April 5, 2016

Writing Tip Tuesday #39: 30 Techniques to Writing A Romance

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As I’ve been telling you for the longest time, I’m new to the genre of adult contemporary romance. I can use all the help I can get when it comes to writing in this genre, so needless to say when Kaitlin Hillerich posted her two part series (Part I and Part II) on techniques for writing a romance, I definitely took notice. Each post had 15 tips, so I’m just gonna paste them altogether here.

1. Cute & Memorable First Meeting

2. Rocky Beginnings

3. Similar Backgrounds/Common Interests

4. Complimentary Personalities

5. Taking Care of Each Other

6. Protective of Each Other

7. Respectful of Physical Boundaries

8. Learning Quirks and Habits

9. Learning Likes and Dislikes

10. Thoughtful Surprises

11. Learning to Trust

12. Being Vulnerable with Each Other

13. Rescuing Each Other

14. Learning to Depend on One Another

15. Comforting Each Other

16. Making the Other Laugh

17. Compliments

18. Making Sacrifices for Each Other

19. Accepting Each Others Flaws/Past

20. Encouraging/Supporting Each Other

21. Verbal Confessions and Affirmations of Love

22. Humble Enough to Apologize

23. Forgiving Each Others Mistakes

24. Sharing Their World with the Other

25. Sharing a Life & Death/Traumatic/Emotional Experience

26. Sharing Hopes and Dreams

27. Patience

28. Devotion and Loyalty to Each Other

29. Showing Concern for/Worrying Over the Other

30. Physical Displays of Affection

I can use this like a checklist for my own stories, which is pretty convenient.

So, is there anything you would add to this list? This inquiring mind wants to know.

Peace, lurve, and wet panties,

Evolet

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April 4, 2016

Wet Panty Society – April: Kit Harington

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Welcome to spring, everyone. And how fortuitous that this dude was next in the WPS line-up. By fortuitous, I mean, his show is coming back on at the end of the month.

AND HE’S NOT DEAD.

Welcome to the Society, the sexiest knight in the Knight’s Watch…KIT HARINGTON

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Name: Christopher Catesby Harington aka “Kit”

Birthdate: 26 December 1986, London, England

Height: 5’8

Where You May Have Seen Him: As doomed slave Milo in POMPEII (2014), as the voice of a (how ironic) dragon killer in HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 (2014), and as the bastard son of a king and part of the Knight’s Watch in HBO’s popular show GAME OF THRONES (2011-2014).

Where You May See Him in the Near Future: THE DEATH AND LIFE OF JOHN F DONOVAN (2016 pre-production), BRIMSTONE (2016).

Like everyone else, Kit zoomed across my radar the minute he appeared in GAME OF THRONES. If you’re not watching this show, then I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with you. The one thing I’ve learned, though, is that this show is like THE WALKING DEAD.

No one is safe.

If you get attached to a character on this show, he or she is going to end up dead. You’re going to find yourself screaming “Noooooooo” at your TV screen and then yelling “FUCK YOU, GEORGE R.R. MARTIN. YOU OL’ TURD!!” at the room in general.

You may even find yourself boycotting the show if they don’t bring a certain someone back.

Yeah, that’s good television right there. LOL

I’m really hoping Jon Snow’s not dead, that it was just a bad fucking nightmare, because it would be a damn shame to never see Kit Harington again.

Winter is coming and they’re going to need this dude.

Welcome to the Society, Kit.

Peace, lurve, and wet panties,

Evolet

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March 29, 2016

Writing Tip Tuesday #38: Don’t Call Me Mary Sue

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When we create our characters, we want to make them perfect.

In every way.

We want them to be gorgeous, flaw-less, talented, and have our readers love them.

Now hand me your rose-colored glasses. <wiggles fingers in a gimme motion>

This only happens in the Perfect Writer’s World, people! And, spoiler alert, that place doesn’t exist.

In the real world, that is.

Characters like that, according to Kaitlin H, are referred to at Mary Sue’s. Her post, Is Your Character a Mary Sue? offers six warning signs and how to fix them:

1. Beautiful, Yet Plain

A Mary Sue usually sees herself as plain or average, but really she’s beautiful or even gorgeous. Guys don’t fail to take notice, and her friends and family reassure her of her beauty even as she laments about how plain she is. Often, she’ll have a special hair or eye color to make her more unique, or exotic features.

