Showing posts with label Seraphym Wars Series. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Seraphym Wars Series. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

103 Synonyms for ANGER or ANGRY



Sometimes certain words keep popping up in your manuscript and you wish there were other forms of the word you could substitute. Or maybe you’re looking for a more specific term for the basic word you have in mind. Well, if the word you’re using is ANGER or ANGRY, here are 103 useful alternatives:

1.         Acrid: extremely harsh (or an unpleasant taste or smell)
2.         Acrimonious: harshly unpleasant
3.         Aggravated: angrily agitated
4.         Angered: made angry
5.         Annoyed: angry about being disturbed
6.         Antagonistic: angrily opposed
7.         Antipathetic: expressing aggression or aversion
8.         Apoplectic: violently angry, from the word apoplexy, meaning having a stroke
9.         Ballistic: explosively angry, from the word meaning projectile flight
10.       Bellicose: aggressively angry, from the synonym for warlike
11.       Belligerent: see bellicose
12.       Bent out of shape: as in stooped over while screaming
13.       Beside oneself: seeming out of character
14.       Bitter: resentful
15.       Blue in the face: see frustrated, from the idea of facial discoloration caused by extreme emotion
16.       Boiling: extremely angry, meaning being agitated like heated water
17.       Bristling: defensively angry, like an animal’s hair bristling as it responds to a threat
18.       Burning: extremely angry, from the body overheating due to intense feeling
19.       Caustic: cruelly angry, or sarcastic
20.       Chagrin: distress caused by humiliation or failure
21.       Cheesed off: see frustrated (also “bored” or “disgusted”)
22.       Choleric: easily angered
23.       Churlish: disrespectfully angry
24.       Cold: emotionally remote anger
25.       Contrary: uncooperatively angry
26.       Cool: angry but emotions are held in check
27.       Cross
28.       Disgruntlement: ill-humored or discontented
29.       Discontent
30.       Displeasure
31.       Embittered: made upset
32.       Enraged: violently angry
33.       Exasperated: see frustrated
34.       Fired up: see hot
35.       Fit to be tied: extremely angry, suggesting that the angry person should be restrained
36.       Flare up: so angry you might turn into fire
37.       Fly off the handle: refers to loose ax head flying off the handle when swung
38.       Foaming: so angry as to suggest insanity caused by hydrophobia (rabies), as in foaming at the mouth is symptomatic of the disease
39.       Frustrated: upset due to obstacles or challenges
40.       Fuming: extremely angry, from the association of a volcano or other heated natural phenomenon
41.       Fury: destructive rage; refers to mythic Furies (avenging Greek deities who torment criminals and inflict plagues)
42.       Furious: intensely angry
43.       Galled: fret or wear by friction; become sore from rubbing
44.       Go berserk: ancient Scandinavian warrior frenzied in battle and held to be invulnerable
45.       Going crook: losing one’s temper
46.       Hopping: jumping up and down to express anger
47.       Hopping mad: see hopping
48.       Horn-mad: extremely angry
49.       Hostile: actively intimidating, unfriendly, or resistant
50.       Hot: physical discomfort caused by anger
51.       Hot under the collar: see hot
52.       Icy: see cold
53.       Impassioned
54.       In a lather: referring to ‘lathering at the mouth’ from Rabies
55.       In high dudgeon: state of indignation
56.       Incensed: see indignant
57.       Indignant: angry because of a real or perceived slight or unjust attack
58.       Inflamed: see hot
59.       Infuriated: see furious
60.       Incense: set on fire
61.       Irascibility: easily provoked anger
62.       Irate: see furious
63.       Ireful: see irate
64.       Irk: irritate
65.       Livid: intensely angry to the point of being unable to control oneself (livid, however, can also mean “bruised,” “pale,” or “colorful,” with the second sense associated with pain, shock, or fear)
66.       Mad: insane or crazy; also used to mean angry as in unable to think clearly due to madness
67.       Malcontent: displeased
68.       Outraged: angry about an offense
69.       Passionate: easily angered
70.       Peeve: resentful
71.       Perturbed: upset (or confused)
72.       Pissed off: aggravated
73.       Piqued: aroused through provocation
74.       Provoke: arouse to feeling or action
75.       Rabid: see foaming
76.       Raging: see furious
77.       Rancorous: malevolently angry
78.       Rankled: resentful
79.       Ranting: irrationally angry
80.       Raving: see ranting
81.       Riled: upset; quickened heartbeat
82.       Roiled: see riled
83.       Ruffled feathers: as in a bird’s raised feathers to intimidate
84.       Seeing red: so angry that one’s vision is blurred by excess blood flow in the eyes
85.       Seething: repressing violent anger
86.       Shirty: British for irritated
87.       Smoldering: see seething
88.       Sore: see indignant
89.       Soreheaded: see indignant
90.       Steamed: see hot
91.       Steaming: see hot
92.       Storming: anger suggestive of stormy weather
93.       Stormy: see storming
94.       Teed off: annoyed
95.       Tetchiness: (tetchy) another form of touchy or irritable
96.       Testiness: easily annoyed
97.       Ticked: angry; also “ticked off”
98.       Vexation: troubling
99.       Vitriolic: see caustic
100.     Worked up: upset
101.     Wrathful: see furious
102.     Wroth: see furious
103.     Wrought up: see “worked up”

Rebecca Ryals Russell.




