So You Want To Diversify

~ By Meka James So, if you read my title and thought this would be some odd post on financial portfolios you would be mistaken. First you do NOT want me giving financial advice. LOL Numbers seriously make my head hurt. Secondly, this is a writing blog, so you probably know where this is heading. Have you ever thought about adding some diversity to your writing, but then didn’t because you were “scared to get it wrong?” You wouldn’t be the first person. I’ve had writer friends close to me say the exact same thing, and my general thought...

How Do I CAST My Story?

~ By Jeff Salter This post originally appeared here. First of all, let me say that it’s not particularly easy for me to delve into the “how” and “why” of what or who I write. Not that I’m trying to keep big secrets here… more like I just don’t think about the process all that much. Authors come in two basic packages — with some (like me) falling somewhere in between. The plotters are those who diligently outline everything, build background files on the major characters, sketch out the entire plotline (including supplemental plot threads), determine the arcs of...

Emergency Medical Service Characters in Fiction

~ Chelle Cordero Having spent almost 30-years in Emergency Medical Services myself (certified EMT, volunteer) and having all of my immediate family involved as well in both volunteer and paid EMS roles, I’ve learned what a unique and interesting life the career creates. I used the “job” for a few of my main characters: Julie (paramedic, Final Sin), Matt (paramedic and flight medic, Final Sin and Hyphema), and an un-named paramedic (The Dead Guy in the Park, a short story in Touch of Love). Other books describe EMS responses in various scenes. Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), and Paramedics respond to...

Celebrating Seasoned Romance – Why?

~ Nan Reinhardt Note: This post originally appeared here. I’m bugged. It seems that romance novels are the bailiwick of characters who are younger than 40. If 40 is the new 30 and 50 is the new 40, then how come romance after 50 isn’t sexy anymore? People seem to enjoy each others bodies on websites similar fuckedtube regardless of age. Well, folks, I’ve got big news–sexy is timeless. Excuse me, but two words, Pierce Brosnan. Sean Connery? Jeff Bridges? Denzel Washington, anyone? Richard Gere? My husband? And as far as sexy women are concerned–want to talk about Susan...

About Characterization. . .

~ By Mellanie Szereto I love stories with three-dimensional characters, both main and secondary. They draw me into the story, and I’m invested in their journeys. What makes a fully developed character? Characterization. Yes, the reader should have a general idea of the character’s physical traits, but I don’t necessarily mean a specific height, weight, eye color, and hair color rundown. Unless he/she is being described for a police report, these characteristics should be worked in without making the description obvious. Just as important as what the character looks like is how her life experience has influenced who she is,...

Readers, Writers and Protagonists Setting Healthy Boundaries

Warning: This post makes references to violence and sexual assault. If you’d rather skip this post, we completely understand.  Note: Much of what I share in this post I’ve learned from taking empowerment self-defense and martial arts classes at an organization called El HaLev. Learn more by reading or watching “Beauty Bites Beast” by Ellen Snortland. ~ By Melina Kantor It seems to happen more often than not. I’m getting into a book, grateful for some much needed down time, and then. . . The hero shows up unexpectedly and unwanted someplace where the heroine feels safe. Maybe it’s her...

Beyond the Typical Contemporary Character Occupations

~ By Claire Boston The suggested topic for this blog was common contemporary vocations; doctors/nurses, military, business mogul/secretary, cowboy and I have to admit when I saw the list I groaned. It’s not that I don’t enjoy a good romance with those occupations, but I do get a little tired of them. The romances that really excite me are those that step away from what’s normal or common. I love learning little things about other people’s lives and jobs when I’m reading. One romance that sticks clearly in my head is Nora Roberts’ Chasing Fire about the fire fighters who...

Turning A Villain Into A Hero: Alan Rickman

~ By Sarah Vance-Tompkins I fell in love with Alan Rickman in Truly, Madly, Deeply, a sweet indie movie about finding closure after the loss of a love. I had no idea how good he was at being bad until I saw him as Hans Gruber in Die Hard. Dressed in a Saville Row suit, with a vaguely European accent, he bursts onto the screen, opposite some delicious man candy in the form of Bruce Willis and Alexander Godunov, and dares you to look away. Every time I watch Die Hard, I am reminded once again, why Hans Gruber is...

How I Prepare to Write Fast — Character and Plot [REPOST]

~ By Jade Chandler So all of us have different styles of writing, and I am naturally a quicker writer, words flow, sometimes faster than my 60wpm fingers can type. Other times, not so much. So this year I added to my prep work before typing my first sentence. I hope you find something you can use among the tools I’ve found that help me best. So I write romance, steamy to erotic usually, and I believe character rules in romance, not that I ignore plot. So first I get to know my characters. I use up to three tools,...

Romancing the Jerk

~ By Jane Peden Writing a hero readers will fall in love with is always challenging – but never more so than in category romance.  Especially if you are writing about presumptuous arrogant billionaires whose cold hearts and rash judgments are in dire need of redeeming.  You know the type.  The CEO who seduces his secretary, then fires her when she’s falsely accused of being a corporate spy.  The heir to the throne who shows up on his discarded girlfriend’s doorstep and demands that she leave her job and her country behind and go with him to a distant land,...

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