A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Office . . .


u530bde8ad9dec3.14818686_b

You may remember that I work from home. My office is a shared space in my daughter’s room where I have my desk set up.  When she’s home from college, the kitchen table becomes my desk. It’s not ideal by any means but you do what you gotta do!

The countdown has begun for the big move when the semester ends. My mental list is like the stack of continuous feed paper from a track fed dot matrix printer. Anyone remember those? They had the perforated feed strips on either side and connected end to end. You tore the strips off the sides and separated your papers. (Yes, I’m showing my age!)

Track feed paper

Track feed paper

We have definite dates approaching for Prom, baccalaureate, graduation, finals week, and graduation party. One dilemma was solved when we found out that the older daughter will be home for her younger sister’s high school graduation. This was a major relief as I was calculating in my head how I was going to drive the 2 hours to pick her up for the graduation and then get her back down there so she didn’t miss her finals.

 

{[X(C8H10N4O2)]/6Z}4 /[G(m1m2/r2)]∑

The amount of caffeine necessary divided by the hours of sleep I would have to miss to the 4th power, the sum divided by the gravitational pull and tidal state and the sigma of the effects of the moon phase. Or something like that. Ever notice how most of what we worry about and try to figure out in our heads is rarely a real issue?  

Yes, I obsess over little details like that.

I’m a mom – it’s what I do.

Anyway, after checking the calendar (DUH!) my worries were for naught as the timetable works out. I have the party to plan, car maintenance to schedule, home repairs to be completed before the big party date!

planner

I would be lost without my planner. Back in the day, I was never without my Dayrunner. Things are a little less hectic now but the planner is still an essential tool for me. Mine is a compact size that goes everywhere with me. Oh, I have apps on my phone but it’s not the same as my planner.

I get the dates marked on the planner with appropriate color coded highlighter and realize I need to schedule time between now and then to work on some things like party planning and home repairs. (It’s not any major repairs, mostly fresh paint and replace the flooring in our kitchen before we have guests over. Frankly, I’d be embarrassed to have guests over right now with broken tiles on the floor.)

As I look at the planner, I start getting that anxious feeling. The one that says “ you don’t have any time to write”. A few months ago I would have gone into a tailspin, had a cry-fest, wallowed in my excuses of why I couldn’t write – but not today. Today my voice of reason says “schedule time”. I’ll skip the rest of the self talk that went from whining, to the drill Sergeant barking, to the pouting, then finally the calm counselor asking why I never allow my own dreams to have any priority? (Thanks to Aedan, that voice has gotten louder.) The obvious solution then was to schedule the time right? I have my planer out, I’m already blocking off time to get things done why not allow myself a chance?

I’ve been quietly (mostly quietly, I have piped up a few times when I had a really good day here and there.) plugging away on a contemporary romance. My minimal daily word count is only 500. I changed that from a much higher count to cut myself some slack and not beat myself up for failing to meet the higher count. Too many times in the past I spent more time beating myself up for failing to meet my goal for the day and not enough time actually writing. Of course after berating myself I was in no mental state to write. Visious cycle – that!  I figure that if I schedule an hour, even if I stare at a blinking cursor part of that time I can still manage 500 words. At least it’s something.

Each day I made a note on the scene I would be working on based on my outline. Bear in mind, I’ve already deviated from my original outline but based on the planned storyline, I only have fifteen (15!) more days of writing until I type “The End”.

That’s roughly 7500 to 10,000 words. Can I let you in on a secret?

Lean in close!

I already have the bulk of six chapters written I just need to tweak them a bit based on my earlier deviations So I could be typing “The End” even sooner.

On my time line, the fifteen days coincide with the day my eldest will return from college and I have to make the big move to the kitchen table. I’m going to go get a refill on my coffee to let that sink in for a bit.

The reality hit me square in the face . . .

I could be done with this book in 3 weeks! I can be finished with Red Wine & Roses before I have to relocate to the kitchen table as my desk! Do you realize how BIG that is?

While I’m feeling the stress of a hectic schedule with the multiple responsibilities of mother, wife, employee, writer, homemaker I just got a HUGE jolt of excitement that is both intoxicating and exhilarating.

It’s a similar feeling to running the last leg of the mile run.  Rounding the third corner of lap four, on the backside of the track, lungs burning, legs feeling like lead,  and  the runners begin to pass as my energy wanes.

