Author Resources: Writing Inspiration, Tips, and Tools on Pinterest

If you’re an author wanting writing help, you’ll want to follow my Writing Tips & Skills Pinerest board. Details in this post #WritingTips #WritingSkills #NovelWriting #WritingABook

Looking for writing tips? I have a board called Writing Tips and Tools that's here to help!

If you need help in any of these areas, this is a helpful board to follow:

  • Novel writing
  • Short story writing
  • Character development
  • Plotting
  • Pacing
  • Word choice
  • Setting a scene
  • and more

Please follow my board, because every time I find a great resource, I share it with you

Follow the Writing Tips and Tools Board

Writing Tips & Skills Pinterest Board

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Ronda Del Boccio

#1 best selling author, speaker, and Amazon Top Reviewer

About Ronda Del Boccio

Ronda Del Boccio is an award-winning and best Click for Member Home Pageselling author of both fiction and nonfiction. She tells transformational tales and helps visionary authors turn their dreams and imaginings into published books. See and order Ronda's books on Amazon.

Join Ronda's readers for free stories, sneak peeks at her next books and more at WriteOnPUrpose.com/read

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Book Review of Jewish Historical Fiction Novel Please Say Kaddish for Me by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

This is another #BookReview by #1 Amazon best selling author & top #BookReviewer Ronda Del Boccio. This one is a Jewish historical novel called Please Say Kaddish for Me by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. I share well-written books. I highlight what makes each good from the reader’s perspective, and reveal what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read. Thus, each review serves both writers and readers. This time, it's a Jewish historical novel called Please Say Kaddish for Me by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

The author describes this book as "The dark side of Fiddler on the Roof." This is the perfect elevator pitch for the historical tale set in czarist Russia at the turn of the 20th Century. Here is the description from Amazon:

Please Say Kaddish for Me by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Jewish persecution under Russian Czar

1899 Russia under the cruel Czarist rule is not a good place to be a Jew!

cover of Please Say Kaddish for Me by Rochelle Wisoff-FieldsRussia under the diabolical Czarist rule is a very bad place and a very bad time to be a Jew. Fair game to marauding peasants and government militia alike, the random slaughter of entire Jewish families is commonplace rather than a rare occurrence. It is, however, a time for brave men. And brave women.

Barefoot, wearing only a flimsy nightgown, sixteen-year-old Havah Cohen alone escapes the brutal massacre by the Czarist tyranny that destroys her home and slaughters her family on a frigid November night in 1899.

Love ignited, lost and found, insurmountable struggles and challenges, Kishinev's Jewish pogroms and all odds against them, Havah and her soul mate, Arel, withstand the storms of life in this unforgettable story of a time and place rarely spoken of, and romance and courage so profound as to be rarely experienced.

While I read more paranormal, fantasy and suspense, I enjoy historical fiction, because I gain insight into another era in a way that my boring history classes in school never conveyed.

What made Please Say Kaddish for Me a great story, and what can authors learn by reading it? Continue reading "Book Review of Jewish Historical Fiction Novel Please Say Kaddish for Me by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields"

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Writing Skills Book Review of Creative Characterization by Jan Morrill

This is a writing skills #BookReview of an excellent author resource called Creative Characterization by Jan Morrill. If you want to create complete characters who feel real, read this review now.

Having taken Jan Morrill's live workshop on creative characterization, I was thrilled when I saw the announcement that she had made a print (and Kindle) workbook to accompany it.

Creative Characterization by Jan Morrill

cover of Creative Characterization by Jan Morrill

 In Creative Characterization, award-winning author Jan Morrill discusses six different methods she uses to develop characters such as those in her historical fiction, The Red Kimono:

• Interviewing
• Describing Photos and Paintings
• Writing Letters
• Writing in a Different Point of View
• Accessing Character’s Inner Child
• Internalization

The exercises in this workbook will help develop characters, and may even lead to a bit of self-discovery along the way!

Do I find this book helpful for me as a fiction writer? Continue reading "Writing Skills Book Review of Creative Characterization by Jan Morrill"

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What Does Your Character Fear?

What does your character fear? It's an important question, because fear is perhaps the biggest motivator of action.

Here are some ideas for what fears might motivate your point of view characters and minor ones too.

Fears your characters may have

Please share this review all over the social web!

Follow your B.L.I.S.S.

