Ladies, time to show the goods!

Author: Anastasia V. Pergakis // Category:

Okay, guys if you clicked here expecting "the goods", sorry to dissapoint you. We're talking about heroine and villianess archetypes today! Gotta strip down to the core of our characters so we can really write about them.

I hate to say this, but doing my research for these two posts, I was highly dissapointed to discover that their is more information on the hero archetypes and they are given more focus on the websites I read through. Why is this? Isn't the heroine just as crucial to the story as the hero is?

I feel that heroines should be given more credit! And villianesses too! So, they get their own posts on my blog today! Note I put them in the same order as yesterday, so you can see how they compare to the heros and villians archetypes (read it here). I have the information in nan excel sheet with four columns to see them really side by side. It's interesting to see the similarities -especially between the heros and the villians


The Boss
A take charge type of woman accepting nothing but respect. She doesn't care of she gets a few people upset on her rise to the top. Succeeding in her goals is the most important thing to her.

The Seductress
This lady knows what she wants and gets it - her way. She sizes up every person whenever she enters a room. Her charming smile hides her distrust in people. Often mysterious and manipulative. Her survivial means she'll go to any lengths to make sure she comes out on top. Cynicism rules her actions.

The Free Spirit
This woman dances to the beat of her own drum. She is very playful and fun loving. She stops to smell the flowers whenver she caan and admires the colors of the world. Ruled by pure emotion, she follows her heart rather than her head.

The Nurturer
Not necessarily "Mom" or "Suzy Homemaker" but she definitely takes care of everyone. She's the best listener and very optimisitic. She works hard to make sure everyone around her is happy.

The Waif/Magician
The damsel in distress. She holds child-like innocense that brings out the protective urges of even the most hardened heros. She does have her own strength though! She won't 'fight back but she'll endure - survive.

The Librarian/Sage
Prim and proper but very passionate underneath. She's a know-it-all and might be a shy mousey type hiding in the library. However, her passionate core shines through the bun, glasses - and the books!

The Crusader
She is a dedicated fighter. She marches over anyone in the way of completing her missions - whatever that might be. She's very headstrong and tenacious, easily stepping over- or pushing - any block in her path.

The Spunky Kid
Loyal is this woman's middle name. Often the favorite of writers as you can't help but root for her! She doesn't want to be the top of the heap - just her own place. A definate team player. She is always ready to jump in and help.


The Bitch
She will lie, cheat, and steal her way to the top. She has no care about the people around her. Only her success matters. She helps no one but herself and has left (and will leave) many heel marks on people's backs as she rises to the top.

The Black Widow
She lives up to the name - lures victims into her web. Her victims can be anyone that has something she wants. She wants a lot of things, so anyone can be caught next! She is an expert at seduction, making the vicitim want to be decieved!

The Parasite
She goes along with anything so long as her own security is there. Views herself as a victim that had no choice. She blames other people for her crimes. She saves no one but herself and she'll sponge off anyone that will 'protect' her.

The Backstabber
Two-faced, she finds a great delight in tricking the unsuspecting. She learns people's secrets with her sympathetic smiles - but it's all a ruse! She'll use it against you. Her helpful advice is will only hinder you. She can't be trusted; she'll betray you every time.

The Lunatic
This woman is very unbalanced. A madwoman drawing other people into her insane world. She feels the world is out of sorts, not her. You can't understand her logic to anything, so don't try.

The Schemer
She plots the ruin of other people. Thinks of a cat playing with a mouse. She just toys with people. She has elaborate plans and complicated schemes. She's so pleased when she traps an unwary person in her puzzles.

The Matriarch
She knows what is best for you and will do whatever she can to control the lives of those around her. She smothers her loved ones. Her children (or whoever she latches onto) can do no wrong, as long as they don't go against her. Her happy family portrait is actually a trap!

The Fanatic
An extremist that does wrong in the name of good. He actions are justified by her intent. Collateral damange makes to difference. Anyone not her friend is an enemy - and fair game. She thinks you are wrong - all the time.

What are you favorite heroine types? Villianesses? Personally I go for the matriarch for villianesses. I mean come on -- she just loves you - to death!

Guys, strip down to your skivvies!

Author: Anastasia V. Pergakis // Category:

Today we are going to strip the boys! Woohoo! Okay, seriously we are stripping them, but not in the way you think - sorry to disappoint you!

I'm talking about archetypes for the guys in our stories. There are eight hero archetypes and eight villian archetypes. I'll go over all of these briefly today. More indepth posts will come later.


