About Reviews – April Round Robin

My mother always taught me that if I didn’t have anything nice to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. While I haven’t always followed that advice, I’m certain many authors wish critics would.

I’ve had one or two reviews that scoured my work to the bone, which … let’s be honest here … required a pint of ice cream to get me through. Mint chocolate chip is the greatest comforter in times like these.

But when push comes to shove, negative reviews are always the ones that I learn from. I’m not a world-renowned author, not yet, and I’m still honing my craft. So anything that teaches me how to be better is good.

Sometimes painful, but good.

Positive reviews help sell a book, but not nearly as much as word of mouth. Like it or not, people talking about your book is still the number one way to push those sales up – or so all the professionals tell me.

I’ve sent my books out to reviewers for their honest opinions and come back with some positive results there, but those results never last for very long. To be honest, sometimes the only result of a positive review is my own feeling of accomplishment; somebody read my book and understood what I was trying to say!

Since Sedition was first published eight years ago I’ve held a 4.36 star average on Goodreads and about the same on Amazon, which I suppose is quite good considering there are a lot of things wrong with my early novels. But the only thing this knowledge serves is to push me to become better.

Maybe it sells one book every three months or so, but at the end of the day it still only pushes me to be better. I don’t have time to check reviews every day or even every week. I check them once or twice a month, see if I have anything new, and then I get back to work.

See what some of my fellow authors think about reviews …

Marci Baun  http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/
Dr. Bob Rich https://bobrich18.wordpress.com/2017/04/22/how-to-get-reviews
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Victoria Chatham http://victoriachatham.blogspot.ca
Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com
Rachael Kosinski http://rachaelkosinski.weebly.com/
A.J. Maguire  https://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/ (YOU ARE HERE)
Margaret Fieland http://margaretfieland.wordpress.com
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Rhobin Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com

March Round Robin – Emotional Rollercoasters

Topic: Are you ever emotionally drained by writing certain scenes, and how real are your characters to you?

Every once in a while there is a solid thumping sound emanating from my desk. It alarms the cats most days but I think my son is mostly used to it.

Alright, so three or four times a week there’s an incessant banging going on in my little corner. This is the sound my head makes as it smacks repeatedly into my keyboard. It generally happens when I’m having to deal with one of the “problem” characters.

Right now that character happens to be Liana, who I’ve talked about before. She’s just too full of angst for me to deal with and I can’t handle her for more than a few minutes at a time. But I’ve had other characters that drain me. Brodis Windringham from Saboteur was a deeply bitter man who put me through a ringer.

Generally speaking, having to write in the antagonist’s voice is always difficult. Their scenes only ever range between 600-1000 words long but once I’ve finished, I have to run off to soak in a bath or take a long walk through the park. Anything to refresh my mind.

Death scenes drain me too.

One particular character died near the end of a book and it took me a week to recover. I gorged myself on mint chocolate chip ice cream and Netflix that week, and once I got back to work it was still traumatic for me.

I suppose that if the death of a character can affect me in such a way then my characters feel very real to me. And in truth they are all, in some fashion or another, a part of who I am. Or at least a sample of traits I would like to inhabit; Trenna with her fearlessness, Megan with her gentle bravery,  Seach’s selflessness, Elsie’s sense of duty …

You get it.

The characters on the page are alive because they display the gamut of human behavior. I imagine this is the same as when you’re reading a favored book. Take, for instance, The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. I recently reread this series from start to finish (it’s 3 books long and includes Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, and Clockwork Princess) and I was asking myself why I loved them so much.

These books can be found in the young adult section, which I rarely read but in this instance I find the books beautiful. Clare’s handle of language, the way she weaves classics into the narrative and lets books affect the characters on the page, never ceases to impress me.

Beyond that, however, are the characters themselves. Tessa and Will and Jem are unique and yet, they couldn’t possibly exist without each other. Together they tell a story of love and loss and grief and hope; a story I am very grateful to have been able to read.

It is my hope, and I imagine it is the hope of every author out there, that their characters come alive for those who take the time to read. It’s only when those characters really breathe on the page that they have any hope of being memorable.

