Logical Supernatural

I’m not sure why it’s so hard to get the protagonist right. After all, she’s the character the story’s built on, she should be the no-brainer in the bunch. But possibly because I’m so closely connected to her–she’s my best friend while I’m writing the book–and because I don’t want to hurt her–throw rocks at that woman, Jenny–or because I’m viewing the plot so closely through her PoV, I have a heck of a time getting any distance on her. Which means that common sense is my friend. That is, I look at what she’s doing and ask myself, “Is this what a normally intelligent person would do in this situation?” Then I look at the pressures of the situation–a normally intelligent person does not rush into a burning building, but my protagonist would to save her dog–and at her character arc and try to go from there. What I’m trying to figure out now is how long it would take Nita, an intelligent cop, to accept that the supernatural is real. Continue reading


“Remember the white dress I wore through that film? George came up to me to the first day of filming, took one look at the dress and said: “You can’t wear a bra under that dress.”
“Okay, I’ll bite,” I said. “Why?”
And he said: “Because… there’s no underwear in space.”
He said it with such conviction. Like he had been to space and looked around and he didn’t see any bras or panties anywhere.
He explained. “You go into space and you become weightless. Then your body expands but your bra doesn’t, so you get strangled by your own underwear.”

“I think this would make for a fantastic obituary. I tell my younger friends that no matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in the moonlight, strangled by my own bra.” Continue reading

Don’t Look Down

I’ve been writing discovery draft like crazy lately, and it’s always a humbling experience because the first drafts are so bad. I know they’re bad. I know while I’m typing that most of what’s going on the page is going to be deleted or rewritten, but I can’t get to where it’s got to be without starting with discovery. It isn’t even giving myself permission to suck, it’s accepting that whether or not I give myself permission, it’s going to suck. The whole time I’m doing it, I’m getting a much better grasp on the characters and the story (ye gods there are a lot of characters in this story), and I definitely have a better grip on the plot and the setting, but the suckage is still overwhelming. Still, the Discovery Draft mantra is “Don’t look down,” so I’m just sticking with the typing. All of which is to say, the posts this week are going to be crummy or non-existent because this stuff I’m writing is too bad to show even you guys, and you’re used to my discovery drafts. I did figure out how much money Nick has (it involved a compound interest calculator and googling for interest rates at various times in history) and I played around with some of the list you all made, so there’s that: Continue reading

Demon Name Help

No, not names for demons, I have books for that.

I need the kind of cheesy names that businesses use to cash in on an idea. Names for motels and bars and restaurants, names for food and dress styles, names for amusement park games and rides and for shops and . . . well, you get the pictures. Anything that might be found on a tourist-trap island based on the idea that it’s a gate to Hell.

So far I have: Continue reading

What Have We Learned From This Binge Watch 3: The Antagonist Is Crucial in Building a Team Story


My biggest problem in writing Nita at this point is not having a clear antagonist. I already knew that my plot was a mess because of that–your antagonist shapes your plot–but until I started considering her team, I didn’t realize that the team’s make-up was also shaped by the Big Bad. Once I thought about it, it was obvious: the make-up and character of the team is defined by the project it undertakes, and the project it undertakes is shaped by antagonist.

Which means I need to learn a lot more about team antagonists. And then find Nita’s. Continue reading

Women Sitting Next To Christmas Trees

I found this link on the AV Club to this page of forty-three pictures of women sitting next to Christmas trees in the fifties and sixties.

Okay, skipping over why anybody did a search for women sitting next to Christmas trees in the fifties and sixties, there’s something about vintage pictures of women that always makes me wonder what the story is; in this case, where they were coming from when they stopped by the tree, where they have to go next, what they think of the photographer, of the person standing next to them in the frame or just out of it, why they thought that outfit was a good idea, and if Christmas made them want to take an ax to the entire family (that may be me projecting from the Christmases in my youth). I get that with all vintage photos, but especially the ones with women because women were so often silenced back then, and what they were thinking was so much truer than what they were saying, and what they were thinking is right there on their faces. Like this one: Continue reading