Villains 

      First off,  I apologize for being a day late in posting. The headache monster visited yesterday,  so I got little of my work accomplished. 

      Villains are tricky.  We as writers often see the villain as a tool,  two dimensional concept of evil…as a reader though I am here to tell you that is the end of a story.  Even worse than plot holes,  a two dimensional villain is enough to ruin an otherwise great story. 

       I have a sure fire way of testing my villains.  I give them flaws,  make them as realistic as I can. Then I imagine them in town and let the mental movie unfold… I as I am watching ask myself three questions… 

1) Is the character sympathetic?  A villain who we can sympathize with will make the story more interesting.  Also I am one who thinks that the story should leave the reader wondering if they are happy with the villains defeat. 

2) Is there a way to defeat the villain?  Though I think that the villains defeat should raise questions about how the reader feels about it,  defeat is usually in the life of a villain. And a overpowering villain is often no fun for the hero… Unless the story is not supposed to get the happy ending. 

3) what are the traits that are showing up most with your villain?  Has s he/ she got flaws or traits that you should pay closer attention to? A good villain often has fears,  and accomplishments that they are proud of.  This makes a far more rounded character. Villains are still characters,  and the story is best when you treat them as such! 

Audience 

          Who is my audience?  As an author there is not a day that goes by that I am not asking myself this question.  I have, I think come to a decision on it. My children’s books: the audience is fairly obvious.  Children.  I really write them for my daughter (and now my grandson).  Which is why I believe that the third bedtime stories will be mid grade. The first two were stories written for her when she was small. The third started for a preteen. (And now she is helping me write it.  She was suggesting ideas for the story and is looking forward to hear it when it is done.  She refused me reading it until then.) But I write more than just children’s books.  

        My poetry I have always written for me. So do I really have an audience for it?  Yes,  and no.  It is always going to be how I cope with the world… It is more that then it is written for a particular audience. That being said,  the reason why I published it is because my coping mechanisms can possibly help someone else who may be in a bad place. Or not,  I am not sure it matters there.  My poetry is the clearest view inside of my soul. To tell the truth I publish it because I can.  I have lost so much of my poetry over the years… This is the way of preserving it digitally so I will not lose anymore. 

        Last but not least,  there is Serena’s stories. Anything that I write that is adult in nature will be published under Serena Mossgraves.  Currently that seems to be horror.  I am not sure if it all will be… I just know that I will not be doing erotica… It embarrasses me to write it.  So I figure her audience will be adults,  preferably who enjoy what I write.  

          All seems simple enough.  I only hope that I am able to create a story that someone likes.  

Awareness

I read something last week that has been bouncing around in my head. As I was not planning to write about it,  I did not save the blog link,  or I would refer to it.  I enjoy reading and on any given day read a dozen different blogs. Most do not stick around taking up head space.  This one did.  The gist of the blog was that though it had been a bad year,  perhaps it was not as awful as it seemed.  It spoke about how we are exposing ourselves to news in a constant barrage.  The blog likened it to an assault on the senses. Now it is that idea that has been bouncing.

Is the level of available information a bad thing?  As a writer I enjoy being able to research anything whenever I want. However,  I have had days where opening social media was oppressive. Simply because of the horrible things man does to each other. I remember that my grandma did not watch the news and did not read the paper. She was able to be blissfully ignorant unless she chose otherwise. She was one of the most intelligent people I have ever known. Now we assault ourselves with the news and wonder why we are depressed. I can’t help but think that there must be a better way.

 

Book Review: Dragon in the sock drawer by Kate Klimo

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Cousins Jesse and Daisy are not prepared when the “thunder egg” Jesse has found turns out to be a dragon egg that is about to hatch.

A cute Tween book. It has adventure and a villain who is scary enough that even the adult readers will no be disappointed. The characters are rich and the descriptions are decent. This is the first book in the series and it allows you to grow with Emerald the dragon and her two preteen keepers. Very magical and a lot of fun to read. I highly recommend.

Book Review : Dark Current by Jacqueline Carey

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Daisy Johanssen,  a part time file clerk half demon is so much more…. She’s Hel’s liaison between the eldrich community and the mundane authorities. This is the first in a fun trio of books.  I just finished book two(Autumn bones).  This first one feels like more of a young adult story.  It has a definitely fun upbeat main character.  The writer is really good at describing the action.  I would highly recommend it.

*a side note : the second book has more sexual content but nothing overly graphic. There’s another series by the same author that is more graphic. I really enjoyed it as well.

Aesthetic ideals 

Each person views aesthetic beauty differently. As a writer I tend to struggle with the concept. Physical beauty has a different description depending on the narrator. So describing a character with a flair in many ways requires a narrator who is fleshed out and real in the writer’s mind. The narrator’s voice will also affect the character’s beauty. For example, if the narrator speaks of a woman “Her mouse colored hair hung limply over dull eyes of chocolate brown.. ” most will see her as unattractive.  However,  if the narrator instead says “Her lovely mouse brown hair sheilded her large chocolate eyes,  which were dulled with pain.” we feel an attraction to the character. 

So when writing one must keep the voice of the story in mind. We writers often see our characters as children,  and thusly love them all. My issue is that i am inclined towards gorgeous villains. I usually like to believe that most great villains have a backstory that explains why they are. The readers often do not get to read the villain’s story. Perhaps that’s why we judge beauty so harshly….because we see only part of the tale.