Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Top Ten Signs A Work Of Fiction Was Written By Me

This is a meme making the rounds of the super awesome writers who blog, so I thought I'd toss my hat into the ring.

Ten Signs A Work Of Fiction Was Written By Me

  1. A character you grow to love and root for is brutally killed midway through the book. It will be random and somewhat unexpected, and it will seem like I'm doing it just to be mean to you personally. In fact, you can often tell who is going to live and die in one my novels based on how nice un-screwed up they are. Only the flawed get to live.
  2. On the subject of flaws, I'd like to think that none of my characters are sickeningly perfect. I have a really hard time reading books where the characters never make a bad decision or do something selfish. If someone is 100% perfect all the time, they just look like a victim when inevitable plot happens to them.
  3. There will probably be some horrific description of either an injury or a rotting corpse.
  4. References to Broadway musicals. I'm a giant fan of musicals and I love sneaking little nods to them into my writing. If I can't make the characters do it in character, I sneak it into a chapter title. For example, in book four of Blood Ties (All Soul's Night, available June of 2008 plugity plug), there's a chapter called "Ain't No Party" because it was a good description for the chapter and also it's a song from Dreamgirls and Dreamgirls is the bestest.
  5. Colloquial grammar. Even if I'm writing in third POV, I like to write the narrative the way the person would talk. If that means writing improper grammar now and then, I'm willing to do it.
  6. Cussing. I have the vocabulary of a sailor who grew up in Newark, so my books are peppered with obscenities. My grandfather gives me lectures about the profanity in my books (I notice it hasn't stopped him reading them), but where the hell did he think I learned to talk that way?
  7. The main character is an orphan, or has a poor relationship with his or her parents. This is mainly for convenience on my part, so I don't have to figure out a character's relationship with his or her parents. Sometimes this backfires; I figured making Dr. Carrie Ames an orphan would explain why she's so needy and yet emotionally distant with people. As it turns out, it wasn't her parents' death, but how they were when they were alive, that made her that way. Carrie's father has all but bludgeoned his way into the books.
  8. Sex. I don't think I'll ever write a book that doesn't have sex in it. Not because I'm a horn dog, but I think it's where people are most vulnerable. It's also a good way for characters to screw up their lives.
  9. Religion. I like to know what my characters believe, because it makes them easier for me to write. Since I don't like to just write random stuff that isn't going to make me money (except fanfic, but that's addiction, not a hobby), it ends up in the books.
  10. No dialect. Even though characters in my books might have accents, I'll never write them out. I don't think I could have taken Nathan seriously up to this point if he sounded like Hagrid on the page. You'll probably never, ever see a dialect in on of my books.

Bonus #11: Myself. I think I'll always make a cameo appearance in some of my characters. Sure, they all get a little something from me, I think, but it doesn't take a genius to know that I am a different person than my characters. However, there is always one character in each project that is more like me than any of the others. This is because I'm vain and I need to be involved.

If anyone else does this, please leave me a link! I have very much liked reading these!


  1. Oh, I have never been here before. I am clicking and procrastinating. And...I love you list. And your hair!

  2. That should say "your' list. I don't love you yet. We just met. But I like you very much so far...

  3. Well...if you like non-perfect characters, you'd probably love my Faythe. I hear all the time how not-perfect she is. ;-)

  4. Smut Girl- It's okay, I thought the "you" in your comment was directed toward my list, and not me. Then I felt dirty for reading such impassioned correspondence between a stranger and my list. Oh list, I never knew you could inspire such devotion!

    Rachel- LOL, do you hear about it in Amazon reviews where the readers complain about it? That's where I hear about my characters' imperfections!

  5. You have Tyne Daly eyes. ;+) Maybe not Bette Davis eyes but just as distinctive.

    Thanks for playing. I'm still trying to keep a running tally of "listers" on my blog, so if you know of any I've missed, let me know.

  6. Kill Max and I swear to God I will BEAT you. Please note: the word "off" is no near that sentence.

  7. there's a chapter called "Ain't No Party" because it was a good description for the chapter and also it's a song from Dreamgirls and Dreamgirls is the bestest.
    It's a good thing you said that - otherwise I would've thought you namechecking "there ain't no party like an S Club party"...and that would be worrisome ;-)

    Have a lovely day! :-)

  8. Mouse.

    That's all I'm saying. Traitor.

  9. Great list! This is my most fave meme--I've done one too :-)

  10. I would do this meme over at my journal, but I don't know what the themes and embarrassing obsession-revealing maguffins are in my own work. *shamefaced look*

    I like your list and will be seeking out your work soon!

    But you MUST tell me something . . . I read your comment on the "Smart B*s" plagiarism thread saying that there's a "popular paranormal romantic comedy book that takes several comedic lines sputtered by the heroine from an online dictionary of bizarre French phrases without acknowledging the source." Now, how could I not demand that you do the reveal?! I must read this book. Maybe she stole it all from Moliere! I also want to know where that online dictionary of bizarre French phrases is. I thought it was wild enough when I bought my cousin the Rick Steves French phrasebook that has translations for some of the goofiest things you could ever think up. ("Does this make my butt look big?" "Excuse me, but is that your real hair?" Yet even nuttier.)

  11. Shalanna--

    The website I was referring to is, which has been around since 1996. I'm not going to out the book, but I do feel it needed to be cited as a source, even just out of politeness.

  12. Monash Uni...that's in the state of Victoria, where I live ;-)

    Oh...I know a paranormal author who lives in this state...

    Have a lovely day! :-)

  13. I think the only good dialect worth writing into a story would be Canadian, eh? But I wouldn't know nothin' aboot that.

  14. lori from plainwellFebruary 3, 2008 at 1:02 PM

    and now i wonder which character(s) have been your cameo. btw, i dreamt of nathan the other night. hot hot hot


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