Solution: Try to avoid words/phrases that describe characters as beautiful/handsome  unless it’s important to their character or the story. Also, if it’s not important don’t give your heroine gold or violet eyes in an attempt to make her more unique. Not only do these colors not exist in real life, but I feel like it screams trying to hard to make the hero “special.”

 

2. Talented

A Mary Sue is extremely talented, often in more than one area. She doesn’t have to work at her skill, it just comes to her naturally.

Solution: This doesn’t mean that you can’t give your hero a talent. It’s good for heroes to have a strength, and in real life people usually have something they’re really good at. But it’s usually one thing, and they have to work very hard at it. Often, there are others who are better at it than they are.

Try to limit your hero’s talent to one thing, make him work for the skill, and consider not making him best person in the world at it. Also, offset his talent by showing other areas in which he struggles. For example, he may be good with a sword but can’t shoot a bow to save his life.

 

3. Destined

In Fantasy, it’s not uncommon for Mary Sues to have some sort of destiny or prophecy to fulfill. They’re often “The Chosen One,” the only one who can stop the villain or save the world.

Solution: This is the hardest issue to fix because it involves changing your plot. See if you can avoid making your hero The Chosen One. Instead, try to find a way to make him commit to defeating the villain, saving the world, etc. without being cornered into it by destiny.

 

4. Without Flaw

Mary Sues have few or no flaws. They can do no wrong, and are often very moral or “goody-goody.”

Solution: Give your characters real flaws. This is often one of the hardest parts of creating a hero because we’re afraid of making him unlikable. But strangely enough, a flawed character is actually more likable because he’s more relatable and more interesting. He has layers, different sides to him that contrast and conflict. Need ideas? Check out this list of character flaws.

 

5. Loved by All

Mary Sue characters are surrounded by people who adore them–except the villain, of course. They might even have several love interests clamoring for their affection. It doesn’t matter what they do or how rude they’ve been, everyone will still love them. The Mary Sue doesn’t even have to give them a reason or earn their trust/friendship/admiration.

Solution: Of course your hero will be loved by friends, family, and maybe a love interest. But not everyone they meet should automatically like them. It’s just not realistic. Give them enemies besides the villain, or have them meet people who just aren’t fond of them. And make sure there’s a reason why people like him–whether it’s friends, a love interest, or strangers.

 

6. No Struggle

Everything is easy for the Mary Sue character. She doesn’t have to work for anything. Everything she wants falls into her lap, and defeating the villain is a breeze. If she makes a mistake or does something wrong she doesn’t have to face consequences for her actions.

Solution: Don’t make things easy for your hero! Let him struggle, fail, and make mistakes. Don’t give him everything he wants like some spoiled child. Make it difficult for him to defeat the villain so that he “earns” his happy ending.

Kaitlin says that if your characters fall into one or two of these categories, don’t fret. Your character is far from being a Mary Sue (or Gary Stu if it’s a dude). The problem occurs when your characters fit into several categories. With that being said, I can gladly state that my heroine is not a Mary Sue. Yes, she’s got the unusual eye color. But that’s it. And I was a tad worried about #5 (because yes, she’s loved by family and friends and eventually the love interest), but the villain doesn’t exactly hate on her. Thankfully, Kaitlin provided a solution: have them meet people who just aren’t fond of them. I can do that.

So, have you written any Mary Sue’s? This inquiring mind wants to know.

Peace, lurve, and wet panties,

Evolet

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March 29, 2016

Wet Panty Society – A Little Trivia About: Kellan Lutz

~ His father is three quarters German, and approximately one quarter English, ancestry. His mother is of half German, one quarter Swedish, and one quarter Dutch, ancestry. [In other words, hot as fuck]

~ Named by People magazine as having one of the “50 Most Amazing Bodies” in 2010, alongside his Twilight co-star Taylor Lautner. [Yes. I would totally agree.]

~ Trained in Brazilian Jujitsu and Muay Thai.
~ Has been considered for Thor in THOR (2011) and Steve Rogers/Captain America in CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER (2011). [I can’t see him being Thor. He’s not tall enough and that was all Chris Hemsworth.  No one else can play Thor but Chris. Captain American on the other hand, I could totally see that. He’s got the body for it. If McHottie Chris Evans didn’t want to do it anymore, I could see McHottie Kellan taking his place.]
~ Was the front runner for the role of Conan in CONAN THE BARBARIAN (2011). [But he gotten the lesser HERCULES instead. Besides, after playing a barbarian on GAME OF THRONES, that role was all Jason Momoa He was perfect.]
~ A fan of the Street Fighter video games.

