Blog

Why You Should Write Character-Centric Humor

Picture this.

Alexa is a woman who values honesty, fidelity, and a good nature. She’s good people, always there with a kind word and a helping hand. But don’t get her angry; she’s a firecracker.

She goes for a business lunch, and as she comes back from the bathroom, who does she see, but her boyfriend, Todd, eating with her best friend, Cindy. That would be okay, if she hadn’t left him at their apartment that morning, plied with Hay fever medication to combat the treacherous pollen that decided to wreak havoc on his delicate system. It was so bad, Todd called in sick.

When Todd and Cindy lean in for a kiss, Alexa interjects, “What the hell is going on here?” 

And for a second, Todd and Cindy look very guilty. But slowly, Todd cracks a smile. The smile sets off Cindy’s giggles.

Surprise! It’s a cheating prank.

giphy1

Alexa is hella pissed at the Todd (after finding out it’s a prank). She resents him for thinking infidelity is a laughing matter, and punches him in the face.

The look on Todd’s face? Priceless.

At least she hadn’t grabbed his steak knife.

Continue reading “Why You Should Write Character-Centric Humor”

The Psychology of Hurt/Comfort Romances

When most people think about romance novels they focus on stories that work toward a HEA or even HFN ending. But recently, Hurt/Comfort (H/C) stories are becoming more and more popular, where the journey to that HEA is painful, torturous, and downright gut-wrenching. These are the epic love stories that make you hurt so bad that you keep on reading in the hopes that the characters will find that HEA, because, Damn it! They deserve it. But what makes this antithesis journey to romance so desirable?

Defining Hurt/Comfort

Hurt/Comfort stories are defined as stories that have one character who has physical/emotional/psychological trauma and another character who heals/nurtures/comforts them through it.

H/C stories go beyond your average alpha male/spunky female couples (or whatever tickles your fancy), in that in there is an intensity and an openness with which the hurt protagonist’s pain and struggle through that pain is explored. It gives the reader an all-access pass in to the character’s world of pain, and their struggle to overcome or deal with that pain.

They showcase how pain is seldom experienced alone. That the ones around us, the ones who care, have a deep-seated desire to comfort and nurture us through the pain. How the nurturing protagonist learns about themselves in comforting the hurt protagonist.

H/C stories are about the reciprocal nature of hurt and comfort, neglect and nurture, and weakness and strength.

Continue reading “The Psychology of Hurt/Comfort Romances”

Pacing Yourself

One of the most common critiques authors get from a beta read or content edit of their manuscript is to watch their pacing. Pacing will make or break your book, because it’s what helps keep the reader engaged. If your pacing is off, then you’ll lose your reader as they’ll cease to care what is happening, even if your character is perfectly crafted. Therefore, pacing is one of the things an editor will look at to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Defining Pacing

First let’s look at what an editor means when they say the pacing of your book is off.

Pacing is defined as the speed at which a story’s plot moves forward. Now, the pace of your book doesn’t, and probably shouldn’t, stay the same over the course of the book. You want action scenes that read fast and get your blood pumping, but you also want moments where your character has down time to chill with their friends, or reflect on past events. What matters is consistency. A consistently paced book that has well planned plot points ensures that there isn’t too much action or to little in large chunks that make the readers lose interest. Consistent pacing is a God send because it keeps the reader engaged, builds the suspense, and makes for a smoother read.

The standards for what is considered to be a “good” pace are very much determined by the genre of your book. If you are writing an action-driven thriller, mystery, or urban fantasy novel, then you must have a quicker pace than if you were writing a more emotionally driven romance or spiritual journey book.

Continue reading “Pacing Yourself”