Okay wow, it has been a bit. Who knew that raising a child could be so time-consuming? I mean, at least there’s not still a pandemic, rising homegrown fascism (fueled by just the most brazen ignorance), a largely ineffective American government, and one of the most useless and wasteful wars in history also going on…
You’d think with all the complications of life, it would be fun to escape into some creative writing. Ordinarily I’d agree with you, but Monsters Among Us, my next novel, has proven to be anything but ordinary. This draft has been sitting, fully written and 95% edited for months. I’m no stranger to writer’s block but this goes beyond anything I’ve ever experienced as a writer. So, what exactly is going on with Monsters Among Us?
If you’re like me, you’ve been doing a bit of reading during this pandemic. Not that I needed a global virus to force me to read (I read pretty much every night, thank you very much) but I won’t say it hasn’t affected what I want to read. Escapism is in right now, very in. With that in mind, I turned to the latest from author Max Brooks (World War Z) to see what supernatural awesomeness he had for me this time.
Devolution follows a group of people trapped in what I think was very rural Seattle. Our protagonist, Kate Holland, recently moved to a designed community called Greenloop to try and repair the damage to her relationship with her estranged husband. The initial problem: A volcano erupts, cutting Greenloop off from the world and forcing them into survival mode. The additional problem: The volcanic eruption is causing all sorts of animals to move through the area, including the mythical Sasquatch.
So was it good? Yes but I want to actually focus on the one area where it fails. I found Devolution to be very entertaining and engaging, but I also found its least believable aspect to not be the humanoid cryptids, but the journal that our main character keeps.
Everyone loves a good redemption story. It is one of the aspects that I believe helped make the original Star Wars trilogy so endearing: Watching Darth Vader rise from darkness to save his son. Redemption is also a hopeful message. Not only does it assure us that anyone can become the good guy, it gives a feeling of control. If these characters are so in charge of their destiny, than maybe we can be too.
Today’s post looks at some ways to write a successful redemption arc. This is by no means a definitive “how-to.” Writing is variable and unique – pretty much every rule can be broken by someone who knows what they’re doing to achieve a powerful effect.