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Shiloh Walker

No rest for the wicked

I finished up a side project and edits all within the past week.  My brain is tired.

The MartianI haven’t had a day off in over two months.  If it’s not writing, then it’s editing.

I decided today that I’d take a day off.

The monster and I went out to breakfast and then to see The Martian.  It was excellent.  Also, we went somewhere that had pumpkin french toast. That was also excellent.

Then we went to find him a tuxedo or a suit.  Used, mind you.

Why?  Well, he’s going to be Lurch for Halloween. His sisters will be Wednesday…(s). From the Addams family.

Later, I plan on going to church, then having a glass of scotch and vegging out. Tomorrow, I will dive back into work and probably start on Ruined, the next Wrecked book and work on Kit, and another short story and probably some side projects that have been keeping me busy.

Sometimes, though, have you to let your brain rest. I’m also planning on watching more of The Walking Dead (I’m a late comer there and I love it) and maybe snuggling up with my guy.

FYI, if you haven’t seen The Martian…go see it.

Trainwrecks, Writers and Storytellers

My kids and I were talking about writers and books and trainwrecks the other day.  Trainwrecks as in the kind of books that we sometimes find ourselves reading that we keep asking ourselves…why am I reading this….

Specifically, my kids and I got to talking about trainwrecks.

Let me explain what a trainwreck is…They are the books that riddled with plotholes or characters that just don’t make sense.  In romance, sometimes the hero is a total ass.  I don’t mean alphahole.  I mean an ass.  The heroine is BEYOND TSTL.  There are things tripping us up every other line.

And yet…these books can sell.  And sometimes, we love them.  It’s confusing.  I told my kids that I think I had the answer to this figureed out and it’s pretty simple.

I think, basically, there are three kinds of writers.  Now there are going to some variations and ‘subsets’, so to speak of these writers, but these are the ‘core’ types of writers.  Maybe the ‘archetypes’ of the writers out there.

You’ve got trainwrecks, writers and storytellers.


The trainwrecks are the ones who can produce trashy crack.  It’s the why am I reading this…type of book. You can’t put it down.  You might want to, you might not.  Maybe it’s a ride on a rickety roller coaster and you’re loving it.  Or maybe it’s just a trainwreck and you want to look away and can’t.

You might even be one of those people who love trainwrecks.

The point is, that a trainwreck book is one that you know is flawed like hell but you can’t stop reading it.  Whether or not you’ll read another book by that author? Who knows.  Some trainwreck authors only have a few books in them and then they just…disappear. Some keep putting out trainwrecks and sometimes the writing improves, other times it doesn’t…the characters don’t grow, the stories don’t evolve.

You love them…until you don’t.

These writers don’t know much of anything about the craft of writing. Which is fine, because we all gotta start somewhere and we tend to start out crawling.

Of course, the key here is that you gotta start to walk at some point.

They never learn to walk, per se. They don’t try to grow their craft.


Writers probably make up the biggest group.  They can tell a story.  That story may hold your interest, but you may or may not go back and buy more from them.

More, they tend to improve over time.

Some may be bigger names, some of them may be smaller names…some may never even get published.

But they try to grow. They either consciously or unconsciously work to improve and their stories get better.


These are the magicmakers.  In my book, these are the people like Lynn Viehl, Nora Roberts, Linda Howard, Ilona Andrews, Nalini Singh and some of my newest favorites… Peter Clines and Marc Greaney.

They have it down and a lot of them just come by it naturally.  That doesn’t mean they don’t work at it, because they absolutely do, but I think there is an inborn gift for storytelling that some people just have.

They have it…and they work.  If you have that talent and then you push yourself, you create a story that is just magic.

Storytellers have that cracktastic appeal that a lot of the trainwreckers do, but they also understand the craft of writing and they work to improve.

They left crawling and walking behind a long time ago–they were probably born to fly.

These are the storytellers.

So… that was the dinner conversation a few days ago.  And that was one of the more normal ones.  You should hear us when we talk about things like… what if everything was made of strawberries…

RT Wrap up

Honestly, I dunno how thorough this will be because my brain is mush from RT.  I do remember some things…


I stalked Larissa.  I saw copies of Reaver.  Dear Larissa…why don’t I have Reaver? (I thought I saw Revenant but it was Reaver)

I had beignets and cafe au lait and regular coffee will never taste the same.

Again, why don’t I have Reaver?    ETA: Sad sigh. The REV threw me.  I want REVENANT and I thought I saw it.

