Writer’s Wednesday

I’m continuing my using/recycling a magazine into a writing prompt. Last week was vague as I just started to brain storm but this week I felt the story coming together some what. I came up with the character’s names. I narrowed the premise down a bit… Samuel(my hero) is catching Marchesa (my heroine). She’s running because she can’t trust Samuel enough to risk her daughter’s life. I haven’t really found an angle with Marchesa’s eyes that I’m thrilled with yet…

IMAG0210 (1)

There is a secret obsession which I haven’t developed yet but I fell in love with the idea… the rest I’ve talked about

IMAG0211

Time is going to be a major factor in this story. Marchesa’s time is running out… why I haven’t developed yet but she’s desperate…. she needs to make sure her daughter is safe and she bring herself to trust Samuel.

These pages followed the those of last week. Next week my goal is to do 4 pages of prompts. Now that I’ve developed some basic blocks, I’m excited to continue to use this as food for my plot bunny.

Writer’s Wednesday

I’m taking a plotting from a character class. One of the suggestions the instructor made was … Give every character a secret. This may or may not come out. Either way, it shapes the character. This could be a secret fear, sexual fantasy, hidden lie, or a guilty pleasure. The secret doesn’t have to relate to the plot, but it’s stronger if it relates to the theme (more on that later).

secret.jpg

I’ve never done this unless the secret is pivotal to the story… this sort of falls into the plotting category when it’s just a secret for a sake of a secret that sort of like figuring out what is your characters favorite childhood book…

Now I totally believe you, as the writer, need to know your character to write him/her effectively. I remember when I first started writing, I’d fill out these 3 to 5 page character sheets. Oh My Hairy Frogs!!!! As a pantsers, this was a torture beyond a life without doughnuts.

Now as I thought about this, I found I could see this as merit for SOME characters that I develop. For example, a character who has desire to have sex in ‘easy to discover places’ this ‘kink’ could come from watching her best friend have sex as teen. In a non-creepy way. This secret wouldn’t have to be revealed to the reader but as the writer, I understand the character’s motive and that may lend to a stronger development.

I’d love to hear what you think about giving every character a secret.

Writer’s Wednesday

Clean shirt, new shoes
and I don’t know where I am goin’ to.
Silk suit, black tie,
I don’t need a reason why.
They come runnin’ just as fast as they can
coz every girl crazy ’bout a sharp dressed man.
From ZZ Top’s Sharp Dressed Man

Sooo what is a ‘sharp dressed hero’? Yeah, I know …“Nothing…” 🙂 But what about when the hero isn’t in bed?

The problem is your hunk and mine might not be the same. Do you want your hero in blue jeans or a three-piece suit??

Jeans....

Jeans….

A uniform???

A uniform???

Or a suit

Or a suit

Of course, we’re not talking only about clothing. What our heroes wear is simply one way to characterize them. I have entire section in my character notebook for clothes (male and female).
When we meet a hero for the first time, what he’s wearing leads us to make certain assumptions about his character. Blue collar or white collar? Slave-to-fashion or don’t-give-a-damn? Certainly a rich hunk could wear a pair of tight fitting jeans and a construction worker can dress up in a suit and tie, but what he wears tells us a lot about him.
Clothes are a lot like a setting – they set the mood and add another layer to the story.

 

So what have some of your favorite heroes wore? As a writer how much though, do you put into developing a wardrobe for your characters?

Sometimes bad is just bad

Regardless if I’m writing a paranormal, a cougar romance, or a steamy romance, suspense will be an element and most likely someone will be murdered. So I know the importance of a ‘good’ villain and by good I don’t mean nice. My villains are evil…bad to the core. Few have had any redeeming qualities (my young adult does but that is the only one).

I enjoy writing villains that bad. I don’t my readers to feel sorry for him/her. I have talked to fellow authors who feel villains need a ‘good’ side to appear human.

cruellaHow about Cruella Devile? I mean, she kidnapped PUPPIES to make a fur coat – not a lot of good there.

 

Or Hanniabl Lector. That man had issues and none of them good.hannibal

Or the Batman’s Joker…Batman would not be a ‘super’ hero without a ‘super’ bad guy.joker

Even though your villain is ‘all’ bad he/she still needs layers to avoid being a ‘cardboard’ figure. He/she needs a goal, motivation, and conflict. There has to be a reason for them to be a villain – something besides a bad mother or they were raised in foster care. Yes, both of these are awful and can result in issues but in my opinion they are over used so they no longer provoke any real emotion from the reader.