The Chief
He's the leader, obviously. Some might say he's the Alpha male type. He gets what he wants and nothing will stand in his way. Sometimes he's stand offish and unapproachable because of his drive.

The Bad Boy
He's danger and excitement. He's a survivor having lived a hard life. Doesn't trust many people and often covers his pain with anger. Visions of a bad boy often drum up a motocycle, black leather clothes, or even a cigarette in his mouth depending on your ideals.

The Lost Soul
Often the dark type of guy, mysterious. Wounded and tormented, poetic type. He's a keen observer, picking up on every detail - can't keep a secret from him. He prepares for the worst and doesn't really hope for the best. But, he is also a dreamer, always trying to find a way out of his miserable situation.

The Best Friend
The guy a girl can turn to to cry, talk, and just hang out - her rock. Everyone likes this guy and he likes everyone too - never met a stranger. He's not very assertive normally, unless in defense of his friends, but even then, he won't jump in like some of the other archetypes would.

The Charmer
An irristable man that keeps the girl guessing. He's sexy and charismatic in all ways. Persuasive and smooth, he can talk his way out of or into anything. Detached, because who knows what he's really thinking or feeling. The life of the party, but if often irresponsible.

The Professor
Nerdy type! Loves facts on top of facts. Is often vulerable with his feelings as he doesn't know how to hide them well. Usually socially inexperienced because his nose is always in a book. He doesn't make any rash decisions, instead of thinking them through. He's an expert in his field. (This little blurb might sound boring, but think, Indiana Jones is a Professor Archetype!)

The Warrior
Protect and defend - that is this guy. Not necessarily a soldier but the warrior type has the same mentally. He's very noble and courageous. He's very focused and often time stubborn. He'll hunt the villian down if it's the last thing he'll do. Very protective of the heroine (or any woman for that matter).

The Swashbuckler
Adventure! He gets a high from adventure in fact. Daring and bold, he lives in the moment. He loves life, often enjoying the "sins" that life throws at him without pause. He's fearless in the face of danger, but often unreliable. He'll latch on to one adventure and everything else goes out the window.


The Tyrant
He wants power no matter what the price. He conquers everything he sets his eye on, easily crushing his enemy under his boot. People are merely pawns to this guy, with him holding all the power pieces. He'll think nothing but to destroy you, so stear clear!

The Bastard
He can't get what he wants and so he lashes out in anger. He wants - and loves it seems - to provoke people into a fight or other actions. He doens't hide his shady dealings either, instead announces them to the world.

The Outcast
Tortured, like the hero "The Lost Soul" but this guy craves redemption and will sacrifice anyone to get it. He won't have any sympathy for you even if you give it to him.

The Traitor
A double agent, betraying anyone, even those that trust him the most. People don't see the evil in this guy! He plots and schemes the destruction of his friends even though they give him support and sympathy.

The Devil
This guy is charismatic, but watch out! He doesn't hesititate to give anyone what he thinks they deserve. His lures people to their own destruction with his charm and ability to uncover moral weaknesses in people.

The Evil Genius
He shows off his superior intelligence. Anyone inferior of mind is expendible, which basically means everyone. His trademark includes elaborate puzzles and odd experiments.

The Terroist
Bound by a warped code of honor, this guy believes in his own virture. He's self righteous and jusdges those around him wtih a strict set of laws. His sense of justice does not resemble yours and it never will. Nothing conventional in morals will stop him and the end will always justify his means.

The Sadist
This guy loves cruelty for the sake of cruelty. To this guy violence and brutality are merely games. He can play these games with much skill. He'll laugh as he tears you apart.

Which Heros and/or Villians are your favorite to read about? To write about?

Fall in Love...

Author: Anastasia V. Pergakis // Category:

Continuing with my character building type of posts, today we're talking about loving your hero. (This is all from a woman's point of view here, but the same ideas apply to everyone!)

Fall in love with your hero! Like, real love people. Love every detail about your hero! Even his flaws.

If you don't love your hero, you're readers won't either. Remember that you created this guy! I don't know about you, but I put qualities into my heroes that are attractive to me. I tend to go for the bad boy types but I'm also a lover of the lost soul aka the dark brooding one.

When you're creating your hero, ask yourself a few questions. What characteristics do I like in a man? Which ones do I hate? Which ones will I tolerate? Then, craft your hero based on these answers. Be careful here when writing multiple novels or your characters will all end up the same! But, it at least gives you a place to start. Other questions to ask - What men in my life do I love and why? What men have inspired me in my life? What physical attributes are guaranteed to leave me breathless?

