The scanner goofed up the borders, but here ya go. Enjoy!
Looks like Lord Tenebris is here to stay.
The scanner goofed up the borders, but here ya go. Enjoy!
Looks like Lord Tenebris is here to stay.
Hello! I gotta say, I’m a little proud of myself lately! In addition to Camp NaNoWriMo, I’m staring down four other writing deadlines this month and- shock of all shocks- I might actually hit them all. This is unprecedented! (And might have something to do with [okay, everything to do with] having damaged my leg and being trapped on a couch with KT tape, compression socks, the works. Nothing slows down an overachiever like crutches. Guess I’ll have to overachieve somewhere else- hello, laptop!)
We’re over halfway through the month now and I’m pretty sure I’d have to lose an arm in a car accident in the next 24 hours to not be able to squeak across the finish line. So I might actually have the time to draw a decent comic for next week! But until then, enjoy another reblog, this time from National Novel Writing Month itself! (By the way, their blog archives are worth trawling if you’re ever low on motivation or ideas.)
This little number caught my eye because it’s doing the opposite of what I normally do on my blog: it’s taking lessons learned from writing and applying them to life in general! Please enjoy and I’ll see you again next week. Happy writing!
I hope this gives you some idea of what a saint my husband is. He continues to be willing to adventure with me! It’s mind-boggling!
Boy, I haven’t done a sample chapter in ages! Probably because I produce horrible horrible first drafts that aren’t fit for human eyes until they’ve gone through at least two major revisions. BUT WHO CARES ABOUT THAT. I shall now assault your eyes nonetheless!
He was one of the older ones, old enough that he should have known better.
Meisa watched Urae carefully pull herself up out of the water, slowly, slowly, so as not to startle him. He bumbled forward, curious, blinking at her with spell-clouded eyes. The water washed around his ankles and he didn’t even notice. Urae held the spell tight around her, golden curls spilling over her pale shoulders, her round breasts. She sat on the rocks, keeping her true half hidden down in the water still. She flashed Meisa a quick glance, flicking her chin away to the far side of the bay.
Meisa slipped down into the water and darted through swirling seaweed and surging tide. The sea distorted her sister’s song, twisting the notes into tuneless keening, a nightmare of what could only be the sweetest dream to the unwitting landmeat above. Meisa breached on the far side of the bay, tucked back against the black rocks, and watched.
Urae sang without words, the seasong pouring from her elongated throat. She spread her arms toward the landmeat sloshing toward her in the tide, tripping and stumbling against the sharp rocks below him, scattered with mussels and weeds.
He had no idea. No idea.
Meisa felt a twinge of uncertainty.
Her sister sprang forward like a striking eel, grabbing the human around the waist. He fell backward into the water with a cry and a splash, and then all was stillness.
Meisa waited a moment, squeamish about what came next, and then sank without a ripple, swimming to her sister.
The landmeat was dead before they passed the tideline.
Want to read the rest? Follow this finely crafted link to the full chapter!
Hello! It’s another NaNo months! Wahoo! *flings confetti* And with that comes stick figures and reblogs, huzzah!
I know we’re only three days in, but I’m feeling good about this month so far. I spent the first day working on a thriller project that I quickly sacked (probably in large part because I am apparently majorly uncomfortable writing about affairs), and then switched over to a Little Mermaid retelling. I’m really enjoying the switch, and it’s great to be drafting again after so long editing. This being a NaNo month, though, let the blogging laziness begin.
Our first reblog of the month is about dealing with rejection, something that I’ve been working hard to get better at. (As you may recall, I have a rejections goal for the year, which sounds a little insane, but is actually kind of working for me.) If you haven’t come across Joanna Penn’s blog, The Creative Penn, before, it’s definitely worth checking out.
Here’s a piece from her archive by Michael Alvear, called:
Rejection is part of the writer’s life, whether that’s from an agent or publisher, a one-star review, or lack of sales. But that doesn’t mean that rejection has to destroy you.
Here are some tips from Michael Alvear on how to handle it in a more positive way.
What danger is to a cop, rejection is to a writer–always hanging in the air dripping with possibility. And drip it does, onto the talented and untalented in almost equal measure.
Actually it doesn’t just drip; it pours.
