Skip to main content

Hacked by Book Characters

This is a guest post by Nicholas Bridgman.

Detective Robert Gladstone looked around his new environment, bleary eyed from both his transition between literary worlds and from the tie-dyed background of the webpage. The tie-dye looked familiar, coming as he did from San Francisco. But other than that, the page did not look at all recognizable.
So, Robert sought the narrator’s help, as he often did when he needed information and had nowhere else to turn.  He addressed him directly, asking, “Where am I now, you control freak?”
The narrator responded with a laugh, “You’re in a webpage, or more accurately, a literary blog.”
“Why do I want to be there?”
“I’m just testing you, seeing how you react to new stimuli.  I need to know you’re going to be responsible if I take you from fiction into the real world.”
“So this isn’t the real world?”
“No, it’s a website created by a woman named Amber Gregg, for people to come to who like to read and talk about books.”
“Well that’s a good thing, at least. I like books. I should, since I’m a character in one. But if Amber created the page, then how come you are narrating it? Don’t tell me she wanted you to do the narrating for her.”
“As it turns out, no she didn’t, I hacked my way in.”
“You hacked some writer’s website?”
“Yes, it wasn’t that hard to do given the simplicity of her passwords. And anyway, I hacked for a good cause, I wanted to see what you would do if I took you partway into the real world—a website is a good place to start, virtual enough to be harmless, but connected enough to somewhat represent the real world.”
“I see. Well I hope you learn what you’re after.  You’re doing enough damage in the process—both to this woman’s site and to me and my life.”
“Right, yes of course. Why don’t you just take a look around? Familiarize yourself with this website, and when you’re done, we’ll see about taking you from your novel into my writing studio in my house.”
“Okay. I see she offers Editing Services. Things like line editing, developmental editing, and proofreading. Maybe that could have helped you, my narrator friend. It’s not like you write the most seamless plots.”
“Hey, I wrote you, didn’t I? You should thank me.”
“I know, you’re right. I guess I’m just tired of the fictional world. I want more: I want to live, I want to see and do things under my own volition, not because of your control. I want to know what it’s like to choose my own destiny, and to see things just because, just because they happen to be occurring around me, not because they are planned by you to advance your plot.”
“And you will, I promise, with time. If people want to know more about how you fare with this, they should read Nicholas Bridgman’s novel, A Character in Reality. This will describe all of Detective Gladstone’s adventures in reality, and how his journey leads him to learn insights about what it means to be human. Bye for now, see you in the real world.”

Nicholas holds B.A.’s in Rhetoric and Ecology from U.C. Berkeley.  His fiction has appeared in Pilcrow & Dagger and Indiana Voice Journal.  His debut novel is A Character in Reality. For more info, go here.

Popular posts from this blog

El Deafo | Cece Bell

And being different? That turned out to the best part of all. I found that with a little creativity, and a lot of dedication, any difference can be turned into something amazing. Our differences are our superpowers.”
Genre: Middle Grade Graphic Novel/Memoir. Number of Pages: 233. Perspective: First. Location: Virginia.
This graphic novel follows the author throughout her time as a young girl in the 1970s and her experiences losing her hearing from meningitis at the age of four. She learns how to make friends and accept herself. For a complete summary, you can go here.
This was a beautiful story about someone who copes with becoming deaf. I took an American Sign Language course in college and we talked a lot about the deaf culture; it was interesting to learn about some of the daily challenges that someone who is deaf faces. This book explains those challenges in a way that children can understand and relate to. We have come a long way with accessibility since the 70s, but we all could use …

5 Reasons Why I Hate Book Series

Many of you know that I hate book series. If at all possible, I try to stick to stand-alone novels. A few rare trilogies land on my bookshelf and an even rarer few get a good review. Here are my reasons why I hate trilogies: 

1. The first book is perfected.

Authors have an unlimited amount of time to perfect the first book. They may have many rewrites and rejections before it is finally accepted by a publisher. By that point, the book should be pristine. The author may not have a deal with the publisher for a series yet, but once the first book proves its worth, the publisher will definitely ask for the rest of the series. Depending on the popularity, the author will be forced to get the next books out quickly—unless you are George R.R. Martin. There will be less time to perfect the story and it will be sent out without many rewrites, as to appease the fan-base. As a result, the rest of the series suffers in comparison to the debut. 
2. The waiting is torture. 

Part of the reason why the …

Hex | Thomas Olde Heuvelt

“Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay 'til death. Whoever settles, never leaves."
Genre: Horror. Number of Pages: 384. Perspective: Third. Location: New York.
Hex is the story of a town that is cursed by a witch with her eyes and mouth sewn shut. She shows up in houses and just stands and stares for days at a time. The people of the town can never leave and are plagued by the fear of what would happen if the witch’s eyes and mouth are ever opened. For a complete summary, you can go here.
This book started off kind of funny and light-hearted. The middle starts to get a little creepy and suspenseful, and the end is downright strange. It was an enjoyable book, but you’ll have to wait a long time for the climax. The bulk of the action happens in the last 50 pages. For me, that felt rushed and left me with more questions than answers. 
Hex was originally written in Dutch and translated to English. With that in mind, I am utterly impressed with the flow and readability of the story. Th…

Ten Things Writers Need to Know

This is a guest post by Heather Weidner. I was asked recently what advice I would give to someone who wants to write. Here’s my list…
1. Read. Read. Read. 

Read everything you can get your hands on. Learn about the genre. Learn about techniques and style. See what works and what doesn't.

2. Seek out writers like you. 

Find a writers' group. I write mysteries, so Sisters in Crime was a perfect fit. I am also in the online community, Guppies. They have tons of resources and advice. And they are so supportive and helpful. 
3. There are a lot of books out there on the craft of writing. 
My favorite is Stephen King's On Writing. Invest in books that help you. But use your library too. FREE is good.

4. If you are serious about writing, find a critique group. 
It's an investment in your time to read the submissions. Make sure that the feedback is helpful. Critiques need to be constructive and not personal. My critique group specializes in mysteries and crime fiction. And that works fo…

5 Things I Would Have Done Differently Before Self-Publishing

This is a guest post by Mark Benjamin. 
About three-quarters into 2015, I decided to self-publish. My novel was stuck in that phase of completed / nearly done, and I had been agent shopping for three years prior, and the brief thought (if at all) of self-publishing had been pushed out of my mind by the traditional method. That is, until my wife, Lucy, sent me the Amazon Kindle Publishing link. At the end of May 2016, my debut novel, A CHANGE OF HEART, Book One of The Royal Blood Chronicles, was released, an urban fantasy novel bringing back vampires from whence I first found them, cue in Lestat and Louis. There was a lot to learn throughout the entire self-publishing process; emotions ranging from doubt to hope, anxiety to determination, fear to belief. I would like to share my experiences, then and now, and how I would have done things differently.

1. Just Do It
Those three words are the beginning and end of it all. The story hit me and I ran with it. I could have waited until I thought …

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required