Tag Archives: POV

Rules can be broken

I’m almost to page 400 in John Grisham’s SYCAMORE ROW.  I’d probably have it finished by now if I hadn’t lost time to my troublesome stomach, but I have to admit, I needed a kick in the pants to pick the book up to read every night.  It’s good.  But I’m not used to Grisham’s style of writing, and after all the pages I’ve read, the book still feels like set-up to me.  Everything’s interesting.  The characters are great, but there’s still no crunch time, no ticking clock, and I’m getting the feeling that’s not going to happen.

The truth is, I’m so used to genre writing, his style feels alien to me.  He does a lot of the things that my writers’ group tells people NOT to do, but it works.  For him.

  1.  Show don’t tell.  My group repeats this like a mantra.  Showing pulls a reader into a story, makes him feel part of it.   Grisham sets a scene–like Jake walking into the coffee shop where everyone gathers to learn the latest news and gossip–and TELLS us what’s happening.   I’ve never been bothered by telling as much as some writers.  Author intrusion?  Eh, it works once in a while.  Jenna Bennett uses it here and there, and it adds an intimacy to her stories, like she’s talking just to you, the reader.  It’s efficient, too.  Showing takes space.  You have to let a scene play out to make a point.  Telling…well, you just say what you want the reader to know.  It creates more distance between the reader and the story, but it gives the reader a quick feeling of everything important in fewer words.  Still, all in all, most writers try to avoid it.  We try to show instead of tell.
  2. POV.  My groups’ view is that there’s singular POV or multiple POV, and you don’t mix more than one POV in a scene.  You wait to jump from one person’s head to another’s.  Grisham eliminates that worry by using a sort of omniscient POV and focusing in on one person and then moving to another.  It’s not one bit confusing.  It works.  But again, it creates more distance.  The reader’s not following one person or a few important players from place to place.  We pop from Jake’s thoughts to Lettie’s to someone’s in the coffee shop.  I don’t read enough thrillers to know if this is the norm for the genre, but it very well might be.  That’s the thing about genres.  They don’t all follow the same rules.
  3. Pacing.  My group focuses a lot on keeping the reader turning pages.   We build tension and conflict into every scene we can.  We have pinch points and turning points.  And everything keeps geting worse.  Grisham concentrates on his story and lets it unfold.  It doesn’t feel rushed.  It has more of a literary feel where the characters develop more than the plot.  I’m happy to roll with that, except I have to admit, as a genre junkie, I wish some key plot point was moving a little faster.  But that’s my own hang-up, and I know it.
  4. Would I change my advice to people who come to Scribes?  No.  Because show, don’t tell works for most writers.  So does POV and pacing.  But Grisham is talented enough to pull off his style.  His sales speak for that.  But most mere mortals have better luck following the rules.  It’s hard enough finding an audience, so why push your luck?

Whatever you write, however you write it, good luck.  And happy writing!

My webpage:  https://www.judithpostswritingmusings.com/

My author Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/JudiLynnwrites/

Twitter:  @judypost

 

 

 

 

 

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Some Characters…

My fourth romance is available for pre-sale now.  It’ll be a long time before its release–the day after spring solstice on March 20, 2017.   I’m a horoscope junkie, so I hope that’s a good sign:)  But you met Tyne and Daphne in book 3.  Tyne is Paula’s fellow chef–the guy who doesn’t mince words and says what he thinks, Mr. Hot Stuff.  Daphne is the girl Chase fantasizes about.  At the beginning of LOVE ON TAP, Paula and Chase both have a thing for someone who’s not right for them.  I’ve met plenty of people who fall for Mr. or Miss Wrong over and over again, and always with disastrous results.  That’s what I wanted to show in book 3.  It’s not the traditional way to start a romance or plot it out, and it confused some readers, but I liked it.  To me, it was realistic.  And Tyne, as a friend to both Paula and Chase, was happy to offer his opinions on their romantic mishaps.

