Wednesday, May 3, 2017

IWSG & Bloo Moose

OOPS! I missed last month's IWSG post! The flu had me in its grip and I totally missed it - sorry!

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

And we’re revving up IWSG Day to make it more fun and interactive! Every month, we'll announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

May 3 Question: What is the weirdest/coolest thing you ever had to research for your story?

That's a great question! I think CSIS, the FBI and Interpol probably have all of us on a special list. We do look up some weird and wacky things!

For my current story, I've looked up:

  • wolf reintegration
  • winter survival tips
  • pay scales for freelance journalists
  • Afghanistan (terrain, climate, and culture)
  • skinning an animal
  • deaths and injuries caused by wolves, moose, hypothermia, gun shots, machetes, and snow machines
My least favourite research was for the name of the town I'd created. I'd named it Blue Moose and there are a lot of quirks to the town that go along with the name.

Turns out Blue Moose is a name for a coffee shop, a promotional company, a paint company, a pub, ... well, you get the idea. 
I don't want to infringe on any copyrights, so I've changed the spelling to Bloo Moose. Now to get the stories done so I've got my own copyright going on!

Some of my other stories have had much weirder searches, but that's for another day!

How about you? What's one of your weird look-ups?

Monday, May 1, 2017

Joanne Dannon & Tropes with a Twist

Please welcome Joanne Dannon back to the blog today!
Tropes with a twist
I read somewhere there are only a handful of romance tropes, think – 
  • Friends to lovers
  • Secret baby
  • Forced marriage
  • Billionaire and an ordinary gal

To make your writing shine and stand out, you need something to make your story interesting and I
call it a twist. It’s what you make it interesting to keep the reader glued to your book.
In Notting Hill, it was heroine who was the “superstar” not the hero. It had the twist that made it interesting. Same with Roman Holiday where he was a reporter and she was the Princess. I do have to add that Roman Holiday is a love story not a romance since they don’t end up together.
But with these two movies, they added an interesting twist to hook you in. On top of that, you have awesome actors, clever dialogue and terrific secondary characters.
Looking at your writing, what can you do to add a twist in? Twists keep your writing fresh and interesting. Keeping in mind, all romances end with a “happily ever after”, so why should readers read your books?
Irrespective of your writing style, you should look at what twists you’ve included to keep your story exciting. 
In some of the old 1950s movies, the heroine would unpin her hair, take off her glasses and voila, she was stunning and the hero would suddenly notice her. Real life isn’t like that and in today’s romances we don’t expect women to physically change themselves to make themselves more attractive to men.
Using the duckling to swan trope, what can you do to add the twist? In my latest romance, Hannah is an everyday gal and is not the glamorous/hot type that Zac usually dates. In his POV we know that he sees her as pretty, reliable and a good friend. So how did I make Zac go from seeing Hannah as his sister’s friend to someone he can’t stop thinking about? That’s the twist. 
I spent a lot of time working on this so after a few chapters, Zac starts seeing her in a different way. He’s fighting it because he doesn’t want to take advantage of his sister’s BFF. 
It makes you want to read more. We know that Hannah likes him but will she be with him, knowing it will only ever be short term? Predictable is boring. You want to make your reading exciting so your readers will want to read more of your books.

Happy writing  
Joanne Dannon, an Australian author, writes to give her readers the experience she loves to savor--indulging in a sigh-worthy-happily-ever- after, being swept away from the everyday by diving into a delicious romance novel.

Joanne is a happily married mother of two heroes-in-training who loves spending time with friends and family. She can be found on Facebook and her website chatting about reading, writing, cooking, vintage-inspired dresses and all things romantic.
Joanne Dannon on the web:  
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Forever Mine is the 4th book in the Alex Jackson series and can be read as a standalone book.
It's never a good idea to fall for your best friend's brother... or so they say. 
Hannah Greene is fed up. A romantic at heart, she's had a major crush on her best friend's brother for years but he's never noticed her. To shape a life for herself away from Zac, she must move on.
Zac Warne, smooth-talking sales guy who takes responsibility to a whole new level, loves the thrill of the chase but is not interested in settling down, ever. It's not that he doesn't believe in love, it's just not for him.
But circumstances have Hannah and Zac spending one weekend together and a night of fun leads to more than just emotional consequences for them.
Compelled to right wrongs and beholden to fix problems, Zac has to convince Hannah his about-turn about wanting a relationship with her is not just one of convenience. Can Hannah now trust this smooth-talking playboy who has a reputation for breaking hearts, including her own?
Buy on:
Thanks Joanne!

I love some tropes and I'm not too fond of others, but I especially love when there's a twist on a favourite trope.

What about you? What's one of your favourite tropes?