Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

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.

Twesome Loop 002

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?

My English Heritage…

May 13, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Cloister – definition: 1) monastery or convent; 2) a covered, usually arched passage along or around a court

Castles, mansions, and grand estates all made up a wonderful hobby for my friend, Deb and I when we lived in England. The historic houses and ancient sites we visited are far too many to name or list here. Suffice to say we travelled around a great deal of England to gazed in awe and learn about our history.

Some places are known globally, such as Stonehenge and Buckingham Palace but there are hundreds of other magnificent places that would inspire anyone. Painted ceilings, tapestries, carved furniture and wooden paneling not to mention thousands of paintings of Lords and Ladies from days gone by.

imagesCANOKFKJ Cambridge and Oxford have cloistered courtyards as do many other buildings of the time period when such buildings were made by skilled stone masons. With close inspection you will see how each section has been crafted to lock with the next. Workmanship  like this is sadly in short supply in today’s modern age but their are some who are trying to keep the craft alive.

It is possible that I can imagine where my travelling troubadour, Guillem Ruet resides so easily due to my years of visiting such glorious places.

3d3df1f7d1f382285315cbfd851c3329b33bce46

Two for the ‘Post’ of One…!

May 7, 2013
mandyevebarnett


As I was interviewed yesterday I left the word of the day off my post so we can look at two words today.

Rhetoric – definition: the art of using language skillfully

English: Cobbe portrait, claimed to be a portr...

English: Cobbe portrait, claimed to be a portrait of William Shakespeare done while he was alive Lëtzebuergesch: Uelegporträt vum William Shakespeare am Alter vu 46 Joer, gemoolt 1610 zu Liefzäite vum Dichter, haut am Besëtz vum Konschtrestaurator Alec Cobbe. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We all endeavor to be skillful with our words when writing, whether it is fiction, poetry or non-fiction. Conveying an idea or an image in as few words as possible is certainly an art. Such as, instead of using ‘the sky was pink in color as if made of candyfloss’ we can just say ‘ the sky was blush’. Our readers will have the same image with either one but the second sentence is tighter. The art of writing has changed over the decades as our world has altered from polite conversation over afternoon tea to the rushed technological conversation we now experience.  Language, I believe, has suffered as we endeavor to ‘text speak‘ in the belief it is allowing us more ‘time’. However, how much true understanding and emotion are we loosing by shortening everything into acronyms? These are open to misinterpretation not only as the actual ‘letters’ may be misunderstood as to their meaning but also without inflection of any kind the messages can convey the exact opposite response than was meant.

Obviously we can not speak like William Shakespeare all day long, although I know a few people who would love that! However, communicating with wonderful language evokes an  emotional response from whoever is listening. Will we ultimately loose verbal language to text speak and only experience proper language through the written form? I certainly hope not although there have been documented instances of the youth of today compiling exam papers purely in acronyms and worse still thinking it was perfectly acceptable. I have to count myself lucky to have a 17 year daughter who loves Shakespeare and reads excessively.

Take a look at this link:

http://skysairyou.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/the-georges-say-cut-the-crap-and-write-better/

CrystalBallLarge

Prescience – definition: knowledge or awareness of a thing before they exist or happen

We have all experienced déjà vu at one time or another. There are many trains of thought as to what this phenomenon actually is but to have foresight is rather a different thing all together. Maybe it is a person’s ability to gauge the emotional, physical and spiritual atmosphere around them that gives them this awareness? There are many old tales of an elder able to predict when a storm was coming as they ‘could feel it in their bones’ or they knew the sex of a baby prior to the birth. With the knowledge that the human brain is not used to its full capacity, could it be that we all have some capability of prescience?

There have been movies made, such as Foresight and Premonition, that use this phenomenon to good effect. How would it feel, though, to actually ‘see’ the future? Would you want to? As a young girl I foolishly agreed to be part of a wigi board reading in the art room of my secondary school. The metal window frames were almost impossible to open and close with a struggle as they had layers of paint on them and each window had a heavy blackout blind on it. We closed all the windows, drew the blinds and sat in a circle. There was a lot of giggling and messing about until the pointer moved! Suffice to say we all stopped laughing. One friend became very tense, then fainted. When she woke up she was absolutely convinced she has seen her father die. A very frightening experience and one I will never repeat. My friend kept waiting for her father to look as old as he had in her vision…how horrid is that? I don’t think it is beneficial to know our future – let’s enjoy the here and now.

Do you have a foresight experience you would care to share?

Memories…

February 12, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Latifundium – definition : a large country estate.

Today’s word had me remembering weekends galore that I spent in England, visiting numerous historical sites and magnificent estates. My friend Deb and I would spend our days off (we were nursing at the time) travelling all over the country. I have dozens of scrap books full of brochures and postcards of every place visited. These are wonderful reminders and very interesting to revisit. England has centuries of a rich and varied history, all evidenced by ancient sites; such as Stonehenge to vast estates purchased and maintained by the National Trust. These wonderful places are kept not only for prosperity but also as a living history.

English: Stonehenge, Wiltshire county, England...

English: Stonehenge, Wiltshire county, England Français : Stonehenge, comté de Wiltshire, Angleterre (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many a time Deb and I would hang back from guided tours to really take in the atmosphere and touch objects that were not supposed to. Naughty I know but too tempting not to! My first scrap book has the  very first postcard I purchased on a infant (elementary) school trip to the New Forest– I was five years old. Some of the places have changed hands, been abandoned or become commercialized. It saddens me that Stonehenge is now fenced off from visitors. As a child I climbed on the stones playing king of the castle or hide and seek with my siblings. Some mansions have become private residencies or even hotels, which is good for the building as it will be maintained but maybe not in the way it should be for historical reasons.

Now that I live in Canada I miss the rich history of England as my new home is so young in comparison. When someone tells me now,  ‘Oh, its so old,” I have to bite my lip knowing that at the most it is less than one hundred years old. Compared to a 14th century church it is a newborn.

English: Court Barn near West Pennard, Somerse...

English: Court Barn near West Pennard, Somerset. This barn is in the care of the National Trust. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Also my time as a member of an archaeology group was not only enjoyable but fascinating. Scraping away dried earth to reveal a piece of Roman pottery or a trinket is an awesome feeling. To touch history is so much more exciting than reading it – I know as an author that’s not the thing to say but history comes alive when you actually place your hand on it and make a connection to its owner. Walking along a Roman road or climbing a tor, somehow resonates with your ancient memory.

These experiences give me a wonderful resource for my stories and characters. They are cherished memories.

Blog at WordPress.com.