Friday, February 26, 2010

Work Day!

Today is going to be a work day as Louisa Edwards, Roxanne St. Claire and I put the final touches on our workshop for tomorrow and do a few practice run-throughs. We're also going to be brainstorming book ideas for each other. Have you ever done that with a group of your writer friends? You should really try it - it's amazing what you can come up with!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

All hail her majesty. Of sorts.

I'm off to the airport shortly to pick up the Queen of Ohio, Louisa Edwards. She, I and the fabu-licious Roxanne St. Claire are doing an amazing workshop (the one that RWA turned down, despite its life-changing possibilities for both plotters and pantsers) this Saturday at the STAR chapter to which Rocki and I belong.

Don't you wish you lived in Florida too?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Guilty Childhood Pleasures

I'm over at Fictionistas today talking about one of my favorite childhood treats. Come share yours!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Are you an angry reader?

As a reader, how willing are you to suspend your disbelief? If you read a vampire novel, is it ruined because vampires don't really exist? If the book is set on an imaginary planet, do you find yourself pulled out of the story by a blue sun or pink grass? I'm guessing most of you would answer no to this.

Books are an escape, romances/fantasy/sci-fi especially, however the contemporary and historical romance genres don't seem to get cut as much slack as the paranormals do. It seems readers fully expect the paranormal worlds to be unreal and the historical and contemporary ones to be as genuine as possible.
Why is that?

To be honest, as a reader, I'm okay with some altered facts. I'm not reading a history book when I read a Victorian romance, I'm reading for entertainment. If I read a contemporary that features a small, quaint town, I'm perfectly accepting that such a place still exists in this world. Hollywood gets away with it all day and night, why not books? Are you one of those readers who gets bunched up by such things or are you capable of taking a story at its entertainment value?

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Is there a hairball behind me?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Can you believe it's Friday?

Where has the week gone? Once again, I haven't accomplished as much as I'd hoped, but I'm also not as far behind as I could be. Does that makes sense? Ah well, it's Friday. What else matters?

No major plans for the weekend, just hoping to get some more writing in, read a little, maybe catch a movie. What about you? What are you doing this weekend?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Going for gold

Yesterday was the winningest day in the history of American achievements at the Winter Olympics with a total of six medals for the day. Compare it to the year the games were held in Calgary - six medals was the American total for the entire games. Three of yesterday's medals were gold - Lindsey Vonn, Shaun White and Shani Davis - all amazing to watch, all inspiring in their own way.

In fact, the games have been pretty inspiring in general. All the personal stories and small details that get revealed help to shape the way we see the athletes, not just as competitors, but as people. From the Chinese pairs skaters who've been together for eighteen years to the Canadian skier whose brother's cerebral palsy inspires him to train harder, the stories are what connect us to these athletes. We empathize and we root for them, even though they represent different countries.

For the writer, there's a lesson in that. That emotional connection is so important in our characters, whether they be the hero or the villain. We must create that connection so the reader cares. If the reader doesn't care, it's far too easy to put the book down. (Or to continue the Olympics theme, change the channel.)

Something to think about when you work on that WIP today.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Giving up on Wednesday

I'm thinking about eliminating Wednesdays from my blogging schedule. As my writing schedule increases, something's got to give. Wednesday might be the day to go. What do you think? I'm curious.

If you blog, how many days a week do you post? Would there be a better day to go silent? It's not like I couldn't blog if I really had something to say.

Have a great day. I look forward to your input.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Strange Presidential Coincidences

I'm over at Fictionistas today discussing, well, strange presidential coincidences.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Day Off!

I'm taking the day off. You should too. ;o)

Saturday, February 13, 2010


After much wrestling, Scooter won the cube, only to realize it didn't come in his size.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Writer Basics: Conflict

So for the last two days we've talked about the Goal and Motivation part of GMC. Today we pull it all together with Conflict.

Conflict can be described as "If she wins, he loses. If he wins, she loses." Conflict and plot are closely tied together. And if you add in an element of time, you can really ramp things up.

Let's say our hero, who is on his way to becoming the best firefighter in his unit, and our heroine, who is working on uncovering corruption in the fire department, have begun to fall in love.

Now let's amp things up. Our hero suspects that the heroine's suspicions are well-founded, but helping her uncover this corrupt will destroy his career. And if our heroine writes her expose, the hero will be lumped in with the other guilty firefighters, tarnishing his good reputation and failing to win his father's respect. If the heroine doesn't write her story, she'll be relegated to soft news and never feel like she measure up to her sister's success.

Now, what if the heroine's position at the paper is provisional? What if she only has a month to bring in a great story or lose her job? See how the time element can really take things to the next level?

What's the conflict in your story? Can you find a way to increase it?