Ronda Del Boccio

#1 best selling author, speaker, and Amazon Top Reviewer

About Ronda Del Boccio

Ronda Del Boccio is an award-winning and best Click for Member Home Pageselling author of both fiction and nonfiction. She tells transformational tales and helps visionary authors turn their dreams and imaginings into published books. See and order Ronda's books on Amazon.

Join Ronda's readers for free stories, sneak peeks at her next books and more at WriteOnPUrpose.com/read

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Does Your Character Have a Hobby?

Most people have hobbies or favorite passtimes. Be sure to give them to your characters too. Here are some ideas.

Does your character collect bugs? Is she a sommelier? Is he a witty knitter?

In my upcoming book They All Died Smiling, Kassidy loves to bake.

Here are some possible hobbies for you to give your protagonist or other characters.

Hobbies for Characters

Follow your BLISS,

Ronda Del Boccio

#1 Amazon best selling author, speaker and mentor

See all my books on Amazon

Best Selling Author Ronda Del Boccio on Amazon

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Book Review of Contemporary Medical Adventure Novel State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

Each week, read a #bookReview on WriteOnPUrpose.com by best selling author, speaker & Top #BookReviewer Ronda Del Boccio. This week it’s a contemporary medical adventure novel called State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. Each week, I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read. Thus, each review serves both writers and readers.

This week, it's a contemporary medical adventure novel called State of Wonder by Ann Patchett. I read this book about a year ago, and it still sticks with me. That's why I decided to do a review of it here.

http://smile.amazon.com/State-Wonder-Ann-Patchett-ebook/dp/B004G8QZSS/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

Thankfully, the book is much more interesting than the cover. Here is the description from Amazon:

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

Expect miracleswhen you read Ann Patchett’s fiction.”—New YorkTimes Book Review

Award-winning, New York Times bestsellingauthor Ann Patchett returns with a provocative andassured novel of morality and miracles, science and sacrifice set in the Amazonrainforest. Infusing the narrative with the same ingenuity and emotionalurgency that pervaded her acclaimed previous novels Bel Canto, Taft, Run, The Magician’s Assistant, and ThePatron Saint of Liars, Patchett delivers anenthrallingly innovative tale of aspiration, exploration, and attachment in State of Wonder—a gripping adventurestory and a profound look at the difficult choices we make in the name ofdiscovery and love.

Did this memorable book earn a 5 star review from me? Continue reading "Book Review of Contemporary Medical Adventure Novel State of Wonder by Ann Patchett"

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Book Review of Historical Fiction Novel The Red Kimono by Jan Morrill

Each week, read a #bookReview on WriteOnPUrpose.com by best selling author, speaker & Top #BookReviewer Ronda Del Boccio. This week it’s a #historicalfiction novel called The Red Kimono by Jan Morrill.

Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. Each week, I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read. Thus, each review serves both writers and readers.

Author Jan Morrill's first novel weaves great storytelling, thorough research, and her mother's experiences in a Japanese internment camp during World War II into this novel about the power of hatred and perception.

Read more about the book.

The Red Kimono by Jan Morrill

From the Inside Flap

The Red Kimono by Jan MorrillIn 1941, racial tensions are rising in the California community where nineyear-old Sachiko Kimura and her seventeen-year-old brother, Nobu, live. Japan has attacked Pearl Harbor, people are angry, and one night, Sachiko and Nobu witness three teenage boys taunting and beating their father in the park. Sachiko especially remembers Terrence Harris, the boy with dark skin and hazel eyes, and Nobu cannot believe the boys capable of such violence toward his father are actually his friends. What Sachiko and Nobu do not know is that Terrence's family had received a telegram that morning with news that Terrence's father was killed at Pearl Harbor. Desperate to escape his pain, Terrence rushes from his home and runs into two high-school friends who convince him to find a Japanese man and get revenge. They do not know the man they attacked is Sachiko and Nobu's father. In the months that follow, Terrence is convicted of his crime and Sachiko and Nobu are sent to an internment camp in Arkansas, a fictionalized version of the two camps that actually existed in Arkansas during the war. While behind bars and barbed wire, each of the three young people will go through dramatic changes. One will learn acceptance. One will remain imprisoned by resentment, and one will seek a path to forgiveness.