I saw Ilona & Gordon Andrews and I heard after I’d gone there were BURN FOR ME samplers, so I was sad.

My ankle, which I’d hurt a while back, was killing me by day 2, and I limped off and on (more on than off as the con went on).

Again, why don’t I have Reaver?  (ETA: FYI, I still think I should have Revenant.)

I saw Nalini Singh and she has the prettiest damn pink purse, which I want.

Nalini, why don’t we have Bluebell yet?

We had an epic and awesome social media panel and FYI, Jaye Wells really knows how her stuff, so if we ever do this, I’m volunteering her as moderator.  I also threw stuff at people.  It was chocolate, though.  People seemed to like it and the room was almost full.

I stalked David Morrell and got my husband a signed copy of one of his books–that’s the dude who created RAMBO, guys… RAMBO!

I’m still hung up on Reaver (that hot R angel) & Bluebell. why…..

I ate more food than what seems humanly possible.

There is too much alcohol available and too much yummy food and I crashed my first ever party…because Cara McKenna made me.  Megan Mulry and Anne Calhoun and Jeffe Kennedy and Sasha (twitter, @Caribbeanaccent) had rented this house and I kid you not, it was like this epic bordello that was just a little too much and tried to be fancy and elegant, but went over the line in the best possible way and it was awesome.  Cara dragged me in and I said I was crashing but I’d leave if they’d just let me pee and they said no, I could stay.  The caterer redefined barbecue.  I think angels sang when I took my first bite.

Then there was the street performer.  She all but turned the world inside out with her violin and I don’t know if I’ve ever heard anybody play so beautifully.

I also had beignets…I mentioned that right?  Drool.  I haggled at the French Market and I met a bunch of lovely new readers and I signed quite a few books at the bookfair.

For me, I had fun.  There was an issue with a couple of booksellers, but that was the booksellers, and I ranted in private with a member of the RT staff.  I met lots of lovely readers, which really, is the point of the signing.  I hate that so many had to wait so long.  I had to bail early because of my flight.  But I had a ball.

Altogether, RT 2014 was lovely.

Now… my favorite pic…

New Orelans | Pic is mine

Twenty Eight Days to RT…and Counting.

I refuse to believe that’s how much time we have.  I also refuse to look at a calendar, for fear that number is right.

Are you going to RT?  If you’ve never been, there are some things you need to know.

You don’t get a lot of sleep.  You walk a lot.  Cons are notorious for making people sick.  Food is often a) forgotten b) expensive c) both.

In the spirit of things, I decided to do an RT Survival post.  We see a lot of these this time of year.

I decided to do my own.  Cuz I’m lazy and this is easy and I got books to write.

So my suggestions, in no particular order:

  1. Comfy shoes…remember, you’ll walk a lot.  If you can do cute & comfy, go for it.  I’m more for being comfortable, though.
  2. hand sanitizer…that little kind you can throw in your bag.  If you’re flying, you might want to just buy some and throw them into a ziploc bag to keep in your suitcase, but trust me, you want hand sanitizer.  You will shake hands, you touch things, you will pick things up and as much as it pains me to say this, people don’t always wash their hands. You might be in a bathroom where the soap has run out.  You want hand sanitizer.
  3. Motrin…you’re going to be a place packed with lots of people and many are excited and talking loud, plus you’ll be on your feet a lot, often with little sleep and running on caffeine and often little food.  Mortin or Tylenol or your preferred method of alleviating pain is a wise choice.  Also, if you’re up late and drinking?  Yep.
  4. Water bottle…handy to keep in your convention bag. Keep it full and drink, so you don’t get dehydrated.  That also helps fight the creeping crud.  If you are gonna be up late and drinking? Keep hydrated with water throughout helps avoid hangovers. 😉
  5. Speaking of drinking…if you’re out and about…watch your drink.  While absolutely in a perfect world, you should be safe to go out with friends, have a few drinks and have fun, it’s not a perfect world. You can find tips on staying safe in social situations at RAINN.org
  6. Leave room in your suitcase…yeah, yeah, I know most of us are going to try and pack as much as we can so we aren’t lugging a bunch around, but if you’ve never been to RT, then you might not know about the swag.  There are totes a plenty given away.  Books. Pens. Bookmarks. Etc.  You’ll need room somewhere for that stuff.
  7. snacks…I mentioned that we don’t always have time to eat, right? Plus food isn’t always the cheapest thing to come by.  Taking some of those meal bars, trail mix, etc can cut down on how many meals you have to buy.  You can also find friends that you can maybe go together in on ordering pizza and that sort of thing.
  8. Emergen-C…if you can take it, it can help booster your immune system so you can avoid the creeping crud.  Cons & conferences are notorious for this…people are in closed areas and the fact is, we rush around, we don’t eat enough, we don’t rest enough and other factors contribute to that lovely thing we call the creeping crud.  Emergen-C can help.

