Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday Musings: Things that bind

Many elements bind together to create a story. Characters, their goals and relationships bind to move the story forward. In my current WIP Outlaw Born, Ben finds he’s bound to his past. The bloodline he tries to deny, events that seemed insignificant when they occurred are now being seen as the stepping stones to his present life.

Writing those ‘stepping stones’ into the story as flashbacks can be a tricky ordeal. If the lead in isn’t done well the flashback can become jumbled into present thoughts. A writer must transition to and from the past and present binding the elements smoothing as if it took no effort. In reality, that one passage that seems so smooth probably took two days and 20 deleted pages to master.

“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative.”
—Elmore Leonard

Elmore Leonard passed on to the walk the great library in the sky just a few days ago. He’s one of my writing heroes, I’ve read many of his books. Especially his westerns, I love them. They’re gritty and real, you find yourself attached to characters you didn’t think you would like.

In those stories you barely notice transitions as you move from one element to the next. The writing easily draws you into the characters vision. You can’t always get that in the first pass. A writer has to be strong enough to use that delete key. It’s always hard to butcher the baby but it’s a sacrifice that pays off with stronger characters and emotions that will bind the reader to the story.

That is where I have been in this work in progress. Moving back and forth through scenes and plot to keep Ben on track and his pockets filled with railroad money. This week the goal is to bind time and writing in order to get two chapters written and some more clutter cleared from the house.

How do you bind your characters past and present? Do you find transitions tricky? Have any tips for transitioning scenes? 

A Monday Musings post and ROW80 check in

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Outlaws, Secrets and Goals Oh my!

Since it’s been a bit since my last update I won’t go over the hits and misses of each week and just tell you what has been going on.

One goal for this quarter was to finish the novel Outlaw Born. Progress so far is good. There was a pause as life frustrations and plot issues arose. There was a bit of backtracking and changing. Ended up painfully deleting a chapter but Ben is back to robbing trains and making life hell for Hammond Rail. Don’t you love a man in a black hat, fast hands, with a six gun strapped at his hip?  

Now goal is getting him finished and pubbed by October. Yeah, I know it’s only two months away and that’s wishing for a lot there but hey I might find a genie in a lamp!

On other goals, school is kicking along. I’m doing well and maintaining my 4.0 (holy cow is that really me? The C girl in high school?) The de-clutterization is going well too. There have been a few boxes filled with things ready to be adopted to new homes. Want some junk?

Now for the secret…  The Author’s Secret. They are a company owned and operated by the fantastic Kayelle Allen. The Author’s Secret provides services to authors such as ebook formatting
a pre-made cover available
and conversion, book covers for both ebook and print, banners, avatars, social media graphics, book trailers, blog headers, Facebook covers and so much more.

I am so blessed to be apart of this awesome growing company as a graphic designer. Soon they will be opening a shop of pre-made book covers of all genres just waiting for your book title to be added. For everything from Cookbooks to Romance to Mystery, to Horror to Westerns and even Steampunk. The Author’s Secret can be your lil secret to a successful book.

Do you have a secret that keeps you on the goal track? Or an author tip to share? 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Characters have favorite foods too!


Food and books or writing seem to just seem to go together. Not just cook books, noveling in general. During NaNoWriMo many writers I know use food as rewards for making goals during the month. A handful of candy kisses for reaching a daily word count or a meal at a favorite restaurant for making a major goal.

I’m terrible about doing this myself. *blush… I have a special jar on my desk that I keep filled with some kind of confection. Right now it’s home to dark chocolate crack thin mints. It’s so difficult to only munch the recommended serving of four tiny crack filled minty discs.

I’ve noticed that some of my stories tend to have a food theme mixed in. Not purposely, it’s just something that kind of happens in the telling. For example in Don’t Touch you’ll notice they seem to have pizza delivery on speed dial. I did eat a good deal of pizza during the NaNoWriMo in which that story was written.

Actually, that might have influenced their taste just a bit maybe. However, those cheese and pepperoni gatherings became an important part of the story. Not the pizza but what went on around it. That time out in the hunt for a serial killer gave the characters a chance to bond.

They talked about things involving the case a bit, but they also touched on topics that are more personal as well. Having a meal together created an atmosphere that let the characters drop their guard for a moment so they could become closer to each other. That goes for us as readers too. We could relate and get a little drawn in seeing their vulnerabilities.

Food can be fun to play with. A favorite food or treat can make a great trademark or personality quirk.Take the 4 th Doctor. (Doctor Who as if you didn’t know. If you didn’t go get some dvds stat!)  In a moment of what everyone else believed a crisis and tension is thick in the air, he would pull a bag from his pocket and offer someone some Jelly Babies.

