Friday, February 16, 2024

Goal, Motivation, and Conflict--How it Keeps the Reader Glued to your Story By Connie Vines #RR, WritingTips


Thank you, Skye, for this month's Round Robin Topic."


Goal, Motivation, and Conflict - The difference between inner and outer conflict and how it keeps the reader glued to your story.




As a member of Romance Writers of America and the Orange County Chapter, I found Debra Dixon's workshop on this topic incredibly helpful. Her book, Goal, Motivation & Conflict, is my go-to reference when plotting my novels.


Debra recommends using 3 x 5 cards and sticky notes to keep track of these elements and placing them on a paper sheet to move them around if needed. Personally, I tend to scribble on scraps of paper or dictate into my iPhone and send it to my email. 


I'll add it to one of my six Steno Pads if I'm at my desk. It may not be as tidy as Debra's way, but it keeps me from losing my ideas.


Remember, the goal is what your characters are all about. 


Recommended movies to watch: Wizard of Oz, The Fugitive (Harrison Ford), 


📌Active Goals/Sense of Urgency.

📌Motivation is the Why.

📌Conflict is often the character's emotional roadblock. The strength of your book is the conflict.


LadyHawk defines romance conflict/active goals for me.


While I could go into more detail on why I find this book a must-have for every writer, my best suggestion is to order a copy for your library.


Debra Dixon's book is also available as an ebook and listed at Barnes and Noble. 


Thank you for stopping by today.


Please visit the marvelous writers participating in this month's Blog Hop :)


Connie





Dr. Bob Rich  https://wp.me/p3Xihq-37G 

Anne Stenhouse  http://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com

Victoria Chatham  http://www.victoriachatham.com

Connie Vines  http://mizging.blogspot.com/

Helena Fairfax  http://www.helenafairfax.com/blog

Diane Bator  https://escapewithawriter.wordpress.com/

Skye Taylor  http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea

 

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Book Promotion Ideas for Authors. What Works and What Doesn't? #Round Robin, #Author Tips, Author Promo ideas

 

Thank you Sky for this month's topic.

 Book marketing tips: What works for me and what doesn't.


I have found my marketing sucess depends on: the book's release date, the book's premise, great reviews, and "what's hot and what's not" 😄.

 Summer books sell well because it is vacation time. Everyone loves a great beach read.

Halloween is the perfect time to showcase a spooky or goth story.

Holiday stories are always a relaxing reading.

Since I write in multiple genres, I try to avoid competing with myself.

This year, I will have a RomCom book for a winter release.

*Often, a reader likes a particular TV show or movie and is looking for the same type of connection in a book. (Yellowstone = Cowboy Romance, NCIS = Action/Military heroes.)  I prefer to write what I wish to read or what catches my attention. After all, I will live with my fictional people for months and months.


What hasn't worked for me:

Free book giveaways.

Swag giveaways.

Facebook ads.

Merchandise (mugs, totes, etc.) is on my website.

Streaming a live video event (Connie doesn't like to read aloud to adults. Though story hour is fun with children).




What works for me:

Book Awards.

Discounting the first book in a series.

Promo on other blogs.

Utilizing my blog(s) connection with my readers/new readers.

Facebook author page.

Publisher's Author Insider Blog, FB page for readers.

Theme promotions with other authors.

Coffee Time Romance (which closed its doors last year).

Guest appearances on other blogs.

And, of course, nice reviews from readers :-)


Participation Events, which sadly are no more:

Young Author Events, Judging YA Writing Contests.

Guest Speaking at schools and libraries. 

Book Signing Events at local and family-owned bookstores.

Please stop by the other authors participating in this month's Blog Hop. I bet they are sharing their secrets, 😉too!


XOXO

Connie


Dr. Bob Rich https://wp.me/p3Xihq-36L

Victoria Chatham http://www.victoriachatham.com

Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/

Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea



Friday, December 29, 2023

Spotlight on Author J. Q. Rose By Connie Vines #Author Spotlight, Friday Author Interview, #Writing your Spiritual Memoir #Christian Faith

Welcome, Author J. Q. Rose


During your last interview, we talked about a fiction novel; today, we are venturing into another genre: writing a spiritual memoir.



Please tell us about your current release. 

Thank you for the opportunity, Connie, to tell you and your readers about my latest release, Your Life with Jesus: How to Spark Memories and Write Your Spiritual Memoir, a Christian-based how-to book. My passion is to encourage folks to write their life stories. The second book in the series, Book Series for Life Storytellers, inspires and encourages readers to write their spiritual memoirs. When offering workshops on life storytelling, I discovered that people do not write their stories because they can't remember their life experiences. So,  in the book, I suggest many ways to spark memories, and I offer tips on writing a memoir/life story that will keep readers engaged. The last part of the book includes over forty topics to write about, a Bible verse that fits the topic, and writing prompts for inspiration to get you started.


