Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - To Plan or Not #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLoveauthor #EPICauthor

Planning your story or not is the question. I'm all for planning but my plans leave room for those changes that occur when an Aha Moment sends the plan off kilter. There's not much, but I've planned an entire book of 80,000 words in eight pages. Sometimes there are more pages, sometimes less. We've all been children and there's that "Tell me a story." We've said that and we've heard our children say that. Think of the stories we were told or read to our children and you get the impact. For me planning is all tell and little show. The show comes when I sit down to write the story.

A two detailed plan can mean the story stops before you begin. Why write the story when you know everything that's going to occur? What happens if the characters as they develop must take a different path than the one you've chosen to reach the end? The plan has gone awry and the story is put aside. Rigid planning doesn't allow for the wonderful twists and turns that happen while trying to reach that end. They live happily ever after. The bad guys are caught and punished. Good defeats evil. Those kind of endings can be reached with a rigid plan but the writing can lose the freshness that makes the story sing.

Without a plan, the story is all over the place. The end is never reached. Or if it is the reader could be bored because they know the end the moment they story begins. The story becomes an entire stream of consciousness with no real reason to exist. The reader may say "I know how this will end. Who cares."

How does one plan? Know the kind of story you're going to write. Romance, mystery, fantasy or any of the genres. Then find a character who wants something and why they want that. Take them on a road trip in your head or on paper and see what roads can be taken to reach that illusive goal. Keep the plan loose. Maybe one minute a scene that shows the end will occur but make that the goal and also remember this can change. Suddenly the story takes shape and you can write and write until the story you planned comes to an end that may or may not be the one you first envisioned.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday's Inspiration - The Fictional Dream - Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLove Author

You've been sitting and some people will say just staring but what you're really doing is fictionally dreaming. The scene in your head is perfect for what you want to put into your story. Then you sit down to write and the words won't come. They're never the right words. That aha moment you had seemed wonderful but now it's gone flat.

The problem is in your head. There's the censor in your head that stops the flow. Turning this off can be almost impossible. The mechanics of writing have taken over and become a huge ogre. Not that word but this one. . Panic sets in. "This is never going to be perfect." How can I find the words? What am I going to do. Before you know what has happened you've worked yourself into a state where you've lost the dream and can't write another word on the story. Happens all the time to me. Don't know about you. But what to do.

I've a drawer of bits and pieces that never went beyond the point where the fictional dream stopped being a dream. But I've gone back and turned many of these fits and starts into stories. Some succeed and some fall a bit flat but that's the life. I've learned which scenes in the fictional dream stop me so when trying to put the story on paper, I have this trick that usually works for me. Maybe it will work for you. I write the scene in a sentence. They kiss. They make love. The body is found. There is a fight. Choreograph the duel. Once the story's down and I know where the characters are really headed, I can go back and sketch in these scenes and then work on them until the direction is found. Suddenly the fictional dream scene is there and maybe the direction isn't what I initally saw but it works.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Meandering On Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLoveauthor

Meander 1 - In the company of peers. This weekend I spent a day with p fellow writers from HVRWA and the time was well spent. Writing is a lonely visit/ Being with other people who have a total fascination with the written word is interesting and fun. We don't write the same things and that's what's fun and challenging. We don't have the same way of writing and that makes for interest. We're all at different places in our careers. Another way to learn and grow. That's what this is all about. The one thing we have in common is inventing worlds and people in them from historical to current and to even the future. There was a glitch or two with restaurants now understand separate checks to the wind that drive us inside rather than being out in one of the few beautiful days we've had for months. We're looking forward to doing it again next year and perhaps having a larger group to add to the mix.

Meander 2 - Creating worlds. A difference of opinions occurred. I really believe that every writer when they create a story does world-building. Some people don't agree. "But I know the rules of the world I create." Yes, you do but you only choose the rules that suit your story. Maybe when writing fantasy or paranormal stories, the rules are invented. Perhaps some of them but these rules are based on rules that occur in the world where we're based. Thinking about this when one is writing a historical, do they really know the rules of the world they operate in. They may have ideas but I feel they're brought from what we know today and changed in little ways to fit the facts. So with what we write today. I may never be able to convince people who don't believe this but the discussions are fun.

Meander 3 - Have sent off Melodic Dreams and it will be out possibly in late April or even May. Am moving into the Plot draft of Toth's Priest and expanding what was a short rough draft into a much longer one. Then I'll look at settings and onto characters. Hopefully then all I'll have to do is clean up the mss. There are two books in the trilogy that I'll have to get together to submit for re-issue so I'll be having a busy spring and summer.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

3 Blog Visit Sunday - Discoveries by Janet Lane Walters

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Saturday's Excerpt from Fallen Angel by Alisa Anderson #MFRWauthor

This man was seriously bad news. One she knew she needed to stay away from.  She was fully aware of his reputation from Allison. Not only with the ladies, but of being a notorious Mafioso. She also knew he was very much married, an arranged marriage at that, but supposedly there was some story there and she was never discussed. Ever.

