Being a Better Writer: The Strong Female Protagonist

Welcome back readers, to another Monday edition of Being a Better Writer! Today is … well, I’m sure you can see from the title that it’s going to be an auspicious post. Today’s topic is a rather popular one right now. In fact, I could easily say that it’s a current issue in a lot of story circles. For varying reasons depending on how you talk to.

But thankfully, I don’t plan on getting into any of the more social-political angles of this topic, because I’m not interested in that. I’m interested in one thing only with these posts: how to write, and write well.

Which—okay,  maybe a tiny bit into social-politics—is why this post has been requested and hotly anticipated by a lot of readers. Because right now there’s a whole—well, I’d call it rediscovery, really—of the strong female protagonist. But with that rediscovery comes a whole new crowd trying to figure out what a strong female protagonist is for the first time. And with a lot of different voices out there, it can become very easy for their to come with a healthy dollop of “confusion” as people try to determine exactly what “strong,” “female,” and “protagonist” mean in the same sentence.

And, if I’m honest, some of this confusion comes from the very root of the sentence “strong female protagonist” and its particular phrasing.

I can hear some of you sparking torches from here. Relax. You’ll see what I mean in a moment. Hit the jump and let’s get started.

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Endgame (Yes, the Marvel Movie)

First of all: NO SPOILERS.

I mean, really readers? I wouldn’t do that to you.

But I have just returned from Marvel’s Endgame. Yup, my birthday gift to myself was a ticket for opening night. Kind of. It’s 4 AM here, so you can guess how late I was at the showing. But …

Here’s all I have to say. Again, no spoilers. None. I simply couldn’t.

If you’re at all invested in the Marvel films, just go see it.

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Being a Better Writer: Too Unique?

Hello readers!

First of all, I want to thank all of you for being patient with this week’s Being a Better Writer post and allowing me to move it to today. My mother was in town, and it’s been … two years, I believe, since I was able to see here last. Thanks to your patience and understanding, I was able to spend Monday and a good portion of my Tuesday with her.

So thank you, again. Living so far apart I don’t get many chances to see her, so it was wonderful to have a day to catch up.

I have a second bit of good news as well! I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday for my wrist, and it was pronounced almost fully recovered, but recovered enough to no longer have work restrictions. I have one more physical therapy appointment, and they want me to keep up the exercises for another month or after that, and effectively until the final checkup in May, but …

I’m good!

I also caught a filling that had cracked and fallen out within a week at the dentist’s, so I’m getting that fixed without much issue.

Right, so there’s lot’s of good news from me. Hope things are going well for all you readers. But with that said, let’s dive into today’s topic!

So, what do I mean by naming this post Too Unique? Well, I want to talk about something today that can make or break a book’s characters.

In fact, it’s on my mind because the last book I finished? Broken. In part because each of its nine or so characters was this. They were too unique.

Again, I’m using that term, but not explaining. So let’s get down to business. What do I mean by “too unique?”

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Monday Will Be Wednesday

Hey readers! Just a really fast post to let you know that this week’s Being a Better Writer post will be Wednesday rather than today. I have family visiting today, and a bunch of doctor’s appointments tomorrow, so I’m taking the smart route and just giving the post until Wednesday.

Until then, if you’re still hungry for some Being a Better Writer to read, there’s a massive backlog of it on the site to peruse!

Have a great Monday. I’ll see you all Wednesday!

Another Orbit Complete

Hey readers. It’s … my birthday! And, despite some stressful things going on that I alluded to yesterday, I’ve decided to celebrate a little bit.

Especially as my wrist is healed enough that I can mostly go biking without issue now.

So I’m going to celebrate by going on a nice long bike ride. And cooking a ginger-orange pork stir-fry for dinner. And playing some Borderlands 2, I expect.

I’ll resume normal operating hours tomorrow. But right now? I really could use a break for me.

On a side note, if you’re in the gift-giving mood, you could always leave a review or rating for one of my books on Amazon or Goodreads, help me along to that goal of 400 by year’s end! In fact, I woke up to another five-star review on Colony this morning, so that was a nice pick-me-up at the start of my day!

Or just grab one you haven’t read yet for yourself, as a gift to you. Or someone else, even! You can do that!

Anyway, I need to get riding. I hope you all have a wonderful day, and I’ll be back at work tomorrow.

One More Orbit

So … tomorrow is my birthday.

I don’t have much in the way of plans. In fact, it would be more accurate to say that I have no plans. I’m considering just taking a nice long bike ride, and maybe making a stirfry afterwards. Nothing fancy. But maybe relaxing.

I hope so, because it’s been a really up and down sort of week. Month.

I won’t trouble you with all the ills of my life. Let’s face it, that’d be a pretty unfriendly post. Life has just been … rough. Lately. I’ll leave it at that.

So … happy birthday to me, I guess. I really don’t feel like celebrating.

Yeah, I know there’s not much to this post, and it’s a little down. But on the positive side, there isn’t much direction to go but up, so …

Here’s hoping it does.

In the meantime, the work goes on.

Being a Better Writer: Epics

We’ve got a one-word title today readers. Buckle up!

No news. Not today. No, we’re going to dive right in. Today’s topic actually was one of several inspired by my attending of Life, The Universe, and Everything this year, as I met with a number of young, aspiring authors who declared an interest in writing an Epic of their own. Even if, some admitted, they weren’t quite sure what an Epic was, or what went into a book that made it an “Epic” while other books were just “adventures.”

Today’s topic went right to the list the moment I returned home that evening. Because I love Epics, and would enjoy seeing more of them out there. And … there really isn’t that much about them out there.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. There’s plenty on the classic Epics, like The Odyssey or The Illiad. There are whole college course dedicated to those works that you can peruse online.

But those aren’t modern Epics. They’re not generally what someone means today when they tell you that they read this great book, and mention the genre as being Epic Fantasy. No, the modern Epic is something a little different. And … not that oft defined, though talked about frequently enough. Which in turn can lead to confusion or difficulty for a lot of young authors who know the genre that they would like to write towards … but aren’t quite sure what that genre entails.

They’re like those young authors I found at LTUE. They know what they like, and what they want to do. They can name books that they’re fairly certain are Epics … but they’re not one hundred percent certain what makes one book an Epic and the other simply an adventure.

So, let’s dive into it. What makes an Epic an Epic? And how can you prepare to write one?

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