Tag Archives | Ally Carter

Countdown of my favorite books – part 10.

The last day of the countdown, folks! I’ll be back from my break next week. I couldn’t end this countdown without including these next two books.

THE LIAR SOCIETY by Lisa and Laura Roecker

If you can’t tell I’m a big fan of humor balanced by a great plot and a moving story. And this story is exactly what I love to read. And yes, I loved this book. Can’t wait for the sequel.


I had to group these two books together. Funny. Terrific plotting. But most of all, an inner journey of the main character that counts. Ally Carter pulls off what is hard to do: balancing the humorous with the serious.

Hope you enjoyed my countdown! I’ll be back next week. Don’t get me wrong. I loved many many books that I didn’t mention. This has been a great year of reading for me. But, for some reason, the books I mentioned stayed with me.

Now the question is -what are the most anticipated books of 2012.

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Characters and instant conflict. Let’s talk.

At times, my life is full of conflict. I struggle to be the best mom possible when two of my kids are exactly like me, that is, a bit strong willed and determined.

My life would be so much easier if I was one of those moms who had patience and love bubbling over like a fountain in some romantic foreign city when their son spills the grape juice from his Flavor Ice onto the newish couch when he knows he’s not supposed to eat in there and it’s now a permanent stain.

Or when that same son yells out early in the morning on a Saturday that he broke the faucet, and everyone is sleeping in or trying to on the one day of the week they can.

Let me tell you, instant conflict.

Does your character offer the most conflict for the situation? That question comes up in SAVE THE CAT. In other words, the main character should be the worst person for the job, because for obvious reasons, there is instant conflict. And a lot of times, adds humor.

Here are some examples from books and movies:

Romancing the Stone: Novelist with no real adventure experience goes off on a crazy adventure with the man of her dreams.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns: Extremely overweight princess with a major carb addiction is born with the Godstone, which means she is meant for greatness.

Harry Potter: Boy with absolutely no wizarding power or experience needs to take down the most evil wizard ever.

Anna and the French Kiss: Anna is sent to a boarding in school in Paris but would much rather be at home in her safe world.

I’d Tell You I love You But Then I’d Have To Kill You: Cammie Morgan falls in love with a boy in town, except she’s been trained to be a spy and knowing 40 languages doesn’t prepare her for her first major crush.

Just think how different these stories would be if the character had been “perfect” for the story.

This is just one method of introducing conflict to a story and starting the emotional arc. I’ve looked and there are plenty of high concept and low concept books that don’t use this method and they are still extremely successful.

Have you ever thought about crafting your character to be the worst possible one for the role? And is there anyway to lift a grape juice stain from a couch? Just askin’.

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