Tips offered via twitter!









Insta-love and building bridges

The bridge at sleepy hollow


H/T to Pearl for giving me a blog topic today!  I sometimes run out of steam when it’s near/around release time because…well, nerves. 😉  FYI, just a reminder, though, there are only a few hours to enter for the ARC of DEEPER THAN NEED.

This is more of a writer/storytelling/craft ramble.

On twitter a little while ago, Pearl asked…

She then went on to tweet that she’s married to a guy that she had that ‘instant’ love thing with…she met him and yeah, she knew right away he was the one. They’ve been together for 13 years, married for ten.

I can relate to that.  While I can’t claim insta-love, I can claim an insta-something.  Ya see, I took one look at my guy and there was just something there.   He was friends with my big brother and I crushed on him, and hard, for close to four years and then I finally blurted out one day… Hey, how come you never come over here to see me… annnnndddd… twenty three years later, we’re still together.  But I don’t claim insta-love, because I met him for the first time when I was 11.  😉 Insta-crush.  Love developed over time.

There was an immediate connection, yes, but if he’d been rude, a jerk, dismissive…or acted the way half my older brother’s friends did (aka…they acted like my brothers), I wouldn’t have felt that draw, I don’t think.  But he was…nice.  Kind.  Sort of shy, at times, but he had a great smile and he didn’t have that attitude a lot of the guys in  my neck of the woods had.  It wasn’t the best of neighborhoods and  the ‘tough guy’ shit doesn’t impress me.

So the foundation for a real connection…love…grew from that first tug.

Leah joined in with:

Using insta-love to establish a connection is absolutely fine…I do it all the time.  It’s a great hook and can make for some fun romances.  You take that instant…Oh, wow…heart-racing, adrenaline rush, what the hell is this feeling and then you build on it.

But you have to build on it.

I think this is where a writer can make or break the ‘insta-love’ …or love at first sight sort of story.

I kind of liken it to a bridge.

Or building one, and the writer is the one doing the building.  That first punch of what the hell with the heart racing and blood pounding, even a burst of arousal that you’ve never felt before…you take and lay it down.  That’s a log over a creek.  Maybe you can walk over it once, or twice.  But it’s not going to hold there for long.  Especially if you live in an area where it rains a lot.  One heavy spring thunderstorm… (aka…the first fight)…and that bridge is gone.

So from there, you take that log and you build on it.  You need supports.  You need to show the reader the love.  The deeper connection.  You can’t tell the reader that the love is there–it’s that whole tell vs. show thing and in stories like insta-love, it’s vital.

Why does the hero/heroine love their partner?  One look doesn’t a love-match make.  You can feel a tug and that tug can very well be that first log–the building of that connection, but from there…what is going on?

What if the guy…or girl…is an asshole?  This doesn’t translate to saying that hero/heroine can’t be the love interest, but if the brooder is the love interest, the reader needs to understand the love connection there, and it’s got to be more than he’s so tortured and I just know my love can change him.  For one…that’s telling.


Insta-love shouldn’t, really, be any different than any other means of establishing attraction.  You’ve got things like the meet-cute, or the friends to lovers, or enemies to lovers…etc, etc.

Maybe the problem is that too many take the love at first sight trope, and then turn it into a short cut.  There’s love, there’s sex, then BAM, automatic HEA…

That’s lazy-storytelling. There is no shortcut if you want to have a good story.


Take that first subtle tug of attraction, when you know s/he/both feel something…(From my book If You Hear Her)

“You’re asking me on a date?”

From the corner of his eye, he could see the bartender listening and not pretending not to. The kid barely looked old enough to be out of college—hell, high school.

Tuning the kid out of his mind, he focused on Lena.

“Yeah, I’m asking you on a date. At least, I’m trying to. It’s been awhile since I’ve asked a woman on a date, so maybe I’m doing it wrong.”

