Writing Prompt #4

You’re at the store to pick up some milk when you see one of your neighbors with her back to you. She doesn’t notice you because she’s too busy yelling at her child.

“I told you to get the other one. How could you be so stupid? I swear to God, I don’t even know why I had children. You’re all nothing but trouble. Go back and get the right one.”

What do you do?

Character Quiz #1

Having trouble defining a character? Try this quiz and see what you learn. Go with instinct – don’t think too hard. Your subconscious knows this already.

  1. If you character had to choose between love and duty, which would they choose?
  2. What makes your character really angry?
  3. If you character was with a loved one and danger approached, what would they do? Run? Hide? Protect?
  4. If your character got bad news, who would they tell first?
  5. What time of day is your character’s favorite? Why?

Your characters should be a mix of positive traits and negative ones. A character that is all good or all evil is not interesting or believable. The reader wants someone they can identify with.

Writing Advice #1

“If you’re struggling with writing a character, write 20 things that the reader will never know about your character. These will naturally bleed into your writing and provide a richness even though you don’t share the detail.”

–Barbara Poelle

http://www.writerswrite.co.za

Writing Challenge

As some of you might know, I’m working on a book right now and it’s kind of tough. I could use some support. Would any of you be interested in a writing challenge? Sort of a support group to see how many words we get, or pages edited, or dialogue or something? I’m just throwing this out there, but I’d love to hear your thoughts. I’m currently working on a mystery and fantasy short story, if that helps.

Thanks!

Rewriting is hard

I’m in the process of rewriting my book and it’s HARD! I wrote it last November during NaNoWriMo and whenever I got stuck I just skipped ahead. But I waited too long between writing and editing and now I don’t remember! I do have a tentative title – The Second Murderer.

But I keep finding all kinds of things that need work. I need a subplot, for one thing. And since it’s a mystery, I need some suspects. I didn’t even really have a bad guy when I finished, so at least I’ve gotten that far! I just had a crime and a victim. But it’s getting there.

Now if I can just concentrate long enough to finish, I’ll be doing great.

List: Wishes edition

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I thought it would be fun to do a little Wish list – things I wish that books would do more of, less of, etc.

  • I WISH – for books that have a diverse POV. Publishing is doing much better in offering POC and LGBT characters in the supporting roles, but we always need to do better.
  • I WISH – for Neurodiversity. Not mental illness as the latest trend, but simply as a part of a character, like body type. Just a fact that doesn’t solely define them, but is a part of the whole.
  • I WISH – for economic diversity. I’m tired of reading about middle class people with middle class problems. How about the working poor, the disenfranchised? Their problems are totally different.
  • I WISH – for fully developed love stories. No more insta-love! Real chemistry! It’s hard to write, but the payoff is worth it.
  • I WISH – for truly unexpected endings. Ones where I don’t see it coming.

Now for my writing wish list!

  • I WISH for my characters to come alive. I want 3 – D, compelling dynamic characters who entice my readers.
  • I WISH – my mental illness didn’t keep me from working every day.
  • I WISH – I could actually make some money from writing. Of course, nothing is finished yet, but I know how hard it is to actually earn a profit.
  • I WISH – I had space to work. We’re all on top of each other right now, with one great computer and 5 people queued up for it.
  • I WISH – my book was done!

What about you? Readers and writers, what are you wishing for? Let me know here.

What Makes the Bad Guy Bad

I’m starting my rewrites in my new book, and I’m faced with the major problem that I don’t know a thing about my bad guy. I’ve finally figured out who he is, but I don’t know WHO he IS, if you get my meaning. I don’t really know how to make him real.

And face it, if you don’t have a believable bad guy, you don’t have much of a story. Because the bad guy is just as important as your main character. If he doesn’t have any motivation, if he doesn’t seem real, then the reader won’t care what he does and the main character’s struggle won’t be engaging.

That brings me to my question – who is the scariest villain you can think of? What makes  him or her scary? Give me a hand and tell me what you think.