – Ethan Sullivan – before I knew who Merit really was. He provided a foil: fusty, imperious, gorgeous, and political to Merit’s earnestness, her desire to do good, her intelligence and stubbornness. [...]
Continue reading That Time Merit Was In A Band . . .
Diana Pharaoh Francis
As I mentioned previously, The Cipher is going to be reissued and I’m getting a chance to look it over again and make changes. This is something most writers don’t get to do. Or rather, this is something that we didn’t used to get to do. Before the rise of self-publishing (as well as small press publishing), once a book went out of print, it wasn’t all that feasible for a writer to republish her novels. Most publishers weren’t willing to reprint books without some major impetus–like the writer’s more recent books had hit big, for instance. So older books languished and writers didn’t have a reason to revisit them. I never thought I would revisit The Cipher with an eye toward revising. I thought it was a good book, so even with the reissue, I didn’t really think about it a lot until my editor suggested that if could [...]
Continue reading Revisiting Old Friends
Today I’m talking about plot. Not pantsing or outlining. Not story arcs. And not my muse, who is pouting anyway, because I haven’t had to resort to his tactics lately. For those of you who remember my muse (David B Coe, you may skip the rest of this para) he is a six foot, four inch tall, hirsute, baldheaded man, with a beer belly, and wearing red cowboy boots, a red speedo, and cowboy hat. Oh. And he carries a whip. He isn’t pretty, which is a reminder that writing may be part of the arts, but it’s hard work and it can’t depend on my mood or some dewy-eyed concept of the life of a writer. It’s hard work. Very hard work. I do it whether I am having fun, or it feels romantic, or not. So. Plot.
Since I’m working on a series, my usual formula needs a [...]
Continue reading Faith Hunter and Rules of Thumb.
Hi all. This is my third week on MagicalWords.net, under the new format. It’s also both confession time and two weeks to the day that my most recent book came out (BLACK ARTS, Jan. 7th release day). Let’s start with the book.
Last Wednesday, on the 15th, (if you are doing the math, that’s eight days after release day) BLACK ARTS came in at 56 or 57 (I honestly forgot which) on the USA Today list of all books. It’s a hard list to make at any position, because every book (hardback, fiction, non-fiction, e-book, trade and massmarket paperback and maybe e-books, I’m not sure) are vying for the list all at once. Just making this list is difficult and I was delighted when I hit in the 70s two books ago. So, yes, 56 or 57 is fabulous!
More importantly, from my publisher’s bragging rights perspective, BLACK ARTS [...]
Continue reading Faith Hunter — Hit Me with Your Best One
Happy New Year, Everyone!
This is my first post of 2014, with the new format, and (gasp, can it be so?) I have a book release today. Yes. Today. I’ve a case of the jitters worthy of a bee keeper who is allergic to bees, because I quit my job at the lab in the hopes that I’ll hit high enough in the lists and sales numbers to actually pay my bills. Yes. You heard right. I am solely and completely a full time writer now, instead of being a full time writer and full time lab rat (for the benefits). Instead of the 80 hour work weeks I have pulled for the last 20 years, I’ll be working only 50 hours each week. I will be resting. Paddling white water. Resting. Yoga-ing. Resting. Baking bread again. I have a loaf cooling now. And I had massage this morning. [...]
Continue reading BLACK ARTS and Secondary Characters
Happy New Year Everyone! I’m here every Monday this month, and I wanted to start with the very beginning. Plotting/Craft. I’ts been done, right? We all have our personal twists, and our personal demons. I call mine The Danny Ocean Moment.
“Where do you get your ideas?” used to be the question everyone asked authors. Nowadays, it seems like the question du jour is now “Are you a plotter or a pantser?”
In a way, it’s just as hard a question as the previous. The answers will vary from author to author, even project to project. None of them is the magic bullet that panel audiences are hoping for. And most start with, “Well, I’m a little of both…”
Me? I’m a little of both. I start out with a general road map and bullet points: events that need to happen, who the bad guy is, who ends [...]
Continue reading The Danny Ocean Moment — Alethea Kontis
The Character with No Name
A huge thanks to Faith Hunter for inviting me to be here during January. I’m excited to hang out with you all, discussing writerly things with writerly people. Since I’m back “in the writing cave” after the holidays, I need the social contact!
Today I get to talk about craft—creating a character, to be precise. And I’d like to focus on one of my characters in particular. As luck would have it, Faith, who is making a wonderful habit of issuing fantastic invitations to me, asked me to write a novelette for an anthology she was editing called Kicking It, and after I jumped at the opportunity, I settled down and wondered what (and who) I was going to write about. An established character from a series I’d already published? A new character altogether? Or a spin-off character who previously played a supporting [...]
Continue reading Chris Marie Green — on character