Not this time!

I can almost hear my Chatty Chicks Morning Sprinters encouraging me.

“You can do it!  You’re almost there! Don’t give up now! You got this!”

It’s just the boost I need for that last jolt of adrenaline to kick in and quicken my pace to the finish line.  Finishing has been the hardest part for me. The momentum is there if I can keep up the pace.

Isn’t it odd how  when you focus on something else and stop stressing over a thing,  that is when you often get answers and solutions to the thing you were stressing over? Have you ever gotten weary and felt like you would neer cross the  finish line?  Have you quit running and are walking the back stretch?

It’s funny how things work out. Sometimes we just need to step back and let them work themselves out.

 

Write on my friends, write on!

 

Advertisements

What’s Your Perspective?


20150416_113437

The Point of View (POV) in Literature is the perspective the author chooses to tell their story. The story unfolds through narration. Narration is the use of a written or spoken commentary to convey a story to the intended audience.

Narration is how the author presents their story, including:

  • Narrative point of view: the perspective through which a story is communicated
  • Narrative voice: the format through which a story is communicated
  • Narrative time: the  story’s time-frame in the past, present, or the future

narrator is a personal character or a non-personal voice that the creator of the story uses to convey information to the audience, particularly about the plot. The narrator may be a voice devised by the author as an anonymous or stand-alone entity; as the author themselves; or as a character within their own story. Narrative point of view or narrative perspective describes the position of the narrator in relation to the story being told. When you are reading a scene in a book and when you are writing a scene, you follow the character almost like a camera on the character’s shoulder or in the character’s head. You are looking at the character performing a specific set of actions or important actions in vivid detail.

There are 3 major kinds of POV. Within these there are variations.  Examples of point of view belong to one of these three major kinds:

  1. First person – this involves the use of either of the two pronouns “I” and “we” and is told from the protagonist’s view.
  2. Second person point of view employs the pronoun “you”. This is the author addressing the audience from their perspective.
  3. Third person point of view uses pronouns like “he”, “she”, “it”, “they” or a name. This is a narrative perspective.

Authors use POV to express effectively what they want to convey to readers.  It is the vehicle to convey  the character’s feelings, emotions, and actions.

First Person

In the first-person narrative, the narration is told from the character’s perspective. The story unfolds through the eyes of the character. This is often used to convey directly the deep internal, otherwise unspoken thoughts of the character.  The story unfolds using “I”, and “we”.  Most often, the story is told from the protagonist, expressing their views to the reader but not to the other characters. This is often a skewed view, causing the reader to sympathize with the protagonist or other character and rally their cause.  Using first person may show a story within a story, or allow the reader to observe the pursuit of some hidden agenda.

The first-person narrator is always told from one of the characters in the story, whether it is the main character or some other character. In some cases, the narrator gives or withholds information based on their own experience often as it unfolds.

Examples:

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee; Dragon Tears by Dean Koontz; Dune by Frank Herbert; The Catcher In the Rye by J.D. Salinger; I Am Legend by Richard Matheson; The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

Talented writers often choose to skew their narratives to the character’s bent, to an arbitrary degree, in keeping with the narrator’s character from just a smidge to extreme depending on the character’s bent. Unstable or malevolent narrators can lie and deliberately mislead the reader.

Novice writers might make the mistake of allowing elements of omniscience into a first-person narrative unintentionally and forgetting the limitations of inherent humanness of a character’s involvement.

Writing in first person is intimate, but it is also confining. You cannot explore the feelings or motivations of other characters; your viewpoint character can only guess what they are. You cannot show anything from another character’s perspective.  The entirety is experienced through the one character’s view, which makes the novice want to do head hopping which is strongly discouraged.

Second-person

The second-person narrative mode, in which the narrator refers to him- or herself as ‘you’ in a way that suggests alienation from the events described, or emotional/ironic distance, is less common in fiction. This is often the voice that I use when writing my blog posts.  I refer to you the reader and tell things from my perspective. My blog being nonfiction, the second person works well.

