Friday, April 3, 2020

Editor Alice Orr on It Takes Two to Tangle: Relationships that Move Your Story @AliceOrrBooks #MFRWauthor #amwriting


Editor Alice Orr on It Takes Two to Tangle: Relationships that Move Your Story #MFRWauthor #amwriting
It Takes Two to Tangle, in real life and in storytelling. But, whether a fictional connection is romantic or not, the other person in your main character's relationship exists, mainly, for the purpose of moving and intensifying your hero's story.
The second character gives your hero someone to talk to, moves her thoughts into dialogue. Which cuts down on internal monologue that slows the pace of the story. Dialogue appears more active on the page than paragraphs of uninterrupted narrative, and more active to the reader's consciousness also. This dialogue must, of course be interesting and compelling.
How do you make dialogue interesting? First, by creating a complex, fascinating story mate to match your complex, fascinating hero. A mate whose opinions and attitudes differ from those of your main character. They may be mates in general, but they debate, irritate one another, and even openly conflict on occasion.
These conflicts are usually variations in attitude rather than violent disagreements. They force your hero to articulate her feelings and beliefs. This allows your reader to know her better and identify more closely with her, which is critical to hooking the reader into your story.
The second character need not be portrayed as sympathetically as the hero. This mate character may be in the process of evolving, with something major yet to learn in life. He or she may or may not accomplish that goal in this story, unlike your hero who must learn and grow.
You should also contrast these two characters in more external ways. Family and cultural background, life experience, economic and social status, physical appearance. These differences provide potential for fireworks in the relationship, which may be sexual or not. Either way, they enflame reader interest, and that heat serves your storytelling purpose.
In real life, we prefer people to get along, but, in fiction, too much harmony is boring. Conflict in a story relationship makes that story more interesting. However, you, as author, must understand what storytelling conflict is. Banter back and forth between characters, no matter how clever, is not strong enough conflict to create compelling fiction.
There must be a crucial problem between the characters for real conflict to occur. The greater the problem, the more intense the trouble between them becomes, and intense conflict is the heart of strong storytelling. These two characters may basically like, or even love, each other, but if they get along too well for chapter after chapter, they lose the reader's interest.
You must create characters with the potential for legitimate contention between them. Most importantly, create an active hero with the strength to stand up for herself and what she believes, and to defy opposition. She is a person who refuses to remain passive while bad things happen to her, or to those she cares about. This portrayal makes her defiance believable.
Next, create a mate character strong enough to be a worthy adversary. Now, you have a relationship that is a juxtaposition of equals, with potential for true tension between them. Without this tension, conflict that grips your reader will fail to ignite. With this tension, and the sparks it produces, the relationship, and your storytelling, set fire to the page.
For more insights into writing and publishing, visit my blog at www.aliceorrbooks.com.
Alice Orr is author of 16 novels, 3 novellas, a memoir and No More Rejections: 50 Secrets to Writing a Manuscript that Sells. A former book editor and literary agent, Alice now writes full-time. Her latest novel is A Time of Fear and Loving – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book 5. Find all of Alice Orr's books at amazon.com and other online retailers. Alice has two grown children and two perfect grandchildren and lives with her beloved husband Jonathan in New York City.
Author Website www.aliceorrbooks.com


Monday, March 9, 2020

Retweet with fellow members on #MFRWauthor Retweet Day @MFRW_ORG

It's Retweet Day for MFRW on Twitter. All Marketing for Romance Writers are invited to set up tweets for their books.

Go into Twitter and create a tweet. Make sure to use #MFRWauthor or #MFRWorg You can share up to 280 characters per tweet.

Once the tweet has been posted, click anywhere in the white background of the tweet. This will open it and allow you to highlight and copy the URL.

Navigate back to here and paste the URL in the comment section of this post.

Each month, the RT post goes live the Monday before RT day. You can post your tweet until Wednesday of the same week.

Retweet Day is on the second Wednesday of each month. Retweet everyone on the list who uses one of the hashtags.

HINT:
To help people find your tweet, click the the white background and then the down arrow (found on the right side). Choose "Pin to Your Profile Page." This will keep the tweet at the top of your Twitter feed so more people can find it.

