Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my blog! This is my journey, my first steps into the world of fictional writing. This blog is an online journal of sorts, where I share the progress of my work as well as what I have learned along the way. I hope you enjoy your time with me and that my experience may be of some use to you.

Friday, February 24, 2017

By the Book - XO

Welcome back,

           In honor of St-Valentine’s day, this month’s Book Review focuses on a story about love. Though not a romance, this mystery novel does take a look at adoration taken to the point of obsession. The book is called simply XO, and is written by suspense master Jeffery Deaver.

           February snuck up on me this year, so I had few options for a book I felt would fit the month’s most popular holiday. However, while looking through my box of books, I came across the title XO (as in ‘’hugs and kisses’’). The stories theme seemed to work for my purposes, so I chose it for my next book review.

The story features Agent Kathryn Dance from the California Bureau of Investigation,  on a mission to stop obsessive stalker Edwin Sharp from attacking Kayleigh Towne, a beautiful young country/pop singer. Despite Towne’s clear rejection, Edwin remains convinced that Kayleigh’s song “Your Shadow” contains a message that speak directly to him. Just as Sharp makes an ominous appearance in town, a fatal accident occurs at the concert hall where Kayleigh Towns is rehearsing, killing a member of the country star’s road crew. Agent Kathryn Dance, a personal friend of Kayleigh’s, uses her skills at investigation and body-language analysis to stop the stalker and prevent further murders.

Image result for XO book

Back of the Book:
Kayleigh Towne’s career is just reaching new heights with her huge hit single “Your Shadow”—but increased fame is also bringing unwanted attention. An innocent exchange with one of her fans, signed with an “XO,” leads Kayleigh into the dangerous and terrifying realm of obsession, and when California Bureau of Investigation Agent Kathryn Dance intervenes on the singer’s behalf, she draws the admirer’s ominous attention herself. Then a member of Kayleigh’s road crew is murdered in an eerie echo of her chant-topping song. As Kathryn Dance races to stop the stalker with her considerable skills of investigation and body-language analysis, she soon discovers that Kayleigh has more than one frightening fan with a mission...

What I learned:
  • To be or not to be: The story’s antagonist, Edwin Sharp, was suspected of the crime since the very beginning. Normally this would defeat the purpose of a mystery, but the author still managed to get his audience to question Sharp’s innocence throughout. The simple fact Edwin had been pointed out as the main suspect at the beginning of the story, made me think he couldn't possibly be the killer as it would remove any mystery.
  • Smoke and mirrors: To further help put Edwin’s innocence into question, the author placed other suspects into play, which were only revealed much later in the story. This timing leads the readers to believe that these are much likelier candidates for the crime.
  • Frame game: Finding clues that point to a suspect is the fun part of any mystery, but being lead on a wild goose chase is even more challenging. In this instance, not once, but two times are people framed by another suspect. I must admit, I was taken off guard by the tactics the author used to hide his true antagonist.

Jeffery Deaver is an American mystery/crime writer, and has novels that appeared on bestseller lists around the world, including The New York Times, The Times, and The Los Angeles Times. Before becoming a best-selling novelist, his other professions included journalist, practicing law folksinger/lyricist.

For those interested in reading more books from Jeffery Deaver, please check out his website and wiki description, where you can find a complete listing of his published works and all other pertinent information:

In closing, I would like to thank my readers for all encouragement they have shown me since the beginning. Their support is truly appreciated.

Until next time!


            Patrick Osborne

Friday, February 17, 2017

BOOTCAMP LESSON 17: Love Pursuit

Welcome to our monthly writing game!

           In honor of St-Valentine’s day, I decided to create a writing prompt which will help accentuate the importance of relationships within a plot line, therefore adding depth to the story. The purpose of this exercise is to focus on how different types of characters display affection.

Image result for public domain images cupid

Lesson 11: Love Pursuit

The basics of a story is a plotline which follows the exploits of the main characters as they attempt to resolve a conflict while making their way to their intended goal. The characters are the writer's most important tool, as their interactions help describe everything from their inner thoughts, to the world around them.

But in order to want to face adversity and move the story forward, characters need a reason, a purpose. Though inspiration can come in many forms, feelings such as adoration, affection, happiness, or love can be powerful motivators which can drive characters.

The goal of today’s game will be to demonstrate how different types of characters would pursue the object of their desires. Would they try to be romantic by sending flowers and chocolate? Try to impress someone by flexing muscles or performing heroic acts? Or would they kidnap someone and lock them in a dungeon?