Examples:

Bright lights, Big City by Jay McInerney; An Italian Affiar by Laura Fraser; To Be or Not to Be: A Choosable-Path Adventure by Ryan North/William Shakespeare; If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Cavino

Third-person

Third-person narration provides the greatest flexibility to the author and thus is the most commonly used narrative across multiple genres in literature. In the third-person narrative mode, each and every character is referred to by the narrator as “he”, “she”, “it”, or “they”, but never as “I” or “we” or “you.  In third person narrative, the narrator is observing and relaying the tale, often not involved in the story.

The third-person modes are usually categorized along two axis. The first is the subjectivity/objectivity axis, with “subjective” describing one or more character’s feelings and thoughts, and “objective” not describing the feelings or thoughts of any characters.

The second axis is the omniscient/limited axis, a distinction that refers to the knowledge available to the narrator. An omniscient narrator has knowledge of all times, people, places, and events, including all characters’ thoughts. The trick here is the narrator cannot describe  or reveal things unknown to the focal character until they discover them.

Examples:

Harry Potter series by J.K.Rowling; Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card; The Mark of Athena by Rick Riourdan; The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien; Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

 How Do You Decide?

Think about your characters in terms of Whose story is this? The answer to this question will lead you to your point-of- view character.

If you’re not sure whose story it is, ask the following questions:

  • Who is facing a difficult challenge?
  • Who has a heartbreaking decision to make or a meaningful goal to reach?
  • Who will struggle against obstacles and complications to meet a challenge, make the best decision, or attain a goal?
  • Who will the reader care about and root for?

When you’ve decided whose story you’re telling, that character will usually be your viewpoint character, the one who lets the reader know what’s going on.  If you are still unsure, read and experiment.  Play around with it.  Write a scene using different POV’s. Share them with your writing group.  Discuss which one works better and why.  Sometimes the logical choice doesn’t flow as well as the less obvious choice. Do what works for you and your story.

Do you have a particular style you enjoy reading? Do you prefer to write in a specific pov? Think about your favorite books or authors, what POV did they use?

Write on my friends, write on!

My Secret Garden


I have  been given the opportunity to take part in

The Creative Promoter’s 2nd Blog Carnival.

YAY!

Thank you Lisa Anne Wooley and Fred Charles!

 The theme: Places where we find creativity.

Quotidiandose does not own rights to this image.  All rights reserved to the artist.

Quotidiandose does not own rights to this image. All rights reserved to the artist.

Creativity  is something that comes from within.  The art of creating something, whether a craft project,  a painting, woodworking,  writing, music – they are all expressions of inner creativity.  When I first read the theme for this project,  I read it as inspiration, or the places that inspire creativity.

There is something magical that happens when  the spark ignites a Creative’s passions.  I can find  no pattern,  no specific  commonality to what  will  ignite that spark.  It has varied from sitting on my sofa flipping through a  home improvement magazine, to walking behind a push mower, to  planting seedlings in my garden.  I’ve been inspired while riding in the passenger’s seat of a car and even while I was driving alone with the radio blaring.

Turbulent skies

Turbulent skies

While some people say that the beach inspires them,  I feel that a beach setting in a tropical paradise does more to bring peace, calm and  relaxation  to my normal stressed state of existence. Some are inspired by mountains but while I admire the beauty and majesty of them,  I don’t feel particularly inspired in a creative way.

The settings that  inspire my creative nature are varied,  but if there is a commonality to them  it would be  something out of the ordinary. Here are just a few:

  • An old abandoned house that has fallen in disrepair that at one time must have been a statement of status.  (Inspired Arturo’s Treasure; mystery intrigue tale of pirates, buried treasure, betrayal, and  romance that spans generations. [Watch for it in 2016])
  • An eerie boggy creek bend that  has recently flooded and is alive with insect noises that  gives an audible  hum in the air. (Inspired Blight Creek;  a zombie tale of a different nature. [Watch for it in 2016])
  • The dressing room of a bridal shop where my daughter tried on Prom dresses. (Inspired Death by Design; Haute Couture styles to die for! [Watch for it in 2017])
Abandoned  estate home in St. Louis.

Abandoned estate home in St. Louis.

I think more than any setting or place that inspires my imagination is the magical game of ‘What if’?  While sitting in a restaurant that my husband and I frequented in our dating years we observed a young man get on his knees and propose.  It was a heartwarming sentimental moment that  brought a tear to my eye.

