Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday's Writing Tip - 5 points lead point 6,

The great thing about writing is that every writer does it differently. In the beginning writers spend time trying to decide how to go on, at least I floundered a bit. I read a multitude of books on writing fiction and picked a bit from this book and that book until I devised a way of doing this. Lately I've been looking at what is needed in a book. Though the idea is the first it doesn't give a way to proceed. Then I remembered from college classes in creative writing and journalism that what one needs are five points that lead to one. So which comes first. What I'd like to do on Friday's writer's tips is to ask some of my fellow writers to share how they combine the five points into the sixth.

These points are Who, What, Why, When and Where that all lead to How. This is what works for me but might not work for you since there are other ways to do what I do.

How do you develop your characters? Do you have a system?

I use Astrology frequently when I'm developing my characters. I look at the Sun sign to give me the character's basic nature. Sometimes they hide this nature from other people. The Moon sign shows me how they react emotionally to events and how they may act. The Ascendant gives me a glimpse of what the world sees as them. By taking these three elements, I can form a picture of my character and also their physical being. Then I must search for a name that fits. Having all this in place, I still have a semi-rounded cardboard character but there is more to be done.

What is the character looking for? How do you choose your character's goals?

For me it's looking at the three parts of the person's character and also at the idea I have for the story. There are goals that are specific to genres and these must figure into what goal the character has. To find love, to find the bad guy, to explore a new world, to learn magic. These are general goals. These I try to fit the particular character.

Why does your character want to reach this goal? How do you choose the character's motivations?

Once again I turn to the character I've developed and see what in their three areas can be turned into a reason for their actions. The hints are often found in their emotional nature and their inner nature.

By the time I finish this I have a character that's ready to step into action. So what comes next. Keeping the idea in mind, I look at the Where and the When. I often consider these at the same time.

Where does the story take place? How do you choose your settings? Is research a help?

This becomes interesting since the setting often points to the genre. Sometimes this takes a great deal of research. Right now I'm in ancient Egypt though an alternate world and this takes a volumn of research and not just on the land and how I plan to twist it. I've had to research animals found there and also the desert, particularly the Sahara and survival there. What becomes the problem is that the research sometimes becomes so interesting I can't stop. I've designed a way to avoid this by being a draft writer so I can get the story down and go back and see what I need to find. Other stories take less research but all take some to make the where of the story come to life.

How do you decide when your story takes place? Does the time period make a difference in how you write and research?

When is generally a time period and if I'm writing a historical or a contemporary setting the time period counts. During the latest story what I nearly forgot was twilight only happens in more northern areas and areas closer to the equator doen't have twilights. Fortunately a friend lived in Egypt and clued me in. Research also helps keep the writer from writing a story that calls for sunshine during something like the aftermath of a volcano erupting miles away causing changes in the light or the weather.

How do you plan your book? Does the How or the Plot just happen or do you plan it out before hand?

Now I take all these things and begin to write the How. Now I don't outline extensively but for me knowing the opening scene of a story and knowing the end is important to my process. I generally write a sort of treatment that can run from 3 pages to a lot of pages. The ones that are long are usually for the trilogies and series I write. The shorter ones are for the stories. These consist of me telling myself a story mainly focusing on the characters and their goals and reasons for their desires. This includes the hero and heroine and the villain if there is a bad guy. Then with this plan in mind I sit down and write.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thursday's Interview - Keta Diablo

What's your genre or do you write in more than one?

Thanks, Janet, so much for hosting me on your lovely blog. I’m happy to be here. I write in two genres: Historical/paranormal and gay fiction. While most of my books are full-length novels in the historical genre, I tend to write mostly novellas for my male/male books. My best-selling series in gay fiction is CROSSROADS, four mystery/suspense/paranormal novellas. One of the main characters, Frank McGuire has the ability to commune with the dead. As a private investigator, he must call on his special abilities quite often. More about the Crossroads series below:

Crossroads Revisited:
Crossroads Showdown:
Crossroads Shadowland:
Warning: These novellas contain elements of intense man love scenes

2. Did you choose your genre or did it choose you?

I started out writing historical, but somewhere along the way, purchased some gay fiction. I found it intriguing – the way men react to one another in their relationships. Interestingly enough, studies have shown that straight women top the list as readers of gay fiction. While I enjoy writing the shorter novellas, I have a tendency to drift back to the books of my heart, historical with paranormal elements.

3. Is there any genre you'd like to try? Or is there one you wouldn't?

I’m grappling with that right now as I sort out the plot for Wolfboy – the sequel to Where The Rain Is Made. The story line is really better suited to Young Adult since the main characters are in their late teens. However, I’ve never written YA. I guess there’s a first time for everything, huh? Stay tuned for more about Wolfboy, coming to a Kindle and Nook near you in 2011.

More about Where The Rain Is Made here:
*Nominated for a Bookie Award by Authors After Dark in the BEST enovel category
*Recipient of 30 five star reviews
*Winner of Best Video by Dark Divas
*Recipient of numerous Book of the Month, Recommended Read, Top Reviewers Pick by many of the top professional review sites

4. What fiction do you read for pleasure?

Mostly Historical or Paranormal or a combination thereof. I’m not very big on contemporary unless it’s Urban Fantasy. I really love Gothic, and hope to try my hand at a dark gothic novel one day.

5. Tell me a bit about yourself and how long you've been writing.

I live in the Midwest part of the country – in a suburb of a medium-sized city. When I’m not writing I like to garden, read and spend time with my family. I’m quite a homebody and find I’m most comfortable just hanging out in the town home.

I’ve been writing for about seven years. During that time, I’ve written for numerous publishers, including New Concepts, Amber Quill Press, Decadent Publishing, Noble Romance, Phaze Publishing, The Wild Rose Press and several others. Now, I write mostly for Books We Love Spice and Decadent and occasionally self-publish some of my backlist and short stories. I find there are advantages and disadvantages to both traditional publishing and Indie, but I really love the freedom to write outside the box and the flexibility that comes with self-publication.

6. Which of your characters is your favorite?

There are special to me in one way or another because they all remind me of a certain period in my personal life. I like Morgan a lot of Decadent Deceptions. I submitted Decadent Deceptions to my first and only contest entry, the Molly, and finaled. I adore Meko (Ethan Gray) from Where The Rain Is Made because he’s such a complex character. I guess one would have to be complex to be a time wanderer. Ethan Gray lives a very cushy life in modern times and a very brutal life when he travels back in time to help his people, the Cheyenne.

More about Decadent Deceptions here:
An erotic romance/historical.

7. Are there villains in your books and how were they created?

Aren’t there villains in all fictional books? LOL. Yes, there are bad men in my books. That’s what keeps the story moving. Once you discover who the villain is, you have to know what happens, right?

8. What are you working on now? Thank you so much for asking.
Wolfboy (see above). The sequel to Magnolia Heat, a gay fiction novella, called Magnolia Simmer, and a dragon series. I also contribute monthly to a multi-author erotic blog called Red Lipstick Journals. The nine members post sexy articles, book reviews, sex-toy reviews and short stories.

You can follow Red Lipstick Journals here: RED LIPSTICK JOURNALS, which you’ll want to do because we’re giving away a nine-story anthology to all followers in August.

9. What's your latest release and how did the idea arrive?

One of my latest releases is Sojourn with a Stranger. Here’s the blurb for this Historical/Paranormal (ghosts).

About Sojourn with a Stranger
Amazon Kindle:
Penniless when she arrives in Norfolk, her mother and father drowned at sea, Raine Brinsley longs to return home to her grandfather in Maine. When Derek Stafford, owner of a large plantation, offers a solution to her dilemma, she’s stunned, if not outraged. She’d prefer to fulfill the contract to have his child and forget about him and his self-serving scheme. If only she could dispel the passion he’s awakened in her.

Derek Stafford’s only wish is to father an heir to Stafford House, thus securing his future. He didn’t count on the Scottish lass with green eyes interfering with his well-laid plan. After one night in her arms, guilt, not to mention the loss of his soul, becomes his penance. He’ll do anything to win her back, anything to quench the hunger tormenting his soul.

10. Tell me about your latest book and how it came about. Enclose the opening of the book around 400 words.

This is a story of a young woman from Maine who is crossing the ocean with her parents to start a new life in Norfolk. When there’s a horrific accident at sea, our heroine is left virtually homeless and broke. She must take a servant’s position at a local mansion and encounters our hero, the owner of Stafford House. Derek Stafford is in desperate need of an heir and Raine must get back to her ailing grandfather in Maine. They strike a business deal wherein Raine will bear Derek’s child for a large sum of money. And again, things go horrifically wrong.

Watch the video here. I think it will give you a good idea about the plot and the paranormal elements that come into play.

Again, thanks for hosting me, Janet. I loved your questions.

You can find me here on the Internet:
Author home:
Keta’s Keep Romance Blog,
The Stuff of Myth and Men (gay fiction blog)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wednesday - On Plot - Endings

Today let's look at knowing when to stop. Some people have trouble ending their stories but others find revision to be the end of their story and they revise until eternity. This is dawdling and sometimes it's not because the ending isn't satisfactory or even totally happy. What they are striving for is perfection and perfection doesn't happen. Each story when it's finished and several revisions are done should be the best it can be at that time. Spending months going over word by word and substituting a perfectly good word for a perfectly good word is dawdling.

Another way of avoiding the finish line is to be dangling bait for a sequel. Someetimes a sequel is called for and this must be planned for during the story, not thrown in at the end to keep the writer from writing The End. I've written sequels but the ending of the book satisfies the characters and the end suggests there may be another book but there has to be an end.

