Do Fiction Writers Live Vicariously Through Their Characters?

Yes, I do.

Remember the last time someone acted a bit snarky with you at the supermarket or on line at the local bank. Have you replayed a moment like that in your mind wishing you had said something clever? Well, one of my secondary characters in my manuscript Paradox, his name is Razor, always has a wry remark ready. Yes, and I grit my teeth and shake my fist every time he says the clever line that’s never discharged from my mouth.

Do I Live vicariously through my characters?

YES, yes, yes. I admit it. With no shame or guilt. My characters accomplish all the things that I never could. They lead exciting lives traveling the world, sipping on the finest champagne, making love to the most beautiful women, and most importantly; overcoming every obstacle. And trust me, I make it hard for them!

Andrew Duran the mysterious fugitive with the secretive past; skilled in combat and in bed. Veyda the unselfish warrior determined to save mankind, ready to sacrifice her own happiness to save the world. These guys are filled with such passion. Theirs lives are extraordinary.

So, I admit my characters bring excitement to my life. And why not? They are the most interesting people I know.

Do you live through vicariously through your characters?

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Mabus: The Nucleus of Evil

Mabus strolled through the courtyard behind his Ziggurat Palace admiring the green plants and colorful flowers. Their delicious fragrance reminded him so much of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. He plucked a leafy flower to sniff its multi-colored petals. Relishing its fresh scent, he ignored the wilting stem. He entered a private cemetery. Walking past the small tombstones that marked his failures, he whispered, “Why did the flowers have to die?”

His mind wandered to the distant past, recalling the horrific fate of his wife and five children. A heinous act the aliens made him watch. His enemies offered to spare his young heirs, if he agreed to relinquish his kingdom. Mabus declined and his adversaries showed no mercy. One by one they dismembered his family. Even as his children’s cries tormented his ears and their warm blood splattered his anguished face, he refused to concede.

The atrocious memory remained lodged in his soul like an annoying nail hammered into his skull. The ultimate sacrifice saved the kingdom and the planet Sumer. Now, thousands of years later here on Earth, he refused to permit the human epidemic to contaminate his conquest. He needed to protect his people and the children from the violent humans full of intolerance and hate. The revolting species must be eliminated.

Grounding the little flower in his powerful hand, Mabus walked away, vowing to protect his community as the waning cries of his children echoed in his recollection.

  – Mabus is the antagonist in my novel/screenplay trilogy Paradox

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Andrew Duran: Forever in the Shadows

Ocean waves stroked the tranquil beach as a warm breeze rustled idle palm leaves. Moonlight glistened off of the barrel  of his Smith and Wesson radiating its own personal glow. The scene appeared as natural as the shifting tides or setting sun; as normal as the death and betrayal that punctuated his godforsaken life.

Scratching his stubble covered face; Andrew Duran considered his environment and the ungodly events that brought him here. Time may wane the pain of this treason. His memory might fade as years go by, but he would never forgive their treachery. His square jaw moved as he ground his teeth in rage. Unwavering hatred grew like an unholy tumor, consuming the goodness that once resided inside him, eradicating the man that once existed.

No one could see it coming. They framed a true American hero and labeled him a traitor. Duran should have expected it; his eyes had seen the forbidden. Destined to a life on the run, hunted by the very government that made him, he swore he would never trust again. He expected his past to haunt him.

His enemies would eventually come for him. Here on the shores of Communist Cuba, an island condemned to live in shadows, Andrew Duran would wait for them.

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  •    – Andrew Duran is the protagonist of my novel/screenplay thriller The Exterminator’s Diary

Introducing Veyda

Her resolute aqua eyes spied the barren subway tunnel. Grateful no one occupied the dark passage, she clenched her trembling fists. Tiny glints of light reflected off of subway rails reminding her of the unseen orbs twinkling in the evening sky. A thousand years have passed since the last man witnessed the unholy heavens. Perhaps, she could succeed where hundreds of others had failed before her.

Veyda possessed no fear of death. With mankind on the brink of annihilation, she refused to wait for the inevitable. Unlike her apprehensive comrades, who rejected the idea of an aggressive campaign against the powerful aliens; she relished the opportunity. Let us decide the time and place of our final destiny.

