Tag Archives: Tweet

Twitter-pated

Happy Friday! Casey Wyatt here.

I admit I was reluctant to take the plunge and join Twitter. My thought was –  Ugh, another thing I have to do on top of Facebook and the blogs.

And it is another thing to keep track of … except I like Twitter it.

Maybe too much. It appeals to my inpatient nature and is a great opportunity to spend time avoiding writing. I get instant feedback and someone, somewhere is always tweeting about something interesting. So what is Twitter? It’s a social media tool that allows you to speak to your “followers” or “tweeps” in 140 characters or less. People have to choose to follow you. And you choose to follow them. You can only read comments from those people or organizations you follow. And they in turn will only read your comments if they follow you. (Twitter allows you to directly message people if you know their user name). Our friend and marketing guru Jennifer Fusco likens Twitter to a cocktail party. I think that is a great analogy.  Except my problem is I like the party a little too much. So what’s a writer to do? Limit yourself – I re-tweet (a function that allows you to share tweets you like with your followers). And I publicize for the Scribes (@Secretsof7Scrib) and for Casey (@CaseyWyatt1). I try to read the “feeds” only a few times a day, rather than all day long. Connect – Many applications “talk” to each other. I allow Twitter, Facebook and WordPress access to each other. When I tweet or re-tweet, it appears on my Facebook wall and on my blog page. When this blog posts, it will appear in Twitter and on my Facebook wall. Kinda of neat, huh? Be Meaningful – Ask yourself before you tweet- does anyone care what you ate for lunch? My yardstick for a RT (re-tweet) is – would I like to share this with my followers? Is this an interesting tweet (example, it leads to cool blog post or a contest)? Be mindful of other’s time. Tweet with a purpose. And remember to be professional. Follow – Follow others and they will follow you back (for the most part). And don’t stick to just other writers. I’ve branched out and started following review sites, artists, even the Dalai Lama (he has very sage advice). And speaking of advice – embrace some form of social media. It’s not going away anytime soon. Pick something you like and can manage. Remember, writing should always come first. We can’t sell a blank page! p.s. follow me, I follow back! What is your favorite social media? Least favorite? And have you had to go on a social media diet?

Creating Villains You Love to Hate

Hello, Katy Lee here. As a romantic-suspense writer, my stories would take a serious nosedive without a well-developed villain. Someone who stands in my protagonist’s way to finding their happiness. Someone who drips with anger and evil; who lives for the sole purpose of another person’s destruction. Someone who is a real-life monster.

It seems kind of fun to create such a dark character, doesn’t it? But, in all seriousness, wouldn’t it be considered a bit…um, like overkill?

The fact is unless you are writing a horror novel or perhaps, some fantasy, your villain needs to be human. They and their cause need to be believable. Sure, psychopaths do exist in the real world, wreaking havoc on innocent people for no apparent reason, but they don’t always make for a good nail-biting, heart-tugging, emotionally-gripping read.

These come when your reader can relate a little bit to your villain. Perhaps recognize a little bit of the villain’s darkness in themselves. Or even better, when the protagonist in the story can.

In my current manuscript, Real Virtue, there comes a point when my heroine must look her villain in the eye and come to grips with her own wrongs….because she recognizes them in him. It’s an eye-opening experience for her, and without it, he’s just a boring psychopath. And she has learned nothing.

One of my favorite villains whom I love to hate is good old Darth Vader. And it’s got nothing to do with his deep breathiness. Here is a darker-than-night individual. A person whose temptation for power overcame him, extinguishing any goodness he had in him…or did it? In the end, he saves the day. There was still some good in him after all. He was not all dark. He had depth that I think we all could relate to. And that’s what made him a good villain. Without it he was just a boring, breathy psychopath.

The Unlocked Secret: When creating your villains, visit the deepest, darkest part of yourself. The part you keep hidden and under control. The part no one sees. I read on a Tweet that author, Katherine Paterson (Bridge to Terabithia) said, “If you can’t find yourself in your villains, rewrite.” It is in your own darkness that you will find a villain readers will love to hate.

Question: Where do you find your inspiration for creating your villains? Are your villains people? Or are they inner struggles your characters must wrestle with before finding their happiness, or at least some resolution?