To Trash a Romance or Not to Trash a Romance?

Now if violence happens with no reaction then sex/relationships have the opposite problem.  Many authors take an approach that the best way to stir things up is to screw with a romantic subplot.  That is a good method, but you have to work towards it instead of hurling it off a cliff without warning.  Part of this might be that you get an easy reaction with storylines that incorporate adultery, love, and romance of any nature.

A difficulty appears when one wants to shake up a romantic subplot on a whim.  You need to plan it out or it will come off as shocking.  Yes, you will get readers who still don’t see it coming because they are emotionally invested in the characters.  So don’t expect to impress everyone.  Still, set a few things up beforehand to make sure there are clues that it isn’t a rock solid relationship.  For example, the characters can fight from time to time and each debate escalates in anger.  If they break up or one cheats then it won’t come off as a last minute decisions.  The same thing goes for when two characters marry.  If they come off as hating each other then it won’t make much sense for them to fall into perfect marital bliss.

More importantly, you need to have the proper reactions in romantic subplots.  If the characters are in an established open relationship then the reaction to ‘cheating’ shouldn’t be the same as if they were monogamous.  In the same vein, a character who is cheated on shouldn’t simply walk away without a care and shrug it off unless they’ve established such a reaction to betrayal.  Again, it’s very important to have your characters remain true to themselves.

There is another important aspect to the romance, which always comes up and tends to be mentioned more than another other part: SEX!  This is a weird one because there is that joyous double standard that male characters can sleep around while female characters are frowned at if they do.  Let’s not even go down this route.  Putting gender aside, I think sex is different for every person, so each character should react in their own way.  Some are anxious about it while others think it’s nothing more than a hobby.  One part I always try to consider is if the character needs emotional connections for sex or they can settle for the physical.  There are so many dynamics to this side of a relationship that I could keep going and still miss parts of it.

To sum up this rambling mess, authors should put some foreshadowing into a doomed relationship.  This eases the impact and avoids making it look like a desperate attempt to shake the story up.  Also, have the characters change from this event instead of remaining the same.  Unless they were never in love or cared about each other in the first place.

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Random prompt

Charles Yallowitz:

New prompt at the Community Storyboard!

Originally posted on The Community Storyboard:

Here is a random prompt for those who wish to participate:

“The first time”

You can use it literally–using the words or just be inspired to write about your experience doing…whatever you did for the first time.

Let’s have some fun :)

View original

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Voices of Nature Blog Tour!

Stars Above (alouette)

Starry nights shine bright
Thousands of wee lights
Constellations light the sky
Darkness shows contrast
While clouds have gone past
Suspended in time up high

Pisces and Leo
Taurus and Virgo
Constellations light the sky
Sagittarius
Libra, Pegasus
Worlds of tiny lights float by

©2014 Poetry by Pamela, all rights reserved.

This is just a sample of the poetry you will find in Voices of Nature. There are dozens more poems for you to savor.

You can buy it here for only $.99 for Kindle – it also available in paperback ($7.19) on Amazon.

Poetry gives voice to what the eyes see and the heart hears.

Inspiration exists all around us. Beauty can be found in the laughter of a child or the blooms of a tree. Poems are one person’s interpretation of the world seen through their eyes and felt in their heart. Poetry is soul food – plain and simple.

Voices of Nature is a collection of poems that reflect the inherent splendor of nature all around us. This book utilizes a variety of poetry forms to paint word pictures.

One review said “The sheer variety of styles in this poetry book is amazing. Haiku, triple haiku, acrostic, rondeau, and so many others. Even better is that they explain the poems in the back, which is a great service to the curious reader.

Each poem is clear and paints a perfect picture of nature. Though, I have an odd feeling that both poets were tired of winter since that had the most amount of poems out of the season sections. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I did love the ‘Thunder and Lightning’ acrostic for the imagery and ‘New Day’ for the complicated style and bringing an odd sense of serene closure to the book.

I would highly recommend this poetry book. Even if you’re not into poetry, the pieces for every season will probably have you going ‘I thought the same thing.’

Pamela previously released a collection of love poems titled Dreams of Love with several five star reviews. She has been writing for a short time, but pours her soul into her poetry.
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Kirsten collaborated on a collection called Hope’s Flight.
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This is a collection created by two poets – Pamela B and Kirsten A.
Both women enjoy exploring various topics and poetry forms. Many forms are represented in Voices of Nature (along with a short description of the forms for your convenience). Buy Voices of Nature for only $.99 today and experience the wonders all around us.

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From Noble Hero to Murderer and Back Again

Yahoo Image Search

Yahoo Image Search

Something I’ve started to find odd in fantasy books is that most characters have no problem taking a human life.  I can understand monsters, but it’s rare that a fantasy hero will have any hesitation in killing.  Even if they’ve never killed before and there is no thinking back to the act.  Sword stabs, body falls, and the hero moves on to the next chapter.  When I was younger, this never phased me and it’s only recently that I realized how strange it is.  This isn’t even the beginning of the situation.

Ever read a book where the character is noble, honorable, and everything good then commits blatant murder in a bar fight?  Again you see this in fantasy a lot where local thugs are put in as drunken fodder.  It’s as if the local guard were given a memo that these characters are allowed to kill if pushed in any way.  I’ve always wanted to read a story where a hero does this and is arrested.  Maybe I’ll do it at some point, but it wouldn’t make sense for Legends of Windemere.  I’ve already established that the heroes know this is a bad thing.  Fight and injure is one thing, but killing is something else.

