Regarding Resolutions

Inspiration for this post came easy as we rang in the New Year and the word resolutions came up. The time of year when we make promises to ourselves and boast of them to our friends and families in hopes to guilt our way to keeping them. Kudos to those that can and do.

Resolutions in writing can be fun. Have a character make one and break it. The bigger the resolution the more fun the repercussions can be. I wouldn’t personally make it a huge part of the story, but just in the background, to promote comradery, character development

“So what’s your resolution Nina?”
Nina glanced over at her best friend Hanna who dragged her to this party in the first place. Traditionally she went to a much larger, much rowdier party in the city. This on wasn’t that small, but it was less than she was used to. There was one thing she had been meaning to stop.
“No more one night stands.” Nina nodded and sipped her champagne. There was about thirty seconds before midnight. It had been a fun night of dancing and flirting. The selection was tempting, but a good number of the men had attachments on their arms already. She narrowed her eyes at her friends chuckle.
“You wont last a month.” Hanna grabbed another glass of champagne from a waiter walking by. “I’m going to start making my own lunches.”
Both women laughed. Hanna hated cooking as much as Nina hated dating.
“Well.” Hanna grinned. “Time to find a single guy to kiss.” She turned and B-lined for a tall blond she’d been dancing with earlier.

The countdown began and standing alone in her slinky black and red dress, Nina boisterously counted down with the crowd.
“Happy New Year!” Nina sipped her Champagne and looked up to see an incredibly attractive dark-haired man she’d never seen before now before her.
“Happy New Year.” His lips curled in a stunning smile, he put his hands on either side of her head and leaned in.
Nina nearly dropped her glass as her body reacted instantly. She opened her mouth, he took the invitation and deepened the kiss. His right hand moved behind her back and pulled her closer as his left curled into her hair. It was obvious she wasn’t the only one turned on. She pressed closer as his hand gripped her buttock.
Breaking the abnormally intense kiss, she opened her eyes to stare into his lusty deep brown ones.
She swallowed hard . “So much for resolutions.”

A resolution doesn’t have to be a done on New Year’s Eve, if it can help a story along to have someone struggle as they restrain from smoking or eating pizza then why not add that mini strife? It can be a great way to showcase someones strength and resolve or their weakness and minor flaws?  Nobody’s perfect and perfect characters are boring. I love to make people struggle in my stories, this is one more way to illustrate that.

My advice about Resolutions.
I prefer to set goals, whatever your preference if you want to shake a character up a bit or show their weaknesses, let them break a small or large promise to themselves. Oh what fun you can have with the inner struggle of a character torn by indecision and guilt.

Happy New Year everyone! May 2017 be the year for dreams to come true.

-Sheryl

Some fun posts from… last year 😉

Blood

Sweat

+ Tears

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved
Year

Time to flip the switch

Everyone has that point, that moment when they’ve reached maximum capacity and put their foot down.  If they don’t then nobody will care or respect them that’s for sure. I monitor my protagonist’s progress carefully. Toss them a bunch of crap, show them slowly finding fault in their situation and then let them see reality. The moment when enough is enough and they finally stand up and square off to fight back.

This is where I like to have some fun. As with everything else people react differently to everything. So there are no hard set rules on how to make someone react to anything. The only thing I keep in mind is how they have been up to this point. Who have I made them? And where do I want them to go.  I try not to make it crazy unrealistic within their personality. A person that has never shot a gun before can’t just pick one up and take out the bad guys no problem. A person that is terrified of heights isn’t going to magically not be, they will still struggle and it should be a challenge. Nobody’s perfect after all.

Sasha was calm for someone with a gun pressed hard in her back. She’d almost laughed when Baylor skulked in with a gun pointed at her. His face said he meant business even more than the gun symbolized.

