ARIEL TACHNA’S OUTLAST THE NIGHT AND GIVEAWAY

OutlasttheNightLGOffice manager Sam Emery is unemployed and out of luck. When his emotionally abusive wife demands a divorce, he contacts the one person he has left, his brother, Neil. He doesn’t expect Neil to reject him, but he also doesn’t expect the news of his divorce—and of his sexuality—to be met with such acceptance.

Neil takes Sam to Lang Downs, the sheep station Neil calls home. There, Sam learns that life as a gay man isn’t impossible. Caine and Macklin, the station owners, certainly seem to be making it work. When Caine offers Sam a job, it’s a dream come true.

Jeremy Taylor leaves the only home he’s ever known when his brother’s homophobia becomes more than he can bear. He goes to the one place he knows he will be accepted: Lang Downs. He clicks with Sam instantly—but the animosity between Lang Downs and Jeremy’s home station runs deep, and the jackaroos won’t accept Jeremy without a fight. Between Sam’s insecurity and Jeremy’s precarious position, their road will be a hard one—and that’s without having to wait for Sam’s divorce to be final before starting a new life together.

Excerpt:

Threedays later, Neil met his brother Sam at the bus station in Yass. The lines of stress and worry on his brother’s face made him frown. “You look like shit.”

“Good to see you too, arsehole,” Sam replied, hugging Neil more tightly than necessary.

“Come on,” Neil said, grabbing Sam’s sole suitcase. “Let’s get out of here. We’ve got a long drive ahead of us. Or do you want to eat something first?”

“How long?”

“Five hours or so,” Neil said, “and most of that is through the tablelands, where there’s nowhere to stop if you get hungry. I can shout you lunch, here or in Boorowa in an hour or so, if you don’t think you can wait until we get home.”

“Lunch would be good,” Sam admitted. “I… haven’t been eating well.”

Neil had noticed how gaunt Sam looked, but this confirmed it. “Kami, the station’s cook, will get you sorted in no time, but for now we can go to the Yass Hotel. It’s nothing fancy, but it’ll fill you up.”

“What about that one?” Sam asked, pointing to a small restaurant across from the bus station.

“We don’t eat there,” Neil said, his voice cold. “One of our jackaroos nearly got killed there last spring, and nobody lifted a finger to help him. His brother had to come running to the hotel for help.”

“In a town this size?”

“They didn’t take well to him being a poofter,” Neil explained.

Sam didn’t reply. Neil gritted his teeth when he saw the tense look on Sam’s face. He didn’t want to fight with his brother, especially when he was down and out, but Sam was going to have to keep his opinions to himself. Neil wouldn’t tolerate slurs against Caine and Macklin from his brother any more than he would from any of the other jackaroos on Lang Downs.

“So tell me about the station,” Sam said once they’d reached the Yass Hotel and had ordered lunch. “I mean, I know it’s kind of remote and I know you raise sheep, but that’s as far as it goes.”

“That’s about all there is to tell,” Neil said. “I told you about Molly when we got engaged. Everything else is pretty much what you’d expect from a station. Well, except Caine. He’s a Yank. He owns the station.”

“How did that happen?”

“His great-uncle founded the station. When he died, it passed to Caine’s mum in the States, but she’s not young and wasn’t going to move here to run it, so Caine came. Last year at Christmas, she gave it to him outright. You know, I bet he could use a hand figuring out all the paperwork, taxes and shit. He’s got a head for business, but he’s still a Yank. You could keep your hand in.”

“If he’ll let me help,” Sam said with a sigh.

“Why wouldn’t he?” Neil asked. “You lost your job because the owners retired. You weren’t fired or laid off or anything like that. It’s not your fault you couldn’t find a new job.”

Sam shrugged. “He sounds like a good bloke. Is he married?”

Neil choked on his beer. He’d been hoping to put off this conversation until later, but short of lying, he didn’t see a way around it. “Last time I checked, two blokes can’t get married here. Macklin’s name is on the deed, though, and he moved out of the foreman’s house and into the big house a year ago, so I figure that’s close enough.”

“You work for a gay couple?”

“Sam, you’re my brother and I love you, but if this is going to be a problem, you need to tell me now so I can get you a hotel room in Yass.”

“No, it’s not a problem,” Sam said quickly. “I’m just surprised. We didn’t exactly grow up in a tolerant house.”

