Torturing my characters

Today I had to emotionally torture my main character and as I did so I realized the importance of this. I have often been too easy on my characters, giving them too safe a path to trod, but it is the hurt that the character goes through that adds drama and tension to the story. This gives readers a reason to go on to the end because they want to find out what will happen with this character. Will he make it? Will he go mad? Will he turn to evil? Certainly such an event must change a person. How will it affect the way he thinks and feels for the rest of his life? The way he responds to similar circumstances?

So, though I will not do it gratuitously, I will torture my characters at times. For until a man has been through the storm, how can he appreciate the calm? Until he has entered the dark, how can he appreciate the light? How much better the healing is welcome after the torture of the soul.

The Things We Do To Write

Yesterday I downloaded two items essential for my writing. One was SimCity, a simulation game where I build up a city. The second was a book called Sweet Valley High (Book 1). Why would you do that, you ask?

In The Last Place to Stand (Book 2), whose title is still to be decided, I need to come up with realistic ways a spaceship would run. I have a small society living on the ship and I wanted to consider aspects I might have forgotten. Like how do they distribute or barter items they might need? What is their system of money? What utilities should I discuss in the book? SimCity helps me itemize what would be needed in a small self-sustaining community. These are the things I would have never thought of if I had not tried such a game.

Sweet Valley High is for another book. Even after releasing Danger Under Ocean’s Tides, I realized there are aspects about Tracy I did not give enough attention. I needed to think like a young girl. Something, I’m afraid does not come very naturally. My wife suggested this series to brush up on being a girl. Besides having an identity crisis, I hope it will help me do one last revision of the book and make it even better than it is.

So there you have it! The things I won’t do to lend my books more realism.

The New Cover is Here!

??????My new cover just came out! Yeah! Can you tell I’m excited. It will be changed on in a few hours.

So far I have always done my own covers. Now, I’m no professional, and no matter how much time I spent on it, I always knew a professional could do it better. Since my kids are on the cover of The Gifted Series, I am keeping those. But for The Last Place to Stand, here’s the new cover.

Is this cool, or what! These folks at do a great job. Incidentally, I am halfway through writing the second book after The Last Place to Stand.