About Becky Black

Writer of m/m romance, published by Loose Id

My characters are not my mouthpiece

Some people get awfully offended by the beliefs a character they read in a book has. And some of them jump from “this is what this made up person believes” to “this is what the author believes and is saying you should too.” This is patently not true as a writer can present many different characters, holding a variety of views, all sincerely held. And those different characters with different views might all be portrayed sympathetically and as people to root for in the story.
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Some links to egg you on

April is here, the clocks have gone forward, it’s officially summertime here (hollow laughter) and soon it will be Easter. Meanwhile, here are the best blogs and articles I’ve read this last month. Enjoy!

Is ‘happy for now’ happy enough for you?
Robin Reader on Dear Author about the different types of happy ending.

Perhaps, as Jane said, it comes down to trust for many Romance readers, especially when real world relationships are failing at such a high rate. Knowing that you can find constancy in a fictional love match can be a point of comfort for readers. Also, readers invest considerable time and emotional energy in reading, and the HEA can serve as a dual payoff– not only do readers know that their time will not be wasted with protagonists who may not go the romantic distance, but there can also be a sense of emotional justice for characters who suffer or undertake a really difficult struggle to find true love. The more obstacles protagonists face, the more invested a reader may become in seeing the protagonists in an enduring happy relationship.

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Flashfic – Zombie-nado

Patient Z from Loose IdIt’s the fifth weekend of the month! Will March never end?

Well before it does, here’s a short fic about Cal from Patient Z and a little adventure he had, before he teamed up with Mitch and the rest of his gang. Some spoilery bits for Patient Z if you haven’t read that yet.

You’ll probably understand the inspiration for the story after you read it, unless you already figured that out from the title!


Cal looked in the rear view mirror.


The black column was getting closer. He hit the gas pedal harder, but knew he was kidding himself. He couldn’t outrun a tornado. He had to find shelter out of its path.

The prayers he would have said, if he’d been the praying kind, received an answer he’d never asked for. As he passed a stand of trees, whipping around in the wind running ahead of the twister, a building appeared, set back from the road. A white clapboard church. A wooden building didn’t look like it would stand up to a tornado, but it might have a cellar or even a real storm shelter.

Which he would have to hope wasn’t full of zombies.

He wrenched the steering wheel around and hurtled up the drive to the church. One eye on the storm, one eye on the building, looking for zombies. Any humans would be in shelter with the giant twister bearing down, but zombies didn’t care. They didn’t take shelter or even hang on to something solid. They didn’t run away like an animal would. Whatever other temporary threats were around, they remained a constant one.

He roared past a water tower and a wooden sign reading “Come Home to the LORD JESUS! All sinners welcome!” He fit the category of sinner to a T, so accepted the invitation.
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Who gets to call themselves a writer?

It’s an endless argument on the internet. People doing NaNoWriMo for the first time will start a new version of it every year.

Just who gets to say “I’m a writer”?

Lots of people write. For some people writing is their job and their main income. For many writing is something they do alongside a day job, even if they are publishing and making some money from writing. Even more people are writing around the day job and hoping to publish. And then there are many people who write a lot, but purely as a hobby.

So what’s the distinction? Writing full time? Not necessarily. As well as people who are full time pro writers someone retired or unable to work or who is supported by someone else might spend also most of their day writing. But they might not be published, or even want to be published. Are they a writer? If someone is – like me – published and still writing more books to hopefully continue being published, but whose main income is still a non writing day job, can they say to people “I’m a writer.”? What about someone who writes one book, maybe a great book, but never writes anything again?
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10 Things not to Ask on a Writing Forum

Writing forums can be lots of fun and full of useful advice from your fellow writers. From my many years of reading them I’ve come up with a list of 10 things not to ask on them.

1) “Would you read this?”

Well maybe I would, maybe I wouldn’t, but so what? What does that tell you about the merits of your idea? There are lots of great books that I wouldn’t read because they aren’t my cup of tea. But someone else might gobble it up. On the other hand maybe the book is the kind of thing I’d usually read and your idea sounds great to me. But that still doesn’t mean I’d read it, because your execution of the idea might fall short, or your writing may have serious craft issues I can’t get past. So there’s no useful answer to this.

If I say no I wouldn’t read it, because it’s not my kind of thing are you not going to write it because someone who isn’t in your target audience anyway isn’t going to read it? Let’s face it, most people in the world are not going to read your book. Write the book for the ones are are going to read it.

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