Worldbuilding our real world

I followed a link courtesy of author friend Teri Brown to a thoughtful piece by Jim Wright at Stonekettle Station about the, er, interesting times we find ourselves living in at the moment. It’s about dogma, fanatics, and fear. It’s a clear and rather terrifying glimpse into a mindset I sometimes have trouble understanding, so if you’re like me and frequently find yourself thinking, “WTF, humans?” you might go check it out.

(I know the post risks a tl;dr dismissal, but it’s worth reading, and a lot of the comments too.)

As a writer, I know well that THE hardest thing I can make a character do is face his or her cherished, long-held, clutched-to-the-chest-like-Grandma’s-pearls worldview. To question characters’ worldviews (their identity, as author and story consultant Michael Hauge calls it) challenges the very heart and soul of who they have been and offers only an uncertain glimpse into the future of who they might become.

Those characters who can’t accept the challenge have three options:

  1. Be left behind.
  2. Die.
  3. Become villains.

Sucks to be them. No wonder they are so afraid.

Those characters who are willing to face the challenge should be even more afraid. Because they will be hurt. They will find themselves on the run, usually stumbling, probably barefoot, most likely over rocks. Rocks with nails sticking out. Nails coated in salt and lime juice. They will lose whatever they cherish most, including Grandma’s pearls.

Whatever they fear most will inevitably loom up before them. How do I know this? Because it’s in the Author’s Handbook of Torturing Characters, of course.

But in the end, the characters willing to challenge — and change — the flaws and weaknesses in their own beliefs become heroes.

As readers, we demand such fortitude from our fictional characters. I wish we could expect the same from our real-life leaders.


My hero needs hair! (Or maybe not)

Minor emergency! I just realized I haven’t nailed down my hero’s hair style (okay, I said it was minor) and the art fact sheet is due! So, what sort of hair should my dark fey warrior prince have?

Let’s challenge those cover artists! *evil grin*

Here’s a glimpse of Raze the Ruiner from A LITTLE NIGHT MUSE (Steel Born #2):

Swathed in a gray samite robe, his hulking figure was a drear wall, his glare equally gray above cheekbones as whetted as the exposed steel of the athame hanging from his belt. Amongst beings who could conjure any masquerade, his stark presentation seemed a mockery, as if he had never left the Iron Age behind.

That’s all I said about him, but now he gets his own story so I think he needs a bit of a makeover. Oh, he’s still dark (because I love those moody, broody bad boys!) and his world will soon be falling apart around him (because I love to torture those moody, broody bad boys!) but he’s gotta have style!

So what do you think would look best on him?

paranormal romance hero hair

[ETA I forgot to add color! Well, let’s assume dark hair for a dark hero.]

Geek OUT!

So I just watched the preview for the new Star Trek (okay, okay, can I call myself a geek if it took this long for me to find out the trailer was available?) and I’m thinking, is there a way to fly backward around the sun fast enough to move time FORWARD to May 2009 so I can watch this movie now?

Ha, I am SO a geek.


Which also got me thinking, who’d you choose?  Kirk or Spock?  Or Scotty?  Or Sulu (as opposed to Takei)?   Or would you take Enterprise herself?

I’m a Spock girl myself.  Never mind that warp-speed womanizer; give me the tall, dark and brooding one.  Are you allowed to rawr over a Vulcan?

Which also also got me thinking about a post I read from a writer who wants to create the new hero meme.  She wants to move past alpha, past beta (can’t happen fast enough for me), past metro (who’s idea was that anyway?) into the next generation (ha, Trekkie reference there) of male.

What could this new hero be like?  I’m intrigued.