From my experience, free writing or practice writing as Natalie Goldberg refers to the exercise, is one of the best tools for writers of all levels. From the person looking to write their first piece, to the seasoned writer needing to break out of a seemingly endless block and reconnect with their lost or forgotten muse, timed prompt-writing never fails to jump start one’s creative flow, help discover your writer’s voice, or strengthen the one already in place.Read More
Welcome to Write Life Wednesday.
I had hoped to make this post one of inspiration, great words by leaders in the industry on how to get your butt in that chair and not to move it until you have achieved and exceeded your dreams of publishing fame.Read More
The hook is a tried and true technique in the opening of a story that snares the readers attention to a degree that he/she will keep reading even if the family dinner may be burning to a charcoal crisp on the stove, your husband/partner states they have something important to discuss, or your all-time favorite television show is about to begin. A good hook leaves the reader unable to resist turning the page. A good hook tugs at your emotions and gets under your skin compelling you, the reader, forward into the story to follow where the writer wants you to go.Read More
What would you most like your readers to know about you that they would not likely read in your official bio?
My birthday is on Christmas day, and since I’m the youngest in the family, my older sisters refer to that as “The year Tracy ruined Christmas.” I’m pretty sure they’re over it by now but I’m not placing any money on it.Read More
Bobbi and I are settling back into our normal routines after having a fantastic time at the New England Chapter Romance Writers of America Conference this past week. We had the time of our lives... seriously....Read More
This weekend, Bobbi and I are headed to the New England Chapter Romance Writers of America Conference Let Your Imagination Take Flight, where we will be presenting the workshop Prompt-Writing to Unlock Your Muse.
It's going to be a lot of fun, and if you are in the Boston area and haven't yet registered, you should do that! Go ahead, it's fine... I'll wait.Read More
I don’t like to write dialogue. I find it difficult and often slow going. I tend to torture myself over every word asking myself the same questions. Does this conversation sound stilted? Does anyone actually speak in the manner of my characters? Is this conversation boring? Most importantly, does it move the story forward or just act as filler?Read More
I consider myself a perfectionist—this is not a good thing. Things may be collapsing in chaos around me, but, darn it, I’m going to make whatever it is that I’m working on the absolute best it can be. For example, in preparing for this blog post on the writing process—and knowing what I consider my writing process—I spent several hours researching others’ definition, not to mention all the different ways every other writer in the world approaches her/his craft. (Full disclaimer: I gave up after two.)
Needless to say, that was not helpful.Read More
Plotter vs. pantser: it’s the great debate in genre writing circles. Plotters are orderly, mapping out their plots and character arcs, sometimes just by chapter or scene but frequently in more detail. You’ll frequently find them scribbling on wipe boards or rearranging Post-Its.Read More
A few fun facts about our author:
An award-winning and eclectic author, Cara Marsi is published in romantic suspense, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance. She loves a good love story, and believes that everyone deserves a second chance at love. Sexy, sweet, thrilling, or magical, Cara’s stories are first and foremost about the love. Treat yourself today, with a taste of romance.Read More
I’m delighted to welcome back multi-published author of the recently released holiday novella, Noelle’s Surprise, Amazon best-selling romantic suspense writer, Merry Holly.
A few facts about our author: Merry Holly aka Marian Lanouette was born in Brooklyn, New York and is the seventh out of ten children. She took to writing to explore new and adventurous places. While her friends traveled on planes for vacation Marian traveled in books. With an overactive imagination, it didn’t take long for her to start creating her own characters and stories. The Jake Carrington Mystery 1st bookIf I Fail was released in 2013, followed in January of 2014 with Burn in Hell. She is now working on the much-anticipated third book in the series Mated for Life.Read More
Today, in Part Two, I share a few key strategies I’ve found helpful in my quest for tight writing:
Dump most of the backstory, and by this I mean any of the information about the protagonist’s character history and background that can be weaved into the story through dialogue or action.Read More
I’m delighted to welcome back multi-published historical romance writer, Gerri Brousseau, and author of the recently just released holiday novella, Enticed by a Laird – Season of Surprises Holiday Anthology Box Set.
