Love It When a Story Comes Together

It’s dark and early this fine day, and yes, instead of sleeping, I’m up before the birds writing. Many times as a writer, I become frustrated with a story, and although I wouldn’t necessarily think of it as writer’s block, I guess in a way it is.

I’m involved in an upcoming anthology, and the due date is looming. The parameters around the story are a bit more defined than I’m used to, and, for some reason, I just couldn’t wrap my mind around the concept. I struggled and struggled, putting it off until I knew I just had to sit down and start writing. Some words on the page are better than nothing. So, I wrote a short synopsis to help get me started. This is often how I begin a book. I write what I will put on the back cover first. This often stimulates ideas and helps me plot out the rest of the story.

Nope…that didn’t work here. It wasn’t the genre. I’m a multi-genre author and believe in my own heart that I can write anything given enough time and research, but for some reason this concept was eluding me. I’m not one to write within parameters. I never liked to follow a specific formula for a genre–okay I’m a rogue, what can I say?–so I suppose my brain was just refusing to cooperate. But this anthology means a lot to me, and I didn’t want to let my fellow authors down so I pressed on.

I often spin tales while I’m walking around the 72 acre lake in our subdivision, while I clean house (my absolutely least favorite chore), driving from place to place, or even in the line at the grocery store. My mind is always working. But alas, nothing for this particular tale.

Finally, I realized what was wrong. I was working too hard. I had a premise, I’d written the first 800 words, but had no middle or end. I was forcing the story. So…I gave up. I went to bed last night with the idea floating in my mind, just the briefest of thoughts, and fell asleep. Guess what? Around 4 am this morning, my eyes popped open and the entire story played out in my head. From beginning to end. The ENTIRE THING!

Now to those of you who aren’t writers and happen to stumble upon my blog, I’m not insane. This really isn’t that uncommon for us. We live with our characters and storylines rattling around in our minds all the time. Very often they sneak up on us and announce their presence.  But my point in all of this rambling is to tell you from one writer to another….Relax.

The more you push and panic, the more frozen your brain came become. As in most things you do, taking a step back, breathing a deep breath, or, in my case, sleeping, allows the mind to gather its wits and refocus. So, fellow writers, when you find yourself in a similar position, in  the words of Elsa of Disney’s animated Frozen…Let it Go! Let the idea float in your mind as your drift off to dreamland and perhaps the same thing can happen to you. I just Love It When a Story Comes Together.

What do you do to shake a story loose?

Look for my renegade, troublemaker of a story, Of My Blood, coming soon.

OF MY BLOOD 2

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Great Contest You Don’t Want to Miss

Hey Folks,

If you’re a writer, you want to check out this contest over at Dan Alatorre’s blog. My company Select-O-Grafix, LLC is sponsoring one of the main prizes.

Check it out Here

Good Luck!

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Release Day!! Stoking the Flames is LIVE!

I’m so happy and excited to be a part of this boxed set. It challenged me to write a different kind of shifter story. And to make my shifter a heroine instead of a hero was also a new twist on this type of book for me. I fell in love with Grace in another story I wrote many years ago and to bring this back to life was a lot of fun.

The 12 other stories are all different and equally as entertaining. I hope you meet some new authors on your journey through this world of fantasy.

Authors love reviews, so if you read it, please let us know what you think, even if it’s only a sentence or two.

As always, a BIG THANK YOU to my readers. Without you I couldn’t do what I love!

To buy your copy, here are the links:

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NAQ7IJR
AMAZON UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01NAQ7IJR
AMAZON CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01NAQ7IJR
AMAZON AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01NAQ7IJR
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/…/stoking-the-flames-13-tales-of-drago…
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1192874425
B&N: http://bit.ly/2ibLm94

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Tease from a Dragon – Excerpt From Soul Fire – Releases Tomorrow

Dragon Lovers Unite! Tomorrow is the big day. Stoking the Flames releases with 13 dragon shifter stories fromBest Selling authors. As a tease, here’s part of Chapter One from my story Soul Fire.

SOUL FIRE2.jpg

How could she love a man who made her so furious? Because of his undying devotion, Grace had to murder thousands of innocent people. Her heart seized at the mere thought of what the Dark Witch’s curse held over her. When the witch enacted the bond of the Soul Fire Stone, Grace had no choice but to obey.

She rose higher in the sky, pressing down on the current with her strong wings. She’d need the height to swoop down on the village and release her rain of fire. She swiped at the air with her clawed feet, climbing higher with each stroke. If only she could figure out a way to fight the burning desire to destroy everything in her path each time the witch called upon her. She tried it once, and the pain nearly dropped her out of the sky. Some days, dying seemed a viable escape. Just refuse the Soul Fire’s call and let the agony consume her. It couldn’t hurt any worse than being forced to kill innocents. Only one thing kept her from surrendering…. Hope. Hope the infuriating man she loved would find a way to break the curse. But every time he got close, the witch summoned her dragon to destroy whichever town in which he sought information to the witch’s whereabouts.

I’m that dragon. I’m the one forced to expel my fiery breath upon all those who have no idea what danger is about to befall them. I’ve warned Gabriel time and time again. Search for the witch, but do not ask for information in town. He has the God-given talent to find her by other means. Why doesn’t he use it? He’s a hunter at heart, and I’m his prey. But this is inexcusable.

The call of the witch’s wrath flowed over her in a red-hot wave.

Do it! the witch’s voice commanded her.

Grace couldn’t resist. The burn rose in her breast as she banked for the turn. She prayed her love had moved on.

Want to Pre-Order?

Click Here

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Using Simple Memories To Bring Characters To Life

A funny thing happened while making my bed this morning. As I made a precise hospital corner, I remembered where I learned to secure a sheet in such a manner…Summer camp. Inspections were performed, and I remember taking pride in winning an award for the neatest bed. I think of those summer camp days whenever I change the sheets. Warm sunny days, playing kickball with new friends, craft time, backwards day, all of it comes back and makes me smile.

Isn’t it odd the way simple acts can trigger such fond memories. On the flip side some simple acts trigger some not so fond memories. Like finding a HUGE spider beneath a bathroom rug. *shivers*

What the heck does this have to with writing characters? Every character I write has a little bit of me in them. Some aspect of my personality or someone I know is included in my character’s profile. Having one of my female characters have this particular memory of being taught how to make a hospital corner with a sheet would be a great way to make her more real to my readers. She can be a super bad a** heroine staying in a hotel room cleaning her Glock, and she spots a hospital corner on the bed. For a brief moment she’s transported to a happier time in her life when things were far less stressful, and she wasn’t about to take the life of a super villain. It might also remind her of the reason she’s in her present situation to begin with. Perhaps she’s avenging the death of a sister who attended camp with her so many years ago.

Things don’t have to be that dramatic. It works well for any plot in any genre. Giving your characters memories, flaws, quirks, even something as small as a scar can add a level of depth that you wouldn’t get otherwise. Draw from your own experiences in life and figure out a way to weave that into your character’s personality. Taking the time to develop your characters to that level will enhance both the writing and the reading experience of the story.

Have fun with it. Dig deep and explore some of your own experiences and how they could enhance your characters.

Let me know what you come up with.

 

Posted in Where Story Ideas Come From, Writing Tips | 5 Comments

Learning From the Pros

Kelly and James Patterson

Recently, I was blessed enough to attend an author event at the University of Florida and the guest of honor was one of my favorite authors. I don’t go all “fan girl” too often, but that night I did. It was such and honor to meet James Patterson and listen to him be interviewed by another great writer, Michael Connelly.

Michael Connelly

I learned some things I’d like to share. Most of these ideas are things most writers know and put into practice, but somehow hearing it from a man who has had 82 #1 best sellers made it seem more real to me.

  1. Outlining is important. It keeps you on track and prevents you from wasting valuable time writing yourself into a corner.
  2. Write EVERY DAY!
  3. James and I share the philosophy that if you write it, and make it interesting and relevant enough, kids will read it. We are all about encouraging young people to read.
  4. Keep track of all your ideas somewhere close and visit them frequently – you never know when something will spring forth and be that prize winning novel you’ve always dreamed about
  5. You can be successful as a multi-genre author
  6. Write at least three drafts before calling it done – Michael Connelly even does more than three on some of his books
  7. Readers have different opinions and you can’t please them all, but if you learn and develop your craft well enough to write a good story, you’ll please a lot of them
  8. Never stop learning about the craft of writing – set aside time to take a course, research a writing concept, read a book on writing – anything to continue to grow as a writer
  9. Try something new. Stretch your writing muscle in a different direction, through a new genre or character perspective
  10. Authors need to know their audience and market to them – With James Patterson’s background in advertising, I found this very valuable. Learn the characteristics, demographics, likes and dislikes of the readers that read a particular genre

I could go on, but I think ten tips is enough for today. I’m still mulling over a lot of the things I learned. A special thank you to my son for inviting me on this incredible journey. Check this one off the bucket list!

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Like Dragons? Stoking the Flames

It’s finally here! I’ve been working on this project for a while but couldn’t say anything about it until now! I’m in this fabulous boxed set with 12 other fabulous authors. We’ve put together a collection of 13 paranormal romances all about dragons! And some will surprise you. These aren’t your normal dragon shifter fodder.

It’s up for pre-order RIGHT NOW! I’m so excited.

Here’s the link.

Take a look at this FABULOUS Cover done by Linda Boulanger. Isn’t she fantastic?

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Be on the look out for a lot of giveaways and fun activities to go along with this wonderful release.

Here’s the Facebook Page so you can keep up with all of it.

ARCs will be available soon so if you’re interested in reviewing it just send me a message on FB or through this website

Kelly’s FB Page

Can’t wait for actual release day! You’re gonna love this collection.

 

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