“Well, it’s been awhile since a guy asked me on a date, so maybe I’ve just forgotten how to recognize the clues.” That pretty, wide mouth curled up in a slow smile.

She had to say yes. Because he really, really wanted to kiss that mouth. He wanted to fist his hand in that dark red hair and he wanted to press his face between the slight swell of her breasts and nuzzle the soft skin there.

He was a pretty good judge of people—he knew how to read them. Under most circumstances, at least, and he didn’t think he was reading her wrong.

If he was reading her right, then she was feeling that same, subtle tug that he felt. Banking on that, he reached out and skimmed his fingers down her forearm. “Well, now that we’ve figured out what we’re doing here, maybe we should try it again. I’d like to have dinner…with you. Would you be interested?”

“You know, I don’t think I’ve ever had a guy ask me out on a date within five minutes of seeing me.” The smile on her face took on a bitter slant as she absently touched the dark glasses that shielded her eyes. “Usually, within five minutes of seeing me, they are either on the other side of the room or they are trying to cut my food for me.”

Ezra glanced at the lasagna on his plate. “I figure if you can make it, you can cut it just fine on your own. And you haven’t answered me.”

“No. I haven’t. I’m still thinking…hell. Screw it. You know what, Ezra? I’d love to have dinner with you.”

And then you build on it…

Give it supports…

Every time I turn around, he thought…Hell. Maybe this was some sort of sign. He started toward her table, but halfway there, he realized she wasn’t alone.

No, she was sitting at a table with two other people.

A woman, about her age, Ezra figured. She was a looker, too, blond, blue-eyed and tanned. Her blond hair was worn short and sleek. Her eyes rested on his for a few seconds in female appraisal.

Ezra looked at the guy, recognizing him from the other day. He’d been with Lena at the sheriff’s office. Judging by the look in his eye, the man had more than just a casual interest in her.

He glanced at Ezra and then leaned forward, murmured to Lena. Ezra didn’t catch a word, but Lena straightened and turned in his direction as he drew even with the table.

“Morning, Lena.”


A slow smile curled that pretty mouth. She cocked her head. She shifted in her seat, crossed one slender, jeanclad leg over the other. “We’re about done, but you’re welcome to join us. We’re just talking and drinking coffee. Avoiding the rain.”

From the corner of his eye, he saw the look in her friend’s eye.

“There’s plenty of rain to avoid. Are you sure you don’t mind?” he asked.

“Of course not. After all, isn’t that what friends do?” she asked.

Maybe it was his imagination, but he thought her smile was just a tad bit mocking.

He managed not to wince. Friends—shit, that was the last thing he wanted…well, no. Not really. He did want to be friends with her. He just wanted more than that. A lot more.

Wanted, but couldn’t. Needed, even. Hell, he couldn’t quit thinking about her and he had to.

And then build some more…

“I can’t get you out of my head, Lena. You’re everywhere.” He cupped her face in his hands, angling her head back. “Can’t stop thinking about you, not from the first time I saw you.”


Lena’s sex life had been…limited. The last guy she’d been serious with had been Remy—sex with him had been fun, hot, and easy. They had been compatible in bed, but it hadn’t compared to this.

She and Ezra weren’t compatible.

They were damned near combustible.

It went deeper than the heat, though.

He made her laugh.

He made her smile.

Hell, he just made her happy.


“You’ve got that smile on your face again,” he murmured. “Like Sylvester the cat just got a hold of Tweety Bird, once and for all.”

“Do I?” She smirked and sat up, stroking a hand down his chest.

“Yeah. Kind of makes me wonder what you’re thinking about.”

“Nothing…exactly. Just this.” She shrugged, absently circling a finger around his navel.

He jumped and caught her hand. “Quit that.”

A grin tugged at her lips. “Quit what?” Unable to resist, she wiggled around until she was sitting up and raked the nails of her other hand down his side. When he flinched and caught that wrist as well, she started to chuckle. “You’re ticklish.”

She wiggled her hand free and poked him in the side again and he swore, catching her.

She tried to roll away and they ended up wrestling across the bed, laughing and swearing—although most of the swearing came from Ezra every time she managed to get free long enough to poke him in the ribs, under his arms. Even a light touch across his spine was enough.

“Whoever would have thought the big, tough cop would be that ticklish?” she teased as he rolled and pinned her beneath him.

“Brat,” he muttered, stretching her arms over her head and holding her wrists in one hand.

