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Showing posts from October 28, 2020

Antagonist - The Novel's Most Important Character?

Antagonists are quite often the most memorable characters in literature. Without them many of the best selling novels of all time would simply cease to exist, their supporting beams cut away, the shell of remaining "story" quietly imploding to ignominy and self-publication. Consider the impact on a scene, any scene, as soon as the author moves the chess piece of antagonist onto the page. The mere presence of a Javert from "Les Misérables," Assef from "The Kite Runner," or Nurse Ratched from "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," immediately energizes the environment. The narrative and dialogue literally crackle and groan with antagonist. What chances do you as a writer have of getting your novel manuscript commercially published,  regardless of genre,  if the story and narrative fail to meet reader demands for sufficient suspense, character concern, and conflict? Answer: none. But what major factor accounts for this debilitating condition

Avoid Bad Writing By Name Authors!

THE SYDNEY SHELDON MISTAKE   Many years ago I stumbled upon a Sydney Sheldon book on the rack at a local grocery store. I picked it up, read a bit, and said to myself: I can write better with my eyes closed. Well, hyperbole or no, there was some truth in that statement. Most likely, the work was not written by Sheldon at all, but some hack ghost brought in by the publisher to poorly imitate Sheldon. Sound implausible? Not at all. Lots of big names are " hyperbranded " these days, i.e., they don't write their own stuff. They are a brand. Others write for them and the original authors simply wave a hand in approval, or nod their mythic head, or something such as that. And btw, yes, I know this is all old news. Regardless, new writers often make the mistake of emulating established authors who have grown lazy, hyperbranded , or just plain crappy over the years. They ape their characters, plots, and even writing styles, then become astonished or even hostile when agents or