Extinction. The ungodly thought coursed through her angry five foot eight inch frame like a rabid roller coaster on steroids. Detesting the toxic way it reverberated inside her ears, she expunged the word from her vocabulary. How could fate be so cruel? Did life on Earth really have to end here and now? Not if she had anything to say about it.

Veyda refused to join the dinosaurs and Neanderthals in extinction.

Veyda is the lead female character of my novel/screenplay trilogy Paradox 

Support Systems: My Number One Fan

There are many support systems a writer can turn to and some of them may be as close as the next room. A few years ago when i wrote my first science fiction screenplay Paradox, I received great motivation and insight from my poetry writing, movie going thirteen year old daughter Catherine. You wouldn’t expect that from a young teen, but her suggestions were invaluable.

After reading my script, Catherine recommended changes in dialogue responses that added conflict and foreshadowing to many scenes. Her observations about my characters helped me build better secondary characters, a delicious antagonist that everyone will love to hate, and kept my protagonist always in character. Later when I adapted Paradox to novel format, she suggested tweaks to dialogue that improved characterization. Her poetry writing habit of always searching for the right word improved my manuscript with a few minor words changes.

My arduous journey to publication may be a lonely one, but at least I had my number one fan in my corner.

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Distractions

As if writers didn’t already have enough obstacles in the way with slush piles, difficulties in finding an agent, and keeping up with the latest demands of the market, we also have to face the difficulty of distractions. Nowadays, with social media taking up more of our precious time, its a miracle anyone gets anything done. (Victor Hugo didn’t have to worry about twitter or updating his Facebook status. If he did, Quasimodo may have suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome instead.)

To avoid the daily distractions of our lives: the noisy kids, quality time with the spouse (Sorry, honey you are never a distraction), the TV, etc. I made it a habit to get up an hour or two earlier than everyone else. Early morning quiet time that I share with my laptop and my favorite coffee mug have provided countless hours of productivity. (If you are a night bird do the opposite go to bed an hour later than everyone else.) It may not seem like much, but if you train your body and mind, you will be productive.

Remember this, while an hour a day may not seem like much, you can only write one page at a time. There have been days where I write five ages in than hour and there are days where I barely complete a single one. If you write one page per day you will have 365 pages at the end of one year (that is roughly 91,000 words).

You need to find a system that works for you and write.

Top Ten Reasons

Top Ten Reasons You Know You Are A Writer

10 – You overhear a conversation about a plot at the cemetery and your mind automatically thinks horror story.
9 – Your stories at the dinner table are always character driven.
8 – The question “What have you published?” can be as annoying as your third grade teacher running her fingernails across the chalkboard.
7 – You complain because the conversations at a dinner party sound nothing like dialogue.
6 – You assume exhibitionists are great writers since they prefer to show instead of tell.
5 – The last time you received this many rejections was at your senior prom.
4 – Every time you watch a good movie or finish a great book your first words are, “I wish I wrote that.”
3 – You miss your bus stop because you were too busy writing an imaginary description of the eccentric lady sitting across from you.
2 – You ask the waiter at your favorite restaurant why there is no page numbering on their menu.
1 – Naming a secondary character in your manuscript provides a greater challenge than naming your unborn child.

The Lonely Author Blog

Why did I chose the name the Lonely Author blog? If you are a writer you already know the answer, or should I say you have already lived the answer? Hour upon hour sitting before a laptop, stringing words together to form sentences. Writing paragraphs full of emotion and tension. Filling up blank pages with nouns, verbs, and adjectives in hopes of eliciting a response in our readers. Unaccompanied moments certain we have written prose as sweet as honey, fighting the angry demons inside our skulls who assure us we only created Blasphemy, Bullshit, and Beyond.

My objective is to create an inspirational depot for the weary writer to seek asylum. Hopefully, I can motivate unpublished authors after they receive another rejection note. Maybe my blog will combat the dreaded creature known as writer’s block. At the very least, I expect to make you smile. Perhaps, if nothing else, this blog will allow me to cling to my fragile sanity as I struggle to be heard.

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