Released! Book Two of Serial Curses & Secrets

Today, I’m sharing with you another milestone, my newest release!

 Book two of the serial Curses & Secrets is available in eBook format.

51cwh07ezEL__UY250_thumbEXPOSING SECRET SINS

is now available on Kindle.

I hope you will take this opportunity to check out my stories.

The serial is about a wealthy family in Memphis. Follow Robert, Emilie and Michelle de Gourgues as they struggle to find their way in a world filled with power struggles and supernatural events.

In book one, Emilie, a clairvoyant, meets Jeremy Laughton and together they break an ancient curse. They travel from Memphis to New Orleans, from Florida to France, and go to extremes to end the deadly curse, while delving into a world of voodoo and ether worlds.

In book two, Michelle investigates an old crime that happened during her college days, after her brother threatens to expose her involvement. In order to keep her name out of the press, and her reputation in tact, Michelle heads to Cambridge. She learns more than she bargained for when she discovers the truth about her mother’s past, and about a secret society, incriminated in the old murder and more . . .

Michelle ends up running for her life!

New book thumb

In order to make the serial Curses & Secrets a seamless story-line, I also rewrote

BREAKING CURSED BONDS, book one.

 

 

Thank you, ALL, who have chosen to support my writing! Your time is precious, and I appreciate you’re spending some of it reading my stories. THANK YOU!

Those of you who follow my newsletter, you may have already received this notice via email. Sorry for the duplication. Happy reading.

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Developing Characters In Fiction

Character Development in Fiction Writing

There are many books and articles about how to develop your characters with some ‘tricks of trade’ but it all boils down to a few key things to remember to add. They are tried and true – have been the success of many great stories for centuries. 

Dr ZThe character has to feel real.

Give him/her personality dimension by supplying a history, nuances, and quirks. Have them do human things. No person is perfect and nor should your character be. The characters need goals and desires which the reader can connect to, in order to make them human in the reader’s mind.

Characters must have some kind of regrets, too.  A detective may have a past accident that haunts his personal life – like the character of Jesse Stone in the series by Robert B. Parker. This feeds into the drive and motivation for the character, and makes the reader understand their POV and accept their actions taken. He/she becomes viable, credible, believable.

Let the character deal with struggle.

Even before written words, people told stories about heroes with struggles. The character of Ulysses in Homer’s Odyssey deals with struggles to ovetintinrcome, just like the modern character of Katniss in Suzanne Collin’s Hunger Games. They both fight the odds to survive the perils.

The basic draw is reading about the character’s struggles and failures, and then to experience how the character reacts.  The reader feeds on the excitement of the struggle, like watching a boxing match, waiting for your Rocky to throw the next punch. The tension needs to build. So put the perils against your protagonist, give them dilemmas, let them fall off cliffs (literally and figuratively). There are lots of great thrillers out there that work this magic like, author Karin Slaughter’s character Will Trent, and D.V. Berkrom’s character Leine Basso.

Readers can identify to a character that has problems just like them as well, as long as there is tension.

Make the character bigger than life.

The reader needs to be interested in the character. Whether we love them or hate them, we need to have a reason to follow their journey. No one wants to read about someone who never interacts, reacts or have things happen to them. Keep the reader’s attention.

We may have an introvert working from home, never leaves until she is thrust into the real world when something happens like the character in  – The Net which was written by John Brancato and Michael Ferris. Or a man who has difficulties interacting with people but he’s a master mind – like the character of Adrian Monk, TV series created by Andy Breckman. We may have a boy who is an orphan, forgotten under the stairs, but he is destined for greatness – like Harry Potter from the series written by J.K. Rowling.

All these characters are ordinary people which a reader can relate to – they have human characteristics and quirks, BUT they all become larger than life by how they REACT.

snipesSo you say – OK I can do that!

Here’s the kick in the ###   Yes, we can all sit down and write out facts about a character, we can push our imagination and dream up all kinds of loveable,  evil, strong, valiant, noble, artistic, genius, talented, depressed…characters. BUT the hard part is putting these into the manuscript, a dribble at a time.

In the Harry Potter series, the reader slowly discovers more about Severus Snape throughout the series, until his true motivation is revealed in the end. It’s an aha! moment when we finally understand everything. His character development was genius, built up with many quirks and confusing moments when his actions seem unnerving. The reader wonders about him, hates him, and then slowly he’s unpeeled- like onion layers. In the end his character proves to be one of the most loyal to those he loved.

To sprinkle instead of pour the character into the manuscript.

The same method of subtle clues is used for plot by some of the best mystery writers. Clues are given, small details, and in the end the final puzzle is revealed. You can use this technique to create a well layered character.

