Quote I Love: What stirs your respect

On writing characters…

“It does not matter whether your intent is to portray someone real or someone heroic. To make either type matter to your readers, you need only find in your real human being what is strong, and in your strong human being what is real . . . How do you find the strong or human qualities in your protagonist? What will be most effective to portray? The answer to those lies in you, the author. What is forgivably human to you? What stirs your respect? That is where to start.”

Donald Maass, The Fire in Fiction

Link Roundup: On Being Gay, 9/11 & More

Sharing a few links today. Hope you find some of the articles interesting. I know I did. And I may have shed a tear or too with some of these.

Quote I Love: Have Something to Say

Lately I find myself ruminating more and more on reader expectations, what makes a good story, and where I want my writing to go in the future. I believe it’s important for authors to write stories they think readers of their genre will want to read, as well as writing with a passion for the story they want to tell. Hopefully those two outcomes will cross paths more often than not. I guess that’s the ideal most authors strive for.

Today I thought I’d share one of my favorite quotes about storytelling:

“Having something to say, or something you wish us to experience, is what gives your novel its power. Identify it. Make it loud. Do not be afraid of what’s burning in your heart. When it comes through on the page, you will be a true storyteller.”

Donald Maass

The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass

This week I worked on the outlines for several upcoming projects. I had some good moments, some frustrating ones, and others that were filled with horrible ideas that I quickly tore up. (Don’t ask because I will deny they ever existed)

Today, I had a breakthrough. I read a few passages from non-fiction books on writing and a light bulb went off (no, make that fireworks). Some of the best advice I’ve read about how to create believable villains and how to take a suspense story line and make it believable (no matter how implausible it is) came from a book titled The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass. I haven’t read the entire thing yet, but from what I’ve read so far I recommend it for anyone writing fiction.

Anyway, just wanted to share that my outlines are moving along. My goal is to be back to writing Trapped (my third novel-length gay romantic suspense featuring Walter Simon from More) by August 1.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. And happy 4th of July to my US followers. Happy belated Canada Day to those of you in Canada.