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Writing Books/Character Reactions?


I'm currently working on a situation (which is what I write when I don't have a story to work on, it helps me figure out how different types of characters react to different situations.)
In the one I'm working on, A girl, Cassie, is in the hospital for a gunshot wound from a .22, shot from approx. 25-30 feet away, and hit the right side of her abdomen, and her large intestine. The bullet missed her aorta and spine, and help arrived (though barely) within an hour after she was shot.
Her best friends, Shawn and Carter, plus a few people she works with, are at the hospital waiting for her to get out of surgery when the doctor finally comes out and tells Shawn and Carter that they still aren't quite sure of the outcome, and that the next 24-48 hours are critical. Shawn is a very comedic character, he rarely ever takes anything seriously, and is always cracking jokes and making fun of Carter. Carter, on the other hand, is very serious, is always trying to keep Shawn away from trouble, but gets dragged in anyway. He usually just glares at Shawn when Shawn makes fun of him.
And also, Shawn is secretly (although Carter has been aware of this for years) in love with Cassie. He takes what the doctor says as "She is going to die." He cannot bring himself to say the words, but tries to crack jokes. He leaves the group of people as quickly as he can for Cassie's room, and begins talking to her (she is unconscious), about how when they were young they thought they were "invincible" and "oblivious to reality". He then says "It's a nice place to be, oblivious and in love." He pauses and is afraid to say what he is thinking.

I'm afraid to have him actually confess his feelings, however, because I'm thinking about making this into an actual story (it would be a series) and I'm not sure how I could keep the story going after this. I'm afraid to have Shawn and Cassie actually marry, because Shawn is the type of person who secretly wants to settle down, but it really just isn't in his nature to do so.
So if you could give me any advice on how this situation would work out, that would be greatly appreciated!

Hi, Joanne!

Actually, I don't really see the problem. Cassie's unconscious. That's the PERFECT time for Shawn to reveal his feelings, because she "can't hear him." Now, if she actually can, and it later comes out that she remembers him saying it, that's one thing. But unless Carter comes in the room to overhear, he's pretty much safe. You might have a third person walk in the room, like a nurse and hear him say it, causing him to backpedal and leave the room. But it's only the reader who will know, and Cassie might think it was all just a dream or her imagination from the sedative if Shawn doesn't react the way she expects him to when she wakes up.

Does that make sense?

I don't really think it's the end of the story right there. In fact, it's just the BEGINNING of the romantic conflict. :)

Feel free to ask any other questions if this didn't make sense to you, and good luck with it otherwise.


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Cathy Clamp


I'm happy to answer questions about any aspect of writing novels, from the beginning kernel of an idea through completion. I can help with writing a query letter and synopsis to an agent or editor. I can explain publishing terminology and acronyms. I can also assist with questions about verifying the credentials of agents/publishers and how to proceed once you've been accepted for publication. I can teach the rules of formatting a manuscript, creating viable plots, characterization and flow in the following genres: romance, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, suspense, horror, women's fiction, mainstream and mystery.


I'm a USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance for Tor/Forge Books. Along with a co-author, I've published fifteen novels (combination of mass market and trade softcover) since 2003, and have contracts for four more books through 2011.

Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Western Outdoor Writers, Horror Writers of America.

Tor/Forge Books, Western Reflections Publishing, BenBella Books, Running Press, Wild Child Publishing. Many others.

My educational background is limited to real life experience of publishing novels commercially for the past five years.

Awards and Honors
USA Today bestseller, Waldenbooks Mass Market Paperback Top 20 bestseller, Nielsen BookScan Top 20 bestseller, RT BOOKreviews Career Achievement Award winner, 2009, Book Buyers Best Award for Paranormal, Romantic Times Best Werewolf Novel, Write Touch Readers Award, EVVY Best Historical Chronicle Award, The Lories Best Paranormal. Many others.

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