Wednesday, May 28, 2014

An 'Intriguing' Puzzle

Paula wonders how to sort out her story!

I’m on the third draft of my current story. In the first draft, the heroine broke her ankle and had to stay at the hero’s house, which admittedly resulted in some interesting scenes. However, by about Chapter 13 or 14 (approx. 50,000 words), I realised a broken ankle was too restricting for the heroine. She couldn’t recover from it in a couple of weeks (unlike some of the ‘miraculous’ cures we see in the soap operas), so it was time for a rethink.

Second draft – sprained ankle – less serious – but again, by the time I got to the dreaded Chapter 13, I decided the story was going nowhere. It was a ‘how we met and fell in love’ scenario, with internal conflicts for both hero and heroine i.e. why neither of them wanted to be involved in any new relationship, but no real external conflicts.

Even I was yawning at this plot!

After doing the edits for ‘Irish Inheritance’, my editor suggested the possibility of a spin-off story about Charley (the heroine’s best friend).


Can I move this story to Ireland instead of the English Lake District? Can I change the heroine’s name to Charlotte (Charley)?

More to the point, can I lift this story from the ‘meeting and falling in love’ scenario into something more interesting?

Thinking about a title for this spin-off, I came up with ‘Irish Intrigue’. So that meant I had to work out the ‘intrigue’ part of it. With the help of a friend (a non-writer but a great brain-stormer!), I came up with various ideas - plus some possible red herrings to keep the reader wondering.

It all seemed to be working well – until I hit the dreaded Chapter 13 again! I know (roughly!) how the later chapters are going to pan out, but now I’m stuck with this ‘sagging middle’ syndrome where I’m trying to work out how to get my characters from where they are at the moment to where I want them to be eventually. I’ve tried writing a list of the main turning points – and then moving them around. It’s rather like one of those 'sliding tile puzzles' where you move tiles in a small square in the hope of getting them all in the right places to complete the picture.

At the moment, my story is rather like this picture – and I’m wondering if I can ever get all the ‘tiles' into the correct places!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Another Speech

Jennifer's working on another speech...

Remember a couple of weeks ago I wrote about a “speech” I was planning to make and how nervous I was about four lines? Well, that was nothing compared to what I’m doing now. Now, I’m writing a 20-30 minute speech!

The four-liner was nerve wracking because I was planning to put my complaint on record at a meeting I was attending. I don’t like public speaking and don’t like confrontation, but it was really important to me that I said what I needed to say. So I wrote it, agonized over it, read it, responded and was finished. The reason I wrote about it here was not because it had anything to do with writing, but because it illustrated the difference between finding the right words when speaking and when writing (at least for me).

However, this next speech has everything to do with writing. A friend of mine asked me to speak to her women’s group about my books and of course I said yes. “Of course,” because no matter how much I dislike public speaking or how nervous it makes me, I’m going to say yes. Since I’m not Nora Roberts, I have to market my own books, and speaking opportunities to women’s groups is a great way to do that.

My friend is a wonderful woman and I’m thrilled that she thought of me. I asked her what she wanted me to talk about and she said, “How a nice Jewish girl like you became a romance writer.” Okay then.

The women’s group is part of a Jewish organization, and they’re interested specifically in my book, The Seduction of Esther. Since I just signed a contract for the sequel, the speech is timely. And with the number of people they’re expecting to attend, 50-75, I hope to sell quite a few books.

So, I sat down and tried to figure out what I would say. There are a few ways to take her topic. I could look at it as an apology of sorts, but I don’t like that message. I’m proud of what I write, even if discussing it with certain people does sometimes make me blush. Instead, I took it a bit tongue-in-cheek. My goal when I wrote my speech was to make is enjoyable and hopefully, funny. On my personal blog, I have a particular voice that I’ve been told people like to read, so I tried to keep the tone the same. And having spoken to groups before, I know that even though everyone there knows the topic of my talk, not everyone there is a romance reader. I want everyone to enjoy what I have to say, to find it interesting, and perhaps, to convince them that they might even like to read my book. So I went for light and engaging.

Seventeen pages later—large type, double spaced—I have an approximately 20-minute speech that I think works. I ran it by a few people, all of whom like it (now I’m thinking I need to run it by someone who doesn’t like it, just so I have all my bases covered, but that might be a bit paranoid).

