Writing

Twenty Minutes

I participated in the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood’s Winter Writing Festival this year, and it was great fun. I loved the support, the encouragement, and the motivation. But the best part? The chat roompintip sprints.

Here’s how it worked: you showed up at the chat room at a designated time, where a Ruby sister was moderating. After a few minutes of chatting, the moderator announced the beginning of a sprint (usually twenty or twenty-five minutes). Everyone worked furiously. At the end of the sprint, the moderator called time. More chatting. Rinse and repeat.

It was amazing how much work I could accomplish when I knew other people were doing the same thing. Moreover, writing can feel like a lonely, solitary endeavor… but the Ruby chat room sprints made me feel like the other writers and I were part of the same team. Like we were doing something together.

Sadly, the WWF is over now, but it’s taught me a very important writing…
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ROMANCE? What if the Hero is Married and in Love with Another Woman (the Heroine)…

by Denny S. Bryce

Denny's MermaidsI got up this morning to the sound of chirping birds, geese doing shout outs to other geese, and sunshine bouncing over my lake (okay, it’s the community’s lake, but since I live here now, it’s mine!), but my thoughts kept drifting to SCANDAL.

No, nothing about my personal life here (sadly) – I’m talking about a TV show. Yes, some of you may know my obsession with the ABC series (SCANDAL) from the mind of Sondra Rhimes starring Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn (yes, the actor who killed Patrick Swayze in Ghost).

Well, I’ve come to the conclusion that Sondra Rhimes reads romance novels. Hot, spicy, romance novels, but she reads them and then she twists them into decadent juicy unbelievable (but totally believable) melodrama. And yes, it’s over the top and if you enjoy situations that just don’t fit in the realm of reason but then kind of do, then the show is for…
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Author Lynne Silver Swims with the Mermaids: Momma Always Said…

 

Please join the Mermaids in welcoming Romance Author Lynne Silver!  Take it away, Lynne…

Lynne Silver

We all know the adage if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. And generally that’s a good thing. What about when it comes to book reviews on Amazon or Goodreads? Should authors give their honest opinion about books written by fellow authors?

As much as I am a published author, I might be more of a reader. I’m addicted to romance novels and read 2-3 per week. I often want to discuss them, possibly in a public forum, but the day I was published was the day I stopped giving my public opinion about a book if I think it’s anything less than stellar.

I retweet and Facebook share tons of links to good reviews and any promo for fellow writer friends, but it’s been a long time since I’ve had a good discussion about a book. Do…
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A Killer Beginning

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“I cut my bangs with some rusty kitchen scissors…”

Those are the very first words of the Miranda Lambert song, Mama’s Broken Heart.  Every single time I hear it, I’m like, “I can totally see that girl.  I know who that is.  I know what she’s feeling, where she’s probably going, and who she’s after.”  And it’s not because I’ve ever been there or done that.

It’s one of my favorite openings ever because less than ten words in and you have to know the rest of the story.

And then I sit there, awestruck, and try to come up with my own attention grabbing openings.  It’s really tough, y’all.  😉

I think to accomplish a great opening line, it helps to identify your strength.  What do you feel most confident about in your writing?  What gives you that thrill inside when you’re in your zone?  Are you great at Dialogue, Characters, Emotion, Action, Grief, Humor, Mystery?  Whatever it is,…
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Tawny Weber (aka Hot Sassy Romance Author) dips a toe in the water!

From Mermaid Susan:  The Mermaids are delighted to welcome author Tawny Weber to talk about her titles A SEAL’s Seduction, and its equally hot companion, A SEAL’s Surrender, both from Harlequin  Blaze.

Welcome to the lagoon, Tawny!  Tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to embrace the writing life.

