~ 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, two parents, uncles or aunts, a family member somehow has instilled family values pertaining to the character's structure, function, roles, beliefs, attitudes, and ideals. They can be good or bad, we decide. We choose one for our characters and create a world for them to live in. We don’t always show the details and never early in the book. But we need a foundation for shaping our characters. Whether Medieval, Victorian, Regency, Civil War or current day, readers become involved with our character’s family background. Maybe an incident from a century ago is an important fact. Whether tragic or happy, family life is critical. The deeper we go, the more we create a world for our characters. As with any good story, research, plotting, and planning is a major part of writing a book. All of these are an important part of creating our character. Readers love a hero or heroine who has some sort of tragedy, struggle or sacrifice. Hints weaved throughout the chapters, the more elusive they are given, entices the reader. The reader becomes involved and needs to know the mystery. The more challenging the problem, the more traumatic the incident, draws the reader deeper into our story, creating emotional ties with the characters. My latest book is all about family. Not only did I become involved in this heart-wrenching saga, but my readers claimed they needed a box of tissues. As authors, something touches each of us, drives us, pushes us to write that story. I’ve found that developing a character with strong family ties hooks the reader and involves them deeper in any book. Author of sizzling romance, Samanthya Wyatt currently has books published in contemporary and historical romance. She married a military man, traveled and made her home across the US and abroad, and now lives in the Shenandoah Valley. She loves the beach, her favorite color is blue, has a weakness for vanilla ice cream, and a book is a constant companion.
Dear Readers, It’s the last Sunday of the month, which means that it’s time for one of our chapter PAN members (PAN stands for Published Authors Network, a professional designation within RWA open to members who reach a certain level of sales) to visit the blog to share some of their wisdom and expertise. This month, Samanthya Wyatt is here to inspire us with some thoughts on goal, motivation and conflict, otherwise known as GMC. Take it away, Samanthya!
Goal, Motivation & Conflict~ By Samanthya Wyatt I must admit, when I started writing I had no idea what GMC meant. So I took a workshop and learned that if you want to write a story and you want to be published, your story must have GMC or you’re sunk. GMC brings your characters to life, makes them real, and moves the story forward. The more you know your characters, the more memorable they become. My goal has always been to bring the reader into the story and get them involved with the characters. GMC is the key. Each major character has their own goal, their own motivation, and usually resolving a conflict is what brings the hero and heroine to a satisfying conclusion. What are these three things?
- Goal is your character’s call to adventure. What the character wants. What most characters will do anything to get. Did you know there are internal and external goals?
- Motivation will drive the hero or heroine to achieve their goal. Why are they so desperate? Why do they want what they cannot have? The more you know about your character’s motivation, the deeper you can relate that into your story.
- Conflict will make the goal seem impossible. What keeps the characters from obtaining their goal.
~ By Samanthya Wyatt Before ‘series’ became popular, I remember reading a few romance books that mentioned a familiar character, or was related to a character in another book. Catherine Coulter and Janelle Taylor were two of my favorite authors who wrote books where the heroes were friends, or brothers—some sort of relation mentioned in their next book. Whether or not they were books of a series, I loved the idea of a connection. I remember how delighted I was when a person was introduced, “Oh yeah, I remember him” or “Cool this is his brother”, etc. Since I enjoyed those so much, I thought it would be nice to write a series of books where my characters had some sort of relationship with characters in the next book. Each book containing a hero/heroine with his or her own love story. Let’s take a minute to talk about “Series”. Some works in a series can stand alone—they can be read in any order, but if you’re like me, I want to read them in the order written. If I happen to pick up one in the middle, I’ll go