Drache, the hero in Burden of Prophecy, is actually not the type of guy I normally would swoon over. But, I do. He's tall (6'4), muscular, and can fly! Long hair, stormy eyes.....Wait, what was I talking about? Oh right. *ahem* His personality really sinks the deal for me as he will sacrifice everything to protect those he loves. He's a rather cheesy type of romantic which is so adorable. I honestly can say I love him. Do you love your hero this much - that you lose track of what is going on when you think about him?

This same line of thinking applies to your heroine. She's your best friend! You can confide in her and she confides in you. You know all her flaws and strengths. You love her like a sister. You laugh at the same jokes! If she were in the physical world, rather than your head, she's the one you'd take on shopping trips, lean on when you need support, and the one that makes you laugh when you want to cry.

Rosyani, the heroine in Burden of Prophecy, is my best friend for sure. In fact, her and I have long conversations that have nothing to do with the book! Her and I have the best time outlining the series or writing scenes. Her gentle and calm nature help to calm me and keep me focused when I'm writing. I try to channel her calmness on a regular basis, but many of you know that I epically fail at that! If she were in the physical world, oh the fun we would have!

What about you? What qualities do you love most about your hero? What is it about your heroine that makes her your best friend?

Rejection Surprisingly Feels Great!

Author: Anastasia V. Pergakis // Category:

I planned to post about character building today, but I have to share something.

I got my first rejection letter!

I pitched my novel in a live chat pitch sessions during Muse Con as you might have heard on twitter and facebook. Both requested to see partials of my manuscript. One of those pitches was to acquisitions editor Heather Howland at Crescent Moon Press. It was a good rejection letter in the sense that Heather took the time to give some great suggestions for how to improve my story.

I didn't cry as I thought I would for my first rejection and I think that is because of the wonderful advice given in it. It wasn't a form rejection. Sure, I was dissapointed. I think for me I've just been writing and writing and editing and editing for so long and doing nothing about it, that I was actually glad for a rejection. For me at least I was making the next step. I didn't continue to just sit on my manuscript and hate myself for not being published yet. Well, guess what I discovered? You can't get published if you don't submit and get rejected a few times!

So, in a weird way, I'm sort of happy. I made the next step. I'm ready to keep moving forward in this direction. Like I said, I am a bit sad that I didn't get an excited "send it right now!" I actually gained a bit of confidence in this venture. I'm no longer just sitting on my MS feeling sorry for myself. I bit the bullet and jumped in feet first. And that is a great feeling.

I tried. Even though it was a no, I tried. I made that first step. I would have regretted not doing it more than any amount of rejection.

What do I do now? Well, I'm going to head back to my MS. Heather had some good points for me that I want to put into effect.

She said the plot was a little rushed. Which is funny. The specific parts she mentioned where I push the story ahead a week in a single sentence or two months in a paragraph were the same spots where I thought I would slow down the story if I added any more detail. But instead, I was rushing it by not having that detail in there. Adding it in will be good because I get to explore more about the hero and heroine after they first meet.

But, she did like the relationship between the hero and heroine! That made me happy, especially since their relationship had been difficult to portray in writing for me. She also liked the premise of the story, so I think I'm good on that point. Just need to fix the tempo.

Once I add in those extra details, I'll start submitting to more agents and publishers. Can you re-submit to the same publisher/agent? I don't know if that works or not. Do you guys know anything about it? Is it tabboo to resubmit or what? Please let me know!

Timelines will Save You

Author: Anastasia V. Pergakis // Category:

The Muse Online Writer's Conference had workshop titled "Keeping Track of Characters in a Series" with Jim Overturf.

I'll be honest and say that the workshop was not what I expected, but the information was invaluble. In the workshop, Jim presented us with excel spreadsheets set up for timelines about your characters.

I never thought to use an actual time line, instead I just wrote random notes on the characters' sketches. However, having an actual timeline all laid out is a wonderful tool that I know recommend to anyone who writes a series - or stand alone novel for that matter.

I tried to create snapshots of the excel sheets but they didn't turn out too well, so hopefully you can still follow along with what I say. If I get the snapshots to actually work, I'll post them up in a later post.

The first type of timeline is for a single character. Make one for each of your characters (or give each character their own sheet in the same book if you want.)

Obviously, put their name on the top. There are five columns in Jim's version of the timeline - Year, Age, Education, Primary, and Secondary.

The year column is the years of your character life from birth to death. Like if I did a timeline on myself, I would start the year in 1984, when I was born. The age column marks how old your character during that year. I turned 1 in 1985, 2 in 1986, etc. Now you might think this is a bit reduntant since you already have the years listed, but it comes in handy. I mean, can you immediately think of how old you were in say 1992 without doing a bit of math on it first - everytime? Well, the age column helps with that. I love it because with my faeries and elves being so old, it really helps to keep track of how old they are and when.

