Archive | December 2009

character’s emotions

I read in a magazine recently that one of the largest problems is that the main character has absolutely no emotions and is hardly a well-rounded character.  The supporting characters in this situation might even be the most 3D characters ever written but the main characters are just blah. Who is going to care about blah main characters?

I ran into this problem recently. In my new book, working title mindskill, I am using quite a few characters from different areas of the world, some who may not even know each other. (The last time I wrote a book with a multi-character POV, Richard, Hope and Senior all lived in the same place and worked together and all that, with only people not knowing Ka’yam until the end, so this is something new for me. Shad only had Shad’s POV except for one little section.)  Of most of them, I understand their motivations and personality very well, or can at least relate to them. For lack of better terms, (and I suspect some other writers can understand this) the characters are talking rather easily for me.

That all stops with Vanessa. For the reason that I don’t want to have to come back someday and clean this up, Vanessa is a very important character, especially as the story ends. Some of her story will be very cool and rather important. I just don’t understand her though. When I think about what she would feel, I just see this giant void of emotions.

I’ve tried putting myself into her situation. She’s been rather independent now, but loved her father. Her father’s dead though and she just had the first real experience  with him not being alive (since she’s been away at school thus far.) So when she was at home, it was like when I’m in a totally quite house and just waiting for someone to come in, although I know that they’re still far away.

Suddenly, she kills someone for the first time,  a total accident, and she freaks and runs. After a few days of living in the streets (which I so wish I remembered more of what I learned on Urban Ex), she runs into a man who tells her that he’s running this whole private business to stop criminals. He says that she can come and work for him, so she does.  (She doesn’t have a lot of options and she is trained to defend herself. She was going to be a cop.)

But it turns out that he isn’t exactly what he said he was and she doesn’t really have schizophrenia like she thought she did. In reality, the problem that she’s been calling schizophrenia is really something called seposomen (it’s basically my own version of telepathy, but I don’t like that so I called it something else.). She’s had it since she was sixteen and no one has told her. Why not? Did her father know? (Well, I know he knew because I (and the reader) would know that her father was the lead researcher in seposomen, so he had to know, but she wouldn’t know that.)

My first thought is if she critically evaluated this, she might realize that her father did know it and… and it just dawned on me that she might try to contact some of her father’s associates. (That might give her enough to be tense enough that it sets things up for the ending, since she can’t get ahold of anyone. )

But how do I show this without telling it? She knows almost no one there except Karl, so it’s not like she can talk through these emotions. And Karl, although I’m trying to elude that he might be romantically interested in her (he’s not, but that’s okay), she doesn’t trust him enough to spill everything out like that.

On top of all this, I also realized that Karl doesn’t have funding and I don’t know if I want to have two rich kids involved in this, although it might work. And… I’m still trying to figure out another character’s plot. Maybe writing this will be harder than I thought. I probably should just stick to stand-alone books after this. :) (Who knows? Maybe this will end up being a stand alone book anyway, just because of it’s shortness. I am at 22,000 words though and I’m hardly towards the midway point.)

giant’s wife, 12/25

The day’s ride towards General Putwet’s camp seemed very much to be the calm before the storm. Most of them generally ignored her and she found herself riding alone. Commander Borut favored either riding alone or to discuss millitary buisness with his officers while he rode. And though she occasionally saw Adela, the womaan regarded her now with hostility and resentment so approuching her would be impossible….

giant’s wife, 12/24

Still warm and lethargic, Jacey rolled over and pulled her legs closer to her chest. She could be awake now, if she wanted to be. But she didn’t want to think about anything. She liked the warmth of the blankets  surrounding her and holding her close.


Not really, but at least with draft one of Kontyo. I’m thinking I’m going to end up naming it something about the Void of Space or Space’s Maw or something like that. The idea being that a) that’s Kontyo’s first reaction to space from inside a shuttle, that it’s vast and open and never ending. Later on, he keeps someone from disappearing  into that said void of space.  B) Space swallowed up Kontyo in the end. (Which reminds me, I’m not done. I have one paragraph to write. Such as life. (My brother keeps using that phrase, so I am now doing as such.)

In some ways, I like the story. It is different in a way but I like the character. It has a lesson too, about responsibility and the need for it. I really like the ending, more or less, although I suppose we’ll see how it is when I read it through once. I only hope that it looks as good as I think it is now. We shall see. Someday, I will post it as well too.

Tomorrow, I think I will start to edit it.

giant’s wife, 12/23

I’m posting sections three, four and five today, just because I can and I want to. Call it celebration of the blizzard coming this week in the midwest.


“Why aren’t you worried, Jacey?”

Jacey turned from the tent’s entrance and smiled at Adela. She still wore the mask of worry that she put on ever since Jacey almost left with her baby.

Jacey smiled faintly. “I don’t think there is anything to worry about yet.”

“Why is that?”

She shrugged. “Heddwyn Borut was not known to be ruthless five years ago. Just quick and effective and brilliant.” Jacey smiled slightly. Her father had often scolded her for listening too much to the Targoian war stories instead of serving customers. But Jacey loved the stories and loved to secretly pretending with her friends what it would be like to be courted by a Targoian officer. Aldroa rarely went to war, however, and many of them acknowledged that the Targoians were too tall for them. At least, too tall for everyone except maybe Jacey….

wishes to write

I wanted to write one section of each story that I’m current writing over break. Rather failed at that today.

