The first symptom of a poorly written fight scene is: too much violence. Characters flail away at each other in a multitude of fancy ways, the body count rises, the gore gushes, and it all blends together in an emotion-numbing jumble until readers are tempted to skip to the end to find out who wins so we can get back to the story. The writer who doesn’t know what he really wants from the fight covers it up with technical details and mayhem. Watch a Transformer movie if you don’t know what I mean.
And love scenes? Same thing. Lots of graphic description of body parts in motion, but strangely unsatisfying. Watch “Fifty Shades of Vanilla” as one reviewer called it. Love and fight scenes cover two primary human activities: taking life and creating it. Let’s see how to make the best of connecting to the basic (note I didn’t say ‘baser’) instincts of our readers. Continue reading “How to Write a Fight (or Love) Scene”
by Melissa Bowersock
Word count: 52,400
Julia Martin, newly-divorced but still reeling from her husband’s infidelity, takes a much needed vacation to visit old college friends in Germany. While touring a little-known concentration camp and museum, she spontaneously experiences a violent past life memory of being murdered in this very camp during the Holocaust. Efforts to understand her memories only lead to more questions, the largest being: is her killer still alive? Supported by her friends and comforted in the arms of a handsome doctor, Julia attempts to uncover the mysteries of her past life and find justice for the person she used to be.
Fleischerhaus is available from Amazon.com and Amazon UK.
Melissa, how did you come up with the title for your book? Does it have any special meaning?
Fleischerhaus is the name of the small concentration camp where the past-life memory emerges. In German, it means “house of the butcher.” Continue reading “Book Brief: Fleischerhaus”
This month at IU, we’ve been featuring articles on bad experiences with publishing contracts — either bad deals or scammy companies. You’d think that with the proliferation of stories about companies that swindle authors or offer all-around bad deals, they’d all be out of business. Yet, many persist. And some even have glowing recommendations from authors who’ve used their services.
So, what’s the deal? Are these people getting better service than those who got scammed or do they, as my friend Jim suggested, suffer from Stockholm syndrome? For those unfamiliar, Stockholm syndrome occurs when a kidnapping victim begins to identify with captors and even ultimately defends the captors. Patty Hearst, the heiress kidnapped in 1974 by the Symbionese Liberation Army, later joined in the group’s crime spree and was said to have participated because she suffered from Stockholm syndrome. Continue reading “Do Some Vanity-Published Authors Suffer Stockholm Syndrome?”