All that’s left is polishing and practicing. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Monday, May 26, 2014

A Script

Ana reads a script. 

I have not read many film scripts, but yesterday I read one that my daughter has been asked to produce. The story is a twist on the coming-of-age genre. A reclusive, about-to-turn-thirty woman is obsessed with staying young, with never dying. She doesn't know her free-spirited, sun-worshiping mother, with whom she lives, has stage 4 cancer.

Script-reading takes some getting used to. The dialogue is centered on the pages in a column. Lots of white space--I suppose for actors to write notes in.

The actors' movements (narrative) are in wider paragraphs and are explicit.  Eg.:
"Alpha walks through her messy hallway back to her bedroom and opens her closet. All her outfits are white or cream-colored and hung up neatly on a rack. Alpha changes out of her BATHROBE and into a white cropped T-SHIRT, HIGH-WAISTED PANTS, a tan 1970's silk TRENCH COAT and orthopedic-looking SANDALS."

It takes imagination to read a script, with its bare-bones descriptions of setting, tone, internal emotions. The abbreviations imply you are in a secret society. I've figured out that VO means 'voice over,' as in when the main character acts as a narrator. INT, EXT, DAY. NIGHT: setting cues are capitalized.

So different than writing a novel, where we labor over descriptions. Making sure the reader can follow the action and transitions.

Of course, the story is told (as all stories are) in the editing room. My daughter and her friend will edit. I will watch with interest.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

My Muse is Calling

Debra's muse (finally) makes an appearance.

It seems like it's been forever, but lately my muse has been nudging me. The timing couldn't be more perfect, as in about two weeks I will be footloose and fancy free on summer vacation. Summer is the time when I get most of my writing done, simply by nature of the fact I have time to do it.

The surprising thing about this appearance of my muse is that it's not nudging me in the direction I thought I'd be taking this summer. I have a mss partially completed and it was my intended goal to finish it and get it submitted by the end of the summer. But apparently my muse has other ideas, because a different story keeps popping into my head. Scenes play out for me as I'm doing menial tasks: making dinner, doing the dishes, even as I was cleaning up after our community garage sale last weekend.

So, as my muse tends to be a bit fickle, as in I often have to coax her into peeking her head out, I'm going to just roll with it. Who knows, maybe I'll be able to finish two books this summer.

I really shouldn't get ahead of myself like that, right? But I'll keep you posted!

Until next time,

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Locations and Ideas

In 9 days’ time, I will be setting off for my month in the USA and Canada (but don’t ask me if I’m packed and ready because the short answer is no!)

When I’ve told people my schedule for the month, which includes New Jersey, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Ontario (near Niagara), and Rhode Island, several have said to me, “You should get plenty of ideas for new stories.”

Well, that remains to be seen. I don’t recall ever consciously ‘looking’ for ideas. Usually they sneak up on me when I least expect them, but I have used places I’ve visited as locations in my novels: London, the English Lake District, Scotland, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, the River Nile (including Luxor and Aswan), and Ireland.

One novel was set in a seaside resort on England’s south coast, which was an amalgam of several different seaside resorts (albeit none of them in the part of the south coast where I located ‘my’ resort!)

The only time I’ve used a location I’ve never visited was Iceland (in ‘Changing the Future’). Half of me now wants to visit Iceland to see if I got it right; the other half of me doesn’t in case I got it wildly wrong!

So – will my forthcoming trip trigger any new ideas for me? Who knows? After all, I never expected to get any ideas when I visited a small Irish village in County Mayo on a day when it never stopped raining – but then I spotted Maureen O’Hara’s signature in the visitors' book of ‘The Quiet Man’ cottage museum in the village (bottom line of this page), and a seed was sown…

Will any similar seeds be sown when I visit one of the Vegas casinos, or gaze in awe at the Grand Canyon, or watch the power of the water as it thunders over Niagara, or see the mansions of the Vanderbilts and Astors at Newport, RI? Or will some seemingly trivial event – something I see, or something I hear – provide the seed that will eventually germinate?

I’ll let you know!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

It's Official

Jennifer shares good news.

I have news! I just signed a contract with my Rebel publisher for the second book in my Jewish contemporary romance series. I don’t have a release date yet, nor to I have a series title. However, I do have a book title (for the moment)—Miriam’s Surrender.

