My Favorite Story Type #DIYMFA

What’s Your Favorite Story Type?

Tell us which story type you love and why. Are you using it in your current work-in-progress?

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My favorite story type is my characters using their wits to outsmart a killer stalking the group. Since I’m twisted, the killers usually end up winning 🙂 I don’t think I’ve ever written a happy ending…Survivor plots interest me because of the suspense. It’s fun scaring yourself. My stories are always full of betrayal. If I’m not writing horror or suspense, then I’ve been known to write a drama of a character dealing with inner-struggles. My short stories are usually tragedies. No matter what, obsession and death are major themes in my books. My favorite horror movies are the Scream trilogy. It’s where I get inspiration for my stories.

I’m definitely using the survivor plot in my current work-in-progress.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

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My Supporting Characters #DIYMFA

“The five main types of supporting characters–Villain, Love Interest, BFF, Mentor, and Fool. Keep in mind that not every story needs to include all of these archetypes. Sometimes you might omit several of these archetypes; other times you can have one character filling multiple archetypal roles.”–Gabriela Pereira

What’s Your Favorite Supporting Character Archetype, and Why?

Which archetypes resonate with you the most? Which ones do you sometimes overlook? Most importantly, how can you rethink these supporting characters to make your overall story more compelling?

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With supporting characters, I love writing the villains and fools. I’m a horror and suspense author. Of course, I love writing bad guys haha. Psychology fascinates me. Why do people do the things they do? Exploring this concept, I love getting inside my villain’s head. I read somewhere that every villain is just a misunderstood protagonist. According to Gabriela, “the [f]ool’s purpose is to ‘tell it like it is,’ to set the protagonist straight and debunk any myths or misconceptions that the protagonist buys into.” Being an INTJ, I’m all about asking the question: why? The fool character allows me to keep asking questions, to get the other characters to think, to keep them on their toes. In the real world if I wasn’t the main character in my life, then I’d totally be the fool supporting character.

I often overlook the mentor. Sometimes the BFF is mentioned in passing but the friendship hardly shows on the pages. These characters bring peace to a story. I guess I enjoy writing conflict too much 🙂

I can definitely rethink how I use these supporting characters in my stories, so I can make my books more compelling. Instead of using each archetype and having too many characters, I can have one or two share these different traits. The fools have been my favorite characters to write. In One By One, Brady was my favorite. And, in Something’s Amiss, Bradley was my favorite. Some readers hated those guys. Maybe I can learn to write the fool in a more likable way. Just because they question the main character every step of the way doesn’t mean they have to be a pain in the ass to the readers.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Resistance As My Compass

“You have a project that you really want to work on, but for some reason every time you  sit down to write it you feel…stuck. This is not writer’s block. When you are actively trying to write but nothing comes out, it’s called resistance and that is a totally different beast. Resistance comes from fear, and fear has a purpose.”–Gabriela Pereira

Share a story about a time when resistance was your compass.

Share an example of when resistance has pointed you toward a writing project that was juicy and high-stakes…and maybe even a little bit scary. Did you face that fear head-on and overcome your resistance? What was the result of pursuing (or not pursuing) that project?

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Plot and dialogue are my favorite parts of a scene. If you ever read any of my books, you’ll see that it’s dialogue-heavy. Always. Characters interacting with each other is interesting to me. To see the relationship dynamics, to see personality through body language or how they speak, to see how smoothly they lie or manipulate.

Years ago, I took a break from writing fiction to pursue writing screenplays. My writing buddy and I studied the ins and outs of scripts, even printing a few so we could read popular movies and tv shows. I bought Save the Cat and researched, researched, researched. Even though I don’t ever see myself in Los Angeles, I’m not brain dead. If I ever got a staff writing position for a tv show, then I know I’d have to move out there.

Being nervous, being fearful, being anxious, I used that energy to co-write a screenplay with my writing buddy. We got to the end of our indie drama, then decided to try our hands on a teleplay. Wouldn’t it be awesome to pitch a tv show idea to Netflix and they actually pick it up!!! Especially a dark comedy 🙂 We taught ourselves how to create loglines, pitch an idea. We even researched production companies.

I put my heart and soul into our projects. I often wonder what would have happened if we kept pursuing it…Now, I keep writing short films because that’s possible to put something together and share on YouTube. Since I live in West Virginia, my best bet is producing something on a budget and hoping I get discovered that way.

So many writing interests, so little time…

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

A “Best Practice” That Didn’t Work for Me

“It took me years to realize that someone else’s “best practices” were useless if I didn’t test them out and adjust them to my own style. Now I know better.”–Gabriela Pereira

Share a “best practice” that didn’t work for you.

Have you ever tried one of these “best practices”? How did it go? Did you make adjustments so the advice would suit your style? Most important: What did you learn about yourself as a writer from this process?

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A writing “best practice” I once read was: write every day. No matter what. Put your butt in the chair and type/write your book. I was NOT GOOD with this practice. If I wasn’t in the mood, I couldn’t force myself. I didn’t want writing to feel like a chore. It should be fun. Being productive is fun, right? That “best practice” doesn’t really factor in personal lives. What if you’re sick? What if you have an unexpected visitor all week? What if you’re depressed? What if you’re tired from your full-time job?

