Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Inspiration from Others

Well, I really should call this post “All Hail Maisey, Day 2” for the first person in my short contemp. critique group to get The Call.

Maisey is now a author with Harlequin Presents/M&B Modern. Read her call story at her blog here. Congratulations, Maisey!

All of the excitement yesterday made me think about inspiration. Inspiration from others heading in the same direction as you. Being able to not just look at each other's work but also to talk about day-to-day life.

For the past year or so that I have been with this group, Maisey, Robyn, Jane, Jilly and Aideen have kept writing while waiting -- patiently waiting. Maisey never lost faith in her writing.

I am grateful to be part of a group whose writing seems to flow right onto the pages. Mine takes a bit of cajoling, fighting and screaming, but it gets there. And, I keep telling myself at some point, mine will do the same.

(And, to be honest, I am in two critique groups. Both provide inspiration in their own way.)

So, my advice to others: find a critique partner or group that will inspire you to keep moving forward.

In the meantime, go over and congratulate, Maisey, M&B’s newest author.

BKB :-)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Christmas Gifts for the Aspiring Writer

Okay, more like Christmas gifts for the aspiring romance writer.

Need a few ideas for someone who wants to be published in romance? Here ya go.

1) Goal, Motivation and Conflict by Debra Dixon

If they don't have this, they're lost. GMC is the cornerstone of a good book -- especially romance. I use it to develop my books. One of my critique partners goes one step further and uses it to develop each scene in her book.

2. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

This book is not only inspirational it has loads of spot-on advice.

3. 12-Point Guide to Writing Romance by Kate Walker

Although this book focuses on writing short contemporaries, much of the information applies to other genres as well.

4. A comfy chair. What better place to stir thoughts and write?

5. A year (or two) of patience. Writing is a tough business right now and breaking in can take some time. So don't set expectations, just take things as the come.

BKB :-)

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Visual Look at Characterization (aka Alphas and Betas – Atlantis Style)

Understanding your characters is important in writing. To read a good breakdown of how to build a character go to Maisey Yates' post here.

But did you know, your character can evolve from one archetype to another during the story? For example, an alpha can become beta and vice versa.

I am, hands down, a visual person. I can’t write a scene unless I can visualize it. So, I am going to give you a visual example. (And I can hear the groaning now from my critique partners.)

The John Sheppard (Joe Flanigan) you will see in the below video is Beta Sheppard. The cocky, laid-back guy who lets everything roll off his shoulders. Teyla Emmagan (Rachel Luttrell) is part of his SG team.

Note: I pulled these scenes from YouTube, but Stargate:Atlantis is owned by MGM studios.

Next scene (but from a different episode): After being injected with a retrovirus, Sheppard has started to transform.

Okay, did you get the Alpha-ness of Sheppard? More confident. Commanding. Ever so-slightly forceful, but not brutish. Kinda like a Presents hero.

By the end of the episode, Sheppard transforms back to his Beta self. If you want to see this, go here and scroll to 7:28 into the scene.

Now with short contemporaries, the transformation may not always happen. The hero generally transforms at the end of the story, but he usually stays Alpha or Beta the rest of the time.

Okay, what is the point of this whole post? Even though your character may be classified as Alpha or Beta, they may not always act that way in certain situations. It is the situation (and some of their past) that determines their reaction. So, don't kill yourself trying to keep your character the same way all the time.

Anyone want to gander at a literary example? I might be able to dig one up on a future post.

And, last, but not least, this post is dedicated to my high school English teacher who always downgraded me for putting my thesis statement at the end of the paper. :-P


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Did This Guy Get Promoted?

I wrote a post about a certain model for Harlequin/Silhouette Romances showing up on quite a few covers just under a year ago. See my post here.

Well, it seems like he got a promotion. Now, he's showing up on ST covers.

And, in this one, I think they just PhotoShopped his hair.

I know there's more. I am just going to have to do some digging.

Same guy? Yes? No?

BKB :-)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Out of Service

I've been out because of this . . .

My computer is on the fritz. Waiting for new netbook.

Up next week: Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Enter the Harlequin Presents Instant Seduction contest.

Hopefully, back on Tuesday.

BKB :-)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Unleashing My Story

I have decided to write and read next month to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis. By participating in Unleash Your Story, I have set goals to write 15,000 words next month and read 2,000 pages. (Page# may change because I can't remember exactly what I submitted.)

I will post my progress here.

For more information on Unleash Your Story, go here.

BKB :-)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Am I Really Qualified?

So it’s been awhile since I judged in any contests, probably about six months. I am almost finished with entries for a local contest and I am more concerned about my ability to judge than the actual entries. Two were actually great and I gave the entries/writers high ratings. One I felt was iffy only because he/she didn’t really explain some of the feelings and emotions that surfaced during the story.

