1. Let go of what used to be. One of the best lessons I learned as a writer was to use the first few pages of the book to kick the main character out of the life that used to be and then to lock the door behind her so she can’t get back in. In a story, as in life, momentum comes from living in the present, from moving forward. It doesn’t come from sitting around, longing for the past.
2. Make choices and then commit to them. The most engaging characters don’t dither when they’re faced with a decision. They don’t draw decision trees. They don’t even play rock-paper-scissors. (At least, not normally.) They make the best decisions they can with the information they have at the moment. Do they get it wrong? Sometimes. But at least they don’t let others make decisions for them and they don’t wait around to get rescued by someone else.
3. Be the person you are. Every person, every character, has flaws. Magic happens in a story when a character, who has tried for so long to hide or compensate for a weakness, has to fall back on that very thing in order to survive. My characters have taught me that those things you hate about yourself, those things that make you different than everyone else, can also become your salvation. You just have to lean into who you are instead of trying to run away from it.
4. Keep on going. You don’t get to the end of a story by taking a breather, throwing a tantrum, or creating a fantasy world to live in where people aren’t out to get you. Characters who react to trouble by cowering tend to be secondary characters. Know why? Because they’re not likable. They might be pitiable, but they’re not courageous. When life gets hard, get harder. When things are tough? Be tougher. Meet the moment. Take the risk. The only way out of a story is to keep walking through it.
Everywhere to Hide
by Siri Mitchell
on Tour October 1-31, 2020
How can she protect herself from an enemy she can’t see?
Law school graduate Whitney Garrison is a survivor. She admirably deals with an abusive boyfriend, her mother’s death, mounting student debt, dwindling job opportunities, and a rare neurological condition that prevents her from recognizing human faces.
But witnessing a murder might be the crisis she can’t overcome.
The killer has every advantage. Though Whitney saw him, she has no idea what he looks like. He knows where she lives and works. He anticipates her every move. Worst of all, he’s hiding in plain sight and believes she has information he needs. Information worth killing for. Again.
As the hunter drives his prey into a net of terror and international intrigue, Whitney’s only ally, Detective Leo Baroni, is taken off the case. Stripped of all semblance of safety, Whitney must suspect everyone and trust no one—and hope to come out alive.
Published by: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: October 6th 2020
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN: 0785228640 (ISBN13: 9780785228646)
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