I intended Tyne to have a small part in book three.  When I plot a book, I start with an idea. For book three, it was a girl with a crush on Mr. Wrong and a guy who fantasized about a girl who had nothing in common with him, and the two had to figure out that they were REALLY meant for each other.  After the idea, I think about what characters will work for that story.  Paula is a widow, raising two young children and trying to balance being a mom and a chef.  All she’s done since losing Alex is work and spend time with her kids, but she’s finally ready to dip her toe in the dating pool again.  Except that she’s always attracted to a bad boy.  And Tyne is happy to tell her that Jason’s a loser and she should move on.  Chase owns a bar and can have any woman he wants–except Daphne–and he’s ready to settle down and thinks he wants her.   Tyne makes a few comments on that, too.  After I decide on my characters, I do character wheels for them.  I learned that concept at a workshop by Shirley Jump, then tweaked it to work for me.  (Shirley’s offering a workshop on intensive revision starting Monday, if you’re interested:  https://www.margielawson.com/lawson-writers-academy-courses/detail/2-writing/299-jan-2017-intensive-on-revision.)  Anyway, Shirley recommended having a close friend for each of your characters, because then the character has someone to talk to, to spill your gut.  I gave Paula her fellow chef, Tyne.

I meant Tyne to be there for Paula to bounce ideas off of.  The thing is, Tyne just won’t keep his mouth shut.  He has opinions about everything, even though he’s well-meaning.  I loved Tyne, but I had trouble writing his dialogue.  He’s SO not like me!  He says things I’d never say.  I had the same problem with Brody in book 2.  I’m an “early” Libra.  I try to smooth things over and avoid confrontation.  I hate conflict.  When I’m really direct, it’s been a long time coming.  (I’m working on that for 2017, though.)

Brody and Tyne don’t give a damn.  Sometimes, they push peoples’ buttons just to see what happens.  When they do, it’s outside my comfort zone.  I’d never do it, so I needed to “hear” someone else.  For Brody, I heard my grandson Tyler–a Gemini.  With Tyler, you get what you get, whatever he’s thinking–and he tends to think he’s right and you’re wrong. If he annoys people…well, life happens, right?  But he has a BIG heart.  He won’t win an award for tact, but he’s funny and warm, and he CARES.  For Tyne, I “listened” to my grandson Nate.  Nate–an Aquarius–has a million ideas buzzing in his head all the time. He thinks outside the box, gets restless easily, and doesn’t mind sharing his opinions.   If he annoys you, he’s sorry, but that doesn’t mean he’ll stop.  And he has a big heart, too.

I liked Tyne so much in book 3, he changed my writing.  I was using single POV for the romances, but when I started book 4, with Tyne and Daphne as the stars, I wanted Tyne to be able to express himself, too.  Tyne just wouldn’t stay in the background.  That’s what Daphne liked–to sort of disappear if she could, to go unnoticed.  So book 4, SPICING THINGS UP, is the first time I did the girl’s AND the guy’s POV.  It added a lot.  What was implied before became in-your-face, irrefutable, so that’s what I’m doing from now on.  (I’m a slow learner.  I’ve already told you that.)  Anyway, characters can push and prod a writer.  It’s a good thing.  And bless Tyne, he wanted a starring role, and he deserved one.  I hope you like  him as much as I did.

 

For my books:  http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/34332

Webpage:  http://www.judithpostswritingmusings.com/

Author Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/JudiLynnwrites/

Twitter:  @judypostspicingthingsup

Giving Thanks

We have the turkey.  Both of my grandsons, my sisters, and cousin are coming to our house to celebrate.  It’s a pretty low-key, happy event.  We eat and yak and enjoy each other.  This year, I’m feeling a little frisky.  I’m going to chop up my pretty bird and try to make The Pioneer Woman’s turkey roulade and Michael Symon’s braised legs and thighs. My friends and family are brave souls who let me experiment on them:)

I’ve been having fun experimenting lately, and I have lots to be thankful for.  If you follow my blog, you know that I broke my left leg–and did a good job of it–on June 17th.  I couldn’t put any weight on it for three months before I graduated to a walker.  But in the last few weeks, I’ve been getting better and better with a cane.  Whoopee!  AND, I can manage stairs now, even if they don’t have a railing.  I’m moving up in the world:)  I can leave the house for restaurants and friends now, not just for therapy.  And I’ll graduate from that soon.  I’ve had the most wonderful therapists a person could have, but it will be nice to get up in the morning, stay in my PJs, and write, write, write!