So, essentially, if the characters didn’t feel real to me, then I think I would have missed the whole point of being an author.

Join our Round Robin discussion this month and take a peek at what some of my fellow authors have to say about emotionally draining scenes and the realness of characters on the page …

Participants:
Victoria Chatham http://victoriachatham.blogspot.ca
Marci Baun  http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/
Margaret Fieland http://margaretfieland.wordpress.com
Judith Copek http://lynx-sis.blogspot.com/
A.J. Maguire  https://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/ (YOU ARE HERE)
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Rachael Kosinski http://rachaelkosinski.weebly.com/
Dr. Bob Rich htt  http://wp.me/p3Xihq-Wo
Heather Haven http://heatherhavenstories.com/blog/
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Kay Sisk http://www.kaysisk.com/blog
Diane Bator http://dbator.blogspot.ca/
Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Rhobin Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com

Description – February Round Robin

TOPIC:

Description. What is your saturation point? What is not enough? How do you decide what to include and when to hold back to allow the reader to fill in the blanks? 

With several books under my belt now I’m going to have to admit that … each work is different when it comes to description. I’ve found that Fantasy novels tend to be very description heavy, relying on your ability to craft a picture with words in order for readers to really plant themselves in your work.

However, science fiction tends to be different. Or at least for me it is. While I still have to describe what it’s like to be spelunking through Pluto, it comes off quite different from when I’m describing a character crawling through caves in a fantasy world.

This might be because the basics of Pluto are already given to me by science so I don’t have to reach very far to bring out those descriptions, whereas with a fantasy novel I’m trying to link the reader’s mind with something familiar and yet strange to evoke a unique picture.

Or it might be that the readership is just plain different.

A lot of people read science fiction for the possibilities it inspires and a lot of people read fantasy to escape and immerse into a new world. Which means that description has to be tackled in such a way that you’re giving the reader what they were hunting for.

Here, lemme give two examples …

FANTASY – Torven 

The snow muffled his steps through the wood, chilled the pads on his feet and made the fur on his legs plaster wetly against his skin. An aching stillness was in the forest today, broken only by the whisper of branches high overhead and the distant gurgle of a half frozen stream somewhere to the west of him. He would need to go there soon, it had been too long since he’d had a drink and Torven had been travelling some distance since the morning.

Still he tarried, continuing his lonely trek for several meters before diverting toward the stream. Snow began to drift soundlessly from the sky, catching on the leaves and piling on the ground in large, fat flakes. Some fetched up in the fur on his back but he could not feel them, would not feel them until his body heat finally melted them down to run icy rivulets over his skin.

Being a wolf did have some advantages, he supposed. It would not be as cold for him as it would be if he’d been a man.

SCIENCE FICTION – Debriefing (novelette under construction)(Mild language warning)

“This is bullshit,” Seach said from his bunk.

The tight confines of their transport vessel made his commentary unavoidable and Jorry sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose. Thirteen years at war hadn’t managed to temper Seach Barlow’s penchant for insubordination and she was beginning to believe he might never be cured. Her navigation chair squealed as she turned to face him.

The back of the ship consisted of four bunks standing parallel to each other with one small space to walk between them. The low ceiling curved into a semi-circle and one set of thick yellow bracings separated the pilot’s nest from the main hold of the transport. Seach lounged in the top left bunk, one booted foot hanging over the side and she could see his frown through the holographic screen created by his personal computer. His amber eyes glared at the information he was reviewing and her stomach knotted with new worries.

He was reading their new orders.

See how the descriptions differ? The fantasy work is very focused on painting the picture whereas the science fiction gives more of a basic view of where the characters are standing.

Beyond that, we’re also having to look at what’s going on in the scene. If it’s an action scene we obviously don’t want to pause for a lengthy description of what the opposition is wearing. But we also don’t want to be so sparse with our descriptions that the reader doesn’t quite understand what is going on.

For me personally, I try to focus on the character in front of me. The descriptions can’t just be there to look pretty, they have to affect the character too. I’ve found that description says more about character than many people realize because, while I might see the dawn as a sign of hope and inspiration, to a character whose execution has been scheduled for the morning it would be something far more sinister.

