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Hi there.

I'm busy writing a scene in the beginning of my book that is very important to the growth of the main character. In the scene, she just comes home from her best friends funeral and finds a mutual friend waiting on the doorstep upset because no-one let him know what had happened.

She starts out as a very self-absorbed individual, but because of the death and the fact that she is the guardian of her late friend's baby, she has to change.

The problem I'm having is I'm not sure how she should react to the mutual friends grief when she herself is grieving and dealing with the fact that her previous lifestyle just flew out the window. She is supposed to end up getting together with this mutual friend, but I don't want it to be too obvious...

I have never lost someone close to me, so I'm not really sure what goes through your mind at a time like that. Especially if someone you haven't seen in a long time reproaches you for not letting him know what was happening...

Please help

Hi, Vernice!  Sorry for the delay in responding. I'd thought I'd set my AllExperts page to vacation while I finished a book, but apparently I didn't. Oops!

Anyway, my best guess is that the main character would first be shocked and then react with anger. It's not actually directed toward the visitor, but it will SOUND that way to the friend. The anger is a combination of the grief, embarrassment at forgetting to tell the friend, and annoyance with everybody in the dead person's family for ALSO forgetting to tell the friend. It all results in some form of fight---whether verbal or physical is up to you, based on the character's personalities. They'll later patch it up, because both will cool down and realize that they flew off the handle, and will blame it on grief, but it's more than that, and is another lesson for your main character to learn.

Hope that helps, and good luck with the story! :)


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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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