  1. Below are eight different character roles, each with their own personality and motivations.
  2. Select THREE of the mentioned roles to work with..
  3. For all three characters, write a short story and how they would try to win over a potential romantic interest.
  4. Explain how their interactions differ from one another, and why.

Character Roles:

  • Mr. Hero: Central character in a story, whom the reader usually wants/expects to win in the end.
    • Personality: Courageous, resolute, honest and  strong willed.
    • Motivation: To ensure balance or keep the peace.
  • Dr. Villain:  Represents the obstacle or opposing force in a story that must be overcome in order to succeed.
    • Personality: Wicked, untrustworthy, determined and back handed.
    • Motivation: To take control of his surroundings.
  • Ally Sidekick: A character that will always assist, either with actions or information, in order to help the plot progress.
    • Personality: Loyal, reliable, helpful and lighthearted.
    • Motivation: To support others in their noble acts.
  • Goon McHenchman: A character who follows orders from a higher authority, usually on the side of evil.
    • Personality: Uneducated, brutish, unwavering and devoted.
    • Motivation: To follow the orders they were given.
  • Master Mentor: To teach or represent the lesson that must learned within the story in order to achieve the goal.
    • Personality: Insightful, wise, patient and selfless.
    • Motivation: To share their knowledge with others.
  • Rascal Scalawag: Rogue character that can play a role on either side of the moral spectrum, but is usually pursuing their own interest.
    • Personality: Manipulative, vulgar, self-centered and lazy.
    • Motivation: To achieve their own goal.
  • Prof. Thinker: Character who is always rational and likes to give reasonable answers to complicated questions.
    • Personality: Intelligent, aloof, eccentric and innovative.
    • Motivation: The advancement of science.
  • Ms. Romance: Love interest of one or more characters. Is usually seen as the goal in certain stories.
    • Personality: Spirited, sensual, affectionate and vain.
    • Motivation: Receiving the adoration of others.

If anyone is interested in sharing their entries, feel free to post them as a reply to this article, or send them to me privately. I may create a page for submissions in the future for those who are willing to have their work shared.

Hope you have fun giving this exercise a try.

Until next time!


            Patrick Osborne

Friday, February 10, 2017

Love Interest characters

Welcome back,

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d explore a popular but sometimes difficult to master story component: the love interest. I’m looking forward to learning a lot on this subject, as I am currently working on my own story’s love interest.

Image result for public domain images love

The basics of a story is a plotline which follows the exploits of the main characters as they attempt to resolve a conflict while making their way to their intended goal. So how exactly does a love interest play into this equation?

In order to want to face adversity and move the story forward, characters need a reason, a purpose. Though inspiration can come in many forms, feelings such as adoration, affection, happiness, or love can be powerful motivators which can drive characters. The love interest is a tool that serves to personify these elements, and can be anything from sidekicks, to mentors, to support systems, or the story's main source of conflict.

Love plays a big role in everyone lives, and the same applies to fiction. It doesn’t have to be central to the storyline, but a little romance can add to the character development or depth to the conflict. Here are a few roles a love interest can play in a story.

Source of Conflict : Conflict is an essential element of a storyline, responsible for motivating the Characters to take action. In terms of storytelling, a relationship with no conflict tends to be the end goal and not the main plot. Relationship conflicts must be relevant to the overall story, be they the center of the plot or not. Here are a few examples of how a love interest can be a source of conflict in a story:
  • Abusive Partner: A person who is violent or domineering towards their partner. Occasionally portrayed as the antagonist, this role helps define what constitutes a negative relationship, which in turn serves as a contrast for what the protagonist should be looking for, a healthy relationship.
  • Forbidden Love: Normally used to describe the relationship between characters who are in love, but for some reason are not allowed to be together. Reasons could be because they are in different factions that are at war (Romeo and Juliet), are from different social backgrounds (Pride and Prejudice), or have opposing major defining character traits (a Hero dating a Villain).
  • Love Rivalry: Also referred to as a Love Triangle, this is a situation where two (or more) characters are competing for the affections of a single person. The love interest usually find themselves conflicted, having a hard time choosing between their admirers. A  contemporary example is the Edward-Bella-Jacob triangle from the Twilight series.

Source of Catalyst: Love can be a powerful motivator. A love interest can occasionally act as a catalyst in the storyline. They can set events into motion, either by their own volition, by accident, or simply by being present. Here are a few examples of how a love interest can be a catalyst in a story:
  • Broken Wing: A love Interests who is emotionally scarred and has a history of tragedy or heartbreak. Protagonists would feel inclined to help these types of love interests by solving whatever problem ails them.
  • Damsel in Distress‏‎: The Damsel in Distress is a time honored plot tool where the love interest is repeatedly placed in some form of danger, forcing the protagonist into action.  Though effective, this has been so overused that it can be considered a lazy excuse for a plot.
  • Dead Love Interest: A love interest that dies, then becomes a catalyst for the protagonist. Depending on how they died, they can be a reason for the main character to question their lives, motivation to go on a quest or seek retaliation for their death.