The book follows Miriam and Josh. This story centers around Passover and is the story of two people who need to discover the freedom of letting go in order to let love into their lives. Josh is an architect hired to redesign the alumni club of a posh, private school in New York. Miriam is the Assistant Director of Outreach, working with the alumni, and is Josh’s day-to-day contact for the redesign. They first met in The Seduction of Esther. Josh had thought he was in love with Miriam’s sister, and Miriam detests him because he hurt her sister. Now they have to work together. As they get to know each other, the animosity disappears, but Josh is hiding something from Miriam and when she discovers what it is, it has the possibility of destroying their relationship. Only when they are both able to let the other in and release some of the control they exert over everything, will they be able to see if their love can survive.

I’m excited to bring this story to publication and I can’t wait to share the process with all of you!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

A facebook tip from Rebecca Lynn

Ana reposts a facebook tip from Rebecca Lynn, who gives amazing workshops in social media for authors.
I'm teaching my Social Media class over at YARWA right now and we had a conversation today about Edge Rank that I wanted to share with my chapter just as a free tip of the day for how to know if you're winning at EdgeRank or not. Ever since Facebook has changed their algorithms, everyone is worried that Facebook is trying to keep professional pages away from their fans. This is very much not true. Conversely, what they're trying to do is make sure that the people who engage with your page always (ALWAYS) see your posts. This does require that, if you have a professional page, you try to win at EdgeRank. This means you have to engage your fans.

After the algorithm switch, most big professional pages' Edge Ranks were averaging under 10%. This was an organic engagement percentage, based on the number of people who see and engage with the posts from the page. The chances are pretty good that your page is going to be over 10%, just because most of us probably have not paid for likes (which is why Facebook changed their algorithm.. they wanted to make sure that people who were paying for likes weren't able to use those inflated numbers to get marketing pull--basically, what happens when a big company tries to get marketing dollars based on their Facebook page, they used to be able to say, "we have 100,000 likes" and marketers would treat that like the TV numbers, "we have a reach of 1 million, meaning 1 million pairs of eyeballs would see it on their TV"... the problem was that many of these pages were paying for Facebook likes from click farms, which meant that they weren't actually getting 100K
eyeballs, so Facebook decided to change their algorithm so that you can now measure how many people actually see and engage with your page; this means that those people who were trying to get advertising dollars from having 100K Facebook likes now have to admit to those marketers that they're really only getting 2,000 eyeballs; so Facebook has set up their algorithm to measure how many people engage, and if you are consistently over 10%, you're going to keep going up in the "EdgeRank", which means that your organic reach will automatically go up as long as you continue to engage your fans). They want to reward people who are not paying for likes. Anything over 10% gets you automatically in the plus column. Anything over 20% is good. Anything over 50% is excellent. Obviously, we want to shoot for the highest percentage we can.

How do you know what your engagement percentage is?

Go to your Facebook professional page. There should be about a half-page that shows up automatically, as your Page Manager? If there isn't, then try going to the arrow on the right side and clicking directly in to your Pro page instead of going through your personal profile. At the top of the page, there's a bunch of buttons. Click on "See Insights". This will show you what your engagement percentage is. Well, it won't show you exactly, because we don't have access to Edge Rank. But you can calculate it yourself. Take the number under "Engagement" (on the right--this is the average number of engaged people for all your posts over the last week), divide it by your total number of likes. (I know... I promised there would be no math. I lied.) That's your engagement percentage. As long as you are over 10%, you are WINNING at EdgeRank. You are taking advantage of the engagement potential of the new Edge Rank. Make sure you are always over 10% (some people
will say over 5%) and you are going to keep winning at Edge Rank.

My engagement percentage for last week was... 56%. That's up from the week before, which was 52%. It may not always go up every week, but the more you can keep it up and keep it going up, the better. I don't think I've been below 40% since EdgeRank changed. Granted, I've never run "like" ads and I don't try to get likes from anywhere except the back matter of my books, because I only want people on there who really want to be there. But that doesn't have to be your strategy. As long as you don't drop below 10% for consistent weeks and weeks, you are going to keep getting more and more of your fans engaged. Facebook wants this to work for you. They want everyone who wants to see your stuff to see your stuff. But you definitely have to do the work to get them engaged.