I’m starting to feel better about romances now, too.  An odd thing to say, maybe, but it’s taken me a while to feel comfortable writing them.  For my first novel, COOKING UP TROUBLE, I felt like I was hanging words on a tipsy clothes line.  I liked the characters and the humor, but I was never sure if I was getting it right.  The characters made it easier for me, though.   I liked Brody so much from book one, I couldn’t wait to give him a story of his own. By the time I reached book three, I was brave enough to play with my format a little.  I’ve known quite a few smart women who have terrible taste in men. The same can be said for men–they can choose Ms. Wrong over and over again, too–but since Paula was my protagonist in book three, I focused on her.  I was worried I’d confuse the reader by having her fixated on Mr. Me, but I decided to trust that they’d realize she was going in the wrong direction and pick up on the clues her friends kept giving her–“Not him.  Look in THAT direction.” I hope it works.

For book four–which won’t come out until next spring–I made a bigger leap.  I liked Tyne so much, I wanted to hear his voice.  I wrote the first three books from a single POV, the female’s only.   But for Tyne’s book, I added the guy’s POV, too, because Tyne doesn’t have a problem expressing himself.  And I loved it, going back and forth between the two leads.  I liked it so much, I kept doing it for book five and for book six, which I’m working on now.  I don’t expect to ever get everything right in a book.  That doesn’t happen very often for any author of any book.  I can count on my fingers the books that I’ve read that I considered flawless, but I hope that I keep learning and getting better and better with time.  And this year, I feel like I’ve made a few strides I’m happy about.  So I’m thankful.

Hope you’ve had a good year, too, and happy writing!

 

My webpage with free short stories: http://www.judithpostswritingmusings.com/

My Facebook author page:  https://www.facebook.com/JudiLynnwrites/

twitter:  @judypost

 

Shifters–gotta love ’em

 

DragonsAmongThem_600x900

This is a gorgeous cover, isn’t it?  The protagonist looks so alluring as a golden dragon, I can’t wait to read about what he looks like as a mortal:)  My fellow writer/wonderful friend, Kyra Jacobs, has a book–DRAGONS AMONG THEM–coming out April 19, and it’s available to pre-order now.  Kyra usually writes romantic suspense or contemporary romances, so playing with dragons is new to her.  It’s been fun reading her tweets and blogs about writing fantasy, since she and I have both stretched our writers’ muscles lately, her going from romance to adding fantasy, and me going from fantasy to adding romance:)  So I thought I’d ask her about her journey, and she was gracious enough to stop by to answer my questions.  Here goes:

Question #1:  You started out writing mystery romances, and you set them in our hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana.  I’ve used Fort Wayne as settings for some of my stories, too, but changed its name to protect the innocent (mostly vampires and supernaturals).  Applause for using Fort Wayne  But the new novels you’re working on are contemporary romances and a dragon shifter series.  TWO series, and you work, and you have two boys.  How do you do it?

Three words: Sleep is overrated.
LOL
Just kidding (sort of). I love my sleep, but I love writing more. Of course, the kids win over all—I love them the most. It’s a juggling act each and every day for sure.
But I carve out what time I can and am learning to jot ideas and scene fragments down as they strike because for me, not all “writing” is actually time spent in front of my laptop. Mental plotting/writing is every bit as important.

Question #2:  What is there about dragons and shifters?  How did you go in that direction?  And I’m glad you did, because I find them sexy

They are rather sexy, aren’t they?
I know this may sound cliché, but DRAGONS AMONG THEM started with a dream I had. There was a confused girl in the woods cornered by a pack of hungry wolves and this magnificent golden dragon swoops in and saves her. And then of course my alarm goes off and I’m like, “NOOOOO!” Usually, dreams like that evaporate as the day goes by. But that scene refused to leave me alone and I started thinking, “What if the dragon wasn’t just a dragon but also a handsome prince?”
Even then, I told myself I wasn’t going to write it. I mean, was I nuts? I write contemporary romance and romantic suspense. What do I know about writing in a fantasy world? But the story refused to leave me alone—REFUSED—and I realized that if I was feeling that passionate about an idea, I’d be a fool to ignore it, especially out of some silly fear over genre-hopping.  Interestingly enough, I’ve never completed a first draft so fast in my life. Zayne and Addie’s story could not get on paper fast enough.