It sparked conversation between my husband and myself of our beginnings, and as I mulled that over and over in my mind  it sparked What if? in the scene we had witnessed.  What if the couple were perfect for one another,  but his ex decides she  isn’t through?  What if there is a tragic accident?   What if she goes to jail?  (Red Wine & Roses scheduled for release in 2015!) (Oral Dilemma, scheduled for fall of 2015)

I know people who play the ‘what if’ game in their own lives,  constantly worrying about things that will never happen.  Worry is such a useless time waster. The majority of the times those things we worry about never happen.  But in the fiction world, anything and everything can happen.  We can throw our characters into  the fire,  into the next fire,  into the impending disaster,  into and out of relationships, give them an incurable disease,  poison them,  shoot them, and basically wreak havoc in their  fictional lives to play out the scenarios that would send  ordinary folks to the nut house.

It sounds disturbing when you  summarize it concisely like that,  but it’s  the game  many writer’s play  to create some of the best fiction out there.

Once the ideas begin to form, I create a file for them in my ideal garden.  I have a cheap spiral  journal  that I picked up on clearance that I jot down ideas.  In this journal are some sketches of  characters,  sketches of objects from a story idea, and notes about a particular story or character.  Some are all on one page,  some are spread over several pages.  If there is any one  place for my collective creativity, it would probably be this journal. I also have files on my computer and  external hard drive  with  the information once I piece a few things together.

Last summer my daughter was helping me clean  in the basement.  She picked up this journal and tossed it into the trash bin.  I about came unglued. I yelled, screamed, ranted, scooped up my precious journal and ran upstairs to hide it away for safe keeping.  When I was alone with it later,  I opened it, reliving each moment of excitement when I  initially had these inspirations and  gained a new refreshed zeal for a few ideas that had  sat unattended for a while.

Don’t judge me!

It’s funny, my secret garden journal sat in that stack for  a couple of months forgotten while life decided  there were other things to demand my attention.  My rediscovery of this treasured object that looks like a dime store  worthless  notebook reignited my passion like it was  rocket fuel.  Just like in a natural garden,  you leave the seeds covered with dirt for a time, hidden away they begin to germinate. So in a sense another place that I was inspired was a musty cobwebbed basement. Weird, I know.

As I poured over  each and every page, I saw that I had  more  than I thought I did when it was set aside. I saw connections that  I didn’t see before.  Like a Vining plant climbing a trellis, my notes had a thin thread of  the overall theme woven through them.  My true creative nature  flows when I have the pen in hand.  This is the incubator,  the hatching process.  Taking  raw materials – the  boggy creek,  the snooty sales clerk, the young couple – and  formulating my ‘what ifs’ into  a tale of mystery, romance or whatever.

The physical act of writing, pounding out the story on the keyboard  varies between two  stages.  Stage 1 is the driven compulsion to get the story out of my head, where the characters are playing out the scenes faster than I can type.  This is when I am in the flowstate,   when I am immersed in my fictional world. It’s a magical place, a mystical place that  real life demands summons me from too frequently.

Stage 2 sadly is where I have spent most of my writing time.  This is  the disjointed, interrupted, distracted part.  It’s difficult to get back into the flow state of writing when you’ve been distracted from your plan for  the umpteenth time.

Sadly, this is the state where I have to function  more effectively than I have because I don’t just have  ten hours in a day of uninterrupted time to  get things down  onto virtual paper, as is the case with most of the authors I know.  We have lives, families, obligations,  and jobs that demand our time.

Whatever inspires or sparks your creativity, make it a priority in your life.  Pursuit your dreams with passion, in whatever manner you find that works for you.

There is no one place or location that inspires me  to be creative.  Ideas come to me in some of the strangest places. My secret  garden, or inner sanctum’s outer expression would be my  journal.  I’d like to say that it was a nice leather-bound  journal resembling something of an ancient handwritten book,  or as fancy as the Book of Kells,  but alas it’s not.  It’s a meagher little dime store notebook but it works for me.

My Precious - the secret garden journal

My Precious – the secret garden journal

What inspires you?  What sparks your creativity?  Is there a special place that ignites your creative juices?

We are all different, inspired by different things, have different ideas  on how to execute that creativity. I for one am glad for the differences.  It would be pretty boring if we were all of the same hivemind.

Write on my friends, write on!

 Go to CARNIVAL, Lisa’s blog to find the links to other bloggers posts in this  series!

