Saturday, May 20, 2023

Emotional Wounds for your Protagonists By Connie Vines RR, #Round Robin, #Writing Tips, #Character Development

Emotional Wounds for Your Protagonists - And how to help them learn to cope/accept

How Do You Discover Your Character's Wound?

When I begin plotting a novel, I have a clear idea of my main characters' likes/dislikes, physical descriptions, and sense of time and place.
However, the motivation is in Blurb form when I begin writing.

I believe a character's subconscious motivation (emotional wounds) falls into these categories: 

Traumatic Events. These are the ones that most readily come to mind because of their dramatic nature. 

Misplaced Trust and Betrayals.
Childhood Wounds. 
Injustice and Hardship. 

Crime and Victimization. 
Disabilities and Disfigurements. 
Failures and Mistakes.

My stories feature the first section on choices in romance novels. 
Crime and Victimization in romantic suspense/mysteries. While Failures and Mistakes are universal issues and would color everyone's reality.

How do my characters cope?

Of course, they struggle with this subconscious issue (as do we all). My characters must work through the emotional wound(s) before I type THE END.

This process is often painful for my characters, as well as myself. 

The blurb must give the reader a hint at the motivation and hint at the emotional wounds without 'telling all.'

With a dangerous reputation for taking chances and tempting fate, rugged cowboy Lynx Maddox had one goal in life--to win the coveted Silver Buckle rodeo championship. but when he sets eyes on lovely Rachel Scott, he becomes determined to capture her as well.

Rachel traveled the circuit with her famous rodeo rider dad until his fatal accident in the arena. Now, she wants nothing to do with that world--or the men who risk their lives for one brief moment of glory. But her attraction to Lynx becomes too powerful to deny...and his unexpected gentleness is too seductive to resist...

The blurb doesn't tell the reader the emotional wounds the characters are still working through.  

Research is the key. Even if you have personal experience, your experience is colored through your reality, not your character's.

Lynx has dealt with the recent death of his brother. Lynx is now the eldest son and is coming to terms with the new reality. 

Rachel's father was an alcoholic; her mother was emotionally distant. Her grandmother was the only stabilizing factor in her life.

The backstory is backstory. I do not paint the character's past with a heavy brush.
I simply drop in information during a conversation and internal thoughts. Just enough information to let the reader know there's more to be uncovered. And the reader expects to feel the emotions. After all, that is what romance is all about.

Interested in reading more of my blurbs? Or, perhaps, reading the on the provided links:


Or any of your favorite online vendors :-)

Thank you for your visit. 

Please follow the links to the wonderful authors participating in this month's round Robin Blog Hop!


Saturday, April 22, 2023

Breathing Life into Your Characters By Connie Vines #Round Robin, #Writing Tips,

 Today's blog topic: Breathing Life into Your Characters.

Thank you, Skye, for this month's topic.

When I am nudged into a new writing project, I've heard snippets of dialogue in my head. Which is followed by a sense of place and time. 

Some writers see their stories unfold in a movie format. 

Other writers say their 'characters' guide them.

I say, "That must be wonderful' for you.

My characters could be more helpful. 🤣

My life is chaotic. Therefore, it's no surprise my writing process follows suit.

I do have glimmers of sensory details as I write. Not a visual movie, but I'll catch the scent of bales of hay, hear the creak of a leather saddle or feel a horse's breath against my cheek. All of these trigger an emotional response that breathes life into one of my story's characters.  

From days past, Tulsa and Midnight

As the story progresses, the scenes I've written often replay in my dreams--with a theme song. This drowns out any dialogue which may have been spoken. Oh, yes, a thunderous theme song--which plays (in a loop) all night long. And I woke up with a pounding headache the following day. 

Of course, bits of my personality does come through in each story. My life experiences color the story on some level., too.

🚢Because I suffer from seasickness (I had to lie on a bench during our trip on a Mississippi River paddle boat), my characters won't be vacationing onboard a ship.

But my characters will be drinking coffee...lots of delicious coffee.  

Visit this month's participating bloggers; they have great stories to share. 😊😊


Anne Stenhouse

Connie Vines

Diane Bator

Dr. Bob Rich

Fiona McGier

Marci Baun

Victoria Chatham

A.J. Maguire

Helena Fairfax

Judith Copek

Skye Taylor

Saturday, March 18, 2023

How to Share a Backstory/History with Your Reader By Connie Vines #Backstory, #Round Robin, #Sharing with Readers, #Writing Tips

This month's topic:

The Importance of your character's backstory/history and how to share this with the reader without an info dump that stalls the action.

My preferred method is to utilize my blurb

Example: Lynx (Rodeo Romance, Book 1)

With a dangerous reputation for taking chances and tempting fate, rugged cowboy Lynx Maddox had one goal in life--to win the coveted Silver Buckle rodeo championship. But when he sets eyes on Lovely Rachel Scott, he becomes determined to capture her as well.

Rachel traveled the circuit with her famous father rodeo rider dad until his fatal accident in the arena. Now she wants nothing to do with that world--or the men who risk their lives for one brief moment of glory, But her attraction to Lynx becomes too powerful to deny..., and his unexpected gentleness is too seductive to resist.

However, this month's main topic is introducing backstory/history into the story.  

