“Don’t leave your hero alone very long. Have at least
two characters on stage whenever possible and let
the conflict spark between them. There can be
conflict with nature and your hero can struggle
against storm or flood, but use discretion. … You
could write a gripping story about a struggle
between a lone trapper and a huge, clever wolf. But
the wolf is practically humanized in such a story and
fills every role of villain. The wolf too wants
something and does something about it. A storm
doesn’t want anything and that’s why its conflict with
man is generally unsatisfactory. It doesn’t produce
the rivalry which is the basis of good conflict.”
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Mark of the Brotherhood
From the Pirates & Swashbuckler's Anthology
by Pam Bitner
Bashear Galvani Santiago lived a good life on the isle of Castillo until his brothers were brutually murdered. Thrust into responsibility he thought he would avoid being the youngest child, Bashear soon finds his enemies have conspired against him along with his father. Whisked away from his home and his beloved, Bashear must figure out whether to resign to the fate handed to him or fight for all he has lost.
His favorite place to stretch his legs and read, the wide expanse around the fountain allowed for him to be free of crowds and the loud cries of vendors in the central marketplace. Lounging back on the marble steps of the fountain, he enjoyed the soothing splash of water pouring from the trio of scantily clad female statues. They held aloft conch shells laden with gold veins. Chains bound their ankles to the pedestal signifying their servitude. A reminder of the trade of human flesh the city’s ancestors partook in. A seedy history none of the citizens denied.
Bashear opened his book, losing himself within the pages. A shadow passed over him, blocking the glorious sun bathing his face. A boot knocked into his outstretched legs. With a casual air, he looked up and saw James. A fresh scar adorned James’ face, a gift from Bashear during their altercation in the Sinner’s Circle a few days before.
“It isn’t over, Bashear,” James said in an even tone.
”Really?” With an exaggerated move, Bashear licked his thumb and turned the page of his book. “I would say the mark on your cheek and the pints we had would say different.” The loser in the Sinner’s Circle was required to purchase ample drink for the victor.
James kicked his foot again.
Bashear, pursing his lips, closed his book. His finger marked the place as he assessed the buzzing fly. “I suppose this is some bout of idiocy you have, James?”
”Besting me in a little unimportant sword dance does not give rights to my lady.” His knuckles whitened.
“Isabella is mine.”
”Then I best pray she doesn’t scream my name out in the heat of passion while with you. Good that you have told me this, James, so I may warn her tonight.” A cocksure grin spread across Bashear’s face.
James’ face reddened in anger. “You had best meet me tonight at the appointed spot to sort this out. Do not expect me to back down this time, Bashear.”
Bashear reveled in it. “I don’t intend to, James. This time I won’t drink before the match. It obviously dulled my wits the last time. You are dismissed. Shoo.”