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Down the Rabbit Hole with Dangerous Characters

 

Like many writers, I’m convinced that my characters have minds of their own, and they sometimes take me into that twilight zone where nothing goes according to my well-laid plan. It happens like this. First, I become aware that the plot is veering into unmapped territory. It’s never as simple as me changing my mind about where I should take the story line, though that does happen often enough. But this is different. I am no longer the one calling the shots. The character I’m writing about at the moment has hijacked my story. At this point, all I can do is take a deep breath and hold on tight for the wild ride.

 

Then, when my character has my full attention, what he does reveals something about himself that I would have never expected and would be far too timid to write anyway, except I’m no longer left with a choice. Not to write it his way would be dishonest and, frankly, when I actually have such an encounter with a willful character, I’m a little bit frightened of what he might do if I don’t write it his way.

 

I don’t always enjoy it when a character takes me off the map and into the dark. Here be monsters. Besides, I don’t want to see his flaws up close and personal. I suspect that’s because it’s too much a reminder of my own darkness and flaws. But once I’m no longer in control, there’s a shift that happens, and I realize that I’ve been taken deeper down the rabbit hole of my own inner workings than I would ever be brave enough to go on my own. Denial may not be just a river in Egypt, but it’s most definitely a state I’m totally at home in.

 

My characters, however, don’t like denial, and the ones that like it least are the villains. One of the scariest and most unredeemable villains I ever wrote was Terrance Jamison, the baddie in two of the four Executive Decisionsnovels I wrote under the name Grace Marshall. If ever there was a character I wanted to hate, it was him. If ever there was a character I felt uncomfortable with, it was him. And yet, Terrance Jamison also compelled me to feel the same lust and rage toward him as the heroine of the story, Stacie Emerson did in The Exhibition.

 

When she allowed herself to think about that horrible time, it was always with thoughts of what might have been if she could have gotten Zoe away from him, if they could have gone somewhere he couldn’t find them. Strangely, it was his scent that permeated all of her memories of him. Every time she had ever been with him it had surrounded her, practically drowned her; when he held her, when he stroked her hair, when he caressed her. He always smelled like the desert, with everything that was dangerous about it. Everything that was poisonous or desolate or sharp-angled and deadly seemed to seep through his pores in a way that was both dark and compelling. How was it that something as simple as the way someone smelled could elicit such desire, such hope, such terror, such rage? How was it that the scent of the man was the first thing she remembered about him and the last thing that haunted her in her dreams?

 

It was a summer evening, one of those glorious times when daylight lasts forever and you can’t bring yourself to go inside the house. I was ensconced on the patio sipping Malbec and tapping away on my laptop well into the first draft of The Exhibition.I remember distinctly how everything shifted when Terrance Jamison took control. The encounter he forced me to write was not the one I had planned. There was never any question that he had taken over, and none too gently. Jamison didn’t do gently. He didn’t tell me what to write. Instead he dragged me right into the disturbing, uncomfortable thick of it all. Being with Jamison was not an out of body experience; instead it was a little too much in the body for my comfort. And yet I might have been a million miles from my homey little patio in Surrey. When the scene was finished, he left me feeling euphoric, aroused, disturbed and in need of another glass of wine.

 

Here is an excerpt from my time under Terrance Jamison’s influence.

 

When she remembered that night, the night she truly realized just how in over her head she really was, she recalled it with the sounds of sex. Perhaps that was because when she revisited that night in her dreams, she always heard their lovemaking from a long way off – if you could call it lovemaking. It was only much later, too late, that she learned just how cruelly Jamison had used Zoe. In her dreams, she could hear them the moment she entered Zoe’s building. She could hear them in the elevator all the 29 floors to the flat as she road with her heart in her throat, fearing for her friend, wondering why she hadn’t shown up for their dinner meeting, or at least called. Zoe hadn’t been herself since – well, since Jamison came into the picture as more than the distant presence Zoe spoke about from time to time. In her dreams, she heard their moans and gasps as she exited the elevator and walked the interminable distance to Zoe’s front door. In her dreams, the door was always wide open with a view into Zoe’s bedroom, with her naked on the bed, with Jamison on top of her.