From the Back Cover

"The story of a Japanese family uprooted and forced to live in a bleak World War II internment camp gives human faces to one of the shabbiest chapters in U.S. history. Told from the viewpoint of an engaging Japanese girl, The Red Kimono tells it all--the bitterness and pain as well as the joy and pride and patriotism of a people too resilient to be beaten by racism. The Red Kimono touches my heart."--Sandra Dallas, New York Times best-selling author of Tallgrass and True Sisters

"A slice of American history beautifully told by three young Americans coming of age in a turbulent time." -- Jodi Thomas, New York Times best-selling author of the Harmony Series.

"The attack on Pearl Harbor sets in motion this incredible story of a race of people betrayed by their country. Only a writer with Morrill's talent could tell it with so much compassion and honesty. You won't soon forget The Red Kimono." -- Velda Brotherton, Author of The Boston Mountains: Lost in the Ozarks

Why was this book so good I gave it a 5 star review on Amazon?

5 Star Review Graphic Continue reading "Book Review of Historical Fiction Novel The Red Kimono by Jan Morrill"

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Book Review of Amish Science Fiction Brother, Frankenstein by Michael Bunker

Each week, read a #bookReview on WriteOnPUrpose.com by best selling author, speaker & Top #BookReviewer Ronda Del Boccio. This week it’s an #AmishSciFi novel called Brohter, Frankenstein by Michael Bunker

elcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. Each week, I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read. Thus, each review serves both writers and readers.

This week, it's an Amish science fiction novel called Brother, Frankenstein by Michael Bunker.

Yes, I said "Amish science fiction." Have you heard of it?

It sounds like a strange combination, doesn't it? Yet in the hands of a skilled wordsmith, it can definitely work.

Here's the book description from Amazon:

Dr. Chris Alexander, a borderline sociopath and Brother, Frankenstein amish science fiction book by Michael Bunkertechnological genius, has designed an advanced cybernetic life form from prototype decommissioned military drones and top-secret experimental DARPA technology.

The HADroid was supposed to be a military grade robot with the transplanted heart and brain of a human donor that would “transform” into a devastating state of the art war machine when activated by its onboard human operator.

But when the mad doctor steals the dying child of a simple Amish couple and transplants the brain and cardiovascular system of their dying eleven year old autistic son into the incredibly lethal robot the dark forces of government come looking for their investment. Dr. Alexander and the monster escape into another Amish community to hide among the plain folk while Frank, the autistic eleven year old boy trapped inside the body of the world’s most deadly robot, befriends another child who will help the prisoner inside the machine to leave the world of autism and understand what it means to be human and Amish.

But tensions arise among the plain and pacifistic yet closed minded Amish as they begin to suspect just what kind of technological monstrosity is hiding among them, and before long hard men who do the government’s most dirty deeds will come looking for a killing machine only to find a boy named Frank who has the power to defend a closed society from the worst of the world.

Did I think reading Brother, Frankenstein  was a good use of my time? Continue reading "Book Review of Amish Science Fiction Brother, Frankenstein by Michael Bunker"

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Book Review of Dystopian SiFi Novel Black Cloud Rising: Chrysalis by Darrel Sparkman

Each week, read a #bookReview on WriteOnPUrpose.com by best selling author, speaker & Top #BookReviewer Ronda Del Boccio. This week it’s a #dystopian #SiFi novel called Black Cloud Rising: Chrysalis by Darrell Sparkman

Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. Each week, I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read. Thus, each review serves both writers and readers.

This week's review is yet another in a genre I don't often read. I like expanding my horizons. This time it's Black CLoud Rising: Chrysalis by Darrel Sparkman

Ronda Del Boccio holding the Kindle edition of Black Cloud Rising: CHrytsalis  by Darrel Sparkman, showing the cover

I don't often read dystopian books because so many of them have a strong theme of futility. Not so with Chrysalis..

Why did I feel this book was well-written enough to give it a 5-star review?

5 Star Review Graphic Continue reading "Book Review of Dystopian SiFi Novel Black Cloud Rising: Chrysalis by Darrel Sparkman"

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Fiction Writing help: How Do I Write Great Dialogue?

If you get in the way of your characters, they won’t sound and feel like real people. This article gives specific tips for developing a good ear for how people really speak. You also get a sneak peek at my work in progress, THey All Died Smiling #dialogue #WritingSkills

(NOTE: Post updated to add new material to aid with dialogue writing).

