The Road to a Place called Evil (2)

The Road to a Place called Evil (2)

PART 1 / PART 2

The canary in the coal mine, or how moral declines.

A child’s heart

Do not kill, lie, steal, or poach another’s mate. Our innate moral code is an early source of guilt, if we go against it. In comparison, the validation of this behavior gives us a good feeling. Since cooperation is the key to survival, not only as a group, a society but as a species, this code is present in all of us. It’s not an exclusively human thing though. There are behavioral trials with dogs, rats, elephants, crows showing that helping another fellow specimen gives these animals euphoria, even if there’s nothing else to gain from this act. There is also evidence of altruism crossing the border of species. (Pics, or it didn’t happen? See here or here.)

Continue reading “The Road to a Place called Evil (2)”

The Road to a Place Called Evil (1)

The Road to a Place Called Evil (1)

On writing a believable villain

PART 1 / PART 2

“Nobody is the villain in their own story. We’re all the heroes in our own stories.” George R. R. Martin.

In real life, it seems fairly easy to find evil powers. They come in all shapes and colors: remember the bully in your class? Remember the nasty villain in your favorite book? Remember the welcomed scapegoat, when you parked your car in the no-no-place? If not, just open a newspaper, social media or switch on the TV. What do you see? Murder, war, hate, accidents, fear, racism, bigotry… In this frenzy of bad and catastrophic news, one can get the feeling the world is a horrible place, and humans are disgusting.

Now, how does one start to write about all the terrible stuff that’s happening? Dear writer, you start with yourself. What are your experiences? Think about your stories of survival: recall the time you escaped harm, the time you felt in danger, and the time you couldn’t avoid the hurt. Every survivor has his/her own story to tell about the evil they’ve faced.

Linger there and use that as emotional fuel, even if it hurts. Let your raw voice retell the events, bleed them unto the page. This article might help you with that.

Continue reading “The Road to a Place Called Evil (1)”

Four Literary Questions

Janet Fitch's Blog

This question was posed for me by a reader on my Goodreads page. For me, the best questions are the ones that make me think more deeply about the issues involved. This was a good one:
#
 “What makes a great story/book? There are so many writers out there, but only a few get any acclaim, and some of the best posthumously. It is a herd mentality that snowballs into popularity?”
 #
The questioner is actually asking four separate questions here.
1. What makes a great story?
2. What makes a great book?
3. Why do only a few books get acclaim?
4. Is it a herd mentality that snowballs a book into popularity.
 #
I answered them in order–but Number 2 is the one that interests me most.
 #
1. A great story is one which satisfies the question it raises in the beginning. It can be a…

View original post 646 more words

10 Writing Tips That Can Help Almost Anyone

these are very good! thanks!

Janet Fitch's Blog

1. Write the sentence, not just the story
Long ago I got a rejection from the editor of the Santa Monica Review, Jim Krusoe. It said: “Good enough story, but what’s unique about your sentences?” That was the best advice I ever got. Learn to look at your sentences, play with them, make sure there’s music, lots of edges and corners to the sounds. Read your work aloud. Read poetry aloud and try to heighten in every way your sensitivity to the sound and rhythm and shape of sentences. The music of words. I like Dylan Thomas best for this–the Ballad of the Long-Legged Bait. I also like Sexton, Eliot, and Brodsky for the poets and Durrell and Les Plesko for prose. A terrific exercise is to take a paragraph of someone’s writing who has a really strong style, and using their structure, substitute your own words for theirs, and…

View original post 667 more words

Endings – How Important Are They?

This was really interesting, cause I usually fail at delivering the right dose of sucker punch.
Thanks!

Author Don Massenzio

endLast week, I talked about book openings in one of my posts. This post talks about the other end of your book, the ending. It will briefly discuss the types of endings and the importance of choosing the right one for your book.

Just_Hanging_AroundLeaving the reader hanging – is it a good idea?

Many sources will tell you not to end your book with a cliffhanger. The reader needs some satisfaction or a happy ending to complete their reading experience. In my opinion, the answer to this is not quite that simple.

As someone who has written a series, I strive to make each book capable of being read as a standalone story. There is, however, a backstory arc for my main character that continues from book to book. What I like to do is resolve the current story within the book but provide a lead in to the next…

View original post 197 more words

Spiderweb of Understanding, a Puny Guide to Writing Emotions

Spiderweb of Understanding, a Puny Guide to Writing Emotions

So you made up a character you are fond of? Well done!

Let your character come to life. You know the drill: a face, a body, a CV, a past, jobs, families, friends, past lovers, nick names (cool and nasty ones), pets, favorite drinks, tattoos, scars, allergies and whatnot. The being of the character forms gradually in front of your mind’s eye. Mannerisms give a vivid stroke. Borrow them from people you know, if you must.

Almost there! Your character is fleshed out, but still a bit flat. Facts and habits do not add up to a realistic figure. The whole is more than the sum of the parts. The magic potion to add depths, is labeled – no, not unicorn tears – the character’s emotions. Continue reading “Spiderweb of Understanding, a Puny Guide to Writing Emotions”