Biting the tip of her tongue, she twined a leg around and managed to stroke her big toe down his instep. He swore again and used his knee to press her thighs apart, pinning her hips against the bed. “Would you quit it!”

That ‘love at first sight’ thing is a lot more believable when people see that while that instant connection was there, they weren’t just blindly riding on it–they were building on it.

“You’ve known me for five weeks, Ezra. Five weeks. And you admitted it yourself not that long ago…you just came through a really, really bad experience,” she said quietly, cupping his face in her hands. “How can you think you love me?”

He laid a hand on her heart. “I think I started to fall in love with you that first night. You blushed when I called you beautiful…and then you shared your food with me. You got so nervous when I asked you for a date and I was scared as hell you would say no.” Smoothing his hand up, he rested it on her neck, used his thumb to angle her chin up. “I started to fall for you that night, Lena. I guess it’s why I backed away…maybe I didn’t think I could handle it.”

“And what makes you think you can handle it now?”

“Oh, I’m pretty sure I can’t. But then again if I wait until I can handle things, then I never would do anything,” he murmured, rubbing his lips against hers. “Things happen when they happen, not when you’re ready for them.”

Of course…this is just my take on it.

But when I’m reading a ‘love at first sight’ book and I end up tossing it aside because it’s falling into that ‘insta-love’ thing where it’s all…’oh, i love you i love you i love you…’ but the writer fails to paint me a good, cohesive picture of that love…there is no bridge, in other words…this usually why.


FYI, the pic is mine.  I took it at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery a few years ago…that’s the Headless Horseman’s Bridge.

Please… make me like your heroine

writerNot telling anybody the author or title so don’t ask.  It doesn’t really matter anyway.

But recently I read a romance and I hated the heroine.

She wasn’t bitchy.  Most of the heroines I’ve seen referred to as bitchy I outright love–usually bitchy is just a woman who knows what she wants, isn’t afraid to go after it and she’s also capable of standing up for herself.  I see a woman like that when I look in the mirror. That’s the woman my mother raised me to be…so bring on the bitches!

Noooo… this heroine was shallow.  (There were other issues with the book, but if I covered everything, I’d blog all day.)

Let’s talk about the heroine.  Just the heroine.

She was shallow.

She was vapid.

She was vain.

She had several other female friends in the book and naturally she was the prettiest, but it wasn’t enough that she was the prettiest.

She had these ongoing mental critiques of the flaws these other women had–one was overweight and talked a lot.  She was nice. She was kind.  But she was overweight and talked a lot and if only she’d lose some weight, because she had such a pretty face.

That right there put my teeth on edge.  Maybe it’s because I’m overweight.  Now granted, I’m an overweight asthmatic with a bad knee who can run three miles.  I’m an overweight asthmatic who lifts weights at the gym.  I’m an overweight asthmatic who is actually in pretty decent shape when my lungs aren’t screwing things up for me.

But there’s a hell of a lot more to a person than the number flashes up on the scale.  I mean…the woman was nice.  She was genuinely kind.  But of course, she was overweight and she talked a lot.  This was the heroine’s inner monologue, her observations-not intended to be mean or anything.

The other friends? Yup.  Physical flaws.  Poor.  Didn’t dress well.  One didn’t ever show her teeth when she smiled and she didn’t like to talk.

And oh, dear.  They were poor.  Didn’t she know how to dress

(picturing me snarling & gnashing teeth.)

Again, inner monologue.  Not said with intentional malice.

Poor…in what world is being poor a character flaw?  One that deserves such heavy deliberation?  I didn’t have much growing up.  If that’s a flaw in somebody’s eyes, that says more about that person than it says about me…as it says more about this heroine.  These women met up because they were smart and they worked hard and achieved something.

That clearly didn’t matter as much as their appearances, though, not to the heroine.

She comes from a nice upper-class white family with plenty of money.  She doesn’t understand hardship, from what I could tell.  She has a few sad things happen in the book, but it’s almost like it’s done to get her some one on one time with the hero–it never really affects her on any level.   Maybe it was done to make the reader feel for her?  I don’t know.  But it was empty because it was like these events never really touched her–caused no change inside her, in how she acted, felt, viewed the world.

So our heroine has had a charmed existence, and don’t you just know it…she’s slim, trim and gorgeous and she just knows how to dress.

All of this creates one simple picture, in my mind-and it’s the picture the writer drew for me.

The heroine is a vapid, shallow creature who doesn’t bother to look beyond the surface and all she really cares about is shagging the hero.