I love writing dialogue! The characters speak and I take dictation. At least, that's how it feels to me. Here is a snippet of dialogue from my work in progress, They All Died Smiling. Kassidy, a writer/demon hunter, talks with her friend Floyd:

While finishing an assignment for the paper, I dialed my phone. “Floyd, I’m borrowing your studio for a half hour this afternoon, OK? Thanks. I appreciate it.”

“Uh…you’re welcome. Thanks for asking ahead of time.” I heard the smile in his voice and imagined him brushing a stray lock of blond hair out of those eyes that look like the sea.

“My pleasure. You won’t be in the throes of artistic fervor this afternoon. You will be at the gallery for your viewing.”

“You truly are a mess, Kass. It’s a showing, not a viewing. A viewing is what they do for dead bodies.”

Floyd was a good verbal sparring partner; I let him tease me in honor of our first meeting. I made that faux pas for real when interviewing him for a story about green pottery. Having come right from a wake to the gallery, I accidentally used the wrong word.

“Floyd, just the reception room, not the part full of your cherished creations. And I promise to make it up to you.”

“Ooh, that should be fun. I’ll hold you to it. You owe me big time for using my space.”

“Yes, I do.” My face flushed. “Sell lots of pots.”

“It’s a good thing you put an s on that.”

So many authors I know struggle with dialogue. Maybe I as a blind person have a distinct advantage over you sighted people, because I pay so mush attention to what I hear.

What's at the Root of Dialogue Problems?

My observations tell me that problems with dialogue come from 2 main issues with writing dialogue:

Dialogue Problems

Continue reading "Fiction Writing help: How Do I Write Great Dialogue?"

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Book Review of Contemporary Mainstream Fiction Type and Cross by Staci Troilo

Each week, read a #bookReview on WriteOnPUrpose.com by best selling author, speaker & Top #BookReviewer Ronda Del Boccio. This week it’s a contemporary mainstream book of family disfunction and secrets called Type and Cross by Staci Troilo

 Type and Cross by Staci Troilo

Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. Each week, I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read. Thus, each review serves both writers Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. Each week, I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read. Thus, each review serves both writers and readers.

This week's excellent read is Staci Troilo Amazon Author Page

Strong Theme

It's in the blood. Blood is thicker than water, as the old sayin goes, and this tale is all about the power of blood.

A family secret of infidelity and misdirection comes to light because of blood.

A young woman dies because of this secret. And that's just in chapter one!

Secrets, Lies, Adultery, and Other Deadly Sins

Continue reading "Book Review of Contemporary Mainstream Fiction Type and Cross by Staci Troilo"

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Book Review and Excerpt of Paranormal Romance Thriller Glory: The Legend of Glory Book 1 by Devin O’Branagan

This is an in-depth book review and excerpt of Glory, first in the Legend of Glory series by #1 best selling author Devin O’Branagan.

Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. Each week I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read.Thus, each review serves both writers and readers.

This week's excellent read is Glory:  The Legend of Blory, Book 1 by #1 best selling author Devin O'Branagan.

I've known #1 best selling author Devin O'Branagan since I helped her with the first book launch of GLory. Now, she is talking with a producer about turning the book into a movie or TV program. I hope that comes true, because Glory is an excellent book.

Read my 5-star Amazon review.

5 Star Review Graphic

Cover of Glory by Devin O'Branagan

This is a story about a teenager who rises to meet incredible challenges. Her helpers include a fabulous dog, an angel and a vampire. It is the first of a trilogy, and I have read and reviewed them all.

Starting The Story Where The Change Happens

No matter what genre you write, it's important to start where the change begins. Ruminating over tea doesn't cut it these days. Glory begins powerfully, with the impending death of Glory's father.

A pandemic is sweeping the country, and Glory's blood has the antidote, but not only the "good guys" are after it.. Here is the Glory book trailer video:

Watch the video.

Amp up the Story with Internal and External Conflict

Conflict makes a story interesting. After all, if nothing happens, you don't have a novel. There are two kinds of conflict that make for a good book. Both are important. This trilogy has them both in roughly equal measure.

External conflict

External conflict refers to those elements outside the point of view character. these challenges come from outside the person and include the major plot hurdles for the story. in Glory,  our hero deals with the nasty bug and with people who are after her because of her uniqueness.