 

 

 

Memorable Characters


color-paper-doll-marisole-BW

Characterization is the concept of creating characters for story. A literary element that is used in dramatic works of fiction.  Characters may be presented by means of description, through their actions, speech, thoughts and interactions with other characters.

Characterization is the way in which an author chooses to convey information about their characters. It can be direct, as when the author tells the reader what his character is like.

Ronald was a cunning lad. Both desperate and greedy, what he lacked in integrity was made up for in boldness. Determined to rise above the class of his parents he set lofty goals that he would reach by any means necessary.  Thievery was his personal expertise.

It can also be conveyed indirectly by showing what the character is like by portraying his or her actions, speech, or thoughts.

Ronald stood on the platform watching the travelers until he spied a gentleman wearing an expensive wool coat, carrying a leather briefcase.  He tugged on his cap and shoved his hands into his pockets following a safe distance behind. He wasn’t going to spend his life working the mines like his father, being ground into nothingness at an early age. He had gone without dinner for the third night in a row and he wasn’t about to make it a fourth. 

He sniffled, pulling the collar of his jacket closer to lessen the effects of the chilly air. He moved casually next to the man, who had taken up conversation with a curvaceous woman with blonde hair.  While the man engaged in conversation with the woman, Ronald stealthily slipped his hand into the man’s pocket and withdrew his leather wallet without him feeling it.  Head down, he moved towards the next car, tucking the pilfered wallet into his own coat.

Indirect Characterization shows things that reveal the personality of a character. There are five different methods of indirect characterization:

Speech What does the character say? How does the character speak?
Thoughts What is revealed through the character’s private thoughts and feelings?
Effect on others toward the character. What is revealed through the character’s effect on other people? How do other characters feel or behave in regards to the character?
Actions What does the character do? How does the character behave?
Looks What does the character look like? How does the character dress? What is their general appearance?

Descriptions of a character’s appearance, behavior, interests, manner of speaking and other unique quirks are all part of characterization. For stories written in the first-person point of view, the narrator’s voice is essential to his or her characterization.

This is a crucial part of creating a compelling story. The characters need to seem real.  Authors convey this by revealing details about their characters that make them appear as a real person, not a fictional creation. It gives readers a strong sense of the character’s personalities, complexities and motivations.  It makes them come alive and become believable.

How do I create great character and avoid the flat Stanley or Mary Sue?

I think everyone knows what these terms mean, but let me clarify.  A flat Stanley is a two-dimensional character that is no more than a cardboard cutout. Readers do not relate to flat Stanley, they are perceived as contrived puppets that the reader hears the author’s voice from behind the curtain.

A Mary Sue is a ‘too good to be for real’ character. They have no flaws, they are able to overcome ridiculous odds, and can do just about everything imaginable. Lara Croft, Harry Potter, Nancy Drew are all examples of a Mary Sue.  You can test to see if your character is a Mary Sue here.

In creating your characters, choose details that make them life-like.  Show the little quirks, the annoying habits.  Does your self-conscious female character twirl her hair, or try smoothing the fabric over her tummy to not show a bit of a tummy bulge?  Does the male MC clear his throat constantly?  Does he comb his fingers through his hair? Think about memorable characters and what they did that made them memorable.

Tell the reader directly and indirectly about your character.  Let them develop; don’t force your author’s views on them. Describe their appearance in some manner even if you want to leave it vague for the reader to fill in a face on their own, they will at least need a framework.  For instance if your character is a skinny computer geek,   you want to give the basic body shape and personality instead of having your reader imagine some shadowy shape of Arnold Schwarzenegger.  You still want the m to be able to fill in some things from their imagination.

Portray your character’s thoughts and motivations.  What makes them tick? Their inner thoughts will convey who they really are. If they are behaving out of character then why?  Use their actions to further show their personality and temperament.  Are they a hot head? Are they easygoing?  Are they talkative or shy and quiet?   Show your other character’s reaction to your protagonist’s words or actions.

Use their dialog to reveal something important about his or her nature. Is the antagonist misunderstood or truly evil?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What does the character look like?
  • How does the character behave towards others? How do others behave toward the character?
  • What does the character care about?
  • What adjectives does the author use to describe the character’s personality?
  • What does the character think or say?