How can I care about this woman?  How can I be expected root for her?

Throughout the book, she doesn’t ever give a real glimpse into what she is like. Oh, I get that she’s panting for the hero.

She makes benevolent gestures to these women who she has befriended, yet somehow, because of how she acted in the beginning, that friendship seemed…empty.  She never really acknowledged the fact that maybe there’s more to a person than what you see on the outside.

I never got to know who she was and the more I read, the less I cared to know.


When we write books, we want the reader to connect to the heroine.  Heroines ideally should be realistic, dynamic characters and we should remember our readers don’t fit any one set image.

People don’t fit any one set image.  We are rich, poor, struggling to finish school and some never started.  Some of us passed every class with honors and flying colors.

We are every race, every religion. Some are brilliant, some are of average intelligence and others struggle.

Many of us have been poor–some live in poverty while others are blessed to have never known it.

Some struggle with their weight–in both ways.  Some want to lose it while others battle to gain it and yes, that really is a fact.

Some of us hide physical flaws and others don’t care if people see them.  Some of us might not be all that pretty.  Some of us are average and some might well belong on the cover of a magazine.

There are so many things that make us different…and so many things that make us the same.

Every single of us experience loneliness, moments of inadequacy, moments of joy, curiosity, hunger, exhaustion, moodiness, envy, boredom, grief, pleasure…and the list goes on.  These are human emotions.

I imagine we all also have our moments of shallowness…I had more than a few moments when I was reading that book and I’ll have them when I see women at the gym.  It’s not their figures that make me all catty, though.  They work hard-harder than I do so good on them.  What makes me feel all small and petty is this…how can you spend an hour at the gym and not sweat? I don’t think it’s natural.  There you go, one of my personal shallow moments.  And that’s not one of my bad ones.

I’ve got some catty irritation threaded through this post and I know it and I’m torn between rewriting it…and letting it go.  I think I’m going to let it go because if I smooth it out, it’s going to lessen what I’m saying.  This book rubbed me wrong on so many levels.

Shallowness isn’t appealing.  A heavy focus on external things is selling the story and the reader short. It’s taking what could have been a relateable heroine and turning her into a caricature.  The story itself was just so…blah, but maybe it wouldn’t have been pure torture if I could have liked the heroine.

Whether the heroine is a teacher, a doctor, an alien, some kind of paranormal investigator, a vampire slayer, a lawyer, a stay-at-home mom, an editor, an author, a movie star, a college student…whatever

There are certain things a writer should be able to do make that character relateable, no matter who she is, what her life experiences have (or haven’t) been.

Plenty of people have loved and watched Buffy and while none of us will ever be able to claim we were vampire slayers, (I don’t think)…

  • how many of us were able to connect with her when she cried over Angel?  Most of us have known heartbreak.
  • how many of us could relate to the sibling stuff with her and Dawn?  Not the shiny green energy key stuff, but Dawn was an annoying little sister…how many of us have dealt with annoying siblings?
  • how many of us can relate to how insecure or outright lonely she’s felt?  Yeah, she felt that way because of her isolation as the slayer, but who hasn’t felt isolated or lonely?
  • how many of us grieved when her mother died?  Who hasn’t known grief?

These emotions are what bring a character to life.  That old idiom…write what you know… screw that, but you can write what you’ve felt.  If you’ve known pain, bring that to the book, to your character.  If you’ve known love, bring that. If you’ve known insecurity, bring it on.

If all you can bring to your character are shallow observations and endless references to how friggin hawt the hero is but oh, you can’t be together because of this [insert manufactured plot device], then don’t be surprised when people can’t relate to your character.

Don’t use internal monologues about shit that doesn’t matter.  That’s not storytelling. That’s filling up pages with empty tripe that tells us nothing about your character.

If the words are there, they should reveal something or hold importance…about the person, a mystery, the town, an emotion…something.

So many words in that very long book that inspired this rant were there for no other purpose than to A) remind us how pretty and perfect the heroine was or B) how hot and sexy the hero was and how much she wanted him.

I figured out she wanted him after she told us that several times…lots of telling, rarely showing.

YAWN.  Perfect people are boring.  They have no growing to do and that growth/change stage thing is what makes a story worth reading, IMO.  It causes tension and frustration and when she (or he or both) get to the end of the journey, they are different and the story is much more complete.

She can’t finish that journey if she never really starts it.

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