Internal conflict

Internal conflict comes from a character struggling with her emotions and actions. Glory's struggles include losing her father to the pandemic and the feelings she develops for her vampire and angel guardians.

The internal landscape is what distinguishes one book from another. Many would argue that there are perhaps only 30 or 50 plots around love, revenge, achievement and the like..

It's how the point of view character(s) handling their challenges, their road of trials, that distinguish a book. The character-against-world themes are similar. How a hero interacts with her world sets a story apart from the rest.

That's why I say the internal conflict makes a book even more than the more obvious plot elements, such as in this case the pandemic, good and evil beings, and the scientists.

While this is a young adult tale with a 17-year-old hero, it is a good read for adults as well.

A Curvaceous Protagonist

I LOVE books with a strong female character who's curvy, not twiggy. I'm writing one like that just now myself. Here's how Glory reacts when she hears a policeman tell a friend they're looking for a girl about her age but "much heavier":

I bristled. I wasn't heavy. I was--as dad had described me--voluptuous : chesty, hippy, and curvaceous, but most certainly not fat.

Yay! Having so often been shamed for my size, I can appreciate a character being proud of her curves. I'm so sick of movies and TV shows glorifying women who could blow away if you sneeze on them.

Wits Win

While there are numerous supernatural elements and beings, both helping and detracting from Glory and her mission to save the world, there is no savior. No rescuer. She must rely on her own wits and strength. This is an element that improves any story, and I like the way O'Branagan handles the balance.

Glory Book Excerpt:

I floated and it felt good. It was warm and bright and I was at peace.

Dominic appeared. “Don’t go,” he said.

I looked down at my body lying in a soggy ditch in a pool of blood. “I don’t have a choice anymore.”

“I’m here now. I can help if you want me to.”

I didn’t want him to. The world and all its misery had lost its allure. I was done.

He knew what I was feeling and I could feel him too. It was shockingly intimate. He yearned for me to want to return; he needed me to be noble.

“I’m not your salvation,” I said.

I felt his disappointment. He wanted to love humanity for his father’s sake, and I was conscious of his regret at not being able to. I felt his remorse for having failed me, his tenderness for me, and how that new emotion surprised him. I wanted to comfort him and take away his pain. He sensed my affection for him and was moved by it. Our empathic connection was exquisite.

I realized that what we shared at that moment was what everybody longed for—the merging of bodies was a poor imitation of the merging of hearts.

Suddenly, I wanted to do whatever it took to relieve his suffering and the suffering of all those who could benefit from my blood. In that moment, I suffered the pain of all creation. I needed to heal it.

My translucent hand reached for him. “Take me home.”

He didn’t ask which home I meant. His heart knew.

I hope you'll get your copy of the whole trilogy.

About #1 Best Selling Author Devin O'Branagan

Author Devin O'BranaganBestselling author Devin O’Branagan writes novels about uncommon heroes. Her genres include young adult urban fantasy, paranormal romance, paranormal thrillers, and romantic comedy. She’s been published by Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Books, German publisher Heyne Verlag, Turkish publisher Dogan Egmont, and indie publisher Cornucopia Creations. Her books are available in print, eBook, and audio book formats.

Connect with Devin

Buy Glory: The Legend of Glory, Book 1

About Ronda Del Boccio

Ronda Del Boccio is an award-winning and best selling author of both fiction and nonfiction. She tells transformational tales and helps visionary authors turn their dreams and imaginings into published books. See and order Ronda's books on Amazon.

Join Ronda's readers for free stories, sneak peeks at her next books and more at WriteOnPUrpose.com/read

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Please share this review all over the social web!

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Ronda Del Boccio

#1 best selling author, speaker, and Amazon Top Reviewer

PS

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Each Tuesday, read a book review on WriteOnPUrpose.com. I delve deeper in these than I do for what I post on Amazon

Focusing on what makes a good read, these reviews benefit authors and readers alike. Each contains helpful hints to help authors make their books more compelling.

Before posting here, I first write a review on Amazon, and I am an Amazon Top Reviewer; read my reviews at WriteOnPurpose.com/reviews.

If you are an author or publisher wanting a book review, go to my Review Request Page at WriteOnPurpose.com/reviewrequest and complete the form.

You will need to provide a digital copy of your book and be willing to accept my honest review or the possibility that I may choose not to review your book at all. My aim is to showcase good writing, and I won't know if your book measures up until I read it.

