Descriptions for heat levels in book list

------holding hands, perhaps a gentle kiss
♥♥ ---- more kisses but no tongue-- no foreplay
♥♥♥ ---kissing, tongue, caressing, foreplay & pillow talk
♥♥♥♥ --all of above, full sexual experience including climax
♥♥♥♥♥ -all of above including coarser language and sex more frequent

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What If and If what

 When writing a story where there is some kind of dilemma, there are two ways to look at it-- what if-- or if what? It might seem they say the same thing but they do not and how a character approaches problem solving will be part of how the reader goes along sympathetically and with interest or gets turned off totally. Let's put it another way-- it's when I get turned off.

To expand my meaning a bit further-- What if we did this? Or if what happened hadn't happened...

It's easier  with a few more words to see the issue of how there are two ways of looking at any situation. If only it hadn't happened gets us nowhere, because it did. How can we use it, that is what moves us forward. It's hard not to do an 'if what' now and then. Characters aren't perfect either and basically should have the same flaws the rest of us have. Although if they truly did, why did we bother reading their stories?

If a character is consistently looking backward, I think the reader quickly gets bored with them. Secondary characters might do this to form a counterpoint but the main character? Not so much.

So you have a hero such as where I am currently editing on his story and he knows he had a bum deal when they passed out parents. Born to a whore in a brothel, with no idea who his father might've been as there were many possibilities, then his mother dies of tuberculosis when he's still a small child. The whores weren't the golden angels of the history books or fiction. They were as cruel as they had been treated (more like those who have been downtrodden hence tread on others).

Take this hero, who is an adult when the story begins, and have him spend the rest of the book whining over his tough lot in life and tell me how well the story would go? How well would his life?

The truth is how you see those two words-- what if and if what-- will determine a lot of how you see solutions to life. What if I did this and then that would improve things looks forward. Or if what happened, had not, I'd be a different person.

I'm not one who looks back a lot in life (not on the good or the bad), and I don't want to spend a book writing about a character who does. I know of famous books where the main character does exactly that, is terrible and you hate that person all the way through the book-- if you bother to finish it. No way am I going to spend the months it takes to write a book (years even) with that kind of person. I have a life also that I want to make good.

When I write about a hero and heroine, they might start with flaws, but they are going to work on them as it's what I think life should be about. Move forward and change what needs to be changed. Whining is only good for the first day (okay, sometimes longer), but after that, the emotionally healthy person starts thinking-- what if I did this or that? How can I change this? So does a healthy character.