Retweet Day Rules

1. Must have #MFRWauthor or #MFRWorg in the tweet. (This retweet day is to promote each other and our group.)
2. Do not use profanity or sexual explicit graphics. Keep it for all age groups.
3. Please do not use adult topics for this one tweet.
4. Limit hashtags to three (3) per post.
5. Return on Retweet Day and click each link in the comments.**
6. On the tweet, click the heart and then the retweet button.

** To share a tweet, highlight the url, right click, and you will see an option to open the link or go to the url. Do that, and it should open in a new window and take you there.

Come back after sending the tweet and go through the entire list. 

Here's to a great day of retweets!

Kayelle Allen writes Sci Fi with misbehaving robots, mythic heroes, role playing immortal gamers, and warriors who purr. She is the author of multiple books, novellas, and short stories. She's also a US Navy veteran and has been married so long she's tenured.




Monday, February 10, 2020

Share your tweet on #MFRWauthor Retweet Day @MFRW_ORG

It's Retweet Day for MFRW on Twitter. All Marketing for Romance Writers are invited to set up tweets for their books.

Go into Twitter and create a tweet. Make sure to use #MFRWauthor or #MFRWorg You can share up to 280 characters per tweet.

Once the tweet has been posted, click anywhere in the white background of the tweet. This will open it and allow you to highlight and copy the URL.

Navigate back to here and paste the URL in the comment section of this post.

Each month, the RT post goes live the Monday before RT day. You can post your tweet until Wednesday of the same week.

Retweet Day is on the second Wednesday of each month. Retweet everyone on the list who uses one of the hashtags.

HINT:
To help people find your tweet, click the the white background and then the down arrow (found on the right side). Choose "Pin to Your Profile Page." This will keep the tweet at the top of your Twitter feed so more people can find it.

Retweet Day Rules

1. Must have #MFRWauthor or #MFRWorg in the tweet. (This retweet day is to promote each other and our group.)
2. Do not use profanity or sexual explicit graphics. Keep it for all age groups.
3. Please do not use adult topics for this one tweet.
4. Limit hashtags to three (3) per post.
5. Return on Retweet Day and click each link in the comments.**
6. On the tweet, click the heart and then the retweet button.

** To share a tweet, highlight the url, right click, and you will see an option to open the link or go to the url. Do that, and it should open in a new window and take you there.

Come back after sending the tweet and go through the entire list. 

Here's to a great day of retweets!

Kayelle Allen writes Sci Fi with misbehaving robots, mythic heroes, role playing immortal gamers, and warriors who purr. She is the author of multiple books, novellas, and short stories. She's also a US Navy veteran and has been married so long she's tenured.




Monday, February 3, 2020

All's Well that Ends Well: Endings that Satisfy by Alice Orr @aliceorrbooks #AmWriting #MFRWauthor


How to Write the Ending that Satisfies

All's Well that Ends Well: Endings that Satisfy by Alice Orr @aliceorrbooks #AmWriting #MFRWauthor
How do I make my story ending sell my book? Good question, just not the right question. Why not? Because the ending of your story doesn't sell this book as much as it sells your next one.
Have you ever finished a book and wanted to throw it across the room, or maybe actually did throw it across the room? Very often the book's ending made you do that, and also made certain you wouldn't buy that author's next book.
Your goal as a storyteller is to avoid being thrown across the room, to avoid losing a reader for your next book and the ones after it. To reach that goal, you must create a story ending that does not frustrate. You must create an ending that satisfies.
The end game of your story is a danger zone, partly because you are likely to be tired of these people and their situation by now. In fact, if you are a committed storyteller, your head and heart may already be deep into your next book. Because of that, you must be careful not to write the ending in this rhythm. Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, The End. That ending does not satisfy. That ending lacks the essential Big Bang.
In earlier articles, I used the film classic Casablanca to illustrate the Dramatic Opening and the Middle that Moves. Casablanca is an example of the Ending that Satisfies, too. Rick and Ilsa's story is especially rich in this respect because it has two narrative threads, an action suspense thread and an emotional suspense thread, and both are tied up with a Big Bang at the end.
The action climax is an actual, audible bang when arch villain German Major Strasser is shot dead. The emotional climax is more drawn out, and that slightly slowed down pace is part of what gives it impact. Rick, played by Humphrey Bogart, tells Ilsa, played by Ingrid Bergman, why she must take the plane to Lisbon and safety, not with him, but with her husband, Nazi hunter Victor Laszlo.
The plane engine rumbles to life in the background. A single tear trembles on Ilsa's perfect cheek. And Bogie says some of the most memorable lines of his career.
Rick: Inside of us, we both know you belong with Victor. You're part of his work, the thing that keeps him going. If that plane leaves the ground and you're not with him, you'll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.
Ilsa: But what about us?
Rick: We'll always have Paris.

