I killed one of the characters in my novel.
(It was more like two, but I have no qualms about the second one.)
I came up with a death scene I really liked and just had to use it, so someone had to “go.”
I’m still not sure if it was in the best interest of the story, or if I’m just stuck on having to use a particular description.
As I reflect on the sequence of events and the wording, and debate the character’s fate; to live or not to live? I think about language in general and the nuances contained therein.
The English “goodbye”, like the characters in a book, can be so finite. Here today, gone tomorrow.
In contrast, parting words in other languages encompass a world of possibilities of that which is yet to be experienced. Whether it’s, auf wiedersehen in German, arrivederci in Italian, or hasta luego in Spanish, each expresses the probability, and the hope, that we will meet again. Even the Japanese rarely use sayonara, unless it really is “the end.”
In life, as in writing and in reading, I prefer the meanings that other languages provide for that interim we call separation. And I would like to think that the characters we create in our imaginations, that eventually inhabit the pages of a book, continue on, not only in our own minds, but in the minds, and perhaps the hearts, of our readers.
So, if I must terminate one of my characters, I’ll think of them as an old soldier who has faithfully served, and comfort myself with the words of General Douglas MacArthur.
“Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.”
And I realize that no matter how wonderful a story may be, as we grow and change, some of the characters we loved best as writers and readers do fade away and/or are replaced by others.
But, they never really die.
We meet them over and over again in the ways they have touched us and changed us, and have made us different and maybe, even better, for having met them.
See you next time on August 22nd.
Manager, Educator, and former High School Social Studies teacher, Veronica credits her love of history to the potpourri of cultures that make up her own life and to her upbringing in diverse Brooklyn, New York. Her genres of choice are Historical Fiction where she always makes new discoveries and Children’s Picture Books because there are so many wonderful worlds yet to be imagined and visited. She currently resides in Macungie, PA.
1.Stop Reading: After a long day of writing, the last thing you want to do is pick up someone else’s book – do it anyway. It will help you relax and keep you motivated – not to mention you might pick up a few literary tricks along the way
2. Rely on Inspiration: Inspiration is a contact sport. Pound the keys, search the web for topics that are compatible with your story, be proactive about inspiration.
3. Veer From Your Genre: So you want to write the first science fiction, erotic, mystery, romance? Don’t do it. If you want passionate and engaged readers make sure your book can be defined.
4. Get Boring: If you’re bored writing your book chances are that your readers will be bored reading it. Take your book to the top and then go over it. Conflict moves stories.
5. Default to Perfection: Men are fearless, women are sexy and everyone is just too cool for school. Readers want to relate to your characters – imperfections, shortcomings and all.
6. Lose the Through Line: Remember what story you’re writing. If you started out writing about a girl torn between her family and a soldier she loves, don’t go off into political discourse about war.
7. Be Afraid to Cut, Cut, Cut: Cut close to the bone and let the reader see the skeleton of your book instead of burying her in unnecessary description or dialogue. Let a reader’s imagination fill in the rest.
8. Throw in the Towel: The easiest thing in the world is starting a book; the hardest thing is finishing one. The cool thing is that you can do it with just an ounce more determination and patience. Yes, an ounce.
9. Don’t Do it Alone: For some writers a critique group works. For others it’s one trusted voice cheering them on. Writers may live with their fictional characters, but they thrive with a friend(s) who believes in them.
10. Beat Yourself Up: The book isn’t shaping up the way you want? Someone read a chapter and didn’t care for it? Feel like jumping off a cliff? You can spend your time beating yourself up, or beating the keys on your computer. Beat the keys and show the world what you’re made of. We’re all waiting for your book.
In the shade.
It’s been a hot beginning to summer here in SoCal. Perfect time to write . . . or maybe not. It’s hard to think when you’ve got a cold pack on your head, but it’s even harder when you’re writing about Christmas.
