Tuesday, December 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 in any special order with these. 

Last month we built a character starting with an archetype. The last piece was Goal, Motivation, Conflict, a huge subject in its own right.

So let's put it in a nutshell, shall we?




Just fill that in and you're good to go!

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

Okay, maybe it needs just a little more 🙂. How about an example?

Here's my matrix for Kat in Night's Kiss. I switched the headings because to me, the internal goal is the underlying "why" for the external goal. External goal why? Because internal goal.

NAME:Kat Kean 
GOALKill all vampires, especially King Vamp.
Fight back against the evil suckers.
MOTIVERevenge against the suckers who killed her parents and traumatized her sister.
Never feel helpless again.
CONFLICTKing Vamp is hard to kill and harder to find.
She's falling in love with a vampire.


Tuesday, December 12, 2023

2T Repeat Performance - 6 questions

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 24, 2012 for Identity Discovery

1. How did you come up with the name Biting Oz?

The long way around :) And with much good help. For most of the rest of the Biting Love series, I’d been riffing off of song titles--Bite My Fire, The Bite of Silence, Biting Me Softly--so I originally titled this Biting the Rainbow, like Judy Garland’s signature song but with bite. Anyway, The Powers That Be thought there might be some confusion as to the type of book it is, so they asked for a title change. Note, this is a good thing. My first book sold was titled Nixie: A Biting Novel of Passion, Punk Rock, and Polkas. TPTB thankfully changed it to Biting Nixie. Anyway, I’d done a short story prequel last year (which originally was Off To Bite the Wizard but which readers kindly informed me via a poll should be Oz Bites. They knew much, much better than me). My editor liked Oz Bites, but since it was already taken, we played with alternatives. Biting Oz was the happy result.

2. How much research did you have to do for all the sausage references?

A lot. I do far more research than I need to for most things, so the story is as solid as possible. I looked up how to make sausage, what the various ingredients are, how they’re seasoned...you name it. Then I match the reference to the mood at the time. Our heroine Junior does not make humorous sausage references when she’s in the midst of a tragedy. Some of my references simply come out of growing up where I did. Wurst, brats, and beer were just part of life. Made for some great cookouts :)

3. Why didn't Junior ever move out of her parents place even if she wasn't leaving the city?

Money. Her full-time job was her folks’ store. She wasn’t earning any cash--what little profit the store made went to things like the family’s food and clothes. The only cash she got was from the gigs she did, and that wasn’t enough to pay for outside rent and utilities.

4. What was in the cheese that caused the town to go crazy?

Camille spiked it with drugs both highly addictive and hallucinogenic. Those drugs weren’t part of the cheese originally, though the hydrogen was.

5.what is the history between Glynn and Camille?

Oh, there’s a grand question. About eight hundred years ago, Glynn and Camille and a few others were made vampires around the same time. The young vampires met up and banded together, to survive, to find blood and comfort, and to keep each other from going rogue.

As a human, Camille was an ambitious woman at a time in history when that often meant realizing ambition through a man via sex. Before becoming a vampire, she’d trained as a courtesan. She was used to working through men, used to working outside of society’s strict boundaries. She still uses that early training today. She wants to be universally desired but suspects in her heart of hearts that she's not. So she keeps trying to prove men can't resist her and is piqued when they do. Since she’s willing to fight dirty and backstab to get what she wants, the men in her life need to be on their toes.

Vampires are sexually charged creatures. Glynn and Camille, as well as the rest of their small band, were lovers. But because of vampires’ blood-tracking sense, blood is shared only among the very closest of friends, allies, and lovers; none of the youngsters were blood lovers. For the first hundred years Camille was sweet although not exclusive--none of them were. As she grew more confident, then became cocky, she decided she wanted to found her own household (although she would use her humans, not live in harmony with them. She thinks vampires are better than humans). She wanted to use the strongest vampire of their group, Glynn, as her enforcer, planning to hold him to her with sex. Glynn objected to her keeping people like a herd of bloodsheep. His rejection broke up their group because he appealed to the other vampires' better natures and got them to walk out with him. Though she says otherwise, Camille has never forgiven him for any of it, for getting the rest to leave her, for screwing up her nefarious plans, and especially not for rejecting her.

6. I haven't read any of the other books in this series (but I want to). Would you mind sharing a little about the series in general and where it is heading?

The series started when I combined everything I’d gotten good feedback on in my writing (humor, first person, riveting action sequences) with vampires. The first story, Bite My Fire, was centered in the little German-settled town of Meiers Corners, which is outside of Chicago, and was about a local murder. The series started expanding when the nearby cadre of bad-guy vampires, the Coterie, started trying to take over the Meiers Corners blood center. The problems will escalate as the scope of the series gets bigger. For example, the next planned book takes place mostly in Minneapolis, although the book after that will return to Meiers Corners. Some of the storylines will also turn a bit darker and more serious. In the next book there’s an embedded mini-novella that reveals the secret of vampire healing in a rather terrifying way. I have four heroes definitely planned and a handful more that readers have been asking about. Currently I’m planning the end of the series to feature the Ancient One.