Neil shrugged. “Caine saved my life and nearly died doing it. And he did it after I found out he was gay and said every nasty thing I could think of to him. He’s earned my loyalty.”

The arrival of their food forestalled Sam’s reply, and he ate with such gusto that Neil didn’t press for more of a reaction. He wasn’t in the mood to listen to all the homophobic bullshit he’d grown up with. He was a different man now, a better one, he hoped. If Sam could just give Caine and Macklin a chance, he’d see they deserved his respect.

They finished eating and headed north toward Boorowa. “Do you need anything?” Neil asked. “Supplies of any kind? Once we leave Boorowa, there’s nowhere to stop.”

“No, I’m fine,” Sam said. “Alison let me keep everything of mine.”

“One suitcase?” Neil responded.

“I left some stuff with friends,” Sam said. “I didn’t figure I’d need suits on the station.”

“No, you won’t,” Neil agreed. “So tell me. What happened with you and Alison? Last time I saw you, I thought you were happy.”

“She wanted someone with a job, and I wanted…. It doesn’t matter what I wanted. She wanted out, and I’m not going to fight her.”

“Is there someone else?” Neil asked.

“I didn’t ask her,” Sam said.

“What about you?”

“No one that matters.”

“You slept around and it didn’t even mean anything? That’s low, Sam.”

“It wasn’t like that,” Sam insisted. “I….”

“You what, Sam?”

“I married her because it’s what Mum and Dad expected. I didn’t feel like I had a choice, and at least I liked Alison. We got along well enough, but that’s it. I never really loved her. I don’t know if she loved me, but she doesn’t anymore, and I’m fine with that. Dad’s gone. He can’t be disappointed in me now, so it doesn’t matter anymore.”

“What are you talking about? Why would you marry Alison if you didn’t love her? You could have found someone else.”

“You already said it,” Sam said. “It’s not legal for two blokes to get married.”

“You’re gay? Why didn’t you say something?” The words were out before Neil could consider them, the only thing he could think of to say in the wake of such surprising news. Sam had been married! Neil had never dreamed his brother might be gay.

Sam shot him a look of such incredulity that Neil flushed. “Sorry, that was stupid. Of course you didn’t say anything while Dad was alive, but you still didn’t have to get married. I didn’t. Not until I met the right girl.”

“Yeah, but you aren’t gay. You might not have met the right girl, but you knew you would someday. I didn’t have that, and you were gone. You didn’t have to listen to him constantly after you left, going on and on about the family name and being a man and getting married and having children. Thank God Alison and I decided to wait to have kids.”

“Did she know about you?”

“Not when we got married. After I lost my job and couldn’t find another one, things got… tense at home. Money was tight. I felt like a failure for living off her income. We fought all the time. We agreed to a trial separation nine months ago, with her helping me out with the rent, but I think that was almost worse, because she was supporting me completely. I wanted to feel good. I wanted to spend a few hours with someone who didn’t make me feel worthless.”

“So you did what? Hooked up with some random guys?”

“Yeah, pretty much,” Sam said. “It was stupid. I knew it when I did it, but it felt good too. They didn’t care that I didn’t have a job. They didn’t care that I was in the closet. They just cared that I’d let them do whatever they wanted to me. Alison kept on about getting a new job, always threatening to stop paying my rent if I didn’t get my act together. She actually had a lead on one, but it was with a cousin of hers, and he made it pretty obvious he’d only be hiring me out of pity. I turned down the job and told her I’d find somewhere else to live. There’s no way I could go back to that.”

“I wish I’d known,” Neil said. “I’d have tried to make it easier for you.”

“There’s nothing you could have done,” Sam said. “I had to fuck up to see how bad off I was.”

“So what now?”

“Now nothing,” Sam said. “I won’t fight Alison for anything when we can finally file for divorce in three months. She gets the house, the car, everything, because she’s paid for most of it, and I don’t want the black mark on my name if I ever get a lead on a job somewhere that might care if I’m gay.”

“There’s not a lot of opportunity for anonymous sex, gay or straight, on the station,” Neil warned. “There’s a couple of other jackaroos who are gay besides Caine and Macklin, but Chris and Jesse are shacked up, and the others will be leaving when the season is over in a few weeks.”

“So I’ll do without,” Sam said with a shrug. “It won’t be the first time.” He hesitated, then added, “I got enough of faceless fumbling this year. I’d rather do without until I can meet someone. I know that probably won’t happen on the station, and really, starting a relationship before I’m even divorced would be stupid, but I’d rather do without than feel like a cheap trick again.”

