Monday, March 14, 2011


It’s interesting how perspective works its way into our lives. For instance, a family can each take something different away from the same movie. My daughter turned on Finding Nemo the other day. I said, “This is a movie about a parent’s love, and how they’ll do anything for their kids—even chase them across the ocean.”
My husband agreed, but my daughter (17) heartily disagreed. “No it’s not! It’s about a fish with an overprotective parent.”
I’ve watched movies with my husband and had the same experience. Each of us relates to, or sympathizes with a different person in a movie. And that’s a good thing. If there are several characters that different people can each relate to, it makes the movie more successful.
So, on to writing: Does our novel only have one well written character? Does it have a well written MC and antagonist? Does the MC have a well written friend?
This is my thought: it’s really hard to write a good main character and to show his/her emotions and growth throughout a novel. Then, add to that the difficulty of writing a story with several well written characters.
Is this why the Harry Potter series was so successful? It has Harry—the underdog. Ron—the well-meaning best friend. Hermione—the know-it-all overachiever. There are the stuck up kids at school that everyone can relate to because every school has them, and an assortment of bad guys to keep things exciting.
More recently, there’s the Twilight series. Bella—pretty, but socially awkward. Her dad—loves his daughter, but doesn’t quite know how to act around her. The mom—ditzy and loveable, but totally into her own life. The Cullens—an eclectic family that each arrived at their “vegetarian” status through different life-experiences and cling together with fierce loyalty. Edward—good looking, smart, kind—would do anything for Bella. And Jacob—also good looking, smart, and kind—but who won’t do anything for Bella, except love her.
There are other examples where people read one book and they’re hooked with characters that come alive on the page. We don’t just see the main character’s “Sunday self” we get to see them at their best and at their worst, and how they interact with the others.
All I’m saying is: Does my most recent manuscript have a plethora of well-rounded characters like these novels do? Now I’m going to need to pay attention to this little detail while I’m editing.

Monday, March 7, 2011


written by M.R. Bunderson is an Urban Fantasy with a little mystery and a little romance—it’s an enjoyable read, and perfect for the tween in your life. I got this book at the Storymakers’ conference last year, and it’s the only one I bought where I wasn’t able find the author and get her autograph.
The story starts with main character, Tori, using a biology magnifying glass and noticing that the small birthmark on her hand is actually a microscopic design of some sort. Her best friend, Shae, doesn’t see anything more than a brown spot even with the magnifying glass.
The mystery deepens when Tori and Shae double date with Shae’s boyfriend and his best bud, Eric, from out of town. When Eric takes Tori’s hand to help her into the car, she feels a wave of strong emotions that takes her back to a place she doesn’t remember ever being, except she has never felt more at home than at that mysterious place.
They find out that Amanda, a girl who goes to Tori’s high school, can also share feelings and memories with them. There are five kids total, four of them were stolen from their homes as infants or small children and adopted into relatively stable homes in America.
Together, they discover all the things they have in common—extremely good eyesight, the same lavender-colored eyes, they’re unusually healthy and none have ever been sick, and they each have a mark similar to Tori’s. They also discover their various extra talents—Tori can enter and share memories with the others, Eric feels when danger is near and desires to protect.
As they search for clues to their identity, and wonder if they’re a rejected scientific experiment or if they’re children of Atlantis, they meet two people from their homeland. Sebastian is their age, and has the ability to seek out others of their race, and has come to help guide them home. Marco is willing to kill in order to keep them from knowing the truth about their lives, and is willing at all costs to keep them from returning to their homeland.
If there’s a sequel, I’ll definitely want to read it. Kudos go to M.R. Bunderson for a well-written and fun to read novel.