GMC, Wonder Woman, and Unlocking Your NaNoWriMo Story

Wow, okay. So NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) begins exactly a week from today. Have you figured out your plot? Eh, don’t worry, neither have I. Besides, as they say, “no plot, no problem.” Right? NaNo is the time to write with “literary abandon,” forget the rules, and just write. Right? Well. . . The Problem Personally, I can’t do that. I can not handle not knowing what I’m going to write, and even though I’ve been successfully NaNo’ing since 2007, I have yet to learn how to let loose and “just write.” And if try to do so without...

Family

~ By Samanthya Wyatt Our stories cover a wide range of time periods, but the one thing profoundly rooted in each is family—whether it is a large family or no family members at all. The heart of our stories come from deep emotion concerning family ties. This can be the loss of a family member, a substance abusive mother or father, even caring for a sibling. Some sort of tragedy or desertion of a family member shapes the characters in our books. A family is defined as a social unit consisting of parents and the children they raise. On parent,...

Setting the Scene… Which Suddenly CHANGES

~ By Jeff Salter Sometimes when we’re writing and have a particular scene going, we realize that all kinds of things could happen AFTER that initial scene set-up. ~             The following actually occurred, in early July, four years ago. Sometimes you see things that make you wish you hadn’t. My wife and I were eating supper at a local spot we like. Seated next to the windows, we couldn’t help but notice two guys approaching from a newly-parked vehicle.             “His barn door is open,” I said… with the casual observation skills of an experienced writer. “Why’d you...

Storytelling

~ By Susan Meier Note: This post originally appeared here.  Anybody can write a book. All you’ve got to do is think up a plot, give your characters some arcs, divide it into scenes and get it into your computer, and eventually onto paper. But how many people do you know who really know how to tell a story? In my younger days, I had a friend who was a joke teller. It didn’t matter where we were, fifteen minutes into any party or wedding or even funeral, my friend would have a crowd around her. Laughter would spill out...

Does A Happily Ever After Require Wedding Bells? [REPOST]

~ By Kristina Mathews With another celebrity marriage down the tubes, I can’t help but wonder if marriage is even necessary—in books and in real life. I know there are many couples who are perfectly happy just living together. Many couples have an unintentional pregnancy and don’t even consider marriage before the baby comes, sometimes not even after. And some couples decide to start a family together without the intention to ever marry. Until recently, some couples weren’t allowed to marry at all. And then there are the people who marry several times. Without getting too preachy, I’ll share my...

On Story – A Chapter Recap

“Great stories happen to those who can tell them.”  ~ Ira Glass Happy Friday, everyone! We’re genre writers, which means that the number one thing our readers expect when they pick up one of our books is a great story. Yes, writing exciting settings and using beautiful language is more than the icing on the cake. But a good romance is all about the story. Here is what some of our chapter members have to say on the topic. Leave a comment and give us your thoughts! Three-Act Structure Made Easy ☺ ~ By Susan Meier Hi, I’m Susan Meier,...

Three-Act Structure Made Easy ☺

~ By Susan Meier Hi, I’m Susan Meier, author of over sixty books. I teach online workshops and also at RWA chapter conferences. At one point, I did a Monday Morning blog on the art and craft of writing. This is a blog from that series. What is three-act structure? Simply put, three-act structure is the beginning, middle and end of your story. (BTW, don’t get too complicated with how you think about things and they’ll be a lot easier to understand!) But the three acts aren’t even. The first act is like a setup that ends with a decision...

Tell Me A Story [REPOST]

~ By Addison James “Tell me a story.” My Vice President said after we spent an hour with a member of the Board of Directors, scrutinizing nearly every digit in a ten page slide deck. Those digits were the result of a very large spreadsheet which I had created which showed  our results for last fiscal year, business entity by business entity, and how we expected to perform next year. The numbers had our expectations for our numerous product lines, the ones that we expected to grow and the ones that were our cash cows. Also, the expectations of industries,...

Does A Happily Ever After Require Wedding Bells?

~ By Kristina Mathews With another celebrity marriage down the tubes, I can’t help but wonder if marriage is even necessary—in books and in real life. I know there are many couples who are perfectly happy just living together. Many couples have an unintentional pregnancy and don’t even consider marriage before the baby comes, sometimes not even after. And some couples decide to start a family together without the intention to ever marry. Until recently, some couples weren’t allowed to marry at all. And then there are the people who marry several times. Without getting too preachy, I’ll share...

What helps me “discover” my story? Do I make playlists? Collages?

~ By Sloane B. Collins What helps me “discover” my story? Do I make playlists? Collages? The answer to those questions is YES, all of the above.  I struggled for years to finish stories without growing bored from plotting every bit of the books.  Until a couple of years ago I decided to let go and just write. I started out with a posterboard of pictures that reminded me of a holiday romance I was writing.  I’d pull it out when it was time to write, but eventually I needed more pictures and it was just too bulky, and...

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