A Few fun facts about our author:
I was born and raised in Connecticut where I reside with my beloved pug, Mimi Sue, and our cats, Harry and Louise (a/k/a The Weasel). I am the author of A Pirate’s Ransom, According to Legend, To Kill a Monarch (Soul Mate Publishing), The Yuletide Bride (Season of Magic), Puppy Love (Season of Love), andEnticed by a Laird (Season of Surprises).Read More
Here at Scribbler's Ink, we've always believed in the power of writing prompts. Like all great athletes and musicians, writers should also spend time to perfect their craft. Our writing prompts are designed to unleash your creative voice and silence your inner editor.
Each of our workshops are tailored to allow writers of all levels and all genres to be able to sit down, silence their inner editor and let their own unique voice come through. Our next workshop will be held November 21st in Salem, MA. We hope you will join us for this transformative writing experience.
Our last workshop on October 24th was held at our new location in Salem, MA. Despite the cold and grey weather outside, our workshop attendees spent the day indoors sharing their writing, working on prompts and bonding over similar life experiences.
I’m delighted to welcome writer, Madison West, author of the just released, contemporary romance novella, Turkish Delight, part of an eight story holiday anthology, Season of Surprises.
First a few facts about our author:
Madison West is an avid reader and book reviewer for Contemporary-Books.com. When not busy with her many graphic design projects, she loves to plot a story for her next book or upcoming trip to another part of the world.
Critique partners, agents and editors are known to call for tighter sentences from writers, but often offer little direction on how to accomplish this.
I have a fantasy where I sit down, turn on my laptop, and words flow from my brain to my fingertips and onto the page in a perfect publication-ready state.
First a bit about our author:
I live in South East London, UK with my partner, Alan. My major life defining moments have been having my two sons, surviving the tsunami, walking 600 miles through Spain and being invited to tea at Buckingham Palace. HRH Prince Charles recognized my work with the Red X, and the cucumber sandwiches were excellent, but it bucketed down all afternoon causing my hat to fall apart. I am a teacher (FE). I am a writer.Read More
On August 29th we hosted a workshop in picturesque Nahant, MA. Our writers sat at a table under the shade of the trees, and with an ocean breeze lingering around us, we worked on several writing prompts through out the day. There was a brief break for a delicious catered lunch, and some informal chatter. Join us for our next workshop on September 26th! To learn more please click here.
About our author:
Stacy Hoff is a writer and attorney. She specializes in contracts by day, and writing romance novels by night. Stacy lives in New England with her husband and two boys.
What would you most like your readers to know about you that they would not read in your official bio?
I am an artist. Once a month I take art classes. I’d like to take more, but considering my full-time law career, full-time mommy job, part-time writing stint, and need to also spend quality time with my husband, it just isn’t feasible. I relish the time I do have in the art studio. For the past two years I’ve focused on sketching live nude figures in charcoal. I love the creative freedom—so different from the linear process of writing.
How did you become involved with the Season of Love Anthology?
I know several of the wonderful ladies that made this anthology, and they invited me. I was excited to be asked, and thrilled to be included.
Tell us Scribbler’s a bit about “Love Delights, and what inspired this story?
One word: Chocolate. There is simply no food more seductive in existence. Anyone who wants to fight me on this is going down. Seriously.
As for the heart of the story, I tried to make this sumptuous as well—two co-workers (and ex-lovers) at a NYC ad agency won’t admit they’re hungry for each other. Too bad they’re in competition for the same ad campaign, and job promotion.
Do you have a preference for the novella/short story venue vs. the longer novel?
