Tag Archive | writer

Meet the character: Roger Vancouver

So this Monday morning, I met with Vanessa’s and Viviana’s father, Rodger. Although he’s not an alpha, he’s agreed to explain their role to us.

Birthday: January 16th

Favorite Movie TV Show: Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventure (and yes, he’s a Slayer, if you were wondering)  

Favorite Food: Five-alarm Chili


Me: Hello Mr. Vancouver. Thanks for coming by!

Rodger: Hello Briana, happy to help.

Me: So tell me what its like for your daughter to be an alpha. You’re obviously proud of her, but is it going to be awkward for your daughter to be giving the orders?

Roger: Of course I’m proud, but with such great responsibility comes danger. Being an alpha is ten times more dangerous than being just a Slayer. Wolves hate alphas, and if they get the chance, will kill them out of spite, sometimes not even during the full moon. Ness has never been a brave girl, and I’m very worried about her. Kenneth will protect her for as long as he can, but the day will come when she’ll be on her own, and part of me wonders if the the strain will break her. There have been stories of alpha who chose unwisely and their successor failed terribly.

Me: Are you saying Kenneth made a mistake of choose Vanessa?

Roger: *looks embarrassed* No, I didn’t mean that. But there are some who’ve mentioned it. There were two girls born the same year as Vanessa, and they’re both strong, dependent women, very capable of upholding pack law, as well as having the ability to kill wolves.     

Me: So my question is, do you regret that she was chosen to be an alpha?

Roger: *Long pause* Yes. She is such a frail girl. I’ve seen how hard it is on her to witness the death of a wolf. If only Kenneth would have chosen Margery or Kate, I could sleep soundly at night knowing my family and my pack is safe.

Me: You doubt her ability, but had you said as much to Kenneth?

Roger: I have. But Kenneth and I are not as close as we once were. He questions my judgement. We had a bit of a falling out years ago because I was a jealous, rebellious youth who’d dreamed of becoming an alpha, and instead, my friend was chosen. I though Kenneth was picked because his grandfather was an alpha. But I see now that I was just disappointed in myself and I lashed out at my friend.  

Me: Does that mean Kenneth hasn’t forgiven you?

Roger: Of course he’s forgiven me. He is my alpha; he cannot be cross with any member of his pack, nor can he show any favoritism, outside of his successors, that is. In a way, we are his children. *grimace* Although, I am two months his elder.

Me: Being a slayer is hard, isn’t it?

Roger: It is.

Me: Well, thank you for stopping by and elaborating for us.

Roger: Don’t mention it.


Okay then! Who else has a question for Roger?  

Werewolf’s Revenge

I know it’s been awhile since my last poem, so I thought I was due for another. Thank you to my brother for letting me use the one he wrote. (And thanks to my sister for coming up with the awesome title, too!)


Man by day

Wolf by night

Men must pay

They got quite a fright

Mercy they have nay

Do the hunters have a fight?


(C) 2013 Briana Vedsted


Author Interview Program #10

Here is my second author interview for the day! This writer has recently plunged into the world of writing, and I know that he’s going places! Meet Mr. Ryan Gibson!  

Where can we find you?


Twitter: @gibsorya


What is your author name? Or do you use a penname instead?

I think I may just use Ryan Gibson. If I were to use a penname, I would use R. C. Gibson for my fantasy/sci-fi books and Ryan Gibson for other books.


What is the title of the book you’re currently writing?

The Tales of Camellia


What is the genre of your book?

Science Fiction/Fantasy


What is a 3-4 sentence synopsis of your book?

500 years after World War III, Camellia Rose lives in a world with no electricity. During the festival celebrating a “no-wars” anniversary, Cam’s village is suddenly attacked. and whilst in the middle of the attack, Cam’s sister is kidnapped along with other children. With the help of her friends, Cam travels the continent of Europe to find her sister and solve this kidnapping mystery. In the middle of the adventure, Cam and her friends discover a plot that will effect the entire world, so they have to make new friends to completely stop the plot.


What inspires you to write?

I just love to write! I have only discovered that I like to write back in October-December in my Creative Writing class. I love being creative and being able to share my imagination.