Not sure how to do that? Ask a question. I asked a question about a fight scene yesterday. I got almost all of my fans engaged in the conversation in some way (89%). Either they read it (reach), they liked it (clicked), or they talked to me about it (commented). Only the last two count toward your engagement. So make sure that, every once in awhile, you put out a post with something like a question or something (that they can still count on) and then below that, remind your fans that if they want to keep seeing your stuff, it helps if they like, comment, and share. Not often. Maybe once a month. But it's worth saying, just as a general insight for your fans to know about any one of the professional pages they've liked.

A higher general percentage means that when I put out a post that's going to get less commenting (like "my book released today!" with a buy-link), I'm going to get upwards of 50% of my fans seeing it automatically. Plus, and this is the part that's really money, my fans are used to being regularly engaged in my brand. In the day of the Thank-You economy (in which we are fully in the throes today), fans want to talk to their brands. I think I posted about this the other day, but they've actually quantified the value of engaged fans, and we now know that an engaged fan is worth 10% more money over time (think of how much money an individual fan will spend with you over their lifetime, and add 10% to that) because engaged fans are 7 times more likely to recommend your work to their friends than an unengaged fan who likes your product (your books) equally as much.

Again, just things that are running through my mind because of the class. Public service announcement of the day. :)
Rebecca Lynn, President - Celtic Hearts Romance Writers and 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Margaret Mayo's 80th novel

Welcome to today's Friday Friend, Margaret Mayo, whose 80th romance novel has just been published.

I began writing in the mid 1970’s when an idea for a short story sprang into my head. And once I started writing I couldn’t stop. I’d always read romances, as had my mother before me, so it was on the cards that when I began to write it would be about love and all the trials and tribulations that go hand in hand with finding that one man who makes your heart beat faster. The one man you want to spend the rest of your life with.

I found my own personal hero when I was in my early twenties and we’re still together now.  There’s lots of laughter in our life which I think is essential in a relationship. We have two children and two grandchildren, so together with my writing my life is complete.

My newly released book, RACHEL’S RETRIBUTION, is my eightieth romance – I never thought when I started that I would reach such a milestone.

Rachel Valentine had never expected to meet Liam Mallory again. She had used to work for him but had been guilty of colluding with another work colleague to swindle him out of thousands of pounds. Now, several years later, he is back in her life demanding his pound of flesh. He whisks her away to an isolated cottage in the English Lake District but unfortunately for Liam things do not all go his way.

The Lake District is one of my favourite parts of England and we try to holiday there at least once a year, so when I was writing this book I had no trouble visualising the setting, or putting myself in my heroine’s shoes.

We wish you every success with your new novel, Margaret, and long may you continue to write! Thank you for being our Friday Friend today.

You can find out more about Margaret here:
Amazon author page

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Release Date!

Debra has a release date for FAMILY SECRETS!

Several people have asked me lately when my newest book is coming out. I kept replying I was waiting on galleys and really thought I would have had them by now. So on Sunday I checked in with my editor to see where we were at. She checked her notes and the files at TWRP and said galleys had gone out to me in March and I'd returned them. I had a tentative release date of August 1.

I guess in the craziness of pre-spring break, I'd totally forgotten I'd done galleys. I thought for sure we were only at the pre-galley stage.

Then on Monday I got an e-mail from the editor-in-chief with my world-wide release date. My editor and I both laughed. If I had just been patient for one more day, I would have had the answer to my question!

The date is official: on August 1, 2014 Family Secrets will hit the shelves in print and e-book. This book has a long history and has gone through many versions and revisions and covers, so it will be really fun to soon see the final product.

Original tag line/Tweet: A young play-by-the-rules widow falls for her commitment shy ex brother-in-law.

Until next time,

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Can anyone write a novel?

Paula thinks about a question she was asked recently.

On Monday morning, I gave a talk to a local book club. It was a similar talk to several I have done in the past, as I talked about my writing ‘career’, including the differences between writing in the 1960s and writing today, and I ended up giving some examples of where my ideas come from.

At the end of previous talks, I’ve had various questions, ranging from ‘How much research do you have to do?’ to ‘How much do you earn?' (to which I usually reply, ‘Probably not even as much as J.K. Rowling would earn for one page of her Harry Potter novels!’)

This time I had a different question. Someone said, “They say there is a novel in everyone. Do you think anyone can write one?’