Rejection has a 360-degree aim — from literary agents who don’t want you as a client, editors who don’t want your manuscript, publishers who give you an insulting advance, bad reviews from literary critics, hate speeches on Amazon, and of course the ultimate rejection—poor sales. Somebody, somewhere at just about every stage of your writing life gives you the finger, a hand and sometimes the whole arm.
Success makes it worse because now you have more to lose. Who do you think suffers more—the newbie who can’t get her first manuscript accepted or the best seller who can’t get his last published because his prior two books tanked? Success, as any best-selling author knows, doesn’t protect you from rejection.
Want to read more? Go check out the full post here! And until next week, happy writing!
This is in no way autobiographical. Nope. Not at all. *coughs*
Fond Husband and I were talking the other night about antagonists. We’re both way into speculative fiction, but our tastes can vary pretty widely on what we like and don’t like. Therefore, I wasn’t too shocked when I learned that he doesn’t like a sympathetic villain. Personally, I love it when I feel like I can understand the bad guy, when I know exactly why they are the way they are and feel like maybe, just maybe, I could have walked that same path in those same shoes. (Note: I am not a sociopath. Honest.)
One thing we did agree on, though? Neither of us likes it when the antagonist is just contrary to be contrary. The mustache twirling villain tossing hapless maidens onto train tracks for the heck of it isn’t really our thing. Evil for evil’s sake is kind of lame. (And just to be clear, we’re talking about physical antagonists, not abstract ones. None of this really applies as well for a storm, or racism, or whatever.)
So I sat down after our chat and wrote up a list of the things that I feel like every believable antagonist needs, regardless of whether or not we can sympathize.
Background A protagonist can’t exist in a vacuum; neither can the antagonist. What made them this way? How did they get where they are? Just as a protagonist’s background sets the stage for them, so does an antagonist’s.
Personality Every character in a story should have a unique voice, little ticks and quirks and patterns that make them their own person, rather than just another place holder. I feel like this is especially important in the main characters, which I would definitely count the antagonist as.
Motivation This is huge huge huge for me. The antagonist must have an understandable goal. Even if it’s just to stay in power, despite the efforts of this punk protagonist, I have to know why the villain does what they do for me to feel like this is a real character. Cardboard does not have motives. Characters do. I feel like this is especially important in cases where the antagonist isn’t necessarily evil, like when the Lawful Good cop is trying to arrest the sketchy-but-heart-of-gold protagonist or whatever.
Menace This probably doesn’t really need to be said, but let’s say it anyway. An antagonist should be menacing. Readers should harbor some serious fear that the antagonist is going to really mess things up for our beloved protagonist, whether that’s ruining prom or enslaving humanity. Within the context of the story, stakes need to be high, and it needs to look like the antagonist just may tip them in their favor.
Power A power imbalance must exist between the antagonist and the protagonist in order for the protagonist to go through the kind of struggle that makes a good story. The story’s bad guy should stand on a higher power rung in some way (wealth, an army, powerful connections, whatevs), but on the other hand, they don’t need to be some über-powered demigod. Therefore, they also need…
Weaknesses Sauron’s tether to the Ring. Swarm’s entirely understandable difficulty with insecticides. The Emperor’s acceptance of a Death Star that has a design flaw you could fly an X-Wing through. If a powerful antagonist doesn’t have a weakness, it can make any ending where they lose feel implausible, and therefore a cheap plot push on the author’s part. So give your antagonist a weakness that is believable given their background, not so outrageous that they wouldn’t have taken care of it, and just enough of an edge that your protagonist can use it.
In closing, do you notice anything about this list? It’s pretty similar to the sorts of things that go into making a protagonist. In a lot of ways, the villain of the story is a lot like the hero; the two can be the flipsides of the same coin, even at times sharing remarkably similar features, but having simply made different choices. Because, after all, the antagonist is the hero in their own story.
Of course, there’s a lot more that can go into the crafting of a believable antagonist, but this is hopefully enough to get you started on a shiver-worthy baddie. Happy writing!
Wanna dive deeper? Here are a few links to other articles about antagonists! Enjoy!
Ken Miyamoto’s 15 Types of Villains Screenwriters Need to Know– all about the different tropes that most evil-doers fall under
Literary Device’s Antagonist– terms and definitions within the broad umbrella of, you guessed it, antagonists
Chuck Wendig’s 25 Things You Should Know about Antagonists– it’s, uh, what the title says it is