Nick swung his leg over a chair and sat down. “Okay, let’s see what you got. Get on the stage and I’ll clue Mikey when you’re ready. Oh and Manhattan…how do you feel about going topless?”

Jess hesitated for a moment before she climbed on the stage.

This was the end of the line for her. She was desperate now. If she didn’t make this work, it was back to Kansas for her. Back to her old life, back to her family…back to her father…back to his world.
Becoming the failure he always said she would be. Not this time.

He would never get the opportunity to touch her again.

She shivered. She was never going back to them. Or him. She was done with that portion of her life. Not even if said life, depended on it.

Which, in a way, it kind of did. For her piece own piece of mind, for her sanity, to escape the dark recesses of her mind and find some semblance of happiness, she needed this.  Just once, it would be nice to get a decent night’s sleep.

No nightmares. No terror filled panic attacks, wondering if tonight was the night her father emptied his gun in her head. No dreaded anticipation of what was to come.

Foul, alcohol-laced breath…sweaty hands…suffocating her…moving all over her body, touching her…violating her…going places no father should ever be…

“Kid?” Nick’s voice jolted her out of her thoughts and she looked up sharply and met his gaze. It was too soon to mask the naked fear and haunted, gnawing ache in her eyes. She knew he could see it all.

What surprised her was his curiously knowing silence. As if he knew exactly what she was thinking and feeling, and could relate. He was giving her an out.

One that she was not going to take. Jess shook herself.

“I guess I’m ok with it. But will you, I mean will they be able to touch my boobs?” If he caught the slip, he didn’t let on. “And why did you ask me where I was from, if you already knew?” She was annoyed at both him and herself for the slip and for the way he made her feel.

There was an awkward pause before Nick finally spoke. “I ask because I can. It’s my club. You got a problem, there’s the door.” Nick arched his brow at her.

She nodded and glanced away. Ass.

He continued. “Now then. No touching by others period.  However, there are no rules for me. You’ll never have to do anything you aren’t good with. I promise.”

Why the fuck did he promise that?  Jess wasn’t about to ask.

“Mikey, Hot Child in City. When you’re ready, kid.”  He leaned forwarded and put a cigar in his mouth.

As the music started playing, Jess wasn’t really sure what to do at first.  How the hell am I going to do this?  She closed her eyes and started swaying to the music.  When she opened them she looked directly at him and something took over her. She found herself dancing for him, seducing him with each hip grind and twirl around the pole.

She noticed the more she danced the harder he breathed. He was actually getting a rather large hard on and didn’t seem to care if she knew.  He was feeding her, and she got lost in his eyes and forgetting they were in a club. His club.

He was intrigued with her from the moment he saw her. Her blond hair was shining in the lights. He could see through the white tank top she wore as it stretched over her exquisite breasts. Her stomach was flat, even her belly button looked inviting to him.  Her long legs were gorgeous, and those tight black shorts she wore outlined every curve of her shapely ass.

He swallowed hard. How was it she could be so fucking hot yet be so angelic and innocent? What was she, all of nineteen? And what was it about this girl he felt he needed to protect? What was he hiding behind those eyes that hid a lifetime of pain, and were much wiser than her years? He didn’t know much about her but planned on finding out. That was for fucking sure.

He heard the music stop.

Just like that, the spell was broken.

“Not haalf bad. The club is open from seven till three.  The slot is two nights a week. I don’t pay my girls but you’ll be well taken care of.  Tips are yours, except for the ten percent I take off the top for allowing you to dance on my stage.”

“Your stage name is Manhattan.  Remember it.”

He got up from the chair and started walking toward the back.  He turned and looked at her standing on the stage.

“See you at six, Manhattan.

That is, if you’ll be back.”


where you can find me:

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday's How She Does It featuring Alisa Anderson #MFRWauthor

We all know there are six elements of fiction. Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. I believe the first five lead to the sixth which for me is plot. What's your take on this?

I'm inclined to agree with you. When you don't have a direction to take your characters to, the whole story falls flat.

1.      How do you create your characters? Do you have a specific method?
 A lot of times i base characters on people I've met. Sometimes they are people I want to meet someday. I use my instinct to determine each story's characters. I also want characters I can relate to. It's all about what feels right to me, and who I think might resonate with the audience.
2. Do your characters come before the plot?

Absolutely. I certainly love good plot, but if I can't root for the characters, most of the time it's a no go.
3. Do you know how the story will end before you begin? In a general way or a specific one?
4. Do you choose settings you know or do you have books of settings and plans of houses sitting around?

For me, it's a combination. I choose settings I know, but I love researching locations I have never been to and maybe hope to visit one day. It's a great fantasy element for me.
5. Where do you do your research? On line or from books?

