16 January 2019

Wednesday's Writers Block Bypass Exercise

Got Writer’s Block?

Yeah, it happens to the best of us.  Life gets in the way and your brain is taken in another direction and before you know it, it’s been days or weeks since you last looked at that book you’re trying to write.  You’ve forgotten little details.  What eye color did you give your hero?  What town was your heroine born in? 

Communication is, perhaps, one of the most important parts of a story. Not only between the good guys, but between the bad guy and good guy as well. Does this show how alike they are? Or does this conversation make it very clear how much the good guy needs to defeat evil? One thing to point out is that exposition can be very boring for the reader, so find a clever way to communicate what needs to be said in a way that doesn’t lose your audience. 


Talk it Out

If your hero and the antagonist had an honest discussion, what would they say to each other?

>List three locations or situation in which your hero and your adversary could talk at length.
> Brainstorm three characters your hero could confide in.

> Imagine a conversation between your hero and his/her younger self. What advice would he/she give.
> If your antagonist is a non-human (e.g.: a storm, an island, the alien in Alien) imagine it as a person. How does it speak? How would it describe what it wants?



Keep in mind that sometimes you don’t need to include these conversations into the story, but as the author, it could help you understand your protagonist and antagonist better. The best stories are when the two clashing forces have equally believable and necessary missions. You root for the hero but you also root for the antihero. Building dialogue can be a bridge that lets your readers choose which path to go. That’s great drama right there. 

Happy Writing!




***John August designed these cards to help writers fix plot holes, spice up stock characters and rethink your themes.  They, of course, do not guarantee you’ll get published or that you’ll become the next J.K. Rowling, and of course they are only a tool to help you think outside the box. I make no monetary gain with them nor do I expect anything in return.  I do not own the contents in these cards. If you're interested in them, here's the amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Writer-Emergency-Pack/dp/B00R6ZLIOY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1502046610&sr=8-2&keywords=john+august 

13 January 2019

Blast from the Past...Spotlighting Raven McAllan's "Master"


Caden McCourt did not expect to find his estranged wife Diana at a BDSM club. When he does, the renowned Master is determined to claim back his errant wife. 

When Diana left him fifteen years prior, she lost a part of herself. Seeing Cade again throws her into a tail spin. 


She cannot be the sub he needs, but she can't walk away either. When she's challenged by Cade to face her demons, her old nightmares resurface. Can they overcome the chasm between them, or are the nightmares simply too strong?

The book is Master, book one in the Dommissimma series


Q & A

Did you plot this book out or write wherever an idea took you?

I guess it was a bit of both. The subject…whether someone who was a sub could be all her Dom wanted and how they could sort any problems out, fascinating. They told me what to write and how. I said as I wrote it people would love or hate the book, the heroine, the hero… you get the idea. Yes she wimps out and that peeved a lot of people, but I tried to put myself in her lace. If you worry so much and love someone too much to admit you hate some things they do… How would you cope? I think it all worked out in the end. Perhaps they didn’t get there conventionally, but then what’s conventional?

1.       What was your hardest scene to write in this book?

When they both had to admit to their short comings. I cried, sulked, put it off… got a good talking too from my bestie, Doris O’Conor who told me to leave it alone, let them sulk. It took six months before I was able to carry on.

2.       Since the publication, what would you say has improved in your writing?

Everything. If you don’t grow and improve then you’re just marking time. I hope I’ve improved in every area. Mind you my typos when I am in  hurry to get the words down can be interesting to say the least. Luckily I or Doris catch them. Though I did once send an email to an editor saying, ‘I know you are busty, but…’ ooops no wonder I never got a reply.

3.       Did you leave out anything in this book that you wished you hadn’t?

I maybe should have delved into their thoughts a bit more. But at the time, I did my best.

4.       Any advice you would like to give to your younger self?

Oh yes, what I say to anyone. Write as you can, not as you think you should. And believe in yourself, because if you don’t why should anyone else?

EXCERPT 

She stopped speaking again. Bloody hell, we'll be here for a week come Tuesday if she doesn't get a move on. Cade held his tongue. He'd wait for a while.

"Um, okay, I've done a lot of thinking. And I know now, that it wasn't everything we did that I hated. In fact, quite a lot made me more than hot and bothered." She giggled, and Cade saw the younger woman she'd been, before she sobered suddenly. "And a lot made me feel sick. It's sorting out which is which that's difficult. Will you help me?"

She stared at him, and his body tensed as if he was waiting for a blow. That was stupid. It was Di … no, Anna, for goodness sake.

"Anna, love, I'd be proud to. Tell me what you need, what you want, and how I can serve."

His choice of words made her giggle—or something did. Yeah, that'll be the day. "Okay, I need to try to see what I can do. No worse than that. Oh hell, Cade, I need to see what would satisfy you. Therefore." She took a deep breath, and Cade watched as perspiration dotted her brow. "Um, I want … will you do things?"