Both long and short stories present writing challenges, as well as excellent opportunities. Before writing “Love Delights,” I had only written long. The Season of Love Anthology gave me the chance to experience writing short. The downside of creating a 12,000-word manuscript is having a whole lot less time to build in all the elements needed (character arc, plot, backstory, etc.). The upside is having no sagging middle to have to jump in and save.
What is the first thing you know for sure about a new story; Concept? Plot? Character? Something else?
It really varies each time I write. I am a definite “pantser” and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. I’d say if I get anything concrete down before I start, it is the general concept of the book, although that’s not usually too fleshed out, either. Since my day job is as a lawyer, I like to let my creativity guide the way when I write fiction. If I couldn’t simply follow my Muse I probably wouldn’t write novels at all. What would be the fun?
Is the writing process different for you when writing the shorter novella vs. a full-length novel?
Not at all. Pants away!
Your characters are so well developed, do you create a deep backstory for your lead hero and heroine when you are writing a novella, or do the characters let you know what they want to do and where they want to go as you write?
Thanks for the compliment! I do develop a deep backstory for my characters, though not everything will make it into the story.
If given the opportunity to influence the storyline, would your hero, Trevor, make any changes? Would your heroine, Deirdre?
Yeah, if Trevor could change in the plot he’d get Deirdre into bed—and his life—ASAP!
As for Deirdre, she would have already made peace with what has happened in the past—both with Trevor and her family—and be with him.
Tell us about your heroine; give us one strength and weakness.
Deirdre is extremely creative, which is why the ad agency holds her in high regard. Her weakness, however, is that all of her insecurities hamper her creative process.
Do you see any members of the Valenti family getting their own story?
Good question, I never thought of it! I always start off writing stand-alone books, although I’m finding sequels can emerge. In fact, this November I do have a sequel (Desire in the Arctic) coming out for the first full length novel I wrote (Desire in the Everglades). Would I write a sequel for “Love Delights,” starring one of Deidre’s family members, the Valentis? Sure!
If you could cast anyone to play the roles of Deirdre and Trevor, who would you pick?
I’m so pathetic with my crush on Hollywood hottie, Daniel Craig. He’s always who I picture when I write my hero. Sigh… Anyway, for “Love Delights,” Daniel would need longer hair.
For Deirdre, I’d need an actress who could portray a sweet yet insecure creative type. Bonus points if the actress can show a simmering sexual heat she’s desperately trying to beat back down into submission. Any ideas from Scribbler’s Ink readers would be welcomed!
Can we have an excerpt from Love Delights?
Deirdre’s iPhone’s appointment-book feature finally went off, letting out a sharp beep. This was it—meeting time. Positive thoughts, Dee, only positive thoughts. A cold shiver ran through her as a thought popped into her head. They do value me here, right? After all she’d gone through, she just had to get this promotion. She would get this promotion. In fact, in a few minutes when it became official she’d go down to a bar, toast herself with a coconut daiquiri, then drunk-dial her oldest brother, Jake, and gloat. A slow smile spread across her face.
About to enter Mr. Fein’s office, her biggest rival for the job promotion—Trevor Reynolds—reached for the exact same door handle. “Oh!” she exclaimed. Her smile immediately dropped from her face. Confidence plummeted along with it. Stop worrying, Dee! This must be a scheduling screw-up.
“Hello, Deirdre,” Trevor said in that sexy, sultry voice of his.
Deirdre hated that voice. Specifically because it worked so well on her. Despite all her determination to be immune, immunity from Trevor’s charms was not an easy task to accomplish. His sensuous voice was only half as tantalizing as his mouth-watering good looks.
Even hearing him through the thin drywall that separated his office from Deirdre’s brought embarrassingly steamy memories racing to the forefront of her mind. Memories of their one night stand—no, one night mistake. Ever since then, she tried to keep her meetings with Trevor to a minimum. Since this was Valentine’s Day, she’d tried doubly hard to avoid him all day. She’d been successful until now. Awkward.