You may not struggle with this as a writer, but I unfortunately do. I re-work things to death until I think, “Hey, not so bad.”  Once I’m happy with my work I walk away, thinking “I’m a genius,” LOL  Only to read my work a week later and wonder “What was I thinking!” It’s the curse of being a writer – we can be our worst critic.

A simple checklist of questions to ask about your characters, to determine if they will make the reader connect:

  1. Does the protagonist feel real?
  2. Is there enough conflict?
  3. Did the problem/conflict create enough tension?
  4. Is the protagonist’s reaction enough to make them seem larger than life?
  5. Did the motivation and backstory dribble throughout the plot subtly?

If you have more ideas about how to develop a great character, add your comment. I would like to hear about your techniques that help to write good characters, as well.

EZ web logo reduced revKeep reading and writing.

Getting Your hands Dirty

There will be days when you doubt your work –

Wonder if you’re ‘Good Enough’writing

That’s when you need to remind yourself that nothing good can be revealed without the hard work that comes first…

 Don’t expect your first draft to be perfect. Don’t expect every idea to come to fruition – at least not in the way you thought.

We make mistakes along the journey to success –

Don’t wander too far from your path, stay focused on the main goal. If that target changes, it’s okay. People change too. It’s all part of the learning cycle.

 

 EZlogobuttonKeep reading – Keep writing!

Staying Focused

Finishing Your Novel…

Writing a novel IS NOT an easy thing for a person to accomplish—but it is decidedly one of the most rewarding.

That may be the reason there are so many people writing books these days, now that anyone can achieve this goal.

The World Wide Web, eBooks, and print on demand distributors have changed the playing field of publishing.

Today anyone who is determined to learn new skills, and engage in new technology and resources, can create their vision into a book.

One thing to remember:

Only finished manuscripts can be read. There is a long road to follow from the beginning idea, to the end product of  ‘the story’.

And yes – a book is a product:

  • A product of your imagination,
  • A product of your long hours of writing sentences,
  • A product less the scrapped sentences, rewritten with the new.

There are many experts in our world who offer sound advice:

????????????????????????If you seriously want to have your story turned into a novel, then I suggest you do your due diligence.

You can find help with the links in this post or the links on the side menu for Resources and distributor information.

Read up on the industry. Follow the success stories.

Read the advice given by sage authors.

Most important — you must write!

PlaqueIt took me a long four years to develop and publish what I thought to be the best I could ever accomplish. Then once I began developing the second in the serial, I realized so many ways to make the first even better.

Now I am writing book two while rewriting and editing book one for the next edition.

What do I expect to gain from all this extra work?

In the end—the story will be polished and entertaining for the reader. It will be loaded with tension, with developed characters, and a story that no one else in this entire world could tell. It will be complete, maybe.

I hope you hang in there with me and read the serial Curses & Secrets with the revised book one

BREAKING CURSED BONDS and the second book in the serial EXPOSING SECRET SINS

Release date in 2015!  Update – now released!

EZ Indie PublishingKeep reading – Keep writing!

 

Writers on Writing – Interviews with Charlie Rose

 

Six Simple Guidelines – Allow Your Writing To Reflect Your Voice

Confused about your writing yet?

There is so much information out there these days – everywhere we turn another person is telling us ‘how to do this or that’. Many of them put their ideas together and make a book, and then get us to follow and buy the book. Most of these have good information and it doesn’t hurt to read them. What is important to realize is that there is no ’golden rule’ when it comes to writing.

That’s right – no rule.writing

Each person has their own voice, their own vision – so it only makes sense to realize we each have our own path to follow. If you try to do everything just like everyone else, you will lose something – YOURSELF.

Keep your heart open.

Listen to the others out there, and learn the necessities and then –

RUN WITH YOUR GUT.

Let your own voice be heard.

Your own way should rule the path of your writing. If you have a good story to tell the reader will get it as long as the basic guidelines are met.

  • Correct spelling
  • Good grammar
  • Interesting characters
  • A moving, fluent pace
  • A plot that intrigues and draws the reader in
  • A message for the reader to think about after ‘the end’

These are not rigid rules. They are guidelines to use to ensure your own voice comes through and shines on us, leaving the reader with the WOW factor.

ezlogobutton[8]Keep reading – Keep writing!

 An Interview with John Grisham

 Inside the Writer’s Room with Breaking Bad

 

 OTHER RESOURCES –

The Writer's Voice  Ten Writers on Finding & Fashioning a Voice

         Exercises to Find Your Blogger Voice with Jeff Goins

thCAU11803       4 Steps to Finding Your Ideal Writing Voice via Copyblogger

Finding Your Writing Voice via Harvey Chapman

1   7 Narrator Voice Types

  • via Stephanie Orges award-winning copy and public relations writer