“I thought you said it made you feel good?”

“The sex, yes. Afterward, no,” Sam explained. “I don’t imagine you want details.”

“Not really,” Neil said with a grimace. “I might not let anyone say anything about Caine and Macklin, but I don’t need to know what goes on in their bedroom. Same goes for you.”

Sam’s smile was the most genuine Neil had seen since he’d picked his brother up at the bus station.

“Thank you.”

Did you enjoy the excerpt? Make your comments below and stand a chance to win a giveaway!!!

Meet the Author Ariel Tachna

Advertisements

Blog Tour: MEET ARIEL TACHNA

Tour Badge

Building Lang Downs

Writing a novel is a complicated business. Don’t believe me? Ask anyone who’s ever tried it. Writing a series is even worse. When you write a novel, you’ve got a cast of people to keep track of, and all of them, even the smallest throwaway role, has a story. Maybe you don’t tell it, but it’s there. When you write a series, you double, triple, maybe even quadruple that, and that’s when you start the second book, much less the third or the *cough*eighth*cough*.

The Lang Downs series isn’t that long, and probably won’t be. I’d thought four books. Now it’s looking like five, possibly six, but they’re all set in the same place, and that means keeping all the details straight. Different people use different strategies, of course, but I like to start with the places people live. They say so much about the person even beyond the obvious. The “big house” in Lang Downs wasn’t Caine or Macklin’s house at the beginning of Inherit the Sky. It was Michael Lang’s house, so it had to represent him, with its comfortable but out of date, slightly threadbare furniture. When we see it again in Chase the Stars, though, it’s begun to represent Caine and Macklin: still comfortable, but new… fresh even, a mirror of the breath of fresh air that Caine brought to the station. The building hasn’t changed, but the furniture has, and that’s their influence. When Sam arrives in Outlast the Night, we see it even more in the office that Sam takes over from Caine. Macklin won’t even let me write his scenes sitting at a computer. It has to be in a notebook and typed later. You know that shiny new computer in Caine’s office wasn’t Macklin’s idea!

I’m not an artist, so you don’t want to see my rendering of the layout of the station, but I have a very rough sketch showing where things are in the valley in relationship to each other. The valley runs east to west with the eastern end a little farther north than the western end. There’s a road running into the center of the station from the western end of the valley. It doesn’t go all the way through, though, because the eastern end is too steep to drive. The bunkhouse is the first building you get to when you drive in on the road. The houses of the year-round jackaroos are scattered along the north side road, with the big house and the foreman’s house on the south side. The road ends at the shearing sheds and paddocks.

Here’s the real question then: does it matter?

Yes. Unequivocally yes. You won’t find the description above anywhere in the three books. Nobody wants to read that. It’s not interesting and it doesn’t add to the movement of the story.

Wait… I just said it mattered and then I said nobody wants to read it. No, I promise I haven’t lost it completely. They don’t want to read that description because it doesn’t add anything to the story, but knowing that, having that map in my head allows me to put things in the story that do add to it and not have to worry about contradicting myself later. Everyone who comes out of the big house going to the bunkhouse turns left. Everyone coming out of the canteen going to the paddocks turns right. Details like that matter because if they’re inconsistent, readers will notice. They start to build a picture in their heads of the setting of the story and even more when it’s a familiar setting from a previous story, and having those details consistent keeps them from being jerked out of the story and getting confused.

Wouldn’t it be a shock to the system if Neil left the foreman’s house intending to go to the shearing sheds and ended up walking in on his brother and Jeremy instead?

Read about my latest release Outlast the Night and enjoy the excerpt and stand a chance to win in the giveaway.

Ariel Tachna bio picAuthor Bio:

Ariel Tachna lives outside of Houston with her husband, her daughter and son, and their cat.  Before moving there, she traveled all over the world, having fallen in love with France, where she met her husband, and India, where she hopes to retire some day.  She’s bilingual with snippets of four other languages to her credit and is as in love with languages as she is with writing.

Web site: http://www.arieltachna.com

Blog: http://arieltachna.livejournal.com

Twitter: @arieltachna

Facebook: http://tiny.cc/29npd

To purchase my books, you can always go to Dreamspinner’s web site, http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com  or you can go to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance eBooks, Fictionwise, or Rainbow eBooks, http://www.rainbowebooks.com/store/.  I’m sure there are probably other eBook outlets as well, but I don’t go searching for them.  Also, if you want to buy the book in print, any bookstore that allows special orders can order the book for you with the title and my name.

