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Our blog is meant to evoke fun with the magic of myths, folklore, movies and the mayhem of murder and madness. We have to keep it interesting so if you like different genres of movies and books then you're at the right blog. Our authors are a wide range of experts and our readers know what is top of the line in their favorite genres. Sometimes we post recipes that might be fun to try if a culinary author has one in her book that we think is especially yummy or one that Terri and I have created and want to share with you. Enjoy Guest Blogger Alice Duncan's monthly muse on her books and writing mysteries.
Plus you won't want to miss our book reviews, author interviews or our guest bloggers. So grab your favorite beverage then join us for some magic and mayhem! The good news is that you don't have to leave the house or your comfy chair. We have something for everyone's taste and every month we have a different topic for our bloggers: ones we feel that might be useful in your own writing and reader points of view. Not to mention, life in general. So join us and be sure to have a notebook handy as your to-be-read pile will grow as you add books, recipes, movies and t.v. series you won't want to miss. Not to mention folktales, myths or ideas you may wish to explore. Be careful what you wish for because on mayhemandmagic2 you just might find it.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Guest Blogger - Kelly Gay
I didn’t plot Charlie’s escapades, but as the story progressed, certain scenes took shape or came to mind for later moments in the book. These I wrote down to save for the proper time, but for the most part I ‘pants’ it and let Charlie take me where she felt she needed to go. One step at a time.
One of the things, however, I did plot out was the antagonist’s goal. I needed to be very certain about what he was doing and why he was doing it.
In the beginning of the story, Charlie is a cop. She’s been one for a long time. But when we meet her, things are changing. She’s suddenly thrust into unfamiliar territory when the crimes being committed start hitting close to home and start affecting her and her family in very personal and scary ways. I won’t deny I’ve gotten flack from a few folks who don’t buy or like the whole cop who then does un-coply things. And, if Charlie was dealing with a criminal plot that was within her usual working realm, I’d agree. It’d be totally out of character and not ring true for her to go off the grid and stop following protocol.
But, I specifically wanted to explore what would happen if a law enforcement officer suddenly found themselves having to defend their child and family against someone with wealth and political power. Would they stick to the letter of the law when it came to protecting their child? Or would they do whatever it took? Charlie, in the circumstances she found herself in, in the little time she had, did whatever it took. Doesn’t mean that has to be anyone else’s answer, but it was hers.
And yeah, she doesn’t have all the answers and she makes mistakes. She's not infallible. She is only human, after all. Strong emotions can make people think and do things they wouldn’t ordinarily do. How many times do we tell ourselves one thing, yet do another? How many times do we internalize things and don’t reach out to others even though we know we probably should? Charlie doesn’t care how many years on the force she has under her belt, she’d give it all up to save her kid. Her child means more to her than her job, her life, the laws, etc… And once she knows this is personal, and this is where things are headed, she doesn’t want to drag others down with her.
I’m no expert, but as I try to identify what makes a chilling plot, I think this might be one aspect – to take your main character out of their comfort zone. To throw them into a situation/plot where they haven’t been before, make it hit close to home in some way so the emotional level is high, and see how they react. I don’t believe my plot would’ve been nearly as tense if I’d had Charlie dealing with her usual cases, or if I’d had her react to this new personal threat in the same way she always has in the past.
So when I think of really chilling plots, I think of putting my characters into new and unanticipated situations and I try to have them react in a human, relatable way. Sure, it’s easy to look back on something and say “this is how it should’ve been handled”. But as a reader, I’m not as interested characters that have all the answers, who don’t make mistakes, whose reactions are spotless. I want mine to mean well, to use what they have in their arsenal, and try their best to get themselves out of the situation I put them in. Sometimes I get it right, sometimes I don’t, but I’ll keep trying, keep writing, and keep doing my best just like those crazy characters swarming around in my head.