Rick walks off then with Vichy Captain Louis Renault, who has finally discovered his inner good guy. But the Big Bang really happens in that moment with Ilsa, when brooding cynic Rick finds his own true heroic nature and sacrifices his heart for the good of the world and his soul.
We could hardly be more satisfied, and it all looks smooth and easy. But don't be fooled. To carry off an ending that works this well, there has to be a plan. To create a Big Bang Ending for your story, you must also have a plan. You must plan your climactic scene in detail. Don't write a word until that plan is perfect. Here are some specific suggestions for planning your Big Bang Ending.

Plan:

·         ...mostly action and dialogue, very little narrative.
·         ...keep all of this action on stage, in the immediate present.
·         ...dialogue that is spare, to the point and memorable.
·         ...on intensifying the pace, faster than what has gone before.
·         ...lots of physical movement in the scene.
·         ...lots of intense sensation – sight, sound, smell, texture and more.
·         ...plunge your protagonist into peril.
·         ...one more obstacle to arise for your protagonist. Make it formidable.
·         ...a confrontation between your protagonist and antagonist.
·         ...on milking that confrontation, while keeping up the intense pace.
·         ...for your protagonist to cause action, not merely be overtaken by it.
·         ...communicate your protagonist's feelings, with impact, to the reader.
·         ...on incorporating fear, even terror, among those emotions.
·         ...the presence of real danger to your protagonist in this scene.
·         ...an outcome in the balance.
·         ...that outcome as crucial to your protagonist.
·         ...for your protagonist to be nearly vanquished in this scene.
·         ...for your protagonist to be racing against time.
·         ...for your protagonist to triumph in the last possible moment.
·         ...for your protagonist to triumph by the narrowest of margins.
·         ...for this triumph to be uplifting and inspiring.

The purpose of a Big Bang Ending is to reverberate after the last page is turned, to lodge in the psyche of the reader and be remembered, all the way to the bookstore, or the Buy Now button, and the purchase of your next title. Stage your final scene the way a choreographer stages a dance. The result will be a powerful Dramatic Ending at full circle from your Dramatic Opening, and equally or even more thrilling.
Now you must recognize that your story is over. You and your protagonist have exploded out of the explosive situation you exploded into on page one. You must resist the temptation to hang around a while longer. You have taken your reader on an unforgettable ride. Leave before she has a chance to catch her breath. Leave before he has had enough. Leave them wanting more. No Epilogues, Please.
When you have accomplished all of that – Here's looking at you, kid.
ALICE ORR is the author of 16 novels, 3 novellas, a memoir and No More Rejections: 50 Secrets to Writing a Manuscript that Sells. A former book editor and literary agent, Alice now lives her dream as a full-time writer. Her latest novel is A Time of Fear and Loving: Riverton Road Romantic Suspense - Book 5. Alice has two grown children and two perfect grandchildren and resides with her husband Jonathan in New York City.
Alice Orr – www.aliceorrbooks.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/aliceorrbooks
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aliceorrwriter
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Alice-Orr/e/B000APC22E

Monday, January 6, 2020

Retweet Day for #MFRWorg Come share your tweet! @MFRW_ORG

It's Retweet Day for MFRW on Twitter. All Marketing for Romance Writers are invited to set up tweets for their books.

Go into Twitter and create a tweet. Make sure to use #MFRWauthor or #MFRWorg You can share up to 280 characters per tweet.

Once the tweet has been posted, click anywhere in the white background of the tweet. This will open it and allow you to highlight and copy the URL.

Navigate back to here and paste the URL in the comment section of this post.

Each month, the RT post goes live the Monday before RT day. You can post your tweet until Wednesday of the same week.

Retweet Day is on the second Wednesday of each month. Retweet everyone on the list who uses one of the hashtags.

HINT:
To help people find your tweet, click the the white background and then the down arrow (found on the right side). Choose "Pin to Your Profile Page." This will keep the tweet at the top of your Twitter feed so more people can find it.