Thank you for the lovely welcome! And what a nice lagoon you have here!  Can I get a frothy drink in a coconut shell?  I’m a fan of froth.  :)

I love the writing life. But I wasn’t one of those gifted writers born to it, or even one who discovered it in their early years.  Growing up, though, while so many friends worshipped actors or rock stars, my pedestals were all saved for authors.  I love books.  But it wasn’t until my husband asked me what I’d do if I could have any dream career that I even considered writing.  Once he’d prodded me in the right direction, I embraced the idea. …
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Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock

Ticking Clock

Good morning fishy friends!  I’m actually going to blog about “writing” today on my group writers blog and not cute boys or cute boys or cute boys.  And that is because it’s contest judging time for my local writing chapter’s annual unpublished writing contest, WRW’s Marlenes.  This is my second year judging and the entries I received this year were very impressive.  There wasn’t a single head hop which stood out to me because I can admit that was my biggest mistake when I first entered my own submission.  More positives were that the characters were all well written and likeable.  The premises were all genuinely unique and interesting.  And there were some really good synopsis’ included at the end.

If the stories I read lacked anything, it was a clear understanding of the Ticking Clock.  I pulled this definition from Mary Buckham and Dianna Love’s power plotting book, Break Into Fiction.  The Ticking Clock is “an internal or external element in the story that creates…
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Writing Through the Angst

I am the first to admit the winter months (after the holidays) do me in.  DSCF0313

But how can I feel this way when the first week of the new year is like a new start for me?

We all have times, whether it is the first of the calendar year, school year or just sometime we decide on a “fresh start” to things, that things are going to change for the better.  Well, I’ve gone and done it again!

Here it is, half way through the month of a ‘new start’ and I can’t get the motivation I need to do what I know I need to do.  And because of that I tend to go into a slump, emotionally at times (and trust me, the wonderful rainy, dreary weather that I’ve been faced with does not help at all).

Years ago when I was just a pup, I went through the normal pre-teen angst we sometimes face…
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The Salon Incident

Dana MermaidYesterday, I went to the salon to have my hair done—it looks fabulous, by the way—but while I was there I had the most bizarre thing happen. A middle-aged woman came in and asked about having her hair done although she didn’t have an appointment. One of the owners, a very nice woman I have known for years, politely explained that they were completely booked for that day but that she would be happy to schedule an appointment for her.

Instead of scheduling the appointment like any sane person, the lady went berserk in a manner any Viking conquerer would admire. In a loud, demanding voice she went on a tirade about her boss letting her off from work early for this and that they simply must squeeze her in. As you can imagine, all eyes were glued to the drama unfolding. I was shocked a grown woman would act like that.

Writers or Cooks: What Are You Willing to Do?

Denny's MermaidsI don’t know what it is about me and cops, detectives, private eyes, lawyers, or could it be the entire judicial system, but no matter what I write, there is always, always, always, a crime, suspense, weapons, a moustache-twirling villain, and a dead body.

I’m not a cop who writes books. I’m a PR and marketing person, who writes. But PR divas, we don’t do. We strategize ways for our clients to influence human behavior – in other words we help our clients’ customers buy or think the way our clients want the public to buy or think (I love PR:).

So what does this mean to my storytelling? Lots of research, research, research.

I know. Research is required of any project you decide must be done, and that doesn’t only apply to writing a book. You routinely  gather facts before diving into any pool blind. If you’re planning a special meal for the family or friends, or…
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Starting at The End

Sometimes to know where to start, it helps to look at the end.  Mermaid Carlene

My first book is coming out this Friday and although the story is told in chronological order, it didn’t start out that way.

When I began writing Sidewalk Flower, the first scene that came to me was gut wrenching and dark.  It was so powerful and for a long time, I thought because of that, it had to be the book’s opening.  My thinking was that with such a powerful opening scene, it would be hard to put down.  In the business, it was the hook I was sure I needed.

Then I learned from a Savvy Authors Editpalooza workshop that sometimes it’s best to let the scenes happen organically.  That way the reader has a chance to build up to that powerful event and experience it as it was meant to happen.

Once I let go of the place…
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