find the others and then read them in the correct order. I have a friend who is anal about this. If an author has written several books in a series, she has to have them all before she reads the first one. LOL. And she’s gotten me doing the same thing. Before I get ahead of myself, a stand alone book is basically one that gives the full story—a beginning and an end. Within each book, references are made to characters in the other books of the series, or to past events. Some books involve a family, a group of brothers, or a group of friends. Each book in the series is of one individual of that group. Some of these do not necessarily need to be read in a particular order, however some are more satisfying if they are. Then there are the series where one set of characters story is spread throughout several books. Their characters go through drastic changes, make references to past events spreading over a long period of time. The story begins in book one is continued in several following books, where then end of the story is in the last book of the series. These books must be read in order to learn the complete story. My own preference is for any book in a series to have an ending, even if it is not the happily ever after ending we want. Each book should be enjoyable in its own right with a beginning and an end. Satisfying or not, happy or not, the ending should be the end of a book. I must admit my pet peeve is when I become involved in a book only to find at the last page a hook ending or no ending where I must purchase the next book in the series to continue the story. At the end of the second book, there may even be another. The end of the story is in the last book of the series? If I want to buy three books, I will gladly. But to be surprised at the end of any book that I need to purchase another book —very annoying. I feel cheated. Although I recently read a romance paced over three books that was fantastic. Hero and heroine met in book one, split, reunited in book two, split, happily ever after ending in book three. I can’t express enough that when ‘series’ are involved, advertise if the book has a beginning or an end or if another purchase is required to continue the story—and how many! This prevents a reader from becoming frustrated at the end of a book that is to be continued . . . As for my own books, I hope the reader will like my stories enough to make the decision of purchasing another book because they enjoyed it. My characters are related by blood or friendship. Each of my books have a beginning and a romantically satisfying end for my characters happily ever after. Nothing left hanging. You might enjoy them more if purchased in the order written, but I have a fan who read the second before the first book in the One and Only Series. She was very pleased with her purchases. Each book in the One and Only Series contains a love story with its own hero and heroine. In the first book of my historical series, “The Right One”, Katherine’s brother is missing. In her desperate search to find him, she is kidnapped and finds the right man for her. Book two, The True One, is Stephen’s story—why he was gone for two years, what happened to him, and a love story all his own. Is there a book three? Of course. The third book in the series, The Only One, is about Giles. He was introduced in the first book as Morgan’s best friend—the duke. In the second book, he is asked to rescue Kat’s brother, Stephen. If you like contemporary, The Firemen of Station 8 is a work in progress. Each book features one on the team of firemen. You can bet each story will have a beginning and an end. Series? Love them. But remember, a series is a sequence of books organized in different ways. So, do you expect THE END at the end of every book you read? Or do you like a book ending with a hook? Definitely a reader’s personal preference. Samanthya lives with her husband in the Shenandoah Valley. She left her accounting career and married a military man traveling and making her home in the United States and abroad. She relishes the challenge of penning a story with strong characters, a bit of humor, and active scenes. She enjoys creating new characters and bringing them together in a romantic tale. It took years of writing, joining RWA, joining chapters, entering contests, submissions & rejections which created the author she is today. By keeping her spirit and turning criticism into drive she has achieved her career as a published romance author in historical and contemporary romance. You can find Samanthya Wyatt : www.samanthyawyatt.com, facebook, goodreads, Soul Mate Publishing, and Night Owl Reviews. Google for blog posts and review sites.