And, mmmm Zayne. Can’t wait for you to meet him.

 

Question #3:  Did you find anything trickier than you expected when you wrote in new genres?

You know, the hardest part initially was me getting used to being ALLOWED to break the rules of reality. Duh, right? But as an author who tries to make my contemporary novels very believable, I had to learn how to bend and break rules in an alternate reality while still making the characters and situations believable. It was incredibly freeing, once I got the hang of it.

 

Question #4:  Are you a pantser or a plotter?  And do you have a series arc besides the novel arc for each book?

Oh this question—slays me every time! I’m really more of a plantser. (Yep, there’s me bending the rules again lol.) Usually my novels begin with a scene or a fragment of a scene in my mind. Then I start diving into who’s in the scene. What’s their name, their story? What do they want? What’s standing in their way? Often times I’ll follow the Donald Maas story arc that Janice Hardy introduced me to a few years back (here’s the link: http://blog.janicehardy.com/2012/08/the-inner-struggle-guides-for-using.html) to help me dig a bit deeper into the who and why of the novel and to keep the characters’ growth on track. As I write the story I also keep an outline going on the side listing each scene, whose POV I’m in (color-coded by character), and highlights from that scene. Helps me get a visual on the balance of POV (I’m a visual learner for sure) and is great if I need to go back and track down something that happened earlier in the novel.

As for the story vs. series arc, not always. With my contemporary romance novels, each book typically has its own set of hero and heroine and their happily-ever-after. For the dragons series, though, Zayne and Addie are the central focus throughout the series as they fight the odds in various situations on their way to the final happily ever after. The books are not cliff hangers, though, just a progression of time and situations. So in the case of the dragon series, yes, I do have individual novel story arcs that feed into the overall series arc.

 

Question #5:  Care to share a blurb and a snippet of your novel with us?

I’d love to!

Blurb:

Two worlds. One unstoppable passion. A fiery secret that could destroy them all.

Prince Zayne Godfrey, heir to Edana’s throne, is betrothed to the lone princess of rival kingdom Forath. While his heart is not in the arranged marriage, he will do his royal duty.

When he finds a beautiful stranger cornered by a pack of wolves, he doesn’t hesitate to shift into his golden dragon form to save her. She thanks him by taking one look at him and fainting dead away.

Photographer Adelaide Miller is in England for a career-making shoot when a bizarre jogging mishap lands her in a dangerous, medieval-like world of royals, wizards and dragon-shifting men. Her first instinct is to find her way back, but the fire-breathing prince intent on protecting her threatens to melt her heart.

Zayne’s burning passion for Adelaide not only jeopardizes the fragile peace between two kingdoms, it uncovers a ruthless plot to destroy his family. Remaining together may change Adelaide’s very definition of home—and expose one searing secret that could forever shift the balance of power in Zayne’s world.

 

 

Book Links:

Goodreads: http://bitly.com/Dat1GR

Samhain: http://bitly.com/Dat1Sam

Amazon: http://bitly.com/Dat1Amazon

B&N: http://bitly.com/Dat1BN

iTunes: http://bitly.com/Dat1iTunes

Kobo: http://bitly.com/Dat1Kobo

 

Excerpt 1:

The wedding.

Zayne shook the thought from his mind. He had come here to forget his impending doom, not wallow in self-pity.

The prince drew an arrow from the quiver on his back, nocked it to his favorite bow, then shifted away from the oak and lined up his shot on the buck. During battle, the action would have taken him but a second—two, perhaps, if he were dodging an attack. Here in the deep woods where any sudden movement would give his location away, it took several minutes. Time well spent, he knew from experience, if it resulted in fresh venison for dinner.

The deer raised its head and stared in the direction of his hunter with unseeing eyes, ears twitching as he chewed. Zayne held his stance, praying his patience would pay off. After a long moment, the great beast turned its rack in the opposite direction. A victorious smile tugged at Zayne’s lips as he squared his shoulders, took a deep breath to steady his aim—

A woman’s scream shattered the forest.

