Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Guest Blog: B.C. Brown: The Good, The Bad & The True Neutral...
Writers around the world and throughout the centuries have been struggling with writing stories, telling tales, that both satisfy and surprise their readers. Some writers have used twisting plot shifts and surprise endings to their advantage - for example George R.R. Martin's heroes are rarely the victors and his villains are frequently the triumphant, or Jacqueline Carey worlds are often harsh and bitter while managing to find small threads of joy and beauty; while other writers stumble over the intricacies needed to defy convention, chuck the traditional, and say "Whoa, they won't expect this!"
So how does an author walk this finely drawn line? Especially a relatively unknown author. Is it wise to defy tradition and say, "I'm going to create a story that defies every known convention I can pull out of my writer's cap."?
Many authors I know have chimed in on the matter. And the lot seems to be equally divided. In Camp #1, some writers disagree with defying convention, stating fairly obvious reasons, the old adage, of not rocking the boat. Tradition works, plain and simple. Readers dig Good Guys hooking up with Good Girls and Bad Guys being defeated in horrifyingly brilliant displays of vengeance/justice. Agents/publishers may not appreciate centuries of tradition being overthrown at the whim of a presumptuous would-be author, after all. In Camp #2, the rest believe that chucking tradition is exactly what is required of new and budding authors to shine out from the depths of the slush pile. Their belief? Editors/agents/publishers have seen and read the same 'tried and true' tale of Boy-Meets-Girl, almost-loses-Girl-to-Second-Boy, before-overcoming-and-living-happily-ever-after dog and pony show. By switching up the same-ol', same-ol', the blossoming writer may have the unique opportunity to grab an agent/publisher by the balls and make them stand up and take notice.
Of course, I have my own opinion on the matter. I'm a grab 'em by the balls and make 'em sing your name kind of person/writer! But I'll admit that I enjoy snuggling down with a good, traditional tale of Boy meets Girl, meets Second Boy, defeats Second Boy, and lives happily ever after. But I'm always thrilled by the story that grabs me, sucks me in, and then completely throws me off the trail by doing something totally unexpected! To me, it seems, those reads are rare jewels and are, often, the books I keep floating around instead of exchanging.
Naturally, everyone has their own opinion, and I welcome yours. Let me know what you like in a story, and what your thoughts are on today's topic. Do you welcome the satisfaction of a tried-and-true tale of Good Guy/Bad Guy/Good Girl, or do you like it when the story throws you a reversal and makes you question the morality of each character?
BC Brown is the author of A Touch of Darkness and A Touch of Madness, both Abigail St. Michael novels. Her work has been included in three, multi-author anthologies – Fracas: A Collection of Short Friction, Quixotic: Not Everyday Love Stories, and A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court. She has published a dark fantasy novel, Sister Light, Book One: Of Shadows previously under the pen name B.B. Walter.
She lives in Arizona and on tequila and gummy bear-related products. She spends her free time bicycling, performing in Community Theater, and spends way too much time on karaoke, Star Trek, and Doctor Who. She is legendary for her mismatched sock collection. Her foul mouth and lack of filter has gotten her into hot water in the past. She will no longer discuss the “big booty ho” incident of 2012.
BC has upcoming work with the Abigail St. Michael novels entitled A Touch of Emptiness. More of her work will be released in a general fiction novella entitled Feather in a Hurricane and a dark fantasy novel, Of Shadows.
BLURB: A Touch of Darkness
Urban Fantasy – Paranormal Mystery – Romantic Suspense
Abigail St. Michael, a former cop, has joined the recently growing ranks of metaphysicals, individuals with abilities outside that of normal human nature. When a murderer stalks her town killing children, Abbey uses her ability of touch clairvoyance to hunt him down. Her only roadblock is that her villain seems to have his own unique talent, the ability to ‘wipe’ his victims and their surroundings of any metaphysical energy. With little physical evidence and no supernatural evidence, Abbey is forced to rely on luck and instinct to solve the case. However both seem to have taken a permanent vacation as the victims keep piling up with the killer’s escalating blood lust.