Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hero of the day!

I want you to envision this tale -

A man wakes up in the morning, puts on his slacks and polo while reading the paper.  After a morning filled with getting the kids to school and getting to work he spends his day in a cubical, furiously typing out report after report.  During the filing process, his computer suddenly pauses for a moment... and then continues to print. 

Problem averted he quickly dashes off an e-mail to his boss before grabbing his jacket and stepping into the bright light of the afternoon.  He finds his car where he left it and then heads home for an evening of his favorite sitcom before putting the children to bed.

Riveting isn't it?

When writing your story, make sure and push your main character to his/her limits... and beyond.  The normal MC is remarkable, for a reason.  Because of their ability to stand out, and thus be worthy of a special story, they can and should tolerate more.  It brings life to the page.

If your MC is about to spend the rest of the day slugging it out the sucking mud of a swamp, why not make the swamp mud super hot to give him blisters?

MC about to have to battle it out with the evil mage?  What if that evil mage's henchmen lands a grevious knife wound in the MC's side.  Now he's got to worry about defeating the wizard before bleeds out.

Having our hero's overcome insurmountable obstacles  is what makes them hero's. Imagine this fight -

Clark Kent is walking down the street when he see's two robbers breaking into a bank.  He quickly dashes to a phone booth, changing into his superman costume and bursting forth faster than the eye can see.  As he runs up to apprehend the villains, he see's the police on the scene.  Apparently someone had tripped a silent alarm and the police were able to arrive on time.

Not nearly as interesting as someone hijacking a bus that can't go below 50mph, being driven by a guy who has a heart-attack, and finding the bus is actually careening towards a bridge that is under construction... and the cop that shows up on scene just happens to be dark/mysterious/and works out professional, and did I mention the girl who takes control is just naturally flustered?

Books are entertainment... since they are entertainment they should be entertaining, stretching the boundries of what if is always more interesting than 'wasn't it neat when...'.

Just my thoughts.

- KT


  1. Hey Kevin,
    Good post. Thanks for asking Linsay Buorker about if 'regular' authors can make a living epubbing their books. I'm glad she linked your name. Looks like were in the same boat. I've made a plan to purse this new venture of self-publishing. Other posts you should check out - if you haven't already - is Dean Wesley Smith and JA Konrath. Their great teachers! I write time travel and paranormal. I've got 5 books completed. I've had bites from agents, but nothing came of them. I've decided to do this because of the sense of empowerment it gives an author. As long as you take on what you can handle, you'll be fine. I job out editing and will also job out cover art. I'm still a virgin at this new self-epublishing enterprise, so I'll keep you posted - but don't give up! I'm in the process of launching my blog - hopefully by May 4th - which BTW, is Luke Skywalker Day! Star Wars is also one of my favourite (No, I didn't spell that wrong, I'm Canadian) movies.
    Take care and keep writing!
    Sharon Ledwith

  2. I'm glad others are enjoying it. Yes I'm so excited to hear the information from someone 'in the trenches' as it were. I actively follow JA Konrath, but I'll have to look up Dean Wesley Smith.

    Thanks for the comments, ayez une grande nuit!