Self-publish or traditional publishing, and why?

Traditional. I don’t think self-publishing will get me very far.


What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

No matter what people say, just keep writing! What you write is what you are inspired by. It’s your writing! Don’t let people tell you how you should write.
Thank you Ryan!

Meet the character: Kenneth

Today I’m going to be interviewing Kenneth, Alpha of the Montezuma Slayer pack.

Birthday: March 21st

Favorite movie: I am Legend

Favorite Food: Eggrolls


Me: Hi Kenneth, I’m so glad you could come talk to me today!

Kenneth: It is my absolute pleasure Briana.

Me: So what is it like being a Slayer?

Kenneth: *laughs* Asking me that question and excepting a decent answer is like me asking you what it is like to be a human.

Me: What?

Kenneth: I was born a Slayer. I don’t know what its like to be anything else.

Me: Oh, well then, let me rephrase my question: what is it like to be an alpha?

Kenneth: Being an alpha is similar to being a parent. Except most parents only have two or three kids. I am an alpha to thirty slayers. So it’s a lot of responsibility. Even more so than you would imagine because almost half of my pack is under twenty-five years of age.

Me: I understand what you mean. Well, when you have any free time, what do you like doing for fun?

Kenneth: I rarely have “free time” thanks to my prodigy Vanessa. She is like a mixture of an infant and a puppy. I can’t leave her alone for more than ten minutes without worrying she’s hurt or in trouble. But, for those ten worry-free minutes, I like to cook and read.

Me: Well sir, it was really great having you here.

Kenneth: Anytime!

So, does anyone have a question for Kenneth? If so, don’t hesitate to ask!


Author Interview Program #9

Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Ms. Rachel Poli who is a very talented young author. Rachel is a participant of the April 2013 NaNoWriMo Camp with a goal of 75,000 words!  

Where can we find you?
You can find me all over the internet! I am on Twitter as @RPoli3, and my blog of course, Spilled Ink (spilledxink.wordpress.com). I am on many other writing websites, as well.

What is your author name? Or do you use a pen name instead?
Rachel Poli is my author name. I don’t plan on using a pen name.

What is the title of the book you’re currently writing?
I am in the middle of a couple of novels right now. However, the one that is the closest to being finished (and most likely to be edited first) is my young adult novel Take Over.

What is the genre of your book?
It’s a young adult drama. But it’s not the type of high drama you see on TV with a million love triangles and hooking up with teachers. This is real drama, but it’s totally fiction all the same.

What inspires you to write?
My sister, Kristen, is the one who inspires me. I never would have gotten into writing if I wasn’t the annoying little sister who wanted to copy everything she did. She found a writing website so I of course had to join it because she did. Over the years, writing has become a passion for me and my goals in life changed surrounding this passion. I never planned on being any bigger than a preschool teacher, but now I plan on selling book after book and maybe even opening my own publishing firm with my sister. After nine or so years, my sister and I still share the joy of writing together. We have writing dates with each other and share ideas. Writing has brought the two of us much closer together. That bond and writing are two things that I never want to let go of.

Self-publish or traditional publishing, and why?
I’d be lying if I said I never looked into self-publishing. However, I plan on getting my novels published by traditional publishers. I am still new to all of this, so I would rather leave the publishing up to the professionals. I have thought about self-publishing a book of short stories and/or a book of poems, just so I can get my foot into the door.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
Being an aspiring author myself, I can only give advice that most writers here all the time, but it seems to be working for me so far. First, write a little bit every day. It will keep your mind open, help your ideas grow, and your creativity will flow endlessly. Second, read a lot. Reading both good books and bad books help because you can see what you should do and what you shouldn’t do. Learning new vocabulary is a plus, too. Third, never give up. Keep writing no matter what happens. If you get a rejection letter, frame it and stick it on the wall. They may have said no, but they still took the time to read it and respond back to you. I would prefer that over not hearing back at all. Fourth, write because you want to. Write because you love it. If you’re just looking for fame and money, you’re going to get squashed in the real world. Fifth, embrace the positive comments and seriously consider the negative comments. You may not like it, but my guidance counselor back in high school told me I was delusional if I thought I was going to publish a book. If she never told me that, I probably wouldn’t be trying as hard as I am. I want to prove to her and myself that I can do it because I know I can. Which brings me to the last piece of advice, believe in yourself. Because no one knows you better than you.


