Monthly Archives: November 2013

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 8, Scene 4

This week’s post continues with Chapter 8, Scene 4 (1.8.4).

It’s a day early – I will be on the road tomorrow, and there’s a storm coming.

Feedback welcome. Thanks!

I’m still looking for more beta readers; if interested, email me at abehrhardt [at] gmail.

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 8, Scene 4  [Bianca]


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013.

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Explaining a character’s motivations by telling a little story

Readers – and character’s motivations

We are all amateur psychologists – we have to be, in order to make what sense we do of our world.

It is not a misplaced behavior – humans have similar genetic equipment, and a similar evolution, even into cultures that are quite different – and the basic steps for any living thing (birth, growth, reproduction (maybe), and death) are always present in our minds.

This is extremely helpful for a writer – but has to be used with a light hand. We cannot go into exhaustive detail about characters, much less EVERY character, so instead we have to find the precise details that will evoke, for most of our target readers, the ability to fill in with their own life experience.

So, when I mention an alcoholic father, and a problem of some kind, readers jump into the breach to imagine the homelife of the character, the broken promises, threats or possibilities of Continue reading

Walking the tightrope: writing a disabled Main Character

Why don’t Main Characters have disabilities in most fiction?

There’s a reason disabled characters are used mostly in fiction as narrators, sidekicks, mentors, angels, wise men or women – anything except the Main Character.

Even the Antagonist can be disabled. This is often used to provide a ‘reason’ or a rationale for why the Antagonist is mean, evil, vicious, or difficult: he or she has had a hard life due to a physical or mental disability, and has become surly and mean as a result of this treatment. Or the Antagonist can have a distorted sense of entitlement because of the reaction of other people to the disability or damage.

The Main Character’s role in the story: identification

A Main Character has a lot of roles to fulfill in a novel, among which are reader identification and reader empathy.

Continue reading

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 8, Scene 3

This week’s post continues with Chapter 8, Scene 3 (1.8.3).

Feedback welcome. Thanks!

Still looking for more beta readers; if interested, email me at abehrhardt [at] gmail.

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

End of previous scene, followed by the link to the new scene:

End of Chapter 8, Scene 2

“I have our tickets, and I’m pretty sure Ronnie has hers. Princeton first,” Susan hesitated, “—and then out to you.”

“I’ll pick you up in Manchester, so email the arrival times, okay?” They never spoke of Charles—or Amanda and little Thaddeus Charles Renton—Tad, the usurper—but the dust had settled quietly on that front—before Ethan, and Kary hoped Steven and Tad would grow up untainted. Not their fault. None of it was their fault. They were ‘family’—not her family, but family. Animosity took energy—gave nothing. If she found any she would put it in Akiiya.

Never begrudge family.

~ ~ ~

PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 8, Scene 3


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013.

Measuring and dealing with brain fog: when to write anyway

We are founts of information about ourselves if we will but bother to think, capture the data, perhaps write it down.

Objective measurement of brain fog is hard.

Using data about myself to manage my writing self

I recently made a commitment to let VentureGalleries serialize Pride’s Children. The idea is, of course, to get more eyes on my writing. They run a bunch of serials, some of finished books, others by writers like me who are working live – there is something for everyone – go take a look.

Instead of a scene a week (as I’m posting here), they put up 1000-1200 word ‘chunks’ of the story three times a week, with a teaser title that gives you a tiny bit of information. Continue reading

ME/CFS and B1: resuming B1 use after possible overdose

I’m back on the stuff (B1), successfully so far.

One of the scariest things in the world is what I’ve just gone through: figuring out that you have a massive overreaction to something you ingested, but going back on it anyway – extremely cautiously.

How to proceed with caution

So far, having gone from no B1 (and being completely wiped out – back to taking lots of naps) very slowly to a lower dose than I was up to before (1700 mg total B1 vs. 2600 mg), I am stopping to analyze – and plan out the future. Continue reading

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 8, Scene 2

This week’s post continues with Chapter 8, Scene 2 (1.8.2).

And thanks to WordPress for catching a typo! Before I published.

Feedback welcome. Thanks!

Still looking for more beta readers; if interested, email me at abehrhardt [at] gmail.

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

End of previous scene, followed by the link to the new scene:

End of Chapter 8, Scene 1

He negotiated the winding road back to Hanover with the wind whipping his long hair stingingly along the helmet’s rim. Plenty of time. He hadn’t been this relaxed since he boarded the plane for America. He found himself singing a bar ditty about a one-armed sailor.

His lines were there, solid. He was ready to be a good father to the lovely Bianca—surely she must see the colonies’ treason as he did? A tiny spark of guilt assailed: Why hadn’t he told Bianca about the girl in his bed? Keep it strictly professional, lad. And why had he told Kary?

It had a good sound: Sanctuary.

~ ~ ~

PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 8, Scene 2


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013.

In what universe is it funny to push a woman in a wheelchair off a stage?

“Now that the Britannia Awards are televised, viewers can see Sacha Baron Cohen knock an 87-year-old woman out of her wheelchair”.

Comedy depends on surprise; that’s not a problem.

Crossing the line.

Making fun of people in wheelchairs is a disturbing continuation of making fun of people who are in any way different.

It is acceptable for a comic to make fun of himself, or a comedienne to use her personal life as a basis of her act. Continue reading

The red lobster tale: ME/CFS and B1 overdose possible – CAUTION

From the PREVIOUS POST – and now I think I’ve figured it out:

The lobster tale

Today I woke up, and was a giant red lobster, fire-engine red from my feet to the top up my head under the hair, and down to the finger digits and thumbs…

It happened again – CAUTION

And it is important that I post this information, in case you are taking/considering B1 for ME/CFS symptoms OR FM symptoms.

NOTE: I will still try to take B1 because the positive effects are there, but there will be some figuring out going on. Continue reading

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 8, Scene 1

This week’s post begins Chapter 8, with Scene 1 (1.8.1). Chapter 7’s scenes will be consolidated on the Chapter 7 page.

Feedback welcome. Thanks!

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

End of previous scene, followed by the link to the new scene:

End of Chapter 7, Scene 6

She scattered the fragments of leaf onto the pine needles at her feet, decided. “Andrew, you’ll need safe havens where you can be yourself without watching your back and every word you say.” Her throat required clearing. “I might be one for you.”

“Here?”

In for a penny… “There are two extra bedrooms for when the girls come. No one would bother you.”

Especially not me.

~ ~ ~

PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 8, Scene 1


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013.

Writing fiction two ways: proactive writing and reactive writing

There are two ways for me to write anything: proactively – by just doing it – or reactively – by removing whatever is keeping me from doing it.

The first way is the Western, logical, rational way; the shortest distance between two points.

But what if the frontal assault doesn’t carry the day? What if the battering ram fails to crash through the gate? What if the defenders are all awake and strong and ready?

Then I need stealth. Cunning. Treachery. Misdirection. Bribery and fraud and conniving at the back door. The tunnel under the border. The non-linear solution.

The hard way, but sometimes the only way.

And for this approach I need all the help I can get. Continue reading

I moved my cheese: expanding my writer’s goals

I had an opportunity this week; I took it.

In part, I created the opportunity: I followed a bread-crumb trail made of interesting links to a website (Venture Galleries) where both finished and in-progress novels are serialized, and I wrote to one of the administrators to ask how they got their contributors. He wrote back that they were looking for one more participant – and hadn’t had the time to find one. He asked me for a sample and some information.

I got the requested material to him by the end of the day.

He wrote back to say nice things. And invited me to join them.

Continue reading