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Showing posts from January, 2012

Adios Estados Unidos, Bienvenidos Costa Rica!

As you read this, I might be soaking up the southern hemisphere rays, or traipsing through an exotic jungle, or eating sushi...nope, I don't eat sushi. :-)

I'm in Costa Rica blogger friends!!! Will be back next week. Have an awesome end of January everyone.

What's the most exotic place you've ever traveled to? The strangest food you've eaten?

(btw, the chocolate in Costa Rica is absolutely delicious)

Same Bait, Different Hook

I used to watch NCIS...until I realized Ziva and DiNozzo weren't going to hook up.

Turns out my real interest lay in the tension between these characters, and when their attraction seemed to take a backseat, so did my attention. I still like the show, but it no longer hooks me.

Sometimes what one person loves in a story is completely different than what someone else loves. Same story, different draws.

This is why it's so important that we have more than one hook in our books. Every plot has more going on than just action, or just romance. My husband's favorite movie is Braveheart. He loves the action. That's his hook. Mine is the lost love, but also the new love with the queen.

What is your fave book of all time? Why? What is it about that story that hooks you? Do you have more than one hook in your WIP?

What I've Been Reading

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I had the privilege of meeting debut author Henry McLaughlin at the 2011 ACFW Conference. He's such a nice, interesting man that I had to pick up his book. I'm glad I did. While there's a romantic thread to this story, ultimately it was the writing and the wonderful Old West feel to the book that grabbed me and kept me. Check out his first line: The crowd was small for a hanging. I definitely recommend this book to readers who like historical fiction.

I really enjoyed this read by Noelle Marchand. This is her first book and she sold it at a super young age (I think 16?). Sometimes category romances get a little formulaic but this one felt very fresh to me with vivid characters and an interesting premise.



If you didn't know it, this book has become popular posthumously. The author, Stieg Larsson, passed shortly after handing in the third manuscript. I enjoyed the writing in the book. It was different than my norm. While the pacing felt off, ultimately I liked the main ch…

Put Your Character in a Box

The irony of characters, in my opinion, is that in order to make them real, we have to make them unreal.

What I mean is, no real person can be put in a box and labeled. But to write a character that stands out, we must give that character overarching qualities (labels, even) in order to make that character real and memorable.

When I was in middle school I went on a retreat and we did an intriguing exercise. On the outside of a paper bag we wrote words that described how others thought of us (or how we feel we appear to others). On the inside of the bag we wrote words to describe how we felt on the inside.

I think this is a great exercise to do with our characters. For example, I'm reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo right now. One main character, Blomkvist, doesn't stand out to me at all. He's okay but he doesn't capture my interest. The other character, though, is Lisbeth Sanders. She's intriguing.

This is how I think the author made her intriguing.

On the out…