for November, 2013

I understand her better now.

November 20, 2013

In Martyrs, I have a character who is cold and callous. She distances herself from almost every single person she interacts with. She treats them as things rather than people because, in her world, it’s only a matter of time before they die, and the less she gets attached the better off she’ll be in the long run. This character puts on a front to keep everyone at arm’s length, everyone but a few choice people who have managed to break through this barrier, and whether she’ll ever admit it or not, she’s absolutely terrified of these select people losing their lives. This is unfortunate for her, considering she lives in a world where their lives are in jeopardy every single day. You see, this character has a tragic backstory, which essentially boils down to a few very key losses and some even more key betrayals. After a certain point, she just gave up on people, because it hurt less […]


Happy birthday to my Partner in Crime!

November 19, 2013

Today is my husband’s birthday. I could go on and on about how awesome he is as far as his husbandly-duties, like picking up dog shit and making me breakfast, but that seems unfair. Those are just some of the awesome things he does for me, and they don’t even begin to cover the many reasons I said yes when he asked me to marry him. On the one hand, he’d told my mother the night before she died he planned on proposing to me. If that doesn’t make it downright impossible for me to say no, I don’t know what does. JUST KIDDING–I cried so hard when he told me that it’s not even funny. Of course I would have said yes anyway. The real reason I said yes is because he asked me on his birthday in front of his whole family. The only way I was getting out of there alive was with a nod and a […]


Keeping Track of Character Details

November 18, 2013

Have you ever read a novel and run into a scene that didn’t quite feel right, only to read backward and find out that the primary character’s eyes have changed color, or he’s suddenly wearing a different brand of glasses than the ones he supposedly has been loyal to since he was fifteen? Or how about a character’s height or their accent–have you noticed things like that changing throughout the course of a book? Hopefully not. Hopefully, most authors have figured out a system to keep these character details organized so these kinds of mistakes don’t happen. If they DO happen, hopefully that published author has a good editor who is catching these little slip ups before the book ever hits the press. But the fact of the matter is, sometimes it’s damn hard for an author to keep track of these details while he’s writing a book, especially if he has a massive cast of characters at his fingertips. […]


Perfect practice makes perfect.

November 17, 2013

I was in band once. Like, for nine months once. In sixth grade. I was eleven. I really can’t say much about band other than that I hate the clarinet and I still can’t read music worth a damn. But there was one thing one of the band directors said that really stuck with me. Of course, they talk a lot about practice. There is a lot of guilt thrown around in that music room about how many hours each student is (and is not) practicing at home. You could say it comes up a lot. But one day, when a student made a comment about “practice makes perfect,” Ms. Rogers stopped her and said, “No. Practice doesn’t make perfect. You can practice all day, but if you’re doing it wrong, you will never be perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.” Ouch. That’s a pretty harsh thing to say to an eleven-year-old. Let’s look at that in a little more […]


Why are we so mean to our characters?

November 16, 2013

I can say with ninety-eight percent accuracy that half of the characters in my book Martyrs would kill me, if given the chance. Not only do all of these characters live in a world where killing someone is totally reasonable, but I’ve done quite a bit of awful shit to them. Like, really awful shit. In fact, the single deadliest character in that book probably deals with the most awful shit. If she could pop out of the pages, I can’t even describe the ways in which she’d make me suffer for what I’ve put her through. Now, think back to every book you’ve ever read. How many of them don’t torture their characters (at the VERY least, their main character)? How many of those books don’t do something, or many somethings, truly awful to a character throughout the course of the story? Not very many. Hell, I read a book one time where one of the characters was being […]


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