I had to think on my feet! In the end I said something like, “First, you have to want to write and then you have to make the time to do it, rather than just write when you happen to have some spare time or feel like writing. It can take a lot of time and hard work – not just the actual writing, but also the research you need to do, even for a contemporary novel. You might also have to learn about plotting, using dialogue, and developing your characters, and I also think you need to have a good grasp of grammar, punctuation and spelling.”

That’s a summary of my ‘off the cuff’ answer, which I’m aware (a) might have over-emphasised the time and hard work elements but (b)at the same time, only covered part of what is involved in writing a novel!

While we were having a cup of tea and cake afterwards, someone else said to me, “I couldn’t write a novel. I don’t have the imagination to create a story."

On my way home, I thought about this and realised this person was probably right. Perhaps the first essential is imagination, closely followed by the need/desire to write.

What do you think? Can anyone write a novel? And how would you have answered that question?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Making My Point

Jennifer laments her lack of speaking skills...

I’ve spent the past week writing and rewriting something I think I want to say at a meeting I’m attending. With the amount of time I’ve taken, you’d think it was some long speech that I have to make, when in truth, it’s maybe four sentences. But I’ve agonized over these four sentences every single day.

One reason is that I am going on record and rebuking someone and I’m trying to balance on the fine line of giving my opinion while still sounding rational and not intentionally hurting anyone.

The biggest reason, however, is that I’m speaking it, not writing it. I hate public speaking. I’m the stereotypical introverted writer. I’d much rather speak to my characters in my head than to a roomful of people.

In my head, everything works out fine and I have the exact words available at the perfect time. My retorts are perfect too. But I know that if I rely on what’s in my head, when the time comes, I’ll forget what I want to say, how I want to say it, and lose my point in the morass.

That’s why writing is so great. I can write and revise to my heart’s content. I can bend and shape the words until I get across the exact point I want to make. I can give my characters the perfect response, when in reality, I wouldn’t think of the perfect response for hours or days after the fact, long after the opportunity had passed.

Public speakers are taught how to speak, to make eye contact and to use gestures to make their point. But I’m weak at public speaking, and my point is too important to get lost. So I’m going to rely on my writing skills—such as they may be—to make my point.

And hope that my words are enough.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Falling in love with love again

Ana finds a long lost love story. 

Two weeks ago, I obtained a new used copy of a most-favorite book I loaned out many years ago. Naturally, I started reading it right away, eager to revisit the characters I remembered so fondly.

The book is Darkmage, written in 1986 by Barbara Hambly, a prolific science fiction / fantasy writer. I was struck by the complexity of her sentence structure--something I did not notice back in the early 1990's. Something that texting and sound bites have chased out of town.

When I got to page 169, I found the passage where the heroine, a nerdy computer programmer realizes she is in love with the wizard hero. I wish I could write like this:

       For a long time their eyes held.
       She thought, with a curious sense of shock that was not a complete surprise, I expected it to be different than this. For a time it seemed to her that neither of them breathed--that it was impossible that the only point of contact between their two bodies was where her petticoats brushed against his booted ankle in a froth of voile. Part of her mind  was saying in its usual cool and practical tones, This is ridiculous. I don't do things like this-while another part said, I want him. 
     For a time the sooty-gray shadows of the empty drawing room were like completely still water, fathoms deep and silent but for the distant chatter of birds outside. The smell of the woods, of grass damp from last night's rain and of the far-off acrid smoke of the burning kilns, came to her through the open windows, mixed with the faint scent of soap from bis flesh and hair. he stood so still that one facet of the crystal earring her wore held a gleam of the last light from outside like a tiny mirror, steely and unmoving in the deepening gloom; the only thing that stirred was the white rim of light on the ruffles of his shirt with the rise and fall of his chest. 
      Everything seemed incredibly clear to her, but without pattern. It had nothing in common with her encounters with Gary and her nervous weighing and reweighing of pro and con. She only knew that she wanted him and knew, looking up into the wide, black pupils of his eyes, that he wanted her.
      He turned abruptly, almost angrily, away and walked from the windows into the twilight cavern if the room. "I will not do this," he said softly. She could hear the faint tremor of his deep  voice. "You are dependent on me and under my protection in this world. I won't take advantage of that."
      His back was to her, the diffuse whiteness of the fading day putting a sheen like pewter on the velvet of his shoulders. She knew well enough that he was conscious of her eyes upon his back. She was aware of her own feelings less clearly, shocked and appalled, not by them, but by their strength. Nothing she had ever experienced with Gary, not even sex, came anywhere near this need--not to have, but to give.
      After a moment he turned and walked silently from the room. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Secondary Characters

Debra shares what she learned from Kristan Higgins about secondary characters.

