Fantasy fans the world over already know about it and if you’re one of those people who came to great shows like Outlander and Game of Thrones through TV … you NEED to read the book series “Wheel of Time” by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson because… well because it’s not on TV (yet.) But why? Let’s talk about it – click the read more for a spoiler free chat about why this SHOULD be a thing.
People can be doggedly hard on dystopian fiction. It’s weird how some people can like a thing a great deal until it becomes wildly popular and then somehow that popularity makes it suddenly unpalatable. Instead of asking “why is dystopian fiction still popular” maybe we should talk about why it was to begin with.
Here’s three reasons why people are reading Dystopian Fiction.
Been a while since I blogged about me. In fact, one of the last personal blogs I did was over at writing wenches (you can read it here: click here ) and it talks about our adventure in trying to sell our house, buying a new house, trying to get pregnant, a major health worry, resolving I wouldn’t get pregnant, and finally starting on our journey to foster/adopt.
Well, today I’m going to be real. Gut tearing, exposing myself to the world, no holds barred kinda real. And, as you can guess by the title and the image, I did get pregnant and I lost my baby. Here was what I wrote on Facebook after our loss:
Thoughtful blog entry about writing and the ways in which many of us drop the ball when attempting to make that leap towards true success. A great read.
10 years ago, only one book out of every ten would succeed. And by succeed, I don’t mean bestseller. These books would earn out the advance for the author and probably get in a little more on the royalty, they would earn the publisher a small profit (yeah, not the kind of profit traditional publishing bashers say publishers make), but good enough to commission another book by the author. Occasionally, one of these “success stories” would break out and become a bestselling A-Lister. All in all, 7 or 8 out of every 10 published authors would fail. Today, with the ubiquitous self-publishing model, the number is higher it’s probably 97 or 98 out of hundred.
Yes. Only 2 or 3 out of every hundred novelists will see success. Not Patterson kind of success but “I can quit my day job” kind of success.
I am considering for this post …
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Relationships are at the heart of fiction and life. They are what make our own lives have value and make a book worth reading. Sometimes it can be tempting to remove road blocks such as misunderstandings and failure to see eye to eye on things from between your protagonist and his/her sidekicks, mentors, etc.
However, in doing so we really do a disservice to our stories because at the heart of all stories isn’t just relationships… there’s also conflict. Our character’s problems and how we do or don’t deal with them are how we keep a story going and our readers reading. Do you know what you call two characters without conflict of some kind? “Happily Ever After” or “The End.” That’s right, the story is done between them.
So, conflict between even the best of friends and lovers is a must… however, the conflict has to make sense in the context of their relationship. How do you do that? Well, even characters who are utterly in sync with each other emotionally will vary in how they relate to others. This is where a tool from rpg storytelling comes in VERY handy.
A relationship map is like a mind mapping exercise where the lines between characters show you what one character thinks about the other. For instance in a romance the two main characters might have arrows pointed at each other which read “I love you” but maybe they hero’s mother in law is where they differ. The male character may “love and respect” his mother while the heroine may find her “annoying and catty.” The difference in how these two see the same secondary character is RIFE with conflict for you to exploit as a storyteller.
Additionally, the importance of subtext can not be overstated here. With a relationship map you can easily define emotional states and opinions that might not be spelled out for the reader but implied strongly. Backstory that need not be revealed right away (or ever) that adds a layer of depth to your world and will keep readers engrossed in your setting, in love with your characters, and even developing story theories of their own.
Have you ever done a relationship map for your characters? Comment below and tell me about it!