Complied ideas of PLOT
Here's yet another post about plot depth. This will include plot layers and subplots. In fact, this post will include just about everything I'm seeing wrong with aspiring writers.


End of story. Sure there can be something amazing and extraordinary about your character (and there should be), but guys, be realistic here: people don't do jack shit unless it's going to benefit them.

So, I just finished one of my critiques (which I absolutely loved and I hope to hear more from this writer), and the main thing I noticed wrong was that the MC seemed to make the world go round. I see this way too much for me to ignore it. So here I am, blogging.

An example of this is the "mentor". You know the type. Step 4 in the Hero with a Thousand Faces practical guide:


By this time many stories will have introduced a Merlin-like character who is the hero's mentor.

The mentor can only go so far with the hero. Eventually the hero must face the unknown by himself. Sometimes the wise old man is required to give the hero a swift kick in the pants to get the
adventure going.
Here's the thing though, the mentors are so freaking overused. And guess what, they're bland. Almost every mentor that I've seen has been absolutely dull. They have no real reason to help the young hero or heroine aside from that he knew his/her well-respected father. And if you make them die, I'm going to cry.

So you have all these people in your story. You have the best friend, you have the mentor, you have the parent that is lonely/dead/unattached, you have the love interest. But here's the thing, if each of those people do not add to your plot, you're cutting yourself short. By a lot. You may not see it when you first create them, but once you start getting your plot rolling, you should be able to fill in the pieces with those characters. Remember, every person is the Main Character in their life. Your secondary characters should be no different. If you give each a role, a story, they will not out-shine your MC, instead they will bring depth to your story.

So here's some questions you can ask yourself when you're looking at your characters:

* Character Name -
* Who the character is in terms to your MC?
* What does that character want for his/herself?
* How do he use your MC to get what he wants?
* How will she react to your MC if she doesn't get what she wants?

After you have your main plot put down, start answering these questions for EVERY character that your write about. There shouldn't be a dull character in the entire story. And remember, you character can't do everything herself.
Just a laugh!
So today I feel absolutely too tired to write, so sit back and take a bite out of eye candy, even have a couple laughs. The photos are from Can I has Cheesburger? The comments are from fuck my life.

funny pictures of cats with captions
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Today, my girlfriend dumped me proclaiming she wanted someone more like her "Edward". I asked her who Edward was. She held up a copy her "Twilight" book. She was talking about a fictional vampire. FML

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Today I noticed that my daughter was making funny noises which oddly ressembled the sounds my wife makes in bed. When I asked her what she was doing she said "I'm pretending to be mommy from last night." I was on a business trip last night. FML

funny pictures of cats with captions
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Today, my fiancee broke up with me. Via a myspace message. While we were in the same apartment. FML

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Today, my parents yelled at me for 10 minutes without letting me get a word in edgewise for getting a 48 on my test. They took my phone, unplugged my internet, and took my car keys. They wouldn't listen no matter how many times I told them "It was out of 50". It actually was. FML

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Today, I had to explain to my son that his dad was too busy in a raid on World of Warcraft to be at his award ceremony. FML

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Today, after months of trying, my wife of seven years told me she is finally pregnant. I'm going to be an uncle. FML

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Today, I went to the store to get Valentine's Day gifts to decorate my boyfriend's and my new apartment. He was there shopping with his wife. FML

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Today, my boyfriend of three years who I helped through drug rehab and find employment in my office left me for someone else. His explanation was that now that his "head is not clouded with chemicals" and he "makes decent money", he wants to settle down with someone worthy of him. FML

Road Trip Wednesday
Today's Road Trip takes us to:

What will be the next big thing in YA?

I think fairy tales will come in again. We have the paranormal romance, which I don't see lasting much longer, where you have two lovers that aren't supposed to be lovers. As in one lover dreams about eating/blood sucking the other. Life-threatening taboos. With that being said, I think fairy tale type loves will be considered refreshing to see. So Disney princesses, prepare to be re-told.

I think historical Urban Fantasy (does that make any sense, at all?) will be a big. For example, young Jewish boy who is a victim of concentration camps will find special powers or a new world. Something along those lines.

I'm also thinking we're about due for the next Star Trek/Star Warsish Sci Fi novel, a bit more in depth and technological than Avatar (which I adored).

Trying to think if I've skipped anything. Don't think I have!
Today's post is going to be on tension.

There seems to always be a thread on AW about it.

Should there be conflict on every page?

First of all, conflict and tension are very, very different. Conflict is straight out action. Someone is yelling. Someone kills killing. Someone refuses. It's conflict. Tension is different in the way that it can deal with the character internally. Perhaps the character is nervous/scared/angry/sad. That's tension, not conflict. It could even be someone holding vital information back.

So do you need conflict on every page?

Do you need tension on every page?

Should you?

It comes down to your readers. It comes down to ADHD America and what they want. Fast food is terrible for us. We all know. I've eaten fast food every day at work this week. Why? Because it fast. That's it. I can get it in five minutes, eat in the car, and still be clocked in on my "lunch break".