And now it’s time…to say goodbye…to one of the hottest vampires I’ve ever seen.

Get your final drool on, ladies (and gents, if you swing that way. There’s no diss-crimination ovah herre).

Hope you enjoyed the month of February and the eye candy that was Kellan Lutz.

So, important question: shirtless or clothed? Blonde hair or brown? What say you?

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March 22, 2016

Writing Tip Tuesday #37: The End

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The best part about writing a story–and I’m pretty sure I speak for all writers here–is when we can say The End. When I finished writing my second standalone YA novel, I cried.

Literally. Cried.

It was a happy cry although I’m sure at the time, my husband’s friend thought something was seriously wrong. Reactions are different for other writers, I imagine. One of my fav authors, Melissa Foster, probably celebrates by eating a bag of cookies. LMAO.

It’s that sense of accomplishment that you’ve resolved the main conflict, answered all the questions, and wrapped everything up in a nice big, red bow.

Or have you?

Janice Hardy’s provides tips on 5 Common Problems with Endings to look out for to keep from pissing off your readers:

1. It’s the Wrong Size

Structurally, endings are about the same size as beginnings (roughly 25%). They follow similar paths, but instead of getting the protagonist onto the plot path, the ending gets her off of it. When the ending is the wrong size, it either feels too fast and everything resolves so quickly readers don’t have time to absorb (let alone enjoy), the climax, or it’s so slow it feels like the novel will never end. [I’ve seen readers complain about this in book reviews: rushed endings]

TAKEAWAY:

~ Look for places where the story is rushing to the payoff and not letting enough tension build. Watch for places where you’re summarizing the action instead of dramatizing it, as this is often seen in too-short endings. Also check to see how the ending compares to the beginning size-wise.  Try fleshing out what feels sparse and slowing down a little to let the tension build.

~ Look for places where the ending rambles on after the climax is over, or it takes too long to get there.

2. It Doesn’t Resolve the Core Conflict

The whole point of an ending is to resolve the core conflict of a novel. But sometimes we forget what that point is and end up solving a problem in the climax that doesn’t actually fix the problem posed at the beginning of the story—and the one the protagonist has been trying most of the book to solve.

TAKEAWAY:

Try letting the climax solve the core conflict, and resolve the problem the plot set out to solve in the first place.

3. It Doesn’t Involve the Protagonist

This is more common in larger-scale novels with multiple point of view characters, but it can happen anywhere. The characters finally fight their way to the climax, but the protagonist isn’t the one who defeats the antagonist and saves the day (however that unfolds in the novel). If the protagonist isn’t the hero, then why have readers been following her all book?

TAKEAWAY:

Put the protagonist back in the driver’s seat and let her solve the problem.

 

4. The Protagonist Doesn’t Grow

In most novels, the protagonist is going to learn something and grow in response to her experience in the novel (the character arc). When she doesn’t, readers can wonder what the whole point is and the novel can feel like a waste of their time.

TAKEAWAY:

~ Look out for endings (and arcs) where the protagonist has gone through all the deliciously evil things we did to her to get her there, but by the end, she learns nothing, and is no better or worse off than when she started.

~ Try giving the protagonist a character arc and a reason to experience the plot of the novel. Make what she does matter to her.

 

5. The Ending Doesn’t Fulfill the Story Promise

We make a promise to our readers at the beginning of a novel (sometimes before then, with what we say in the cover copy). “This is the type of story you’re going to read and you will have this reading experience.” Readers expect us to live up to that promise, and when we don’t, it affects how they feel about the book.

TAKEAWAY:

~ Look for endings that don’t fit the beginnings, and don’t keep the promise made at the start of the novel.

~ Keep the promise. Try adjusting the plot to fit the story you want to tell, even if that means changing the ending, fixing the beginning, or adjusting other major events in the novel.