Actually, I think they told what was happening more than showing what was happening.

Please note the below information is not from a entry. I made it up myself to use as an example.


Okay: He touched the edges of her fingers with his.

Better: His lean fingers reached out for hers as if it were his sole lifeline, the soothing touch of her supple skin the one thing that could bring him back from the bottomless waters.

(Okay, probably a little overboard, but I am writing this on the fly.)

I have had training through more than one organization. BUT: I am not published. I am not PRO (yet). I have only placed in one contest. (I have an editing background, but I really try to put that on the backburner when I am reading contest entries.)

Am I Qualified to Do This? I hope so. I try to be as fair as possible with entries. No one will ever get a 1 or 2 from me unless the story is really, really, REALLY bad and I have to kick in my editor brain to make sense of what I am reading.

Am I Qualified? Me wonders.

BKB :-)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Names . . . and The Stubborn One

Okay, so this guy is no longer Derek Payne.

His new name is . . . Hayden Kendall. Well, the name will stay that way at least until I finish the story.

And, now, The Stubborn One

That would be me, of course. Even though my pitch to an M&B editor went horribly, I am still determined to continue to submit. Plus, I can't not enter the Instant Seduction contest. I've entered each one since they started. I haven't placed, but I have learned alot.

BKB :-)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Weddings Can Be Hazardous . . .

Well, I've started a new short contemporary, with a tentative title of Weddings Can Be Hazardous to Your Health. (Yeah, I know. It will change before I sub to Harlequin.)

Here's a peek at my hero and heroine:

Derek Payne (Chris Pine)

Anny Wilder (Rachel McAdams)

I have a strong feeling the character names are going to change as well . . .

BKB :-)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Not that I Need Another Reason to Procrastinate . . .

Because I like to read as well as write, I decided to participate in the Chunky Challenge 2009, ala Too Big to Ignore Anymore.

The rules for the challenge, which starts on Feb. 1, are here. In short, books have to be more than 450 pages.

I plan to read 5 books from the following list:

The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot

Duma Key by Stephen King

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Thirteen by Richard K. Morgan

Nemesis by Jo Nesbo

The Book of Unholy Mischief by Elle Newmark

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

Just Breathe by Susan Wiggs

Progress to be determined later . . .

:-) BKB

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Let's See How Long I Get to Do This . . .

Gotta Post a Great Pic . . .

from a great episode. (Except for the end.)

Stargate: Atlantis, Vegas, 01/02/09

BKB ;-)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Books Read in 2008

Happy New Year!

I achieved my goal of 40 books read for 2008.

# Bachelor Boss by Christie Ridgway
# Bedded by Arrangement by Natalie Anderson
# Bride for a Single Dad by Laura Iding
# Do Not Open Until Christmas by Charlene Sands
# Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
# English Lord, Ordinary Lady by Fiona Harper
# Expecting His Love Child by Carol Marinelli
# Fortune's Forbidden Woman by Heidi Betts
# Found: A Father for Her Child by Amy Andrews
# Having Bravo Tanner's Baby by Christine Rimmer
# Hot Nights with the Playboy by Nicola Marsh
# In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming
# Kate Walker's 12-Point Guide to Wrting Romance
# Learning to Breathe by Karen White
# New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
# Nobody's Baby but Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
# Officer Down by Theresa Schwegel
# Pregnancy Proposal by Tessa Radley
# Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne & Dave King
# Stealing Shadows by Kay Hooper
# Taken by the Maverick Millionaire by Anna Cleary
# Tangled Up in You by Rachel Gibson
# The Billionaire Who Bought Christmas (Kindle) by Barbara Dunlop
# The Boss's Demand by Jennifer Lewis
# The Doctor's Pregnancy Bombshell by Janice Lynn
# The Greek Billionaire's Baby Revenge by Jennie Lucas
# The Greek Tycoon's Unexpected Wife by Annie West
# The Heart Surgeon's Secret Son by Janice Lynn
# The Italian's New-Year Marriage Wish by Sarah Morgan
# The Liar's Diary by Patry Francis
# The Magnate's Indecent Proposal by Ally Blake
# The Millionaire's Blackmail Bargain by Heidi Rice
# The Millionaire's Proposal by Trish Wylie
# The Pact by Jodi Picoult
# The Surgeon Boss's Bride by Melanie Milburne
# The Survivors Club by Lisa Gardner
# The Turnaround by George Pelecanos
# This Charming Man by Marian Keyes (DNF)
# Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
# Wanted: White Wedding by Natasha Oakley
# When Good Things Happen to Bad Boys by Lori Foster, Erin McCarthy and HelenKay Dimon

:-) BKB