Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Dear Reader,...Oh, no you didn't just say my story was demonic!

So, I am a little frustrated. I can deal with a little criticism, but nothing disturbs me more than people that assume things. I like to read my reviews from time to time to see how the audience is receiving my work. Basically, I am looking for the reason people love it or hate it. The other day I checked Barnes and Noble and someone actually wrote that, my story, Weeping Willow was evil. This is the exact review:

"Noooooo dont get this book!

I think this book is the most un-godly book ever! If your a man or woman or child of god or eny person realy, dont get this book!!!!"

Now, I have no problem when people can't relate to the stories I write or if they have a problem with grammar. Those are things that are legitimate. But to say that I write "un-godly" stuff is just crossing a line with me personally.
I think whoever wrote this comment needs to consider their words. Personally, I am a devout Catholic and read scripture. I pray and take such things very seriously. I don't appreciate the insinuation that I would write something that would lead people astray.
It is a fantasy story! Elves are not evil beings nor do they really exist. Fantasy is a genre that allows the writer to imagine worlds that don't exist anywhere but their imagination. As I am religious, I like to make people consider their beliefs. As a matter-of-fact, there are many Christian messages in the Willow series that happen to become more obvious in the novel. But in the stories, Nalin is actually labeled a villain for how he went against nature to create Willow. He was punished for taking life into his own hands. Does that sound like any moral issues we are facing in this country? YES!!!
There are issues of race between Elves. Over and over, it is written that the races will be united because such conflict shouldn't exist. Does that sound like any social issues we are facing in this country? YES!!!
The Oracle, in the novel, is blinded by her own need to predict the future and the reader becomes unsure of anything she predicted in the past. Was she dictating one's destiny or the puppet master in peoples lives? Makes you doubt whether to trust her psychic abilities. Does that sound like something the bible warns people against? YES!!!
I could point out more, but why? I think I made my point.
So, before you write that my writing is "un-godly", I think you need to re-read the work and then delve a little deeper into what it actually means. I am bringing up a lot of issues that are currently being debated or fought over in a subtle way that allows the reader to see my opinion on what is morally right and wrong. No one that commits an evil act goes unscathed in the series. Although no one is totally good, no one is totally bad based on actions alone. Isn't that the Christian way? You can't have forgiveness and redemption without first sinning and repenting such is the case with Nalin. Think about it.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Q/A: Creating Realistic Characters

Q: How can I create realistic fictional characters?

A: It is important to remember that you are not a flat or one dimensional person. You have a multitude of feelings, and each one is like the facet of a diamond. Just like you do not have one emotion all the time, your character should not have one emotion all the time. During the highs and lows of the plot, your character's emotions should reflect that.

It is important to create a life history with your characters. Who are they? What have they lived through? Where did they come from? What are their dreams and aspirations? These are things you should have an idea of. You should know everything about their physical appearance. The way their eyes glitter when they smile... The way they crinkle their nose when they laugh... These are things you should keep in mind when describing the character within the story.

You should also have a good grasp of the physical or emotional struggles of the character. Think of your life. All of your relationships aren't always pleasant. Use that in creating your character. If you can use one of your relationships as an example, then it would make the plight of the character more realistic.

There is a lot of talk in reviews about showing, not telling, a character's emotions. That means instead of saying the character is scared, you should depict what they are physically going through. The accelerated heart rate... The blood pumping through their veins... The sweat dripping from their brow... Showing is the best way of capturing your audience and pulling them into the story. They will feel they are apart of the story which is exactly what you want as a writer.

Aspects that give your character a sense of reality is capturing their habits or quirks. For example: In Weeping Willow, when Willow gets frustrated, she rakes her hands through her silky hair. You may have a few habits or quirks that can be incorporated into your character. A habit can be seeking a quiet place when things get tough or slamming doors. A quirk can be pursing one's lips. It is just something a character does without realizing it which makes it more believable.