Remember stories are to be shared so don't dawdle, revise to death or keep writing beyond the end because you think there's a sequel to be written. Make the end a satisfying event for the reader and yourself.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday's Inspiration - Creativity - Limitations

Are there limitations to creativity? I'm sure there are but when reading this segment, several things struck me as interesting. Rollo May began with death. That really does limit not only creativity but also life. Yet, I thought, there are cretive works that live far beyond the lives of their creators. Daydreams of writing something like this often will stunt a writer because they're too worried about what others will think rather than expressing what they have discovered.

Another limitation he mentioned was physical health. This is also true and not true. We've all read and heard about artists and writers who may have a physical limitation but rise above that and produce creative works.

Other limitations mentioned here were such as family, country, era and education. The point he made was that to be crative one must recognize their limitations and then surpass them.

I found these thoughts to be interesting. So explore your limitations and perhaps you can transcend them.

Monday, September 26, 2011

26 September - last week and this week

Last week was semi-slow. I'm not 27% done with the book. I finally got started on Twitter and I hate this new computer. I have pictures in the computer. They will open but they will not transfer to anything, yet I can download them into an email. This is frustrating and in a day or so I will try another tactic.

This week I'll be doing the usual on the blog but will be starting a new Friday feature and hopefully I'll have some takers. I'll ask a few people like Jane to do their take on it and see where we go from there. It will still be Writer's tips. Kate Diabolo will be the interviewed and Plot is still going on and on but that will be winding down. Then I might take a bit of a look at genres. Will see.

Will hopefully get more chapters of The Chosen of Horu into shape. This draft is the one where the details get put in or at least suggested. I'm working on a scene where the hero goes into a panic. Some people might not like to see a macho guy fall apart but the scorpion bit him and all he can think of is that he will die. Not going to happen but I'm having fun with this. Do strong men have to be strong all the time? That's the question of the day and we'll see how it goes.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

3 Blog visit Sunday I'm not really into horror but a lot of people are and might find this useful. The fourth part of my month of being featured is up Fellow VH writer and poet

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Saturday's Chapter - Moon's Choice

Moon's choice is the second story in Moon Pool by Jane Toombs and myself.

Janet Lane Walters

Chapter 1

Faith sat at the kitchen table and cradled a mug of tea. Had she made the right decision? Selling the farm gave her a chance to finish her education and provide for the children’s future. She had seen a house in town near the community college and had enrolled to start the fall semester. The house would be hers tomorrow. There was money in the bank for the children’s education. She should be dancing not feeling sad.

The cup thudded on the table. What would Jimmy think? She wished she could ask him but he’d been dead for a year. She also wished he had loved her as deeply as she had loved him. Not that she resented the marriage. He had been the man she was destined to love.

Her aunt entered the kitchen from the porch. “How are the children?”

“The twins and Patty are in bed and Buddy’s reading.” Faith sighed.

“Child, you’re doing the right thing.”

Faith nodded. “I can’t help thinking about the land being in Jimmy’s family since they came to this country. What if one of the children resents leaving? One of the might want to be a farmer?”

Grace Lowe poured a cup of coffee. “Haven’t seen any of them showing a love for the land. They’re young. They’ll adapt.”

Faith laughed. “Maybe better than their mother.”

Grace sat at the table. “How would it have been until you lost the land to the taxman? You sold the stock and the machinery to pay him. You’ve the chickens, one milk cow and the kitchen garden. Sold your ring last year to buy school clothes for Buddy and the twins. House is falling apart.”

“I know but I still wonder what Jimmy would think.”

“No question there. About the money and how much drinking he and his buddies could manage.” The older woman walked to the screen door. “Moon’s full tonight. You might catch a glimpse of him in the moon pool at the Lodge.” She dangled her car keys. “Take these. I’m here in case one of the kids wakes.”

Should she, Faith wondered. Why not? The pool in the maze had shown him once. She checked herself in the age-speckled mirror. “I won’t be long.”

“Take your time.”

When Faith pulled into the parking lot at Quinnesec Lodge she frowned. She’d forgotten this was the day the last group of guests arrived and were served dessert in the garden near the maze. A wave of sadness slipped around her. Soon there would be a different kind of guest here. Instead of vacationers, business people would come for retreats and conferences.

She left the car and stood in the shadows cast by a large oak tree. A group of people wandered past. Their laughter over the legend made Faith want to confront them but she refrained lest she be identified as an intruder.

The legend was true. On the night of a full moon a seeker could see the image of their true love in the water. Ten years ago she had seen Jimmy.

A few more people strolled from the garden. One of the staff dimmed most of the lanterns while others gathered the remains of the welcome party. Once they left Faith slipped into the garden and reached the entrance to the maze. She ducked inside the boxwood hedge and caught her breath. Did she remember the path to the center?

She closed her eyes and envisioned the route. Inhaling deeply she chose the second from the right of the five openings and made her way along the gravel path. Clouds skimmed across the moon forcing her to stop several times. When she reached the end of the path she crossed the grass to the pool.

Faith knelt on the stone-lined edge. For a short time she wondered how the area had appeared before the Lodge had been built. Trees would have surrounded the clearing. Perhaps animals had come for water. There would have been wild flowers growing near the pone. And on the night of the full moon an Indian maiden had seen the face of her true love.

Her thoughts calmed. She brought memories of her dead husband to the fore. “Jimmy, I had to sell the farm. I’ve already sold everything I could to pay the taxes. When the children were ill, without the kindness of strangers, I would have lost them.”

She bent her head and gazed into the pool. Moonlight sparkled on the dark water. Slowly they formed the face of the man she had loved. Tears trickled over her cheeks and splashed on the image. The features changed. She covered her mouth to stifle a gasp.

The man she saw was blond. She didn’t know him yet he seemed vaguely familiar. Perhaps the set of his eyes or the stubborn chin sparked a fleeting memory of someone she had known.

What did it mean? She had already seen her true love in the pool. Was it possible to find true love a second time? Not wanting to consider the idea she rose and rushed along the twisting path toward the garden.

When she reached her aunt’s car she sat and shook. What did the vision mean? She had no time to search for a particular face among strangers. The moment her churning emotions settled she drove home.

Her aunt waited on the porch. “You look as scared as a raccoon caught in the hen house.”

“I saw Jimmy. His face changed into a stranger’s.”

“I’m glad.”

“Why? I loved Jimmy with everything I was. How could I ever love another man?”

The older woman glanced at the sky. “Moon’s choice. You’re too young to remain alone. I believe the moon offers you another chance. Don’t make my mistake. There’s nothing wrong with finding love again.” She opened the screen door. “I’m for bed. The imps will be up with the sun.”

Faith nodded. “I’ll sit awhile.”

After her aunt left, Faith sat on the edge of the porch. She stared at the full moon. Though she knew the time to move on had arrived she felt edgy. She wasn’t sure she was ready or even wanted another love.

* * *

Labor Day Weekend – Friday

Gabriel Tanner, aka G.T. Blake, rode into town on his Harley. People strolling along the sidewalks of the small upstate New York town stopped to stare. Gabe laughed and waved. No one responded. Before long they would know he had returned for a few months, maybe as long as six. Depended on how long he took to finish a new book, to rub some noses in his success and to become bored. He’d grown up here, been the local nerd and the favorite target of the town’s bullies.

He aimed the bike for the open gate in the wall surrounding the quaint Victorian house he had inherited from his parents. He came to a skidding halt in front of the steps leading to the wide front porch, kicked the stand and dismounted. As he pulled off his helmet a man and woman stepped onto the porch. “I’m here,” he announced.

The woman ran down the steps and hugged him. “About time you decided to visit old friends. How long has it been?”

“Eight years or so.”

“You look wonderful.”

He threw back his head and laughed. “Aren’t you going to say, ‘My how you’ve grown.’?” When he’d left for college he’d been six inches shorter and forty pounds lighter. “You’ve done some growing, too. When?”


Mark bounded down the steps and slid his arms around his wife’s waist. “She’s all mine.”

“Always has been.” While growing up the pair had been his best and only friends. He followed them to the porch. There had been another person he’d wished had been a friend. Faith Lowe. She’d never joined the teasing crowd or the nasty pranks. “Any trouble getting me set?”

Mark shook his head. “Truck arrived yesterday. The Jaguar is in the garage. Your computer is up and connected to the net. When do we see your latest opus?”

“It’s in the bookstores.”

“Not that one. The new one.”

“When I finish writing.” Gabe groaned. “Once I settle in, go over my outline and do some local research I’ll begin. Three to six months.”

Sarah entered the foyer and strode down the hall leading to the kitchen. “Who would have believed there’d be a lot of money writing scary stories for children?”

“My publisher.” He laughed. “I wrote the first one on a whim. Is that pizza I smell?”

“What else?” Mark asked. “Gino’s best. Since you left town a Chinese and a deli have opened. The mall has a slew of fast food joints and four restaurants.”

“The diner?” Gabe asked.

“Still in business. We could have gone there but after all the pies we shared there was no other choice for a welcome home.”

Sarah winked. “We left the take-out menus beside the kitchen phone.”

“For convenience. Thanks. Cooking isn’t my thing.”

They sat at the round table in the large kitchen. Gabe alternated bites of pizza with questions about the town, the people he remembered and the ones he wished he could forget. “What about the bully boys?”

“Mechanic, plumber, dentist and town drunk,” Mark said.

“What about Faith Lowe?” From the looks on their faces Gabe wished he hadn’t asked.

Mark arched a brow. “You did have a thing for her.”

Still did. Mark shrugged. “Just wondering.”

