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The bumpy road (#MFRWAuthor)

Published August 17, 2018 by francesothomas

bumps

 

Best writing advice I’ve gotten? What sticks with me is something from a plotting class I took with Delilah Devlin. She calls it three bumps and a push.

In other words, throw three roadblocks into your plot, each worse than the last. Then add one final thing that seems like it can’t be resolved, the final crisis. Of course, your characters do overcome that last big problem and go on to live happily ever after. This framework is so simple even I can follow it.

Clearly, there’s much more to writing than this. I can’t wait to read other good advice from fellow authors here.

 

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First, second, third, phooey (#MFRWAuthor)

Published August 10, 2018 by francesothomas

heads

 

This week, we writers are to discuss what we call POV, point of view. So far, I have only written in third. But I really like to read first. If I don’t think of more to add, this will be a very short post, won’t it?

Truthfully, I still struggle with this concept. I know there are two kinds of third, omniscient and limited. I think what I’m using is omniscient. “God-like” I can see into all  the characters’ minds.

At least I know “head-hopping” is taboo. We authors aren’t supposed to jump will nilly from one character’s thoughts to another. Most romance novels seem to alternate from heroine to her’s POV, but only in separate chapters.

And you thought this writing stuff was easy. Clearly, I need more work on my craft.

Let’s hope my fellow authors have more coherent answers. Find out here.

 

Learning my lessons (#MFRWAuthor)

Published August 3, 2018 by francesothomas

notes

 

How can it be August already? This is the 31st week in the blog challenge. The prompt is “When I’m not writing, I…”

To be honest, when I am not writing I am often feeling guilty about not writing. I spend a lot of time trying to learn new things, so that’s not a bad thing, right? Some of my favorite people and resources are:

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) provided on sites such as  Coursera and FutureLearn. You can find classes in almost anything that interests you. They are free unless you want to get an official certificate.

Sam Bennett at The Organized Artist Company has paid programs using concepts from her books Start Right Where You Are and Get It Done, but she is also generous with free online encouragement. She advocates spending fifteen minutes a day working on whatever your chosen project is, and she’s right. You can get an awful lot done.

Donna Kozik  is the creator of “Write a Book in a Weekend.” Besides her paid coaching services, she too is generous with free webinars. Most recently, she has coordinated two community book projects like Success Is Yours.

Joan Stewart puts out a very helpful free newsletter twice a week on all things publicity.

Dr. Judith Briles organizes a cruise for writers which I would love to go on. Maybe some day. She also produces a helpful newletter and webinars.

And last, but certainly not least, The Writing Gals, whose podcasts are filled with information for authors.

If you want to read about the non-writing pasttimes of other authors, go here. 

 

 

 

Taking a chance (#MFRWAuthor)

Published July 27, 2018 by francesothomas

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With the jackpot so high, I rushed out to buy lottery tickets earlier this week, so this week’s blog topic is apropos: If I won the lottery…

Well, of course, I would buy the obligatory new house and new car if my winnings were great enough. Our car has well over 100,000 miles on it, so I think I’d be justified in finding a new ride. And sadly, my husband’s health is not great, so a home closer to medical facilities would be a relief and a blessing.

Besides those obvious purchases, I would give money to family and to causes dear to me, the arts and mental health. I would also indulge in taking classes to my heart’s content.

A shopping spree? Maybe a mini one. A girl can always use some new clothes, but my lifestyle isn’t such that I need anything too fancy.

I think the greatest benefit of winning a lottery in whatever amount would be peace of mind, just knowing the money is there for any unforeseen crises. I do, after all, live in the hurricane belt. In fact, I drew on my experience with Hurricane Charley in Southern Hospitality, the second book in Calusa Town Tales.

But enough about me. Read about the pipe dreams of other authors here.

Necessity is the mother of invention (MFRWAuthor)

Published July 20, 2018 by francesothomas

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The weeks are flying by. It won’t be long until it’s Christmas which brings me to this week’s blog topic: my favorite holiday memory.

Every year, the local firemen set up a Christmas tree lot in the playground across the street from our house when I was growing up. One year, my mother and I chose a tree and brought it home to set up. How we struggled. No matter what we did, that tree just would not cooperate. It refused to stand upright in the metal holder.

Fortunately, my brother was still a baby that year. In utter frustration, my mother dumped the contents of his diaper pail out and shoved the tree in. Success! The additon of a carefully draped piece of cloth as a tree skirt completed the decor. No one would ever have guessed she didn’t plan it that way.

Read about other holidays here.

 

 

Sing a song (#MFRWAuthor)

Published July 13, 2018 by francesothomas

scsf

What’s the topic this week on Marketing for Romance Writers blog hop? It’s creative outlets I enjoy.

My favorite outlet is music. I have been singing for my entire life. At first, I sang at church, then in the chorus of the community college I attended in Pennsylvania. After I graduated, I sang in  several community choruses in Pennsylvania and in Florida.

At present, I am a member of the Symphonic Chorale of SW FL. We self-produce two concerts a year plus two events to which we invite community singers to participate. Coming up in August is Summer Sing where we will rehearse and perform Rutter’s Requiem in the space of a single evening. Next spring, we are hosting Coro Rapsodia, a chorus from Uruguay, for our annual Sing Out. It’s a similar process to the Summer Sing, but lasts two days.

In addition, we sing two concerts a year with the SW FL Symphony Orchestra, a Holiday Pops performance and a classical Masterworks concert.

In fact, it was while sitting on stage waiting to begin a program of operatic choruses that the idea for the book I am working on now came to me. The working title is The Maestro and revolves around a fake engagement.

To read about other creative outlets, go here.

Sibling Silliness (#MFRWAuthor)

Published July 6, 2018 by francesothomas

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What is the most fun I can have while dressed? Marketing for Romance Writers blog hop wants to know. Another easy topic.

I don’t get to see my sister and brother very often. They live too far away. So when Christmas holidays roll around, we spend hours catching up and reminiscing. My poor husband has heard these stories many times and generally bids us good night and heads for bed.

It doesn’t take long for us three siblings to start laughing. My brother, in particular, never fails to crack me up. I often end up in tears from laughing so hard.

My husband has learned to don ear plugs.

How do other authors have fun? Check out their responses here.