 

In reality, she had heard nothing, been aware of nothing, until it was too late. In reality, she feared the worst. So when Zoe had left no messages and not returned her phone calls, when there was no answer at the door, she let herself in with the spare key Zoe had given her. In reality, it was the fact Zoe’s bedroom door was closed that had led her to knock softly, call Zoe’s name, and push the door open, fearing … She wouldn’t have dared name exactly what it was she feared. And looking back, even in dreams, she could never visit that unnamed fear without its true horror being thrust upon her in reality far worse than any of her nightmares. It was the beginning of the end – or at least in her memories that’s how it felt. But in reality, the end had begun the moment Zoe had introduced her to Terrance Jamison, with her still flushed from the excitement, from the glitz and the triumph of her second exhibition.

 

Even after she pushed the bedroom door open it took her a few seconds to make the connection, to figure it all out. At first she saw only a man’s back, a man lying face down on Zoe’s bed. For a split second, she thought someone was assaulting Zoe. It was then she heard the sounds of sex, as though someone had just turned up the volume, as though a tidal wave of noise and smells and connections had washed over her, threatening to drown her. And then she heard Zoe’s yelp of surprise, saw a naked arm shove from under the fully-clothed man, and Zoe called her name.

 

‘Stacie, Jesus, Stacie, I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. I meant to call. Really I did.’

 

It was all so disjointed in her mind, even though at the time every second of it felt like a pinprick to cold skin, so vivid, so powerfully focused.

 

It was then she realized the man was Jamison. He rose from the bed, still wearing that same smile he always wore, as though he owned the world and he were greeting a favorite vassal. She had interrupted their lovemaking and he welcomed her as if he were inviting her to tea at the Ritz. ‘I wasn’t expecting you, Stacie,’ he said. But she knew that he had been. She could see it in his eyes, feel it in the way he looked at her. She was exactly who he was expecting, and it was as though he had forgotten Zoe was even there.

 

‘I’m … I’m sorry. I was worried. I was worried,’ she managed before turning and fleeing. In the back of her mind she could hear Zoe’s voice, high-pitched and thin with words staccato and clipped, the way she always sounded when she was drunk. But her words sounded like gibberish against the hard hammering of Stacie’s pulse in her ears as she fled, feeling mortified and humiliated and other hot prickly things she didn’t want to think about. Then Jamison yelled something that had silenced Zoe. Stacie heard the bedroom door slam with a loud crack, and then he was calling after her.

 

‘Stacie! Stacie, wait!’ He caught her by the arm in the hallway by the door, his grip talon-tight. His white shirt was untucked and unbuttoned to show the mat of hair across his chest that glistened with the heat of arousal. He’d made no attempt to do up his fly, and his erection fought against black boxers. He smelled faintly of whiskey. Mostly he smelled of sex and something else, something that prickled along her skin and made her shiver. He had never been anything but pristine, never been anything but under control, and the sight of him like this frightened her, confused her.

 

‘I’m sorry.’ She forced the words through the desert of her mouth. ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t know.’

 

And then he pulled her to him with such force that she cried out, and he kissed her. It wasn’t a kiss she had ever dreamed of or hoped for. It was a scorched earth kiss that took no prisoners and left no hope for survivors. As fear rose to the surface over lust and confusion, he crushed her hand to his bare belly, his muscles tightening as though she had punched him. He slid her palm down into the tent of his boxers, down over the prickle of pubic hair, and forced her fingers closed around the obscene heft of his erection, the erection he’d elicited by what he had done to Zoe. Before she could utter a sound, he took her mouth again and shoved her hard against the wall, his hand bruising an irresistible path up under her skirt, over the tops of her stockings and into her panties.

 

From her bedroom, Zoe was repeating the same gibberish over and over again like a mantra, like a hypnotic spell. And whenever she remembered that night, Stacie felt as though she might well have been hypnotized or drugged or maybe temporarily insane. Or maybe, she’d hoped against hope, maybe she had only dreamed it.

 

All of it, the noise, the smell, the fevered touch of his body, of his mouth pushing at her until, at some point in an eternity that couldn’t possibly have taken more than minutes, Stacie kissed him back. At some point, she curled her fingers in her hair and cried out in frustration, in confusion, in fear, pushing back, clawing and gripping at him where he still held her hand to his cock. And then he shuddered against her and she felt the warm stickiness of his semen erupt over the tight grip of her fingers, and still he held her. Zoe’s high-pitched mantra became mere background noise as he stroked feverishly between Stacie’s legs and dug thick fingers between her raw folds, grunting to gain his breath, cursing and shoving at her.

