Can you help me? If you don’t know, I am in the process of writing a non-fiction book that aims to help writers create the best villains possible.
In order to make sure the book is as helpful as possible, I want it to capture everything that would be useful to a writer, so I’ve created a survey, if you have a few minutes I’d be super snog your face off grateful if you filled it in and if you have another moment, shared the survey with a fellow pen-rat to fill in.
If you have a shit book cover we won’t pick up your novel. Sloppy blurb and we chuck the book on the NBR (Never Be Read) pile. If we get past all that and find forgettable characters buried in your pages, well… fuck you author, here’s a one star review.
A couple of weeks ago, I was lording it up in Paris with the girls for a cocktail fuelled weekend… I still have a hangover!
The thing is, I wouldn’t be a writer if I didn’t take advantage of any and every opportunity to spew some more of my hyperbolae into the world, and Paris has provided me the perfect opportunity to do just that.
I have a terrible memory. Like ,really bad. But my substandard brain cells got me thinking about books and specifically, about characters.
Without memorable characters, your book is worthless. Why?
Because books are written about characters. If your characters are boring, your books boring. But how do you make them memorable without turning them into the equivalent of a glitter covered literary drag queen? (more…)
Characterisation is yeast. Without it, your bread novel turns into a pancake yawn fest. But building well rounded characters that are captivating enough to keep readers up till 3am finishing your book can be a bit of an enigma.
If you’ve hung around long enough you’ll know I like to draw inspiration from all branches of the crazy tree.
Today, I’ve pilfered methodology from a thespian.
I know. I know. *Gasps dramatically* “But we’re writers. We’re introverts.”
*ahem, technically I’m not. Something about a mix up at the sperm bank, don’t tell anyone.*
But whether you’re introverted or not is irrelevant. It’s the methodology that’s important, not the acting itself. Although if anyone fancies throwing a little skit at the Bloggers Bash, I’m more than up for whipping out my inner diva…
Constantin Stanislavski was a Russian actor, director and all round smarty pants. He developed a model to train actors to act. Specifically, to improve their characterisation in order to make their portrayal of the written characters more believable.
There’s nothing like a bit of reverse engineering to sharpen your pencil…I think there are three key lessons we can take from Stanislavski to help us improve our written characters.
After my rant last week about the lack of LGBT characters in mainstream fiction, I thought I really ought to make some kind of suggestion as to what the differences are, (and there aren’t many) in order to help writers who want to write LGBT characters but haven’t plucked up the courage yet.
I really did have to rack my brain to find something useful to say because there isn’t much. We are human just like the rest of the world. For those looking for tips on writing gay male characters, I’m not going to be helpful in this post. I’ve stuck to what I know…lesbians. (more…)
One of the pieces of criticism I often get is that I don’t put enough emotion into my writing. So this week I thought I would challenge you to write a short piece where a character feels an emotion intensely. You can choose any emotion you want, but the character has to feel it in a big way.
I’ve recommended this book before, but I really cannot advocate it enough. Especially for this exercise. This book is my writing bible, my most coffee stained, love crumpled, biscuit crumb covered reference book. It’s The Emotion Thesaurus and if you don’t own it, you really bloody ought to.
Apologies if you received this twice, it shouldn’t have gone live earlier!
What is it about women that just isn’t scary? Perhaps it’s because women represent motherhood and mothers are loving and caring. Or maybe it’s because we are (generally) smaller framed and not as physically strong as (most) men and therefore don’t epitomize the brutality of villainy. (more…)
Today brings a special guest post from a wonderful and extraordinarily talented Anne Goodwin, who has also released her debut novel ‘Sugar and Snails’ TODAY. Get it on Amazon, immediately, I insist! Anne has kindly contributed to my Crafting Characters series and discusses creating awkward characters. So without further ado, I give you Anne Goodwin. (more…)
I first watched the Exorcist when I was about 9, I don’t know whether it was the projectile green vomit or badly done makeup, but I wasn’t impressed. These days it might be a little different. I was skeptical about everything back then. These days I’m only skeptical about some things because I know there really are things that go bump in the night. Scary movies, books or stories, have a better effect. Leaving me switching lights on, scanning rooms and ceilings and ensuring there’s a hockey stick within reaching distance!
I’m my own worst enemy and can never please myself. I started this series because I wasn’t happy with my villain, guess what, I’m still not. So I started investigating what makes a really scary bad guy. This post aims to identify what sets apart your Lemony Snicket from your Michael Myers (Halloween). (more…)
Who’s in your inner circle? You know, that group of friends that you can count on one hand. The ones you would pick up in the middle of the night, or who would hold back your hair whilst you throw up after a hard night out…?
What do you think of when you think of those friends? More importantly what single word would you use to describe them? If you were to write them into your novel what would their archetype be? Let me know in the comments below. (more…)
Please welcome the fascinating Michael Martineck, you can find him on his blog, he has written two books:The Milkman and Cinco de Mayo. Michael has recently had huge success, so a big congratulations to him as he begins the interview. The Milkman was a finalist in Eric Hoffer book awards and a gold medal from the IPPYs. The Independent Publisher Book Awards competition: Best science fiction novel in North America, from an independent publisher. Congrats Michael. (more…)