She couldn’t let him win; she would not be a martyr. Ben won. Cal was right about that. Ben wasn’t the only one either. Her dad subtly bullied her, Scott and Dale were picking on her in different ways and Amber was in full on war mode. Her stupid boss was playing some asinine game. No. No more losing for her. There was no way to know how long she had, before Baylor did whatever he planned to do. Baylor limped badly. It was more of a hobble since both legs were hurt. He rubbed his broken nose with his bandaged left hand and glared at her with his two blackened eyes. He hissed at her to stay quiet or else. Sasha was over being in danger and almost laughed again at his over the top grotesqueness.

The only thing that stood in the way of her fantasized bravery was a gun. It was obvious he didn’t want to shoot her. Probably because it would be loud and draw attention. The other probably was likely that he wanted to draw out his revenge. That thought made her angry. How is any of this her fault? She was polite and turned him down gently. She hadn’t been so gentle with Cal. But then again Cal was charming and started to wear down her defenses; setting alarms off in her head and she shut him down.

Baylor stopped at the end of the hall by the stairwell and opened a room. It was an occupied room. There were belongings everywhere, not in a messy way, but in the way that suggested the occupants had been there for more than a couple days. Baylor shoved her to the couch. This suite was the same as hers and Cal’s. Only in blues not white and tan.

“Stupid bitch. You’re ruining my life.” Baylor’s fury showed in his face and posture. He smelled as if he’d been living at the bottom of a dumpster or worse. “I’m a dead man because of you.”

Again, she thought of how is it her fault. Clenching her fists at her side, she stared angrily at the gun. She wasn’t afraid of him specifically. He’d scared her too much and she hurt him too badly. Her eyes darted to his legs and widened in realization; Baylor took it for fear and grinned. He’s hurt and his Achilles heel was up for grabs. She gave herself a tiny curt nod. No more victim for her.

“Why? Why are you doing this?” She said the words cringing inwardly at the pathetic cliché of them.

“Why?” His maniacal laugh sent shivers over her skin. “I had to pass up the easy mark. I was okay with it because you were so pretty and different. I don’t normally bother with blondes and now you’ve ruined everything.”

“Why not leave me alone? Go hide until they stop looking for you and start over somewhere else?”

“Oh I will, I’ll disappear right after I ruin you. I’m going to leave you so destroyed no man will look at you again.”

He meant his words and she yelped as he advanced. Then everything slowed. She turned her head and pushed off the couch to the right. Scrambling to the table, she grabbed a chair and swung it at him. Gun or not her instincts took over. No more cowering for Sasha. She swung low and with force. It wasn’t as hard as she imagined, but it was enough when it connected with his bruised legs. She let go of the chair, remembering in that fraction of a second, that in movies the idiot who held onto the swung object lost. The attacked would grab it and game over. More or less.

Her hyper-slowed momentum didn’t falter. She grabbed and threw everything she could at him. She didn’t know when she started screaming. Not the high-pitched one of terror, but the guttural one of ‘I’ve had enough of your shit’ scream. She tipped the table and bolted for the bedroom kicking the doorstop out. The door would close slowly so she kept going for the bathroom. That door had a lock and was metal, she had locked one just like it several times.

Sasha isn’t exactly a knock-em down and fight it out person. She is just a normal person, untrained in any combat or defense skills. That doesn’t mean she’s defenseless or useless. While strong-willed and smart, her strength is in her resourcefulness. She has no idea why Baylor is after her, or why her life is so suddenly messed up. She knows one thing, he means to hurt her and she isn’t interested in his brand of hurt.

It is important to me to keep her the victim while allowing her to break free at the same time. There is however no going back, once she gets her footing and starts to climb back up from rock bottom, she’s not going to revert. I think she’s had enough of being a doormat it’s time to flip the switch and let her find a way out of her misery.

My advice about flipping the switch.
This is necessary in any story, the poor protagonist must eventually learn from their past and press forward to gain ground. However, by this point the reader should really want them to, and cheer that they do.

-Sheryl

Other posts

The limitation of imitation

I’m ‘that’ kind of writer

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved
Martyr