Book Grow… the best promoting tool for Indie Authors?

verticalHi All!

I hope you are all having a fabulous month.

Wow! the year is really moving! It will be 2014 in no time. Hope you’ve all began ticking off your 2013 bucket list and resolutions 😛

Mine is to get my books noticed more by the reading public.

I just wanted to share this post about Book Grow. Most of the sites I’ve used have not really helped get my books exposure, but I keep pushing forward. As a requirement to get listed in Book Grow, I have to write something about them, all I know is that they offer a number of services to authors to help write, edit, review etc, but I have no personal experience and I am not one to vouch for something I’ve never tried. So I picked a few testimonies from authors who have used the services of this site and hopefully I’ll include my own very soon.

BookGrow has helped catapult four of my books into the top 100 free Kindle chart within 24 hours. My residual sales are huge now!

-Bill Dodd

The Free Book Submission Tool is a godsend. Book submissions used to take me nearly all day and now I can run them all in about 15 minutes. Awesome service. Thanks 🙂

-Samantha Crooms

Using the tools and exchanging likes, reviews and tags on the forum has increased my Kindle revenue by 600%! I recommend BookGrow to all indie authors.

-Lucy Armstong

kdpslide2-768x712

I hope these testimonies were enough to make you consider Book Grow for the promoting and writing services. I’ll let you know what I think once I get listed.

I f you have anything to share about Book Grow please share with us!

Tips for Writer’s Block

Okay guys, I’ve got something interesting for you (writers) if you are feelinf sick (from writer’s block). I hear it’s exactly what the doctor ordered and what I desperately need 😛

It’s an article on how to deal with writer’s block with all the appropriate links to easy breathing from Fiction Writing

Enjoy!!

1. implement a writing schedule

Carve out a time to write and then ignore the writer’s block. Show up to write, even if nothing comes right away. When your body shows up to the page at the same time and place every day, eventually your mind — and your muse — will do the same. Graham Greene famously wrote 500 words, and only 500 words, every morning. Five hundred words is only about a page, but with those mere 500 words per day, Greene wrote and published over 30 books.

2. Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself.

In fact, don’t be hard on yourself at all while writing. Anna Quindlin wrote, “People have writer’s block not because they can’t write, but because they despair of writing eloquently.” Turn the critical brain off. There is a time and place for criticism: it’s called editing.

3. Think of Writing as a Regular Job, and Less as an Art.

Stephen King, a famously prolific author, uses the metaphor of a toolbox to talk about writing in On Writing, intentionally linking it to physical work. If we think of ourselves as laborers, as craftsmen, it’s easier to sit down and write. We’re just putting words on the page, after all, one beside another, as a bricklayer puts down bricks. At the end of the day, we’re just creating things — stories, poems, or plays — only we use vocabulary and grammar instead of bricks and mortar.

4. Take Time Off If You’ve Just Finished a Project.

Writer’s block could be a sign that your ideas need time to gestate. Idleness can be a key part of the creative process. Give yourself time to gather new experiences and new ideas, from life, reading, or other forms of art, before you start again.

5. Set Deadlines and Keep Them.

Many writers, understandably, have trouble doing this on their own. You might find a writing partner and agree to hold each other to deadlines in an encouraging, uncritical way. Knowing that someone else is expecting results helps many writers produce material. Writing groups or classes are another good way to jump-start a writing routine.

6. Examine Deep-Seated Issues Behind Your Writer’s Block.

Write about your anxieties regarding writing or creativity. Talk to a friend, preferably one who writes. A number of books, such as The Artist’s Way, are designed to help creative people explore the root causes of their blocks. (Studying the lives of other writers can also provide insight into why you’re blocked.) If your writer’s block continues, you might seek counseling. Many therapists specialize in helping artists and writers reconnect with their creativity.

7. Work on More Than One Project at a Time.

Some writers find it helpful to switch back and forth from one project to another. Whether this minimizes fear or boredom, or both, it seems to prevent writer’s block for many people.

8. Try Writing Exercises.

As much as it may remind you of your high school writing class, writing exercises can loosen up the mind and get you to write things you would never write otherwise. If nothing else, they get words on the page, and if you do enough of that, some of it is bound to be good.

