Monday, January 11, 2016

New Year Come Do the #RetweetParty with #MFRWauthor

MFRW graphics photo MFRWThunderclap_zpse01964cf.jpg

For this month's Retweet Day on Twitter, we'd like to invite all Marketing for Romance Writers to set up tweets for their books.

Go into Twitter and create a tweet. Once the tweet has been posted. Click on the ... (three dots) in the right hand corner.

This will give you the option to (copy link to tweet). Copy this link and put it in the comment section of this post.

Also in an effort to help people find tweets to share of yours, click the ...(three dots) again and pin your tweet to your profile page. This will give you a count of how many people retweeted your post.

Don't forget

On Jan 13, click on each link and share everyone's post on twitter. Also, make sure to have #MFRWauthor in the tweet.

Here's to a great day of retweets,

Tina Gayle

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Don't Forget the Dog #MFRWAuthor

It's well known that dogs add to the character of our stories. Movie makers learned long ago that viewers would accept many levels of violence, as long as the dog survived. The same applies, obviously, to books. Dogs can add, or be a main part, of the story line. Even if we don't set the book in a dog environment (grooming shop, animal shelter, dog show), adding a dog or two can help grab interest. Where our characters acquire their dog, what sort of dog they have...all these things serve to enrich our stories and add depth to our characters. It just takes a bit of thought and research.
If you are going to add a dog, please don't do so as a prop for one or two scenes, unless for some reason the dog is specifically that: a prop for the character to use to get someone's attention. Which does speak to the kind of person your character is, doesn't it? Also think about your character's personality. Are they strong willed, or wimpy? Do they cave in when yelled at or do they stand up for their rights? Using their interaction with their dog, or their choice of dog, gives you a great opportunity for subtext.
She looks pretty here, but she's going to need to come in soon, get her feet warmed up and a snuggle.
Those dogs with long flowing coats you see in commercials? They require grooming. A LOT of grooming, pretty much every day. The extreme length of coat is generally only seen for commercials or dog shows. Otherwise their hair is kept confined and out of dirt or branches. You need to remember that if your character takes their dog on a tramp through the woods.
Dogs need regular exercise. Both the going to the bathroom sort (and don't forget the pick up bags unless you are showing a negative aspect to your character) and the moving around with energy sort of exercise.Big dogs can live in a small apartment in the city but it's not easy, and it takes a lot of effort. Leaving a dog confined for too long can be cruel, especially if they have are fastidious, most especially if you don't want the house to smell when your characters come home for an evening of people interaction. Nothing turns off a non-doggy person so much as doggy smells.
An untrained dog is not fun to run or bike with; you might add a line or two about how easy or difficult it was to bring them to a safe level of cooperation. If the dog was a rescue, did they come with trust issues, or maybe they were already trained and had been turned in due to circumstances beyond their former owner's control?
If you want to add personality to your characters, you might think about incongruous choices for your character's dog. A large, tough, man with a small dog is good for a giggle or two but it's not necessarily out of character. Dainty women with guard dogs they can't control don't appeal to me, but that dog, well trained, maybe left with her by someone who had to go away (maybe a brother who was deployed?) I'll go along with that story line, no problem. Hmmm, just a second, I want to jot that idea down.

Just, please, remember the dog. They are not props. They need to eat, drink, eliminate, and interact. Because of this, I've only added a dog in Teach Me To Forget, since it helped give depth to Bethany's character, showing how the Irish Setter, Baron, had become such an integral part of her life, a friend instead of the guard dogs her husband had used to intimidate her. Jonathan becomes impatient with her for thinking of Baron before she thinks of herself, because in the beginning of the story Jonathan is a bit of a jerk. He changes, of course, learning to put Bethany's needs, and her dog's, before his. Doesn't love do that to all of us?

Monica Stoner w/a Mona Karel
Mona's Amazon Page

Lucky me, when I did meet the man I knew I'd spend the rest of my life with, he was also involved in dogs, my same breed in fact. When we retired to the high plains of New Mexico, we looked for a place with enough space for the dogs, and for our own souls. It ended up a perfect choice for both of us. Writing stories about people lucky enough to find that perfect partner in spite of whatever else might be happening in their lives. So far, I have not added Salukis to any books since they are way too time consuming!
I am privileged to be able to help MFRW as a Moderator (yeah, I'm the one who asks you to please trim)
I am happy to answer dog related questions, or guide you to the where you can best find that information.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Unique Characters in Writing @kayelleallen #MFRWauthor #amediting

~ MFRW ~
Marketing for Romance Writers was created for a group of romance writers, but quickly gained members in every sort of genre. As writers, one thing we all have in common is the need to create strong characters. To that end, here is a questionnaire you can use to get to know the people in your story. There's a downloadable version at the end.

Questions for the Character to Answer

How do you dress?
If we could only hear your voice (but not see you) what characteristic would identify you?
Please tell us about your education.
Are you book-smart, self-taught, widely-experienced?
Do you get by, live comfortably, live extravagantly?
What is your viewpoint on wealth?
On what special skills do you rely?
Are any of your skills a source of pride or embarrassment, and if so, which ones and why?
What kinds of things do you always carry (in pockets or purse)?
What is your family like?
Are you close to family?
Do you have children?
Are you involved in your community?
How well do you know your neighbors?
Do you see morality as black-and-white, or with shades of gray?
How do others perceive you based upon looks, and is this assumption accurate?
Do you care about what others assume about you?
If someone from your past showed up, who would you most want it to be, and why?
If someone from your past showed up, who would you most NOT want it to be, and why?
Can you keep a secret? Why or why not?
What secrets do you know about people around you that you do NOT share?
What inner doubt causes you the most difficulty?
What past event causes you the most fear?
What is your biggest need?
What are your biggest hopes and dreams?
What would help you face hardship and meet any challenge?
If you could make any one thing happen, what would it be?
What is your biggest personal flaw?
When there is a setback, what doubt or flaw surfaces?
How do you handle challenges?
What is your breaking point?
How do you express disappointment?
How emotionally expressive are you to others?
When (if) you lie or are upset, what gives you away?
Who in your life has the power to hurt you the most and why?
What would you like to tell your writer?
What would you like people who hear your story to know?

Questions for the Writer to Answer

(Change gender to fit the character)
Your character is at a party. Considering his story, describe the party.
How does the character feel about being this particular party, and what body language is he displaying that gives it away?
Is he more likely to mingle or remain aloof?
If he drinks, what is his drink of choice at this party?
How much drink is his usual?
The character figures out where the hiding places are and then goes there. Is it to hide, to avoid someone, or to go drag a friend back to the party?
Is he likely to latch onto a friend and stay with him/her and ignore others, or is he the friend that others latch onto?
If someone picked a fight at this party, how is the character going to handle it?
Is the character the one most likely to get tossed out of the party, or the one who does the tossing?
Will he know when to leave, or stay late and make a nuisance of himself?
This is not an exhaustive list of questions, but it should give you some insight into creating a unique and memorable character. Download this article in RTF.
A Romance for Christmas by Kayelle Allen
A Romance for Christmas
by Kayelle Allen 
A sweet feel-good holiday romance. It's Christmas Eve, and the end of a year in which everything Dara loves was lost. Everything but her little girl and a fierce determination to survive. When a cop brings Christmas to her door, he brings another gift she never expected to get.
Visit my Romance Lives Forever blog to find these questions, among many others, on the various downloadable questionnaires for guests to answer.
Kayelle Allen is a bestselling author. Her unstoppable heroes and heroines include contemporary every day folk, role-playing immortal gamers, futuristic covert agents, and warriors who purr.