Somebody asked me this recently, so I figured I’d do a quick post on it. I chose the name Veiled Wings for my blog for two reasons – One, because I’d like to think that we all have a pair of wings on our back that describes who we are. Some have downy soft feathery wings, some have black leathery wings, some are translucent like a dragonfly and others may be colorful like a butterfly. Beyond that they may be very large or very small. They may be tattered and broken or scarred but healed. What do your wings look like? Mine are very scarred, but I’d like to think they get bigger and stronger every day.
Reason two – Some how, in some way, all my paranormal characters have wings, end up getting wings, or can fly. I don’t know how this happens, but it does. I love flying, and my characters are an extension of me sometimes. All I have to say is I hope they’re handing out wings on the other side when I get there 🙂
What does it mean to “be real?” How could you be “real” if it’s supposed to be fiction? I’ve run into this too many times recently and it’s bugging me. So I figured I’ll share what I’ve learned.
To be real is to not throw stuff into your book that’s just not gonna happen. I’m not talking about fantasy here. If a dragon flies out of the shadows every time the wizard hiccups I’ll take that. I’m talking about placing your character’s in situations or have them make really stupid decisions that 99.9% of the population would never do. The other .1% is hopped up on laudanum and probably deserves to be wiped off the page…
Authors do this for a few reasons; more words, more conflict, or they just don’t know any better. Ten years ago you could get away with this; today, not so much. And it irritates your readers.
Here are some examples –
A girl is being burned at the stake for breaking into the Duke’s keep and stealing clothing and jewels. She worries only of her honor, and that of the Dukes, and says nothing as she fries to death.
This is completely unbelievable to me, especially when all the girl had to do was yell out “I’m the Duke’s bastard child!” You know what? They’d cut her down in a heartbeat and apologize profusely to her and the Duke. Nobody’s pride is that big. If the character really must die then poison her, have her tongue cut out or have it be an accident.
A more current example –
A college age girl has been in New York for two months and is preparing to go to her idol’s concert for the first time. However, the girl is horrendously bad with directions. She and everyone around her knows this. Her super-hot male best friend offers to take her since he’s already going and knows the way. But she’s so embarrassed she says no. On the way she gets lost (of course) then sees something paramount to the plot that she would never have seen if her friend were there.
Yeah, not gonna happen! Believe me, the girl would have gone with her hot guy friend. Trust me. Please. Her embarrassment would not have been greater than the love of her idol, and she would not have risked going it alone and getting lost. If she really must get lost to see this paramount thing then have the girl and her friend get separated, or at last-minute the guy might have some emergency that will make him bail on the date. But she would not say no.
Your characters can be pretty stupid at times, just like all of can be. But please make it believable stupidity 🙂 Your readers will thank you for it.