I love secondary characters. My first book had two important ones that eventually became the heroes of their own books. A secondary cast of characters definitely rounds out your story. At Spring Fling a couple weekends ago, I attended a workshop given by one of our headliners, Kristan Higgins. Here are some of the highlights I took away from the sectional.

Secondary characters can get away with things the main character(s) can't.

They might demonstrate the attributes and flaws of the main character(s).

There are several types of secondary characters:
best friend
These types of characters need to matter to the story and shouldn't just be shoved in.

You need to know when to amp up their role (prop up a sagging middle, a break from the main plotline, bring in a new set of problems) in the story and/or when to kill them (all hope must be lost, bad guy needs more power, tender-hearted drama, shock value).

There are dos and don'ts when creating them:
Don't let them over-shadow the main character(s).
Do let them balance the main character(s).
Do give them oppositional goals.
Do make them multi-dimensional.
Do make them memorable.
Limit their numbers.

Secondary plotlines need to reflect the overall theme of the book. They don't have to be tied up with a bow. They should resolve before the main plotline is wrapped up. In a series they become a hint for the next book.

When writing a series, don't put characters in just because you intend to write their book 'someday'. Don't give them scenes just so readers can revisit main characters from other books. Do give them scenes that are important to the story.

Until next time,

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Should we use coincidences in our novels?

Paula ponders the use of coincidence in novels

Have you ever read a novel where there seemed to be too many coincidences? The heroine meets the man of her dreams but, for whatever reason, fails to exchange contact details with him, and since she is leaving town, she doesn’t think she will ever see him again. But then, of course, he ‘just happens’ to have the seat next to hers on the plane the next day. And it turns out not only that his father ‘just happens’ to be the sworn enemy of her father, but also that he fathered a child in the past who has been adopted by the heroine’s sister.

Okay, I made all that up, but I have read some novels where the coincidences pile up one on top of another in a similar way.

Of course, coincidences do happen in real life. I’m sure you can think of examples in your own life. I recall running into a friend’s son on 44th Street in New York – we only lived about half a mile away from him at home, so it really did seem strange to be talking to him on a NYC street! Several years later, after my friend had moved to Scotland, she called me to say she had met another friend of mine, who lived in the same Scottish village. This other friend was actually someone I had once stayed with when she lived in Brussels!

More recently i.e. last weekend, I was searching online for some information. On one site, I saw a photo of a man and immediately knew he looked just as I imagine the hero in my current ‘work in progress’. Out of interest, I read the short biography about him, and you can imagine my amazement when it dawned on me he was the son (now in his early 40s) of someone I had a serious crush on when I was in my teens – and no, he doesn’t actually look like his father, whom I’ve not seen or even heard of for over 50 years anyway!

However, it made start to wonder about coincidences. Even the best writers have used them Pride and Prejudice, Mr Collins ‘just happens’ to be the clergyman who is under the patronage of Darcy’s aunt, and Elizabeth’s aunt, Mrs Gardiner, ‘just happens’ to live near to Darcy’s Pemberley estate.

So can we use coincidences in our novels or should we avoid them?

The novelist John Braine said, “The reading public expects one coincidence and is cheated if it isn’t given one, but scorns two.”

I would add that any coincidence should be realistic so as not to stretch the reader’s credulity too far. Using coincidences to move the plot forward may appear too ‘contrived’ for the reader to stomach, and certainly the happy ending should not be the result of a convenient coincidence, unless you want your reader to feel cheated out of seeing the characters earn their happy ending through their own efforts.

It's true that coincidences happen in real life, but it seems the reader is less likely to accept them in fiction.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Balancing Act

Jennifer looks at motivation.

Things that sap my writing energy:

Too many late nights in a row
Emotional turmoil

Things that renew my writing energy:

Critique partners
Emails from editors
Reading good books

Wishing you all positive writing energy this week!