 

‘I keep waiting for you and you keep running from me, making excuses,’ he gasped against her ear. ‘So I’ll take what I can get. For now. But I won’t wait much longer. I always get what I want. Always. You should know by now, those are the rules.’ With a nearly painful rub of his thumb, she came in a trapped animal cry that drowned out the high-pitched rhythm of Zoe’s mantra as it clawed its way through her lungs and out of her throat. Then he stepped back, his chest rising and falling spastically, his eyes locked on hers, and that was the first time she ever remembered his eyes joining in the emotions of his face. It was hunger that stared back at her, like he would devour her whole, like she was prey and he had already taken her before she even knew what had happened. He jerked her hand from his boxers and wiped it on the hem of her skirt. With a little kitten cry, she shoved him away and ran out the door.

 

While all of the characters I write, no doubt, represent some part of my psyche, the dark characters, the monster, human and otherwise, are the ones most able to drag me, often kicking and screaming, to places I fear to go. Perhaps that’s why demons and dark passages underground play major roles in my novels. And while those monsters may leave me trembling and disturbed, they never leave me there without new insights into who they are and into who I am.

 

 

Making the Word Flesh

‘The word became flesh and dwelt among us.’

 

No, I’m not waxing Biblical on you this lovely spring day. It’s just that I’ve been thinking about the power of the word. Duh! Writer here. When am I not thinking about the power of the written word?

 

At the moment, I’m still struggling with A Demon’s Tale, the fourth novel in the Medusa Consortium series. Like all the Medusa tales, it’s a big book. In fact what is taking me so long is that almost three quarters of the way through a novel that still needed LOTS more space, I realised that I was trying to write three novels into one. SOOO, I’m now unraveling the three so that A Demon’s Tale will truly be the Guardian’s story. The other two stories are for another time. As I work through this unraveling, occasionally I find myself wondering how we writers can create something out of nothing, from the tiniest seed of an idea. As much as I love a good TV binge, there’s nothing like a good novel – whether you’re reading it or whether you’re writing it. Few things engage the creative process quite like a novel does. In the mind of both the reader and the writer, the word becomes flesh and the world of the story becomes as real as the world we live in … at least if the author has done her job.

 

The very best novels are the ones that pull us in to the point where the writer’s world seems more real to us than our own, to the point that we physically feel the story, not simply take it into our mind. That’s also true for the writing of a tale. Some days the Guardian’s world seems more real to me than my own, and honestly, if I’m not pulled into the story physically, if I don’t feel it in my gut and below, then I can hardly expect my readers to, can I?

 

You see, the thing about being a writer is that we’re entirely self-entertaining. The stories seemingly come out of nowhere, and expand to fill our days, and often our nights and any moment we can spare in our efforts to get them down, in our efforts to create something real. Even when I’m not plopped in front of the computer writing, the story, the characters, the next scene – they’re all going through my head. Some of the best, most creative writing happens when I’m not physically writing at all.

 

If you’ve read the Judeo/Christian creation myth in Genesis, then you know that God simply speaks the world into existence without any seeming order of plan. That’s writing in a nutshell. I have an idea. I shape it enough to anticipate what the ending might be … might be, and then I write and let the story unfold and surprise me.

 

Eeep! I guess I am waxing a bit Biblical, but you have to understand, there’s a whole lot of mythology going on in the Medusa books, and as a lover of myth, how can I not get pulled in and end up contemplating the connections and meanings?

 

While a writer brings her world into existence using nothing but words, she has to do a little more than that with the characters. They can be created with words, but they need life breathed into them, they need chemistry, connection, personality, pasts, flaws, feelings, neuroses and a driving force that’s greater than themselves. The world unpopulated is a lonely and boring place. Let’s just say Magda Gardener’s world is anything but. And there comes a point when I’m not entirely sure if I’m breathing life into my characters of if they’re breathing life into me. And like Adam and Eve, my characters, at some point, become autonomous and don’t always do what I want them to do, what I command them to do. What I discovered early on is that the story only truly takes flight and evolves into something alive and powerful and real when my characters leave the Eden I’ve created for them and step out into the wilderness of flawed humanity. What I am certain of is that my world is brighter, more textured, more three-dimensional because of the characters I’ve created to populate the worlds I’ve written, and especially because they choose free will over my commands. I guess that shouldn’t surprise me, since the stories we writers create are a part of ourselves yet to be discovered and the discovery is absolutely an adventure in creation.

