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Archive for May 2011

I'm Not Dead

posted by Lucy V Morgan on ,


Just a quick one to apologise for general absence from blogland. Blogger locked me out for over a week, am knee-deep in intern-esque business (which is pretty awesome, by the way) and my current novel decided to  lose all its formatting and has been a complete bisnitch to fix.

Fortunately, I've had lots of pancakes.

I'm working on the Crafting Female Characters article that lots of you offered advice for and I'm hoping to have it up in the next week or two. I want to make sure it's useful and comprehensive, so hopefully you won't mind the time it's taken!

In the meantime: happy writing, I wish you many pancakes...and commiserations to any Man U fans out there (bahahaha. Ahem).

Writing Female Characters: Help! & Blog Hop

posted by Lucy V Morgan on , ,


This post stems from two things: firstly, the blog hop organised by the notorious* Sarah Ketley (which is here for your viewing pleasure. Go forth and win stuff) and a couple of conversations I've had recently on how to write a good female character.

It's harder to write women -- mostly, I suspect, as we are women who write for women, even if we don't intend it that way. When I cast a novel, I often find it's my female characters falling into the stereotypes, rather than the men -- but I won't realise this until a few chapters in. They might be fleshed out but they're still playing the same roles.

I'd like to put together a guide with our collected wisdom: ten ways to write an awesome heroine. Doesn't matter the genre, and you don't have to have examples (though it would help). Just share your tips below -- the quirkier the better -- and I'll add your blog link to the post when it's compiled (so please make sure I can access your blog through your post!). If you could keep them to a paragraph or so, that would help to keep the guide nicely accessible. It'll be like putting all our rings together to summon Captain Planet. But in a skirt.

You can find my Mary Sue post here if this helps at all, which discusses psychological processes that sometimes occur when women read and write female characters.

I'm looking forward to reading your contributions. There's nothing like the words of another writer to make you consider your current heroine, go slowly beetroot and whistle absently...

Now mush!

*I heard last time Blogger went mofo, she cryogenically froze the programmers and now wakes them just to check code and be stuffed with jellybeans. Lime flavour only :(

The Polyamorous Writer

posted by Lucy V Morgan on


I have a confession to make: I have not one novel-in-progress, but two.

They say that while a writer might work on many things at once, only one project really belongs to them. Only one beeps when you scan the barcode; only one star-crossed hero or feisty villain keeps prodding you in the ribs and hissing, "write me, or I shall scream. Or...call your mother."  (In the case of one character: "Write me or I'll shit in your bed.")

But both of these projects speak to me on the same, froth-blooded level. Both have casts of characters  marinating in their own hopes, failures and fantasies, and they get impatient when I ignore them. I'm all, "excuse me, anti-hero B. I have a life." To which he looks me up and down, cocks an eyebrow, and says "...really?"

What do you do when you're constantly pulled in two directions? When you barely have time to write one, let alone both? I rationalise that I should just put one to the side and get the other out of the way, but the characters get lonely. They don't want to live in a notebook; they aren't genies to be summoned out of lamps. I've tried to explain that I love both of them equally but anti-hero B in particular gets jealous. "I see henchman version 2.0 got my line about the armadillos," he says. "We both know that I said that way better, so hop to it and write my frickin' scene, mmmkay?"

I did come up with one solution: pitch a tent near wifi access. Move in for the summer and just write, write, write (maybe with a spot of reading in the afternoons). Alas, I think my husband and three year-old might have something to say about that. (Also, I have long red hair and pale skin, and am more suited to fifties styles than the hobo look).

Novels are not patient or understanding. They don't understand your need for food or sleep, or gin (they're a lot like toddlers, actually). But I am not prepared to divorce one bunch of characters because I'm finding it hard to keep it in my pants head. These ideas are too good to waste; I'll just have to work through them.

Sorry, anti-hero B. But that scene where you trash the druglord Prince's ghetto den? On my to-do list. I promise...