As I find myself at the nexus of three projects, all featuring at least one strong female, I’ve been reminded more and more of one of my biggest influences when it comes to characters and building tension.
Greg Rucka is a fantastic writer, noted (or notorious) for his female characters and putting them through as much hell as his male characters. You only think Joss Whedon torments characters; Rucka does worse and usually leaves them alive.
A few nights ago, business was slow and I ended up having a lengthy discussion with my store manager about villains. Not simple bad guys or characters who are shades of gray–villains. He and I discussed movies, but, being a writer, I thought it would be much more interesting to turn that question toward books.
So, I ask, Who are your top five villains from books? Continue reading
One of the elements Alfred Hitchcock was known for was his preference for casting a blonde as the heroine. He thought audiences would be more suspicious of brunettes and many of his heroines were often icy goddesses that had a hidden fire.
Greg Rucka is known not just for his strong heroines, but for his lesbian/bisexual heroines. This is true of his comic book writing, as well as his prose.
All of us have things we drift toward in our characters. Stan Lee’s Marvel work in the 1960s featured female characters who might have seemed like cute window dressing, but were actually the most powerful members of their teams. (Ok, Wasp is an exception, but Sue Storm and Jean Grey could take on the rest of their teams by themselves.)
I’ve heard a writer’s voice is one of the most important things about their craft. You always know when you’ve read on of Neil Gaiman’s metaphors. You know when the text is phonetic and southern, it’s Mark Twain. If you see a lot of second person or exceptional detail describing hand-to-hand combat, it has to be Greg Rucka. Should you be reading prose that paints a setting out of emotions as well as visuals, you have to be reading Guy Gavriel Kay.
So, I ask myself, what voice makes my prose distinct? Continue reading
This is probably a primer for another post. I’ll let you decide.
I’ve read a great many books in my life. You might think that they would be fantasy or science fiction, but, with one exception, this was not the case until I hit college. Before then, I read Stephen King and John Grisham. King and Grisham, Grisham and King. Before them were a handful of other works, between them came school reading and The Hobbit. Continue reading