Thursday, March 29, 2012

Glossary of Character Reactions

One of the things you hear most often from other writers who are going through the editing process is that they have a tendency to use the same character reactions over and over again. This is definitely true of me and my process with The Nightmare Affair. Mostly, the times that I do this is during scenes with a lot of dialogue. My characters tend to do a lot of nodding, shrugging, and glaring.

I think the primary reason why I tend to overuse these reactions is because they're quick and easy. Rather than slow down and picture my characters acting out these scenes, I sometimes skate along, focused completely on the dialogue and not on what they're doing. This is definitely a sign of lazy writing, and something I'm consciously working to improve.

However, sometimes - a lot of times, really - you need to have those character reactions in there. The characters are always the most important element in a story. What they're feeling/thinking/doing is what gives the story the life it needs to keep readers engaged.

Given that, I've decided to create a Glossary of Character Reactions. This is definitely just for fun and not something I plan on using as a crutch (and neither should you). I almost feel like a cheat doing it at all. But writing is a collaborative process, and anybody who tells you differently either needs an ego-check or they've never worked with a serious critique partner, agent, or editor yet. Also, I intend this to be a brain-jogger. Sometimes when I'm revising/editing, my brain gets tired and this list can be a way to get the juices flowing again. Also, I have a feeling it might give us a few laughs, too.

So below you'll see the list I've comprised so far. My challenge to you, dear readers and friends, is to help me expand the list by adding your own favorite character reactions as well as a couple of new ones in the comments. Then in a couple of days, I'll add everybody's suggestions into a master list and do a new blog post. Sound fun? I hope so. At the very least we can all bond over how dependent we all are on our haracters reactions (she said with a shrug).

1. blinked

2. blushed

3. flushed

4. glanced

5. glared

6. glowered

7. grinned

8. looked

9. nodded

10. scowled

11. shrugged

12. sighed

13. smiled

14. sneered

15. trembled

***originally posted at You can comment here or there.***

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Hex Hall Love

Some of you might be aware that I pitched my debut novel The Nightmare Affair to my lovely agent as Veronica Mars meets Hex Hall. So it goes without saying that I'm a big fan of Rachel Hawkins. And guess what? She's coming to my home town (read: Dayton, Ohio),Thursday night for a signing! Woohoo! *does happy dance*

So if you live in the Dayton area, you can find out more about the signing here:

And if you haven't already, be sure to check out the Hex Hall series. The first two books, Hex Hall and Demonglass have been out for awhile and the conclusion Spellbound released a few days ago.

***Originally published at You can comment here or there.***

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


So awhile back, I held a contest to win an ARC of Tempest by my lovely agent sister, Julie Cross. Now I’m thrilled to announce that Julie is coming to my hometown this Thursday night. That’s right. She’ll be at the Centerville branch of the Washington Centerville Public Library at 7:00 on March 8th. The event is free and you don’t need to register to attend. More information can be found at

And in case you haven’t read Julie’s book yet (um, why not???) check out the description below. Oh, yeah, and it's going to be a movie soon, too. How cool is that? Hope to see you there!


The year is 2009. Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.

Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.

But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler. Recruit… or kill him.

Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.

***Originally published at You can comment here or there.***