Then there is the emotion behind killing.  This is more teaser than spoiler since I won’t use certain names.  While writing the 5th book of Legends of Windemere, I got to a fight between Luke Callindor and another warrior.  It suddenly dawned on me that Luke had never killed another man before.  He’d taken out monsters and humanoids like orcs and goblins, but this was something else.  The other heroes are more used to death with their former careers or the life they grew up in.  Luke is rather pampered in that way, so this was a big scene.  One that he had to talk to a few people to get his head around because it scared him that he didn’t feel as much guilt as he expected.  It wasn’t full grief over taking another life, but it was a reaction.  I think this milestone for a character is overlooked rather often.  Killing a goblin or demon is one thing, but the first kill of another human in battle strikes me as needing an emotional and mental impact.

Now this isn’t a call for no killing in stories because some require the violence.  All I’m saying is that it should fit the established character.  Wolverine and Punisher will kill an enemy without batting an eye or shedding a tear.  Spider-Man and Superman will try to find another way or accept that they might fight the captured enemy again.  It’s simply who they are and the code they follow.

As an author and a reader, one must take the mentality of a character into account when analyzing their actions.  We might do or feel something different in a situation than what ends up on the page.  If you’re the type to have no problem killing someone in a bar fight then that’s you.  If the character has been established as killing only as a last resort or is a pacifist then they shouldn’t take that life.

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Falling Back Together by Kristen Hope Mazzola Cover Reveal!

Cover reveal

Falling Back Together (Crashing #2)

by Kristen Hope Mazzola

ETA: May 20, 2014

Cover Artist: Cover it! Designs

blurb

“I don’t know if it’s fate, coincidence, or my curse, but I’m still breathing, and my breaths are for you.”

Mags McManus is far from a normal woman in her mid twenties. Being a war widow, a business professional, and a brokenhearted train wreck only skims the surface of the layers of who Margret McManus truly is. Waking up in a hospital bed, alone and confused, Mags once again has to pick up the pieces of her shattered heart. With her best friends by her side, Mags slowly starts to learn the answers she so desperately longs for. But is everything going to continue to spiral out of control? Or is there a light at the end of this dark, twisting tunnel where all the broken pieces can finally fall back together?

A portion of all royalties from Kristen’s Crashing Series are donated by the author to The Marcie Mazzola Foundation.

**18+ for sexual situations, cursing, and adult content.***

{{ Please note: this is the second book in the Crashing Series, and should be read after Crashing Back Down }}

Add to Goodreads

playlist

Crashing Back Down (Crashing, #1)

Also by Kristen Hope Mazzola:

Crashing Back Down (Crashing #1)

Publication: November 4th 2013

Crashing Back Down is Kristen Hope Mazzola’s debut into the literary world. It is a New Adult Novel, with hints of contemporary romance and thriller.

Blurb:

Mags McManus has just become a war widow in her mid-twenties. Her late husband, Randy, left for the Army right after their wedding. Instead of celebrating his homecoming and living in marital bliss with her soulmate, Mags finds herself living in constant agony. Dealing with the guilt of still living without Randy, are Randy’s best friends and parents.

Rising from the ashes of this tragedy, Mags starts to learn how to love and trust again, finally being able to find happiness. But sometimes things really are too good to be true and again Mags learns how cruel the world can be as she crashes back down.

Hi! Thanks for dropping in…

You want to know more about me? Well, let’s see…

I am just an average twenty-something following my dreams. I have a full time “day job” and by night I am author. I guess you could say that writing is like my super power (I always wanted one of those). I am the lover of wine, sushi, football and the ocean; that is when I am not wrapped up in the literary world.

Please feel free to contact me to chat about my writing, books you think I’d like or just to shoot the, well you know.

giveaway

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Goodreads Book Giveaway

Falling Back Together by Kristen Hope Mazzola

Falling Back Together

by Kristen Hope Mazzola

Giveaway ends July 01, 2014.

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What Do You Look for in Character Code Consistency?

Yahoo Image Search (D&D Alignment Chart)

Yahoo Image Search (D&D Alignment Chart)

You ever read a story and the character does something that seems out of place?  Maybe the noble hero flat out killed someone for insulting him.  Perhaps the villain laid waste to an entire town and left the school alone even though he swore every man, woman, and child would die.  There are various reasons this can happen, but it can really throw a reader off.  These abrupt and isolated changes of moral alignment can break a book if done at the major climax.  This is why an author has to always remember the essence of a character and their experiences.

Though it can always go down the drain if the reader has a different perspective and mindset for the hero.  For example, I once got into a debate with someone over Spider-Man.  He maintained that it was ridiculous for Spidey to avoid killing his enemies because dead villains are no longer a threat.  At least outside of comics, but you know what he means.  My argument was that it simply wasn’t in Spider-Man’s nature to willingly kill his enemy and doing so would break his established character.  If he did then he would have to show grief or something to build a bridge to a new personality or to get back to the old one with a new scar.  So, you see how a reader can demand an abrupt change of moral alignment because it makes sense for their perception.

This week I’m going to talk about three areas that a sudden change irks me: violence, romantic relationships, and loyalty.  So I’m trying really hard not to dive into these areas right now.

What do people think about this topic?  Can you think of any books, movies, or shows where a character breaks their own moral code with no hesitation or consequences?

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Survived Spring Break

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

Made it through the break with only minor injuries.  Tomorrow will be a day of outlining and relaxing with my newest DVD set: Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood.  I’ve seen the original series and read a lot of the manga, so I’m looking forward to this.  With any luck, I won’t be bombarded by distractions and chaos.

What does this mean for the rest of the week?

Well, it means tomorrow I try to kickstart my imagination and get back into a Windemere groove.  Wednesday will be when I tackle Book 8 of Legends of Windemere.  With any luck, I’ll have 2 chapters done by the weekend and I can write this book within 2 months now that the outline is fixed up.  I might take a little time tomorrow to set up ‘Excerpt Week’, but it depends on if I get any suggestions or can think of anything myself.

Hope everyone has a fun week.

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