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Despicable Characters…

May 22, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Truculent – definition: 1) fierce, cruel, or savagely brutal 2) brutally harsh, vitriolic, scathing

Flawed characters can be difficult to write on occasion as they are far removed from our own personality (well I certainly hope so!)My antagonist in Life in Slake Patch, was actually the leader of a group of young men fighting against the matriarchal system they wanted to change and in The Rython Kingdom, it was a vengeful witch, Malgraf, who gave my protagonist trouble.

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However, in my reincarnation themed novel, The Twesome Loop, I admit to going further into the dark depths of a character. The character, William, is a wealthy landowner, expecting all his servants and serfs to be at his beck and call, no matter what he desires. William has a very dark side and carnal lusts. As I wrote scenes that included William I imagined a loathsome, brute of a man. This imagery helped me write from his viewpoint. Compassion was not a trait William possessed, he felt as the law of his domain nothing was forbidden to him.

Once I had finished my first draft and gave it to a few trusted friends, I waited for their reactions. Yes no-one liked William – perfect. However, it was suggested I write a redeeming feature for him. This would give some balance to his character without detracting from his main personality traits. Bizarrely finding and writing this part of William’s personality was the hardest.

Eventually I found a ’cause’ for his despicable attitude to women but it didn’t completely redeem his actions. I still needed my readers to dislike him after all.

Excerpt – adult content: Gabriella has tried to evade William during the wedding reception but he is impatient to have his new bride alone.

“My sweet, it is time to go.”

“But maybe a while longer…”

“No more dancing. Watching you sway back and forth has my mind on more delicious delights.”

His breath stank of ale and his brow gleamed with sweat. She was at his mercy now, the night ahead a fearful proposition.

With her cloak wrapped tightly around her shoulders, Gabriella stepped into the carriage. She looked back at her childhood home to see her mother wave. A tear ran down her cheek as William stepped in and closed the door. The horses hooves crunched on the gravel and the carriage lurched forward.

“Make haste, Hall, we are impatient to be home.”

William’s hand grabbed Gabriella’s thigh.

“Alone at last, my sweet, now I can taste your young flesh with no interruptions.”

“We must wait…”

“Wait, whatever for?”

“I have a surprise for you but I cannot show you until we reach our bedroom.”

“A surprise, how wonderful, you are quite the temptress. In the meantime I will enjoy those beautiful breasts.”

Before she could stop him, William plunged his hands down the front of her bodice and squeezed painfully.

“You are hurting me, please stop.”

Who are your favorite despicable characters from your stories?

Writer’s Need A Thick Skin…

February 13, 2013
mandyevebarnett


As writers we need to develop a thick skin or allow unkind comments to be ‘water’ off a duck’s back – such is today’s word – Caustic – definition: 1) capable of eating away by chemical action : corrosive 2) likely to offend or hurt someone’s feelings.

English: La Belle Sauvage - motto and emblem f...

Submitting our creations to agent’s and publisher’s is daunting enough without the numerous rejection letters we receive back. Some bounce back via email almost immediately, stunning us at the quick reaction but other’s remain in a void for many months. These are possibly harder to cope with as our eternal optimism believes the delay in replying is a positive thing. We imagine our manuscript being read by increasingly important staff on the corporate ladders of the publishing firm. Eventually landing on the CEO’s desk where our creation is read with reverence and pleasure prior to the acceptance letter being dictated and sent out.

We can be deterred by a rejection and stomp around berating the said publishing house for not realizing its potential or we can learn from the experience. This second choice is the hardest and there is no reason why a good stomp can’t be enjoyed first! If we are fortunate enough to actually get comments written on a rejection letter or slip, we must treasure them. If the writing, concept or plot is truly bad there are no comments just a form letter. However, comments mean the manuscript was seen to have merits but needed work in some way or another. Take heed of these gems and revise to incorporate them. A newly revised submission may get accepted because of them.

My writing group is very conscious of and encourages, kind but constructive critique offered with compassion. To be blasted with unkind words or forced to write in a certain way, has a detrimental effect on another person’s writing and emotions. Be kind to those people who ask for your opinion and offer your honest critique without self interest or bias. There are as many styles of writing as there are writers so be open to the differences – you may learn something about your style through the interaction.

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We may need a thick skin but there are ways of surviving without one.

Do you have an experience – good or bad – you could share?

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