The arrow slipped from his fingers and sailed six feet over the startled buck’s head. In a flash, he drew another, but the opportunity was already lost. The deer zigzagged over brush and bramble, bounding away to seek refuge in the darkest depths of the forest, and Zayne cursed his own arrogance. He’d taken too long, been too sure of himself. And while his stomach rumbled painfully at the thought of foregoing his anticipated evening meal, he knew better than to pursue the beast. Dangers far greater than the dark awaited him in that direction, and no buck was worth the risk.

A second high-pitched scream sounded, closer this time, and commanded his attention. Whoever joined him in the woods today sounded terrified, not hurt. Lord knew he’d been through enough skirmishes to recognize the subtle differences.

Zayne slung his bow onto his back and charged forward, sacrificing stealth for speed to try to reach the woman before one pitch bled into the other. Thick underbrush snagged at his clothes and sliced his skin, but still he surged forward. It would have been easier for him to transform, faster even, but then his whereabouts would be discovered, and he was not yet ready to return and face his father. Or his betrothed.

The wall of vegetation around him thinned as he drew upon a small clearing. Zayne slowed to quiet his footsteps, then stopped altogether as the scene before him came into view. A pack of wolves milled around one side of the clearing, snapping and snarling as they pawed at their muzzles. Across from them stood the clearing’s other inhabitant: a lone peasant woman.

The source of the screams.

Her outer layers of clothing must have been ripped away during her attempted escape, as she stood quaking in scraps of clothing the likes of which Zayne had never seen before. The bizarre black-and-purple fabric failed to do much more than contain her supple bosom, rounded hips, and slim thighs. Her long, golden hair was pinned up and back and, though mussed, offered him a clear view of her delicate shoulders and creamy pale skin. But what struck him the most was her eyes—startling blue, like brilliant sapphire ice.

A ray of sun broke through the clouds and washed over her, giving the girl an angelic appearance. Never had he seen a woman more beautiful. The sight took his very breath away.

A wolf stepped free from the pack, and the air around Zayne began to swirl. He gasped, as helpless to resist the beast within as he was to draw his next breath. Never before had the transformation begun without his prompting, nor surged forward with such haste. An armor of golden scales replaced his skin, his fingers stretched into talons, and human logic gave way to animal instinct. As the growing fire within his chest sought to consume him, Zayne could comprehend but three things:

He must save her.

He must protect her.

He must have her.

Kyra_Jacobs_Author_web

(I know this post is getting a little long, but Kyra sent me 2 excerpts to choose from, and I liked the second one so much, I thought I’d add it, too, if you’d like another sneak peek at her book): 

Excerpt 2:

Zayne watched with amusement as Addie’s crystalline gaze flashed to the odd slippers dangling from his fingers, then slowly shifted to his face. Even here, in the shadows, the sight of her took his breath away. Emeline insisted the girl was nothing more than a peasant sent into the woods as bait to lure him into a Forathian snare. But no peasant he had ever encountered possessed skin so perfect or golden hair so smooth and long. She rose to stand before him, her pale skin angelic in the moonlight, and the scent of wildflowers and honey nipped at his senses. His gaze trailed uninhibited over her trim yet supple body, dressed once again in nothing but her unusual yet gloriously minimal undergarments.

An angel in devil’s clothing.

“What are you doing with my shoes?” Her voice was low and unsteady.

Shoes? What an odd word. He held up her slippers and fought to keep a smirk from his face. “These? Why, holding them, my lady, nothing more. I feared for your safety and so removed them from your path.”

“Uh-huh.” The blonde vixen’s eyes narrowed. “You knew I was awake?”

“Aye. You blushed when I touched your cheek. I knew it would be but a matter of time before you magically awoke.”

“And yet you let Emeline leave,” she said. “Why?”

“Perhaps I wanted to have you all to myself for a moment.”

Her eyes widened a fraction. Addie took a step back, sucked in a sharp breath and quickly took another. “I see.”

She shifted her gaze from his and swept it across the room toward its lone window, feigning interest in the chamber’s furnishings. She was bold, this one. Perhaps that was why he felt inexplicably drawn to her. The feeling was both new and infuriating at the same time.

