Apr 22, 2013

Motivational Monday

Posted by AJ Blythe at Monday, April 22, 2013 0 comments
People on the outside think there's something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn't like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and that's all there is to it.
~ Harlan Ellison ~

Apr 18, 2013

The Ins and Outs of Our Characters

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, April 18, 2013 0 comments
I saw a fascinating youtube clip by Dove this week (see below). They had a forensic artist sketch women using the woman's own description and then again using the description of someone who had just met them. All the women saw themselves much more critically than the strangers did. Probably not surprising.

But it made me realise that when I write my characters I have to remember to give them their inner-self and outer-self. That is, my heroine will see the small mole on her cheek or the slight creases near her eyes - but will see them as overwhelming her face. A stranger will see the hint of a laugh around her mouth, the pink on her cheeks and the curl in her hair. Both these views will affect how the characters act and think.

Watch this video. How do you perceive yourself? I'm sure that I would have the same reaction as these ladies...

Apr 11, 2013

Too Stupid To Live

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, April 11, 2013 0 comments
"Only two things are infinite-the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the universe."… Albert Einstein

I've been reading a lot of cozy mysteries lately. One I was reading was really enjoyable - until the main character did the unthinkable, an action whereby I decided she was *too stupid to live* (TSTL). Of course she did and by the end had managed to solve the murder. Unfortunately by then the book had lost its shine for me.

I'm sure you've all read stories where one of the main characters has been TSTL. You know, where the heroine meets the suspect in a dark alley, without a weapon and hasn't told anyone where she is?

I think the only thing that keeps me reading in a TSTL book is the fact that I've read about a lot of recipients of the Darwin Awards. Named after Charles Darwin (the father of the theory of evolution) the awards commemorate people who improve our gene pool by removing themselves from it. There really have been a lot of people who have been TSTL.

Take the case of the bank robber who decided to rob a gun shop, full of firearms customers after having to walk around a marked police car parked at the front door. Inside the uniformed officer was standing at the counter. When he saw the officer the wannabe robber announced a hold-up and fired a couple of wild shots. The officer and store clerk returned fire (several customers also drew their guns) - and the robber was removed from the gene pool.

Or the case of Matthew who decided to steal the yellow foam cushion safety protection from the legs of a ski-lift tower (designed to protect skiers who hit the tower). He used the foam pad as a makeshift sledge on the ski run, crashed into the legs of a lift tower - the one he'd stolen the safety protection from - and died.

If you want to read more Darwin Award recipients you can read about them here.

Even so, just because it happens in real life doesn't mean it should happen between the pages of a book - not unless you are wanting to kill off a character.

Have you ever read a book where the main character was too stupid to live? 

Apr 8, 2013

Motivational Monday

Posted by AJ Blythe at Monday, April 08, 2013 0 comments

Most beginning writers (and I was the same) are like chefs trying to cook great dishes that they've never tasted themselves. How can you make a great (or even an adequate) bouillabaisse if you've never had any?If you don't really undersand why people read mysteries (or romances or literary novels or thrillers or whatever), then there's no way in the world you're going to write one that anyone wants to publish (this is the meaning of the well-known expression 'write what you know').
~ Daniel Quinn ~

Apr 5, 2013

Canned the Spam

Posted by AJ Blythe at Friday, April 05, 2013 0 comments
Unfortunately the number of spam comments I've been receiving has intensified. From only receiving the occasional spam, the last month has seen me become the lucky recipient of a bucketload a day. So as much as I didn't want to, I've had to add a word verification step for those leaving comments to eliminate the bots. Sorry!

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