Americans are very much like me. Fast. They want to dive head first. Are all of them like that? No. Some of the most prestigious writers that have ever lived don't have tension on every page. That is a fact. Would people today take the time to read it if it wasn't classified as a classic/must read? I really doubt they would.

If I picked up Lord of the Rings without my father ever reading it to me as a child, would I read it? No. I don't like flowery descriptions. I don't like words upon words of world building. Sure, you need it here and there, but for the most part, I don't like seeing it. It's just like an info dump. Think of a clever way to put it into the story.

Back on track, though.

Tell me a non-tension part of your book that you love. Show me a romantic seen without fluttering hearts. An erotica scene without burning passion. Show me a fantasy scene without wonder. Show me a sci-fi scene without questions. Are they there? Yes. Should they be? That's pure opinion. I think not.

For example. Let's say you have two characters that are having a conversation. They agree on everything.

"Should we do this, Sally?"

"If you think it's best, I think it's best!"

That's that. Is it bad? No. Could it be better?

"Should we do this, Sally?" I hesitated as the words came out of his mouth. Should we? I asked myself as my palms began to sweat. Questions flooded my mind. What would father think? What would mother do? Is this best for the baby? Should we, young teenagers, really do this? God, is this all going to be okay?

"If you think it's best, I think it's best!" I agreed with him, even if I wasn't sure of myself. My heart raced as worry engulfed my body. Please let this be the best.

So if you feel your scenes are lacking, look into adding tension. How? Show internal struggles. Show depth. Put feelings into everything. If the people don't second guess each other, do they feel like it should be done one way instead of another? For example:

"Should we do this, Sally?"

"If you think it's best, but --" I let the word hang in the air. "I think we should get plane tickets instead of going on a train."

"We don't have the money for plane tickets." Bob warned me.

"Bobby, babe, you know I'm terrified of trains. Do we have the money for gas?"

"Fine. You're driving."

There's hundreds of ways of adding tension. Just think of how. Do you have to have it? No. Should you? Yes.
7 figure deal
There are hundreds of reasons why I love writing. One of the bigger reasons is money. Yes, I admitted it. Seeing people go from rags to riches is just amazing. For example:

Seven Figure Deal for Debut YA Author

In what the publisher described as a "heated" auction, Dutton Children's Books paid seven figures for North American rights to debut novelist Ally Condie's Matched. The house compared the book to Brave New World and The Handmaid's Tale, calling the dystopian work "one of the year's most talked-about manuscripts." In the book, a 17-year-old girl, who's spent her life waiting for a group dubbed "The Society" to tell her who her ideal mate is, has her world upended when she discovers she's falling in love with someone other than her supposed soul mate. Jodi Reamer at Writers House brokered the deal, which is for three books, with Don Weisberg,Lauri Hornik, and Julie Strauss-Gabel (who will edit). Dutton beat out seven other houses for the book and foreign rights have sold in Germany, Italy, and Brazil.

A seven figure deal for a debut YA author. Could you imagine? Could you imagine, me a small business accountant that loves stories, that could be me. Now I'll have to work my ass off for a publishing deal, regardless, but man.

Honestly, I do wonder what is more enticing: the money or the fact that your story being the year's most talked about manuscript. Could you imagine selling hundreds of thousands copies the day your book released? If it ever happened to me, I think I could happily say I gave back everything I owed to the authors that worked their ass off to give me the best book they could.

Scatter Braineded
Another good morning bloggers!

So the entire weekend was stressful. I was under a billion pounds worth of work-related-stress. A bit about me is that I do write, read, play video games, watch anime to escape from the every day ordinary real life.

With the weekend being what it was, an old idea that I've kept locked away started banging in my head. I've never been torn. My current WIP is amazing. I enjoy every second of it. The characters are like my brothers and sisters. Everything I could possibly want. I wouldn't have continued with it if it wasn't.

So why now? Why when I am almost finished with my final book's outline do I want to have an affair on my current WIP? It makes almost no sense.

So here I am. I'll try and get it out a little bit. Perhaps that will keep me on track.

Verotica, no I don't know her last name. In fact, I know very little about Ms. Verotica. The story is pure fantasy, instead of Urban. There is a royal family instead of a government, and 4 types of people: 1. Diplomats, a very intellectual breed of people. 2. Ancients, a group of people that have extended life (about four times the average human life) 3. Assassins, a group of people born with quick reflexes and abnormal strengths 4. Civilians, the majority of the people who do not possess the biological make up to be any. They are the ordinary folk of this nameless world.

What you are is determined by your genes. If you have an outstanding gene pool, then you are considered wealthy. While a small percentage is one of the three, there have been those who are cross-bred to have two of the genes.

When Verotica was born, she was the only person to be named to have all three genes. She was smart, strong, and fortunate to have a long life ahead of her. With the gene pool she possessed, the royal family took the girl in, like they did many young women, to become a Breeder. Breeders are young women given to the King or his sons to reproduce a more-perfect race.

I plan for the book to be action packed and highly political. It's just keeping it in my head until I can finish my last book. How frustrating!
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