When a character introduces herself, sometimes it can be difficult for the writer to understand why this person is the way they are. We try to uncover her life, her background, her parents, whether or not she has a pet, what is her favorite color–and why is it her favorite color?
Environment can play a factor. When I realized who Bliss really is (spoiler deleted!) I knew that she would have been placed in with a foster mother so that she would have as normal and mundane a childhood as possible. A cottage in a distant shire, watched over by a woman of solid common sense like Mrs. Dalyrymple.
Old Dally. I named her after one of my favorite literary characters of all time, Old Golly, the common-sense nanny from Harriet the Spy.
I thought Old Dally must be some sort of retired nanny or governess to the stars. She had seen first-hand how children of the rich and titled could be spoiled beyond saving. I saw her as someone who would take her charge somewhere clean and safe, a fresh start in a life filled with wholesome work and simple pleasures. I think life in Old Dally’s cottage must have been a comfortable sort of simplicity. Bliss never lacked for food or education. I believe Old Dally adored her, but she wasn’t the sort of woman to show affection except perhaps in the way she protected Bliss from the excesses of her parents (spoiler deleted!).
This explains so much about Bliss. She always looks perfectly in fashion, but she treats it more like a job than something that actually interests her. She is unimpressed by wealth, and undismayed by scarcity. Old Dally’s practical training comes in handy when Morgan Pryce tries to shock his new bride with the humbleness of his home!
While researching Old Dally’s cottage in Shropshire, I found this book useful. I love this series by Trevor Yorke!
The Wicked Worthington series is up to five books now! Welcome to the world, Wedded Bliss!
I’m so excited! Today is release day for Book 4 in The Worthington series, I Thee Wed. I hope you enjoy it!
Intelligent and driven, Orion Worthington aspired to be like his mentor, the acclaimed scientist Sir Geoffrey Blayne. Logically, Sir Geoffrey’s daughter would be Orion’s perfect match. So why can’t he keep his mind off the unruly girl who works in Sir Geoffrey’s lab?
Orphaned fire-cracker Francesca Penrose hopes that London is modern enough to accept her brilliant mind despite her womanhood. But she can’t help noticing Orion’s mind…or his body.
So they decide to run an experiment: if they give in to their passions, their attraction will simply fizzle out, with no impact on their hearts…right?
The Geek God and I are finally watching The Wire. Yes, I know, a decade behind the rest of you. At any rate, we recently watched that famous moment in “Old Cases” where McNulty and his partner, Bunk, are investigating an old crime scene. It takes place in an apartment that has since been cleaned and repaired. They crack the case with nothing to go on but a few crime scene photos and the F word. Seriously, the dialogue of the entire scene consists of them conversing in Vulgar Dude. The F word, and only the F word, for a solid 5 minutes. It is offensive, gripping, and absolute genius.
Truly, this brief scene attained a level of Haiku-esque minimalism that made me want to watch it again. “Less is more.”
Yes, I realize that this example is visual and therefore not the same as written fiction. As writers of books, we have to set our stage and dress our actors with nothing but our fingers on the keyboard.
My point is that great writing isn’t about big words or heavily detailed description (“Excuse me, but your research is showing.”) or even perfectionist grammar. Yes, knowing all this is important. Proving that you know it is not. Great writing is about connection. Without connection–that freaking divine thread of communication made by tapping your soul like a Vermont maple–well then, you are just scratching lines and curves into the sand before the incoming tide. Your work won’t be remembered by anyone but you.
So, the next time you feel stirred by a sesquipedalian adverb you stumbled upon in your Synonym Finder, remember that it isn’t the size of the word, it’s how you use it that counts!