Brooding and Tormented Main Characters | Part 2

by Marylee MacDonald, July 22, 2018 in Characters

Characters who have tortured interior lives are dark characters. Dark protagonists are suffering and in pain. Often, they’re nonhuman: fallen angels, vampires, haunted detectives, or recovering addicts. The writer’s big challenge is to make these protagonists sufficiently likable that readers will stick with them until the end. And, from the author’s perspective, an additional challenge […]

Is Your Protagonist an Average Joe or Jane? Give Them a Shot at Greatness.

by Marylee MacDonald in Characters

Do you want readers to love your protagonist? Then you must make that protagonist a hero or heroine. This is the first of three posts that will discuss what it means to be heroic. This post talks about heroic characters who are average Joes and Janes, but who perform extraordinary actions. In my next post […]

Billy Battles: The Remarkable Life of a Reluctant Hero

by Ronald E. Yates in For Readers, For Writers Who Need Readers

This week I’ve invited Ron Yates to do a guest post about the hero of his historical-novel trilogy about the life and adventures of Billy Battles. Why am I featuring this series? Well, first, because I loved the first two books and have been eagerly awaiting this volume. And, second, because I know all authors […]

Revising for Tension

by Marylee MacDonald in For Writers Doing Revisions

Are you putting pressure on your characters so that they’re forced to change? Do quiet characters have moments when they’re about to explode? Adding tension to a novel often means that you must deepen the characters’ intensity of emotion. Sometimes, you must even write new scenes to replace those that are just marking time. I’ll […]

Twitter Hashtags for Writers: Turning Strangers into Friends

by Marylee MacDonald in Apps & Software, Online communities

Follow my blog with Bloglovin If Twitter is one of the social media platforms you’re using to let the world know about your debut novel, hashtags could make all the difference in whether people discover you or pass by without taking a second look. Imagine walking  walked into Chicago’s McCormick Place, the largest convention center in […]

Does Your Author Website Comply with GDPR Regulations?

by Marylee MacDonald in Apps & Software

A month ago I’d never heard the acronym GDPR, and frankly, I wish I still had never heard of it. Like most authors I’m not a programmer, and I especially resent every task that falls under the rubric of “marketing.” I resent doing it, and I resent having to completely reconfigure every single thing about […]

Savagely funny but serious, cynical and sanguine and whippingly plotted – Michele Magwood reviews Mick Herron’s fifth novel featuring the greedy gaseous lunk, Jackson Lamb

by Marylee MacDonald in For Readers

Published in the Sunday Times London Rules ***** Mick Herron, John Murray, R295 One of the authors I’m most looking forward to meeting at the Franschhoek Literary Festival next week is Mick Herron. The British writer has been quietly turning out a series of spy novels that have built […] Click here to view full […]

Beth Pickens: The TNB Self-Interview

by Marylee MacDonald in For Readers

What’s up with this book ? I had no capacity to take new clients and I turned down everyone who reached. There was no one to even refer them to. I am the only person (that I am aware of) who does this specific set of services for artists […] Click here to view full […]

Excerpt of Your Art Will Save Your Life, by Beth Pickens

by Marylee MacDonald in For Readers

You’re an Artist, Keep Making Art The realization that art could first save and then expand my life came when I was a teenager in a troubled home. Life with my mentally ill mom and alcoholic dad near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, before the Internet, was difficult. A smart, queer feminist […] Click here to view full […]

Poe Ballantine: The TNB Self-Interview

by Marylee MacDonald in For Readers

The last time we talked we learned you were born in a log cabin and the illegitimate son of the Queen of England, what good that did anyone is hard to say, but I see you have another book coming out. Quite the coincidence. I’ll say, and thanks for […] Click here to view full […]