“Heard she married some farmer who lives near Quinnessec Lodge,” Sarah said. “She dropped out of college after the first semester and just vanished.”

Mark snagged another slice. “So what’s on your agenda? Going to keep the house or sell?”

“Not sure.”

Sarah swallowed her last bite. “Let me know. Mom’ll be glad to list the place. She sold the house across the street last week. New neighbors are moving in tomorrow.”

“Any idea who?” Gabe asked.

“Mother-in-law didn’t say.” Mark grinned. “That’s odd. She can usually learn a new family’s history in fifteen minutes.”

Sarah laughed. “She did say the woman was nice.”

“Guess we’ll soon learn,” Gabe said.

* * *

Faith watched the movers carry the last of the boxes to the van. She stood on the porch and stared at the barren yard. Regret warred with excitement. The past few weeks had brought more changes than she had time to absorb.


She walked to the sturdy minivan where four children waited, eager and ready for a new adventure. She had used Jimmy’s battered truck on a down payment for the new vehicle and severed another tie to the past.

The movers closed the truck door. Before they reached the new house they would stop at her aunt’s. Persuading the older woman to live with them had been a terrific idea. Once school began Aunt Grace’s help would be vital.

Faith slid into the driver’s seat. “Orders. We’re stopping at the diner for lunch. Best behavior is required.”

“I’ll help with the littles,’ Buddy said.

Faith smiled at her too-serious child. So much work had landed in the nine-year-old’s hands since his father’s death. She prayed the move would give him a chance to be a boy.

She captured the twin’s gaze. “You will stay with us. No running off to explore.” They nodded and she turned her attention to the youngest. “Miss Chatterbox, no telling everyone our business and do not repeat everything you’ve heard.”

Four-year-old Patty grinned. “Peoples want to know fings. I only tell them what they ask.”

Faith started the engine. “Should have named you Gabriella and called you Gabby.” On instant recollection of the boy who had sat in front of her in most of her high school classes popped into her head. Gabriel Tanner. She hadn’t thought of him for years. Why now? What had happened to him? She’d always felt sorry for the way some of the boys had harassed him.

Forty-five minutes later she pulled into the diner parking lot. Almost before the van stopped the twins were out of their booster seats. Buddy grabbed their hands. By the time Faith and Patty reached the restaurant’s door the two had claimed the large corner booth.

A waitress brought menus. She smiled at Patty. “You’re a cutie. Haven’t seen you before. Are you new in town?”

Patty nodded. “How you know we’re moving to a new house? Mama says the place needs work but it won’t fall down like our old house.”

Faith turned from refereeing the twins’ argument about what they wanted to eat. “Patty, do you want bread and water?”

The child giggled. “You always say that. Didn’t tell nuffing bad.”

By the time lunch ended Faith’s head ached. She didn’t blame the children for their eagerness to see the new house. She prayed when they arrived they would stay calm enough to help organize their rooms. She herded them to the minivan and drove the once familiar streets of town.

At the new residence she parked behind her aunt’s car. The movers arrived moments later. The younger children erupted from the van like prisoners released from solitary confinement. Donny and Hope headed for the street. Faith caught them at the curb. “To the house. We have work to do.”

“Want to visit the scary house,” Donny said.

Hope pointed at the Victorian across the street. “Just like the house in Buddy’s books.”

Faith shook her head. “No house, scary or not, unless you’re invited.”

“Why not?” Donny asked.

“We don’t know who lives there.”

“Maybe a ghost,” Hope said.

Faith marched the pair inside and stationed each in a bedroom. She paused at the head of the stairs. If she survived the weekend on Tuesday when school began she might have a few moments to relax. Or not, since she also started classes that day.

* * *

Gabe stood at the window of the second floor room he’d taken as his office. The printer spat pages of the tentative outline he’d created for his next book, “The Creature on the Mountain.” During the next few days he intended to bike around the area to find the perfect setting for the haunted house modeled after his current residence. As a kid he’d imagined ghosts, ghouls and monsters lived here. As an adult a variation of the house appeared in each of his five books.

He stared at the moving van across the street and groaned. Bunk beds meant children. What was the chance his new neighbors children had read his books. So far only two people in town knew his secret identity. He would remain Gabe Tanner until he had completed a rough draft.

The door of the house he watched opened. A pair of children dashed into the yard. Gabe thought they appeared too young to be readers. When a woman ran after them he stuck his head and shoulders through the open window and whistled softly. He couldn’t see her face but the rest of her intrigued him. Tall and slender, long dark hair and well-muscled legs. She wore shorts and a bright shirt. He considered going over and offering to help.

Slow down. If she was the mother of the pair there was a father in the picture. He saw two cars in the driveway. No matter how tempting, a children’s author couldn’t afford to be caught in a triangle. Gabe forced himself to turn away from the window.

The last page emerged from the printer. His cell phone rang and he flipped the cover.

“Gabe, Mark here. Want to join Sarah and me at the park for food and fireworks? You might even get a glimpse of the bully boys.”

“I’ll pass for not on them. Not ready to gloat.” Maybe he never would be. “I’ll stop by the house and go with you.” He grabbed his jacket and dashed downstairs. As he started the bike he glanced at his neighbor’s house. The yard was deserted.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday's Writer's Tip - When is the revision done?

This bit of advice is hard for me to follow. Put the story aside for several days to a week and start on something new. Then go back for a final read through. What you're doing this time is becoming a reader, not the writer and this can be difficult. What helps is asking yourself these questions?

Is it a story or just a series of antedotes. Are the stakes clear? Does the story bring some kind of payoff for the reader?

Are you consistent in the viewpoint or do you slip out again and again? Once while reading something I write, I felt something was wrong. Finally it dawned on me that I'd slipped into the wrong point of view for just a short sentence and this was enough to jar me out of the story.

Are all the scenes complete or have you ducked expanding one that could be a pivot? Another thing to consider is have you run a scene past its purpose. Sort of like those times when you don't know how to say goodbye.

How's the pacing? Are there parts when you're breathless when reading and continue to a new scene where the breathlessness continues. Have you forgotten that the reader needs a bit of downtime.

Have you tightened the story in the right places or expanded when there needs to be just a bit of detail?

Is your sequence right or is one of the scenes out of place? Check to see that the story flows from event to event.

This concludes the bit on revision and perhaps next week if I can get some of my friends to join me here and give some writer's tip. Really it will be more of a how they do it. I'll probably lead off but hopefully others will join me here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thursday's Interview Allison Knight

1. What's your genre or do you write in more than one?

I write historical romance, dabble in traditional gothics and have one contemporary to my credit. I've also decided to try another contemporary before I travel back to the 13th century for the fourth 'song' book, a series of medieval romances about a Welsh family. I do love the traditional gothics so I feel another one of those coming as well.

2. Did you choose your genre or did it choose you?

I grew up with lovers of history. My grandfather sat all forty or so of his grandkids down late one afternoon and told us all how he was born in a log cabin with the wind whistling through the cracks and how his grandmother was captured by the Sioux Indians at Ruggells Stations. I guess you could say it chose me. I got a taste when I was a youngen.

3. Is there any genre you'd like to try? Or is there one you wouldn't?

Some day I'd like to take a stab at a futuristic romance, but I would never, under any circumstances want to write horror or dance with a vampire. Okay, I know peranormals are all the rage, along with characters that take on animal shapes, but I'm a kinda traditional type person. Others can do does novels.

4. What fiction do you read for pleasure?

I'm a great fan to futuristic romance in the style of Jayne Castle. I like the fact the characters are all humans but the story is set in the future. I also read contemporaries romances when I'm writing historical romance and historical romance when I tackle contemporaries.

5. Tell me a bit about yourself and how long you've been writing,

I didn't start writing fiction until I was in my forties. I was teaching high school at the time in a very conservative district, so It was all hush-hush. I'm probably one of the luckiest authors out there, because my first reader, editor and critique partner is my husband who also does all my promo stuff. Of course, we been married for a long time. Maybe he feels he has to help me out.
Oh, he'll love that.

6. Which of your characters is your favorite?

The character I'm writing about at the time of the WIP is usually my favorite. Often it's the heroine, but occasionally, I fall in love with the hero. I absolutely loved 'Bear' in A Teasure for Sara, and Simon, in Simon's Brides pleased me. And neither one of them are anything like the love of my life, my guy.

7. Are there villains in your books and how were they created?

I always have to have a villain or two. Usually two and I often make one of them a woman. Why should men have all the fun? I do have a favorite villain, though. He was Harold Bottomsworth in Simon's Brides. I never created a more difficult and inept villain in my life. He was just plain fun to write. He didn't do anything right. He'd just screw up everything he tried.

8. What are you working on now?

I just finished the third 'song' book and am now starting on a contemporary romance. We'll see how it goes.

9. What's your latest release and how did the idea arrive?

My latest release is a Valentine novella which came out in February of this year, "Roses for My Lady". The idea for the story came about when I was researching for a blog about valentine's day. When I found out about roses, their colors and meanings and what twining them with ivy meant the story kinda grew from there. Sometimes the story arrives in one fell swoop and at other times it arrives in bits and pieces. This one arrived in bits and pieces, first the red and white roses and ivy, and a couple eloping but what 'if' the valentine with the information about the ceremony got into the wrong hands? This one was fun!

10. Tell me about your latest book and how it came about. Enclose the opening of the book around 400 words.

The latest book is the third 'song' book. This is about one of the brothers of the Welsh family. He's a humble guy, a knight for Edward the first and bent on revenge. The heroine is a shy little thing who doesn't know a thing about men. This was one of the books that came in bit and pieces. As I said it's with the publisher now and I have great hopes it will be published at the end of next year. I can't give you much more than the beginning because the book hasn't been contracted or edited yet.
Windsong begins with a poem.

