FEBRUARY 2011

VOLUME 2: ISSUE 2

THE DOS AND DON’TS OF BELIEVABLE VILLAINS
Hi Natalie. How can I make my bad guy more believable? My readers are having a hard time understanding why my other characters see him as an antagonist. Thanks, Amy. Dear Amy, I selected your question because it intrigued me as an author. It’s the neverending query! What makes good guys good, and bad guys bad? I think I can help you without getting into philosophy, though. After much deliberation and searching through some of my favorite fics, here are my Dos and Don’ts for crafting believable villains. DO: Think about why you’re choosing this villain to be your villain. If you choose James, will you reflect his hunting tendencies from the Saga? If you choose Tanya, will be the ‘other woman’ to incur jealousy, or will she be more vicious? DON’T: Just pick a name out of a hat that’s not Edward, Bella, or one of the Cullens. Simply because one of SM’s characters is a background character doesn’t mean that you can slap on a villain nametag on them. If you choose a less important persona to be the nemesis, give adequate reasoning. DO: Give the good characters a reason to feel uncomfortable around your villain. If your good guy feels uncomfortable, so will your audience.

FEBRUARY DATES February 10: Read Along with cosmogirl7481 and Marvar February 14: Happy Valentine’s Day! All weekly features will continue to be on schedule. WFA Winners will be announced in about a week…date is not set in stone! COMING SOON New dates for the Heistward Shuffle Challenge Weekend Reads Launch Introduction to our new staff! Letters to Characters w/ Bleriana GUEST REVIEWER
Hi everyone, VampireLove1919 here. I wanted to introduce the Guest Reviewer for the month of February: Awesomesauce76! She has written 4 stories for the Twilight fandom community. Everyone should know her from the beautiful, smutty, lusty story The Last Tango in Forks. If you haven’t, this is a must read story in the Twilight Fandom. She has written two great one-shot stories. She also has the story Blood and Lust, in which Edward is having trouble balancing his urges for Bella's blood and Bella's body before the wedding. It is a retelling of BD from EPOV that lets us see just how much he struggles for control at every turn. In conclusion, she will be reviewing the stories for the Submission Thursdays feature. Welcome, Awesomesauce!

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~Example: In the story Righteous and Wicked by cherry.blossomz, both Tanya and Eric exhibit villainous qualities by making Bella and Edward feel unsure, creeped out, and so on. By default, the reader feels unsure and creeped out, especially considering cherry’s masterful description of the psychologically unstable Tanya. DON’T: Have the bad guy do something bad for nothing. There is a reason for everything under the sun, despite that people often use the saying “he did it for no reason.” Even if that isn’t true (but let’s pretend it definitely is), reasoning will give your story more drive, and it will help the audience understand, or want to understand, the villain’s motivation. DO: Consider sexual advances as adequate reasoning for your good guys to not like your villain. Many a Twihard is beginning to frown on this method, saying it’s taking the easy road, but it is a sound explanation for making characters, and readers, a bit squirmy. ~Example: In the story Master of the Universe by Snowqueens Icedragon, James exudes a creepy sexual vibe, making Bella not trust him, and not want to be around him. It also gives Fifty Shades Edward a good reason to be protective of Bella and jealous of James. DON’T: Start a sexual advance from a villain, and not let it go anywhere. If you’ve started with that thread, keep it going. Again, think of MoTU. James is even showing up in the sequel. I hope this helps with the characterization of your next bad guy! xoxo, Natalie P.S. If you have a question or suggestion for “The Dos and Don’ts,” fill out our suggestion form, found on the blog! I can also be reached at soapgirl16@gmail.com.

Would you like to see your contest or challenge advertised here? How about a read along, quiz, or blog feature? Want a beta or pre-reader? Just send an email to thetwinklingscommunity@gmail.com, and your announcement will be included!

I trust we all saw the awesomeness that was posted in mid-January. In fact, I’m 99% sure that we all ogled Rob’s lickable arm and jaw and were very jealous of Kristen. *sigh*

FEBRUARY 2011

VOLUME 2: ISSUE 2

Author Interview
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ALE I wrote the first and last chapter at the same time, outlined milestones in the middle, but then added things that felt like they fit. (Aaaaand, that’s how ALE went from 24 chapters to 47 chapters.) I tried a different approach with MYMN. I outlined it obsessively. It helped at first and then made it harder in later chapters b/c my outlines were so thorough that I felt like I’d already written the chapter and got stuck. THW I outlined loosely and Algie picked music for milestone chapters so that kind of helped direct the emotional flow of the story. A Little Crazy, which I wrote with Christina, wasn’t outlined at all. With the original fic we’re writing, we are outlining very carefully and it’s very easy to follow. So, I guess at the end of it all I’m an outline girl. Do you ever get writer's block? If so, how do you get out of such a funk? Hm. I think I get stuck on certain scenes but I never get so stuck that I can’t write anything. Or if I do it doesn’t last more than a day. *knocks on wood* I’ve learned that it’s best to just write what’s in your head, even if it isn’t exactly where you are in the story. Like, better to write something good then to force something not good, know what I mean? I also have notebooks everywhere. I have inspiration in the shower, the car, while I’m changing a diaper (seriously, it’s happened, don’t judge). So I just scribble it down as fast as I can. My husband is so used to this, he even knows the look I get on my face and will sometimes hand me a notebook. Did you ever think that "Let Your Light Shine" would grow into such a fandom renowned trilogy with hundreds of readers? Haha. Hundreds. *jazz hands* Um…no. I didn’t. I actually really did write that one entirely for myself. It was stuck in my head and I just had to get it out and figured I’d be done. But then I wasn’t done, I guess.