So, do endings give you trouble or can you celebrate with a good cry or a carton of Chunky Monkey? This inquiring mind wants to know.
Peace, lurve, and wet panties,

Evolet

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March 21, 2016

Wet Panty Society – A Little Trivia About: Kellan Lutz

~ Originally asked to read the role of “Edward” in TWILIGHT (2008), but was busy filming GENERATION KILL (2008) in Africa. [It’s possible that I might’ve enjoyed this series more if he’d been Edward. But somebody else would have to be Bella because Kristen sucked and there wouldn’t have been any chemistry between her and Kellan.]
Kellan was the male lead actor in Hilary Duff’s music video “With Love”. Which I’ve embedded below for your viewing pleasure. [Surprisingly, I actually like the song. And I like the video. It’s a little steamy.]
You’re welcome.
Kellan16

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March 18, 2016

Writing Tip Tuesday #36: Saggy in the Middle

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And I’m not talking about a physical paunch. The kind that’s hard to get rid of at the gym.

I’m talking a paunch in the literary sense.

If writers considered beginnings and endings to be like torture, then they would probably compare it to being punched in the face. Painful, but bearable. Maybe.

The middle, on the other hand, would be something akin to waterboarding.

You’re drowning, with no rescue in sight.

Scene middles are a challenge for writers and C.S. Lakin’s post provides some insight into What You Might Not Know About Scene Middles:

Scene middles need to be purposeful – You don’t want your middles to show characters aimlessly wandering, doing unimportant things, having mundane conversations. The middle section is not filler. It isn’t the place to stuff in comings and goings and boring activity just to take up space until you get to the key moment.

Middles should be packed with conflict – In each scene, at the key moment near the end, your character is going to learn something, understand something, find something, witness something. Infusing a scene with inner/outer conflict and heightening the tension by keeping the stakes in the forefront are the two best ways to have strong middles.

Middles reinforce what’s at stake – Just showing a character going from one place to another, with some objective, is not going to create a strong, compelling middle section of a scene if it doesn’t have an element of present stakes. This doesn’t mean every scene in a novel has to be action-packed or full of danger. But to some degree, there should be something at risk, something at stake, whether it’s a friendship, self-esteem, or a feeling of accomplishment.

Middles should muddle, not put readers to sleep –  Middles are where you can complicate or exacerbate a situation. You can bring in more problems, a setback, a reversal, a twist. By building expectations in one direction throughout a scene, then having them wrong, you create a building tension in that middle that helps the high moment pack a punch.

So, do you have strong or saggy middles? This inquiring mind wants to know.

Peace, lurve, and wet panties,

Evolet

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March 14, 2016

Wet Panty Society – A Little Trivia About: Kellan Lutz

~ Favorite place is South Africa.

~ Grew up in Arizona. [I’m curious what school he went to now]
~ Has six brothers and one sister. [Wow. Talk about The Brady Bunch. LOL]
What I love about this dude is that there’s an ABUNDANCE of shirtless pics.
Like this one.
I love this look on a guy.
Kellan10

March 8, 2016

Writing Tip Tuesday #35: In the Beginning…

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When I was writing my YA trilogy, I had The Best opening line in Book One:

I’m meeting two undercover FBI agents in Central Park today.

Yeah. How’s that for intriguing? I have a great opening line for Book One in my Nemesis Group series, too.

Which I will not put here.

You’ll just have to wait for it, people!!

The beginning isn’t just about the opening line, though. The beginning refers to, well, the beginning of your story. It’s where you’re introducing your characters, setting up your world and the story. Back in the day, when I was thinking about going the traditional publishing route with my YA trilogy, I was querying agents with Book One. The rejection letters were aplenty, let me tell you, but ironically, some of the feedback I was getting was consistent: the action isn’t happening quick enough.

Note to self: action sooner.

Beginnings are difficult to do because you have to hook your reader from the get-go, and Janice Hardy’s post provides tips on 5 Common Problems with Beginnings to keep in mind if your beginnings give you fits:

1. It’s Starting in the Wrong Place

This is probably the most common problem with beginnings, because we’re not always sure how the story unfolds until we write it. What seems like the right start turns out to be general throat clearing and warm up, and our actual beginnings are either several chapters in, or we needed more ramp up to get there.

TAKEAWAY:

Look for scenes where the protagonist is going through a lot of normal daily routines without a goal, conflict, or problem.

Look for a lot of action and characters in dire straits without a clear reason, sense of who they are, or context for what’s going on.

2. It Has Too Much (or Not Enough) Setup

The right amount of setup piques reader curiosity, grounds readers in the scene, and gives them just enough information to understand what’s going on without giving the secrets away.