The gray dawn of winter’s wind carried a wail of pain
that tore through the hills of Wales.

A roar of revenge rose through the rough stone holding
as he lay her battered, lifeless body on a bed of rushes.

A bitter blizzard brought guilt and grief that forced him to his knees.
'Twas his fault she died.

And the Norman would pay!

But a gentler wind brought a softening to the Prince.
A warm breeze blew some of the bitterness from his heart and melted the malice in his soul.

Waves of hope flowed forth in the arms of another woman,
and revenge died a dreary death.

Wicked squalls brought storms of hurt and for a time all seemed lost.
But with forgiveness sought, a softer wind blew, bringing peace and promise.

It sang of love, a future and forever.

High above their home it became their Windsong for all eternity.

The first line of the book is:

They were going to kill her.

Aka Allison Knight
Heart-warming Romance with a Sensual Touch.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wednesday - Happy endings - Satisfactory endings

Endings -- Happy or satisfactory? What does this mean. Sometimes a happy ending can be forced and then the writer goes on to write an epilogue that proves the ending was a happy one. Not that all epilogues are wrong but having to prove the ending was really happy somehow blunts the meaning of the story.

Writing the end can be difficult. Try to remember that a satisfactory ending can be happy or not happy. With a satisfactory ending the characters receive exactly what they earned through the story. The romantic couple find each other and live happily ever after. The murder is caught and the detective glows in bringing justice. Any story can have a satisfactory ending, one that leaves the reader with thoughts about what a wonderful story the writer wove.

When working toward the satisfactory ending remember the seeds of the ending must be sown throughout the story. A saccharine ending cloys on the reader's mine while a totally depressing ending makes the reader sour.

I usually know the ending of my stories before I begin. I don't mean I have the scene fully visualized. Not going to happen. What I have in the back of my mind a point where all the problems are resolved and hopefully when I reach this point the ending is satisfactory to those who read the story. The ending may be happy, sad of even depressing but I want the reader to believe the characters all received exactly what they deserve.
So go for the satisfactory ending.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday's Inspiration - Creativity and Courage

Being inspired when a grandchild is crying non-stop is very hard but she is happy now. I'll get to the regular inspiration in a few sentences. What inspired me was when the crying stopped the grandchild smiled. So twenty minutes of tears followed by a full day of smiles and laughter is an inspiration/

In re-reading The Courage To Create by Rollo May I came across something I underlined 35 years ago early in my writing career. What I wrote in the margin of the book. Since this book was mine and would remain mine for all these years, I wrote my impressions throughout the book. Here's the quote that blew mt mind back then and may still be true. "They knock on silence for an answering music, they pursue meaninglessness until they can force it to mean." Those words speak to me still.

That's what happens when I begin a new work and fumble through a rough draft. Then I come to the end and then must go to the beginning and make sesne of what is sometimes random searching for the meaning until I finally find what I am seeking.

Monday, September 19, 2011

19 September - Week Behind and Week ahead

Jast week's progress on The Chosen of Horu continued with grabbing all my research books and working on putting the local character into the book and learning new and interesting things about survival on the desert. Put my hero into a panic when bitten by a small scorpion and having the heroine assure him he wouldn't die. This came after he offed a snake with a sure knife throw. Seeing a bit of weakness in a hero is good. In his case it's because he's from here and now and thrown into an ancient Egypt alternate world and knows little about what he's facing. About 25 percent finished. This round is the slow one because of the research necessary. Saw the release of Moon Pool written with Jane Toombs, a four novella book with the setting being what ties the stories together.

Coming up this week on the blog are the usual posts. In my personal writing life I'll be speaking at the Suffern library on Packing for your Literary Journey along with Chelle and a video taped segment by Charmaine. I'm still having a September spot light at Anne Patrick's blog. Did all the segments in August. Will keep chipping away at The Chosen of Horu.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

3 Blog Visit Sunday The third part of my spotlight is up. Some interesting reviews

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Saturday's Chapter - From Moon Pool - Blue Moon

To celebrate the release of Moon Pool by Jane and myself here's the first chapter of Blue Moon, the first novella.

Blue Moon
Janet Lane Walters

Chapter 1

The full moon dappled the shadows beneath the massive oak with patches of light. Thea caught Luke’s hand. He spun her to face him. Their gazes locked. His dark eyes mirrored her eagerness to be together, to make love. Thea wanted to laugh at the joy flooding her spirits.

His lips found hers. He pulled her into a tight embrace. She felt the hardness of his erection and opened her mouth to his questing tongue. His touch, his taste, the aroma of his skin made her desire blossom. There wasn’t time for what they craved. With a sigh she broke the kiss.

Luke slid his hands to her waist. She sighed. “I want to be like this with you forever.”

He kissed the corner of her mouth. “I’d rather be skin to skin.”

“That, too.”

He groaned. “I’d better head back. My turn to set the tables for tomorrow.”

“And I’ve beds to turn down.”

“Meet me at the reflecting pool in an hour.”

“I’ll be there.”

He tugged her closer. Their mouths met in a searing kiss. “You’re driving me crazy.”

She nodded. “An hour will seem like forever.”

He released her and dashed toward the kitchen entrance of the sprawling inn.

Thea leaned against the tree. What a wonderful summer. Until now she’d never thought she would find love. Luke was wonderful and he was hers. For longer than the summer, she prayed.

She glanced at her watch. The luminous dial showed she had a few minutes before she needed to be at her duties. The moon gleamed like a golden coin. She had time to test the legend of the reflecting pool. The words the hostess had said to each group of arriving guests flowed into Thea’s thoughts.

Should a man or a woman come to the pool on a night when the moon is full, the face of their true love will be revealed. Should they reject the vision, a life of lonely sadness will follow. There is a second chance to find this love. If the seeker returns to the pool when the moon is full and blue, true love will be recovered.

Thea ran to the garden. She paused beneath the trellis entrance and listened for voices. When she heard none, a wave of relief made her smile. She stepped into the boxwood maze and quickly made her way along the gravel path to the pool. She knelt and stared at the water. Dancing beams of moonlight coalesced. Thea stared at the unfolding pattern. When Luke’s face appeared, her laughter pierced the silent night.

Holding the promise close, she hurried to the Lodge. Wait until she saw Luke and told him. Happiness threatened to erupt. Thea, grind, nerd and all those other names her peers called her, had found her true love. Thea who had never had a date until this summer had found her perfect mate.

Luke was the best-looking of the Lodge’s summer employees. Tall, dark-haired Luke was hers. They had so many common interests. When they weren’t making love, they talked and seldom disagreed.

She thought of the way the other female employees and some of the younger guests had flirted with him. Thea laughed. From the moment their eyes met, they had been a couple.

Thea hurried back to the inn. She arrived on the second floor and began her evening routine. She opened the first of her assigned rooms, folded down the covers and placed a chocolate on each pillow. She entered the bathroom to make sure there was a good supply of fluffy towels.


She walked to the door. Her friend leaned against the wall. “You finished already?”

“Just. You’re running late and I know why.” Sue giggled. “Saw you and Luke sneak off.”

“For ten minutes. No big deal.”

Sue cocked her head. “I wanted to catch you before you two disappeared to make-out.”

The knowing look in Sue’s eyes caused Thea to stiffen. They had been friends since grade school. Thea had often wondered why the friendship had continued through high school and into college. Sue was pretty and popular. Her attention was flattering and brought Thea into the center of events. Thea still helped Sue with her studies. She’d even written papers for her friend. Sometimes Thea wondered if being on the fringes of the in-crowd was worth the effort. If she dropped Sue, where would another friend be found? Thea smiled. There was Luke.

Thea closed the door and walked to her next room. “Luke and I do more than make-out. We talk about serious matters.”

“Sure you do.” Sue grinned. “Just wanted to let you know there’s a party in the guest lounge to celebrate Luke’s birthday.”

“He never mentioned one to me.”

Sue’s smile turned sly. “For good reason. Guess he didn’t want you to know today he turns seventeen. Surprised me when I learned. He looks and acts our age.”

Thea swallowed. Luke was only seventeen. She’d be twenty-two in November. “But he’s a junior in college. He’s pre-med.”

“Heard he’s a genius. Double major, too.” Sue stepped back. “You two are quite the topic in the staff lounge. Some of the girls call you a cradle-snatcher. I told them if you’d known his age you would have cut him cold.”

Thea felt her face flame. How could she have made such a fool of herself? Luke was seventeen. She could be in real trouble. Everyone knew and laughed at her. “Look, we’re just friends. We talk about medicine and surgery.”

Sue arched a brow. “With a few anatomy lessons thrown in. Don’t blame you one bit. I wouldn’t mind a night or two exploring his body. He is one gorgeous hunk. See you.”

Thea waited until Sue vanished down the rear stairs. She quickly finished her rooms and fled to the staff sleeping quarters. Tears stung her eyes. Why hadn’t he told her before she’d become the staff’s joke of the summer?

She splashed water on her face. Luke would be at the reflecting pool. She intended to let him know how she felt about his deception.

* * *

Thea removed the diplomas from the wall of her office. This was her last day as Nurse Manager of the cardiac unit. Yesterday her divorce had become final. Every piece of her life had ended. She had no idea what she would do now, but the divorce settlement and her savings would keep her solvent until she decided.

She slumped on the chair behind the desk that had been hers for five years. Leaving City Hospital was the right move. She couldn’t remain here and allow her ex, a staff cardiologist, to chip away her self-esteem the way he had during their two years of marriage and one of separation.