9. re-consider your writing space

Are your desk and chair comfortable? Is your space well-lit? Would it help to try writing in a coffee shop for a change? Without being too precious about it — or turning it into another form of procrastination — think about how you can create or find a space you’ll look forward to being in.

10. Remember Why You Started to Write in the First Place.

Look at what you’re writing and why. Are you writing what you love, or what you think you should be writing? The writing that feels most like play will end up delighting you the most, and this is the writing your readers will instinctively connect with. At the end of the day, writing is too hard to do it for anything other than love. If you continue to touch base with the joy you first felt in writing, it will sustain you, not only through your current block, but through whatever the future holds.

Author Update

Hi guys! I have four updates this week.

1. Editing on FATAL JEALOUSY is finally done, now it’s just the release. 3rd january 2013, don’t forget! (http://christinasbooksblog.wordpress.com/fatal-jealousy/)

2. Sometime back I responded to th

e complaints about the errors in STAR BRIGHT and i promised I would look into it. I have. The only changes I made was placing indicators for the scene changes. I’ll be handing in the revised script to my editor, so i hope this makes us friends again 🙂

3. On other project news, I have two chapter left to finish the second book of the regency romance SLAVE BOUND series A LADY UNBECOMING (http://christinasbooksblog.wordpress.com/slave-bound/a-lady-unbecoming/) and it’s shaping up quite nicely. Lydia is the one of all the four siblings who has a lot of growing to do. And with everything going wrong in her life, i can’t wait to give her a happy ending.

4. I’ve put up a preview of THE FATE SERIES on my blog http://christinasbooksblog.wordpress.com/fate-series/ and I call it THE BEGINNING. it’s Ashat’s story, before he became a werewolf and how he ended up becomng one. in law we call it a chain of causation and it begins with the preview. The publisher for this series, Wheelman Press, think it would be a great idea to give the readers a preview and a video before the first book is released so… here it is.

5. Also from the FATE SERIES, I’m rewriting the third book FATE UNCHANGED (http://christinasbooksblog.wordpress.com/fate-series/fate-unchanged/) it doesn’t feel finished to me and i hope i’ll get it done before the publisher comes calling.

Finally…. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!! and i hope you all have a cherished time with your loved ones.

Character Creation

Here is another helpful post on building characters from the website Men with Pens.

The Spark of Creation

Everyone has their own process for creating characters. In gaming, character sheets that use points or numbers to determine skill levels and abilities are common. In fiction writing, authors may build complex Black Books for each character. Others might just have a general idea of their character.

The character sheets used for gaming offer a good opportunity to finding the perfect middle ground between more than vague and less than complex. A basic character sheet goes a long way in helping you flesh out your character concept to create a living, breathing character you’ll want to play every day.

Inspiration is all around you – all you have to do is open yourself up to it. Here are some ways to begin building a character for your novel, your story or for our creative writing game:

Get a Good Name

Names often have very strong associations for people. I absolutely love some names because they remind me of people I’ve liked in the past. Some names invoke an emotion or a feeling.

Be careful though – Some names make you want to cringe. Some are just silly. Some… well. Put some thought into what your character’s name will be.

Listen to a Great Song

Song lyrics are very powerful. They evoke mood and emotion. They also help to set a scene in your mind. Maybe when you hear a certain song you think of a specific individual or can picture the kind of person that would have that song as a theme.

Watch a Movie; Read a Book

Actors and characters in books also give you ideas for your own characters. The way a person looks, acts or might behave in real life could start you on a concept.

Love Gladiator? What about a character with the same values? Love Julia Roberts? Maybe your character smiles the same way or laughs just as openly.

Who Are You?

Now that you have a general idea what your character looks like or how he or she behaves and moves, you have to decide who this person is. This is your character concept. It’s a teaser. It should be easy to state in one or two sentences.

For example, John Doe left his home in Montana to find his missing brother who mysteriously disappeared. John feels responsible for keeping the family together and will do anything to make that happen.

A couple of simple lines provides a wealth of information for building the rest of the character’s personality, strengths and weaknesses. It also leaves room for development and potential storylines.

The Character Sheet

Is your character a computer genius? What level of education has he completed? Is he good at fixing things? Can he drive? Does he have any vices? What are his personal strengths? Everyday things we take for granted go into your character – because one day, he may need to use those skills.

Some other aspects of a character to consider are:

  • Family and friends (names of parents, siblings, spouses, and close friends)
  • Occupation
  • Social status
  • Financial background
  • Pet peeves
  • Date and place of birth
  • Appearance
  • Greatest achievement/failure
  • Hopes and fears

The list is practically endless. Get as detailed as you want. Real people have many facets, and so should your character.