1.     What was the inspiration for this story/book? 

I led workshops on life storytelling, so I created a book, Your Words, Your Life Story, with the lessons I taught in my presentations. With a book, I could engage with a larger group of people who needed help getting their story out of their heads and onto paper, computer screen, or video. After I wrote that book, I felt a nudge from God to author a book on how to write a spiritual memoir. The nudging would not go away, so I committed to writing and  finishing the book. I'm glad I did.


2.     Please tell us about your life experiences that led you to become a stronger Christian.

 In creating the book about spiritual memoirs, I grew in my faith as I studied Bible verses and new and familiar ones and researched to discover the meaning of the verses and the stories behind them. Another life-changing experience in maturing my faith occurred over the weeks we volunteered to do mission work with a wonderful group of people. After selling our flower shop and greenhouse operation, my husband and I  joined the NOMADS RV group-Nomads on a Mission Active in Divine Service. Our winter mission was in the country's sunny, warm areas. We worked together painting buildings inside and outside, repairing roofs,  cleaning and fixing up older people's homes and trailers, and clearing brush and weeds. Those with experience worked on installing electricity and plumbing. At a Habitat for Humanity project, my husband installed at least ten toilets in the new houses. Working with such a group of Christians dedicated to helping others was fun. They were generous, kind people who made up the teams. The light of Christ shined through them. Not only did they profess to be Christians, but they also actively lived a Christian life.

1.     What, in your opinion, makes a good writer? 

Focus. When authors focus in on a fiction or non-fiction story/topic, their writing engages the readers. Once they get off the subject, the reader becomes confused and loses interest.

 

2.     Were there any bumps in the road while drafting this how-to book?

Yes, imposter syndrome. I am not a Bible scholar. I am not a minister, ordained or not. I have no glowing credentials to convince folks I should take on selecting verses in the Bible that will prompt readers to write a life experience. When I questioned if I should continue, which happened throughout the book's writing, I had to have a business meeting with God. Taking time to pray as I walked, got ready for bed, or opened my laptop to write gave me the strength to persevere and make imposter syndrome disappear. I have never felt more committed to any book than this one. I want to get it into the hands of readers and writers so they can share their stories with the world.

 

3. How Do you use Social Media as a promotional tool? What works for you/what doesn't work? 

I really love connecting with folks on Facebook. I have my personal and business pages with my pen name J.Q. Rose. I enjoy creating images with Canva or choosing photos from Pixabay to accompany the post. I shout about my books, new releases, and books on sale, e.g., the Smashwords 75% off sale on my books through January 1, and I also promote friends with new releases and sales. I use Facebook groups for promoting books, such as the Smashwords page and Kindle pages. I use keywords to discover book promotion pages and post on my publisher's Facebook pages. I do not post constant reminders to buy my books because it annoys readers.

I have been poking around Instagram, but I don't feel comfortable with it. And those seas of hashtags are overwhelming. I do leave cute pics and announcements and promotions infrequently. I need help getting my JQ Rose FB page to connect to Instagram, as promised by the companies. And there is no one to call for assistance. So, I only get a little promoting done via IG now. I love blogging and have been writing my blog, Focused on Story, for about 12 years! Wow, I just realized that. I love blogging, not much for promoting but for connecting with readers. When I finish this blog tour for promoting Your Life with Jesus, I plan to begin adding articles to Substack in 2024 as soon as I know what topics I want to cover. Life Storytelling will be one for sure.

 

4.     Do you have a favorite Christmas song and/or movie?

One of my favorite Christmas songs, and I have many, is Mary Did You Know. One of the lines in the song asks, "When you kiss your little baby, You've kissed the face of God?" That line takes my breath away. My favorite movie is The Christmas Story. A young boy, Ralphie, is the main character in the story about a family living in a small town in Ohio. I  love watching it every year and laughing at the contest prize in the enormous box delivered to the family. Dare I spoil it and tell you what is in the box? Nope. I could never explain it well enough to make you laugh or wonder! If you haven't watched it, please do. And, of course, if you watched it, watch it again.

 

5.     What childhood memory still influences your life?

When I was 6 years old, I overheard my mother talking to my dad before Christmas. I asked Santa to bring me a ballerina doll for Christmas and a toy pistol in a holster. Yes, I loved cowboy movies and  was quite a fan of Roy Rogers and Rex Allen. When Mom asked Dad about buying the ballerina, I was crushed. At that age, I suspected there was no Santa Claus, so her question confirmed my suspicion that he was not real. I was so sad when I saw the beautiful ballerina doll under the Christmas tree. I never liked that doll because she reminded me that Santa Claus was a fairy tale. That was the first massive, life-changing moment for me. However,  the experience prepared me to manage disappointments in my life rather than to be defeated by them.