Why had she married Tom? The answer shamed her. She’d been afraid she’d run out of time to have a family. After the wedding she’d learned he didn’t want children, just a second income.

A rap on the door interrupted her thoughts. She looked up. “Sue, come to say goodbye? Ten minutes later and you would have missed me.”

“The day’s been hectic with one problem after another.” Sue lounged against the door. “I’m glad I caught you before you left.”

Thea recalled another time when she’d seen Sue take the same casual position and the heartache that had followed. That incident had turned a close friendship into a distant and wary one.

“Have you heard the news?”

“I must be out of the loop.”

She arched an eyebrow. “I don’t mean about the hospital. Remember Quinnesec Lodge?”

“How could I forget? Working summers there kept me solvent during college.” She forced away memories of the last summer she’d worked there.

“The place is closing at the end of the summer. Some company plans to build a conference center. Wouldn’t it be a hoot to stay there as a guest instead of as one of the help?”

Would it, Thea wondered. She wasn’t sure she wanted to be in a place where the memories would bring sorrow and shame. “Are you going?”

Sue laughed. “Wouldn’t miss it? Most of the old gang will be there. Why don’t you join us? You have the time and the money.”

Thea wrinkled her nose. She had been thinking of a trip somewhere, anywhere. To regroup. “Why not? We had some good times.” Until the last summer. Surely Luke wouldn’t come. What if he did? She drew a deep breath. She still cared but she could avoid him the way she had before.

Sue eased away from the door. “I happen to know there are still a couple of rooms left for the time we chose.”

“I’ll get the number and call.”

Sue dropped a piece of paper on the desk. “The dates and the Lodge’s number.”

“I’ll call for reservations as soon as I get home.”

Sue turned to leave. “And like old times can I ride up with you? Living in the city I don’t have a car.”

Thea nodded. “The company will be great.” Years ago, Sue hadn’t had a car either.

“Talk to you tonight to make sure you can get a room and make our travel arrangements.”

After Sue left, Thea hoisted the box containing the diplomas and few odds and ends she had collected. Did she really want to return to the Lodge? Why had Sue encouraged her to go? These days they hardly spoke. Had the other nurse learned there had been no recommendation for the nurse manager’s position? Thea had been asked by the director for a name but Thea had refrained from making a suggestion. Did Sue think she could wheedle a recommendation the way she had begged Thea to write her papers?

Stop seeing problems where none exist, she told herself. Thea left the hospital and drove to her apartment.

There she set the box on the coffee table. Rather than visiting old and painful times, she should be making decisions. Should she stay in the city or seek a new place? Would she return to school or find a new job? She felt unsettled. At the Lodge she would have time to think.

With this decision made, she reached for the phone. Before she had a chance to back out she dialed the number Sue had given her and asked for a room for the dates Sue had given her.

“That’s a busy week,” the reservation clerk said. “There’s one room with a hold on it, Ms. Carr. Wait a minute. The room is yours. Imagine you’ve heard about the prophecy. There’s a full moon that week, the second in the month.”

“A blue moon.”

“That’s what it’s called.” The clerk took the credit card information and gave Thea a confirmation number.

Thea hung up and sank on the couch. A blue moon. The reflecting pool. She had seen Luke’s face and run away from him. But beneath a blue moon she could look for love again. Though she had no reason to believe the past could be undone, hope blossomed.

* * *

Thea parked the car in the circular driveway at Quinnesec Lodge. She stared at the sprawling building. Shows its age, she thought. The porch and window trim needed paint. One of the railings had been patched. Even the chairs on the porch seemed tired.

Sue opened the passenger’s door. “Come on. I want to see if any of the old gang has arrived.”

Thea stepped from the car. “What about our luggage?”

A young man approached. “I’ll take the bags and park the car. The keys will be at the front desk.”

‘Thank you.” Thea slipped him a bill. She crossed the grass and caught up with Sue at the steps.

The front door opened. A tall, dark-haired man stepped onto the porch. Thea’s heart skipped a beat and her breath caught. Luke. The years had honed his features and broadened his shoulders.

Sue jabbed Thea’s ribs. “Don’t blame you for staring. The man is still prime.”

Thea couldn’t move. “Wonder why he came?”

“To show us how successful he’s become. He’s a surgeon at University Hospital and he’s loaded.” Sue charged up the steps. “Luke, Luke Sewell, remember me. Sue Gray. And I’m sure you haven’t forgotten Thea.”

Thea fought to hide a grimace of distaste. A note of a taunt rang in Sue’s voice.

He nodded. “Nice to see you again.” His hands remained in his trouser pockets.

To Thea he sounded anything but glad. She grasped the railing. An urge to return to the car and drive away rose.

Sue latched onto Luke’s arm. “You look fantastic.”

Thea walked past them. “We need to register.”

Sue smiled at Luke. “I’m so glad you decided to join us. I often think of the summer we met and worked together. The next year Thea was in England.” She stroked his forearm. “Won’t it be great to be guests? Still, I’ll miss the old days. Won’t you?”

“Not particularly.” He stepped away. “Don’t let me keep you. I’m sure we’ll see each other during the week.” He turned to Thea.

A nervous smile curved her lips. The sound of his deep voice had brought memories to the surface. His icy glare made her swallow. She wanted to tell him she’d made a mistake years ago. She wanted to say she’d allowed the opinions of others to overrule her heart.

Sue laughed. “I’ll make sure we have time together. How long are you staying?”

“Not sure.”

“I’m here for a week. Thea might stay longer. Lucky her. She doesn’t have to work. Her … husband has money.” She sauntered to the door.

Thea sucked in a breath. Why had Sue been so nasty? Regret filled Thea’s thoughts. Why had she come and why had Sue wanted her here? Was this another attempt by Sue to show her superiority with men?

Thea strode to the reservation desk. She glared at Sue. “Why did you say I have a husband?”

“Did I? I’m sure I said ex-husband. Luke really studied you. Why did you stand there like a statue?”

“Didn’t you notice he didn’t seem happy to see us?”

“He was surprised.” Sue laughed. “Surely you don’t still think he’s angry with you. He sure didn’t miss you the last summer we were here. He must have had a dozen flings including one with yours truly.”

“You don’t know what happened between us.”

Sue’s smug smile irritated Thea. “Don’t be so sure. You were hoping to see him again. Why else did you come?”

Thea’s hands clenched. Admit the truth, she told herself. Hope had brought her to the Lodge. Luke’s coldness had iced her dreams.

* * *

Luke shook his head. Thea was even lovelier than he remembered. She had cut her brown hair into a more sophisticated style. She had remained slim. And he still wanted her.

So she had married a man with money, but she didn’t look happy with her choice. Luke grinned. Her happiness or the state of her marriage wasn’t his business. Why should he care? Thea had been a summer fling. He thought of Sue and grimaced. He’d spend a summer fending off her advances. Was he in for a repeat of a situation he didn’t want instead of the one that held his hope?

He needed distance so he could think. Luke strode toward the tennis court. Not that he intended to play. He rubbed his right hand. The injury that had ended his career as a surgeon kept him from taking part in most sports.

Why had Thea come? When he’d read the clipping about the Lodge’s final season and the invitation to former staff members to meet here this week he had wondered if she would show. She had and he wished he had stayed away. His life was in shambles. He had hoped the serene surroundings would give him a new purpose. He feared he faced a complication he didn’t need. He wanted Thea with the same desire as before.

Luke slumped on a bench. He’d never forgotten the way she had denied their love. She’d blamed him for not warning her about his age but her friend had told him the real reason. Thea’s actions during the remainder of that summer had confirmed Sue’s story.

Not that he’d wasted his life yearning for her. Liar. There had been other women but none of his affairs had lasted long. His thoughts returned to that summer and Sue’s avid pursuit. He’d been lucky to escape her.

* * *

Moonlight shimmered on the reflecting pool. Luke had arrived early to test the power of the legend. Not that he wasn’t sure of his feelings for Thea he was curious. He knelt at the edge.

A soft breeze rippled the surface of the water. He saw Thea’s face, but not the Thea he knew. She appeared older and the eyes were haunted by sadness. What did it mean?

Luke heard footsteps on the gravel. He rose and walked toward the opening to the maze’s center. “Thea.”

Sue stepped into view. “She isn’t coming.”

“Why not?”

Sue sauntered toward him and grasped his arms. “I told her about your birthday. When she learned your age she was mortified.” She stepped closer and pressed against him. “Your age doesn’t matter to me.”

“Why are you doing this?”

“To prove you picked the wrong woman.” She laughed. “You should have seen her face when she learned everyone was laughing about her. She turned so red her skin was almost purple. Other people’s opinions have always mattered to Thea.”

Luke tried to move back. “Go away.” He had to find Thea and explain.

Sue pressed her mouth to his. “Show me the things you showed her. I’ll add a move or two you’ll enjoy.” She rubbed against him. “You want me. I can feel you.”

As he tried to extract himself from her embrace he grasped her shoulders. “Not interested.”

“Luke! Sue!”

Thea’s cry startled Luke. Sue broke away and ducked into the maze.

“Thea, let me explain,” Luke said.

“Don’t bother. Did making me look like a fool give you some amusement? Leave me alone. I don’t want to talk to you every again.”


Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday's Writer's Tip -- Revision -- Showing and Telling

As writers, we constantly hear Show not Tell. Is this good advice? In many ways it is but there are times for telling rather than showing.

Tell is description and belongs in fiction. Tell is used to show what people and places look like. Tell is used to show sounds, smells, touches and taste. It also is used to describe what they are feeling and thinking.
Tell is also a way to get from one scene to another.