While Cruella is a very simple villain and would not hold up well in adult fiction she still is a great example of a pure evil villain. Why does she do what she does? Cruella loved furs. Simple – no mention of foster care or a mother that made her go without clothes in the winter – it’s just a love. I have an explainable love for donuts – I don’t kill for them, however, my kiddos knew better than to take mine J Cruella’s love (motivation), however, drove her to attempt to do socially unacceptable things (goal – have a coat made of puppy fur). The conflict comes in the length she has to go to get the puppies and where to keep them. And of course, it’s hard to find good help when you are kidnapping puppies to make a coat. Not one of personal conflict, she feels no remorse for what she does, it’s all external conflict.

What are some of your favorite villains and why?

Two for Tuesday

Today in celebration of my new release ~ Kick Start part of the Hot Rods Hot Bods anthology (check out co-author D.R. Slaten’s website ~ http://www.drslaten.com) I’m going to share two things about Dezmond and Jada and what inspired me…

Dezmond ~ (Modeled loosely after my brother-in-law and nephew who both motocross race)
2 of his favorites
1) Movies – the original three Star Wars
Favorite Yoda quote ~ When nine hundred years old you reach, look as good, you will not, hmmm? (Says this to his mechanic when his ribs are being examined)
2) Music – Sammy Hagar’s –Boy’s Night Out. As a side note he loves Sammy Hagar in general because of his customized Mustang and his Beach Bar Rum

– 2 things he likes the most about Jada
1) Her confidence on a bike. He loves to watch her perform stunts
2) Umm… everything about her body {after all it’s a HOT HOT romance :P}

Jada ~
– 2 of her favorites
1) Hockey – the Pittsburg Penguins.
2) Her favorite cartoon is Scooby Doo.

– 2 things she likes the most about Dez
1) His tattoo – It’s of a dragon. The tail and back claws on his back and it wraps around his shoulder so the head and front claws are on his chest.
2) The fact he respects her work and views her as an equal on a bike.

Some of the pictures I used as “inspiration”
Gabe

Hunter

Hunter & Jada
And that’s a sneak peak of Jada and Dez and what inspired Kick-Start. It’s available at…http://jupitergardenspress.com/shop/hot-rods-hot-bods/

Tasty Thursday

Aislynn, my heroine from Tide of Love, is a mermaid turned human. Her two favorite things about being human are sex and food – a girl written from my heart 😉 While researching sex toys on the internet she stumbles across a recipe for ‘Better than Sex’ cake.  Unable to believe such a things exist, she begins the endeavor to make it.

Here is my recipe for ‘Better than Sex’ cake. Rich chocolate cake, caramel, toffee, and whipped topping – need I say more?! To find out if Aislynn thinks the cake is better than sex with Finley check out Tide of Love ~ http://jupitergardenspress.com/2013/03/new-release-tide-of-love-by-lyncee-shillard/

BETTER THAN SEX CAKE

Ingredients:

1 (18.25 ounce) package devil’s food cake mix

1/2 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

6 ounces caramel ice cream topping

1 (1.4 ounce) Snicker or Milkway candybars, chopped

2 (1.4 ounce) chocolate covered toffee candy bars, broken into small pieces

1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

DIRECTIONS:

1.         Bake cake according to package directions for a 9×13 inch pan; cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. Make slits across the top of the cake, making sure not to go through to the bottom.

2.         In a saucepan over low heat, combine sweetened condensed milk and caramel topping, stirring until smooth and blended. Slowly pour the warm topping mixture over the top of the warm cake, letting it sink into the slits; then sprinkle the candy bars liberally across the entire cake while still warm.

3.         Let cake cool completely, then top with whipped topping. Decorate the top of the cake with some more chocolate toffee bar chunks and swirls of caramel topping. Refrigerate and serve right from the pan!

Two for Tuesday

I’m keeping in the theme from yesterday, incorporating bits of your everyday life in your writing. On Saturday, besides taking pictures of gargoyles and drinking S’more Martinis, we did listen to several local musical groups.

I know writers use music in several different ways. Some (including me) create a playlist for their WIP’s.  I often use music to add a layer to my characters, either my giving them a song they sing in the shower, or a genre of music they listen to during pivotal scenes. For an example, I had one character who listen to Thriving Ivy every night during she did her relaxation routine. She knew when she stepped out of the shower and heard that group playing, she was in trouble.  Sometimes, I have a character like a style of music I’m not a big fan of just because of the contrast it makes or how I can use to reveal a private element  or cue.