 

Silent Sexual Heritage

I know quite a lot about my heritage. I can tell you that my family all hails from the
British Isles. With family names like Harvey and Mckenzie and given names like Elizabeth and Harold and Charles, that’s no surprise. I can tell you that I inherited my dad’s broad shouldered bone structure and my mom’s mousy brown hair. I inherited my mom’s fear of almost everything, but luckily that fear got balanced out by my dad’s more adventurous nature. And I got both of their fiery tempers, as my husband would tell you. The older I get the more I see my parents in me. That doesn’t always make me happy, but it does make me a little more sympathetic toward them.

 

Then there are the learned behaviors that are also part of my heritage. I grew up drinking iced tea no matter the weather. I still do. I grew up loving the outdoors because we spent so much time out. At the risk of sounding like a Monty Python song, my father was a lumberjack, and he was, for the most part, okay.

 

My parents were already well into middle age when I came along, and I grew up hearing, ‘I’m too old for that’ ad nauseum from both or them. They were of an era when being too old meant you were over thirty, which thinking back at their lives of hard physical labor, was probably more than just an excuse.

 

My sister and I often talked about our physical inheritance, as well as those traits we learned – both loved and hated. Since she was nearly seventeen years older than I, there was a significant difference in our non-physical heritage. What neither of us had any idea about is our sexual heritage. I’m sure a lot of people might cringe at that thought and think TMI. Here’s what I mean. My parents were kinder to each other than many married couples I’ve observed, but when my little friends whispered and giggled and made faces out behind the woodshed about how babies were made, I swore to them they were wrong. My parents would never do anything like that. As I got older, of course, even I had to admit that they surely must have done it three times because there was me and my brother and sister.

 

I understand that people didn’t show THAT kind of affection back in my parent’s day. And I understand that no one ever talked about it. Honestly I would have been mortified if my parents had even tried to give me the talk. Anyway I figured I knew more than they did. While I was rather inexperienced in my younger years, I was well versed in the biology of “doing it.” I’d done a lot of seeking out information when I accidentally discovered masturbation at the ripe old age of eleven. That discovery began my adventure of learning my own body and the pleasure it could give me, pleasure that seemed almost boundless. But I have to admit, I often wondered where I got the tremendous drive toward pleasure. There always seemed to be an underlying sense that sex was nasty, that sex was dangerous. Because no one ever talked about it and because I never knew who it was safe to talk about it with until I was in university, I couldn’t help wondering if I had inherited this crazy secret libido that drove me to want to touch and explore myself, that made me think about sex A LOT, or if I was just an anomaly.

 

I wonder just how many people out there find themselves like me, feeling like a sexual orphan. What I mean by that is the information, the knowledge of love and lust and the major role it plays in all our lives and relationships seems to be as sealed and kept secret as the records in orphanages used to be. So many of us, even now, grow up with absolutely no sexual context and so much shame and fear that we have to try and secretly create a context for ourselves.

 

That makes me wonder if the using of sex to sell, if the blatant sexualization of our culture, if the easy availability of every kind of porn online isn’t all an attempt to create that context. And yet we still seem to fear talking openly about what goes on “down there,” even worse about how it makes us feel, about how it connects us or doesn’t in our most intimate relationships. In spite of sex in films, books, advertising, sports, social media, sex in almost every aspect of our lives, the underlying fear, the shame, the guilt doesn’t seem to have diminished since my parent’s day. And neither has our self-doubt about our bodies, about our own sexual identities.

 

That lack of sexual knowledge, that lack of understanding our bodies, leaves us open and vulnerable to all of the misinformation that’s out there, and there’s a lot! The biggest fear, the one shared over and over again, seems to be the fear that something is wrong with us. Why don’t we feel the way we’re supposed to feel? Why can’t we perform sexually like porn stars, or like in the movies? Why isn’t there fireworks, and why doesn’t the earth move? The shame, the guilt, the fear, the self doubt, it’s still all there. It’s just in nicer packaging with solutions we can discretely buy online that will make us better, that will make us feel like we’re supposed to feel.

 

Looking back, perhaps the true sexual inheritance from my parents, the one that matters most, was that while they never talked about sex, while they were not overtly affectionate toward each other, neither did they ever shame me nor feel they had a right to invade my privacy. My sexual inheritance may well be the space they gave me as an angsty teenager to figure it out. They never felt they had the right or the need to raffle through my belongings, to check up on what I read, to come into my room uninvited. That meant space to explore sex in my own way. Being a bit socially awkward in my high school and university years meant I did most of that exploring alone.

