Monday, 8 May 2017

The Best Writing Advice I Ever Received


Writing can be a solitary adventure— which is exactly the way we writers like it!
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By nature, most writers are introverts and enjoy the company of being alone with their characters. But every once in a while we need a little wisdom to help us along this winding path to the bookstore shelves.

I’ve been writing for ten years and have published seven novels. Over this time I’ve collected a few tidbits of advice. Some I’ve found through others and some are from my own experience. I hope one of these resonate with you.

1. Try to write every day even if it’s only one page. All those pages add up and it helps foster the habit of getting words on paper in a timely fashion.


2. Write the book of your heart and take as long as you need.


3. Ignore trends. Write what you love, what you want to read.


4. Don’t edit while you’re writing. This is the most free your writing will be, let it flow. Even misspelled words, leave them there. It’s all about moving forward.


5. You are writing for your characters. You are the only one who knows their story.


6. Be grateful for the gift of imagination.


7. Writing is hard. Respect it as such.


8. Even though it may appear differently, there is no such thing as an easy success, no matter how famous the writer. Remember that we’re all in the same industry and we want it to be thriving.


9. Don’t forget about the weather.

10. When in doubt, add a food scene.

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Do you have any writing advice to share?


Monday, 1 May 2017

Novel Spotlight: THE LAST RESORT

THE LAST RESORT
by Ember Leigh

Her bounty hunter heart never wanted more...until him.



Rose Delaney is a baby bounty hunter, rescuing children from fugitive ex-spouses. All she wants is to return a recovered child to its mother and get back to her regimented solitary life. But when a snow storm leaves her and baby Emmy stranded, Rose has no choice but to lean on the ruggedly handsome rescuer, who thinks the baby is hers. Holed up in their mountain resort-under-construction and unable to contact Emmy’s mother, Rose's priority is hitting the road—even if Garrett’s erotic touch entices her to ride out the storm.

Construction boss Garrett Galo loves his job, but he never imagined a perk like being snowbound during a whiteout with the sassy brunette he just rear-ended. He’s learned to stay away from women who want a family, especially when they come with a kid in tow. When passionate nighttime encounters flare between them, Garrett begins to question what he’d risk to keep Rose.


This isn’t the time or the place for romance—but will five days on a mountain make these loners reconsider giving in to love?


Wild Rose Press // Amazon // BarnesandNoble

Excerpt

Inching the door open further, she poked her head in. Garrett’s body silhouetted against the translucent shower door. The image of his chiseled, naked body seared through her mind. Her mouth went dry.

She crept inside and eased the door shut, body rigid as she watched his shadow move inside the shower. The fogged mirror hid her reflection as the soft mesh shorts slipped to ground, followed by her undies and T-shirt.

Garrett began humming, out of tune, something that sounded suspiciously like a children’s song.

Rose grinned, excitement roiling beneath her skin. This not only was going to happen, it needed to happen. Her heart thumped in her chest as she reached for the shower door.

The door opened a few inches before Garrett’s humming turned into a gasp. He whipped around and pulled aside the shower door, eyes wild.

“Rose.”

She grinned up at him, loving the swirls of shock and appreciation in his eyes as he took her in. “Can I join?”

His mouth hung open a moment, gaze sweeping over her naked body, lighting fires on her skin. He grabbed her around the waist and yanked her inside the shower, slamming the door shut behind her.

The water hit her body in a pleasingly warm rush. He pinned her to the shower wall with his hips. Her breath hitched.

“I don’t even want to ask why you’re naked in my bathroom,” he said, kissing her neck, “and I don’t even care. Fact is, you’re here, and you’re mine now.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR




Ember Leigh has been writing erotic romance novels since she was far too young. A native of northern Ohio, she currently resides near Lake Erie with her Argentinean husband, where they run an Argentinian-American food truck. In addition to romance novels, Ember also writes travel memoirs and occasionally updates a couple of blogs. In her free time, she practices Ashtanga yoga, hops around the world, and eats lots of vegetables.