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Book Review of Daughter of the Howling Moon by R. H. Burkett: NaNoWriMo Day 18

Each week, read a #bookReview on WriteOnPUrpose.com by best selling author, speaker & Top #BookReviewer Ronda Del Boccio. This week it’s a he #paranormal #suspense novel Daughter of the Howling Moon by R. H. Burkett.

Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. Each week, I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read. Thus, each review serves both writers and readers.

Here I am more than halfway through National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and still on track with my own novel-in-progress, They All Died Smiling.

People who like my upcoming book will LOVE Daughter of the howling Moon, a .gripping paranormal suspense story of an epic battle between good and evil.

Before I dive into the review, here's my progress for those of you keeping tabs.

Writers need to read.

One of the most important tasks any author can do is to read superior books. Not the old time classics, but modern books that speak to the people in current times.

Daughter of the Howling Moon was an excellent book for me to read while writing my own work in the same genre.

R. H. Burkett is an Arkansas author with a background in theater and a poetic sensibility that adds a layer of intensity to her books that few authors achieve.

I gave her newest book, Daughter of the Howling Moon, a 5-star review on Amazon.

Cover of Daughter of the Howling Moon by R. H. Burkett

What makes this a great story worth reading? Continue reading "Book Review of Daughter of the Howling Moon by R. H. Burkett: NaNoWriMo Day 18"

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Do You Ever Cry or Laugh While Writing a Scene? NaNoWriMo Day 6

Do you get emotional when writing? Do you laugh, cry, get mad and otherwise feel with them? Read these insights and see how it affects your craft.

Each day during NaNoWriMo I'm sharing an insght from the day's writing or a sneak peek at my work in progress, They All Died Smiling.

Do You Cry for Your Characters?

Today was an emotional day for me because of what my character experienced.

Today I wrote a scene in which Kassidy, my protagonist, is beginning to feel attraction for a man. She is a young widow whose husband died in battle, and she has mixed emotions about moving on.

characters

During the scene in which she and childhood friend Russell kiss, tears rolled down my face.

I get emotional when I write. I get mad at characters sometimes. I laugh when they do or say something funny.

I feel WITH them.

This isn't the least bit strange to me, but my mom thought it was. Other writers agreed with me.

If my story doesn't elicit emotion from me, how will it ever do so for my reader?

Surrender to your characters. Let them have their head. And feel with them.

And as always,

Follow your BLISS,

Ronda Del Boccio

Bestselling author and speaker

Teller of transformational tales

PS FInd out 7 ways to make money from your book while still writing it plus get a weekly writing or book marketing tip. Get instant access at WriteOnPurpose.com/free

 

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How Do You Make Minor Characters Come to Life? NaNoWriMo Day 3

Today’s NaNoWriMo musings include an excerpt from They All Died Smiling. Discover how to bring minor characters easily, without doing a big profile on them.

How do you bring your minor characters to life?

I'm participating in National Novel Writing Month, NaoWriMo, My book is They All Died Smiling, a paranormal suspense story.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) partiipant badge 2014)Today I was thinking about minor characters and what I do to make the come to life.

Honestly, even the minor characters typically simply "come to me." Occasionally I base one off of someone from my real life, but mostly they present themselves to me.

When I need a minor character, I like to know one thing that makes them stand out. It's not necessary to invent a whole back story for them.CHicago Tribune Building against a clear blue skyWhen I needed to have Kassidy's editor at the Chicago Tribune  send her out on assignment, an image of a bulldog came to me. The dialogue between them poured out. He's funny to her rather than intimidating, much to his chagrin, I'm sure.

Since Kass tends to give people nicknames, he shall forever be Bulldog Bob to her. The Arts and Entertainment Editor is Princess Olivia because of her grace and regal manner. Toni, hostess at Lou Mitchell's, is the Matchmaker.

She also has a couple of names for who becomes the antagonist, but I'll share that later.

Here's the encounter between Kassidy and her editor:

Bulldog Bob stopped and pointed at me. “Bates.” He reminded me of a bulldog, because of his big jowls and four chins. Any chair he sat in creaked in protest. He hooked his finger in a ‘come here’ gesture and went into his office, expecting me to be at his heels.

With him, I never knew what to expect. But then nobody else did either. He always scowled and barked orders, so I could be getting fired, scolded, praised or promoted. Impossible to tell until whatever it was happened.

