NOT YOUR USUAL SUSPECTS

A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

We find our genre delightfully, dangerously, and deliciously exciting - join us here, if you do too!


Julie Moffet . Clare London . Cathy Perkins . Jean Harrington . Daryl Anderson . Nico Rosso . Maureen A. Miller . Sandy Parks . Lisa Q Mathews . Sharon Calvin . Lynne Connolly . Janis Patterson

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Falling For ...

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “fall”?  This time of year, I still automatically go with a Currier & Ives image of a perfect New England foliage explosion. 

Out here in the Pacific Northwest, fall is quieter. In town, yard trees are selected for spring flowers, summer shade, and fall color. Our mountain place leans toward towering evergreens, although we can do sepia tones quite nicely. (Le sigh – I keep planting Aspen and the deer keep eating them.)
 
“Fall” can conjure other images: People fall up and down the stairs, in and out of love. We choose to free-fall on carnival rides or in any number of outdoor sports. We enjoy the beauty of waterfalls and falling leaves.

Emotional falls can be beautiful, romantic, sad, painful, and exciting—or “d” all the above. Those emotional triggers seem fraught with so much more peril. A broken bone heals, but is a broken heart ever truly mended? What’s a writer to do? Remember the phrase going around for a while? Want to write? Open a vein and bleed onto the page. That’s emotional vulnerability.

In my current WIP, I’m struggling to knock my protagonist down emotionally. I’m taking bigger risks, digging deeper into the character. And in digging deeper, I’m risking revealing more of myself as I tap into my own emotional reserves. In order to entice my readers to fall in love with my character, to follow him along and through his internal and external journeys, my character has to not just face down challenges, he has to fail—and fail big, falling flat on his face. He has to hit rock bottom and leave the reader wondering if he can get back up. As I push myself as a writer, I’m pushing this character to peel back layers, figure out what he really wants, and go for it, even if at times he’s hanging by his fingertips over a chasm that will kill him if he falls.

What about you? Fall/falling–love it or hate it? Are you taking risks—as an author or personally?


9 comments:

Anne Marie Becker said...

Love this post, Cathy - and the pics!

And I guess, if I had to choose, I love fall/falling, too. After all, great risk and times of turmoil can bring great reward and growth. You have to have the fall and winter before you can have the spring and summer. ;)

Rita said...

I always take risks in my writing. Rarely in my life.
The pictures are great. I do like fall. Here it means empty beaches. We do have a change in colors- on license plates!

jean harrington said...

Currier & Ives! I haven't heard a reference to them in years. My New England background warmed to the names. Actually falls in New England, Rhode Island, were glorious. I'm sure they still are. Here in Florida, there're a bit more subtle. We go from 92 to 87 degrees. And the leaves on the trees stay green, no reds, oranges, golds and browns. Ah well, Florida has its compensations. Thanks for the reminders to what was and is.

J Wachowski said...

Fall is the best season, where I live, Cathy. Cool nights. Warm days. Good sleeping weather, my dad would say.
It is a season of beginnings and endings....
Don't be afraid! Let your character have some of you....

Cathy Perkins said...

@Anne Marie - We all hope the risk/reward metric holds true :)

Cathy Perkins said...

@Rita - I can remember people complaining about the "lack" of winter when I lived in SC. I can only image how it is in Florida! I do love the SC beaches in the fall :)

Cathy Perkins said...

@Jean - are we showing our age with the Currier & Ives?
You & Rita - well, do the the palm trees do something with their fronds?

Cathy Perkins said...

Thanks J - We love our place in the mountains (all the time!) but it's great in the fall with open windows and a down comforter.
And an extra thanks re the character...

Toni Anderson said...

Cathy, I like to think I take risks. But some stories demand more risks than others. Some characters have further to fall and climb back up than others. It makes it fun writing. I hate writing the same book over and over--we already have (for me as a Romantic Suspense writer) the romance and suspense to entangle with the HEA at the end. I like that, but I don't want to have the same kinds of people constantly populating my novels. Makes for a fun time in my head though :)

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