See, between mindskill and Kontyo, I have two stories. Kontyo is for a writing contest and due next month. Midskill is due whenever. Today, I wrote a lot of Kontyo, practically  the whole thing. It looks like it’s going to be about twenty pages, which I don’t think is too bad.

I’m aiming though for 17,000 words because I want to enter in the Writer’s of the Future writing contest if I do well with Kontyo at the DWU writing contest. I’m hopeful too, although I fear that I’m putting too much work into it. They didn’t give a page limit or anything and unlike a lot of the people who enter into the contest, I didn’t take the guy’s contest.

Alas, I will find out soon enough. I think though that I will be sorely disappointed if I do lose in  way, just because I’ve won so many from previous contests. At the same time, I want to see how good I actually am. I think I am, once I fix something up, but is that really true? I suppose we shall see.

Anyway, two more sections left to write of Kontyo and then I am done. Yay!

giant’s wife, 12/22

Commander Heddwyn Borut glanced towards the prisoner pin. Tall wooden poles stood laced together in such a way that the women behind the bars could not escape. Only women waited here though. Any man who fought them was killed, any too young considered a boy, and any too old left behind. The old women as well. They only wanted to capture those worth the effort….

As a note,  all back sections are posted in that side bare. I didn’t want to litter the pages with large sections, so that made the most sense to me.

male characters

I find myself writing a lot with male characters. I’m not sure why. Maybe in part because I do think that  men are more superior  in some areas, namely, the areas that I write. I don’t not have female characters; I just do a lot with male characters.

(Just to give you an idea: in Hope–Senior, and Richard. Female–Hope and maybe Agatha and Lisa. In Shad–Shad, Kontyo, plus a number of minor male characters such as Vaul, Emin, and Dr. P.. Female, Aurora and Kayla. In codename mindskill–Isaiah, Miles, Karl, Lucas, Eric. Female, VAnessa and Jessica. In Kontyo–I think I’m going to only have one brief appearance by a female. Giant’s Wife–Heddwyn and Pauldor (although I do have Jacey and Eva to offset them.))

I guess part of me figures that so long as I stay away from love stories (which I’m not doing with Eric), I should be fine with writing male characters. I think I view female and males as basically the same. Which I find strange because I was reading that Woolf found there to be very little difference between male and females.

I don’t know. But I do find this fact that I write male characters so often slightly disturbing, because maybe there is more that I don’t know about.

effect vs. affect

A common question and one listed as one of the most common grammar mistakes here. So why shouldn’t I mention it myself?

“Affect” is a verb. Verbs have past tense. “Effect” is a noun. If you can put “the” in front of it, then you will need the noun. You may need to stop and mentally sort these two out when you want to write it. It is a very common mistake, one that makes all the difference to your readers. Some people see it as merely a typo, while other will stop dead in their tracks and try to figure out what is really meant.

To explain further.

Affect meaning “to be influenced by” and

Effect meaning “the end result of”

To take your examples above and rephrase accordingly:

Affect – “The weather affected our trip to the Bahamas.”

I should be able to read it as:

“The weather influenced our trip to the Bahamas.”

Effect – “The effect of your poor grammar skills will be self evident in your readership.”

I should be able to read it as:

“The end result of your poor grammar skills will be self evident in your readership. ”

However, it isn’t that simple I don’t think. Because after looking up the words in the dictionary, effect can be either a noun or a verb. These guidelines appear to be the norm but just in case it is not, this is from my dictionary  application on my mac.

USAGE Affect and effect are both verbs and nouns, but only effect iscommon as a noun, usually meaning ‘a result, consequence, impression, etc.’: : my father’s warnings had no effect on my adventurousness. The nounaffect is restricted almost entirely to psychology (see affect 2 ). As verbs, they are used differently. Affect most commonly means ‘produce an effect on, influence’: : smoking during pregnancy can affect the baby’s development. Affect also means ‘pretend to have or feel (something)’ (see affect 3 ): : she affected a concern for those who had lost their jobs. Effect means ‘bring about’: : the negotiators effected an agreement despite many difficulties.

I know I’m just copying and pasting but part of the reason why I am doing this is because I find it so hard and I would like this as a future reference. Just remember, when in doubt, use a dictionary.

giant’s wife, 12/21

I honestly don’t know if there is a story with that title. A quick glance at Amazon and wikipedia reveal nothing, but a lot of people appear to do searches for it and find my blog. Strange.

Jacey, a bond servant in Ketekey, is freed during a Targoian raid and captured by them. While in camp, she catches the eye of the famous commander, Heddwyn Borut, who at first takes her as a slave. Just before she is to be sent back to Targo City to be sold,  Commander Borut proposes to marry her and, for some crazy reason, she accepts this man.

Unbeknown to her at the time, Commander Borut only proposes because he desires to keep himself from a marriage with a lord’s daughter. Moreover, he carries a lot of pain and guilt with him that hasn’t left him for ten years. Outwardly levelheaded, inwardly he is constantly tormented by the past. A torment that he doubts will ever end.


I will admit that I have not seriously edited this story you about about to read. The time is off, so if that throws you, I just haven’t gone through it and fixed them all. I more wrote this because it was suppose to be a short story until I figured out everything with my next novel. As it turned out, it was quite a bit longer than that.

I also wrote this not with much in mind about doing much with this afterwards. Sure, its an interesting concept, but I stink at writing love stories and that is basically what this is.

That all being said, I hope you enjoy it.  I shall try to remember to post a section a day and will maintain it off to the side of the page as well.

And now, The Giant’s Wife.