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 . . .
Worlds Can Be So Mean
Hi again! I’m glad to be back with another guest post for this month, and I’d love to talk about one of my favorite elements of writing. World Building.
In general, I’m sure you all have read a lot of posts about this topic already, but how about looking at a different aspect of world building? How can you flip a world that’s already familiar—or one that you’ve already started to build—to make it something totally different from anything a reader has ever experienced?
Before I really get started here, I’d like to mention that, oftentimes, world building is perceived as something exclusive to paranormal authors. I, myself, have built worlds for my Vampire Babylon series, my Bloodlands series, and my upcoming Ghost for Hire series. But writers of historical fiction or, yes, even contemporary fiction need to build strong worlds [...]
Continue reading Chris Marie Green –on worlds
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
James R. Tuck
Character and Plot. The two things you need to make a book. (Please don’t cite me examples of books that have one but not the other. Those are outliers and not the main thrust of books.) Generally speaking those are the requirements.
Now for most folks, myself included, character is actually pretty easy. They come swaggering up in our heads all badass and near fully fleshed out. The plots? They’re a different story. Plots are tricky little devils and hard to get hold of sometimes.
But that’s because we overthink them.
We do. As writers our brains are moving 90 to nothing and cruising top speed down multiple tracks. We mix our plot up with the following things: Character, Backstory, World-building, Themes, and Motives.
But we don’t need that for the actual plot.
The plot is the skeleton you hang all that meat [...]
Continue reading PLOTTING WITH BUNNIES (or whatever other animal you like. Want a hippopotamus? By all means, plot with hippos.)
James R. Tuck
I don’t know what kind of writer you are. You might be the kind who works each sentence until it’s perfect before moving on to the next one, lining up the words in exacting order for the most impact and literary explosiveness.
If so then this blog might not do you much good. lol
This advice is for the writers like me. The indulgent ones who spew words on their first drafts, who write with an abandon of language, allowing all the sentences to run amok on the page. I sling phrases and concepts around during my first draft, just acting like they are free and I can have as many as my greedy little, or not-so-little fingers can conjure.
The result, for me anyways, is a first draft bloated like Elvis on a toilet and full of sentences that I love, words I adore.
That’s all fine and [...]
Continue reading DRINK YOUR HATER-ADE (or editing)
James R. Tuck
Whew to the Dragoncon.
I miss it. I miss my peeps. It is always awesome seeing my fellow magical words family although Dragoncon is SO busy we only get to spend minutes together. (Lucienne, I still owe you that drink and AJ I didn’t even SEE you) But after Faith and John ‘s excellent con reports I have decided that this will NOT be about Dragoncon.
Instead I am going to talk to you about writing. (Inspired by a panel at Dragoncon)
I know, crazy right?
Let’s talk about character. Character is story. Some of you are looking at me going: “No James, PLOT is story. Characters are the subject of story.”
You’re kinda right, but not really. You see your plot is determined by your characters decisions. Every character, from the main protagonist to the most minor walk on character can radically change your story if they make their [...]
Continue reading OMG WRITING Y’ALL (or not another con report)
Top Ten Reasons to be Writer
The little voices in your head keep you awake every night unless you let them out to play. You wake up every night with new ideas and rush to the bathroom (where you turn on the nightlight, sit on the toilet and write until the idea is safe for daylight and won’t be lost in dreams. Because that happens all the time, gosh-darn it.) You love the stories in your head as much as (more than?) you love chocolate. You are a masochist. You have a great desire to be sliced with sharp objects, like rejection letters. Them paper cuts hurt. You have thick skin, like an elephant, or are willing to grow one. (see number 4 above) Writing a good scene feels better than ___________ (you fill in the blank). You give up time with friends/family/pets to write, and count it as time [...]
Continue reading ANOTHER Top Ten … or Two