The Fictorians

The Code Is More What You’d Call Guidelines Than Actual Rules

2 March 2015 | No Comments » | Gregory D. Little

My buddy Captain Barbossa may have said it best in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, but there is another, even older saying that everyone will know: “Rules were made to be broken.”

That goes for the rules of writing as well. I once heard an author say that you had to prove you understand the rules of writing before you’re allowed to break them. Throughout the month of March here at Fictorians, we’re going to cover the whole shebang. Each post will list one of the rules of writing, explain why that rule exists, and then, your mastery of the rule assumed, jump straight into reasons why it might be a good idea to break that rule every now and then.

But that’s not all! In addition to Kristin’s excellent monthly theme all about love and writing, February brought us the 2015 edition of the Superstars Writing Seminar which several lucky Fictorians were able to attend. What that means for you readers is you’ll be seeing a lot of guest posts this month, fresh faces and old favorites threaded in between the regulars. It’s going to be an exciting month. Join us as we dive into breaking the rules. Come on, you know you want to. Everyone’s doing it.

I Would Do Anything for Love…

27 February 2015 | 1 Comment » | Kristin Luna


But I won’t do that. You know what I’m talkin’ about, Meatloaf.


Instead, we did all of this:

Victoria Morris Threaded the Tapestry

Gregory D. Little Subverted the Meet Cute

Ace Jordan did the Science of Love to Explain the Murky Middle

Mary reminded us that All You Need is Love

Joshua Essoe gave us advice about Writing Sex ScenesIn two posts!

Clancy showed us the Flip Side: Bad Girls and Anti-Heroes and Why the Guys Love them

Travis Heermann Examined and Bound

Kim May Pleasured us with Pain

Stephan McLeroy no longer Struggles to Define Love

Leigh Galbreath Drew us in with Dysfunctional Relations

Tracy Mangum gave us a master class in Love in Screenplays

Jace Killian showed us the Try and Fail in Love

Matt Jones made Ignorant Secret Troubled Love to us

Tracy Mangum followed up with Sex in Screenplays

Lisa Mangum reminded us that First Comes Like

Frank Morin pushed A Life of Passion

Colette advised us to Let Love Simmer

And RJ Terrell wrote On Love


Sure, this month is over, but we know you’ll be back. If you fall we will catch you, and we’ll be waiting. Time after time.


On Love

26 February 2015 | 1 Comment » | fictorians

A guest post by R J Terrell.

Love is an interesting subject, and could arguably be the core element in every story. When we take a step back and think about love, what it is, and what it means to us, every person may come up with a different definition, but I believe the core of it is the same.

The dictionary defines love as an intense feeling of deep affection, yet when we define the term ‘affection’, the dictionary states that it is a gentle feeling of fondness or liking.

These are technical explanations of something that is in itself, very difficult to explain, and when you look at the definition of one term (affection) within the definition of the word ‘love’ itself, you see conflict in regards to the level weight of what it means.

This very thing is what makes love a fascinating thing to explore in stories. It never gets old, because it is something most, if not all humans experience yet struggle to define in regards to how we as individuals experience it. It is also a multilayered term. I as an individual love playing video games and love reading books. Yet my love for my parents, my brother, my family and friends is a different kind of love altogether. And to take it even further, my love of spending time with my wife is quite different than my love for my wife. Would I throw myself in front of a car to save my Playstation? No.(though my wife might argue) Would I throw myself in front of a car to save my wife? Without a thought. Same word, different meaning.

In stories, we see characters love their parents, family, friends, spouses, etc. We also see them love forging weapons, creating magical spells, cleaning and polishing guns, washing their cars, practicing the sword, etc. When we delve into these characters, we see the things and people they love, but we also get to see ‘why’ they love them. Jason loves skipping rocks across the pond because it reminds him of how he and his father did it every day after school. It was one of the only happy times in a socially trying time in his school life. Linda loves her mother, the person who gave her life and protected her as she grew older in a harsh and hard world. Yet her love for Jason is a different type, a romantic type. She loves his voice, the way he looks at her, the way he smiles when he talks about how he skipped rocks across the pond with his father.

