Saturday, December 19, 2009


While being interviewed the other day over at Just Me & You, I was asked what I thought made a good story. I said well-developed characters and great emotion. Since then, I've been thinking, and have to add pacing to my list.

While we all agree that conflict is the heart of every good novel, we must also agree that without great pacing the reader will swiftly lose interest. The story can seem to drag and become boring.

It's all about rhythm. The peaks and valleys, speed it up, slow it down. Don't let you story follow one monotonous pattern. Even the way you break up your paragraphs adds to the rhythm and flow. Mix short, snappy sentences with longer complex one.

I like to think my novels are pacy. How do I achieve this? I stick to the point. Never settle in for long descriptive sentences, and I'll always aim to keep back story to very snappy sentences throughout the story.

How to slow your pace: Lengthy descriptions detailing environment, setting, back story, memories; flashbacks; Getting bogged down with tiny details; Lots of tags--especially the dreaded speech tags!

These are good ways to give readers a breather, but don't drone on until you put them to sleep.

How to speed up your pace: Snappy, rapid-fire dialogue; Precise action tags; Snippets of memories, setting etc; Stick to the point of the scene. Keep action/speech as significant as possible; Increase urgency; Make your reader want to find out what will happen next by hooking them with pieces of information. Never give away everything at once; Rein in flashbacks.

Mixing these two methods together will give your story ebb and flow, peaks and valleys, and balance your book. As well as high tension scenes that keep your reader on the edge of her seat, you have to give her a quick breather in between scenes. You can do this using sequel scenes.

And don't forget to fill each page with tension (whether that's sexual tension or suspense, or both) and emotion.

Until next time,
God bless.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me

It's my birthday!

This year has been a good year, with more ups than downs. People usually begin the new year on January 1st. I begin my new year the day of my birthday. At some point today I will sit and re-evaluate my plans, and make new ones.

This whole year has been an internal battle on what I should be writing. I've decided to go with the flow. Especially since I got a request for a full from Harlequin Mills & Boon, which I hope to get to them by the end of December.

You never know, by my next birthday (the big 4-oh) I might be celebrating a turn in my writing career!

As for b-day prezzies, I can't wait to read Wendy Alec's new release Son of Perdition -yay!

Anyway, thanks for hanging out with me. Have a little champagne and some of this delicious posh chocolate, but please don't sit on the chaise longue, that's my thinking chair...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

19 Year Wedding Anniversary

It's my and hubby's wedding anniversary today! Nineteen years. I can't believe it. Where did the years go? It only feels as if we got married yesterday. That has to be a good thing, don't you agree?

I've been asked how we did it. Let me see if I can break it down: Here is 19 reasons:

1. Dave is totally left brain and I am completely right brained ~ between the two of us, we have one brain -- hahaha.
2. As a deeply creative person, I need a lot of ego-stroking. Dave has perfected this fine art form over the years.
3. He is my best friend.
4. He is still as cute as he was at sixteen when I fell for him.
5. He is sweet, and yet an Alpha male.
6. He is a great dad.
7. Almost forgot, he's a great husband too.
8. He's clever.
9. He is a fantastic lov--um...guy (cheesy grin, telling wink)
10. He's perfected the ability to read my mind. Amazingly, he knows what I mean by, thingy, bit, the thing, on the side, the whatsit, "ah, you know what I mean", and "what was I going to say?"
11. He surprises me with little treats like a McDonald's Hot Apple Pie when I really would love one. Sometime I whinge about it when I've just started a diet--you know the one, it starts every Monday and only lasts half-a-day :)
12. He records programs he knows I'd like. 
13. After twenty-two years together, he still can't keep his hands off me. Nor I him.
14. He let's me be me!
15. He is everyone of my Heroes. All of my strong, sweet, clever, Alpha hero are based on my beloved Dave.
16. He's never jealous.
17. He keeps me from jumping into my impulsive decisions.
18. He makes me laugh even when I'm in the middle of a hissy fit.
19. He loves me beyond reason, and that's the way I love him too!

So there you go. 19 reasons for 19 years as to why we're still so deeply in love after all this time.