CONNECT WITH EMBER!

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Wednesday, 26 April 2017

The Most Common Characterization Mistake Writers Make and How To Fix It

The Most Common Characterization Mistake Writers Make and How To Fix It


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self-a·ware·ness
ˈˌself əˈwernəs/
noun
  1. conscious knowledge of one's own character, feelings, motives, and desires.

    "the process can be painful but it leads to greater self-awareness"

One of the most common characterization mistakes writers are guilty of is making their characters too self-aware. Inner monologue is a great tool, it lets the reader in on secrets, gives the character dimension, but it can also be the biggest stumbling block to the story.

There's nothing less satisfying than a character who analyses every decision, weighs the pros and cons, and keeps coming back to the same inner struggle over and over again. The reader gets it, there's a theme, but repetition kills the tension.

The good news is that this can be easily fixed!

Beware of using inner dialogue to provide an ongoing narration rather than what it really is, a response to immediate events. Keep it authentic!

And just like over analysing the decision, your character should be a little clueless about their faults, strengths, dreams/goals. These are qualities the character is supposed to discover through their struggle as the story progresses. By the end these traits will come to the surface and that's when the wonderful self-awareness happens in the hero's journey.

Okay, so how can you fix this?

Here are things your character should NOT do:

1. While in the middle of a crisis, they shouldn't be providing a narration as if they're an outside source watching with an emotional detachment.

2. They shouldn't label their emotions. Instead of your character thinking, "I'm so angry!" The anger should manifest itself in your character's actions and choices (without them realizing it).

3. The shouldn't analyse all the possible reasons behind all their emotions. "I'm angry because my boyfriend doesn't love me anymore." No, look at reason number 2. The analysing shouldn't come until they've made choices that lead to disaster. No one in real life figures it out that quickly so why should your character?

4. When your character is in a highly emotional scene, their self-awareness should be negligible. This is why when you're angry you shouldn't send that email right away. You wait until you're less emotional and thinking more clearly. Your character shouldn't use calm logic when they're being dumped by their lover. The place for this growth can begin during the following scene to provide a few subtle sparks of self-awareness (this hints at the coming revelation and is more enticing to the reader). 

Remember it's not just their flaws, their strengths should be waiting to be discovered as well.

Now go make your character clueless!


Monday, 24 April 2017

Novel Spotlight: Falling For Casanova



FALLING FOR CASANOVA
by
Debra Druzy

If she didn't know any better she'd swear he was seducing her...



Joy Barbieri has hit rock bottom—divorced, unemployed, sleeping on her parent’s couch until she finds an apartment suitable for two kids and a fur-baby—but she’s determined to start over. Eager for independence, she takes the first job she finds. A handsome stranger catches her eye, but with a name like Casanova, he’s got to be a world champion player—right?

Tristan Casanova’s only visiting this rustic town until he recuperates from his painfully quick divorce, not to make friends. However as he gets to know sweet and savvy Joy, he realizes their unexpected alliance comes with undeniable chemistry. She’s the perfect excuse to stay in Scenic View permanently, but when will she quit giving every excuse in the book why they shouldn’t be together?

Will pains of the past, excessive ex-spouse baggage, and interfering relatives keep these two from the happily-ever-after they deserve?

Buy now!




Excerpt

“Rex,” Joy shouted and Tristan’s heart sank.

Rex?

“Look, I didn’t know you were involved with someone.” He rubbed his face, wishing he never hooked up with her. So much for doing a good deed. Now he’d have to dodge a boyfriend. “I thought we were both on the same level.”

“Rex is my dog. He’s probably missing me right now. Knowing my mother, she has him tied to a tree all night.”

Tristan exhaled a world of relief. “Wanna call home?”