Characters experience love in the same ways that we do, and it is one of many things that make them relatable to us, and makes us sympathize with them, root for/against them.

There are many elements that make a story great. There are many elements that make a story alive, full, multilayered, and colorful. One of those elements has so many layers, so many aspects and so much depth, that whole novels are written about characters who struggle to define it, struggle to find it, struggle to hold on to it. Some even struggle not to attain it. Not many things can cause intense joy and pain. Some characters live in love with the specter of hate just on the other side of the coin.

Love is multilayered, multifaceted, and one of the most complex and powerful aspects of life that a human can experience. It is strengthening and debilitating. It is invigorating and crushing. It can make the soul sing a celebration of life, or a dirge of loss.

Love is life.

About R J Terrell:
R. J. Terrell was instantly a lover of fantasy the day he opened R. A. Salvatore’s: The Crystal Shard. Years (and many devoured books) later he decided to put pen to paper for his first novel. After a bout with aching carpals, he decided to try the keyboard instead, and the words began to flow. When not writing, he enjoys reading, video games, and long walks with his wife around Stanley Park in Vancouver BC.

R J Terrell on facebook

RJTerrell on twitter

R.J. Terrell on Goodreads

Letting Love Simmer

25 February 2015 | No Comments » | Colette

While You Were SleepingLisa Mangum’s “First Comes Like” post is directly in line with mine today. When the topic for this month was announced, I thought of two movies whose titles could almost be confused with one another. Both are well-liked by the general populace, both are romances, one I love and the other…not so much. Here’s why:

While You Were Sleeping is a movie I could watch a thousand times (as long as I don’t think about Bill Pullman and Ellen Degeneres in Mr. Perfect), because I get to watch the characters meet, become friends, and over time, fall in love. This is a movie where the romance simmers, making it perfect, beautiful, and believable.

Sleepless in Seattle is another cute romance, with great actors/actresses, and I just felt let down. It seems like two people, drawn together by fate, missing each other right and left, until one of them decides to take a chance on the unknown. This is the movie’s tagline: “What if someone you never met, someone you never saw, someone you never knew was the only someone for you?” That doesn’t come off as romantic to me, just stupid. As Lisa said in her post “…before love comes along, there is like—in real life, and in fiction.” I feel like their connection in Sleepless is a farce, because even if fate is real, it still requires time and interaction for love to follow fate. I’m not big on the love at first sight.

The first time I saw my husband was from across a room, he was smiling and had a kind look in his eyes that I admired, and I thought, “I’d like to get to know him.” I didn’t think, “I want to marry him and bear his children.” Love takes time.

As a sci-fi/fantasy/horror writer, I like to have a thread of romance in almost everything I write. Yep, even in my horror. Don’t believe me, read my short story anthology, The Black Side. Physical attraction may come early or late, but emotional attraction is something that either develops because the characters knew each other before the story begins, or they are given time within the story to get to know each other. At the beginning of Frozen, weren’t we all a little shocked and disappointed that Anna spends one evening with Hans and is ready to marry him? But with Kristoff, they talk, annoy each other, save each other, and learn the pros and cons about one another before they fall in love.

Let’s make sure we do that in our stories. Oh, and by the way, romance is NOT sex. Romance is the emotional connection that two people make over time. You want better romance in your books, don’t even think about the sex until your characters love each other so much they can’t imagine being apart. Of course, if the sex is the primary goal, then who needs romance, right? I do.

How about you? I’d love to hear opinions on the path romance should take, and examples of books/movies where they do it right.

As a plus, here’s a post for all you Sandra Bullock/While You Were Sleeping/Working girl fans with a few more reasons why this romcom is one of the best: Yoruba Girl Dancing


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