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You’ve worked too hard to quit now. Your story is nearly ready, but now it’s time to sell your novel. Learn the steps to creating a powerful proposal, secrets to pitching, the key elements to your marketing plan, a social media primer and how to create rabid reader fans. It’s time to ignite your career.
Rachel Hauck

Writing Romance: No Cheating Allowed!

No, I’m not talking about the characters and story line.

I’m talking the author taking shortcuts to achieve a goal without motivation.

I love romance.

God loves romance. Look at human history. It’s a romance!

In fact, I was flying home from Dallas the other day, sitting behind a young newlywed couple, and as I caught them interacting, I teared up.

“What God? Do You have something for them?”

“No,” He said. “I just wanted to share with you I love marriage, romance.”

Wow! God’s on board with love. And He loves sharing with His friends.

Anyway, on occasion, as I read romances, I find authors cheating.

Meaning, they move the characters through the story without motivation.

Well, not with character motivation but with author motivation saying, “I need the hero and heroine to be together in every scene.”

So, after a fight between he H & H, or a “I don’t want to be with you!” argument, the H & H are in the next scene together, getting along famously.

Hmm…

Even if the fight or argument was “I just want to be friends,” what’s the motivation for them to be together in the next scene?

There has to be romantic tension. Meaning, they’re saying and doing one thing but feeling and wanting another

She says, upon rejecting his invitation to a date or even after a spontaneous kiss, “Let’s be friends.”

He says, “But, um, yea, whatever…”

The next scene or even the next two cannot be the hero and heroine hanging out!

Why?

Because their romantic feelings have surfaced and one is standing off the other.

BTW, make sure you have a good reason and motivation for that stand off, too.

If you want your H & H to be together, which is great because it increases tension, then create a viable scenario.

This is why I love when an H & H are somehow forced to be together by circumstances, job or pressure.

In How To Catch A Prince (Feb 24th from Zondervan) I needed the H & H to be together but there were NO reasons.

The Prince was fighting being together.

So I had the heroine, Corina, be invited to the palace for dinner and then applied family pressure for them to attend a movie premier together.

In Denise Hunter’s Barefoot Summer, the heroine is forced to be with the hero to learn sailing.

So no matter if they are getting along or not, there’s another sailing lesson on the horizon to keep them on the same page.

I know we try to always have motivation, but sometimes we inadvertently lack in the motivation department.

Next up…

Another motivation issue.

If your hero or heroine chose to do something against their nature, or in the face of their pain or fears, show proper reason and motivation.

If your heroine is afraid of cemeteries, and you’ve made that clear throughout the first part of the book, (with proper reasons of course) then don’t have her go visit her Granny’s grave because she wants to “talk things over with her.”

Show the heroine or hero kicking and screaming into that scene! They have to be pushed by some external circumstance.

But when they DO enter into that painful place, take the reader along and let them feel the pain and emotion with the characters.

Don’t sum up the scene, “And so she went to see Granny’s grave.”

Or, “Finally, she could face her fear. Later, while eating with Bob…”

Take us inside the heart and mind of the character. Give us the emotion. Let us see and feel what the characters see and feel.

No cheating.

No shortcuts.

Now, go write something emotional and brilliant. ;)

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The 2015 Frasier Contest is OPEN!

Are you wanting to up your writing game in 2015?  Entering a writing contest is a GREAT way to get feedback, get noticed by editors and agents, and build your writing skills!

And our MBT Frasier Contest is designed to help you Get Published, and Stay Published!

Check out these words from 2013 Finalist, and 2014 WINNER Jeanne Takenaka! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCKJa8tDX_Q

Find all the Frasier Contest Deets HERE!

You CAN write something brilliant!

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Social Media Minute—Tips for Managing Social Media along with a Full-time Job

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Juggling life and writing is tough. And it’s even harder when you add a full-time job into the equation. So today I’m going to share some tips for managing social media along with a full-time job.

While writing IS your priority, small (even tiny) consistent steps with social media can grow an impressive online presence.

The majority of your audience will be checking social media during the day and into evening. Because of this, it’s important to utilize a scheduling program to send out updates while you’re at work during the day.

Use Your Evening to Schedule Updates

I know many of you don’t have the time to schedule your updates in the morning before work. The way to get around this is to schedule your social media in the evening. I even do a little of this myself. Here’s an example of what I do. I usually check my social media once before bed. If I happen to see something I’d like to share, instead of sending it out right then, I schedule it to go out the next day. Sure I’m a day late, but if the information is relevant, a day or two isn’t going to make a difference. You could schedule all your updates that way.

Watch the Clock

Many of you mentioned you only have an hour or two to write in the evenings. If you take a full half-hour to work on social media, you’ve used up to half your writing time. That’s unacceptable. If that’s the case, then limit yourself to no more than 15 minutes of social media scheduling.

Schedule Updates for the Entire Week at One Time

Another way to work around your time-crunch issues is to devote one single evening to all your social media updates for the week. There have been times, when I was on a trip, that I’ve had to do this. Here’s how it’s done.

I chose Friday to schedule everything for the following week. For me, it was easier and here’s why. Starting the Monday previous, everything that came into my inbox that I thought would be valuable to share, I put into a document. I named the document by the date of the Monday I started collecting—1/27/13, Social Media Updates. Then I saved the document on my desktop, so I’d have easy access. Every time I found something valuable, I clicked on the link to the specific post. I then copied the URL of that specific post and, along with the title or something that would help me remember why I thought that post was valuable, pasted that info into the document.

I did this Monday through Friday (remember, I’m scheduling this in the evening, so I’ll have info from Friday to include) and plenty to share for the coming week. You could chose any day, even a weekend time to do this, and it would work just as well.

Limit Your Social Media Networks

With less time to devote to your writing, you have to make sure the time you spend on social media is well spent. You’ll have to discipline yourself to make the most of the time you have. This includes the time you spend interacting on different platforms. I recommend you read and comment on no more than 4 – 6 updates per social media network. AND I recommend you limit yourself to no more than 3 networks. Trying to do too much will result in less visibility.

For example, it’s much better to have a strong presence on 2 networks by sharing 4 or 5 updates several days a week and commenting on 4 or 5 updates several days a week, than only 1 or 2 updates and comments over a 5 or 6 networks. If you choose the latter, you have a much less likelihood of being seen.

Choose the Most Valuable Networks

By limiting your social media networks to no more than three, you’ll have to decide which 3 make the most sense for you. I still stand by my recommendation of Facebook and Twitter as numbers 1 and 2. After that, I’d choose between Pinterest, Instagram, Google Pus and YouTube. If you’re not sure how to evaluate these networks, I recommend a post I wrote about Social Media Platforms and How They’re Used.

Do What’s Best for YOU

All of these tips are just that, tips. Ultimately, you know what time you have and what priorities make the most sense for you. Take what works and toss the rest. The most important thing is to have a plan. In the past, stumbling along—doing the best I could—has set me back years with my writing goals.

These are my tips, now it’s time for you to chime in. Help each other—and me—by sharing what has and hasn’t worked for you.

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