Showing posts from March, 2019

Characters' Hot Buttons: What Drives Them Crazy?

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at Some people drive me a bit crazy. Yes, I know, I'm not supposed to admit that, but I'm human. We don't all get along. Each of us has buttons people push. Some people push them on purpose, some by accident, some have no clue that their actions push not only ours, but a lot of people's buttons. I'm trying to not let someone trigger mine today, and it occurred to me that book characters have the same issue. Do you know who pushes your characters' buttons? Scenes with button pushing can be fun to write, more importantly, they're interesting to read. Which characters push your protagonist's buttons? The antagonist should push the buttons of the protagonist, but we expect that. Other people will do it too. Readers like to read about  interactions between people. This means some people will always push your protagonist's buttons and others will do it in certain situations. Wh

Writing Your First Novel: When Do I Get Feedback?

Courtesy of After last week's post, The Unexpected:  4 Questions to Enhance Conflict in Your Story , I received a message from a fellow writer.  She had written eighty pages of her first novel. Successful with poetry and short stories, she wasn’t sure how to handle something much larger. It occurred to me that the two questions she posed might be similar to questions others writers ask, so I thought I’d share her questions and my response. This is not verbatim, but the information is the same. Question 1 I have a fiction writing group, but it will take 2 years to get their feedback on my novel with them. Should I seek beta readers now, sharing the chapters as I write, or wait till I have a whole first draft? I’d like to correct myself now,  but I know it will go through a lot of revisions. What do you suggest? Question 2 Do you use grammar-checking software or can you recommend any? I can spot issues in others’ writing but would like something tha

The Unexpected: 4 Questions to Enhance Conflict in Your Story

© Barbara V. Evers, All rights reserved. A weird thing happened to me a week ago. While following the prompts of the after-hours line of a doctor's office, my phone called someone else. It went like this: To leave a message for the on-call doctor press 6. I pressed 6 A phone started ringing A man answered:  Hello? Me:  Um, I'm trying to reach Dr. Beard? (Had I gotten a direct connection to the doctor?) The man:  I'm sorry, you have the wrong number. Me:  You aren't part of the hospital system? (Had the phone system forwarded my call to someone else related to the hospital where his office is located?) The man: No. This is a personal number. Me:  Weird. I was following the prompts, and then you answered. (I'm wasting this man's time, but I'm trying to understand what happened.) The man:  Sorry. That's not me. I thought the voice sounded familiar, but, out of context, I couldn't figure out why. Later, I discovered my phone