Saturday, March 21, 2020

What Draws you into a Story? by Connie Vines #Round Robin @connievines_author

What draws you into a story?

What draws me into a fictional story novel?

The characters are what bring me into the story and keep me involved in, and through, the whole novel or even the entire series.

The writing style (author voice) and the plot do add to the story.  However, since my stories are character driven rather than plot-driven, I assume this is why I find that style of writing so appealing.

While the opening paragraph catches my attention, it doesn’t always sell the novel. I will read the first three pages and the back blurb before making the purchase.  Of course, I usually complete an entire series by a author.  However, I have found a number of best-selling authors co-writing his/her series as of late. I am able to tell that something is 'off' in the plot and 'voice' .  I do not enjoy the stories as much.  And, unfortunately, I find myself in no hurry to pre-order or download the story upon release.

To get back on topic.

As a child, I read Nancy Drew mysteries and any story which centered around ancient Egypt, Greek myths, legends and, of course, horses and dogs (my favorite being Poodles).

One opening hook in a children’s book, that I still recall today, was from Charlotte's Web.

"Where is Papa going with that ax?"

Another opening is from I Capture the Castle.

"I write this sitting in the kitchen sink."

We all have our favorite type of opening paragraph.  What is your favorite?  Action? Dialogue? Narrative?

Here are several of my opening paragraphs:

Charlene hadn't told Rachel that she'd fixed her up with a cowboy, much less Lynx Maddox, the "Wild Cat" of the rodeo circuit.  Rachel sighed.  She should have know.   After all, Charlene only dated men who wore boots and Stetson.  Lynx, Rodeo Romance, Book 1

Audralynn Maddox heard her own soft cry, but the pain exploding inside her head made everything else surreal, distanced somehow by the realization that someone had made a mistake.

A terrible mistake.  Brede, Rodeo Romance, Book 2

Prologue, 1868

The Governor of New Mexico decreed that all Indian Children over six to be educated in the ways of the white man.

Indian Commissioner, Thomas Morgan, said: It is cheaper to educate the Indians than to kill them.

1880, Apacheria, Season of Ripened Berries

Isolated bands of colored clay on white limestone remained where the sagebrush was stripped from Mother Earth by sudden storms and surface waters. Desolate. Bleak. A land made of barren rocks and twisted paths that reach out into the silence.

A world of hunger and hardship.  This is my world.  I am Tanayia.  I was born thirteen winters ago. My people call ourselves "Nde" this means "The People".  The white man calls us Apache.

Tanayia--Whisper upon the Water, Native American/First People Series, Book 1

"You and Elvis have done a great job on this home," Meredith said as her older sister led the way downstairs toward the kitchen where to tour began.  "Sorry I couldn't get over, until now, but I've been sort of...well, busy."  Slipping her Juicy Couture tortoise-shell framed sunglasses into a bright pink case, Meredith crammed them into her black Coach handbag.  She hoped her sister didn't ask her to define busy.  Becoming a zombie, and dealing with the entire raised from the dead issue over the past six months, was not a topic easily plunked int casual conversation.

Here Today, Zombie Tomorrow,  A Sassy and Fun Fantasy Series,  Book 1

Remember my books are 60% at Smashwords!
Big, Big Sale!

Visit the other member's of our Round Robin Blog hop.  They have exciting stories to tell!

Rhobin L Courtright

Thursday, March 12, 2020

I'm blogging at Romance Gems today!

Remember, it's Friday the 13th-- a good day for romance!

Find out why.

The Rafflecopter and March give-a-way is in full swing, too.

Don't miss out

Friday, February 21, 2020

Contemporary Fiction and Today's Politics by Connie Vines @author_connievines

How should fiction set in today’s times treat politics?

Thank you Dr. Bob for this month's Round Robin Blog topic.

I do not mention politics in my contemporary fiction. My western romance and romantic suspense novels highlight regional influences and traditions but ignore politics.


It's not because I'm unaware of the world of politics, Global and within the U.S.A., I am writing fiction with a strong romantic element.  I do not find politics romantic.  And even if I did, by the time my novel came into print or were downloaded into eBook readers, the political climate could have changed--my hero's stance is no longer be considered 'hero-like', or, relevant.  

Now my historical novels are a different matter.  History is history.  Historical research involves  means fact collecting: diaries, journals, newspaper articles (different slants), art, government records, (often) first-person interviews, and photographs---there was no photo-shop history to hide scars, or disguise the look of hunger or sorrow in the eyes of children.

"Tanayia--Whisper upon the Water" highlights a 'hot-bed' of political, racial, and government policies from the late 1800s until early 1900s--when the Native American Indians was forced onto Reservations and their children to sent to government run boarding schools.

I choose my political stories with great-care.  I make a point of showing both-sides of the story.  The world was different, harsher, less-forgiving and less open-minded place then.  Life was often cut short. I do not paint anyone as purely 'evil' but a product of his or her time and or environment because everyone is a innocent at birth.

So, reader's what is your take on politics in a contemporary novel?

Be sure and visit the talented writers of this month' s Round Robin Blog Hop and read what they have written.

Skye Taylor
Dr. Bob Rich
Fiona McGier
Rhobin Courtright

Saturday, January 25, 2020

How Can Contemporary Fiction Cope with the Changes of Today? #RR, #RoundRobin

Thank you, Dr. Bob, for this month’s blog topic. 

How can contemporary fiction cope with the rapid changes of today’s world?

First, I’d like to define what I believe defines a contemporary romance. 

·         A bone-deep sense of hope that true love is possible. 

Books that show Love is the way to everything that’s good.

·         Before the HEA there must be character growth and endings can also aim at a broad moral good.

·         A romance doesn’t have to solve the world’s problems.  Sometimes you want to witness the power of love.

 How Contemporary Romance Can Cope with the Rapid Changes of Today.

What trends do I see so romance novels can keep pace with today’s world?
·         Becoming more inclusive (though I have witnessed this trend over the past several years).  Everyone needs to be experiencing his/her happy ending.
·         This means people over 40, people of color, same-sex couples, disabled people, the list goes on. 

Redefining Motivating Factors.

·         Uphold/subvert capitalism.  In so many romance novels, the two seem inextricably tied (more so in historical novels). Marriage and romance over the centuries have been connected.  Therefore, it isn’t easy to liberate romance (Cinderella, Jane Eyre, etc.) from this narrative.

·         Or individualism in the romantic arc, “I need to complete this project so I get a big promotion.”

What do I expect to see in 2020 and in the hear future?

·         Narratives of belonging.

·         The arts

·         Community spirit

·         Family gathered at the dinner table giving thanks for the meal delivered by a ‘home-chef service’ but prepared by all.

What changes to you expect to see in contemporary romance novels?

What plot is your favorite?

What do you believe defines a modern day contemporary romance?

List of this month’s participants:

Rhobin L Courtright


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