This week has been chaotic at best and I apologize for the lateness of this article. As writers who write living beings at some point our characters will probably experience attraction to another being and desire a relationship. But what kind? Romantic relationships often seem to be the default in books and movies. Hero A must get with their OoD (object of desire) by the … Read More Going Over the Rainbow: Like a Moth to a Flame
All joking aside, accountability is something that professionals of any discipline face. Even us writers. Yes, you read that right. You, my dear writer, are accountable to your reader. Well yes, you say, I should give them the best story I can write. Yes you should, but it goes beyond that too. If you’ve written for long you’ve probably ended up having to … Read More Going Over the Rainbow: The Trope Trap
I recently ran across a post on Tumblr where the OP was rather distraught. They’d been told that using the word asexual to describe their character’s orientation was historically inaccurate for their setting. This brought up the issue of explicitly stating a character’s orientation within the prose and when and how this should be done. Some writers might feel that they’d rather not label … Read More Going Over the Rainbow: Show and Tell
On January 8, 2016 the American Dialect Society voted singular they as the word of the year. The use of singular they builds on centuries of usage, appearing in the work of writers such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Jane Austen. In 2015, singular they was embraced by the Washington Post style guide. Bill Walsh, copy editor for the Post, described it as “the only sensible … Read More Going Over the Rainbow: Pronouns and Cons
Disclaimer: This post frankly discusses some aspects of sex and sexuality that some might find triggering including sexual kinks, fetishes and paraphilias. Please do not read further if you find any of these subjects triggering. If you’ve been around romance writing for long you’ve undoubtedly ran across a number of characters with kinks and fetishes or even paraphilias (and no I will not … Read More Going Over the Rainbow: Getting the Kinks Out
Most of us go through life never thinking much about our gender or how we express it. We might feel it is something we were born with, something absolute and immutable. We might think there are only two genders and that we are one or the other. ‘But aren’t there only two genders?’ I hear you asking. Nope. Male and female are only two … Read More Going Over the Rainbow: The Gender Divide
There is a lot of great advice out there when it comes to creating our characters. From Nancy Kress’ Dynamic Characters to The Positive and Negative Trait Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi there are many excellent resources for writers looking to create truly unique and realistic characters. Even as comprehensive as these helps are, there is one area many writers neglect. A character’s … Read More Going Over the Rainbow: Crush Those Stereotypes
Growing up in small towns in the middle of the Midwest, I didn’t get much exposure to people of other races. There was not a single African American at the school I went to and only one person of mixed race. I also had no exposure to people who identified as different sexual orientations or gender identities. This meant I felt horribly out of … Read More Going Over the Rainbow: Moving Beyond the LG in LGBT.
Eeesh, it’s been awhile since I’ve been able to write a post. Sorry about that. Having a chronic illness and being a single parent can really flatten you sometimes. So, on with the post! Last time we talked about developing a non-traditional hero. We discussed how archetypes are useful as a basis for creating a character and how to add traits and goals to … Read More Non-Traditional Hero Part 3: Character Flaws and One Stop for Writers
Building a character is a lot like making a cake. Except you don’t want just a basic yellow cake, you want layers and frosting and all the fun stuff that makes cake great. The point is we start with a base, but we don’t stay there. That’s boring. Spice it up. Experiment, see what flavors work well together and which ones don’t.
So, let’s get cooking.
What is a traditional hero? Often in fiction, especially romance, the hero is what is termed an alpha male, which I discussed in last week’s post. The often hypermasculine and overly sexualized characters (male and female) in media, while popular, are becoming cliche.
So what makes a non-traditional hero?
First let’s break down what a hero is and what makes them a hero.
I recently stumbled across a post on Tumblr claiming that it is possible to write up a complex plot in a single day. So can you? Short answer. No. A truly complex and layered plot is not something you can whip up in a day of brainstorming. What you can come up with is a premise and basic plot arc. Notice I said basic. … Read More Complex Plotting: It’s Complicated