Saturday, February 17, 2024

February's Round Robin Blog

 Feb 17

Our Round Robin topic this month is Goal, Motivation, and Conflict; it is the glue that holds your story together and keeps your reader turning the page. It can and should be applied to every central character in your story to create more emotional impact while readers, knowingly or unknowingly, experience its benefit. In a romance, if your reader reaches for the Kleenex, you’ve done your job as a writer. Or, in a mystery, if a murderer is apprehended and brought to justice, that reader may well feel a great sense of satisfaction or relief at the conclusion.

These goals, motivations, and conflicts can be internal or external, but when GMC is internal, it exposes the character’s emotional needs. Who wants what? Why do they want it? What stops them from getting it? Digging deep into your character’s psyche can build a compelling storyline because their goals, motivations, and conflicts can often be linked to emotional wounds.

Say a character has been unlucky in love. They might conclude they are just not lovable and don’t deserve to be loved. Their emotional wound or need is to find love, which becomes their goal. Their motivation might be to move beyond those feelings of unworthiness, which can create conflict. How do they achieve the very thing they want the most? What is standing in their way or preventing them from reaching their goal? This block can also be their external conflict.

What if your character looking for love meets someone who continually puts them down in a mean or sly way? How long before Character #1 realizes what Character #2 is up to? This realization can become a powerful external conflict as Character #1 comes to terms with it. What if Character #1 decides they must escape Character #2? What ugly confrontation could stem from it and add weight to your story?

There are many ways to work with these aspects of writing a story. Some writers use charts, and others write backstories. I don’t want to make writing a more challenging exercise than it already is, so when I do my character profile, I make bullet points and then enlarge them as I write because I am more of a pantser than a plotter.

I’m always interested in how other authors deal with different aspects of the writer’s craft, so now I’ll see what I can learn from the following:

Dr. Bob Rich 

Anne Stenhouse

Connie Vines

Helena Fairfax

Diane Bator

Skye Taylor

Thursday, February 15, 2024

My New Book



Released on February 1st in e-book, also available in print.

Professional football was Ty Harding’s life. Injury and age ended it. Now what? Returning to the family ranch after two decades to decide his future, he finds it in crisis. His mother needs help, and Ty’s ranching skills are rusty. His only recourse is his high school sweetheart, who runs the adjoining property.

Georgia Caldwell manages her thriving spread, competes in team cattle penning, and has little room for anything more, especially an injured football hero.

 Ty is captivated by the strong woman Georgia has become. Is her busy life the reason she keeps her distance from him, or is it something else? Could whatever she is hiding keep them apart, or can Ty become the man Georgia needs for them to rekindle what they once had?


Saturday, January 20, 2024

Our First Round Robin of 2024

 The idea for the first Round Robin of 2024 caught me short-footed during a deep freeze. I am taking care of two houses while the owner is on vacation, and in the one where I live, the water froze, so my mind was not exactly on any writing project.

When asked to share some ideas on giveaways as a marketing tool, my initial thought was that the only giveaway I had ever initiated via Goodreads a long time ago wasn’t too successful. However, with much patience and slightly improved temperatures, the water and my thoughts began to flow.

I tend to write books in series of three, as in The Berkeley Square Series, Books 1 – 3, and Those Regency Belles, Books 1 - 3. The Buxton Chronicles come in one volume of three novellas, and I have just completed Book 3 in my Western Collection of contemporary Western romances.

Several years ago, I ran a giveaway on my author’s FaceBook page, asking a question to which anyone who had read Book 1 of The Berkeley Square Series would know the answer, and offered Book 2 to the first reader to get it right. I had lots of likes for that post, but no responses, correct or otherwise. At the time, I had already moved on to writing Book 3 in that series, so I didn’t pursue that idea. It might be time to try again.

I have never offered ‘swag’ at conferences and workshops as I have seen too many bookmarks and other advertising materials unceremoniously dumped before the day or weekend was over. Yes, spending money to make money is possible, but I don’t believe in throwing good money around. Most authors have a budget for advertising, and I admit that mine is minimal for various reasons.

Another idea I had was to invite my followers to name a character or become a character, bearing in mind the genre of the book. The winner of that particular venture appeared as the housekeeper in Those Regency Belles, Book 3. That was quite good fun, and I think I might try that again with my next book.

The most I spend on advertising is for my business cards, which I leave wherever possible. I also use them as bookmarks by punching a hole in one corner and attaching a beaded ribbon or lengths of fancy string. Dollar and thrift stores are an excellent resource for these types of materials. My other go-to is postcards. I can get three books and their blurb on a postcard, and when I make up bundles, I will place a postcard advertising The Berkeley Square Series with Those Regency Belles, and vice versa.

I see the most positive results when I give a book away. I usually make a note for myself of which book I gave and when I gave it, and then when I get my sales report from my publisher, I check to see what, if any, result came from it. It’s been noticeable that after a book giveaway, I often notice an uptick in sales of my other books, so that method seems to work best for me.

Like many authors, I prefer the writing process to the necessary one of self-promotion and advertising. My virtual assistant monitors my FaceBook page and posts when sales are on various platforms, or a new book is released. I’d struggle without her, so I appreciate all she does for me.

So now I will visit these authors and see what tricks and tips they offer.

Dr. Bob Rich

Connie Vines

Skye Taylor