Source of Development: How a protagonist deals with love and relationships can help better define them to the audience. Love interests can be a great source of character development, filling in gaps that the normal storyline would not cover. Here are a few examples of how a love interest can further character development in a story:
  • Childhood Friend: A Love Interest that has been friends with the main character since they were kids. This gives the writer a source of knowledge dating back to the protagonist's childhood, making it easier to reveal this information to the audience.
  • The Ex: Having a former partner make an appearance in a story forces a character to deal with certain situations, be they unpleasant or not. This is a great tool for revealing past information on a character that may not otherwise be related to the main story.
  • Long Lost Lover‏‎: Love interests don't always have to physically appear in the storyline to have an impact on the protagonist. Exploring past relationships through memories or flashbacks can help reveal vital information on the main characters.

Source of Influence: Love can change us, mold us, make us grow. In a story, we see the journey of the main character as they undergo through some form of change along the way. The love interest character should influence the protagonist to grow with regards to who they will become by the end of the story. Here are a few examples of how a love interest can influence the story:
  • The Clueless: Being guilty of this one myself, this is when a character is totally unaware of the feelings for them from another character. If the clueless character happens to be the protagonist, then the audience would get to see how the protagonists’ view of the love interest character changes from beginning to end.
  • False Lead: Refers to a love interest that has potential, but is only present in the story to dupe the main character. The False Lead serves as an obstacle between the protagonist and the one true love interest, leading them astray from their goals.
  • The Supporter: A Love Interest that encourages a character. These love interests have a nurturing, positive influence on the protagonist. They help other characters by offering advice, support or assistance when facing an obstacle.

Image result for public domain cupid

Romance is not an easy genre to master, but I learned a lot today, and I look forward to applying this information to my own stories. Until next time, and have a happy St-Valentine's day!


            Patrick Osborne

Friday, February 3, 2017

Current Projects part 25

Welcome back,

           January has proven to be a very busy month indeed. True to the theme of new beginnings, I spent the last week and a half moving into my recently acquired house. This operation was severely time consuming and prevented me from getting any writing done, not to mention I had no internet connection until the cable company came by to hook me up.


           As a result, I may have a little less content for the next few months, has all of this business has prevented me from getting articles for future months prepared in advance. So I will be doing my best to catch up. Hopefully I will be able to settle in and get back to it soon.

Though this entire process will have an effect on my writing. Unlike my previous house, I plan on having spaces dedicated entirely to reading and writing. I am confident this will help increase my productivity and inspire me to write more. Once everything is set up, I will keep you all posted on how this affects my rogress.

Image result for public domain hearts

           For the month of February, I came up with a few posts inspired by the month’s most commercially prominent holiday; Saint-Valentine's day. So you can expect to see posts related to love, romance, and other overly expressive themes!

           My personal project is fittingly in sync with this month's theme, as I am currently working on the story’s love interest character, Lindsay Reed. Progress has been slow, as I have been chipping away at her character sheet for a few over a month now. I find this character harder to create than some others, probably because I’m having issues relating to her or finding her ‘’voice’’. I have made a considerable change to her background this month, hoping it will better fit her role in the story.

           Aside from this character, I also made progress on my first chapter, even if it was only a few paragraphs. It was my attempt at localizing the setting, by pointing out details of the environment and giving hints at the time frame through the protagonists casual observations. It’s still a work in progress, but it is coming along nicely.

           While setting up decorations for my new house, I was inspired to create my own art. I haven’t done any painting in ages, so I am looking forward to trying and create a few pieces for my home. I will post pictures once I get some paintings done.

           I contacted my colleagues from the Missing Worlds Media Composition Department this week, letting them know I am mostly done with my relocation, and ready to take on more assignments. While going through the assignment lists, I noticed some of the characters I had previously created were being assigned to other writers. I find it exciting to see others putting their interpretation on material you created.

Image result for city of titans

           Speaking of characters, MWM released a lore update featuring one of the city’s iconic super heroes. You can read more about the update here:

           That is all for this update. Thank you all for dropping by, your continued support is truly appreciated. Before I go, I would like to wish you all a happy Saint-Valentine’s day! Don’t be afraid to express how you feel to one another… but don’t over do it on the chocolate!

Until next time.


            Patrick Osborne