Thanks Rachel!

Meet the character: Vanessa “Ness” Vancouver

Hi everyone! Today I was motivated to do another kind of interview! But this time, I’m going to be interviewing characters from my book. This idea came from Francesca at http://frannychallenge.wordpress.com/

You should check out her site and ‘meet’ some of her book characters! Maybe you’ll be inspired to do something similar on your own blog!


Today I’m interviewing Vanessa Vancouver, main character of Here with the Wolves, as Alpha Successor to the Montezuma Slayer pack.

Birthdate: May 24th

Favorite movie: Black Beauty

Favorite food: Just about anything Kenneth cooks.  


Me: Hi Vanessa, so glad you could take time from your busy schedule to visit with me!

Vanessa: Please call me Ness, and it was no problem: its ten days until the full moon, so I’m sort of “off-duty” right now.

Me: Oh that’s great! Well then let’s get to it! So, what is it like to be a werewolf hunter?

Vanessa: Well, in the beginning, I really hated it. But now I’ve come to realize it is just a part of life. By no means am I meaning I enjoy killing, but its for the greater good.

Me: Greater good? What do you mean?

Vanessa: You’re a human, right?

Me: Of course!

Vanessa: It’s my job to kill werewolves before they kill any of you humans.

Me: I see. Well, what do you like to do for fun?

Vanessa: I’ve recently gotten into fencing.  

Me: That’s nice, but I meant your hobbies? You know; something you do when you’re not working?

Vanessa: Um, technically I work 24/7. When I’m not with the other alphas, I’m training. When I’m not training, I’m doing “pack stuff”. And when I’m not doing “pack stuff”, I’m with the other alphas.

Me: Okay, let’s see, hmm, I guess that about wraps it up! Thank you Vanessa!

Vanessa: You’re welcome, and just call me Ness!


Well, that was exciting! And I think tomorrow I’ll interview Vanessa’s alpha, Kenneth.

I was also given an idea from Charles at http://legendsofwindemere.com/ to allow the reader (that’s you!) to ask my character a question! So, what do YOU want to know about Vanessa?

AIP #5

Here is the fifth instalment of my Author Interview Program. If anyone is interested in participating, please let me know!

But for now, please welcome Ms. Helen Valentina!

Blog: http://helenvalentina.com/

What is your author name? Or do you use a penname instead?

Helen: I write under the name Helen Valentina.  This is a pen name.  I do this deliberately because I want my creative life to be separate from my day to day work life.  In real life my name is Helen, but the surname Valentina comes from another part of my family, and just sounds nice I think.


What is the title of the book you’re currently writing?

 Helen: There are two books I’ve written and I am currently in the last stages of preparing to self publish.  The first is called ‘The Seed’ and the second is called ‘Curiosity’. There is a third novella I will be getting manuscript assessed later this year called ‘Denial’.


What is the genre of your book?

 Helen: ‘The Seed’is probably psychological/dark romance….not sure if that is a specific genre!!  ‘Curiosity’ is a black comedy.  If I proceed with ‘Denial’ it would fall into the same sort of category as ‘The Seed’.  I’m working on another novel now more in the black comedy vein, but it’s a work in progress so we will see how it goes.

 One of my challenges is I don’t just write in one genre – which is creatively satisfying but I recognise makes marketing the work more complex.

 I also write a lot of poetry on my blog – again this crosses genres, or possibly poetry is a genre in itself.  Some people have suggested I write and publish a poetry book so I’m thinking about that too.  The other challenge, of course, is having time to do it all!!!


What inspires you to write?

 Looking back, I think I was inspired to write through being a frustrated philosopher who was, quite frankly, too lazy to make that an academic profession, LOL.  So I use writing to process what I experience and think about the world, and to uncover the themes that drive my – and from my observation – other people’s decisions. In the end, that’s what it is in essence to me – an exploration of why we do the things we do, or why we think the way we think.  Whatever genre I write, whatever story, whatever poem, has that at is heart.  It’s me just trying to figure it all out…always failing of course…but the journey is the thing!