Retweet Day Rules

1. Must have #MFRWauthor or #MFRWorg in the tweet. (This retweet day is to promote each other and our group.)
2. Do not use profanity or sexual explicit graphics. Keep it for all age groups.
3. Please do not use adult topics for this one tweet.
4. Limit hashtags to three (3) per post.
5. Return on Retweet Day and click each link in the comments.**
6. On the tweet, click the heart and then the retweet button.

** To share a tweet, highlight the url, right click, and you will see an option to open the link or go to the url. Do that, and it should open in a new window and take you there.

Come back after sending the tweet and go through the entire list. 

Here's to a great day of retweets!

Kayelle Allen writes Sci Fi with misbehaving robots, mythic heroes, role playing immortal gamers, and warriors who purr. She is the author of multiple books, novellas, and short stories. She's also a US Navy veteran and has been married so long she's tenured.




Friday, January 3, 2020

Building a Hero with Stature and What Not to Do by Alice Orr @AliceOrrBooks #MFRWauthor #amwriting


Building a Hero with Stature – What Not to Do

Building a Hero with Stature and What Not to Do by Alice Orr #MFRWauthor #amwriting
If your storytelling goal is wide audience appeal, build an admirable hero. A hero the reader will look up to, and remember that when I use the term hero, I'm referring to main characters of all genders.
I base my admirable hero assertion on two things. First, the bestseller lists. Most fiction titles you find there tell stories of admirable protagonists confronting great obstacles in admirable ways. Second, my experience as editor and literary agent, which too often illustrated what an admirable hero is not. Here are some examples, with names changed for discretion's sake.
Caroline is the hero of a Regency romance set in early nineteenth century England. We're told she's a woman of spotless character, which would be an appropriate portrayal. Most readers of this genre prefer their heroines intelligent, wise and, above all, dignified. An author seeking wide reader appeal would be wise herself to honor these preferences.
Unfortunately, Caroline is not the highly principled woman we are told she is. Instead, she shows herself to be of low moral character. Specifically, she joins a traveling theatrical company where her performance specialty is as a procurer or, in more forthright terms, a pimp. 
To make matters worse, Caroline lacks acceptable motivation for her choices. She's an unhappily married woman to be sure, but she is also from the landed gentry with ample financial means. She doesn't need to disgrace herself and her family to escape her husband, nor allow herself to be degraded as she does in this author's story.
A Regency era main character may find herself in dire straits. She may act to overcome her trials in many ways, but not at the expense of dignity and self-respect. Otherwise, she becomes too tawdry to qualify as a hero of this genre, and maybe as an admirable hero of any genre, at least for a non-established author. Bestsellers can afford to take chances, sometimes.
As for Sebastian, I wonder if even his author liked him very much. Sebastian is cold, distant and uncaring. His lack of compassion must be counteracted by noble qualities to make him an admirable hero. He could be written as remote on the surface with endearing depths beneath, but, in this portrayal, under his craggy surface beats a heart of unappealing stone.
Kendra has heroic qualities but is never called upon to use them. Her story is meant to be suspenseful. She should be in danger, real danger that, to maximize appeal, threatens her life. She is strong, resourceful and brave. We're eager to see those qualities tested by extreme circumstance. When no truly thrilling challenges arise, our reader expectations are dashed.
Kendra's author could have made stronger storytelling choices. A perilous situation, which Kendra only narrowly escapes. Better still, another character, vulnerable, like a child, faces serious threat, and Kendra risks her life to defy that threat. These scenarios would reveal her heroism in action and intensify the suspense. Instead, Kendra is a heroine waiting to happen, and the author squanders the dramatic potential of her story.
Shattered reader expectations, heartless main characters, dramatic potential squandered. Avoid these like the storytelling plagues they are, unless you're a bestselling author with maybe some room for risk. Build instead a hero with stature we can admire.
For more insights into writing and publishing – Visit my blog at www.aliceorrbooks.com.

About Alice Orr

Alice Orr is the author of 16 novels, 3 novellas, a memoir and No More Rejections: 50 Secrets to Writing a Manuscript that Sells. A former book editor and literary agent, Alice now lives her dream as a full-time writer. Her latest novel is A Time of Fear and Loving: Riverton Road Romantic Suspense - Book 5. Alice has two grown children and two perfect grandchildren and resides with her husband Jonathan in New York City.
Author Website www.aliceorrbooks.com
Author Blog www.aliceorrbooks.com
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/aliceorrwriter
Twitter https://twitter.com/aliceorrbooks
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Alice-Orr/e/B000APC22E