How Did I Get Here?

The next thing to decide is how your character arrived at where he is now. For example, our upcoming creative writing game is set in a fictional town called Reckon located in the Lake Tahoe area of Nevada.

People from all lifestyles pass through Lake Tahoe. Vacationers, con artists, the rich and famous, the poor and notorious… they arrive there for a reason, even if that reason is just wanderlust. How did your character get to where he is?

This is your prelude. Every character has a history. It’s up to you to fill in those details for a rich character with a full life story to share.

Introductions

Now it’s time for introductions. Characters don’t just stand up and say, “Here I am!” The author introduces them to readers in some way.

Character introductions tend come about in two ways: Through the author’s introduction to the reader by describing the scene that includes the character and his thoughts, or through meeting other characters.

Once the work is done, you get to start having fun – you may already be having fun by now. Personally, I find the process of creating characters to be the best part, and I take weeks to do it.

Exploring a new character is like meeting a new friend. Take your time. Enjoy it. As the saying goes, the fun is in the journey, not the destination.

Writing Tips… Developing your Characters

Hi guys, hope you are all having a lovely November. Now that my exams are over, I’m dedicating all my time to writing. To write a great book, one that hooks a reader an author needs to always have his/her tools polished. Learning how to write an engaging and captivating story is a lesson that never comes to an end.

So I went surfing the internet to look up a few tips and found 9 that were very helpful from blogger Jason Black ‘the book doctor’ who is a freelance editor. Check them out. I hope they are as helpful to you as they were to me.

*Click on the links for extended explanation

 

Show Some Character!

Do you know the right way to use backstory?* Because a lot of writers don’t. It’s easy to get seduced by your excitement over the characters you’ve created, and in your zeal to share with the reader, dump a lot of plodding backstory into the novel in ways that kill the pacing and the intrigue. This article talks about using backstory to support and build your novel’s mysteries.

Drive a stake through your character’s heart.* If you’re writing a vampire novel, you may or may not want to take that literally. In this article, I don’t mean it literally, but rather, I show a technique for raising the stakes in your novel by challenging a character’s assumptions about who they are: an identity crisis may suck in real life, but it can do wonders to elevate a novel.

Do you know an inner character arc from an outer one?* The typical outer character arc is all about characters changing and growing by learning from the events of a novel. But there’s another kind of character arc, the inner kind, which stems from resolving differences in the perceptions that characters have about each other.

Do your characters’ flaws work on more than one level?* The tragically flawed hero or heroine is a workhorse element of much fiction. As readers, we like to see characters who aren’t too perfect, because we can empathize with them better. But as a writer, are you taking advantage of your characters’ flaws to enhance the drama in your plot as well?

Don’t forget to revise your characters too* After National Novel Writing Month wrapped up, I wrote about a series of techniques you can apply while revising your novel to strengthen your characters. This series covers everything from speech patterns and mannerisms to deep issues of motivation and goals. Characters are the soul of fiction, so it pays to make them as vivid and lifelike as you can.

Do you know the real reason not to use passive voice?* Most of us have our first, formative writing experiences in school, where we learn to use the passive voice to put the emphasis on the facts we’re conveying rather than on ourselves. But when we begin to write fiction, passive voice becomes the kiss of death. Not because it hides the author from the reader, but because it hides your characters from the reader.

Are your characters falling through gaps in your writing?* Nearly everything in a novel reflects in some way on the characters. In this article, I show how characters can be damaged quite unintentionally by the gaps between scenes and chapters in a novel, and teach you how to build bridges over those gaps for your characters to cross.

Hook ‘em with character* Every novel needs a good hook. You have to grab the reader’s attention and get them interested in what happens next. Plot-oriented hooks can be quite effective, but they’re not the whole story. Character-oriented hooks are quite powerful as well. In this article, I explain how a great hook shows character through conflict.

The five stages of grief* Number one for the year is this article about the five stages of grief model of emotional response. Nothing makes a character come across as wooden and unbelievable faster than when their emotional responses aren’t believable, and nothing kills a novel faster than when this happens at a moment of high drama. You can fix both by getting the emotions right, and in this article I show a template for creating believable, compelling emotional responses for the most dramatic moments in a novel: when bad things happen.

Source of article Plot to Punctuation