Show is scenes.

Too much tell bogs down a story, Too much tell can also blunt a scene that is dramatic and complicated. Tell allows the writer to chicken out.

Too much show brings a problem for the reader and can leave them breathless. Jumping from one scene to another with no pause can cause a reader to miss important bits of information since they are drawn forward faster and faster.

When revising look to see if you describing too much of the action. If you find too much tell see if dialogue or an interaction between characters can speed the things up. Are you telling more than is needed? No one wants to read about a character's every moment. Check to make sure you're giving your readers a chance to breathe between scenes.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thursday's Interview - Heather Thurmeier

Heather is a member of HVRWA and I've watched her develop as a writer since she joined.

1. What's your genre or do you write in more than one?

Up until this point, everything I’ve written has been contemporary romance. My current wip is a paranormal romance and I love the change of pace and the challenge of writing something new and completely different.

2. Did you choose your genre or did it choose you?

Contemporary romance really chose me. I’ve always loved to read stories about real people in real situations. And I don’t like to read a lot of heavy drama when I read for fun. I leave that part of life to the news, which I never watch. The contemporaries I read and write are lighthearted, fun, beach reads—just the way I like them best!

3. Is there any genre you'd like to try? Or is there one you wouldn't?

My heart is with contemporaries, but I also love to read paranormals. I always thought it would be fun to create this new world, new kinds of characters—basically a place where anything goes as long as it makes sense within the parameters of your story. So when I came up with my idea for my new wip, I knew I had to give paranormal romance a try. I’m happy with how it’s turning out so far!

There are a couple of genres I probably won’t ever dive into. One would be heart-heavy dramas, like Jodi Picoult’s novels. I love her books, but they hurt to read because the content is so deep and emotional. I don’t think I have the inner strength to write something like that. I also probably wouldn’t write anything horror either, for much of the same reasons. I might scare myself when I’m writing late at night!

4. What fiction do you read for pleasure?

Mostly romances—contemporary, paranormal, family sagas. I’ve also been known to pick up a Christopher Moore comedy once in a while. And when the mood strikes, I love a good Knight’s Templar/Masonic conspiracy-type novel.

5. Tell me a bit about yourself and how long you've been writing?

Hmm, what’s to tell? I grew up in Canada but have lived in the States for the last 11 years. I love a good strawberry margarita and I’m sort of a reality TV nut, my favorite being The Amazing Race.

6. Which of your characters is your favorite?

I know everyone usually says that they can’t possibly choose because it’s like picking a favorite child. But it’s not a child, it’s a character. And while I love all of the character’s I’ve created, my absolute favorites are Cassidy and Evan—the heroine and hero of my very first novel. I worked with them for a long time, creating their story, creating them, learning from their mistakes and my own. There’s a little bit of me in each of them.

7. Are there villains in your books and how were they created?

I’m not sure I would call them ‘villains’, but I do have antagonist characters in every book. I don’t usually have them in a darken room tapping their fingers together and laughing a truly evil laugh—mwahahaha! Well, not often anyways. ;) But yes, I do have characters that are put in the book for the purpose of making the H/h’s life annoying and difficult. Usually, they come into the story naturally, but sometimes I do have to take their motive farther, push them to be worse than they originally intended to be. It’s great fun! I actually LOVE my slightly evil characters!

8. What are you working on now?

Right now I’m working on a paranormal romance tentatively titled Star Struck.

9. What's your latest release and how did the idea arrive?

My latest release is also my first release! LOVE AND LATTES is available now! I originally wrote the idea for a call for submissions for an anthology. They had very specific guidelines for the anthology and I tried to write it the best I could to stay within those parameters and heat level. When it was rejected, I made changes to it, lengthened it, added more conflict and emotion…and steaminess…and subbed it out again. This time it found a home at Silver Publishing.

10. Tell me about your latest book and how it came about. Enclose the opening of the book around 400 words.

I was sitting in Barnes and Nobel one night trying to work on my first novel and I saw a young couple wandering around the bookstore together. They stopped at a display of sports-themed merchandise and the girl seemed to be feigning interest in the books. I thought to myself, “there’s no way that girl cares about that stuff.” The idea of new love, sparks of instant chemistry, the awkwardness of first meetings, all of it in a bookstore setting was all it took to get the story rolling. Of course, the story has changes a ton since then. My characters are not young or awkward, but instead they are sure of themselves and the chemistry between them is hot, hot, hot! But the story does take place for the most part in a bookstore.

Opening of Love and Lattes by Heather Thurmeier

Elbowing her way through the crowd, Julia finally reached the bar and attempted to flag down a bartender. She wiggled her fingers at the one nearest her as he walked by. Of course, he stopped at a woman further down and leaned across the bar to hear her order. As far as she could see, other people seemed to be trying the same tactic as her own. If the drinks lining the edge of the bar were any indication, all of them had apparently been more successful than she had.

Sighing, Julia propped her head in her hand and resigned herself to the fact she wasn't likely to get a drink anytime soon. In a normal setting, people looked right through her. Why had she thought the bar would be any different?

Why is coming to the club fun?

Maybe if she was tall and blonde with her breasts bursting out of her top like so many of the other women she saw around the bar, she'd stand a chance of being noticed. But, with her straight black hair falling slightly above her shoulders, and a dress only providing a hint of what hid underneath, she simply couldn't compete.

She surveyed the dance floor from her position at the bar, but she couldn't make out her friend anywhere in the sea of people. Julia had never been to Oasis before, even though there were only three clubs in the neighborhood. Her friend and roommate Tali had sworn she'd stay by her side so Julia wouldn't end up standing alone and bored the entire night. But where's Tali now? They'd gotten separated almost as soon as they'd entered the bar, with men naturally flocking to Tali's side, hoping for her attention.

The club was inside the gates of Meadow Ridge, so all the customers were either born and raised in the Meadow — which meant they were stinking rich — or they were students from the local university like she was — which meant they were dirt poor and barely scrimping by on meager student loans. Tali fell easily into the first group and Julia did not. Somehow, they'd remained friends regardless of the difference in their bank account balances.

Julia turned away from the dance floor and back to the bar. She needed a drink soon. She was already dehydrated from the hot, sweaty club and hadn't even danced yet. Sending her most award-winning smile directly at the bartender, she waved her hand again. He looked right past her to the girl in the see-through dress, which may as well have been non-existent for all the coverage the flimsy material provided.

A man in a dark blue button-up shirt suddenly blocked her view. "Hey." He smiled at her with perfect Hollywood teeth, bending down until his mouth brushed her earlobe. His warm breath caressed her delicate skin. "You look like you could use a drink. Can I get you one?"

You could get me more than a drink I'm sure.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wednesday - On Plot - The OHenry ending

I always love the O Henry endings but trying to write them is a bit tricky. That's because they're tricks. This is not something for the novice writer to try. Appealing, yes but hard to pull off. I've done it once and that took a lot of planning and weaving through the story. That's the trick. The seeds must be planted but with a subtle hand. Otherwise the ending of this type falls flat

How does this work. What happens is the story comes to an end but there isn't an ending that satisfies the progress of the story. What the writer needs is an escape hatch and that means blending in things that were only hinted at causing the reader to laugh and say of course.

A trick ending can take a story that could have ended like a hundred other stories and turn the story into something interesting. But to do this, the seeds must ahve been planted and nurtured with care. What the writer needs to do is plant the clues to the ending throughout the story. As I said earlier I've only done this once and the short story was short, probably around 2000 words but to achieve the ending I'd envisioned the writing of this story took several months and many revisions to make sure all the clues were planted throughout.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesday's Inspiration - Courage and Creativity

What started me on this inspiration was talent versus passion. Rollo May speaks about those with talent who lack passion. Sent me off on what's perhaps a tangental trip. But those seem to be the most fun ones. In today's publishing world there are many opportunities to be published and a lot of talented people who are being published. It's really a whole new world.

Recently I've read a number of books by talented writers but many of them didn't really capture my attention. The stories were well written and the characters were interesting but something was missing. There was no spark that took them from the mundane to the spectacular. Several of them were while not copies of other books either written by the same author or by best-selling authors, seemed like clones.

Just what is the spark that takes a writer's prose and elevates it above that of others? Could be it's passion for the story, for the characters, for the individuality that takes it beyond the ordinary. Unfortunately many people who read enjoy the ordinary, the books that follow the same patterns that they're familiar with. Thus we end up with a lot of books by talented people who lack the spark to make their books shine.

I believe what it takes is a total immersion of the writer in what they're working on. This state is ahrd to find and doesn't occur easily. Find some aspect of the tale you're spinning and make that the passion of the story. Who knows what will happen unless you try.

Monday, September 12, 2011

12 Setember - Week Behind and Week Ahead

Last week marked an anniversary that brings sadness to many people, an event that changed the world. Yesterday I spent a few minutes meditating on the meaning of a world-altering event.

Last week I worked on The Chosen of Horu an alternate world story. I'm now about 22% finished. There's a lot more to finish and I have lost a very small book that may have some information I can use in the book but I did find two others that definitely had a great deal of information. It's so nice to have what you need at your fingertips. I am also now aware of the things I need to pump up in the book once I get the hero and heroine together. That's always a good thing to discover.

This week I hope to get six more chapters to the stage where I'll be just filling in a few blanks that were missed during earlier drafts. I do like being in another owrld one with seeds of what I've read but changed to fit the story I'm creating. So it's on to work.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

3 Blog visit Sunday a bit about self publishing new blog member and fellow western PA person the second of my feature is up

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Saturday's chapter - 3rd of The Quest For The White Jewel

Here's the third chapter and introduces my favorite character in the story.