Internal dialogue is useful, but a conversation with a friend/confidant or having an event trigger a memory creates more substantial reader involvement in the scene.

Rachel stalled to no avail. Charlene planted herself on the arm of the couch, "Dan told me Lynx left for Lubbock without you. Why?"

Rachel squirmed.
"I couldn't do it. Lynx kept talking about his family. He kept telling me about the ranch and planning how we'd spend our days. The more he planned, the more frightened I became. When it came to the final day, I couldn't do it, Charlene. I pulled my suitcase from the closet and remembered all the times I'd picked up and moved...I just couldn't do it again."

Example 2: Brede (Rodeo Romance, Book 2)

In this story, I utilized a prologue. I seldom implement this device (except in my historical novels); however,  because this is romantic suspense, this moves the reader into an action sequence.

Example 3: Tanayia: Whisper upon the Water (Historical)



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 remains where the sagebrush is stripped from Mother Earth by sudden storms and surface waters. Desolate. Bleak. Al and 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. We call ourselves N'dee. The People. The white man calls us Apache.

Everyone has great tips on sharing a character's backstory with the reader.

Please visit the participants:

Link to my publisher's website:

(eBook and print)

Happy Reading!  📖📚📱

Friday, February 24, 2023

How Can Contemporary Fiction Keep Up With A Changing World? #Round Robin #WriterTips

How Can Contemporary Fiction Keep Up With A Changing World?

Thank you, Dr. Bob, for this month's topic.

I write in multiple genres. For obvious reasons, history takes place in the past, and technology isn't an issue.  However, accurate historical knowledge (especially by YA) readers, perhaps should be discussed at another time.

Contemporary Stories

I find to keep up with tech, climate, and social focus (coffee pot vs coffee pods; someone should be a vegan; changes in fashion, etc.) I need to update my novels every 3 to 5 years unless I wish to market them as 'vintage'.

This isn't a real problem with my Western stories or my RomCom Paranormal stories.

My urban/big city stories often require revisions after the book is completed and ready for submission.

AI (artificial intelligence) do I need to mention its possible impact on selecting an employee for a position?

If I'm building a series, my choice will have a longer reach than if it's a stand-alone novel.

I try to avoid 'hot buttons' in contemporary novels because the focus is on "the romance', 'the humor', or 'life in a small town'.

Paranormal/ SiFi

I believe it's much easier to slide contemporary (hot-button) issues into this genre.
Not as a pro/con on the part of the author; observation and possible outcome of a misstep 

Thank you for stopping by today.  

I'm working on my laptop with limited WiFi here in SoCal.

Weather conditions in the burbs are unexpected this week:  rain, 60 - 85 mph wind gusts, hail storms, blizzard warnings in the nearby mountains/ passes, and a small tornado that ripped out a 50 ft pine tree. (all fodder for a future novel or two 😆 .)


Please visit our Round Robin blog participants: 

Friday, January 20, 2023

New Beginnings: How to Jump-Start Your Writing By Connie Vines #Round Robin Blog #Writing Tips

Round Robin Blog Fest, January 21, 2023 

While increased personal responsibilities have forced Rhobin Courtright to retire as the leader of our monthly round-robin, Skye Taylor has volunteered to oversee the Round Rhobin flock. 

This month's topic: 
New Beginnings - how do you motivate yourself to get back to writing when 
Life has interrupted your flow, and/or how do you begin a new writing challenge?

The holiday season and the winter weather prompt me to reassess my life and goals for the incoming year. 

I'm ready to start a new project upon January's arrival.

What works for me?

  • My local writing chapter offers monthly online workshops. I participated in several during the holidays. Penny Sansevieri taught one workshop. I also participated in a workshop led by Allie Pleuter. Both of these workshops were interactive, informative, and fun!

  • I read and study some of the novels I have stacked in my office. 1 non-fiction, 1 NY Times best-seller, a favorite classic, and a book my mother sent me: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (a pristine 1945 hardbound copy ) and genre fiction. 

  • I still keep my daily journal, but I enabled the mic feature to switch it up a bit this time. I will return to the pen-and-paper method as it feels like a diary. Speaking my thoughts verbally seems...less intimate.

  • I also spend time with family members (2 winter weddings, holiday celebrations, children's birthdays, etc.). Change of location, interaction, and ensuing chaos, always gives one a new idea/ slant on life.

  •  I also tried new recipes and ordered take-out/delivery meals with unfamiliar (to me cuisine). Why take-out? I was noting my sensory response from a character's POV. Tonight I chose from the Japanese menu: Okonomiyaki (an eggy pancake) and Shoyu (Raman Soup with veggies, protein, seaweed, bamboo shoots, and noodles). I expected the soup to taste salty, but it wasn't. The flavors were unfamiliar, and some of the textures were unexpected. 

  • And lastly, I varied my writing routine. I wrote 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours after dinner. I've been a night owl since birth. Therefore, this was a challenging change in my way (it required additional cups of coffee while a bit of snarkiness embedded itself into my easy-going temperament).

The other Round Robin Blog Hop members have tips and ideas to get you writing in 2023.



 Dr. Bob Rich   

Anne Graham     

Connie Vines    

Diane Bator     

A.J.  Maguire      

Victoria Chatham

Fiona McGuire    

Skye Taylor       

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