“I wouldn’t, if I were you,” he said. “Even if you survived the fall, there are things lurking in the neighboring woods far more dangerous than I.”

Her gaze shifted back to him. “Look, I don’t know who you are or how I got here, but if you’ll give me my shoes, I’ll be out of your hair in no time.”

“But you are not in my hair.” He took a step forward and wished very much that she was. “Nor am I quite ready to let you go.”

Addie held her hands out as though he were a charging horse she was trying to slow.

“Look, buddy. I appreciate you and Emeline taking care of me this afternoon and all, but it’s been a long day and all I really want is to get back to my hotel and forget this day ever happened. So just give me my shoes already, will ya?”

“Leaving tonight is out of the question.”

She stared at him, appearing dumbfounded. “Why’s that?”

“Because, you are being held for questioning on order of the royal family.”

“The royal family? But why? What have I done?”

Her perfect brows knit together. Zayne struggled not to reach out and try smoothing them back into place. Because if he touched her face again, a kiss was sure to follow. And with a kiss…

No, not yet. Questions had to be asked to ensure she truly was no spy. While he had little doubt of her innocence, Emeline would hound him no end if he couldn’t prove that was truly the case. Zayne set the slippers beside the fire, then began pacing the room, walking in slow circles around his guest.

“You endangered the life of their heir apparent today.”

Addie spun to face him. “But Emeline was the only person I saw this afternoon.”

He quirked a brow at her. “The only one?”

“Yes, I swear! I was out for a run, and then this car swerved toward me because its idiot driver was probably paying more attention to their cell than the road. So I dove out of the way, but then I tumbled down this really steep hill, and the next thing I know, I’m being chased by the biggest wolves I’ve ever seen and then—” She looked away, her cheeks darkening.

Car? Cell? He longed to learn more about these things, more about her, but she’d grown quiet, unwilling to share her memories further.

“And then?” he asked, his voice soft.

She shook her head, blinking to hold back moisture now sparkling in the firelight.

“You…you wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”

Zayne sensed the fair maiden’s distress. Though her story to this point made little sense, the embarrassment in her tone was quite real. He reached a gentle hand to tip her feathersoft chin in his direction. “Tell me.”

She shook her head again, stubborn even now. But why? What did she have to hide?

“I know you saw another today.” He flashed her the same fiery look he’d set upon the wolves several hours before. In the daylight, the effect would have been diminished by the sun’s warm rays. But in the current darkness of this guest room, the glow of his eyes would be impossible to miss. “Because I was there.”

Awareness dawned upon Addie’s face as her eyes widened. “No,” she breathed. “No, it…it can’t be.”

Zayne lifted his shirt to reveal the blood-soaked bandages wrapped tight around his midsection. “I assure you, it can and it is.”

Thanks for stopping by, Kyra!  It’s always fun to pester you:)

 

A Funny Thing Happened . . .

A funny thing happened on my way to Mill Pond’s book 4.   I introduced Tyne Newsome in my third romance.  He’s Paula’s assistant chef.  He’s tall, scruffy, and sexy.  He has to beat women away, but the man has tunnel vision.  All he thinks about is opening a restaurant of his own and cooking.  And he came to life in book 3 and jumped off the pages.  So, when I started book 4, how could I not let him shine?

I wrote the first three Mill Pond romances from the female protagonist’s POV.  But when I sat down to write FIT TO BE THAI’d (the working title for book 4), Tyne didn’t want to be pushed in the background.  He has attitude and opinions, and he meant to share them.  The thing is, he’s such a strong character, I worried he’d overshadow Daphne, so I needed to give her a voice, too.  So, for the first time in a romance, I’m writing the male and female POV.  And I think it’s making this book stronger.

Will I write both POVs in my next romance?  I don’t know.  It’s according to how loud the characters yap at me.

The other surprise in book 4?  I ended up with more plot points than any author needs.  Forty of them, and they’re detailed.  And I only had a few, small references to Daphne’s friend, Miriam, in any of them.  But then Miriam walked into Tyne’s kitchen in chapter seven, and that woman had just as much swagger and attitude as Tyne did.  I listened to them go back and forth and loved how they interacted.  So guess who gets a bigger role than I expected?  Miriam is a high school English teacher who doesn’t mince words.