Chapter Three

From The Songs of Earda
I'm on my way to Pala.
I need to see the Queen
To ask her why the Jewel is Black
And where the White has gone.

Oh Earda, my Earda
Once a land of light.
The magic of the Queen grows dim
And soon the night will come.

A chill wind caused Andalor to pull his cloak tighter. He fought the gale for every step he gained. The words of a song he'd heard in a dreary inn played in his thoughts. He frowned. Everyone knew the Queen's Jewel was as dark as a blind man's sight.

Perhaps he was a fool on a noddy's errand, but the Queen needed to hear about the blight on the land and the desolation of people's lives. A few drops of rain splattered on the dusty road. How far to the nearest inn where for a few songs, he might earn a night's lodging and a meal?

He pulled his lute from his back and tucked the instrument beneath his cloak. If he didn't find shelter soon, he would have to burrow in the woods.

Wind whipped his hood from his head, then changed direction to beat against his back. An omen, he thought. He raised his head and saw a lane leading to a large house with lights in several windows. No inn, but perhaps a place to shelter for the night. Chill rain sprayed his face. He broke into a loping run down the path between two rows of briars. Aided by the gusts that dashed against his back, he soon reached the steps leading to a broad porch.

Several of the lights flickered and went out. Had the family retired for the night? The hour was not that late. He crossed to the door. If all were abed, he could sleep on one of the many benches against the wall. He'd gone hungry before and he'd slept outside, but he preferred to work for room and board. He raised the brass knocker and banged the metal plate.

The door opened a crack. An elderly man peered out. "What do you here?"

"I beg a night's shelter and a meal."

"Do you know whose house this is?" The man's dark eyes skimmed Andalor's face

"Afraid I have no idea. Saw the house from the road just as the storm broke." To the east and Pala, the sky displayed a multitude of colored streaks of lightning.

"Who be you?" The elderly man made his demand in a deep and haughty voice.

"Andalor, a minstrel." Andalor's breath caught. Beyond the servant, a young woman appeared. Lovely of face. Comely of body. A rope of silver hair curved over her shoulder, caressed one breast and tumbled to her waist. Who was she?

"Macker, who braves the storm to visit?"

"No visitor," the old man said. "Just a minstrel seeking food and shelter from the storm."

"Then bid him enter. We've rooms to spare. Perhaps he'll stay to amuse me while I await my summons."

Her voice was silk and velvet, the tone rich and lush. Andalor stared into eyes of crystalline blue and found one of the things he'd sought in his travels -- the woman of his dreams.

"You know 'tis not allowed," the old man said. "You have much to master before your time comes, and lessons aplenty to learn about your future responsibilities."

Her lips thinned. "For five years since I was four and ten, I've been cloistered with none but you and the servants for company. Unless you count the mages who creep and pry. Admit him." Her pale eyes darkened. "Any more lessons and I'll scream."

"It will be as you wish, Milady Reena."

The door swung wider and the stoop-shouldered man stepped aside. Andalor swept off his cloak and bowed low. "My humble thanks, Milady." He lightly touched her fingers and raised them to his lips. "How very pleased I am to meet you."

"And my pleasure as well. You may rise."

Her eyes held a hint of the same bemusement he felt. Who was she? She'd been called Reena. Had she been named for the Queen? The common people frequently chose to name their daughters for the Queen, but this Reena was surely not of that class. He released her hand.

She waved the old man forward. "Show him to the Blue Room and see he has a change of clothes." She took the lute. "Once you are dry, you may join me for dinner, and later, I will listen to your stories and your songs."

Andalor bowed again. "'Twill be my pleasure." Her sultry gaze held the promise of other entertainments, yet her cheeks glowed like those of an untried maiden. "I'll not tarry, my queen of beauty."

"I'm not Queen yet."

Her response startled him. He followed the elderly man up the carved and curved staircase. The Queen-to-be? Was it possible? If so, his luck had turned. Perhaps she would enjoy his songs. Maybe his company would please her. If so, his fame and fortune were assured.

He turned to Macker. "Just who is she?"

"Milady Reena, daughter of the Queen. Soon she will come into her own. At any moment, Milady will be called to Pala and the Black Jewel will be hers. I pray you do naught to upset her calm."

"I'll play and sing. 'Tis what I do."

Macker opened a door along the upper hall. "All you need is here. Water will be brought." The old man wrinkled his nose. "Choose clothes from the wardrobe. They belong to Milady's father."

Andalor waited until Macker left before he entered the room. Blue dominated, from the bedcovers to the wall hangings and draperies. He strolled to the alcove where a deep hipbath waited to be filled. A stack of fluffy towels lay on one shelf, and a second held a variety of soaps.

While a line of male servants arrived with buckets of steaming water, Andalor stripped off his boots and tunic. Then he explored the wardrobe. Maybe a bit out of fashion but the quality was better than he'd known. He choose black breeches and a black tunic decorated with triangles in the colors of the Jewels. A shirt with full sleeves and tight cuffs completed his outfit. One of the men took his boots and returned with a pair of house shoes.

Andalor climbed into the water and scrubbed away the travel dust with spice-scented soap. He ducked his head and washed his hair. Dried and dressed, he left the room and strode downstairs. The time and the place seemed fortuitous and he intended to advance his position.

Macker waited at the foot of the stairs. He nodded in approval. "This way, Minstrel."

A long table of ebonwood dominated the spacious room. Milady Reena sat at the far end. The black gown she wore made her skin seem moonlight pale. She was lovely, but he would have dressed her in pastel shades.

Six empty chairs stood on either side of the table. She pointed to the one at her right hand. "Sit here. Since we are so few, why must we shout to be heard?"

"But...but..." Macker sputtered.

Reena smiled at the old man. "'Twill be easier for the servants if we all sit at one end of the table. Please let me dispense with formality tonight."

"Very well."

Andalor walked to the head of the table and bowed. "You do me honor, Milady Reena."

"Just Reena, Minstrel."

"Then I am Andalor."

A servant filled jewel-encrusted goblets with ruby wine. Platters of food arrived, the most he'd ever seen at a single meal. Though he wanted to gorge, he followed his hostess' lead and accepted small portions of rock salmon, banta, antel and hind, of vegetables and grain dishes, of appa, pinel and cheese. By the last sip of wine, he felt replete.

Their conversation had been a struggle for him since he needed to follow Macker's instructions. Reena bristled with questions about the places he'd been and all he'd seen. He told her of the beauty of the land and hid his knowledge of unrest, disease and poverty.

As the servants cleared the dishes away, Andalor held Reena's chair. "What now?"

"Come with me to the sitting room. I've had a servant oil and polish your lute."

"I would follow you to the edge of the world and into the unknown beyond." At this moment and maybe forever, he meant those words. "What songs would you like to hear?"

"Tell me about your childhood and how you came to join the Minstrel's Guild." She sighed. "I've had none but Macker and my mother's counselors to visit." She shuddered. "I do not like the mages."

"Nor do I, but most people fear them."

She nodded. "I hate them. 'Tis their fault I'm here with nothing but dreary lessons."

Andalor saw no reason for her isolation. She should reside in the palace and have companions of her own age. Why was she hidden here? Hardly for her safety. There'd been no Guards or walls with fortified gateposts. Though some of the male servants were burly men, they bore no weapons.

She curled in a massive chair reminiscent of a throne. He sat on a stool at her feet. Warmth from the fire in the massive fireplace heated his back, and her beauty seared his thoughts.

He told her of his childhood as the third son of a wood worker. He spoke of his gentle mother, of the father who'd made his lute, of the brother who had followed his father into the shop. Of the brother who'd shown a talent for weather prediction and who had been taken away by the mages, he kept silent. As he spoke, he strummed his lute.

"I envy you," she said.

He heard yearning in her voice. "And when you were a child?"

She sighed. "I stayed in the nursery with my nurse or played alone in the garden."

How sad, he thought. To change the mood, he sang a rollicking song about a lyrcat and a flitter who fell in love.

She laughed and her eyes lost some of their sadness. "Now, tell me about the land and the people's lives. Tell me the things you couldn't say when Macker was there to listen. When I hold the Jewel, I must know where and who to help."

He could spin a pretty tale where all was sweet and bright, but the truth beat in his chest like a blacksmith's hammer.

Until a servant came to bank the fire, he told her what he'd seen and heard. The tales were broken by songs, old and new. "Now you know how the people suffer."

She met his gaze. "I fear you speak the truth. My mother is dying and before her illness, she grieved for my father. One day, he vanished from the palace and never returned. My mother leans heavily on the advice of the Brotherhood of Mages. When I am Queen, they will be dismissed." Her voice broke. "'Tis not that I wish her dead, I just want her to hear me."

He took her hand in his. "Death comes to all and chooses its time with no thought for those left behind. Have the Healers no help for the Queen?"

"No one tells me a thing. I haven't seen her since the day I was brought here."

She closed her eyes, but not before he caught a glimpse of fear in her eyes. "How sad."

She leaned toward him. "Can you stay awhile?"

Once again, he wondered why she'd been banished from the palace. He would not ask yet. "A minstrel wanders when and where he pleases. There is no one waiting for me to arrive. Yes, I will stay and go to Pala with you."

Dimples appeared in her cheeks. "That would be most pleasant. I hope many tendays pass before I'm summoned."

He drew her into his arms and hugged her. A brotherly embrace, though he felt nothing like a brother.

She touched his face. "I've never had a friend." She stepped away. "Good night."