Weaknesses like vices, imperfections or flaws, make him or her appear more human-like, causing the audience to identify him or her with that specific character. This is a good characterization for a character in most fiction and non-fiction stories.  Indiana Jones was afraid of snakes so of course later on in the story he is going to have to face snakes.

Make the effort to create fully developed characters in your story.  Characters can make or break a story,  and can kill an otherwise great story.  Most readers  would say that characters are the most important aspect of any good story.

 

Final Shifts with VL Locey


V.L. Locey has done it again.  I swear this woman is cranking them out faster than I can keep track of!  I have the great pleasure of hosting her again. In addition to penning her own series,  she continues to encourage our morning writing group.  It’s an honor to count her as friend.

Don’t miss this installment of her To Love a Wildcat Series!

11082805_952654021420778_185813024_n

4 flames
Secret Cravings Publishing

The only constant in life is that things will change when you least expect it. On the day of Derrick Andersson`s retirement ceremony, a late-season tropical storm parks itself over the City of Brotherly Love. The women who love the Wildcats will not only have to deal with the deluge outside, they will have to struggle through some of the greatest personal storms they will ever weather.

Liz and Veikko receive devastating news, Maggie and Derrick face a shocking announcement, and Isabelle and Philip receive the verdict of Philip’s court battle. Can Viviana and Alain work out the problems that have torn them apart? What has life dealt young lovers Petro and Margarite? The answers to those questions, as well as a surprise that will rock the Houseman, are revealed in this final book of the To Love a Wildcat series.

 Now here’s a little taste of what is between the covers: 

Maggie

“Don’t dis Granny Andersson,” he commented with a rather wry tone.

“You’re far too old to be using the term dis, my good man.”

“Yah? Well, last night you weren’t dissing me,” he countered quickly. I held up my hairbrush in a sign of defeat. He was right. There was no dissing last night. There was some moaning, gyrating, and pillow thumping, but nary a dis. “Ha! That got you good, eh?”

I nodded to give the man his due. His face split into a wide grin, white teeth brilliant against the dark brown of his beard.

“Yah, that’s right. Who is the man?” he asked, puffing out his chest like a proud bantam rooster. Cocky bugger.

“You are.” I sighed with proper defeatism in my tone.

He dropped his face to my neck, smooched my ear loudly, and then whistled gleefully while he finished shaving. I cleaned shaving cream out of my ear with the corner of a hand towel. Ever since we moved in with Derrick, my mornings have been so much more enjoyable. We wake up curled around each other, we play as we shower. Sometimes we play in the shower! The man makes me smile. He warms my heart when I awaken more than the sun that creeps into our window bright and early. I simply cannot imagine not having these precious few moments every morning now. After he had stepped into the shower, I thought to ask. Mascara wand in my right hand I turned to stare at his large form behind smoked glass. The query was lingering on the tip of my tongue. I swallowed it down. I’d let him broach the subject of his retirement ceremony tonight. Things with the team were dicey to say the least. Not a player or person in management wasn’t walking on eggshells. I turned back to the mirror to finish my makeup as Derrick hummed something by Blake Shelton as he lathered and rinsed.

We emerged from our room about twenty minutes later, Derrick in the suit and tie all NHL players and staff are required to wear into and leaving the stadium. His tie was loose yet, and his dark brown jacket lay over his left arm. I had pulled on a rather somber looking navy dress, as I would be accompanying Isabelle to court yet again. Just thinking about my duties made me nervous. There was so much to handle being the personal assistant to a woman that owns a hockey team, as well as several other multimillion-dollar businesses. Thank God I was only tasked with making sure Isabelle’s day ran like clockwork. My boss worried me. Her blood pressure was skyrocketing, her sugar count was high, and her OB/GYN had given her strict dietary guidelines to follow. I feared if she went back next Monday at nine, and her BP and sugar weren’t any lower, her doctor would be forced to put her on strict bed rest until her son was born. Knowing Isabelle that would last exactly four hours. Then she would be up doing something. What if Philip were found guilty? She would be forced to fire him. The Commissioner was already riding her like Secretariat about the Wildcats. First Petro and now Philip. And this mess surrounding last year’s Stanley Cup winners? The commissioner was not happy. Not at all.

“Hey, you need to put them there grinds into the filter and not the pot, Mags.”

I shook off the spiraling dark thoughts. There I stood, in my kitchen, the coffee pot filled with coffee, and the filter resting inside the basket empty.

