A Stranger in the Garden – Teaser Thursday

Welcome to Teaser Thursday! Here’s a snippet from my WIP high fantasy, The Myth of Kalvartr.

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The force of another body colliding into her nearly knocked her down.

It took a moment to regain her balance, grabbing for a nearby lantern post to steady her footing, though her victim was already neatly composed when Annabelle gazed upon him. She noticed how strange his clothes looked—all the wrong colours for the Zhan Kingdom and tailored differently. His face was also unfamiliar, not at all angled in an Emperian-like way, and he was tall. Too tall.

She then realized she was openly staring and promptly burst into a string of apologies before her sense entirely left her.

“I’m so sorry! Goddess Marieas, I’m clumsy! Are you hurt, sir? Tell me you aren’t!”

The stranger raised a hand to calm her and then shook his head. “The fault is mine, my lady. I did not see you.”

He had a strange tone to his voice, this man, something unfamiliar that tried to disguise itself as the Emperian accent.

Thoughts upon Female Characters

As much as I love feminism and fighting for equal rights, some people take the concept of “independence” too far. Critics are saying the new Jurassic World is sexist because of Claire’s character development throughout the movie. She goes from cold, calculating Claire to caring, reckless Claire. In my review earlier this week, I pointed out that her character was the kind you’d want to see eaten in a Jurassic movie. My opinion completely changed halfway through the film.

Does caring for her nephews make Claire a weak character? Does caring for the death of dinosaurs or people make her a weak character? Does caring for a guy she chose to ignore because of work make her a weak character? The answer is: No, it does not.

People are so focused on females in movies or literature being strong and independent that they forget that females are people, too. They don’t always have to be cold and distant. They can be strong and independent and also have a significant other, a sensitive side, and motherly instincts. The beauty of women is that they have personalities. Go figure, right?

I saw the same problem surrounding books this week. People were making cruel comments about how this or that book featured two main characters (one female and one male) and how the book would end with the women being redeemed by a man’s love–or rescued by him. Yet if this plot was to completely flip and the man would be the one in need of redemption or rescuing, no one would bat an eyelash. It would be acceptable.

People judge females far too harshly in literature and media, and because of that I worry about my own writing. Someone reading the blurb of Sky Knight could make the assumption that Taliah falls into the above mentioned scenario (she doesn’t, if you’re wondering). Yet in the sequel Taliah will find herself in a difficult situation–a situation she can’t get out of without help. Is she now suddenly a weak character because for once in her life she has to depend upon someone else for assistance? Absolutely not, but some will judge your female MC if this happens.

So am I going to rewrite the scene to make Taliah get through the situation on her own? Nope. Scenes like these are what bond characters together and reveal character traits the characters themselves didn’t know they had. And having a character rescued by another character doesn’t make them weak or any less independent. It just shows they’re human and not some robot hybrid.

Some people are easily offended when female and male characters work together to achieve a goal, each relying upon the other for support and strength, but what is equality if it isn’t this?

Happy writing,

Sandra

Positive Attitude for Writers

This Tuesday I’m going to talk about something a little different. I normally post writing tips on Tuesday, though today I’m going to touch upon something that’s just as important as writing a good story: Your attitude as a writer.

All authors have (or should have) a social media presence. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, or Google+, your attitude is something you need to take into account when both starting your writing career and continuing on your path to success.

So why exactly is this so important? Let me explain.

I browse around a lot on Twitter. I like reading tweets about writing, reading, and finished accomplishments. Yet when I come across a negative outlook or a writer complaining about something, I immediately flee in the opposite direction. Why? Because I don’t want to read about how much their manuscript sucks or how the publishing industry is tearing them apart. Everything is all doom and gloom and dark storm clouds with them and I don’t want to get wrapped up in that. Neither does anyone else.

Perhaps I sound a bit harsh, but it’s the truth. We go on social media platforms to connect with others, to share news and engage in fun conversation. If you continuously spout negativity, people are going to ignore you, and your attitude might just start influencing other writers to think the same way, which also causes them to steer away from you.

Everyone has trouble with their writing at some point or another, yet not everyone chooses to share this. My Twitter account is full of positive quotes, memes, photos, and tips; you won’t find anything negative on my wall. Does that mean my life is encompassed by rainbows and sunshine? Definitely not. I struggle just as much as any writer out there–and twice as much as traditionally published authors because I’m an indie. Yet I never talk about how hard it is or how frustrated I sometimes get, because no one likes reading negativity–and I honestly don’t want to spread that kind of attitude to others.

Having a positive attitude is the key to having a healthy social media presence. Staying positive even in the face of hardship is a great way to keep not only your own spirits up but the spirits of others, as well. So instead of talking about how bad your story is, try to see the good in it and work upon it. Share opinions with others and stay involved with the community you’ve established. A great attitude will make you friends and overall keep your social media page a great and fun place to visit.

Happy writing,

Sandra