Tuesday, September 19, 2023

3T Writing Tidbit

We're delving into another of the three elements of story: character. (The three elements being character, setting, and plot 😄) I'm not going to go in any special order with these. 

Here's a provocative sentence I came across: 

Archetypes are masks of a complete human being.

Last month I unpacked mask. Let's look at the complete human being.

It's a fact that no character, not even Pinocchio, can be a real human being. But you can make them feel more or less like a real person to the reader. How is that?

In researching archetypes, I came across a Between the Lines Editorial blog that explains it very well. There are flat, static characters who are one- or two-trick ponies and never change. There are also rounded, dynamic characters. These characters change over time (like we do) and have many personality traits, some of which vary over time and are even contradictory (like we do!).

So make your Pinocchio, not a static wooden puppet, but a conflicted being who wants to be a real boy but can't, until he understands the truth and changes his life.

Published since 2009, over the years I've accumulated various items of writing wisdom. The Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit showcases these items in no particular order. Click here to see all 3T Tidbits.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

2T Repeat Performance - tell us how the series began

I've done a number of blog tours over the years, posting on different sites. Now I'm bringing them to you!

Originally published August 21, 2012 for Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

 Tell us how the Biting Love series began?

 Backwards. Seriously, I submitted the third story first, the second story second (which was the first sold) and the first story…well, maybe I should start from the beginning :)

Back before my first sale, the rejections were getting to me (I am not terribly thick skinned and tend to write two novels for every rejection I get), so I decided to throw everything I’d gotten good feedback on—sex, love, humor, and vampires—into one story. (If I’d had an extra kitchen sink, that would’ve gone in too :) By layering each element, I quickly wrote Bite My Fire (cop Elena, master vampire Bo). That went so well I dashed off Biting Nixie (punk rocker Nixie, vampire lawyer Julian).

Problem was, nobody knew how to sell that kind of…well, to put it kindly “fusion of styles” (and to put it realistically, “mishmash”). I got even more (shudder) rejections.

And then Samhain Publishing had a special call for hot paranormal romance with humor, exactly the elements in my books. (Author Snoopy dance.) I wrote a fresh novella for the call, which would become the spine for Biting Me Softly. That didn’t make the anthology, but it did interest an editor into opening the door. I quickly wedged in my strongest foot (Biting Nixie) and she bought it. (Author fainting dance :) Then she went back and bought Fire. So Book Two was published before Book One.

I then expanded the novella into Book Three and she bought that, and that ought to be the end of the story. But a call for New Year’s novellas came. I’d been wanting to feature city admin Twyla and got a great idea for her and Spartan vampire Nikos, set on New Year’s Eve in Times Square. I sold that and The Bite of Silence (a novella) was published four months before Book Three—which then became Book Four.

Fortunately Biting Oz has always been Book Five (although the original title was Biting the Rainbow). I’m working on Beauty Bites now, slated to be Book Six, but I’ll let you know how that actually works out.