Friday, April 6, 2012

4 Important Character Concerns

Here are some things to consider in creating your main character. Note I don’t say “hero” or “heroine,” because sometimes the terms don’t apply at first.

Is your character an Insider or Outsider: are they already fully immersed in the world or is the reader becoming aware along with the character? Sometimes the best way to introduce a reader to the world of the weird is to introduce the protagonist to it, so that he or she begins at the same level of knowledge, basically, as the reader.
    In Odessa, Book One of the Seraphym Wars Series, or Harpies, Book Two, Myrna and Griffen are from Earth but find themselves suddenly and inexplicitly waking on a foreign planet fill with demon-dragons who run the place. Not only that, but the world is Steampunk instead of the contemporary Earth they know. People dress strangely and vehicles hover or sail through the sky while the world itself is primal and filled with monsters. These ambiguities create a lot of tension for the characters, but for the reader as well. The reader is taking the same journey as the characters in learning about their new world.

Alternately, it can be intriguing simply to launch your reader into the fictional world right from the beginning. In my Middle Grade story Masquerade’s Moon Madness, Masquerade is an adorable black cat who used to be a little girl but now lives with a young witch named Wendy. The reader accompanies Masquerade on her adventures throughout time and space as she and Wendy travel and learn. But it’s up to the reader to simply accept certain facts; like a little orphan girl becoming a cat after sipping the witch’s stew.

Can you character take abuse? As any writer is aware, every good character has flaws. The only character I can think of who might not is Jesus or a computer (and even then something could be devised). After all, if your character is too wimpy to withstand the conflict your story must cast their way, they really aren’t much of a character are they? So why should a reader continue reading about them? What will hold the reader’s attention? The other reason a character must be flawed is to seem realistic. How else will a reader empathize with the character’s plight?

But as important as a flaw or two may be, it is more important that the character have the guts and wherewithal to deal with the issues at hand. Just remember to ease the character into being able to solve their problems. If they seem super-human from the get-go, how will they grow and evolve through the story? Again, why should a reader continue reading about the character if they’re strong and capable from the beginning? This brings up the next point…

Hidden strengths: In a novel, characters’ actions tends to larger than life, so characters must be pushed beyond what you or I consider normal endurance. The result is they’ll either break or find hidden strengths that allow them to survive and solve their problems. Breaking is obviously the less heroic choice. How the character solves the conflict determines their hidden strengths and brings them to the surface.

How does your character best speak? POV: Narration, whether it comes from the main character, a secondary character or outside viewer, has changed significantly over the past hundred years. If you read anything written in the early 1900’s you will easily discern the author’s opinion throughout the story, even fiction, because it was common for the omniscient narrator to share their own ideas. But today’s readers don’t have the time for all of the extraneous narration and want to make up their own minds about how they feel about the characters and story.

Hence, the omniscient narrator has become passe and the popular POV is first person for younger books, although third person is still widely used everywhere.


First person, or the “I” perspective, is quite popular right now, especially in young fiction. It can feel intimate, which is what teens seem to like about it; but it can also be limiting, since it’s best (though not exclusively) used in single point of view. Word of caution: don’t allow your character to speak directly to the reader (another ancient form of narration). A reader wants to disappear into a book and live vicariously alongside the characters. Also, one person can’t ever truly know what’s going on in someone else’s head, so a writer must give the reader cues through dialogue, expression and body language.

Third person is the most commonly used POV. This is the “he” or “she” perspective. The reader remains in a particular character’s head until a new character takes over after a section break or new chapter. There are caveats here too. If you choose to write from more than one perspective, it’s important for each voice to sound truly distinctive so that the reader doesn’t forget who’s speaking/thinking. It is strongly advisable for the writer to limit the number of POVs so a reader doesn’t get confused and lose track of the main character’s conflict/resolution.

Generally, for younger readers one POV is used, sometimes a second POV can be inserted sparingly and obviously made different; Young Adult might have as many as three. Authors today are trying various techniques in search of the almighty best-seller. Sometimes they work. Sometimes they flop. I read a book, or started reading it, which changed perspective with each chapter. With four or five character POVs constantly changing like that I quickly got lost and lost interest in the book. So mind how many POVs you use and keep them obviously different enough readers don’t get lost.