Oh, is it. I keep forgetting to put a coat on my heroine or remind her not to forget her gloves. One good thing. The year I’m writing about — 1943 — there was little if any snow in my heroine’s part of the world. Pennsylvania Dutch country. But it was cold. 17 degrees at night. So I fill her up with hot soup — and thank God, coffee wasn’t rationed as much by ’43, but there’ s no hot cocoa. Chocolate went to the servicemen in the form of a D Ration bar — chocolate and filled with vitamins.
The best part about writing this story about a second chance at love via time travel is the love scenes.
Plenty of hot kisses to go around.
So the morale of my little tale is: whether you’re writing about summer or winter, make sure the love scenes are hot!!
Speaking of hot, reenacting the Civil War during the summer months can raise the temps, too, especially if you’re thrust back in time to the Battle of Antietam in 1862.
Like my heroine in LOVE ME FOREVER.
Love Me Forever is a big family saga with lots of angst and sexy heroes…if you like Civil War time travel, two wild, feisty heroines and the men they love, it’s on sale through today, July 11th, for 99 cents!
I’ve worked on this book for a long time…in between other books, always hearing no publisher wants a Civil War book, but I didn’t want to give up on my two feisty heroines and the military men they love…a story that spotlights the women of the Civil War.
I didn’t give up and Love Me Forever was selected as a Kindle Scout Winner!
Family is the theme of LOVE ME FOREVER. Two very different women, Liberty Jordan and Pauletta Sue Buckingham, with different ideas are thrown together in a mad, crazy scheme of spying, lost love, and passionate desire for what they can’t have.
The men they love.
Do they get their men?
Well, it is a romance, but it’s also a wild dramatic journey based on actual events in the Civil War. Liberty and Pauletta Sue will make you cheer, then cry, then hold your breath when it looks like all is lost…
Ends at midnight!
I write posts for several blogs each month–and this month I’ve been tending to mention in most of them that it’s July already. The year 2017 is half gone already. Time certainly passes quickly! Do you feel the same way? What happened to the first six months of this year?
The two books of mine scheduled for publication this year have already come out. BAD TO THE BONE, my third Barkery & Biscuits Mystery, was published in May, and PROTECTOR WOLF, my eighth Alpha Force paranormal romance for Harlequin Nocturne was published in June. I’ve met deadlines for books scheduled to come out next year and am coming up with ideas for more.
Since I became a full-time writer, every year is somewhat the same, at least generally. I write a lot and spend time on the computer learning more and promoting what I write. I attend chapter meetings and conferences held by writing organizations and meet up with friends. I spend time with my husband, too. I play with my dogs. I travel now and then.
Every year is different, too. What I’m writing changes. I’m not currently writing Superstition Mysteries, but I have started a new miniseries for Harlequin Romantic Suspense called K-9 Ranch Rescue. The first book in that miniseries, SECOND CHANCE SOLDIER, will be a March 2018 release. And my fourth Barkery & Biscuits Mystery will be a May release. Will I have another Harlequin Nocturne published? Possibly, but it will be the last one since the series is ending.
Another thing that’s different about this year is that I haven’t been able to attend meetings of the Orange County Chapter of Romance Writers of America as often as I usually do, thanks to a knee injury. But I’m improving and hope my ability to get to the meetings will improve, too.
So how has 2017 been going for you? If you’re a writer, what have you been writing? If you’re a reader, what have you been reading?
And does this year seem to be going especially fast for you, too? Think about it!
Linda first novel was the 1995 Love Spell time travel romance A Glimpse of Forever. Since then she has published over 40 novels—mysteries and romances, including paranormal romance and romantic suspense.
Linda has two new books out for 2017. May 8th will see the release of BAD TO THE BONE, the third book in the Barkery & Biscuits Mystery Series. On June 1st, her book PROTECTOR WOLF (Alpha Force) a part of the popular Harlequin Nocturne series of paranormal romances will be published.