Elizabeth: Will They Live Happily Ever After?

Rear view of a couple sitting on beach with woman leaning head on man's shoulderRecently I’ve been working on the contemporary romance story I drafted during November’s NaNo writing blitz. One of the areas that I’m struggling with is making my hero and heroine’s happily-ever-after believable. I need both my characters and their relationship to grow and develop enough so that there is no doubt that they will be together long after the book is closed and put back on the shelf.

To do so, I need to answer the question: What do you need to “see” during the course of a story that will convince you two characters are going to stay together?

It’s not a trivial question. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints, the Wednesday Edition!

stopwatch graphicCan’t wait until Friday for a little bit of impromptu creative writing?

Well, you’re in luck. Fresh off the presses, it’s an early edition of Friday Writing Sprints. With Fall in full swing, the days getting shorter, and NaNoWriMo just around the corner, what better time than today to do a little writing.

Before we get started, let’s stretch our creativity with a few minutes of Opening Line(s) Improv.

The opening line(s) of a story have a lot of jobs to do. As the writer’s invitation to the reader, they need to set the tone, catch the reader’s interest, indicate the conflict, and more. That’s a lot of responsibility to put onto a few dozen words.

While it’s actually considered a story, rather than an opening, the line below is a great example of how to pack a world of meaning in just a few words. Continue reading

Elizabeth: That’s My Story

A fan of happily-ever-after from an early age.

A fan of happily-ever-after from an early age.

In her post on Sunday, Jilly talked about the kinds of things that would be an immediate turn off when considering a new book. Judging by the comments, we all have pretty strong ideas about what doesn’t work for us when it comes to our choice of reading material. The discussion got me to thinking about the flip side: what would get me to take a chance on a new book?

In the McDaniel program we talked about how an interesting cover can be a great way to catch a reader’s attention (harder for eBooks, but still possible). At the recent RWA conference I noticed that I was drawn to a number of book covers featuring cupcakes or cake (it’s possible I was hungry at the time) while other covers caught my attention with interesting titles and artwork. Regardless of what caught my eye initially, it was the story teaser on the back cover and the first few pages of the story that helped me decide what books I put back down and which ones I was willing to schlep all the way back home. Continue reading