building characters, romance, Writing, Writing Emotion, Writing Ideas, Writing Resources, Writing Romance

Getting Inside the Romantic Hero’s Head—Part II

In our romance we’re writing, we’ve sketched out the two main characters, Tovah and Judah. Tovah is a rabbi. Judah is the CEO of a multi-national family-owned corporation. The male POV in a romance escalates the romantic tension with the heroine. Click to Tweet #InsideHerosHead #donnalhsmith #almostanauthor #writingromance101

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Dialogue, Writing, Writing Emotion, Writing Resources

Dazzling Dialogue––Part I

Dialogue is important in every story, because the reader wants to know what the character says, and how they’ll say it. I’ve not spent too much time on dialogue before, so I want to focus in on it, now. I’ve been told I’m pretty good at it, but I know I have room for improvement. To know the character is know how that character speaks. Click to Tweet #dazzlingdialogue #amwriting

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Writing, Writing Emotion, Writing Resources

Writing Your Story from the Middle––Part VIII

How do readers know if the story they’re on with the Lead character actually shows the transformation of that Lead? Based on the “mirror moment” the character changes how they think, which effects their decisions, and alters their course. Click to Tweet #amwriting #writefromthemiddle

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Writing, Writing Emotion, Writing Resources

Writing Your Story from the Middle––Part VII

A “mirror moment” is the middle of your story. Usually, when we think of this, it’s for the Lead character, and it helps to change them from where they started, to where they end up. An antagonist also has a “mirror moment.” When he or she makes a decision to change for the worse, instead of for the better. Click to Tweet #amwriting #writefromthemiddle

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building characters, Emotion, Writing, Writing Emotion, Writing Resources

Writing Your Story from the Middle––Part V

How do you create a “mirror moment for our lead character? Ask your character a series of questions, and their answers will help you create their “mirror moment.” Click to Tweet #amwriting #writefromthemiddle

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Emotion, Encouragement, Inspirational, Spiritual Growth, Writing, Writing Emotion

Selfish v. Selfless

I’ve heard that the definition of humility is thinking of yourself less. That would mean that selfish is the opposite––thinking of yourself more. Which one are you?

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Emotion, Writing, Writing Emotion, Writing Resources

Keeping the Middle Moving––Part V

Fear is a great tool to provide inner conflict for characters. Keeping the middle of your story moving requires all kinds of different ways to spur conflict. But not all conflict is external. The characters should go through inner turmoil. Though we should not live in fear, our characters should. Click to Tweet #keepmiddlemoving #amwriting

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Emotion, Inspirational, Writing Emotion

Revelations & Friendships––Part II

After posting two weeks ago the first in this “series” (because who knows how long it will be), a friend called me to encourage me to show some “fight.” Bless her heart. Good friends are like good medicine––they help heal. Click to tweet #friendships #revelations

The flip side to that is that friends can wound with their words. That’s better than kisses from an enemy. Proverbs 27:6 “Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.” Why is this true? Because friends are for us and should have our best interests at heart.

I was speaking with my editor who will help me publish my novel this year. She’s now beginning to work on it. I told her of another friend who rushed to publication without prior editing, and how the poor quality of the self-published book kept me from reviewing it. Because I didn’t want to give a bad review. I’d rather give no review at all than a bad one––especially to a first-time author who doesn’t have a large writing support system.

What I want to focus on this week is “how” to give encouragement and/or exhortation.

First, check your own heart. What’s your motivation? Job 4:3–5 says, “Surely you have instructed many. And you have strengthened weak hands. Your words have upheld him was stumbling. And you have strengthened the feeble knees. But now it comes upon you, and you are weary. It touches you, and you are troubled.” The speaker, Eliphaz, was one of Job’s three friends who came and sat with him for days in silence when they saw his condition. This is a lesson in how not to give encouragement.

If you read the whole book of Job, you’ll discover Eliphaz is one of the three friends whom God corrected. The only person God did not correct was the younger man, Elihu. Elihu kind of rebuked the three older, wiser friends.

