Sunday, September 26, 2010

Shadow Heroes

I know, I know. I should write more commercial. More accessible, but...

I like to challenge myself. More over I like to surprise my reader.

Now sometimes that tips over to shock, horror, or even revulsion, but hey, it surprised them! LOL :-)

To accomplish this by picking unusual heroes. Or at least make you think they are an unusual hero.

Many times my hero has to be so eccentric or I have such a large paradigm shift coming up that my hero has to stay hidden.

Hence the 'Shadow' Hero. I don't want to spoil anything for anyone who HASN'T read Plain Jane but know that everything is not as it seems. which is exactly how I like it.

I love having a shadow hero. I love knowing something the reader doesn't. I love writing two people from the hero's perspective.

One appears to be the obvious hero. They are usually out front and center. But secretly I know that another character is the true hero. I know that they are the ones to fulfill the true hero's arc which makes it much more exciting to write.

Still confused? Think Star Wars. Classic Star Wars. Episodes 4,5, and 6

Over the course of the trilogy Luke is clearly the hero. He has a large, clear arc. He rocks.

However, if you look at Episode 4 (A New Hope) Luke has very little arc. He is enthusiastic. He wants adventure. He is chomping at the bit to get some action.

That never really changes throughout the film. Yes, he begins to get glimmers of his potential and uses the Force but his overall his arc is unchanged. Events happen around him rather than inside of him.

The 'Shadow Hero' in Star Wars Episode 4? Han Solo. He has a HUGE arc. He is selfish. Self-centered. Devil May Care.

No, you say! It can't be true!

Let's check. The standard way to check a character's arc (which can be done for any character, it is just that the Hero should have the steepest arc of all) is to ask the same question of your character at the beginning and at the end of the story.

"Would you risk your life and sacrifice for someone else."

At the beginning of Star Wars, Luke would have answered; of course. Yes. At the end of the movie his answer still would have been... Yes, of course.

Ask Han that same question of the beginning of the movie his answer WAS 'Hell no." By the end though, he comes through.

Solo's arc is far greater than Luke. Hence the shadow hero!

Of course there is another shadow hero as Vader, but that's another blog!

For any of you that have read Plain Jane, why don't you hit me up with a DM on Twitter with who you think is my shadow Hero.

Anyone that hasn't read it yet.... What in the heck are you waiting for?

Read 50 pages for free then pay only $2.99 for a chill to the bone thriller? #crazycheap
Click here to get started!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Villain

A.K.A. my nemesis

No, really, not just in the literary sense, but in a I-struggle-with-writing-them kind of nemesis.

I don' t like to spend a lot of time in the villains POV. Cuz, well, I don't like them.

I have to keep reminding myself that your Hero is only as strong as your villain. I guess I just like to keep the villain as much as a mystery as possible.

This even creeps into my television watching. Case in point I LOVE the L&O series. I even LOVE Criminal Intent. What do I not love? Um, the whole criminal part.

I hate knowing who the bad guy is. I don't really want to know their process or thoughts or feelings. I want to find all of that out from my Hero's perspective.

It is HIS (or HER) story not the villain.

Yet, I know a lot of readers really relish knowing exactly how bad the bad guy is and why they are that way.

So my deal with myself if one book has a prominent villain, the next has on 'hiding in plain sight.'

If you haven't yet read Plain Jane #howcome??? No seriously, if you haven't yet, I am going to tell you that I this is my favorite of all my 'in plain sight' stories.

No one yet has been able to figure out the killer by page 280. Think you are a better sleuth than that? Then head over to Smashwords and read the first 50 pages of Plain Jane for free and here's a 50% off coupon: RH88E to read the rest for just $1.50!