Friday, August 29, 2008

The Box

My dear friend Raine has issues with the box. You know the ones that are "genre specific". Well, here are the few I wish weren't so set in stone and some that I wish were a little more accepted.

1. Single mother who isn't a widow.

2. Long-term releationships that just didn't work out. The ex didn't beat or cheat on her, making him the eternal bad guy and woe is the heroine.

3. If she had sex with more than one guy they were all bad guys or those relationships are skimmed over or it was BAD sex.

4. If she's overweight her first experience sucked or she's just had one experience.

5. The hero is a ho, but the heroine's Glittery Hoo-Ha will change him and he won't cheat on HER.

6. Just stop saying the man's teeth flashed. PLEASE.

7. He's a felon, but he didn't do the crime or it was for an honorable reason.

I guess what I want are people who aren't so perfect. A little more complexity. Let me sink my teeth into a character who I can't just say they're good or bad. Let me decide through the story. Here's some books that I'm talking about:

Agnes and The Hitman
Homeport
Once a Thief
Smoke Thief

So on and so forth.

Now tell me which genre rules would you like to see less of or what type of stories would you like to see more of.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

IT'S NOT ALL HARD WORK

While taking a break on Romance Divas, I came across this joke. *spew alert*
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New diet program for Men

A guy calls a company and orders their 5-day, 10-lb weight loss Program. The next day, there's a knock on the door, and there stands before him a voluptuous, athletic, 19-year-old babe dressed in nothing but a pair of Nike running shoes and a sign around her neck. She introduces herself as a representative of the weight loss company. The sign reads, 'If you can catch me, you can have me.'

Without a second thought, he takes off after her. A few miles later, huffing and puffing, he finally gives up. The same girl shows up for the next four days and the same thing happens. On the fifth day, he weighs himself and is delighted to find he has lost 10 lbs as promised.

He calls the company and orders their 5-day, 20-pound program. The next day there's a knock at the door and there stands the most stunning, beautiful, sexy woman he has ever seen in his life. She is wearing nothing but Reebok running shoes and a sign around her neck that reads, 'If you catch me, you can have me'.

Well, he's out the door after her like a shot. This girl is in excellent shape and he does his best, but no such luck. So for the next four days, the same routine happens with him gradually getting in better and better shape. Much to his delight on the fifth day when he weighs himself, he discovers that he has lost another 20 lbs as promised.

He decides to go for broke and calls the company to order the 7-day, 50-pound program.

'Are you sure?' asks the representative on the phone. 'This is our most rigorous program.'

'Absolutely, ' he replies, 'I haven't felt this good in years.'

The next day there's a knock at the door. When he opens it, he finds a huge muscular guy standing there wearing nothing but pink running shoes and a sign around his neck that reads, 'If I catch you, your @$$ is mine.'

He lost 63 pounds that week.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I HAD THIS WONDERFUL POST ON SCENE STRUCTURE

And the blog Gods ate it. So, you are going to get the condensed version.

Scene: Has a beginning, middle and end. It moves the plot forward. It's also a small portion of the book as a whole. And it better have a purpose.

Now what do I mean that it has a beginning, middle and end:

Beginning: Scene opens. The reader is presented with the protag and antag and their overall goal.

Yes, there needs to be a scene goal, just like your character needs an overall goal for the book.

If you have that then you will have a middle:

Protag and Antag both try to get their goal. Through that you'll have conflict for your scene. Don't confuse conflict with argument. Conflict can be as simple as Mary(the protag) wanting to go buy red shoes and Sarah (her friend and antag of scene) thinks that red isn't her friend's color. Yes this can turn into an argument, but it doesn't have to.

The End of a scene someone has to win, lose, and/or the scene ends with more goals.

Ex:

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Mary: I've had my eye on some red shoes.

Sarah: I'm sorry to say this, but you know I love you.

Mary: Then don't say it, but I already know what you are going to say.

Sarah: Red shoes makes your ankles look fat.

Mary: *sighs* I know, but they're Prada.

Sarah: Prada?

Mary: With an ankle strap and fabric with cherries embroided on them.

Sarah: *shakes head* Tempting, but the ankle strap will only make the middle part of your foot look fat. I say get the black Gucci ones.

Mary: But I really want the red ones.

Sarah: Okay, you'll be the one with the fat looking feet.

Mary*every other part of me is fat enough. I really shouldn't get shoes that...* I'm getting the red ones. Fat foot be damned.
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This may be a horrid example, but there is conflict, mention of fat feet which can be hilarious. The scene moves forward by the mention of weight issues and her friend adding to the misconception. And you can see who the protag and antag is in this scene.

Breakdown of scene goal:

Mary wants to buy red shoes. (P wants B)

Sarah thinks red shoes make friend's foot look fat and wants to talk her friend out of buying some. (A wants C)

Mary and Sarah both have a goal and there goals are locked together and someone has to lose. (This particular scene it's Sarah who loses.)

Since this scene isn't really a book I can only weave tales (lies) about how this scene fits into the whole. This scene can be the foundation for character, what type of friendship these women have (I know if someone told me I had a fat foot we better be friends or things will get very ugly) or it's feeding into the whole that Mary has to deal with her weight issues.

Lastly the purpose is equal to the goal. Mary wants red shoes.

Hopefully that helps. Tell me what you think about scene structure. If you have any questions I'll direct you to someone who really knows. Lastly, if you disagree with everything I said, go ahead have fun in the comments. I love a great debate.

On Friday I shall ramble on another topic: Things you should never do in your novel...
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