 What this has also meant for me is that I tend to write in bursts during particular periods of my life rather than all the time. This is also partly the need to earn a living too.  I think it’s a form of therapy for me in some way, and it’s like I’m a creative creature of hibernation…I go for long periods writing nothing and just observing the world (literally years at a stretch) then tend to write a lot, fast, over other periods of time, like I ‘wake up’ to do so.

 It may be I would write more consistently if I did it for my actual living…who knows?  I also expect the joy I get from my blog may be a real incentive to not ‘go back to sleep’ creatively, so that’s a great side benefit of this community of writers.


Self-publish or traditional publishing, and why?

Helen: Self publish…partly because of the aforementioned laziness I suspect.  I actually only dusted off the novels recently because in downloading some stuff from Kindle there was a book on how to publish on Amazon and I thought, why not? I wrote the books to process thoughts, as I said above…I didn’t have the author ambition to be published, even though I got some good feedback on them (which I mainly pursued out of curiosity for whether they’d worked as novels).  But self publishing looked a bit easier to navigate.  Once I’ve gotten into it I’ve realised it’s not so simple, but it’s still very creatively liberating.

 I’m not averse to traditional publishing if a publishing house approached me, but for the moment I’m quite happy to publish myself. Even a small readership is better than having the books gather dust, so to speak, in my house, unseen.


What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

 Helen: Write the way that suits you.  Write what really interests you rather than what you think will be popular or marketable.  If you are excited by your story, others are likely to be. It starts with really caring about the story.

 Also, take lots of advice, but stay true to yourself in the end.  Some people tell you to structure out everything very methodically, before you start to write – there are even programs you can buy to help ‘build’ a book’s plot etc. That may work well for some, but when I tried one once I was bored after plotting it out – it had served its purpose to make me think everything through (given that is essentially why I write in the first place) so I had no motivation left to write the actual novel (no matter how interesting the original premise might have been)

 Instead, for me, if I have the story ‘whole’ in my head (and by this I mean..this is how it starts, this is broadly what will happen, and this is how it ends), but without all the plot detail intricately though out, I find I will write the book to find out all that detail…why did I have that whole story in my head, what was really driving it?  That works for me but won’t for others.

 I do find, though, if I just start with an idea but I don’t know the overview and the book’s end, I never finish it. Perhaps the more formless idea in itself is not sufficiently compelling as a philosophical premise for me to sustain it.

 So my main message is be yourself. Don’t write like others because that won’t work..find what drives you and follow that path without doubt or regret.


Thank you so much Helen!

Box Canyon

 Here’s a sample of the first chapter of my upcoming YA western book, “Box Canyon”.


Even in the confines of the barn, their ears weren’t safe from the shouts echoing from the kitchen. Two men and their sister looked at each other solemnly. This wasn’t the first night this week their parents had argued. Seventeen year old Noel ‘Button’ McMasters turned back to the cow she’d been milking and pressed her face against its warm side, trying to hide her tears.

Her oldest brother, Dunn, let out an oath too soft for Noel to hear, but the second boy, Tack, turning to frown disapprovingly at him. Dunn spread his hands innocently. Tack shook his head and went back to laying down a thick bed of straw for the new lambs.

Getting to her feet, Noel asked, “Why do they always have to fight, Tack?”

“I suppose that’s just what happens when folks get married.”

“Then I don’t ever want to get married!”

“Ah, Button, it isn’t that bad. Ma and Pa get along sometimes.”

“They fight more often than they agree.” Dunn muttered into his armload of musty cornstalks.

After the chores were finished, Tack put his arm around Noel’s shoulders and promised, “Everything’s going to be fine.”

Dunn seconded, “And just as long as they ain’t mad at us, we’ll make it through dinner unscathed!”

Noel didn’t even have the heart to smile at her brothers’ attempts to lighten the mood.

Sitting around the table in the dusky twilight, Noel was finding it hard to stomach her food. The steak got caught in her throat, the bread tasted like sawdust, and even the sweet pickles weren’t appealing. Looking up, she found her brothers were also disturbed and unable to eat. Ma just sat in her chair, glancing out the window ever now and then, and Pa’s usually twinkling blue eyes started dully at her uneaten peas.