I hope this discussion on GMC has been helpful! Any questions? Comments?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Writer Basics: Motivation

Yesterday we talked about the Goals part of GMC. Today we're going to discuss Motivation.

What is Motivation?
Motivation = Why these goals are so important.

For our firefighter hero, becoming the best firefighter is important because he wants to prove his disparaging father wrong. He wants his father's respect. He wants his father to see him as a man and a peer, not a rebel kid with a dinged up past.

For a man, a father's respect can be a great motivator. I'm sure you can think of someone you know with a less than great relationship with their father. How does it color their decisions? Can you think of something they've done because of that relationship? That's motivation.

What about our heroine? Her desire to uncover corruption in the local fire department is spurred on by her goal of becoming a field reporter, not just the obits writer. But let's dig deeper into her motivation. Why does she want this? Maybe she's been compared to her sister all her life and her sister is happily married, with 2.5 kids, a great husband and a white picket fence. Our heroine can't compete with that because she's never had a successful relationship, but she can become a success in the business world. Making a name for herself with the corrupt story would certainly get her some time in the spotlight, wouldn't it?

What motivates your characters? Tomorrow, conflict!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Writer Basics: Goal

If you've never heard the acronym GMC, today is your lucky day. GMC or Goal Motivation Conflict is the foundation of any great story. Without it, your story will languish, rambling on until the reader passes out from sheer boredom. Trust me. You need GMC.

Let's start with Goal. What is it? How does it relate to your story?

GMC is character-focused and the Goal is what your character wants. It's what drives them, gets them out of bed, forms the decisions they make, colors their world. If your hero's goal is to become the best firefighter in his unit, then he's going to focus on doing everything he can to achieve that. But let's go deeper. Becoming the best firefighter is an external goal. Why does he want that? The answer is his internal goal. Let's say in this case, it's to impress his father who never thought our hero would amount to anything.

Do you see how those goals will drive our hero? What about our heroine? What are her goals? Remember now, we want them to work in some way (and by work, I mean provide conflict) with what the hero's goals are for the best possible storyline.

Let's say our heroine's goal is to uncover corruption in the local fire department. Why? Because she's the newest reporter at the town's newspaper stuck on obituaries when she really wants to do the hard stories. Now we have instant conflict. Especially when the hero and heroine begin to fall for each other.

Do you see how important goals are? Tomorrow we'll talk motivation. What are the goals of your hero and heroine? How do they work together? How do they create conflict?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

When I had braces...

Did you have braces? Come on over to the Fictionistas and talk about them with me! I'm also sharing a site that looks back on those days and what we were like then.

Monday, February 08, 2010

The only jeans a writer will ever need!

You may not believe this, but the perfect jeans have just been invented. Perfect for writers, that is.

Check out PAJAMA JEANS! Are they jeans? Are they pajamas? YES!

Wow. The very idea is kinda scary. I mean, I barely put street clothes on now. These could ruin me. Good thing they don't come in tall.

What do you think? Would you wear them?

Saturday, February 06, 2010


Reason #45882 that I'm not getting any work done: There's a cat on my mouse.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Valentine's Day Free Read!

My free read from Samhain is now available for download, so go grab yourself a copy here!

And if you want to share this freebie by mentioning it on your blog or tweeting about it, go right ahead. After all, it's free. ;o)

I'd love to hear back from you if you do. Thanks and happy Friday, y'all!

Thursday, February 04, 2010


Some of you may recall that a while back I said I was going on Nutrisystem? Well, as of today I am down 16 pounds. Not bad!!! I plan to keep going until people think I'm suffering from some mysterious wasting disease. (Not really. Mostly.)

I think I'll go have a milkshake to celebrate. Kidding! I wish I didn't live 5 minutes from Steak-n-Shake. That place should be illegal.

Are you dieting? Working out? How's it going?

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


Why do unpublished writers worry so much about things that don't matter? If you haven't written a book yet, designing a book mark is sort of pointless. If you haven't finished a book, but you have eleven on again/off again projects, who cares what your pen name is?

I understand the excitement of that new idea, the one that takes over your brain and woos you with whispers of greatness, but if you let every new idea take you away from the book you're currently writing, you're never going to get anywhere. The key is finishing. Even if the book sucks. Finish it anyway. Push through, get to the end, then set it aside. I guarantee you'll have learned something. I've gotten better with every book I've written. You will too. That's just how it works.

Focus on the now, not what could be. Write the book. That's how you get published.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The groundhog hates you

Find out why here.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Are you going?

Registration opens today for RWA National Conference in Nashville. Are you going? I am. Let's face it, it would be as much fun if I didn't. Hah!

This year, I might even be doing a few workshops! As in giving them, not attending. I can't wait to find out if the ones I'm on got picked.

So, have you been before? Are you going this year? Chime in!