That’s the clue for those of you who might not gel with snarky humor or enjoy the rantings of a know-it-all, middle-aged unpublished (not aspiring or pre-pubbed, we established that last week, right, you all got the point?) author, to come back tomorrow when one of the nice girls is posting.
I’ve been nice.
It nearly killed me, so I try to avoid it at all costs.
Yesterday we talked about heroes and heroines. (when Sandra left and we got off-topic. It was mostly Gina’s fault. And Mary’s. And Sandra’s, for leaving.)
Gina asked a great question about what we look for and expect in heroes and heroines. Do we hold heroines to a higher standard than heroes because of a ‘boys-will-be-boys’ mentality?
I don’t. I love heroines with gut-wrenching problems that have to face those inner demons to come out successful. I want them scarred and needy or drugged and seedy, or tramped-up hoochie-mamas that finally see the error of their ways.
And I love a good hero who has to set aside his perceptions of goodness to meet the heroine half-way, or to save the heroine who, in turn, saves him. Very Pretty Woman-ish.
For a contest entry, it’s tricky to get this across in twenty-five pages, more or less. A heroine that’s too far gone is a down-in-the-depths place to start a book, not always in your best interests because fifty percent of the people are going to pitch your book across a room. If they wanted to be totally down and depressed, they’d have watched the news, thank you very much.
A hero that’s too good is a gag-me-now place to begin, also defeating your task, so your job is to tighten the writing enough that you can give the judge a feel of their plight without relinquishing your hold on the conflict.
You can call it a hook, or a device, or just one heck of a good chapter, but that’s what draws me into a book, regardless of category or publisher, ABA or CBA.
So how do you do this? And are you looking for help?
Ask us. We’ve been there, done that. Those opening chapters are the ticket to that final round, that editor’s desk.
Let’s talk presentation of heroes and heroines, what makes them tick. Feel free to give us an excerpt. Let us offer advice.
Just remember, I’m not nice. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr (picture me, teeth bared. The whole puppy picture thing is propaganda. Totally. I don’t even like puppies.)
But because you’re a guest, I’ll try and be nice today. Just because.