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Tuesday, September 6, 2022

DO YOUR SIDE CHARACTERS FADE IN THE READERS' MINDS? IWSG Post

 


 

A former TV executive says why She Hulk appears bland and Ally McBeal seemed vibrant is 

the latter's side characters "popped" with life while She Hulk's seem one dimensional and fade away in the background.

Is that true?


Maybe? I am not a former TV executive, but it made me wonder how vibrant my side characters are.

How vibrant are yours?

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to find out:
WHAT'S THEIR BACKSTORY?

Present scenes that give them access to speak from their hearts and share their life’s journeys, dreams, and goals.

WHAT MAKES THEM SMILE?

Nothing reveals the personalities of your side characters more than what makes them smile or laugh.

WHAT EVENT INFLUENCED THEM THE MOST?

 Was it political, health-related, or romantic? How did she/he rebound from it? Or did she/he never recover?

WHAT ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTS THEM?

It will only take a small scene of outrage in their actions or sobs in their throats that will etch their nature in your readers'  mind and delineate them from one another.



WHAT IS THE DISTINCTIVE PATTERN TO THEIR LIVES?

It is fascinating to see how subtly good authors weave the actions of their side characters in the lives of the others. Many of the crises in great books derive from the clashing patterns of the side characters.

Oh, when I was homeless for 7 months after hurricanes Laura and Delta, this is how I listened to books.





Tuesday, August 30, 2022

COYOTE CALLING

 


The multi-talented Heather McCorkle has done it again.



Have you ever noticed? 
Troubles do not play fair. 
They gang up on you all at once, 
seemingly trying to elbow their way to get to the head of the line 
to take off your head!


You thought human politics was foul and dangerous?

Try surviving werewolf politics ... werewolves descended from Vikings at that. 

Sonya finds herself with the prospect of landing in a grave marked, "She died doing the right thing."

Worse, she has dragged her best friend, reaper Ayra Valdisdöttir, into that grave with her.

It soon turns into a Blood Moon:

A Navajo shifter appears on her doorstep with a life-threatening mystery along with untrustworthy estranged relatives.

Then, her mother goes missing.

What is happening?

And could Life please make

her troubles take a number?

If you like Norse Mythology, Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson series, and mystery, 

you will be wowed by Coyote Calling.


You have to hit CC to get the lyrics in English

Monday, August 29, 2022

DEADLY LADIES

Hurricane Katrina was among the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States, 

and it made landfall in New Orleans today in 2005.


The federal government and President George W. Bush were roundly criticized for what was perceived as their slow response to the disaster. 

The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Michael Brown, resigned amid the ensuing controversy.

Two weeks later, Hurricane Rita, the forgotten hurricane, destroyed Cameron Parish and nearly destroyed my town of Lake Charles. 

Hurricane Rita was the most intense tropical cyclone on record in the Gulf of Mexico and the fourth-most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded.


I wrote an urban fantasy of my experiences in New Orleans and Lake Charles: 


It is Hurricane Season once again, think good thoughts of me, all right? And maybe pick up the paperback or audio book, too.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

AMERICA IS A BAD MEL BROOKS FILM

 How strange.


Police made at least two stops with Paul Pelosi in custody before bringing him to jail following a May 28 crash. 

He had more than 2 hours to burn off alcohol in his system before investigators took a blood sample.

The maximum prison sentence for an insider trading violation is now 20 years. 

The maximum criminal fine for individuals is now $5,000,000.


President Biden's obvious cognitive decline emboldens our enemies 

and our allies unsure of the worth  of our support.


Yet Congress turns a blind eye to this. 
What profit is his condition to those politicians?


Now, for a little humor:


Wednesday, August 17, 2022

DID THE CANNIBAL VISIT YOU LAST NIGHT?

 

Our fiery star spit out a series of bursts on Sunday that are now headed in the direction of our planet and could trigger a strong geomagnetic storm.

 


One of those bursts, called a coronal mass ejection, or CME, is expected to collide and consume another, creating what's called a cannibal CME event.


Like the cell phone ad says, "Can you hear me now?" Or did the Solar Cannibal eat the internet last night?


Did one of you out there insult Mother Nature? 
And if so, could you PLEASE apologize!

A little dark humor to go
with the dark news:






Tuesday, August 16, 2022

MOVE ON, NOTHING TO FEAR HERE


 The time intervals between magnetic fields reversals have fluctuated widely, 

but average about 300,000 years, with the last one taking place about 780,000 years ago.

Official talking heads all agree, it will be nothing to worry about. But no humans were alive then to record what happened.


But there was one living thing that recorded what happened. 

A study of an ancient, well-preserved tree that was alive the last time the Earth's magnetic poles flipped tells a different story.


Chaos ensued. 

The weakening of the Earth's magnetic field briefly transformed the world by altering its climate and allowing far more ultraviolet light to pour in.

Anyone noticing drastic changes in weather patterns lately?



You think world governments trust us to handle terrible news well?

No. Me either.

Monday, August 15, 2022

IF YOU SEE ME, WEEP

 

The Elbe River’s hunger stones, carved centuries ago to mark the low-water levels that were recorded on years when crops failed and famine occurred.

 This one, dating back to 1616, reads “If you see me, weep.”


But perhaps the times are showing us other danger omens?
What do you think?

A little Magic to lift your spirits.


Tuesday, August 9, 2022

What Is the Last Book You Read? When? Why?

 

“A great book should leave you with many experiences, 

and slightly exhausted at the end, for you lived several lives while reading.”

 - William Styron


Book Lovers Day is celebrated 
on August 9 every year. 

This is an unofficial holiday observed
 to encourage bibliophiles to celebrate 
reading and literature.