The silence was too much to bear. Noel cleared her throat. Ma jumped in her seat and turned to look sternly at her. Noel looked to her brothers for help. Dunn laid down his fork and leaned forward in his chair, “Pa, one of the mares is getting close to foaling.”

Pa looked up with interest, but one sideways look at his wife dampened his mood all over again.

Noel pushed back her chair and escaped to the empty kitchen. She scraped her food into the pigs’ slope bucket and then hastened up the stairs to her room in the attic. She shared the room with her brothers. There was a blanket stretched across the middle of the room to give Noel some privacy. But tonight, instead of going straight to bed, she waited up, hoping her brothers wouldn’t be long in coming.

Not ten minutes had passed before Tack and Dunn came trooping up the stairs. Noel scooted closer to the blanket and whispered to them.

Tack answered her, face close to the blanket, “Ma’s mad that we don’t have enough money to pay the bank notes. She wants Pa to get a job in town. But he says he can’t because there wouldn’t be anyone to take care of the livestock. So Ma told him to sell off part of the herd. But then Pa said if he did that, then the paycheck in the fall from selling the yearlings would be smaller than ever and they still wouldn’t be able to make ends meet.”

Noel groaned. Her parents found about money several times a year. And for the past two weeks, there had nary been a day gone by that they weren’t squawking about something. “Why are there so many people who are rich and have more than they need, when there are so many poor families who don’t have as much as they should?”

“I don’t know, Button, I guess that’s just the way life works.”


The next morning, Ma put Noel to work cleaning. Noel hated to clean. She’d rather be out with her brothers, rounding up horses and chasing cattle. But Ma, who’d been raised in a prosperous southern home, said that the women’s domain was the home, and shouldn’t ever be out riding the range like an ordinary cowpoke.

And so, Noel scrubbed the floor, wiped away cobwebs and dust, and scoured the kettles and cookware with sand. Then she rolled up the sleeves on the sprigged calico dress she was wearing and started washing the breakfast dishes. Out the window, she saw Tack lead a horse out of the barn and tie him to the hitching rail. Dunn followed with two more horses and proceeded to curry and saddle them. They were going for a ride!

Noel stood on tiptoe to watch her brothers, forgetting all about the wash water and suds. Ma appeared, carrying an armload of laundry and snapped, “For heaven’s sake Noel! Stop dallying and finish the dishes, then you can come out and help me hang up these clothes.”

“Yes Ma.” Noel’s heart sank. Ma just didn’t understand that Noel didn’t like this kind of work. Noel was an eagle and she needed to be free to fly, but she was stuck here, in this cage, suffocating.

Just then, Tack appeared in the doorway and called, “Got a minute Button?”

She ran to meet him. “We need some help, we’re missing three hundred or so head off the back forty, and Pa thinks they ventured into the box canyon.”

“I’ll go change!” Noel turned and ran right into Ma. “What’s the rush?”

Tack explained, “We’re short on help. May Noel come with us to the box canyon?”

Ma sighed dramatically, “Oh I suppose so.” Ma shook her head, muttering about how humiliating it was for a mother to have to let her daughter do man’s work because there wasn’t enough money to hire workers.

Noel dashed upstairs and changed into a pair of trousers, a long-sleeved shirt and her flat brimmed Stetson hat. By the time she made it outside, Tack had her little mare, Star, saddled and waiting.

“We almost had to leave without you.” Dunn teased from the back of his tall gelding.

As giddy as a lark, Noel climbed into the saddle and let Star prance around in a happy little circle.

Pa heaved himself onto his own horse, firmly saying, “You do need to learn your place, Button. A woman belongs in a kitchen.”

“But Pa: times have changed! A woman should be free to do as she likes. Besides, I would rather do this than anything else in the whole world!”   

He didn’t reply, but by the crinkles at the corners of his eyes, Noel could tell he was pleased and wasn’t going to force her to do anything she didn’t want to do.

Tack hollered, “Hey Dunn, race you!” and he touched his spur to his horse’s side and shot off down the path and out the gate.

