Channeling you inner Trump and Pelosi

For those of you who were intrigued enough to click on this because you figured you would read a political rant from yours truly, Bryan the Writer, I apologize. I am not about to extol the virtues of either the Republican or the Democratic Party. Quite to the contrary, I want to take you to a part of your own personality you desperately would like to avoid. Somewhere that deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties you’d rather not discuss. 🙂

I was thinking about writing and how authors very often have to write characters that we generally don’t like. In many ways, writers are essentially above the fray as far as political discourse is concerned. Ours is not to participate in politics, but more to the point is that we are there to interpret what we are seeing.

For those of you who read my book, Riapoke, you will remember that one of the characters specifically references the presidential election. He doesn’t really voice support for one side or the other. He mainly points to the absurdity of both candidates. He’s essentially telling everyone that he has a responsibility to protect the people that he loves, even when the rest of the world appears to be going to hell in a hand basket.

Meandmypeeps
Me, chillin’ with my darker self (Plague Doctor)

I was thinking it might be fun to have a bunch of authors in a room who identify with a political party and ask them to write a sympathetic story about the politician they hate the most. Essentially forces them to examine the people and the ideals that they are steadfastly against. Those of you who have known me for any length of time know I’m a conservative, so for me that would be like writing a sympathetic piece about Nancy Pelosi. I have close friends who span the liberal spectrum from center-left to socialists. I would want them to write about President Trump.

I know you find this hard to believe, but I don’t especially like serial killers. But this doesn’t stop me from doing research on them and trying to delve into the darker parts of myself that inform me on what their motivations might be. I truly believe that no one ever wakes up and is magically crazy. Hollywood has popularize the myth that someone can just wake up one day and be criminally insane. Psychologists have proven this is essentially impossible. People’s personalities just don’t shift that quickly. So by studying serial killers, I can better understand the motivation behind them. When I couple what I learn with the darker places in my own personality, I can come up with a composite of what a serial killer might look like given a set of drivers in a storyline.

For example, Rigby, in The Dramatic Dead, goes crazy because he loses someone he loves. It’s not enough that he just loves this person, but he loves her to the point where she makes up a whole other side of his identity. When he loses that part of himself, it drives him insane. As a matter of fact, it drives him so insane that his subconscious mind looks for a way to reconcile the situation. And that is where the marionettes come in.

By the way, I chose marionettes on purpose. I don’t care who you are, the idea of puppets coming to life is terrifying. It’s the same concept that comes into sharp focus in the movie, Poltergeist. Almost everybody remembers the scene where the little boy is laying in his bed and the clown doll comes to life. While watching the movie with my son recently, I was reminded of how terrifying that scene truly is.

I’m not saying you necessarily have to go into great detail as an author into those people you hate. However, if you’re going to write them, and make them believable, you do have to dig into a place in your mind where you at least understand them. I’m not suggesting you sympathize with them, only empathize with them. Understand their point of view and maybe where they’re coming from. It will make your character stronger, and your story appear more genuine to the reader.

No, going into the dark parts of your own personality is not fun, but it’s necessary if you want to truly understand the characters you are writing about. After all, there is a reason you’re writing about them in the first place. Those characters come from you … a deep, dark part of your own psyche.

Yes, we all have dark places in our soul. The trick is to better understand those parts and then to better understand ourselves.

-Yours Truly,

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Review: An Airship Named Desire

An Airship Named Desire (Take to the Skies, #1)An Airship Named Desire by Katherine McIntyre

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There is something about pirates that captures our imagination. Perhaps it is a sense of freedom coming from living life on your own terms. The crew of the airship Desire has a problem. A problem pirate crews normally wish for, a priceless piece of cargo to unload. It is so valuable, in fact, that everyone wants to get their hands on it.

Captain Morris leads the crew of the Desire, assisted by the beautiful and cunning first officer Beatrice. Beatrice loves a good fight. She thrives best in times of pure adrenaline where she only has to worry about herself and maybe a couple of others. She loves her captain and the ship she calls home. Like most of us, Beatrice hates change and would be content to go on with life exactly as it is. Until the day she finds her best friend standing over the body of Captain Morris.

“An Airship Named Desire” is a fun ride. I really enjoyed the book and Katherine McIntyre’s story telling style. Not overly gory, it hearkens back to the golden age of piracy and has the element of adventure that makes a gritty nautical story.

If there were any technical issues with the writing, I didn’t notice them and it is well edited. A few parts I thought suffered from too much description, but overall not often enough to make me put the book down.

I can highly recommend “An Airship Named Desire”, by Katherine McIntyre.

-Bryan the Writer

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Season’s Greetings!

There had to be a point in history when people started to look at the holidays as a super stressful time where people lose their minds. I can’t be sure, but it seems like that would be about the time television commercials during Saturday morning cartoons started selling everything and anything to children.

Now that I am a little older I have gone from kids who want everything to having teenagers who just shrug their shoulders and say, “I dunno.” I have heard my older friends say they miss that child who stared at the store window in wonder. I don’t miss it at all. The truth is that our one biological child, Thomas, never really wanted anything in particular. He kind of always said, “I dunno.” Our adopted kids tended to want everything and anything. Until we moved to Germany and spent our Christmas holiday away, exploring exotic locations. Then it became about experiences.

If you ever meet my kids, be sure to ask them about the gas station dinner we had one Christmas while watching the laptop in Naples, Italy. It was pretty funny and the stuff of family memories. Christmas has become for us, really about memories. Memories made and memories planned.

This year we didn’t even exchange gifts. We planned a family cruise. Really, this is going to be the last time we get to do this as a family. In a few years, it will be college, dates, and marriages. It is closer than I care to admit. One of our sons has a girlfriend and a job. And yes, that is scaring me a lot.

Right now I am just taking a little breather from the year and concentrating on some other things. As I said, in January of 2017, I wanted to make this the year of learning to be better at getting the word out there. I needed to learn more of the business end of writing. I am happy to say I’ve done that. My newsletter has almost 1,000 subscribers. Not a subscriber yet? Click Here!

Naples
Naples: Nothing is open on Christmas Day!

I am not too sure what my goals will be for this year, but I will set them soon. At a minimum, I plan on getting out two novels this year. I am done with the first draft of book one and plan to have it out by mid-summer. I already have a good portion of the second one planned out, but I am not going to seriously return to that effort until I can devote the time to it.

So, how about you, gentle reader? What are your goals for 2018? What is it you hope to accomplish, big or small? Drop me a line and tell me at bryanthewriter@bryannowak.com.

Until then, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Bryan the Writer to you and yours!

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