 

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that what I’d learned about my body made the transition quite nicely into sex with someone else. I don’t think my parents understood completely that I was the kind of a child who did discover things on my own if I wanted to know something bad enough. Mostly they just didn’t talk about it. No matter, it worked for me. Later, much later, my mother’s internal editor spent a lot more time off line. As an old woman, wonderfully crotchety and ever so slightly
raunchy when it suited her, she grew past the age of caring what she said. She had stopped looking at me as a child to be protected and started seeing me more as a friend. By that time, in those final years of her life, I was a married woman with a rich sex life of my own, and I was far more demonstrative of my affections toward the son-in-law she adored than she’d ever been toward my dad. It was then that she let a few little spicy tidbits slip into the conversations here and there that made me believe maybe, just maybe I wasn’t an anomaly after all. Maybe I was just my mother’s daughter.

 

Kate Hill Launches Fangs & Fists 3: Victor with a Giveaway

 

♥♥ GiveAway ♥♥

Kate is giving away a $10 Amazon GCduring the tour. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember there is a chance to enter everyday so be sure to follow the Blog Tour. You may find the tour schedule and locations here https://bit.ly/2G1mPye

 

 

About Fangs and Fists 3: Victor:

 

Werewolf gladiator Victor vows to escape captivity by demons or die trying–which nearly happens when his latest opponent takes him by surprise.

 

Jolanda is a member of a secret pack of wolf witches who want to free their kin from the dreaded demon tower. Strengthened by the power of her pack, she defeats Victor in the arena and demands that he be given to her as a mate.

 

Alone, they surrender to their overwhelming lust for each other, but Jolanda needs him for more than sex. She’s been sent to rescue the captive wolves and Victor is the Alpha she needs to help her. Together he and Jolanda plan a mass escape from the tower, hoping to strike a blow the demon masters will never forget.

 

Genres: Dark Fantasy, Futuristic, Paranormal, Romance

 

Buy Fangs & Fists 3: Victor Here:

 

 

*♥*♥*♥*15% off any order when you shop Kate Hill *♥*♥*♥*

Code: Fangs-and-Fists

Will work on the entire cart, as long as there’s one Kate Hill book in the cart.

Only at Changeling Press

 

 

Fangs & Fists 3: Victor Excerpt:

Two demon guards clad in black body armor entered the barracks. Their red eyes glowed behind dark face shields. They approached Victor and one guard said, “Get up and come with us.”

 

All the guards sounded and looked alike. They were even the same height and body structure.

 

Victor knew better than to refuse. There would be no point in fighting, even if he was so inclined.

 

He guessed he would be going to one of two possible places. It would either be the punishment chamber because he’d killed Slate too quickly or — and this was more likely — to the demon masters who had bargained with him to kill for their entertainment.

 

The guards brought Victor out of the barracks and down a steel corridor to an elevator at the end. They boarded it. Except for the soft whir of the elevator descending, there was silence.

 

It stopped with an almost imperceptible lurch. The door opened and Victor, accompanied by the guards, stepped into a spacious room with an enormous glass ball in the center of it. Several couches surrounded it. While the upholstery resembled leather, Victor’s sense of smell told him the couches were covered with material that hadn’t come from any four-legged animal.

 

He’d been in this room before. Here, the demons had bargained with him for the lives of his fellow gladiators, their mates, and their cubs. Here, he’d traded his integrity and his soul for their lives.

 

The guards disappeared into dark corners of the room.

 

Since he had no intention of sitting on the foul furniture, Victor stood near the glass ball and waited.

 

The ball glowed faintly at first. Then it brightened. From within, two demon masters — one male and one female — stared at him. He knew they weren’t actually there. The ball was similar to television. He could see and hear them, but they were far away.

 

The male had ink-black, elbow-length hair. Tall and slim, he was dressed from head to foot in red. The female had short white hair. Her skin was nearly as pale as her form-fitting white dress. Both demons stared at him with black eyes.

 

“Your game has improved, Victor,” said the male, “but I’m afraid you still haven’t mastered the art of performing. Your kills aren’t entertaining enough, but for now that’s beside the point. We haven’t called you here to critique your style, but for another reason.”