Today we continue to get to know our chapter members. Please welcome Samanthya Wyatt! Thanks for stopping by, Samanthya. Creating characters and bringing two people together in a romantic tale gives me great pleasure. The more I write, the more I become involved with my characters, and they seem to take a life of their own. All my characters are fictitious. Although, I have taken real life experiences to achieve the emotion for my heroes and heroines. I enjoy penning a story with strong characters, a bit of humor, and active scenes. Sometimes, I have so many ideas I can’t get them on paper fast enough. I’ve started a hunky fireman series, The firemen of Station Eight. Can’t wait to get those published. Life is an interesting journey. We never know what is in store for us. Like any other child I had dreams—be a singer, be a movie star—but the one thing that seemed to come natural was write. A few years ago I decided to pursue writing seriously. I pulled my story out of the closet and finished my historical, The Right One, the first of a trilogy in the One and Only Series. See how it all began with Morgan’s Story. Katherine’s brother is missing and she will do anything to find him. Book 2, “The True One” is about Kat’s brother, Stephen. Why he was gone for two years, what happened to him, and a love story all his own. “Something More” happened one day while I was playing around to get my mind off edits of my first historical. I was in a fun mood and wrote a scene with two women bantering back and forth on a cruise ship. The words seemed to flow and I had a ball. I typed and laughed. Afterwards, I really felt good. So I ended up writing my first contemporary. Modern day women have more freedom, and my wit seems to come out more with contemporary. It’s been a whirlwind, that’s for sure. I don’t need to tell any writer how difficult it is to find time to put words to paper, let alone create them in your mind. I’ve spent a lot of late night hours on the weekends. My morning usually starts with a cup of Java. If I’m lucky, hubby gets up first and brings me a cup of coffee in bed. Mmmm. What a way to greet the day! Then I usually get on facebook. I like to tell everyone Hello, have a great day or paste a hunky picture. For December I posted a hunk (either in or out of a Santa suit) each day counting down the days till Christmas. Women got a kick out of that. And I couldn’t leave out the men, so I did a few eye candy shots for the guys. My day is not complete without a kiss from my hubby goodnight. I love fun. My hubby is so silly. And his playfulness has rubbed off on me. Anything can come out of my mouth sometimes, just for fun. I’ll say things that don’t make sense, have people raising their eyebrows, or just busting out with laughter. And, at my age I still love rollercoasters. Where the heck is the top of this thing? I’m just enjoying life. I invite you to lay the worries of the world off your shoulders and get lost in the pages of a romance, where you embark on a journey with the hero and heroine, become involved in a dream, plunge into a world of fantasy, live an adventure your heart can share.
Samanthya Wyatt loves a good romance story. She left her accounting career, married a military man traveling and raising her children in the United States and abroad, and now lives in the Shenandoah Valley. Her dream of being published came true with Soul Mate Publishing. She writes contemporary and historical romance, and is currently working on a sequel in the One and Only Series. She enjoys penning a story with strong characters, a bit of humor, and active scenes.
~ By Samanthya Wyatt I’ve seen several authors offer tips on Goal-Motivation-Conflict, Editing, Research, Interviewing Characters, and their journey to being published. Authors sharing information is one of the greatest gifts I’ve received. So today I’d like to share a few things I hope would be beneficial to any author who wants to be the best they can be. First of all, if you are not already a member of RWA, join! So much information is available. With the support of RWA behind you, you have a great chance of accomplishing your dream. RWA opens many doors for an author. From there you can join chapter groups, groups in one genre, critique groups, and other groups where members offer support. There is nothing like shared information between members and you make so many friends. Take as many workshops as you can. In today’s world, you need to be up to speed on what an editor wants and sharpen your skills so you can give it to them. Whether it’s GMC, POV, edits, plot, story building—you can never learn too much and you may be surprised at how much you will benefit. Classmates share ideas, ask questions maybe you never thought of. I even took a website design class and created my own website. www.samanthyawyatt.com So sign up. Believe me, you’ll be glad you did. Don’t be afraid to enter contests. It took years of putting words on paper, and having the courage to enter a contest. Don’t enter to win. Enter to learn. Feedback is important and you need to look at it as constructive and not insulting. You don’t have to like or agree with the judges, but you should learn from them. Turn criticism into drive. And most important—Don’t give up! Don’t expect success overnight. It is a long, hard process. If you are determined, keep trying. Judges’ comments made me more determined and work harder. In 2013 I was a finalist in the Golden Rose Contest. The Right One went on to be awarded Second Place. I did a pitch session with SAVVY Authors and one of the editors with Soul Mate Publishing asked for a full. Another editor asked for a full of my contemporary Something More. Every one of these things created the author I am today. I am a RWA member, I’ve joined four chapters via internet, and I’m a member of Savvy Authors. By keeping my spirit and turning criticism into drive, I am proud to join the list of published authors. Samanthya Wyatt loves a good romance story. She left her accounting career, married a military man traveling and raising her children in the United States and abroad, and now lives in the Shenandoah Valley. Her dream of being published came true with Soul Mate Publishing. She writes contemporary and historical romance, and is currently working on a sequel in the One and Only Series. She enjoys penning a story with strong characters, a bit of humor, and active scenes.