COMING SOON
Harpies, Book Two Seraphym Wars Series for YA Readers
Transported to a planet he'd never heard of was the least of fifteen-year-old Griffen's problems. Learning to control his suddenly increasing strength and new ability to pull lightning from the sky takes some getting used to.  Angry preteen Seth joins the quest; meanwhile discovering his combusting ability as a fire-starter. Driven to find the last Vigorio, a young girl able to experience others' emotions, they journey together toward their destinies as warriors against Narciss, Ruler of Tartarus and his Legio of demon-dragons. Narciss’s Harpy henchmen have other ideas, however.


Rebecca Ryals Russell is author of Seraphym Wars Series for YA readers and Stardust Warriors Series for MG readers. She also has several MG chapter books in the works as well as a YA Dystopian. See more about her and her WIPs at Under the Hat of MG/YA Dark Fantasy Author Rebecca Ryals Russell or Tween Word Quest.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

10 Things Every Literary Hero Needs


My first draft of Odessa, then called Dragons in the Dark, could have given a garbage dump a run for the money in stink. I was so happy and proud to have the entire 600 word story finally written and out of my head. As you know, if you’ve read any of my interviews, the entire story has resided in my head for over thirty years awaiting the right moment and amount of time to pop out. When it finally did and I read it through the manuscript was obviously full of errors, bad writing and a fatal flaw. I had no distinctive main character—no hero or heroine.

Because the story is about a group of seven teens, I assumed they could all tell the story. But it didn’t work that way. I had to decide which of them would tell the story to the reader and be the hero of the book series. Once I knew that, I revised the story about eight times, writing it from Myrna’s point of view, until I got it right. The funny thing is I have a strong driving need to revise it again. I’m guessing that’s a common feeling for authors. And one day I might do it, who knows.
But I digress. My point is this: There are certain aspects of a hero/heroine an author must provide for the story to work.

1-Your protagonist must be interesting. There should be some quirk, personality trait, etc that makes your hero special. Why would a reader care about her and what happens to her? This was my first big area of improvement and why I need to revise Odessa—Myrna isn’t likable enough and she’s too white bread.
2-While the reader doesn’t need to feel sympathetic for your protag (as in the case of a detestable character-murderer, rapist, etc), they should be able to feel some empathy for them. Maybe a horrific childhood that created their current character.
3-Protags should act bravely.
4-As the ‘god’ creating your characters, it is imperative the author knows every aspect of each main character in the story. They should exist in the author’s head as surely as any living person. There are many character creation templates to help with this. I’ll post my own in my next posting.
5-Conflict, conflict, conflict. Your story must have a general overriding conflict, but so should each of the characters—especially your protag. If your hero has no inner conflict or problems to overcome, what makes them interesting enough to hold a reader’s attention?
6-In addition to or in conjunction with a conflict, your hero should have a weakness. They may not realize it at first, but sometime during the story it should come to light and they must work on improving that weakness while accomplishing their tasks.
7-All characters in a story, but especially your protagonist, must change and grow throughout the story. If you are writing a series, each book should have a character arc of growth which is different from that of the series.
8-Your hero must have a reason for doing whatever they are doing in your story. The protag’s younger sister was kidnapped; her parents were killed and the murderer is after her; she is trying to get someone specific to fall in love with her. Whatever the reason, without a purpose for the protag’s actions/journey, you have no story.
9-Make sure your hero is believable. No one is completely good or absolutely bad. Even angels and demons can have slight issues causing them to question their behavior. This is what has made the Romantic Vampire so attractive.
10-The war and final battle between the protagonist and antagonist should be satisfying and believable. Even in a Sci Fi story set in a far-away universe, the conclusion to this battle can be believable to the reader if the author understands human nature and sticks to the rules of world building they’ve created. If the story is historical, make sure you stick to the actual history of the event.
These are just some of the things I’ve learned over the past couple of years and have tried incorporating into my writing. And from personal experience as a reader I can conclude with this final nugget. If you have an awesome main character(s) your story doesn’t even have to be awesome because the character will carry it—but if you can have BOTH, you’ll have a best-seller.




Laman and Harpies are currently in edits and should be available soon.



Rebecca Ryals Russell is a MG/YA Fantasy Author of two series: Seraphym Wars Series for YA and Stardust Warriors Series for MG readers. There are currently three books of each series available via eBook wherever eBooks are sold, with several more currently in edits and others in the works. Follow Rebecca’s progress at Under the Hat of Rebecca Ryals Russellor Tween Word Quest.

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