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Posts Tagged ‘Lucy D. Ford’

It occurred to me that there is a genre where killing the characters off is an important part of the tale. That would be Horror, of course. I know there are a few horror writers in my following, so this is where I invite you to weigh in.

How do you choose which characters will be the victims in your stories? Is it strictly a division of “good guys live/bad guys die,” or is there more to your process? How much do you set up that one character will survive while others don’t?

I would love to know how you decide!


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web site, Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter!

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Lately I’ve been exploring the topic, stated above, in a philosophical way related to written work. However, there are times when literary theory intersects with real life. One of these occurred just before I started this thread. It spurred me to open a topic I wasn’t sure deserved the space.

Recently, the United States arbitrarily assassinated a foreign official in a drone strike. Immediately, questions were raised about the rationale for this, and about the consequence for U. S. diplomacy. And a chorus came back defending the strike. Can you guess what that chorus was?

“He was a bad guy.”

It often may seem that our stories don’t matter. Especially for Indy authors like most of us, who seem to be perpetually immured in obscurity. Yet, all the stories we tell, by the famous authors and unknowns, whether it’s in a book, a movie, a comic, a play — when they have the same outcome and the same rationale, they build a narrative that can shape the world.

We might think that we’re only telling stories. That they are just for fun and won’t have a lasting impact.

I’m not so sure of that, now.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web site, Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter!

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Last time, I blogged about the tradition that the “bad guys” have to die by the end of our stories. One comment was by Alden Loveshade, who suggested that this is partly because every human has a reptilian brain that governs our responses in fight-or-flight situations. When stimulated by a character’s misbehavior, we flip to the “fight” part of the duo.

This is a really good point, but I wonder if, instead, the source lies with the primate parts of our brain. As primates, we are born to be social creatures. We constantly measure how others act toward us. Comforting or threatening, cruel or kind. We also measure each other’s relative status, which could explain why the fantasy genre has a fixation on royalty, even when most readers live in some form of democracy.

Part of the social calculation involved with our primate brains is that we demand parity. We want everyone to follow the same rules. And I say this as a teacher, who trains young people to follow such rules as sharing, taking turns, and waiting to be called on.

For many of you, I know, being taught to follow the rules is seen as sinister and oppressive. I would just point out that having these rules is what allows great numbers of humans to coexist in limited spaces.

Regardless, when one member of society misbehaves, our primate brains demand a consequence. And when the misdeed occurs in a story we are reading — within the privacy of our own minds — we feel impunity to demand the worst punishment: the perpetrator should die!


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web site, Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter!

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Today I have a question about the word dour. In your mind, how do you pronounce this? Do you rhyme it with tour, or with sour, or in a totally different way?

Of course I can look up the correct pronunciation, but that’s not what I’m asking. I’m curious what you “hear” when I drop the word dour into my story.

So tell me what you think!


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my books, check out my web site, Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter!

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After my last post on achieving my writing goals, I suppose I need to share what this year’s goals are. Hint: they’re going to look a lot like last year’s goals.

1) Increase sales over 2019. This is again a risky goal since it depends on the decisions of others. However, after writing professionally for 20 years (my first sale was in 2000) it’s important to not fall into a rut. My other goals will be in support of this one.

2) Continue with the Minstrels of Skaythe series by writing novellas 4 and 5, and self-publishing novellas 3 and 4. Minstrels of Skaythe is really challenging me, and I want to keep that energy going. In addition, writing more books is said to be a great sales tactic on its own.

3) Host a blog event called The Fairy Queen’s Court in June of 2020. Previously, I’ve been issuing a monthly newsletter as a sales tactic. It’s been frustrating to receive so little response. I’m giving myself permission to quit that one and try something else. I’m excited about The Fairy Queen’s Court. You can look forward to more about that in future months!

4) Make 6 public appearances in support of my career. Between SF conventions and writing groups, I have hopes to meet this goal. Appearances will raise awareness of my being present in the community, both locally and on the Internet, and I definitely need that.

On a related note, I’m always happy to help other authors who need to publicize their new books. Don’t hesitate to ask if you can do a guest spot here.

As for this blog, I will certainly go on posting twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I don’t seem to have trouble thinking up topics, but it never hurts to take suggestions. So if you have any questions or want to learn more about my novellas, my working methods, or even what’s growing in my vegetable garden, I’d love to hear from you. Let me know what you think I should blog about!


Did you know I have an author newsletter? You can get it! I’ll even give you a free e-book for signing up. Just click here.

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Technically, it’s still 2019 as I post this, but really, at this point in the year, who cares? It’s just tradition to take a fond look back at what my goals were and what I achieved in 2019.

“A fond look.” Did I really write that? How trite.

Anyway! Looking at my Super Fancy Goal Tracking System (a.k.a. the collection of sticky notes along the hood of my desk) I see that I set three goals for myself in 2019.

1) Increase sales over 2018. This was the most risky, because it depends on other people’s purchasing decisions (editors and/or readers). That is something I don’t control. My other goals were intended to make this one happen.

2) Issue a monthly newsletter with a snippet from one of my books. Make it so fun and engaging that it drives the aforementioned sales.

3) “Finish 3rd novella and publish them somehow.” Somewhat vague, but aimed at Minstrels of Skaythe. This time last year, I was just finishing the second of those novellas and didn’t want to let the series drop.

4) Make 6 public appearances that relate to your writing. This one, I didn’t actually write down until later. It was aimed at driving sales and building newsletter readership.

Believe it or not, I achieved every goal. I brought out the monthly newsletter. (It hasn’t done much for me, that I can tell, but I did it.) I made 6 appearances during the year. I finished the third novella, The Ice Witch of Fang Marsh, so the series did continue.

And my risky goal? I even met that one. My income from writing, although pathetic, is still more than it was in 2018. That’s largely due to the judging fee I received from Idaho Writers, but I also sold books at SpoCon and RadCon in 2018.

With this encouragement, I will now take down those sticky notes from the hood of my desk… and start to make some new ones. Onward!


Did you know I have an author newsletter? You can get it! I’ll even give you a free e-book for signing up. Just click here.

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You will be reading this on the Christian holiday of Christmas. I’m not a believer, myself, but I respect that many of you are. Others may be recognizing Hannukah, Kwanzaa, or any other midwinter-related celebrations. So I’ll spare you my fantastic ramblings for today.

I wish you a peaceful holiday, or just a nice day off, and will visit with you again on Saturday.


Did you know I have an author newsletter? You can get it! I’ll even give you a free e-book for signing up. Just click here.

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