 

6.      Is there anything you'd like to share with the readers?

Please wish your readers a Happy New Year 2024 from J.Q. Rose!


Please follow these links to purchase her current release or learn more about her fiction books.

Universal link eBook https://books2read.com/u/bx6qJo

·        https://www.amazon.com/Your-Life-Jesus-Spiritual-Storytellers/dp/B0CN6P86PN

BN paperback https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/book/1144335967?ean=9798223368113


Reviews:

"well-organized, easy-to-understand writing guide"

"Biblical references with prompts are excellent."

"topic aimed at women from a Christian perspective"

"content engages the reader to recognize the power of her own stories."

Best-selling author and workshop leader J.Q. Rose guides you through the elements of storytelling to keep readers turning pages. With her wit and warmth, she offers clear explanations, examples, and exercises to discover how to draft your story.

This book will open your heart to know God is speaking to you as you pray, plan, remember, and compose your stories.






Thank you for visiting with us today. J..Q...

I've read J.Q..'s current release and found the writing guide and prompts enabled me to recall nuances of my life, which now have a deeper meaning... ⛪

Connie

XOXO







Saturday, December 23, 2023

Surprise Saturday! Today it's: How to Watch a Classic Noir Movie and Not Feel Bad About It By Connie Vines


 Aaaaaah, the weekend. You survived another week of working, commuting, and remembering everything required to stay alive. 

Congrats. 

Now it's time to relax, right?

I hear your hysterical laughter and snorts of disbelief because you think it isn't possible. Well, it is possible. Really.

Perhaps not EVERY single Saturday. However, you can free up one or two Saturdays a month.

How? I chose my most dreaded chore: laundry. I washed, folded, and put away several loads of laundry three evenings this week.

Of course, I didn't lounge on the couch all day or cloister myself in a dark closet with my tablet to watch a movie. I placed a DVD 🎥in the player and plopped on a wingback chair. Where my iced espresso and bowl of popcorn were within reach. 🍿 


The Trailer is posted on Wikipedia. 


Noir: 
Film noir (French: "dark film") style of filmmaking is characterized by such elements as cynical heroes, stark lighting effects, frequent use of flashbacks, intricate plots, and an underlying existentialist philosophy. The genre was prevalent mostly in American crime dramas of the post-World War II era.


Movie: 
Laura, an American film noir released in 1944, is considered a classic of the genre. The movie, directed by Otto Preminger, is notable as a suspenseful mystery and a compelling account of obsession.


Plot:
In one of the most celebrated 1940s film noirs, Manhattan detective 🔎 Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews) investigates the murder of Madison Avenue executive Laura Hunt (Gene Tierney) in her fashionable apartment. On the trail of her murderer, McPherson quizzes Laura's arrogant best friend, gossip columnist Waldo Lydecker (Clifton Webb), and her comparatively mild fiancé, Shelby Carpenter (Vincent Price). As the detective grows obsessed with the case, he finds himself falling in love with the dead woman.


My takeaway:

I enjoyed the movie. Made for a viewing audience in the 1940s, it is slower-paced, and social norms of the time will not compute to those who have no concept of "accurate portrayals of history." The hero is arrogant but a gentleman. Everyone smokes cigarettes, and clothes are very formal.

It is a thinking person's movie. The pauses. The shadows. The twists and turns. The intensity. The dark moments. The perfect way to spend an overcast or rainy afternoon.

The music leaves its haunting melody on your soul.


 Wishing you a wonderful week, 

Connie














Saturday, December 16, 2023

Warm Wishes and Gingerbread Kisses #Free Read. #Flash Fiction Story for My Readers By Connie Vines #Holiday Story, #Free Read #Sweet RomanceHe

A Holiday Gift to My Readers



 

Warm Wishes and Gingerbread Kisses

By © Connie Vines


He always ordered a slice of gingerbread and black coffee. Hearing his voice through the headset made my morning, which was why I volunteered to work the drive-thru.

Was it his southern drawl, his friendly smile, or the way G.B., the Irish setter, rested his chin on Mason's shoulder so adoringly that won me over?  I'm not certain. I only know I developed an impossible-to-hind crush.

Mason finally asked me out, and now we're engaged.

We're perfect together, like hot chocolate with whipped cream or gingerbread cookies and milk.

We are planning a small winter wedding. Our family organized a potluck reception. My dad will walk me down the aisle of the church. And G.B. (AKA Gingerbread Boy) is excited to be our ring bearer. 




I hope you enjoyed my Flash Fiction Story. 

🎅🎄🎁

Please click on the following author links for more gifts to you, our readers:

XOXO,

Connie

Dr. Bob Rich https://wp.me/p3Xihq-35i

Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/

Diane Bator https://dbator.blogspot.com/

Anne Stenhouse http://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com

Judith Copek http://lynx-sis.blogspot.com/

Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com/blog

Victoria Chatham http://www.victoriachatham.com

Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by





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