This is how I decide what to include and what to take out. If the description doesn’t add to the tone of the character, if it doesn’t somehow reveal something about that character, then I cut it.

Take a look at what some of my fellow authors think about description …

Marci Baun  http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Anne Stenhouse  http://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com/
Dr. Bob Rich  https://bobrich18.wordpress.com/2017/02/18/description
A.J. Maguire  https://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/ (YOU ARE HERE)
Rachael Kosinski http://rachaelkosinski.weebly.com/
Diane Bator http://dbator.blogspot.ca/
Rhobin Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com

January Round Robin

When I was in the sixth grade my teacher gave us an assignment that would change my life forever. She began by reading an excerpt from a Fantasy where a person was climbing a mountainside, desperate to get to the cave near the summit.

Only then she stopped.

The assignment was simple; we had to write a page and a half continuing the story. What was in the cave? Who is this person climbing and what are they trying to accomplish?

I took to the assignment with zeal, possibilities exploding in my little sixth-grader head as my pencil did the nearest approximation of cursive writing across the page. Only, I couldn’t stop at a page and a half. Before I knew it, I had an entire notebook filled with the adventures of Amanda Call, a princess warrior from a mythical race of beings whose only purpose in life was to complete tasks divvied out to her by her Wizard.

SAM_2191Its title was A Quest of Bravery and I still have it on my bookshelf today. It’s just a little thing and my cursive was atrocious back then, but seeing it always makes me smile. It reminds me of that moment in the sixth grade when I realized that magic really does exist.

That’s the moment I got started with writing and that magic has followed me ever since. I sense it every time I start a new book, all those endless possibilities swirling around in my head until I find the one that needs to be said, the one that highlights something important about what it means to be human.

That’s why I write.

That’s why I can’t stop writing.

Every book teaches me something, be it about the craft of writing itself or about some aspect of humanity that I struggle to grasp. I think that if I ever stopped writing, it would be tantamount to saying I knew everything and had no need to learn more.

So every book becomes a quest for me, a journey that I must take to better understand myself and the world around me. It’s hard work and sometimes I want to quit, but I’ve found that the harder it is, the more rewarding the ending will be.

Check out what got my fellow authors involved in the craft of writing and what helps them move forward!

Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Margaret Fieland http://margaretfieland.wordpress.com
Heather Haven http://heatherhavenstories.com/blog/
Dr. Bob Rich http://wp.me/p3Xihq-SK
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Victoria Chatham http://victoriachatham.blogspot.ca
Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Marci Baun  http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/
Judith Copek http://lynx-sis.blogspot.com/
Rachael Kosinski http://rachaelkosinski.weebly.com/
Diane Bator http://dbator.blogspot.ca/
A.J. Maguire  https://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/  (YOU ARE HERE)
Rhobin Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com

Word Choices – Round Robin Dicussion

This month’s Round Robin topic poses the question about word choice and how the words we choose manage to develop characters within our stories.

Or, as I like to call it, taking ownership of your craft.

Writers are in the word business. This is how we convey our art to the world, so our word choices are supremely important. Granted, most of the time the real art shows up during the editing process.

At least it does for me.

The first draft I just sort of keep going but the second draft is when I hone in on what words create the affect I want. I’m not sure how other authors do it, but for me it works best when I take a chapter or a scene a day during the editing process and I sort of … edit just that chapter/scene that whole day.

Which means I end up editing the same chapter/scene at least 3 times and each time I’m looking at something different.

First Pass – Graphic Detail … meaning the setting my characters are standing in. I do this first because it gives me something more to work with when I go through and focus just on the characters. If I’m grounded in the setting, then my characters can interact with that setting, which, in turn, helps convey who that character is to the readers.

Second Pass – POV character … meaning I dig in deep with my point of view character for that scene. I ask how they’re feeling that day, how they’re being affected by what’s happening in the story, and what about the setting really annoys them. Or, conversely, what they love about the setting.