Dunn and Noel raced after him, whooping and hollering like wild Indians.

Small but spirited, Star soon edged past her long-legged neighbors and stayed in the lead until they reached the mouth of the canyon. Here, Noel waited for her family. She’d never have said it aloud, but she was afraid of this place and had been since she was a child and had stumbled upon the carcass of a lion kill. Now she wished she’d thought to bring along Pa’s spare rifle.

Tack understood, and he slid his own rifle out of the scabbard and passed it to her. “Keep your eyes open.” Noel nodded, holding the rifle securely. Tack took the lead from here, and Button followed. Pa and Dunn trailed behind. Noel’s eyes revolved around as she watched for movement of any kind. The hair on the back of her neck stood on end when a crash came from behind them. All four riders turned to look.

There was nothing out of the ordinary, but they could hear bawling cattle and gunfire. “That’s coming from the house!” Dunn declared.

But before they could make it out of the canyon, three men appeared, blocking their only way out. Several more men appeared on the sandstone ledges above, and they could hear more men on the canyon rim. The three men began to advance, pushing Noel and her family further into the canyon. Suddenly, one of the men rushed at them.

Pa took a hasty shot at them before baling off his panicked horse. “Hide!” he ordered, scrambling out of view.

Tack rolled out of the saddle and disappeared behind a log. Dunn grabbed a low hanging tree branch and pulled himself into a tree. Noel dove off Star’s back, twisting her ankle and skinning her cheek on a rock before she managed to squeeze into a little hollow behind a slab of sandstone. She cocked her rifle and peeked out just in time to see a man armed with a bowie knife sneaking up behind Tack.
*to be continued*

Can your characters speak to you?

When I read this, I though, Finally! Here is someone else who thinks that characters can sometimes take over a story without the author’s permission! (It has happened to me too many times to count.)

Re-blogged from: http://andrewtoynbee.wordpress.com/

Characters that can write their own stories

This is a debate that will probably rage forever.

I have encountered the discussion / argument a few times and sadly, I am forced to agree with both sides of the arguement – never a happy position.

source; Crirez – Stock.Xchng

One writer commented;  ’Think about how ridiculous that sounds – someone you’ve invented in your own head decides that he is now going to refuse to run into a burning building.  You, the writer, decides what he will and will not do.’

My argument (whilst agreeing with the technical explanation above) is that at some point it may feel completely wrong for a character (with a given personality) to be forced to perform an action – unnatural, even, no matter how much the First Draft required it.  And if it feels wrong to the writer, it will almost certainly feel wrong to a reader.  So the character is showing his…well character…and ‘protesting’ that what the writer is asking him to do is…out of character.

This is an extract from ProcrastinatingWriters on the very same subject;

Jennifer said;

How would you suggest a writer learn more about what their characters want? I often hear writers say their characters “wrote” the story for them. My writing doesn’t unfold like that. I come up with everything–not my characters. I’d be interested to hear how you suggest someone allow their characters to take the lead.

My reply;

My characters often take over scenes and need frequent reining in. I know many writers don’t believe this can happen (I admit that it does sound a bit daft! But it happens.) but I believe it might stem from having created strong characters (or at least well-established ones) with clear motives.

When I’m in Muse mode, writing dialogue, a character can leave the well-chosen track and head down a different road altogether. By the time my fingers have stopped moving, the new conversation is already underway. I am then faced with a choice; Hit Delete or go with the new coversation and see where the chat leads. If it’s relevant, or new and exciting, I stay with it. If it leads me down a dead-end, I won’t scrap it entirely, but Cut and Paste it into my Recycling area – from where I may retrieve it later. That bit of dialogue might even inspire a new chapter, idea or complete novel.

So allow your characters some freedom within the story and they might just surprise you by doing something unexpected – something you’d never normally have plotted. Whatever they do, it’ll be within character (it has to be for this theory to be valid).

I also found this entry on Fiction Factor;

Have you ever been writing a story only to have a minor character try to take over? Okay, so they aren’t real and they can’t really do that, but sometimes it seems like they have a mind of their own.

Larry Brooks says;

Your characters will begin to talk to you.

