Running Jokes

I like running gags in novels. No, I’m not talking about boisterous humor, necessarily, more about having threads within relationships that span time in the books. When done well, I think they not only provide insight into the characters, they draw the reader into the story by allowing them to feel they’re in on the… More Running Jokes

“Writing dialogue,” Bill said, “is easy.”

If you write or read fiction, you know that dialogue can make or break a story. Good dialogue conveys important story points, personality traits, and relationship cues. It is interesting, crisp, and meaningful. The best dialogue is sharp or witty, and though it reflects real life, it isn’t the same thing as real-life conversation. In… More “Writing dialogue,” Bill said, “is easy.”

Of Race and Character

I’ve been reading articles all afternoon on the dearth of minority characters in books. I find that amusing, as I’ve written 4 books and a short story collection rife with minority (and non-minority) characters. Rather, I think, the articles should consider why books with minority characters don’t garner anyone’s attention. I remember reading the horrified… More Of Race and Character

The Making of a Woman

I have written before about my process of creating realistic characters. It’s a bit of psychology, human behavioral study, plot-need fulfillment, and witch doctory. However, there is a greater aspect I’d like to discuss: that is, the broader social issues at hand. When I write, I don’t like pounding people over the head with ideas, except… More The Making of a Woman

Background Work

I decided that the main character of the new book, Jeanne “Dark” D’Arc, owns a 1972 Renault Alpine. She is proudly, almost stubbornly French, and the year is special to her. Her personal symbol is the Ibis, which she had painted on her car. It is a clumsy bird, inelegant, until it can take flight. Having… More Background Work