So back to my finds on Saturday.  I realize I live in remote N. Michigan but I had to go and see Absinthe. Why??? Because they play Amish industrial hardcore folk… I had NO idea what this was. Here is the link to their website in case you are interested.  http://www.reverbnation.com/absintheband While I don’t currently have a character that strikes me as a Amish industrial hardcore folk music junkie, I could see it coming into play in the second book of the series I’m currently working on.

The second act I made my family go to because NOT one admitted they wanted to see it was Wicker Basket. A direct quote from the festival guide ~ “A guy with a basket on his head makes electronic music.” He doesn’t have a website that I could locate but his show will be forever burned into my memory.

As a writer do you use music in your writing and if so how? As a reader, do find the music interest of the  characters adds dimension?

Teaser Tuesday

I’ve been tagged several times on facebook to do the 77-7-7 from my novel.  This is from my upcoming paranormal suspense romance, Tide of Love, that will be released next month and because it was x-rated with language I’m posting it here.

She's a mermaid who wants to experience every emotion known to humans. He doesn't believe in letting emotions get in the way

She’s a mermaid who wants to experience every emotion known to humans. He doesn’t believe in letting emotions get in the way

 

“I was disappointed the human changed his mind in the park.” A smile of pure evil curled his lips. “Your screams of ecstasy gave me a hard-on.” He ground his crotch against her hip. “I would have liked to watch him fuck you. See your face and hear cries of pleasure as you crested the peak. I can hardly wait to introduce you to the pleasures of pain.”

 

 

If anyone else would like to share thier 77-7-7, leave me a comment and I’ll tag you on facebook.  Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Yummy Thursday…

Treyvon makes this for Rae and Brody after a ‘little hot summer fun’

Eggplant Marinara Flatbread from Spike part of the Boys of Summer Anthology

  • 4 tablespoons (about) olive oil, divided
  • 6 1/3- to 1/2-inch-thick eggplant rounds (3 to 4 inches in diameter; from 1 large)
  • 1 loaf ciabatta or pain rustique, cut horizontally in half, trimmed to 9-inch length
  • 1 1/4 cups purchased fresh marinara sauce
  • 2 ounces soft fresh goat cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil plus 6 whole leaves (for garnish)
  • 1 cup coarsely grated mozzarella cheese (about 4 ounces)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle eggplant with salt and pepper. Place in skillet. Cover. Cook until tender, turning, 10 minutes. Transfer to plate. Brush cut side of bottom half of bread with rest of oil. Cook in skillet, cut side down, until golden, 1 minute.

Place bread, cut side up, on baking sheet. Spread with 3/4 cup sauce. Crumble goat cheese over; sprinkle with chopped basil. Top with eggplant. Mound mozzarella on eggplant; spoon remaining sauce over.

Bake bread until topping is hot and crust is crisp, about 12 minutes. Cut into 6 pieces. Garnish with basil leaves

Now Available!!!

Motivation Monday ~

First, I’d like to thank EVERYONE who stopped by and left me a comment during the Hot Summer Nights blog hop.  I”ll be e-mailing the five winners today to get your addy’s. 

Everyone needs motivation to accomplish a task or reach a goal. And what works for one person may not have any effect for another. During my years at my EDJ I had to constantly figure out what would motivate my students. For some a box of PopTarts would work wonders, others it was a 2 litter of soda, and then for those who could look long term there were shoes, jeans, or cell phones.

 

I’m the kitten and my current WIP is the big bird…

Now as I shift to full-time writer, I’ve come to see what use to work as motivation isn’t there. I no longer have restricted time but the major difference – I don’t need the escape. Before, I’d come home and need to rid my mind of the nightmares of my EDJ. I’d submerge myself into a hot sex scene, a cliff hanger suspense chapter, or a humorous exchange between characters and my day would fade away.

 So while I need to increase my output for the shift I need in income, I have found that last week’s word count was less then when I had strip throat.

 This smack in the forehead led to my subject matter – motivation.  What will it be? Now I know for some if they set personal daily word count goals, they are driven to meet it. Me? Not so much. My mind just doesn’t work like that. I’m not competitive by nature (the entire can’t color inside the line thing I have). I have the desire/want to be a full-time writer but then I also have the desire/want to live in a hut on a tropical beach and so far neither is happening.

 I’m setting goals again this week but I’m also taking into consideration I need ‘prizes’ attached to them. So I’m making a list of things I’d like. “Mini” prizes with a bigger one at the end of the week. 

 I’ll report back next week on which one worked and which didn’t. (I’d like to say I know this will be a ‘sure thing’ but also from experience I know that even though the goal/prizes are there the mental hurdles can block the success).

 So what are some of the things you use for motivation? Does a simple word count goal work for you?