No, seriously, just stopping to ask; “Hey, what does so-and-so hate about this room?” reveals sooooo much about who they are as a character. I promise. Give it a try.

Third Pass – Major/Minor characters … meaning I concentrate on the other characters on the page in that scene. And I ask the same exact questions for them that I ask about the POV character in the scene.

This is from Persona … my WWII novel that was going to be published this year but someone convinced me not to give up on the traditional market just yet, so it’s currently being considered by … ahem, places.

She turned and headed for the bathroom across the hall. Maybe she’d left the bathroom cupboard open again and Grendel was perched on the towels. She sighed in annoyance, pushing her way through the half closed door. She’d have to wash those towels again before she could use them. Grendel shed like the beast he was and she had no desire to be covered in orange cat fur.

She flicked on the light.

“Grendel, you little vagrant. You know you’re not …”

A blur of blue and white rushed at her from behind the door. Megan tried to scream but something fleshy and firm clamped over her mouth, smothering the sound. A heartbeat later she felt the hard edges of the counter press into her backside and she was forced to lean awkwardly until her head touched the mirror above the sink. She squirmed and tried to break free, too terrified to think. One word screamed through her mind; intruder.

“Sh! Please!” A man’s voice hissed near her ear. “Please! I don’t want to hurt you!”

It took several seconds before she realized he had spoken English.

English with an American accent, she thought.

Megan forced herself to relax but the grip he had on her was hard and uncomfortable. She felt a tremble pass through him, smelled blood and fear in the room, and prayed they could get through this without anyone getting hurt. He pulled back and his face came into view. His nose looked like it might have been broken once and he had strong, masculine features lined with a reddish beard and the dirt of many days in hiding. Olive green eyes stared at her, hiding none of his panic or pain, and she began to realize he was injured.

His body started to shake more forcefully.

“Do you … do you understand?” He asked.

She nodded her head as best she could, rattling the mirror a little. He exhaled unsteadily and began to let go. His hand slipped away from her mouth.

“Thank God,” he said. “Thank God.”

His eyelids drooped suddenly and he collapsed on top of her. Megan yelped, scrambling to grab hold of him before he slid to the floor. He was heavy, so much heavier than she’d been expecting, and she struggled not to fall herself. It took several minutes but she managed to get his limp body squashed into the corner between wall and tub.

She stood up and stared down at him, panting. A smear of blood ran down the right side of her dress jacket and Megan felt her mouth go dry. He really was injured.

For a dumbfounded moment she stared down at him, her mind catching up to the events.

There was a bleeding American man in her bathroom.

Bleeding, she thought again and forced herself to move.

She knelt, peeling back the man’s navy blue coat to reveal a heavily leaking bandage underneath. It was lashed across his torso, the deep red seeping through enough that she couldn’t rightly anticipate where the wound was.

Her stomach turned and she covered her mouth with a trembling hand.

She looked at his ashen face; saw gaunt illness overlapping what she imagined to be a normally handsome, strong man.

How far had he come with such an injury?

To be this deep inside Germany he had to have come from a war camp somewhere. Megan had no idea where such a camp would be located, but she could see by the mud caked to his boots and trousers that he’d travelled quite a distance. By the reek of him he hadn’t had a shower in some time, too.

She turned and opened the cupboard beneath the sink, fumbling with the first aid kit stored there. He must not have been in the house long if he hadn’t found it. She opened the gray, steel container and spilled bandages, tape and scissors on the floor. Megan hissed in irritation, snatching all the contents and tossing them haphazardly into the case again. She kept the scissors out, prepared to cut through his dirty shirt to get to the injury.

A loud banging resounded from downstairs and Megan froze. Her heart seized and then sped as she glanced between the bleeding man and her half open bathroom door.

Someone was knocking on her front door.

 

OK!

So this scene reveals a lot about Megan. Firstly, she’s a neat and tidy person because she can’t handle the idea of drying herself off on towels that the cat has used as a bed. Secondly … she talks to the cat.

Which in my book makes her totally likable.

I talk to my cats. I can relate.

Notice there’s a shift in her perception in the scene. I’ve put some words in bold and italics to highlight them for you.