with LolaShoes
What got you started writing Twilight fanfiction? Were you a writer before you felt the urge to rectify the "fade to black" scene? I’ve written stories for fun since I was fourteen...which was a long time ago. Still, it was only ever something I did occasionally. Maybe I wrote a little short story once a year or so. It all really changed when I started writing fic. I became obsessed with the stories I was writing and reading. Now, writing is a daily thing for me, even though I’m no longer writing fic. I started writing fic because of Breaking Dawn. I think that’s the most common reason! Honestly, we had three books of building tension and falling for this Edward and then all of his fears were realized in Breaking Dawn (that he would hurt Bella). Then his relationship with Bella became secondary to this baby thing. It just really bummed me out. So, I decided to rewrite from the FTB onward. How do you go about writing? Are you an outline sort of girl, or do you just wing it? Eep I hope this doesn’t sound snobby… I am opposed in theory to just winging it because I can’t imagine leading your readers on a random, rambly story with no goal in sight. But I realize that’s my own fear because some authors have managed to create really compelling, complete fics with that approach. But the extent to which I will outline has depended on the story. With LYLS I knew I wanted him to change her and how. But I didn’t outline chapters, I just wrote a chapter a day until I felt like they were “ready”.

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How do you feel now that "This Hungry World" is complete? Relieved. For awhile I just didn’t feel done, like I had so much left to write before I could let it all go. Now I feel like they were ready to be let loose on the world…in an I’m not-crazy-I-know-this-is-just-a-story kind of way. I got it out of my system. I still love reading some fic, but feel prepared now to create my own characters and their own story. What prompted you to pull your stories from fanfiction.net? I’ve moved on to other projects and felt like, though I wanted my stories available, I didn’t need them to be accessible online indefinitely. They were really smutty, which is a lot of fun, but in all honesty it’s just one style of writing and one type of story to tell and I don’t want them to define me eternally. I love the stories, and if someone wants them, I know they’re out there and easy to find. I just don’t need them posted online anymore. How much have you been stalked and emailed, etc, since pulling your stories? I would imagine that everyone went bananas. I did. I think it helped that I gave a couple of weeks heads up that I’d be pulling and a link to a PDF converter site so I think most people who wanted them got them. I was emailed & tweeted a lot at first, and sent out the stories (actually Sherry did because she’s awesome). Now I get a few emails a day. It’s dwindled which is nice. I appreciate that people didn’t want them pulled. To me, it’s still fic, it’s still just a story. If you really want it you can find it. Apart from your FGB piece, do you have any plans to write more fics? If so, can you give us a few hints? Eep, no, I don’t. But the FGB piece is multi-chapter and starting to take over my brain a little so I think it will be substantial. Which of all your fics was most fun to write? How about the most challenging? They were all fun for different reasons. LYLS was a

blast because I was totally unknown and just posting for myself. ALC was wonderful because it just FLOWED and brought me and Christina together. I wrote The Sweater in 5 days and loved every second of those two characterization. I wouldn’t say any of them were challenging per se. Maybe This Hungry World was because it was more angsty for them. Was it easier or more difficult to write during your pregnancy (pregnancies? I can't remember...I remember NinjaShoes....)? [Just the one. Ninja was born last March (2010). Feel free to edit that out if you want] It was easier to write while I was on 7 weeks of bedrest because I was going to lose my mind otherwise. At the time I wrote ahead for a lot of THW which helped me when things were busier with two little ones, full time job, and husband who enjoys interacting. But I never write while they’re awake anyway. I need very little sleep, thankfully. Have you ever received a harsh critique? Absolutely! I’d be offended if I hadn’t. No writer likes to be only told that s/he’s amazing because we know that’s not true about ourselves. Harsh reviews in the form of flames are hard to take at first and then easy to ignore because they’re not constructive, they’re only anonymous and rude. But hard reviews are so helpful, really. Especially now that I’m working on original fiction, I see how important criticism is, and frank criticism is really so hard to find, so enjoy it when you get it. What advice would you like to offer to new writers? Get prereaders who you know will be honest & have time to help. Write what you know. Do your research. Don’t pull your fic before it’s done because that’s shitty. Have fun doing it otherwise you’re wasting your time. And, above all else, follow your own story – don’t let reviewers write your story for you. ☺

LolaShoes

FEBRUARY 2011

VOLUME 2: ISSUE 2

What We’re Reading:
Staff Recommendations compiled by Misty
Misty’s Recs: What If by twihart 21: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5694977/1/What_If Edward is a successful but lonely attorney in LA. One night he meets Bella and is instantly enchanted by her. After meeting her, he goes home and goes to sleep closing yet another predictable day of his life but when he wakes up everything has changed. He awakens to a much different life where he has a different career, a different routine and is in a long term relationship with Bella. Follow along to see how he adapts and to see if he will continue to live this new life or be returned to his old one. You’ll love it! Mandy’s Recs: Fiesty by Lord Rekhyt: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5563701/1/Fiesty Jacob has imprinted on Edward, who doesn't seem to accept it. But slowly but surely, Jacob is going to win Edward over and show him what real love is. Rated M for Slash boyXboy. This is not for everyone, but I love this switch, I’m the queen of non-cannon pairings and this was my first Jake/Edward story. I think Lord Rekhyt does a great job with these two being together. There are a lot of wolf pack things in here a lot of non cannon pairings; can you say Leah and Emmet?! I love every minute of it.

Thank you for reading!
Keep an eye out for the March edition, coming to an inbox near you. ☺ If you’d like to receive this newsletter in your email, you can sign up by visiting the FORMS tab on our blog. If you would like to cancel your subscription at any time, please respond to the message in which you received this copy. Editor: Natalie/eglantine Interview: LolaShoes Recommendations: Misty and the TTC Staff Photo: Tumblr Spam ☺

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