The education column is where you keep track of what grade of school they were in, matching up with their age and the year of course. Pretty simple and helps to mark graduations and things like that.

Now, before I get to the last two columns, I want to take a minute to explain that in the timeline I use for my characters, I only have the age column. My fantasy stories don't really mention the exact year for anything. Not only do I not need that column, I wouldn't even know how to fill it in, unless I started making stuff up. I don't use the education column because my characters don't go to kindergarten or things like that. Their school system is set up completely different than ours. They don't have different grades it's just primary school and university, so I don't need that column. You can add or take away from this based on what you need.

Now, the Primary column is where you input the events that they did themselves or happened directly to them. This can include graduating from school, breaking their arm, getting married or divorced, etc.

The Secondary column is the best part of this timeline I think. This column is put those events that affected the character emotionally, spiritually, financial or politically. For example, his parens divorced, mom remarried, little sister was born, recieved an inheritance, etc. Basically anything that other people did, but still impacted the character on some level.

I can already see the value of having such a wonderful tool, especially for those that write series. By the time you get to book four, the timeline will make sure you don't forget that your character broke their left arm in book 2. Sure, you could just make a note of it on your character sketches or what have you, but a timeline is just so neat and organized. Everything is there all in one place! It's fantastic!

The other type of timeline, Jim shared with us in the workshop are multiple timelines or character tracking timelines. This puts your characters actions side by side with another so you can keep track of who is doing what.

I was excited when I saw this sheet! I have a part in Burden of Prophecy where the group gets split up. If I had this multiple timeline sheet when I first wrote it, it would have been SO much easier to keep track of everything.

You can do the multiple timeline in two different ways -- hour by hour (or even second by second if you need to) or by year. The hour by hour one is simple, list the hours that you need in one column and then have a column for each character involved. This will help you keep track of what your characters are doing at the same time - it's great to see it side by side even if you can't put it that way in the story itself.

The other multiple timeline done by year has the year, age, education columns like the single character sheet did, but instead of the Primary and Secondary columns, you list each character involved. What would you need to see side by side for years or even a life time at a time? This form is great for following lines of family generations. This lets you keep track of a few generations - up to the time your novel starts!

You can also substitute the characters for towns or cities or countries even. List major events that happened in those places - king was murdered, plague broke out, etc. Things that may have a major effect on the world your characters live in.

I hope I did this justice without pictures to show you, but like I said, if I get it working right, I'll post them up later for you. I'm so glad I was able to participate in this workshop. These worksheets will greatly help me with all my series. Imagine what they can do to help you too!

Let me know if you use these - any changes you made and how they work for you. Do you already make timelines? If so, what information do you put on them and why?

We now return you....

Author: Anastasia V. Pergakis // Category: your regularly scheduled program.

Did you guys miss me? I missed you, I really did. Let me get you caught up on what's been happening to me.

We moved to a new house. It's amazing! No more little apartment! We have a huge fenced-in backyard for the little man to run free, three bedrooms, and I get my own study! So fabulous! It has beautiful hardwood floors, but it does make the house really echo! We're buying area rugs one at a time (only 2 so far) but hopefully the echoing will die down soon. It's driving me crazy quite honestly.

As you can see I've made some minor changes to my blog here. Remember a while back when I talked about the Muse Online Writers Conference? Well, one of the workshops had some great advice about blogging - do's and don't's sort of thing. So, I took the advice mentioned and went to work. Then it was just a matter of getting back into the habit of posting on a regular basis. I have some great ideas brewing for the blog here and I hope you like them!

And speaking of the Muse Conference!! I was able to attend TWO pitch sessions during the week - one with an agent and one with a publisher - and BOTH asked to see partials of Burden of Prophecy! SQUEEEE!!!! I haven't heard from them yet but I will let you all know the result as soon as I do. Squee!

That is the major news. School is going good, but it's stressful. Takes up time to do the homework of course. Not a lot of time, but you all know how busy I am and every minute counts. But, I'm finally getting the hang of it so things should start to get a little less stressful for me.

I'm going to start back with character building topics like I started in September so tune in for more about developing and keeping up with your characters!

Oh - by the way, I want to say huge thanks to both Elizabeth Mueller and Kurt Chambers. During my absense they both were kind enough to check up on me through email, facebook, and twitter. It was really sweet of them to check up on me. It was very stressful there for a while with moving and everything else, so it really lifted my spirits to know I was being missed! You two are great and I love ya both!