What does it mean to “strengthen weak hands and feeble knees?” I believe in our modern context, that words of encouragement that meet the person where they are emotionally and lifts them up––those strengthen the person.

In the case of my friend who published herself without having anyone look at her manuscript, I sent her a long email, explaining to her how I used to be that way. I didn’t want anyone to see my novel before it was published. But, that’s so unwise. In the case of a book, the more eyeballs on it, the better it will become, because your friends and people who care about you will have your best interests at heart. It’s possible I wounded her with my email, but I wanted to make sure she understood how much I was trying to help her. I was constructive and instructive with my criticism, at least I tried to be. I even offered to edit future works of hers for the only fee of a breakfast out.

One more thing: I was being “real” in my post two weeks ago. Some of my frustrations came out. I’m a human being on this journey of life. When encouraging someone, remember verse 3: “…your words have upheld him who was stumbling.”

When someone is hurting, you don’t judge their wound. You try to heal it. They need uplifting, positive words that lift their spirits. Click to tweet #friendships #revelations

Writing, Writing Emotion, Writing Resources

Writing Scintillating Scenes––Part XI

As we begin to wind down our study on scenes, this post will begin to look at one of three models, three different ways of looking at scenes. These final posts will be shorter, in order to focus on one way at a time. Review a scene’s elements, examine the context, or analyze the scene. Examining scenes will help you integrate what you’re learning. Your scintillating scenes will create page turners. Click to Tweet #amwriting #scintillatingscenes

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Rejection Issues, Writing Emotion

Addendum to APD Series

I realized that I’d forgotten to address certain symptoms of APD and what they look like––plus, how to deal with them, whether you’re the person with APD or a loved one or friend. At the root of APD is some sort(s) of childhood trauma(s). But finding acceptance heals. Click to Tweet #APD #rejection

Shyness is not just being an introvert, as most writers will say they are. Shyness associated with APD has deeper implications. I was very shy as a child. I’ve talked about that before on this blog. My Aunt Juanita seemed to terrify me––all 5’1” of her. I loved my Aunt Juanita when I stopped being afraid of her. She was really a very sweet person. I used to hide behind Mom’s skirts though around her. Rejections of any kind hurt. But when you have APD, as I believe I did, before I was born, I was afraid of people I didn’t know.

Hypersensitivity to rejection or criticism. People who suffer from APD need acceptance and handling with care –– to help them get past the pain. We take every rejection personally, because our work is “us.” So, if you criticize us because our work is subpar, we hear it as “we,” as a person, are subpar. Especially if the criticism isn’t constructive, it will be very destructive to those suffering from APD. Which leads us to…

Severe low self-esteem. Because people suffering from APD are usually bullied, either physically or emotionally, or both––sometimes it’s all we can do to have any kind of balanced thought about ourselves. I believe it’s also easy for APDers to suffer from pie-in-the-sky delusions of grandeur. Once we begin to think something good will actually happen to us––well then, let’s reach for the stars that we will never be able to get to. That leads to disappointment, more rejection, more self-loathing.

Inferiority complex. Because we’re constantly being derided and degraded and bullied by the world around us, not only do we feel poorly about ourselves, we’ll make sure we feel poorly. We’re never good enough, and we never will be. Some of us give up and give in to our fears, and we are loners. APDers often feel lonely because their circle is so small. Here’s a phrase I understand, and it seems almost opposite to what the APDer feels. “although others may find the relationship with them meaningful.” I’ve had several people tell me that I’m the only one who understands them. And their issues aren’t necessary rejection issues. But APDers seem to have an empathy with others.

We’re always looking for that connection. It took me years to realize that I make connections actually too quick, sometimes. That “normal” people make them a lot slower. Or––I don’t get to make the connections I want because I’m “tongue-tied.”

Someday, I’m going to write a book about all this, plus other recent revelations since that may also play into this. At any rate, I believe this is one of the issues I can speak to because I have it. I believe I’m healed from the worst pain. I haven’t been tested in it for a while, so things are pretty rosy right now. APD is something to be healed. It touches the emotional core of the one who has it. Unconditional love works wonders. Click to Tweet #APD #rejection