 

“We have something special planned for you,” the female continued. “There’s a new contender in the tower — one who has seen you fight and wishes to face you in the arena.”

 

 

Other Books in the Fangs and Fists Series:

 

 

 

Fangs and Fists 1: Bolt Buy Links:

 

 

 

 

 

Fangs and Fists 2: Grit Buy Links:

 

 

 

About Kate:

The child of a painter and a psychic dreamer, Kate Hill feels spirituality and storytelling go hand-in-hand. She loves the scent of gardenia, the sound of wind chimes and the taste of honey. By listening to what isn’t said, she creates works based on unspoken desires. Kate prefers blurred gender lines and many varieties of romance. In a world where passion must at times be restrained, she believes erotica is a pleasure to be shared. With her stories she would like to make her fantasies yours and hopes you enjoy the ride. She also writes under the name Saloni Quinby. Please visit her online at:

 

 

 

 

Stuck and What Comes After

Like most writers, my first thought of being stuck is always in relation to my work, though I seldom get writers’ block. While I do have a lot of unfinished stories, most have been tucked away because I had other more pressing projects, or the energy just wasn’t there for them at the time. Some get finished, some don’t. Others have evolved into something else entirely or have been cannibalized by still other stories. Even if I am stuck in some part of a story with a plot logjam, almost always a good long walk will help me figure out what to do to move forward.

 

But being stuck in story is another animal entirely. Stuck is the starting place for a lot of great novels. When I got to thinking about it, it seems to me that stuck is the starting place for most archetypal stories. It certainly is the starting place of the hero’s journey, which is the ultimate story plot, because stuck is quite possibly the scariest place of all — standing on a cliff with toes curled over the edge oblivious to the peril.

 

Stuck often takes the form of the perfect life, the ideal happy-ever-after being lived out day to day. While in the real world, that may be what we dream of and hope for, in fiction, there’s the reason why the happy ending is, in fact, the end of the story. What comes after the happy ending, from a reader’s perspective, is boring.

 

The subtext of happy ever after beginnings is “hold on to your hats, shit’s about to get real.” Our hero or heroine is stuck, and they are about to get unstuck in a really brutal, horrible way. In happy at the beginning stories, spouses die, are murdered, run off with someone else, kids are kidnapped or killed, great wealth is suddenly lost, in fact everything that matters is lost. That shattering point of becoming unstuck is where the story really begins. It is the being kicked out of Eden that we readers have been waiting for. Living the good life does not make for interesting reading unless maybe in a how-to book.

 

The second kind of stuck in story happens when the main character is truly stuck in a rut, same old same old, bored now, want out. This kind of stuck involves the hero or heroine of the story wishing something would change, wishing they were anywhere or anyone else. They are waiting, desperately waiting, for their life to begin. The story starts when they get their wish, and it turns out to be way more of a challenge than they bargained for. They are well on the path to discovery and adventure that will change them forever, if it doesn’t kill them first. It’s only at that point we readers have a story worth reading. And that’s the point at which we writers strive to make readers willing and happy to take that leap with our characters.

 

Whether the character is happy with his life and then loses everything or is bored with his life and then has change thrust upon him, the story can now begin. Enter chaos!

 

While stuck is the jumping-off place from which the real story begins, once that happens, it’s chaos that rules the day. Nothing is easy, nothing is orderly, nothing is safe. The driving force of the story is the mess that keeps getting messier and messier until the hero or heroine muddles their way through and out on the other side to their happy ever after, or at least their happy for now. At that point, there are two choices for the writer. Either consider the tale finished and write THE END, or make a sequel that tears away the stuckness of a happy ever after and cast the poor hapless character back into chaos for round two.

I wonder sometimes if, for the “bored now” characters, stuck is hard to endure because stuck isn’t the natural state of things.  For those characters basking in their happy lives, there’s always a neurotic dose of waiting for the other shoe to drop. Either way, stuck doesn’t last because life is in flux, and everything about it is in
motion. Nothing stands still for very long. The journey is cyclical, not static, and moving from stillness into chaos and back again is as much the shape of our natural journey as it is the shape of an interesting story. That being the case, it’s not surprising that readers love to live that journey vicariously, magnified, larger than life. And we writers love to write it for the very same reason. We see ourselves in that cycle, and on some level, even from the safe distance of story, we feel right at home.

 
© 2018 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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