When she first goes into the bathroom the door was ‘half closed’ but then … after she’s encountered her intruder … that perception changes to a ‘half open’ doorway. And yes, this was done on purpose. Because Megan’s mindset has changed due to her fear.

Take a look at how some of my fellow authors address the issue of word choice in their works …

Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Marci Baun  http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/
Margaret Fieland http://margaretfieland.wordpress.com
Victoria Chatham http://victoriachatham.blogspot.ca
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Dr. Bob Rich  http://wp.me/p3Xihq-OB
Rachael Kosinski http://rachaelkosinski.weebly.com/
Judith Copek http://lynx-sis.blogspot.com/
Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com
Rhobin Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com

 

Writing Rituals – Round Robin

The alarm goes off at 5AM every morning.

I have it strategically placed several feet away from the couch, where I have collapsed to

img_0025

Nuisance – Don’t let him fool you. 

sleep some six to seven hours before. Dodging Nuisance (the kitten), I stumble my way across the room to turn the alarm off and stand there for several minutes in the dark, teetering on my feet because at this point I’m still trying to remember why exactly my alarm has gone off at such an hour.

Eventually I remember that it is a weekday and it is time to write.

Making what can only be described as a zombie-like shamble through my dark apartment, I locate the coffee machine and set it to brewing and stand for several more minutes, staring at the coffee level as it rises.

At this point I may actually be sleeping while standing up. It’s really kind of a mystery.

Camp NaNoWriMo mug in hand – full of coffee, thank heavens – I make a somewhat less zombie-like shamble to the computer and power it on. The trick, I have found, is to drink at least half a mug of coffee before I open the manuscript and begin to review what was written the day before. This means that I have approximately fifteen minutes to check email, Facebook, Google+, and possibly Twitter (really, I know everyone loves Twitter but all the hashtags make little sense to me, especially at 5AM).

Once the coffee hits the midway point of the mug I am sufficiently awake enough to really comprehend yesterday’s work. Now then, depending on the time of year, I am either in the middle of editing or I’m in the middle of creating.

296311_500604823329356_837081728_nThe first five to six months of the year are dedicated to editing. January through the end of May I can get through two major hauls on two different novels. This work consists of multiple colored pens and a printed manuscript and, if I’m doing it right, I can get five chapters done in a week.

My pens are color coded for each book. Different colors for different character arcs and development, a color for typos (normally red), a color for plot issues (often purple), and a color for graphic detail (green – which tends to be the heaviest color on the page.)

Monday through Friday I work on a chapter a day. Saturday I transfer all handwritten changes onto the computer. Sunday … I nap. Or play Star Wars.

June through December are my “creation” months. This is when I write new novels. I can do approximately two chapters a week while in “create-mode”. Sometimes more.

At present, I am in “create-mode” so after my first cup of coffee has been consumed I have gone over the previous day’s writing (and hated it, I always hate it at first) I begin working.

I pause for more coffee.

And then I pause again to hold my crystal ball.

Because yes, I have a crystal ball. It feels good in my hands, large and cool to the touch, and it helps me concentrate.

By 8AM I have gone through my second cup of coffee and must save all content to multiple places because I am obsessive-compulsive about making sure all copies in all virtual hidey-holes have been updated.

At random intervals I will have had to pause to pet Nuisance and Pest (the grumpy older

IMG_0222

Pest

cat) and informed them both that they are detrimental to the creation process, but neither of them seem to care.

Nevertheless, it is now 8AM and I must wake the child up and prepare him for school. At 8:25AM we are in the car and heading out for the day (because we are freaking awesome at that). For the rest of the day my writing rituals include keeping the outline of the novel on hand for note-taking and 3×5 cards for any scenes that must be written down before they are forgotten.

Check out what some of my fellow authors do for their writing rituals in this month’s Round Robin Discussion!

Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
A.J. Maguire  https://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/ (YOU ARE HERE)
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Dr. Bob Rich https://bobrich18.wordpress.com/2016/09/24/is-my-writing-right-for-you
Rachael Kosinski http://rachaelkosinski.weebly.com/
Anne Stenhouse  http://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com/
Connie Vines http://connievines.blogspot.com/
Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com
Victoria Chatham http://victoriachatham.blogspot.ca
Margaret Fieland http://margaretfieland.wordpress.com
Rhobin Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com

 

Round Robin Discussion – Scarring your characters

This month for the Round Robin topic we are talking about emotionally scarred characters. The questioned posed is; “What mental, physical or spiritual wounds or scars have you used in your stories?”

The truth is … we all have scars. Whether they’re big or small or whatever, we have them. They define us as people. And the same should be said of any fictional character.

Now as a writer I don’t sit down with a particular “scar” in mind for the characters I’m dealing with. It’s really a discovery process for me. But once I’ve discovered that particular “wound” in my character’s personality I make sure to highlight it during the editing process and really draw it out.

Because being a writer is really being a student of humanity. We’re here to show what it is to be human and touch on subjects, both painful and joyful, that are often too complex to be fully expressed.

But which scars have I actually used?

Well, Trenna Dyngannon (Sedition series) had a serious issue with her mother that was really brought out in the second book of the series; Saboteur. Basically there was neglect and self-worth issues that Trenna had to battle through, which I found very interesting given how very strong Trenna is as a character.

One wouldn’t expect someone like Trenna Dyngannon to feel a sense of inadequacy, but due to close contact with her mother she finds herself struggling to remember that she isn’t actually defined by what her mother does or says.

In the Tapped series, both Seach and Jorry are deeply scarred by the fact that they had to abandon their former Captain. Relo’s absence is a deep burden for both of them given that they know exactly what has been done to him at the clutches of the government.

On top of that, Jorry and Seach are haunted by things that happened during the war. Moments that they wish they could forget, and truly traumatic orders that they found themselves bound to follow. This particular scar carries through the whole series (I’m in the middle of writing the second book now) and, inevitably, will come to a crisis point where they have to make a decision to either fight again, or try to find some other way to change the galaxy as they know it.

But perhaps the most noticeably scarred character of mine is Reesa Zimms from the book Deviation. Reesa is a science fiction novelist who has used her writing as a means of therapy for herself (no, this is not even remotely autobiographical, I promise) and in the book … well … let’s go ahead and give a snippet. I haven’t done one of those in ages.

“I’m dying, Matt,” she whispered.

She felt him move to her side, felt his knuckle graze her cheek, and heard him sigh.  “David is very good at what he does.  You should have a little faith,” he said.

Opening her eyes again she met his gaze. “And why should I be spared from a fate I forced onto the whole female race?”

He frowned, gently pushed a lock of hair behind her ear, and made a thoughtful hum.  She waited for his answer, praying it would be right.  She needed him to have an answer, to have some form of redemption for her.  Perhaps justice was served in her death, but even death-row inmates were given a chance at clemency, weren’t they?

A final prayer, a last wish, she thought.

“I think we’ve come to the matter of your own motivations, Reesa,” he said. “Tell me why you really wrote the books.”

Her heart might have stopped at the sudden wash of pain.  She certainly wished it would.  Fixing her gaze on the juncture between wall and ceiling above them, she was transported through her memory, to the small clinic exam room when she was eighteen years old.  Her mother’s voice rang loud in her ears, calling her irresponsible and thoughtless, convincing her that a child would ruin eight years of modeling competitions and progress.  And in her hand, Reesa could still feel the coarse, politely brown paper bag of contraceptives she’d been given after it was all over.

Matt made a soft, soothing sound and wiped the tears from her face.  Reesa closed her eyes, unwilling to look at him as she made her confession.

“I wrote a book where everyone was as ugly as I felt.”

Take a look at what others are saying about scarring their characters!

Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Victoria Chatham http://victoriachatham.blogspot.ca
https://bobrich18.wordpress.com/2016/08/27/the-wounded-healer
Rachael Kosinski http://rachaelkosinski.weebly.com/
Anne Stenhouse  http://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com/
Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com
A.J. Maguire  https://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/ (YOU ARE HERE)
Fiona McGier http://www.fionamcgier.com/
Rhobin Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com