In my last article, I discussed how authors often fall into
the trap of obsessing over irrelevant character details at the expense of info
that matters. You don’t need to know everything about a character, only certain
critical details: desires, strengths, and weaknesses. The same holds true for
starting a story: you don’t need to know everything, only certain things…but
you NEED to know those key things.
Maybe I’ve been cursed by the book gods and need to
sacrifice another virgin at the secret blood altar they keep in my local
library’s basement (all the best libraries have one), but I’ve had crap luck
with books lately. I’ve DNF’d the last four out of five books I’ve read,
primarily for story mechanics issues. They’ve either dragged or didn’t
establish a solid foundation before jumping into the action, or just weren’t
very compelling stories. I’m a slow-as-shit reader, so slogging through a book
I’m not that into can take weeks to reach the payoff of a “meh” experience. If
a book doesn’t hook me within the first ~30%, I peace out and move on.
don’t tell me you’ve got a binder or notebook stuffed with pictures you found
on the Internet of what your main characters look like, along with facts about
them like their favorite color, the first song they danced to, their ideal
vacation spot, etc. I mean, you can do that if you’re bored…okay I did that on
my website as part of a promotion for
my book Reckoning. But
don’t mistake this for character development, because it’s not.
Characters in your head are not real people, no matter what a platitude typed
in Corsiva font scrolled across a picture of a quill tells you. They are not
people, and they don’t do anything you don’t make them do. To think otherwise
is to have a fundamental break with reality, and please see your doctor to
adjust your medication dosage accordingly.
Greetings all my One True Fans! (it’s like being the One True King from King Arthur, but with better benefits like free books and not being killed in a holy war)
I had to change my website theme recently due to my previous theme becoming obsolete and unsupported with the latest WordPress update, so now the formatting is a bit screwed up. So I apologize to all you poor souls who might click on a link and be despondent to find it goes nowhere, or be confused by a strange color scheme or weirdly formatted or outdated text. I promise I’m fixing it! …Specifically, I’m harassing my IT department – aka my husband – to please fix it asap. Thanks for your patience!
I remember back in 2008 or so when repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t
Tell became imminent. I was a captain at the time, and more than a few of my
civilian friends asked me, “How do you feel about serving with someone who’s
gay? How do other military people feel about it?”
Everybody who’s ever attempted to bake a delicious loaf of bread from scratch knows firsthand the endeavor is part art, part science. The delicate balance of flavors and textures—that’s art. Ensuring the loaf doesn’t dissolve into a puddle of goo—that’s science. There are an infinite number of different kinds of bread you can bake—banana, zucchini, raisin nut, marble wheat, etc.—but they all have certain ingredients in common—flour, yeast, baking soda, salt, water—and require a certain order of preparation—mix ingredients, bake, let cool. Without the right ingredients in specific quantities and in the proper order, you end up with the aforementioned inedible goo.
Happy New Year! It’s time once again to put away all your
Christmas crap, cringe as you step on the scale for the first time in forever, steel
yourself for the real winter, and
consider changing something about your life. Yep—it’s resolutions time!
Are YOU looking for a simple yet mind-blowing Christmas/New Year’s/Anytime Really dessert to shame your relatives with this year? Then look no further than THIS fool-proof epic deliciousness that anyone can make – Oreo Bonbons!
Usually when I make them, people look at me and say “You made these?!?” I nod, and their eyes roll back in their heads as they’re gripped in taste ecstasy.
Say you’ve finished writing a book—congrats! You’ve made a few editing passes through it, roped a few of your friends and relatives into reading it, gotten their feedback, and tweaked it into what you think is an acceptable form to show to the world at large. Maybe you’ve even queried a handful of literary agents and received either “Thanks but no thanks” rejections or (more likely) radio silence.