People are advised to put away their smartphones and every possible technological distraction and pick up a book to read


Sadly I've lost count of the times I've nearly been run over by stockers in WalMart, 

orderlies delivering supplies, 

or walkers on the street too lost in their smart phones to even notice the world around them.


Have we become addicted to our cell phones?


Do any of your non-author friends read for pleasure?
Has life of late made it hard for even you to read?


Is the book destined to take its place beside the slide rule?

What do you think?


Tuesday, August 2, 2022

WHAT DO WOMEN WANT? IWSG Post

 

In fiction that is.

In romance I already know the answer: 

what I don't have.

Women account for 80 per cent of fiction sales. More women than men are members of libraries and book clubs. 

Women make up the majority of the audiences at literary festivals and bookshop events. 

They listen to more audiobooks, and attend more literary evening classes.

 Most literary bloggers are women.

I'm not whining, mind you. All right. 

Maybe a little.


But what has this to do with this month's question?

When you set out to write a story, do you try to be more original or do you try to give readers what they want?


The ghost of William Faulkner was looking over my shoulder as I wrote this, and said,

"The cries of the spirit have been lost in the roil and tumult of rising inflation, of rattling nuclear sabers, and of infantile demands to cater to ever-changing personal pronouns and sexual identities.

By all means, believe the moon is sentient, but do not demand I sing hymns to it at midnight with you. You will find yourself like Linus alone in the pumpkin patch.


Because of this, the young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat.

Leave no room in the mind for anything but the old verities of the heart, the old universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed—

love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice. 

Until he or she does so, she labors under a curse. He writes not of love but of lust, of defeats in which nobody loses anything of value, of victories without hope and, worst of all, without pity or compassion. 

His griefs grieve on no universal bones, leaving no scars. He writes not of the heart but of the glands.”

 
To me, the human heart is genderless.

It knows only loneliness, loss, insecurity, compassion or its lack, generosity or greed, fullness or never ending hunger no matter the sex of its host.





I write about what interests me: 

the colorful past, the tragic struggles of human souls striving for what they wrongly believe will fulfill them, for if you are not already complete within yourself no other soul with do the job,

the supernatural, the Golden Age of Hollywood and its secrets, and the colorful urban legends of New Orleans.

I answer questions that have interested me:

 How was it like to be a lesbian in Hollywood where the false fronts were not only found on the studio lot?

How was it like to be a returning soldier from WWII when PTSD was not even recognized much less treated?

What was it like to be a beautiful actress trying to navigate the treacherous waters of deviant studio heads and amoral directors?


I started each of my last three novels with diary entries from a woman who finds herself resurrected in another woman's body after having died on the battlefront two years prior.

I thought it might ground the reader more firmly into the mind of a major character in the novel's eerie story though it is told through the eyes of her wartime lover.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09LGJZ842

Tastes change. 

If you write what you believe readers want, you might be wrong, you will be writing under false colors, prone to be shot at from every side, your heart will not truly be in your prose and it will show.

Worse.

You might be successful and be trapped writing in a style and genre you do not enjoy,

If you stay true to yourself, you will never steer yourself wrong. It may be to a lonely port, but it will have been a worthy journey for your spirit.

But what do I know? 

My favorite Loreena Mckennitt song is an instrumental.

Sunday, July 31, 2022

HAILING FREQUENCIES CLOSED

 

BEAM HER TO HEAVEN SCOTTY


EACH OF US HAVE

OUR OWN MEMORIES OF HER

AND WHAT SHE MEANT TO US.



MY PRAYERS GO TO HER SON

AND FRIENDS.


HER VOYAGE AMONG THE STARS

IS JUST BEGINNING.

MAY HER JOY BE ETERNAL.


Tuesday, July 19, 2022

ARE YOU HAVING TROUBLE WITH YOUR BOOK?

 IS THE JEOPARDY IN YOUR BOOK "NOVEL?"


THE 9;30 TO HELL

A train from Madrid was surrounded by wildfires this Monday morning.

What if the wildfires had been worse?

What if you were a doctor helping an expectant mother give birth at that very moment?

What if you were that expectant mother?

What if a psychopath was on that train, realizing he was soon to die ...

but now he could kill to his twisted desires content?


WHAT IF YOU STARTED YOUR BOOK TOO LATE IN THE STORY?

Timing in stories and in jokes is everything.

Think of the Timing Chain in a car

Timing Chain?

The timing chain is a component of the car engine that synchronizes 

the rotation of the crankshaft and camshaft in the engine's lower and higher portions.

You're the mechanic of your book.

What if you went back in the time of your story?

What if one of your characters finds Time to be only waves to be easily surfed along its endless eddies and undertows?

What mischief could she/he commit?

How would it shape their outlook on life and humans?


ARE EVEN YOUR SIDE CHARACTERS FLESHED OUT OR 

ARE THEY BUT SKETCHES THAT LEAVE LITTLE IMPRESSIONS ON YOUR READERS OR YOUR PROTAGONISTS?


For your book to "LIVE" all your characters must live for your reader.

What made THE BATMAN evocative was that even Gotham became a living character that shaped its citizens. 


David O. Selznick is a side character in my WIP and he was the blueprint for Harvey Weinstein,

leaving greatness and shattered lives in his wake.

But he was far from being unique in Hollywood.

In fact, my studio head, Samuel McCord, was hated by all the others for his refusal to "join the club."


 So? Has this helped you at all?

Let me know?

What I consider 
Ingrid's and Lucas'
Love Theme:

Monday, July 18, 2022

HAD A BIT OF HEAT EXHAUSTION SUNDAY!

 

OUCH!

GOT MY WORK DONE THOUGH!

FEEL BETTER TODAY (TUESDAY)

ALL OF YOU STAY AS COOL
AS YOU CAN!