Mostly online, but I have a massive book collection, both fiction and nonfiction and I will often use that as well. You also have to make sure you carefully verify all sources since there is such erroneous information on the internet. Yes, I love ebooks and the internet, but there is still nothing like opening a book.
6. Are you a draft writer or do you revise as you go along and why? Do you sketch out your plot or do you let the characters develop the route to the end?

Again, it's kind of all the above. I have a general plot summary that at times will see many revisions. My characters often talk to me however, and in the end, they are the ones who dictate where the story goes. I have tried to go around them and trust me. It doesn't work. Since I want to sleep at night, it's just easier to do what they say. *grins*

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thursday's Hero - Steve from A Silken Seduction by Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor

Steve sank into the wheelchair the attendant held.  His leg throbbed and the bruised and abraded shoulder, back and arm ached.  He felt drained.  Since the accident that had left him with a broken leg and other injuries he’d had little sleep.  A week had passed before he’d been cleared for travel.
The airline employee wheeled him past shops and a food court to an elevator.  “You being met?”
“My boss.”  They exited the elevator and turned toward the baggage claim area.  He saw her.  “No.”
The attendant let loose a low whistle.  “That your boss?”
“His sister.”  Steve swallowed.
“Man, she’s a babe and you’re helpless.  Shame.”
Steve grinned.  “Hardly helpless but I’m not touching her.”  He wanted to but he wouldn’t.  Megan Blakefield was trouble.  She was one woman who could make him forget he liked his freedom.
“You dead or is she taken?”
“Neither.  It’s complicated.”  That was the truth.  Much as he denied the attraction Megan was able to make part of him stand at attention in less than a second.  He reacted that way every time he saw her.  She also made him act as rude as a teenager with his first crush.
Steve shifted the camera case.  He wasn’t walking her road.  She was a forever woman and he was a today and maybe tomorrow man.  There was always a new place that cried to be photographed.  Have camera and love to travel was his way of life.
“Steve,”  she said.
He loved the prim precision of her voice.  “Megan, you’re looking … good,”  he drawled.  Slowly his gaze moved from her short blonde curls over her breasts and drifted lower before returning to her face.  As usual she blushed.  “Get a bit too much sun.”
According to her sister Megan had rules of life, a large dose of curiosity and a penchant for leaping then looking.  Could he push her into a more intimate reaction?
His gaze lingered on her mouth.  He wanted to taste her full lips and explore her taste.  He wanted to inhale the fragrance of her passion.
Wouldn’t happen.  She would jump to the wrong conclusions the way she had when she’d shouted her suspicions about the stolen exclusive.  When her voice had lost the crisp cool tones his interest had peaked but his anger had won.
Sure Simone had been his boss and his lover for a brief interval.  But he didn’t give secrets away.  Megan had apologized.  He’d told her the next time she jumped to aim for his bed.  Scarlet had been the color of the day with a touch of glacial glare from her blue eyes.  Did she remember?
The attendant dropped a duffle on the floor.  Steve slipped him a tip.  With the man’s assistance Steve carefully made the transfer to the wheelchair Megan held.  She fitted the duffle to the handles in the back and pushed him outside.  As they crossed the street and went down a ramp the sounds she made brought a grin to his lips.  “A bit out of condition, are you?  I can show you some exercises to build stamina.”
“Not needed.  You’re riding in a relic left from the days when my brothers were involved in sports.  Bet that cast weighs a ton.”
“Hardly.  It’s fiberglass.”
“Who’s taking care of you when you get home?  You are an invalid.”
“Care to see how much of one I am.”  He imagined the rosy hue of her cheeks.  “You driving back to the city after you leave me off?”
“Not tonight.  I left a message for Allie.  I’ll bunk on the couch in their home office.”
“Brave woman.  That pair can’t leave each other alone.  You’ll need blinders and earplugs.  They’re in lust.”
“That’s love.  They’re engaged.”
“When did that happen?”
“Last week.  They’ve set a date for December.  So I believe it’s love.”
“Guess so.”  He turned his head so he could see her.  “Why did Mark send you?”
“I live the closest to the airport and everyone else was busy.  I figure I was his last resort.”
Steve sucked in a breath.  Was his friend and editor of Good Travelin’ playing matchmaker?  Just because Mark had caught him closely observing Megan every chance he could didn’t mean more than an admiration of a pretty woman.  Not that being cozy with her for a month of two wouldn’t be great but for forever.  No way.
Megan halted the wheelchair beside a gray sedan.  She opened the passenger’s door and slid the seat back.  Once he was belted in she stowed the chair and bags in the trunk.
Steve had planned to stay awake and keep her company but the long flight, the pain pills and the two beers he’d drunk united.  The last thing he remembered was Megan promising to have him home in less than an hour.