“And say what? I spent the night with some guy I just met? No, thanks. It’s bad enough I’m crawling home after sunup. I’d rather not ruin this moment by inviting my parents into the conversation.”
The aroma of fresh coffee drifted down the hallway, along with the clamor of clanking pans.

“Someone’s in the kitchen.” Joy’s eyes widened in horror. “You have a roommate?”

“Nope,” Tristan said, amused at the grown woman’s sudden state of panic.

“Maid?”

He shook his head. “My buddy Nick. He’s here to pick me up for work. And he cooks.” Fried bacon and eggs with a side of burnt toast was Nick’s usual wake-up call.

“I gotta get outta here.” Joy scrambled off the bed and into his over-sized gray sweat suit. “Thanks for everything, but I need to go home.” She slipped out of the bedroom and down the hallway.
Tristan yanked on his robe and followed behind, catching her before she reached the front door. “I didn’t put your clothes in the dryer yet.”

“Mail ’em to me.”

“You don’t have to rush out.”

“No. I do. I really, really do.”

“Your mother would actually tie your dog to a tree? All night? In the rain?” He pressed her back against the wall, getting close enough to kiss, hoping some memory of last night was enough to make her stay.

“Knowing her, she probably dropped him off at the pound. He already peed on her laundry basket and ate my father’s slippers. I can’t imagine what else he’s done while I’ve been gone. That’s why I need to find an apartment fast.”

Tristan almost invited her to stay here but decided against it once he glanced inside his daughter’s empty bedroom. Nicole would be here soon. How would he explain a new woman’s presence? A live-in nanny? That might would work to his benefit, but Joy might not like it.

“I know.” She snapped her fingers. “I’ll just tell her I found a place and that’s why I didn’t come home. I’ll say I was testing it out overnight.”

“You think she’ll buy that story?”

Joy rolled her eyes. “I was divorced for almost two years before I told her the truth.”

“How the hell’d ya get away with that?”

“She never visited us in Florida. And I only came to New York for Thanksgiving. I gave my ex everything he wanted in the divorce if he’d just play along.”

“Why?”

Joy sighed with her arms across her chest. “If you must know, in the beginning, when I was in college, my mother warned me about getting involved with Victor. But I didn’t listen. I guess I was afraid she’d rub it in about being right—as usual. I can’t imagine what she’s gonna say if she knows I spent the night with a stranger. God,” she growled between clenched teeth, “what’s wrong with me. Despite how this seems, I’ve never been a slut.”

“I don’t think you’re a slut.”


About the Author



Debra Druzy writes sweet n' spicy contemporary romance with happily ever afters.









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Friday, 21 April 2017

Begin With The End


My writing desk is an old sewing machine. As you can see, I like sticky notes.
Whre the magic happens...sometimes.

Before I write a scene I let it stew in my mind for a few days, choosing which parts to keep and which bits to throw away. For me, nothing is more exciting than opening up the laptop to make that moment exist somewhere other than inside my head.

After the first paragraph, I usually stop and read it over—then I make that face like I'm smelling milk gone bad. I delete everything I just typed, and then I start again.

Then...repeat.

Before I know it, a half hour has gone by and my word count is zilch.

It's frustrating. I have the scene in my mind, I know where it's going. I can SEE the finish line, but I can't seem to get started.

I always like to to have a chapter end with a cliffhanger or one of those 'uh-oh!' moments when the character(s) are seemingly trapped/caught/driving towards a cliff.

Recently I changed things up and wrote the last paragraph of the chapter I was working on.

I discovered that when I focused on the cliffhanger or the 'uh-oh!' ending, it gave my writing momentum. Without pausing to edit what I had just written, I jumped to the beginning of the chapter and wrote until I met up with the awesome cliffhanger.

This is how I tackle most of my scenes now and it has made a huge difference in how much writing I can get done in a short amount of time. And when I hit that word count goal, each chapter ending is a 'yes!' moment for me.

What writing strategies work for you?


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