Instead of thinking I have to write every day because an expert told me so, I dabble in my stories. To adjust, I write at least 15 minutes a day. It can be my actual story or notes for a story. This way there’s no pressure. I have good days where I can write at least 2,500 words, and there are some bad days where I don’t even break 100 words. My mindset–there’s always tomorrow.

I learned a lot about myself as a writer, regarding how I dealt with this “best practice.” I’m starting to think maybe I should step back as writing for a business and go back to writing as a hobby. I was probably much happier…

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Fueling My Creativity

“Just like the ancient Greeks made pilgrimages to oracle temples so they could get guidance and wisdom from their gods, I visit my oracle whenever I feel the creative well going dry.”–Gabriela Pereira

What feeds your creativity?

Do you have an oracle? If not, treat yourself and start putting one together this week. Do you have a tool that helps feed your creativity? You could also talk about your inner critic, favorite writing prompts, or any other source where you find inspiration.

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I don’t have an oracle, but I plan on setting one up. I like the concept. For now, I have a mini-blue binder that I keep blogging, fiction, comics, and screenplay notes in. Each section is divided. I love using the Pinterest app, looking at images fuels my creativity. My favorite things to carry in my purse at all times–my book of observations and my notebook of plot/story ideas.

At Target the other day, I ended up buying 3 small sketchbooks (Moleskine in a pack) and 2 small notebooks. Somehow this will tie into my oracle. I just have to decide how. Right now, I’m not in the mood to do anything…the doctor said I have an upper respiratory infection and it’s kicking my butt! Please send ‘get well’ wishes my way. I need them 🙂

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Not Broken by Meka James

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…

Calida Jokobi doesn’t see it that way. Surviving an abusive relationship with a sadistic, manipulative man changed her. She has spent the last two years carefully constructing her new persona with two goals in mind: to keep the remaining pieces of her heart safe and her deepest secrets buried. One man puts it all at risk.

Malcolm has been a part of Calida’s life for as long as she can remember. A friend. Her first teenage crush. Now he’s asking for something she swore she’d never give again: her heart.

Calida must decide if she should risk the fragile facade she’s created and give Malcolm the chance he’s asking for.

They say love can heal all wounds…

Malcolm Frankel wants to prove to Calida it’s true. She survived a hell most people couldn’t fathom. He’s been by her side fulfilling whatever role she needs him to play. All except the one he wants most. It took nearly losing her to make Malcolm realize he couldn’t keep denying his feelings.

He knows no one goes through an ordeal like that and comes out unscathed, but the closer they get, the more he learns just how deep Calida’s wounds go.

She’s the only woman he’s ever loved, and Malcolm is ready to put his own heart at risk for a chance at mending hers.

**This novel is a follow up to my debut book: Fiendish. I have constructed it so that it may work as a standalone for new readers.**

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I loved this romance novel. It switched between Calida’s first person point-of-view and Malcolm’s first person point-of-view. Calida was my favorite character because of her inner-strength. It took a lot out of her pretending she was normal in order to please her family and friends. I loved every scene of Calida opening up to her therapist. As a reader, it gave me relief that she’d make it.

Meka James provided great sexual tension throughout the book. Malcolm was a total gentleman, loving Calida but respecting her boundaries of not liking to be touched. But, oh boy, when Calida felt comfortable around Malcolm toward the middle, those sex scenes were sensual, explosive, and hot, hot, hot!!!

From beginning to end, the book had interesting conflict, inner-struggles, and lots and lots of drama. I shed a tear when Calida was drunk and finally revealed to Malcolm what her abusive husband did to her in the bathroom. I wanted to give Calida a hug throughout every scene.

My favorite lines: 1) This kiss held emotion, it held promise, it held hope. This kiss was a new beginning…Our beginning. 2) I didn’t want to go into the dark and empty place alone, but that was my only choice. 3) With each passing day, he looked more and more like Seth. He haunted me through our son. 4) “Calida, stop shutting me out. Please. I’m not the enemy. I promise you.” 5) How had I lost control? Did I ever really have control?

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

 

My Storytelling Superpower: I’m a Survivor

“The life of a writer is often fraught with rejection and criticism. There are too many people telling us what we shouldn’t do in our stories or what’s wrong with our work. This week is about taking the time to acknowledge and celebrate our strengths. I truly believe that understanding your strengths as a writer is crucial for improving your craft. This way you can play to your strengths and work on projects where your storytelling skills can truly shine.“–Gabriela Pereira

What’s your Storytelling Superpower?

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My storytelling superpower is: SURVIVOR.

I’ve got a penchant for characters who will do whatever it takes to survive. Maybe they’re stranded on a desert island, captured by an evil genius, or fighting to beat a terminal illness. Or maybe they want something so desperately that not getting it feels like a matter of life and death. Regardless of their situation, I’m drawn to creating characters my readers will admire for their pluck, determination, and sheer creative willpower.

That sounds exactly right! Take the quiz and share what’s your storytelling superpower.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby