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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Organization for the Beginning Writer by Fran Shaff

Many times when I’m elbow deep in writing a first draft I forget simple things about my characters like the cut of his hair or the color of her eyes.  Sometimes I even forget a main character's name!  Shame on me. Maybe if I worked on only one book at a time…but I don’t.

Writing a book is a complicated process.  Whether she is writing a story, book, or screenplay, here is some advice a beginning author may find helpful.
When fleshing out character traits, it’s a good idea to put the names of all characters and their physical characteristics on individual note cards.  If the author forgets the eye color of the troll in chapter two when he reappears in chapter five, all he needs to do to remember is refer to his note card.

The same goes for settings.  If a writer uses a note card for each room, vehicle, garden, etc. he describes, he’ll easily be able to recall the color of the sofa his hero was sitting on in chapter one when he returns to sit on it in chapter ten.

Using a storyboard or writing a brief description of each scene and/or chapter in a notebook or on note cards helps the author remember how certain techniques were used or in what order events transpired. If a writer forgets whether or not he’d foreshadowed a chapter fifteen event in chapter four, he can refer to his notes or the storyboard to be sure he’d written his story as he’d intended.  It saves time while he’s in the throes of creation.

If proper preparation and note taking make a writer’s job easier when she’s writing one book, imagine how helpful note cards, storyboards, etc are when she decides to write a sequel or a series.  

One more tip about writer organization: keep those note cards and that storyboard handy.  They only help if a writer has ready access to them.
Fran Shaff is the author of more than a dozen contemporary and historical romances and young people’s books.  Get a free download of her acclaimed historical romanceChange of Heart at:  www.smashwords.com/books/view/8911 Visit her web page at:  http://sites.google.com/site/fshaff   She has two contemporary romances released May, 2010, Kelly and the Candidate and Stolen Son.

Stolen Son
By Fran Shaff
Contemporary Romance
Romance Reader at Heart Top Pick Award Winner
Paperback Edition, Create Space
ISBN:  9781438267821
E-book, Smashwords.com 
Available at Amazon.com, bn.comsmashwords.comkobo.com and other Internet locations 
For excerpts, reviews, buy links and more about Stolen Son, go to:  http://sites.google.com/site/franshaffsstolenson

BLURB:  For five years Ella Mason has mourned the kidnapping of her infant son. When Rafe Wallace enters her life, her dreary days begin to fill with sunshine. Hope, dreams, fantasy, love--emotions she’d never expected to find again become a part of her soul, thanks to Rafe’s tenderness and affection. But does he have an ulterior motive for establishing their relationship? And what does he have to do with her “Stolen Son?”

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Writing: Destiny or Desire? by Arlene Knowell

It is odd, the way life works out. It is as if things within a child’s life directly impact, if not define, the pathway of their future. As a little girl I always had thoughts in my head, stories if you will, and those thoughts became my friends. Having been an only child I spent a lot of time talking to the imaginary people I’d created within my mind. Those conversations however, weren’t with invisible people in my life as I carried on a normal day. 

In fact, my imagination carried me to a far away land, and usually into the presence of famous people. As a teenager my best friend and I attended separate schools and often wrote lengthy letters (stories) to share with each other about the football jocks or the guys in the local rock band. When I became an adult however, I realized that the stories were still there, but with greater detail. It was the death, of someone very special that helped me realize that those stories which had helped me escape loneliness as a child could do the same as an adult. With a pen in hand I drifted away to a land that my hero was still very much alive, and death could never take him away. As time progressed the need to “let go” of the pain and move forward had me migrating toward the creation of other heroes much like the one I’d lost. It was the beginning of the creation of the Alpha-males from my books. The men bigger than life, stronger than nails but with a soft spot that only one woman ever finds.

Obviously we are all made by the same pattern, yet are so very different in comparison. Through the years I’ve learned that it is impossible to please every reader out there. Inevitably, someone will read my books that simply do not like them. I sincerely thank those individuals for taking the time to read my work, but I cannot allow those opinions to alter my path in writing. I’ve identified my target groups, and those are the people I hope to please. Those people who see the world with many of the same views as I. Those people who are willing to explore the wild side of life, vicariously through my books. An editor once gave me some very valuable advice, “Never defend the reason you wrote what you wrote. If it is already in print you couldn’t change it, even if you wanted to.” If you don’t like strong willed women and Alpha-males then my writing style isn’t for you. I pride myself in my strength, and being totally honest I don’t know how to create a weak female character. Perhaps I don’t want to know.

Will there ever be a time when erotic romance readers don’t want Alpha-males? Well I’m no psychic, but I certainly hope not. I for one can’t imagine life without those characters. Be it a fireman, a karate instructor, or a lumberjack, the world needs Alpha-males.
As women continue to evolve, and become inherently stronger, we may become our own heroes. We may even become the heroes of men. Regardless of what the future holds however, I’m thankful for the release that creating Alpha-males has given me. Through my stories I’ve learned to let go of the past, and to share the love that was so full and vibrant in my own life. 

Title: Far From Innocent
Author Website
Buy Link
Genre: Erotica, Contemporary, Menage, M/F, M/M/F

Blurb: If Green Beret, Dex McKelvy, hadn’t ended their relationship, Rachel Kenyon would have never left town. She would have stayed with him, enjoying the hot lustful sex. But with a broken heart she made her way to start a new life and job in Hopkinsville, KY.

She never expected to meet Blake Linden, or to wake up with him in her bed. Blake was more than just a lover, he was a sexual god. He was protective, and it was no surprise that he’d sent the private detective hired by Dex packing back to Denver. It was a surprise however, that he and Dex knew each other. In fact, they shared a woman a decade ago. But once they shared Rachel, it was far too late to realize that they weren’t willing to share after all.