It’s tempting for us to create “perfect” protagonists and “pure evil” antagonists, but that’s the stuff of cartoons, not great fiction. Every strength has an array of corresponding weaknesses, and when we understand these soft spots, generating conflict becomes easier. Understanding character arc becomes simpler. Plotting will fall into place with far less effort. All […]

via Lies & Secrets—The Lifeblood of Great Fiction — Kristen Lamb’s Blog

Pretty

Visitant

[photo "Nikki" by Susan kae Grant]

When I was younger, all I wanted was to be pretty.

*

Mother looks at me, concerned: Are you sick?

No, I say. I just don’t have makeup on.

All day she is suspicious.

*

At the Women in Business conference in the tiny rural town of our college, Autumn and I, new advisors to the American Association of University Women, are proud of the seven young women who wanted to come.

Our school is the most diverse school in the state in the poorest county in the state, so we are always excited for opportunities like this to reach us.

Each speaker tells the same narrative: some college, marriage, children, and then, finally, pursuing their dormant dreams in their 40s or 50s.

One explains that she had the choice between going on a dig in Israel or getting married, and she chose…

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