"Until tomorrow." He watched her run lightly down the hall. Satisfaction filled him until a disturbing thought arose. If he didn't take care, Reena would steal his heart and he would lose the freedom to wander as he pleased.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday's Writer's Tip - Revision - Point of View

On one of the loops I belong to we ahd a discussion about changing viewpoints of a story from first person to third. A number of us had this experience and found the reason was to make the story better. Mine came with the Mrs. Miller series. The first book was written in first person but when I was revising I found my character had run amok with personal comments on just about everything. I decided to try it in third person and so I did but then I found I didn't want the other characters to come into play. I changed it back again. This time I was able to control the character's asides. They came only when there was something for her to orate about.

So how do you know if you've chosen the right viewpoint. Remember in first person only what the character sees, hears, tastes, smells and touches can be described. Also one must remember your character isn't a mindreader. Having her know what someone is thinking pulls the reader out of the first person and into a sort of foggy place.

Third person allows the writer to explore several people. There is also omniscent where the writer goes into everyone's heads and thoughts. This viewpoint isn't used frequently today. So it's back to third person. How do you revise viewpoint?

Is there a definite point of view? Does the author interfere? If so, change those places.

Is the viewpoint consistent? Watch starting out in one person's head and wandering into another without using a smooth transition. I once read a mss from a new writer where there were three viewpoints in the same sentence. Even when using omniscence that's a stretch.

Are you following the rules? If you drift into the viewpoint of a minor character, this isn't playing right with the reader unless this pattern is established early on.

Is the story strong enough to support multiple points of views? If this is your decisions make sure there are smooth transitions. Don't make your reader suffer from whip lash.

So when revising, consider all these points and choose the point of view that's the best one for the story.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thursday's Interview - Meg Mims - On Writing

Meg is back to share a bit of the writing process with you.

1. How do you create your characters? Do you have a specific process?

I usually have an "OH!" moment after I figure out the premise of a book. Sometimes the character KICKS me first, with a "HEY! write my story. NOW!" Or the heroine appears first, goes through a few changes when I explore a "background" for her including name changes, until it feels "right." But the official sleuth came first in my Lighthouse Mystery, Captain Cooper Dean, before I stumbled over amateur sleuth and artist Sydney Sinclair. As for Double Crossing, I started with the heroine -- she was Julia, then Rose, then Julia again, and then Lily. That name "fit" somehow. Ace appeared the moment he shows up in the story. And he refused to tell me his real name until the end. LOL. That happens sometimes. I do a complete work-up, filling out charts with birthdate (using Zodiac and Chinese astrology for traits sometimes helps), education, family, friends, work experience, marriages if any, hobbies and interests, values and most importantly, FEARS. I also ask "What would this character NOT do, ever?" and then try to incorporate that somehow, if possible.

2. Do your characters come before the plot? Do you sketch out your plot or do you let the characters develop the route to the end?

I try to write at least three chapters, to get a feel for where things are going and why -- the main character's goal, motive and the initial conflict. By that time, I try to stretch out the rest of the plot. I'm an outline writer... too much of a control freak to let them run wild. But at times they veer off the path, for very good reasons. I can tell when I start "spinning wheels" that something is wrong or someone is holding out, or I'm in the wrong character's Point of View. For Double Crossing, that didn't happen - the entire book is in Lily's POV. I loved writing it that way because it seems more intimate between the heroine and the reader.

3. Do you know how the story will end before you begin? In a general way or a specific one?

Uhhhh. It depends. LOL. I've written a few manuscripts where I've gotten to the black moment and then ... what? And have to really think about how a character would get out of the situation. Which is why I'm such a plotter now. For Double Crossing, I knew the general ending but wanted to punch it up a bit. That took more work. I also needed to punch up the middle... you have to keep the reader turning pages or they'll put it down. I love creating a chapter ending that makes the reader keep reading.

4. Do you choose settings you know or do you have books of settings and plans of houses sitting around?

Both. I once visited Evanston years ago, and knew I wanted to set a historical there - the houses were so pretty near the lake. I could imagine what it would be like in the 1800s. And I do keep several types of research books on my shelves, from architecture to floor plans to historical photograph collections. I also love checking on-line for old photos. I love love love research. Probably too much, LOL. But settings are also "characters" in my opinion - and very important. They need to as vivid and real as the characters.

5. Where do you do your research? On line or from books?

Again, both. I love the internet. But you can't always trust what you read on the web, so consider the source. I learned that long ago in college. But I've also found some awesome books available only through searching eBay, or Amazon, Alibris and other small presses. One was published in 1872, Westward by Rail, written by an Englishman who traveled across from London to San Francisco by boat and the transcontinental train. But in August of 1869, they had not finished the bridge across the Missouri River between Council Bluffs and Omaha - that took research. Since the Central Pacific railroad ended in Sacramento, I had to research to figure out a unique place for the book's ending. Did I say I love research?

6. Give a short excerpt from the book you want to promote - 400 to 500 words.


“Lily Granville, I shall never forgive or forget this trick!”

All the noisy conversation died at that trumpeting voice.

Heart in my throat, I turned to the doorway and stared along with everyone else at Aunt Sylvia. Like a steamship plowing the ocean waves, she surged through the crowded room with Sir Vaughn following. Kate stared at me, blue eyes wide. Charles looked dumbfounded. Aunt Sylvia loomed over us in dull black, her thick veil pulled away, her expression livid. Sir Vaughn sniffed the air in disdain.

“I say, this reminds me of an Irish pub.”

“Uh—won’t you join us?” Charles had scrambled out of his chair and pulled two empty seats from an adjoining table. I stood as well, my fists clenched.

“Miss Kimball, this is my aunt, Lady Stanhope and her husband.”

“Sir Vaughn,” he said and inserted his monocle. The Englishman peered at Kate’s bosom with appreciation before he addressed me. “My dear Miss Granville, you have no idea how worried we’ve been. Lucky for us that Miss Mason knew your plans.”

I bit down on my lip. “Adele told you?”

Charles mouthed an apology to me, but Aunt Sylvia shoved him aside and plopped down on the chair. “First, you left Evanston without a proper chaperone,” she said, and began ticking off numbers on her gloved fingers. “Second, it seems you forgot you’re in mourning for your poor father. Third, you left without my permission—”

“I’m going to California to find Uncle Harrison, my legal guardian,” I interrupted.

“Fourth, you didn’t consider the possibility of scandal at all. Mr. Mason hasn’t even proposed to you, according to his sister.”

“Uncle Harrison is expecting me.”

I ignored a twinge of guilt while the fib hovered between us. Her mouth pinched tight, she drummed her fingers on the tablecloth. Charles stood quiet, his face beet red, one hand smoothing back his fair hair, the other adjusting his collar and tie. Angry yells and shouts drifted through the window panes from the street, drowning out the resumed conversation around us, the clatter of plates and flatware. Outside, I caught sight of several men who fought with bare fists. They kicked, bit, scratched and pummeled. Sir Vaughn glanced out the window and then sat across from my aunt. He waved a hand.

“Common ruffians. These rustic surroundings breed a lack of manners.”

“Lily, you have no idea of the dangers. My husband traveled to Nevada earlier this year,” Aunt Sylvia said. “Neither you or Mr. Mason have considered the impropriety of this.”

“He’s a gentleman for escorting me.”

“I can see for myself what you both are—”

A blood-curdling yell, similar to what I’d read about an Indian war cry, stopped her cold. The moment I glanced up, the window exploded. Shards of glass rained on us and a man rolled over the table. Scattering plates, flatware, cups and teapot, before he crashed onto the floor—unconscious, and half-draped in the tablecloth among the broken china and glass.

Mere inches from my feet.



Meg Mims

~Intriguing Mystery, Vivid History~
Astraea Press, Amazon and B&N

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wednesday - On Plot - Bad ending -- The gods step in

Another kind of bad ending is the one where none of the characters have a role in the ending. The gods step in and the ending is a big bang up one that leaves the reader shaking their heads. This is generally not a problem for me since I usually know the ending before I begin the story and I also know the beginning.

When a writer comes up with this kind of an ending, and it doesn't necessarily mean the gods really step in. What it means is the writer can't find a way to end the story. They could go on and on past the resolution without having a resolution so they bring in something not planned for and there is an ending. The flood waters come and wash the characters away. A bomb drops and all the characters are gone. The writer dusts off his hands and says that's a wrap.

A wrap or a cheat. An ending doesn't have to be happy or sad. It must be satisfactory. For the ending the be satisfactory clues to the end of the story must be planted throughout the story. When the end happens the reader can sigh and say I suspected that's what would happen.

Leave the gods, the machines or the disasters our of the ending unless you've planted the seeds throughout the story. This will leave the reader feeling satisfied even if the ending is not what they imagined.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesday's Inspirations - Courage and Creativity - Symbols

When reading the bit from The Courage To Create by Rollo May, I found a segment on symbols. The symbolic language and the symbols one uses when writing often become part of the "writer voice." At a conference I heard a dynamic speaker, Debra Dixon, talking about the "Writer's Voice." This dels with word choice and many other things. During the talk I kind of drifted off on the symbols. There are ones I use frequently and I don't think they're there by choice.

Symbols are often things important to the writer and are born in the unconscious. When writing suddenly they're just there and they often are used to describe a character's state of mind.

What are your symbols? Do they creep into your writing when you are unaware of even using them. These symbols can be used and explored often taking the writer along a side track to something important to their characters and to the writer's own life. Take a look at your own fiction and see what symbols frequently appear in your stories. Look at these symbols and see where they lead you, perhaps to a deeper story.