Ah, the mantra of the pantser.  Waiting for the completely fictional construct of your imagination to take over the story.

This is like asking your nine year old to drive so you can enjoy the scenery.

If you have to wait until the character figures out what’s required in the story before you do, then your story is already broken.

Because the story isn’t completely and solely about the character.  It’s also about the narrative landscape upon which a drama unfolds – conflict and tension – which may not yet be fully realized within the character’s perception.

Like a nine year old who can’t see over the dashboard.

All valid points, Larry.

However, I heard this from Carole Barrowman (Professor of English and Director of Creative Studies in Writing) on Monday 17th Sept 2012.  She was on BBC radio with her brother John Barrowman (yes, him!) discussing the latest Dr Who novel they had written.

She said; “It’s surprising the routes that the characters can take your story down.”

Evidence of characters guiding the story?  I think so, Larry.

When I write, I have definite plot points that must be fulfilled and a nailed-down ending.  Anything that happens in between those points can be guided by the characters I have created.  If I originally visualise a character as being introverted and shy, with events being determined by that and then other events mould that character into a determined, angry and vengeful person, I will happily follow this new line, allowing the new, developed persona to shape their own destiny.  The result is often a stronger character and higher drama.

The debate will doubtless continue…

Whilst idly browsing my WordPress stats, I noticed that someone had highlighted this very page from Reddit.com.

The post was one of several that referred to something called (and this is a completely new word for me) Tulpae.

The page describes a Tulpa as; …best described as an imaginary friend that has its own thoughts and emotions, and that you can interact with. You could think of them as hallucinations that can think and act on their own.

The contributor opens the discussion with;

Are characters in a novel the Tulpae of the Author?

Very interesting question…

The post then goes on to ask;

By talking and fleshing out something to your own subconscious for so long, you start to get answers from it. The answers align themselves with all these preconceived traits you’ve given them (for the most part). When you talk to your own mind for long enough, it will answer back: this is an accepted fact.

This sounds a lot like an author with a good enough character not deciding what the character will do, but the author knowing what the character would do because the character tells him or her.

I was told by a writing professor of mine that authors should strive for this level of character development, to the point where the character makes its own decisions.

anyone interested in discussing this?

Read more of the discussion here.

I’ve noted some other thoughts on my post ‘Are authors guilty of creating imaginary friends?’  (Link to follow on Dec 19th 2012)

Back onto the subject of characters taking hold of a story, I stumbled across a Ray Bradbury quote on Chichikir’s wordpress page (if I may borrow the great man’s words);

“The bottom line here is that I am not the one in control. I do not try to steer my characters; I let them live their lives and speak their truths as quickly as possible. I listen, and write them down.”

Even the great Ray Bradbury let his characters find their own way?

And so the debate continues…

CG Blake also discusses the phenomenon here.

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Amira K. at Z-Axis says this;

(Outline your stories before you write.)

Okay, I get that it works for some people, maybe, but it sure doesn’t work for me. When I try to outline I end up boxing myself into corners without giving my characters room to live, breathe, and make their own choices. My characters come to life on the page, sometimes almost without my consent, and do things that take me completely by surprise. They do things that I would never do. If I outlined my stories, I would never be able to give my characters the freedom they deserve.


Book name change

Hello everyone! As most of you know, I have a book available for sale through amazon.com called: The Untold Story of Margaret Hearst, Alias Maugrim Valletta. Well, I’m currently re-writing the book to make it longer and a little bit more informative. I am also thinking I ought to change the name. I’ve been thinking something like: The Ballad of Margaret Hearst. What do you think? For any of you who’ve read the book, I’d love to know your opinion! Should I change the name? Should I make an ‘extended cut’ that goes a little deeper into the characters’ back stories? If you haven’t read the book, here’s the link for your convenience! The Kindle edition is .99 cents and the paperback at $4.75


It is a short story, and eventually I may just sell it as part of a collection of stories, but for now, I’d really like to expand, but its up to you! Several people I’ve spoken to liked the book as-is. Others thought it was rather brief. So let me know! Your opinion is very valuable to me.

Thank you in advance for your purchase and I’m excited to hear back from you!