How the hell could he answer that? "What sort of things, love?"

Anna nibbled her nail. Cade forced himself not to grab her hands and demand she stop. This had to be her show.

"Well." She tucked her head to one side, something he remembered her doing when she was deep in thought. "Will you handcuff me and make me come?" she asked in a hurry, her words tumbling over each other. "I bloody loved that."

He waited to see if she would say anything else. She didn't, so it was all up to him.

"If I do that for you, what else?"

She stared at him like a rabbit caught in a trap. "How do you mean?"

"If I handcuff you, how do you want me to make you come?"

It was obvious she hadn’t thought that far. Anna stared at him and licked her lips. "I don't understand. I mean you'll make me come."

Cade closed his eyes so she wouldn't see his frustration. "Oh I understand that. But in what way? Tied?  Over a bench, blindfolded? Making you fuck yourself? You need to be more explicit, Anna. I don't know at which point the 'I loved it' became the 'I hated it'. If I'm to help you here, I need a little bit of direction."

Anna looked startled. "But you're the Dom. Don't you tell me?"

Oh shit.

"If I do, love, we might not get any further. What I want could perhaps be three steps too far. So you tell me. Do I shackle your handcuffs? What do you want?" He paused took out a bottle of water from his desk drawer and had a swig of water.  "This time, let's assume there's no Dom and no sub and only a beautiful lady asking her man to play." Would she go for that?

Anna wandered around the room, not really looking at anything, but he could sense her mind whirling. Then she stopped dead, swiveled, and walked to stand in front of him.

"If I cry ‘red’?" she demanded. "What then?"

"Then we stop. I'm past trying to persuade you. What I want here is secondary, I reckon. You know what I want. We need to work out what I need." Who the hell knew if that chasm could be breached? It seemed as unlikely as snow in the Sahara. Cade stopped talking. "It's up to you, love. We need to see what you want to give as well. I'm happy to follow your lead for now. But we both know, for me to meekly sit back and watch as you destroy anything we might have is so not going to happen. I want to fill you, bind you to me with more than physical ties, and hear you cry out for me. Can you cope with that?"

He watched her go through the colors of the rainbow on her skin, and swallowed. Hell’s bells, she does that a lot, and it sends my body to high alert. Promises, promises.

"Can you, love?" He pressed her for an answer, because he had to know. His skin was so tight that he thought if she touched it she'd bounce.

God almighty, even the air held its breath. It was getting to be a habit.

Slowly, Anna nodded. "I need to try. Hell, Cade, I love you, and I want you. Whether that's enough, who knows? But really, honestly, I want to try. So can we?"

His heart swelled, and he wanted to punch the air. Yes!

"I reckon so, love. I reckon so. Now, if I say assume the position, just for me, can you? Will you?"

Ana smiled, the enticing smile of a siren home from the sea. With a graceful movement, she knelt in front of him, put her hands behind her back and dipped her head.

"Oh, I reckon…" The muscles in her neck moved convulsively. "Well, I reckon. Yes, Sir."

Cade thought all his birthdays had come at once. Surely, surely this was a good start. He hardly dared look at Anna in case he saw desperation or negativity on her face.

Come on, act the part. Look and help her, that's your remit. You're a bloody Master, for goodness’ sake, so be one. Cade gave himself a minute to collect his thoughts before he turned to the woman who kneeled in front of him. As he watched, a faint tremor shuddered through her. So she wasn't really comfortable. That little movement made him stiffen his resolve. He would push and prod, and see if they could come up with a compromise.

WHERE TO BUY






Happy reading,
Love Raven x

09 January 2019

Wednesday's Writers Block Bypass Exercise


Got Writer’s Block?

 Yeah, it happens to the best of us.  Life gets in the way and your brain is taken in another direction and before you know it, it’s been days or weeks since you last looked at that book you’re trying to write.  You’ve forgotten little details.  What eye color did you give your hero?  What town was your heroine born in?  

 Today let’s talk about the bad guy in your story. There’s nothing more boring than an omnipotent foe that’s virtually indestructible. Two dimension is never interesting, but then neither is a hero who can equally give Hercules a run for his money. What makes these two forces fight against one another?  Are they mortal enemies? Enemies formed by an external event? Perhaps the bad guy is simply that and the hero wants revenge? 

Fight the Giant


Your hero will have to face his/her adversary at some point. Why not right now?


>List three ways the enemy could bring the fight to the hero right now.
> If your hero has a plan, how can he/she be forced to accelerate it? Perhaps he/she learns new information, or a window of opportunity is closing.
> Coincidence happens. Brainstorm three ways your hero and antagonist could find themselves in the same location unexpectedly.