The situation was still possibly grave and tense. But the audience was given a chance to let go of the breath they were holding before the story began to rise into the next plot element.

When someone is sick or there is a death the family is often swamped with casseroles and baked goods of all sorts for comfort. Cooking and giving food is a way we show how much we care for someone. The same goes with characters in a story. Many family sagas have a bonding or important moment occur during a family dinner.

A characters favorite food can play an important part in the telling of their story. Whether it be as their personality or providing a setting of comfort or intimacy. Think of your character’s next meal as a secondary character to your story and see where it leads. Don’t forget to treat yourself to a special something too! :o)

Part of the new Monday Musing's blog hop hosted by Lake Writers for more about the hop just visit Lake Writers Blog

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Those Charming Heroes: Meet Alex Blazen of HALF

Welcome to the Charming Hero Blog Hop sponsored by Whitney Keevers-Eastman. The hop runs from the 3rd through 4th  celebrating t hose charming heroes that make our hearts flutter. Each blog on the hop is offering a chance to win books or other great prizes. So be sure to enter the raffelcopter drawing at the bottom of this post. Now Bring on the heroes!

What your hero’s name and where does he come from? 
Alex Blazen from the pages of HALF is from the city of Orlando, Florida.

What’s your charming hero’s profession? 
Alex is the CEO of the family company Blazen Enterprises. The company focuses mostly on research and development.

Now, there’s a lot about our heroes that sets all women in a flutter. What’s your hero’s greatest weapon when it comes to seduction?
His thoughtfulness and attention to the little things. Alex knows it’s all in the details, remembering those small details that seem insignificant to others, like how many sugars she takes in her coffee, makes a gal feel cherished. Not to mention those killer eyes and the way a suit fits his lean muscled form.

If your hero resembled one or more celebrities, who would they be?
That’s an easy one ;o) my muse for Alex was Adrian Paul.
Adrian Paul 

Apart from being incredible charming, how would you describe your hero’s personality?
Alex is intelligent, observant, he has a genuine heart and interest in people.

Does your hero have a favorite saying or motto? 
He doesn’t really have a motto or saying but Alex is always telling the others not to underestimate him. Just because he jockeys a desk all day doesn’t mean he can’t hold his own and stake a few vampires.

Post a scene that captures your hero using his charm to win over both our readers and heroine

Valeska stood within the darkness of the room and felt it breathe. The dark was a living creature part of what she was. Her darkness, her vampire, and she hated it. A bit of dust and the stain was all that was left of her father. Once she had thought killing him would free her to live a normal life, but that was just a pretty lie.

After all this time, she still had to exist in the twilight between two worlds. Trapped. She was lost in the past when she heard footsteps and smelled Alex’s cologne before he reached the room. Good. He’ll see the darkness and run. It would be that easy to stop this before I want any more than I can have.

Alex didn’t run. Instead, he walked over, embracing her and kissing her blood covered mouth. All he cared about was showing her it didn’t matter. That he loved her human or not. Plying her lips with his tongue, he gently pushed into her mouth and met sharp fangs.

She tasted fresh blood and pushed him away roughly. “Alex stop! I haven’t fed enough.”

He gazed at her and the concern she saw there was more than she could bear. “I couldn’t. I couldn’t take an unwilling victim, not even a four legged one.”

He looked beneath the splatters of blood to the pain her eyes held. What horrors she must have endured to survive over six hundred years of life.

She wanted to push him far away. “Don’t you see me? This is Valeska Gorstef. Alex, I can’t change what I am. I can smell the sweet copper scent of blood in your mouth. I can hear your heart pumping more through your veins and I want it. I want to taste you in ways that have nothing to do with passion.”

The video flashed in his mind. “I see the beautiful woman who walked into my office three days ago. I see the dark desire in your eyes. Blood isn’t all you want.”

She shook her head. “Alex, you don’t know what you’re asking.” Valeska felt her control starting to slip.

“No I don’t.” Alex unbuttoned her shirt, peeled the blood soaked fabric from her shoulders. He pulled off his own shirt and tossed it in the pile. She was dizzy from bloodlust and need. Need to give in, need to love him.

She stood stiff as he embraced her and kissing caressing first one lip then the other. He was more careful exploring the warmth of her mouth. He licked her fangs tasting the sweet copper in her mouth.

Weakening with the scent of his body so close, she kissed him back him feeling his warm clean skin. They fell to the floor she rolled over him. “We can’t do this. I have to feed.”

He grabbed her face as he kissed her again. “Then feed.”

Guarding CEO Alex Blazen during a charity gala was an easy job for Valeska Gorstef...until all hell breaks loose...literally. Forced to face her own darkness, Valeska may lose her only chance to live a human life. Two sides of her soul will be at war. Which HALF will win?
Purchase links :

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