she has written us a guest post
Thank you Annabelle!
It has come to my attention, recently, that people don't like honesty. They just...don't. Now, don't get me wrong. No one likes to be told their new hair cut looks terrible, or the dinner they made tastes like Cream of Creature, or that yes, those jeans do, in fact, make their butt look big. That type of honesty falls into the “if you don’t have something nice to say” category. It’s the honesty of life, of our day to day behaviors and of ourselves, that sends us running for the hills.
It’s apparent every day how heavily people avoid honesty. Lying to hide our true selves isn’t only considered polite, it’s an epidemic of systemic proportions. Examples of this run rampant though social media. How many of your Facebook friends posted status updates today about the perfection of their house/job/children/spouse? Unending happiness and perfection are the expected facade for American culture. Any move to upend these mores is often met with resistance, if not anger and distain.
As a writer, your job is to scratch, claw, and dig into the ugly and raw parts of a story and its characters. Even if you’re writing the most unrealistic SciFi book in the most outlandish setting with an ending that defies the laws of physics, your characters must follow their arc and be true to themselves. When Shakespeare wrote, “To thine own self be true”, he summarized not only the overall secret to living without regret, but the path by which all writers will find the honestly of their writing.
Over and over again, writers hear that their writing isn’t “honest” and so many struggle to decipher what that really means. I have good news and bad news.
First, the bad news. You’re going to have to face your own demons. To fully understand your character you need to be honest with yourself about why you created this character in the first place. What does he represent? Why is his journey important? How will he struggle with and overcome the challenges presented to him in the story? If you find that he is serving only as a plot vehicle who falls flat on the page or that you struggle with the consistency of his character, you’re not being honest.
I also promised good news, but it comes with strings attached. When you finally get honest, when you acknowledge and accept yourself, warts and all, in turn, your characters will be come more rich and well developed. The motivation behind why your heroine always wears turtlenecks will progress beyond a contrived plot point to an expression of her need for privacy and security. She will go from saying something bitchy for the sake of conflict to facing real problems and conquering them in ways that help her grow as a person. You may have been aware of these facets of your character’s personality in the beginning, but by seeking the raw honesty of the emotion behind their actions, you’re able to fully develop your character and that is what will give your reader a reason to invest in your story. It will be hard, it will uncomfortable, and it may even hurt, but it will help you become the writer you are meant to be.
Two lovers face off against a government determined to keep them apart. It’s only brave if it’s hard.
After a decade of being alone in the wilderness, Cressenda is still adjusting to life with the man of her dreams. When Beckett hatches a plan to break her parents out of The Affinity prison work camps, Cressenda must make the biggest sacrifice of her life; trading her freedom for her parents’. Cressenda’s fortitude is tested at every turn, from surviving the conditions of West Fallen work camp to believing in Beckett’s dedication to their plan and their love, even when it looks like all hope is lost. With the help of a unlikely ally, Cressenda learns to stop fighting against her fears and embrace the power of fighting for her dreams.
Will trusting Beckett to take down The Affinity be the ultimate show of faith or a fatal mistake?
Annabelle is a Science Fiction and Urban Fantasy Romance author, that is, when she's not checking homework or begrudgingly cooking dinner. Wife, mother, and creator of alternate worlds, Annabelle has a penchant for that which is outside the norm.
Her Sociology degree has given her the ability to construct worlds that exist only in her head and translate them passionately to the page. The time spent studying individuals, interpersonal relationships, and particularly, women, within the constraints of our society led to Annabelle's unabashed ability to talk about sex as it fits into our modern lives.
She's also the author/personality of The Bombshell Mommy at Vitacost.com, where she expounds her knowledge of being a vixen clad in sweatpants.
A serial book monogamist, Annabelle is deeply devoted to the literary love of her life until the next amazing book falls into her clutches and she obsesses anew.
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