“Hello, Trevor.” She gave him a tight nod. “It’s nice to see you, but I have an appointment with Mr. Fein now.”
“What a coincidence,” he said, cavalierly. “So do I.”
Her brow furrowed. Having Trevor at this meeting would not be good. How could she concentrate on Mr. Fein’s words when Trevor was watching her? Her still-lingering attraction to him was hard to block out. Worse, having Trevor at the meeting would create a professional mess. How would Trevor react when Mr. Fein announced she’d be getting the promotion he’d wanted? Unfortunately, he was just as driven in his career goals as Deirdre. Would Trevor be gracious when Mr. Fein gave the job to her? After all, there was only one Creative Director spot.
With multiple stories and multiple authors, how do you decide upon a title for the anthology?
Simple voting by all the authors decides all this. It wasn’t too hard for all of us to agree. We wanted to keep the words, “Season of” in the title to be consistent with the first anthology, Season of Magic.
What’s your opinion on self-publishing vs. traditional?
I have a traditional publisher for most of my full-length novels, Soul Mate Publishing, Inc. I love working with them. I am, however, glad I agreed to do this self-published anthology. I found it to be very “hands on,” so I’ve learnt a whole lot about the publishing industry in general. Both traditional and self-publishing have been wonderful opportunities for me.
How do you balance the need for self-promotion with the need for writing time?
I can’t say, because I drive myself crazy doing both. Right now my tongue is lolled out of my mouth after having run around “the twin circles of terror.”
Is there a genre you’d like to attempt to write?
I’m really happy writing contemporary, although I do have an upcoming release, Art and Seduction, a darker romance involving a college student and an art professor. We’ll see how it goes. Normally I don’t veer away from my standard genre, so this will be new ground for me.
Do you have a favorite book?
Too many. I might as well work for Barnes & Noble and take my payment in product. I’ve always been a book junkie. In college I was an English Lit major. (No big surprise, huh?)
Is there a playlist you’d recommend for “Love Delights”?
“Chocolate” - Kylie Minogue
“Pour Some Sugar on Me” – Def Leppard
“Pressure” - Billy Joel (when Deirdre and Trevor are trying to come up with a winning ad campaign in an impossible deadline)
Do you have a favorite author?
Literature: the Bronte sisters
Contemporary: Kristan Higgins
Paranormal: Chloe Neill
Homer Simpson’s “D’Oh!”
Least favorite word?
“Notwithstanding.” Legalese kills my creativity.
If you were to give only one tip to an aspiring writer, what would it be?
Join a professional writing organization. I myself am a proud member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), and Connecticut Romance Writers of America (CTRWA). I would not have been published without guidance from these groups. Trust me.
What books or other projects do you have coming up in the future?
Here’s my upcoming publication schedule:
Mid-September “Art and Seduction” in the box set Hot Seduction—Six Sizzling Tales. (Dark romance, professor-student, love triangle)
Early November Desire in the Arctic (the stand-alone sequel to Desire in the Everglades. Action-adventure/contemporary romance)
Additionally, I have two more full-length contemporary romances I am finishing up now, hopefully to be published soon.
Things have been busy for me. In addition to all of these new releases, including Season of Love, Soul Mate Publishing, Inc. released Lawfully Yours, a full-length contemporary novel March, 2015. I should probably work on getting more than a few measly hours of sleep at night from here on out.
Thanks so much, Bobbi, for having me on Scribbler’s Ink!
LINKS FOR STACY HOFF
AMAZON BUY LINK FOR LAWFULLY YOURS: http://www.amazon.com/Lawfully-Yours-Stacy-Hoff-ebook/dp/B00U7U2WCC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1425508177&sr=8-2&keywords=book+-+lawfully+yours
AMAZON BUY LINK FOR DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES: http://www.amazon.com/Desire-Everglades-Stacy-Hoff-ebook/dp/B00NFSMCYG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410289138&sr=8-1&keywords=desire+in+the+everglades.