TAKEAWAY:

~ Look for scenes full of info dumps, backstory, and too much setting the scene to “get readers ready” for the story to start.

~ Look for confusing scenes that lack enough information and ramp up for readers to understand what’s happening and why it matters.

3. It Doesn’t Have Enough Story Questions

A story question makes readers want to know more—a intriguing problem, a fascinating character, a bizarre situation, or maybe a literal question.

TAKEAWAY:
Look for scenes that explain everything and hold no secrets back.

4. It Has an Unclear or Reactive Protagonist

Confusing or slow-to-start beginnings are often the result of an unclear or reactive protagonist. Readers don’t have a guide in the story, so they’re reading a lot of scenes without context or a point.

TAKEAWAY:
~ Look for multiple points of view with characters all doing things, but no one person or problem is standing out as the main character or conflict of the novel.

~ Look for a protagonist who is swept up in events and never makes a decision on what to do. Often, they have no personal stake in the plot, they just happened to be the one who ended up involved. Since no one is actively doing anything, no hero emerges.

5. Its Structure is Out of Whack

Sometimes our beginnings are generally working, but they feel either too slow or too fast for the novel’s overall structure. This is a little different than starting in the wrong place, because the right pieces are there, they’re just out of alignment and throwing off the novel’s pacing.

TAKEAWAY:
~ Look for traditional beginning events (inciting event, act one problem, first plot point etc.) that end past the 30% mark of the novel (from a page count perspective). That’s a good indication that there’s too much unrelated information in the front of the novel.

~ Look for traditional beginning events (inciting event, act one problem, first plot point etc.) that end before the 20% mark of the novel (from a page count perspective). Odds are there’s not enough good setup and the story is starting too fast.

So, do you have a hard time with beginnings or do you have that mastered? This inquiring mind wants to know.

Peace, lurve, and wet panties,

Evolet

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March 7, 2016

Wet Panty Society – March: Kellan Lutz

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Hello March. Hello warmer weather. Happy St. Patty’s Day (for all you drinkers out there). And Happy Birthday, Daddy (on the 27th). I nearly missed putting this out today and I know how some of you depend on morning eye candy.

My bad.

Welcome to the Wet Panty Society…KELLAN LUTZ

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Name: Kellan Christopher Lutz

DOB: 15 March 1985, Dickinson, ND

Height: 6’1

Where You May Have Seen Him: GENERATION KILL (2008), as vampire Emmet Cullen in TWILIGHT (2008), THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON (2009), THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE (2010), THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN PART 1(2011), and THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN PART 2, 90210 (2008-2009), portrayed Greek God Poseidon in IMMORTALS (2011) alongside hottie WPS inductee Henry Cavill, portrayed demi-god Hercules in HERCULES (2014), a mercenary alongside Sly Stallone in THE EXPENDABLES 3 (2014), was on Lisa Kudrow’s HBO show THE COMEBACK (2005-2014).

Where You’ll See Him Next: SFv1 (2016), ADI SHANKAR’S GODS AND SECRETS (2016), NEST (2016) and MONEY (2016)

Kellan crossed my radar in the first TWILIGHT movie, to be honest. Other than Taylor Lautner, he was the only other eye candy in that series worth watching. I liked when he came on screen because I lurved his devilish, smirky smile. He has a way of smiling from underneath his eyebrows. You know what I mean? He’ll dip his head a little bit, kind of do the side eye and then as Flynn Ryder from TANGLED  would say “Here comes The Smolder.” LOL. Despite his other TV/movie credits, I hadn’t seen him in/on anything else. A straight-to-video movie of his, JAVA HEAT (2013) was on one of the cable channels late at night a while back and I ended up watching the last half hour of it.

So, here’s to seeing Kellan (I love his name) on the regular. Welcome to the Society, dude!

Peace, lurve, and wet panties,

Evolet

 

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  • Fuck Bucket List

    In no particular order:

    Jason Statham
    Chris O'Donnell
    Eric Balfour
    Christian Kane
    Chris Evans
    Charlie Hunnam - pre SOA
    Channing Tatum
    Zac Efron
    Henry Cavill
    Jason Momoa
    Jay Ryan
    Jesse Metcalf
    Jonathan Rhys-Meyers
    Kit Harrington
    Robbie Amell
    Stephen Amell
    Ryan Reynolds
    Taylor Lautner
    Taylor Kitsch

  • Former Damp Panties