These books will make hockey fans out of all of us yet!

Buy Links:

Secret Cravings Store –http://store.secretcravingspublishing.com/index.php…

Amazon-http://tinyurl.com/nqvzarf

All Romance-https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-finalshifts-176119…

Bookstrand-http://www.bookstrand.com/final-shifts

B&N-http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1121378236?ean=2940151605953

 

11077904_952655071420673_1205641526_n

Yes. I admit it. I love goalies. Love, love, love, love goalies! I’m not sure why I adore them as I do. Perhaps it`s how cool they are under pressure. Or how steely-eyed they are when we get a quick peek inside that mask. Or maybe it`s how agile they are, how swiftly they can move their lean muscular bodies . . .

Ahem. Yes. Well, I do like goalies a great deal. Here are three of my favorite twine-minders.

11082848_952654014754112_895606406_n

#1- Henrik Lundqvist, goalie for the New York Rangers

11072791_952654008087446_678026937_n

#2-Marc Andre Fleury, goalie for the Pittsburgh Penguins

11082862_952654018087445_274855096_n

#3-Jonathon Bernier, goalie for the Toronto Maple Leafs

10716161_852956658057182_83747222_n

Author Bio:

 V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, belly laughs, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a flock of assorted goofy domestic fowl, and three steers.

When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, tsú, and GoodReads.

I love to meet new friends and fans! You can find me at-

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/pages/VL-Locey/124405447678452

Twitter- https://twitter.com/vllocey

Pinterest-http://www.pinterest.com/vllocey/

Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5807700.V_L_Locey

My blog- http://thoughtsfromayodelinggoatherder.blogspot.com/

tsú – https://www.tsu.co/vllocey

Secret Cravings Backlist Books and Upcoming Releases

Pink Pucks & Power Plays (Book One of the To Love a Wildcat Series)

A Most Unlikely Countess (Book Two of the To Love a Wildcat Series)

O Captain! My Captain! (Book Three of the To Love a Wildcat Series)

Reality Check (Book Four of the To Love a Wildcat Series)

Language of Love (Book Five of the To Love a Wildcat Series)

Tumble Dry

Coming in August of 2015 only from Secret Cravings . . .  Clean Sweep (Book One of The Venom erotic hockey romance series)

Torquere Press Backlist and Upcoming Releases

Two Guys Walk Into an Apocalypse (Part of the He Loves Me For My Brainssss anthology)

Two Guys Walk Into an Apocalypse 2: It Came From Birmingham

Two Guys Walk Into an Apocalypse 3: He’s a Lumberjack and He`s Undead

Love of the Hunter

Goaltender`s Penalty

All I Want for Christmas

 Every Sunday at One (Part of the 2013 Charity Sip Anthology)

 Night of the Jackal

An Erie Halloween

An Erie Operetta

Coming 4/1/15 exclusively from Torquere Press . . . Early to Rise – A Toms & Tabbies Tale.

The Plot Thickens


Plot is a literary term defined as the events that make up a story, particularly as they relate to one another in a pattern, in a sequence, through cause and effect, how the reader views the story, or simply by coincidence.

download

Some resources claim there are SEVEN basic plot structures with numerous variations on each of them.  There are only so many story arcs and all of our stories fit into a certain category.  You can still create something that is uniquely your own and original because the writer can tweak all of the elements in their world.  But the basic ideas lead us to the point  that there is nothing new under the sun.  These recognizable forms work and used over and over again.

1. Overcoming the Monster

The protagonist sets out to defeat an antagonistic force which threatens the protagonist and/or protagonist’s homeland. Many of the mythology stories are in this category. James Bond movies follow this theme. Think about it, James Bond is always fighting against a megalomaniac who wants to take over/destroy the world. Our future hinges on James skills in espionage and his mad seduction skills proves that our hero can have fun too!

EXAMPLES: Dracula, Goldfinger, Beowulf, The Magnificent Seven.

2. Rags to Riches

The poor protagonist acquires things such as power, wealth, and a mate, before losing it all and gaining it back upon growing as a person. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain, and often meet with failure before success.

