HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Raise your glass to a productive (and healthy) 2011.
And enter my contest by midnight tonight, or you are full of fail.
You must be a follower of either my blog or Twitter (new or old)You must comment on this post, and your comment must include:
- your hopes for next year
- a link to the book you want
1. ORDINARY WORLD
This stage acts as a comparative background to the special world the hero is about to enter, making the special world "unordinary" to what the hero is used to.
2. THE CALL TO ADVENTURE
The hero is presented with a problem, challenge or adventure to undertake.
3. REFUSAL OF THE CALL
This is where the hero shows reluctance and uncertainty.
4. MEETING WITH THE MENTOR
The Mentor archetypal character encourages or prepares the hero for the upcoming journey.
5. CROSSING THE FIRST THRESHOLD
The hero commits to the adventure and fully enters the Special World of the story.
6. TESTS, ALLIES, AND ENEMIES
The hero encounters new challenges and tests, makes allies and enemies, and learns the rules of the Special World.
7. APPROACH TO THE INMOST CAVE
The hero comes to the edge of a dangerous place, where the quest object is hidden and he must prepare before moving forward.
8. THE ORDEAL
The hero faces the possibility of death.
The hero takes possession of the treasure he has been seeking.
10. THE ROAD BACK
The hero deals with the consequences of confronting the dark forces of the Ordeal.
A second life-or-death moment, where the dark forces have one last go at the hero.
12. RETURN WITH THE ELIXIR
The hero returns to the Ordinary World with the treasure.
Mentors provide heroes with motivation, inspiration, guidance, training, and gifts for the journey. Every hero is guided by something, and a story without some acknowledgement of this energy is incomplete. Whether expressed as an actual character or as an internalized code of behavior, the Mentor archetype is a powerful tool at the writer’s command.
One way to see the difference is to imagine an archetype as a base to build upon. An archetype is a prototype of a character. On the other hand, a stereotype is an overly simplified concept of a character, with overly simplified opinions or behaviors. A stereotype is two-dimensional and generally stays that way.
1. Idea. I get an idea for a story that really moves me, something I can’t help but write. I start working it through my head without writing anything down at first.
2. Character Sketches. I figure out my main character, the main villain, and maybe one important secondary character. Most of the time this is done by character interviews, but Jo Hart has an excellent post on character sketching at her blog here.
3. Candy-bar scenes. This is a term I take from one of Holly Lisle’s workshops, Create Your Professional Plot Outline, which is free, and if you have yet to find her site, read every single article she has ever written right now. Most of my plotting techniques come from this, but I like to vary it up to what works for me. Candy-bar scenes are scenes that you have to write. They may be epic space battles, a heated break-up, or a joy ride in the Aston Martin DB5 from the Bond films. These are the scenes that get you excited about writing the story in the first place. I usually have these in my head as soon as an idea hits me.
4. Start writing. If I plan any further than this, then I don’t want to write the story anymore. I figure out everything else as I go.
5. Figure out the ending. I didn’t know where I wanted my NaNoWriMo story to end until about 10,000 words in. With my first novel, I had an idea for the ending before I started writing, and about 10,000 words in, I had a completely different ending in mind. I’ve found that this works best for me, because by this time, I understand the characters’ motives and weaknesses completely and what constitutes a satisfying ending for their story.
6. Finish writing. Self-explanatory.
She’s as tough as anything haunting Chicago’s streets. But to deal with an inhuman power that won’t stay buried, this FBI agent needs help that comes at an immortal price…
Jackie Rutledge has seen her share of supernatural killers. But her latest murder case is what recurring nightmares are made of. Brutally exsanguinated human victims, vanishing-into-the-ether evidence, and a city on the edge of panic mean that she and her psychic partner, Laurel, are going to need more than just backup …
So Jackie is fine with any help rugged P.I. Nick Anderson can give—even if that includes the impish ghost and sexy vampire who make up his team. But Nick is hiding secrets of his own. And Jackie’s investigation has plunged them both into a vengeful game reaching back centuries—and up against a malevolent force hungry for more than just victory…
My grandmother was a mystery author and published three novels while she was alive. They aren't in print any more, but it was seeing her writing when I visited her in the summers of my youth that inspired me. It was all type written, with white out and everything. Ah, the days of old (lol). I was fourteen when I decided to write my first novel. Thanks to my grandmother, who was in a writing group with well-known children's author Eve Bunting, I got some of my first written material critiqued. Eve said the writing had promise and to keep at it, which I did.
Oh, it was very exciting. Nathan was one of my top two or three agents, and I had been shopping Deadworld around for over a year. He actually rejected my first query for the book. I got offered a deal from Kensington and went back to him to see if he would take a second look (which isn't an automatic yes, as some might think), but he really liked my story/writing, and we both already knew we'd work well together from interactions we'd had through his blog.
Deadworld was inspired by something pretty simple, actually. I'd just finished up editing my first novel, an epic fantasy, and wanted to do something completely different, as much to give me fresh eyes on the fantasy as anything else. Fantasies and thrillers are my two main genres for reading, so I decided to do my other love. The only thing was, what sort of thriller? At the time, there was a fair amount of stuff in the blogosphere about people being tired of vampires versus vampires always being around. I like vampires, from campy to creepy, I think they can be great villains. I thought people were tired of them because it was too much of the same thing. So, I decided to come up with something different, a subtler, and in some ways maybe more menacing kind of vampire, very removed from the gothic mythos which is more typical.
Nope, not that I'm aware of anyway. I'm a skeptic, and tend to believe that 99.9% of what people claim as paranormal experiences are likely explainable by things we understand. However, there's always that one tiny percentage of really weird shit that can't really be explained. I do believe there is stuff out there that we just don't have a grasp on yet and maybe never will, except for a few select people.
Hmm, this is tough without being spoilery for number one. It's more ghost than vampire in book two, and it's a real emotional struggle for Jackie, dealing with the aftermath of book one. There's also a very intriguing paranormal element introduced that will continue over into book three and perhaps beyond.
Keep at it. That's the best advice really. The only way to get better and to get anything finished is to write regularly. Also, be humble. When it comes to writing, there's always room to improve, in every aspect of your writing. And read, in and out of your genre. There's no magic formula. It's mostly persistence, dedication, and creativity. You have those, you're ahead of the game compared to most others.
I'm a fairly mundane, family guy for the most part. Kind of boring really. Plus, I can never think of things like this when people ask. I have a sieve-like memory. Lol. There's you a random fact.