In Which I Put My Characters Through Hell (almost literally)

Ah. When things go wrong...

Like when I write six different beginnings to a book before finding one that works...

Like when I redo the same scene four times because it keeps stalling...

Like when I scrap a short story halfway through because it's boring even me...

Like when I start researching mathematical algorythms because I am so desperate to do something other than work (there is no math in my books. I hate math)...

Like when I decide to just give up altogether because I am clearly fooling myself thinking I'm any good at writing books...


When things go wrong...

Like when my heroine wakes up in the middle of the night because zombies are breaking into her house...

Like when she learns there really is something sinister about the two men who are suddenly so interested in her "professional expertise"...

Like when demons start exploding like gory Christmas crackers all over the city and nobody knows why...

Like when she discovers she's been sold out and will probably die in the next fifteen minutes, as soon as she finishes the lovely meal in front of her...


There is a connection between the two. This isn't simply me plugging my books.

See, when things are going wrong for me, like the first list, it usually means the second list isn't working hard enough.

Books stagnate because the danger isn't dangerous enough, the stakes aren't high enough, not enough is happening.

When in doubt, scream and shout may be a bad (and misquoted) adage here, but the principle works in writing.

What other bad thing can possibly happen? Car accident? Yes. Dental surgery? Yes. Death? Absolutely. Fifty lashes with an iron-tipped whip? Yes! The lights go out and something slithers up the heroine's leg and it sure doesn't feel like her boyfriend's hand? Bring it on!

In other words, get good and passive-aggressive, and take out all your hidden aggressions on your poor characters. Treat 'em mean and keep 'em keen, as another saying goes. I'm not happy unless everybody's crying. (Oh wait, that's at home. Oops.)
I'm not happy with my writing unless stuff's blowing up everywhere and guns are going off and glass is flying and everyone's waiting for Chow Yun-Fat to enter stage right. (Of course, that last bit would make me awfully happy at home too...sigh.)

Oh, and, ah, avoid cliche, except when you're attempting to use them to "humorous" effect in a blog post. Ha! Ha!

Make 'em bleed!

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