EXAMPLES: Cinderella, David Copperfield, The Prince and the Pauper,  Aladdin

3.The Quest 

The protagonist and some companions set out to acquire an important object or to get to a location, facing many obstacles and temptations along the way. This is often the plot used in fantasy and epic fantasy. Often the quest is combined with having to learn a lesson before the protagonist can obtain the object or destination.

EXAMPLES: The Lord of the Rings, The Wizard of Oz, The Iliad, Watership Down

4. Voyage and Return

The protagonist goes to a strange land and, after overcoming the threats it poses to him/her, returns with nothing but experience. There are too many books to mention that I’ve read that use this plot.

EXAMPLES: Odyssey, Chronicles of Narnia, Gone With the Wind, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, The Hobbit

5. Comedy

Light and humorous character with a happy or cheerful ending; a dramatic work in which the central motif is the triumph over adverse circumstance, resulting in a successful or happy conclusion. Fun reads that make you smile – what’s not to like! 

EXAMPLES: A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, Mr. Bean, Benny Hill, Much Ado About Nothing, Bridget Jones Diary

6. Tragedy

The protagonist is a villain who falls from grace and whose death is a happy ending. You can watch just about any good Asian film and it’s a tragedy. Notice I said a good one.

EXAMPLES: Macbeth, Anna Karenina, Romeo and Juliet, Bonnie and Clyde, Titanic, The Notebook, Schindler’s List, Fearless (with Jet Li), Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen (Donnie Yen), When the Last Sword is Drawn (I strongly recommend you watch this one – have tissues handy)

7. Rebirth

The protagonist is a villain or otherwise unlikable character who redeems him/herself over the course of the story. Who doesn’t love a redemption story, right?

EXAMPLES: Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, A Christmas Carol, Despicable Me, The Secret Garden

This is the most basic list.  However, the most common list breaks them out as 20 Basic Plots. So here is that list as well.

1. QUEST – the protagonist is searching for something (person, place, thing, or idea) and is on a journey to find it.

2. ADVENTURE – the protagonist searches for their fortune, but has to leave home to do it. (a derivative of the quest)

3. PURSUIT – hide-and-seek plot, one group or person chasing another. (Often used in spy thrillers or crime dramas)

4. RESCUE – the protagonist is searching for someone or something that needs to be saved—this usually involves protagonist, victim, and antagonist.

5. ESCAPE – the protagonist wants to escape some sort of situation, on a quest to get away.

6. REVENGE – retaliation against someone else for wrong-doings.

7. THE RIDDLE – the protagonist’s search to find the hidden meaning of something. (Carolyn Keene used this one in her Nancy Drew mysteries often.)

8. RIVALRY – the protagonist is competing for same object or goal as another person.

9. UNDERDOG – the protagonist has a great disadvantage and faces overwhelming odds while trying to reach his or her goals.

10. TEMPTATION – the protagonist is tempted into doing something that is unwise, wrong or immoral.

11. METAMORPHOSIS – the physical characteristics of the protagonist actually changes from one form to another.

12. TRANSFORMATION – the protagonist journeys through a stage of life that moves them from one significant character state to another.

13. MATURATION – the protagonist faces a problem that causes them to learn from it and mature into adulthood.

14. LOVE – the protagonist overcomes the obstacles that prevent him or her from engaging in true love.

15. FORBIDDEN LOVE – the protagonist overcomes obstacles that prevent him or her from true love, but sometimes find the outcome too high a price to live with.

16. SACRIFICE – the protagonist is motivated by a higher purpose such as love, honor, and charity or for the sake of humanity.

17. DISCOVERY – the protagonist, having to overcome a life-changing event, discovers a deeper meaning of life that changes their outlook.

18. WRETCHED EXCESS – the protagonist pushes the limits of acceptable behavior to the extreme and is forced to deal with the consequences.

19. ASCENSION – this rags-to-riches plot deals with the rise of the protagonist due to a dominating character trait that helps them to succeed.

20. DECISION – this riches-to-rags plot deals with the fall of the protagonist due to dominating character trait that eventually destroys their success.

Some stories can fit into a few of these categories and you can build your story up around several of these basic plots combining plot and subplots. Generally, a story will fit into one category more than another. Using the basic plot  of ‘Forbidden Love’,  the writer could pen a murder mystery, a psychological horror,  a western,  a romance, noir fiction, Utopian, science fiction or fantasy.

Which one inspires you to develop a story?

Write on my friends, write on!