Now don’t get me wrong.  When I have an outline and a character surprises me, that’s allowed.  It’s even encouraged.  But the characters know what their boundaries are, and they have to stay in them.  Miriam doesn’t change any turning points, but she sure enjoys it when she can steal a scene:)

A good writer friend of mine, Kyra Jacobs, experienced the same type of thing when she was working on her Checkerberry Inn romance series and her paranormal romance/dragon series.  On her blog, she wrote, “…it marked a wonderful new beginning for my writing as I stepped away from writing in first person, single point of view (female main character only) to multiple points of view.”

You can find her blog @: https://indianawonderer.wordpress.com/2016/02/11/psst-its-me/

Whatever you’re working on now, I hope you’re having as much fun as I am.  I’m trying to twist Kyra Jacobs’s arm to get her to do a guest spot for you here.  After all, she writes about dragons, who are shifters.  And I write about Prosper, who’s a shifter.  Okay, he’s a bear, not a dragon, but there’s something about shifters, don’t you think?  Those big, strong men who have an animal caged inside them?  And Kyra writes romances…and I write romances.  We have so much in common, except probably the way we write.  If she’s sane, she’s never done forty plot points for any of her novels.  No one should.  But, hey! Every book’s different.  I never thought I’d do it either.

http://www.judithpostswritingmusings.com/

https://www.facebook.com/JudithPostsurbanfantasy/

twitter: @judypost

Finished. Finally:)

I did way too many rewrites on Witch Gone Bad. What started as a fun writing experiment ended up being more work than I ever expected. But I have to tell you, it’s sure been fun! What I didn’t think about–and should have–is that if I use 5 POVs, I need to know 5 characters well enough to bring them to life. At least, in my head. And since I learn more about characters as I go, that took me a minute. And rewrites. Something to ponder if I ever get a brilliant idea like this again:)

http://www.judithpostswritingmusings.com/

Writing: I’ve had fun!

I mentioned that I was trying a writing experiment with POV. It’s taken more time than I expected it to, but I met my goals. Each day this week, I’ve put one part of a short story on my webpage, with one more to go up tomorrow. Each part was from a different POV character. What have I learned?

It’s fun writing from the villain/antagonist’s POV. I don’t do that very often. As a matter of fact, I use third person, single POV in every series I write except Fallen Angels. Those are the only books I write with multiple POV, and I still rarely write from the villain’s veiwpoint. I think it might be hard to do without giving too much away, but it worked for a short piece. And letting myself live inside Merlot’s head helped me understand her more. I read once that villains don’t think of themselves as bad or wrong. Instead, they focus on what they want, what they’re striving to do, and they justify their actions. They often feel they’ve been wronged, and they’re putting things right. Merlot has that tendency. Hezra, on the other hand, (in part 4), decided to turn to the dark arts and makes no bones about the fact that she wants power. It was fun writing from her perspective, too, but I still wanted to make her an individual–not just the “evil” who battles my protagonist.

I’m putting up the last part of the story tomorrow–the big showdown–but this experiment has made me think more about villains/antagonists. For me, Ilona Andrews’s Kate Daniels series really got interesting when she had Hugh D’Ambray walk onto the pages to play mind games with Kate and to battle her and Curran. For me, she created two of the most intriguing “bad guys” I’ve read for a long time when Hugh and Kate’s father, Roland, became active in the series. Not that she hasn’t had a strong, almost invincible enemy in every book. That’s part of urban fantasy, but Hugh and Roland are unpredictable and do the unexpected, and that’s made them really interesting. She’s made them such a blend of good and bad that the reader has mixed feelings about them. It’s sort of like reading The Silence of the Lambs. I hated Dr. Chilton more than Hannibal Lecter. Odd, right? But a really well-done villain can pull a reader’s emotions in strange directions. For that reason, I’ve decided to spend just as much time on my villains and antagonists as I do on my protagonists from now on. They can really make a story zing.

http://www.judithpostswritingmusings.com/