Note to self. Better not ever call him Bulldog Bob to his face.

“A woman died in the River. Go.” He handed me a piece of paper and turned his attention to the computer. Code for dismissed.

The Chicago River made the miracle of walking on water seem possible. Thick and filthy, it was hard to imagine someone drowning in it.

“She couldn’t climb up the piles of pollution and save herself?”  I calculated the commute time and stayed put.

Bob grunted and kept typing. “Good one, Bates. When do you open at Second City?”

“Next week, if I keep getting assignments like this.” I’ve never been to the legendary comedy club, but it is on my list of places to visit. In the audience, not as a comedian.

The typing paused, then resumed. “You’re still standing there.”

“You’re observant this morning. Must’ve had your coffee.”

“Deadline is in two hours, so you’d better get a move on.” He snapped.

It would take me most of that time to commute if I had to take the bus. “Keys.” I held my palm out for them.

He shook his head.

“Bob, you’re giving me a two hour deadline. I don’t’ have a car here and I don’t know the city. You have a Garmen, so I can get there and back in almost enough time to write half an article for you.”

“Nothin doin. I‘ve seen how you park.”

“I practiced,” I lied. Nobody ever has to parallel park in the Ozarks.

He stood and loomed over me with his jowls hanging and swaying in front of him. “One scratch and you’re dead. Hear me? Not just fired. D. E. A. D. Dead.”

“Gee, thanks for the spelling lesson. I always wondered how to spell that word.”

He grunted and tossed me the keys.

“See you in a couple of hours.” After my father and a houseful of boys, it took a whole lot more than blubber wagging in my face to intimidate me.

How am I progressing?

This graphic shows howI am progressing toward my goal.

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Ronda Del Boccio, the Story Lady - Follow Your B.L.I.S.S.!Ronda Del Boccio

Bestselling author, speaker and mentor

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NaNoWriMo 2014 participant

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How Do You DIve Deeply into Character? NaNoWriMo Day 2

I”m sharing something each day from my NaNoWriMo journey of writing a novel in a month. Today is all about character development. How can you go deper?

My goal is to write a 200 page novel draft in 30 days as part of National Novel Writing Month. So far, I'm on track.

There's more to writing a novel than transmitting the actual story. Sometimes there's research, but to me one of the most important things to do is dive deep into the characters.

It's important to know your main characters'  backstory, even if all of it never reaches the page. I'm not one for crafting a huge profile, but if the character is going to feel as if she can breathe any moment, she must feel real.

People react to things, have memories intrude on conversations, and have random thoughts that turn out to have a reason. Characters should too.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) partiipant badge 2014)Today, I decided to let my protagonist Kassidy write a letter to her father, who kicked her out to live with an aunt. This missive will not appear in the book, but I learned so much about her by doing this.

Here is an excerpt of what came to me. I'm astounded what bubbles up from the depths.

Background - Kassidy's letter to her estranged Pa

To give a little background, Kassidy is writing the letter to her Pa. Randy is her husband who died in the war in Afghanistan. Russ is a friend who becomes a possible love interest in the book.

Randy and I started dating in high school. I think Russ wished I’d have gone out with him. I liked him a lot, but Randy and I were like peas in a pod. He asked me to the school dance. We used to get an ice cream on Saturdays and sit at the picnic bench watching the sun set.

Yeah, we were high school sweethearts. He gave me a promise ring.

It was real cute what happened Before Randy gave me the promise ring, he came over to my house and went to Aunt Beck. He acted all jittery and strange, not at all like his usual self I didn’t know what was up. I wanted to hear, so while he was in the kitchen talking with her, I went around back and held a glass to the back door. Who’s the spy now?

He told her he wanted to give me a promise ring and to make me his wife when we were both old enough. I was so excited and startled I dropped the glass. It broke on the porch, I didn’t want to get caught. No critters to rustle up into making noise. Beck opened the door and I said I had tripped on the steps and dropped my lemonade. Good thing that’s what had been in the glass before I used it for surveillance.

We thought we’d be one of those couples who celebrates 60 or more years and grow old together, but it wasn't to be.

That is a funny story about the ring, and I didn't know it. Maybe I'll turn it into a short story.

Who knows what will bubble up from YOUR inner knowing when you let yourself be free to write.

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