Remember, the climax doesn’t have to be one big fight at the end. Little battles can maneuver your story into exciting directions you haven’t thought of. Let the characters write themselves, as if he or she is the narrator and you’re just along for the ride. Structuring a story is helpful but it can also be detrimental to creation. I often write myself into a corner that makes me really think hard on how to resolve, and those moments are usually my favorite parts to a story. Sometimes writer’s block happens because an author refuses to budge on what the outline says, and that can kill creativity.

Happy Writing!

  


***John August designed these cards to help writers fix plot holes, spice up stock characters and rethink your themes.  They, of course, do not guarantee you’ll get published or that you’ll become the next J.K. Rowling, and of course they are only a tool to help you think outside the box. I make no monetary gain with them nor do I expect anything in return.  I do not own the contents in these cards. If you're interested in them, here's the amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Writer-Emergency-Pack/dp/B00R6ZLIOY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1502046610&sr=8-2&keywords=john+august 

07 January 2019

Elizabeth Monvey Talks About her Zombie Apocalypse Release!


Hello Elizbeth!  Thank you so much for visiting Written Butterfly with me today!  It’s such a pleasure to chat with you.  So tell me…

 

Q) How did you dream up the dynamics of your characters?



I’m a big fan of The Walking Dead world, which made me want to write a zombie apocalypse story.  It was a little harder than I thought it would be to write in such an established genre, trying to make it fresh.

 

Q) What do you think is your strongest asset as a writer? …what is your weakest factor as a writer?



 I think I’m a strong dialogue writer. I enjoy writing witty back and forth banter. What I think is my weakest factor lies what happens in the slow parts of a story, writing the everyday humdrum stuff. 



Q) Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?



I try very hard to be original. Trends in readers tastes come and go, and sometimes I’ve jumped on the bandwagon when I can think of a good story. But I never deliberately write one thing or another.

  

Q) What are your upcoming projects?



I’m collaborating with Jacey Holbrand on a sci-fi series. I think readers will really enjoy it!



The world has changed. Almost two years after the zombie plague destroyed civilization, the last of mankind is trying to hold on. Remy lives with his father inside the walls of a safe haven, until the night they're attacked by a swarm of walking dead. But when help arrives, he's horrified to discover the haven has been targeted to be destroyed—infected or not. 

Atticus left his home when his lover was bit. Mourning the loss, he looks for something to keep him going. To not give up. He may have stumbled into the wrong group, but he can’t hurt innocents. 

They find each other in the middle of an apocalypse, and although Remy might be wary of the handsome loner, he realizes Atticus might just be the person he needs to stay safe.

If only he didn’t feel so attracted to the man.
Be Warned: m/m sex



06 January 2019

Blast from the Past...Spotlighting Katherine Wyvern's "Spellbreakers"


BLURB

Escarra, a small kingdom that has lost its old magical power, is threatened by the brutal slaver empire of Hassia. Only the long-lost hero Kjetil Alversen Hawkeneye can save Escarra now, but for a hundred years he has been sleeping an enchanted sleep in the ice palace of the Witch Queen of Dalarna. He alone can save them, but he can only be awakened by the love of a pure heart.

When Princess Leal and her faithful friend Daria set out to find him and bring him back to Escarra, they embark on an epic journey across five kingdoms. They face elvers and goblins, giants, dragons and black unicorns, but when they both fall in love with Ljung, the mysterious, alluring hunter who shares the end of their trip, his love could save the quest or doom it. Will his prowess and wisdom help Princess Leal, or will she lose her pure heart—and Daria’s love—to his irresistible appeal?

Be Warned: f/f sex, sex toys, fisting, bondage, flogging, rimming, menage sex


Q & A 

1.       Did you plot this book out or write wherever an idea took you?

I never plot. I am a complete pantser. The one time I did plot a book, it sort of extinguished the light and life of it, so I never tried again. I like to dive into a story in a sort of “stream of consciousness” way, letting scenes flow, branch, and blossom any way they want. Eventually I get to figure out how they connect and what the plot actually looks like! This book however had a bit of a storyline already because it’s based on a story I began to write in my teens. It changed VERY much since then, but for once I had some idea of where I was going with it. It was still FULL of surprises!


2.       Did you hide any secrets or Easter Eggs?

Not in this book! I have become fond of Easter Eggs only recently! 😊


3.       Since the publication, what would you say has improved in your writing?

After writing Spellbreakers I had a four years writer’s block, and when I came back from that it was with a handful of stories very different from anything I had written previously. I always wrote somewhat lyrical, lushly poetical stories, but lately I have gone much further into exploring how far you can use the Romance genre to convey a deeper message about serious topics, like abuse, (in)tolerance and gender identity. I think this makes my most recent work considerably more interesting.


4.       Did you leave out anything in this book that you wished you hadn’t?

Not really, but it was always intended to have a sequel, which directly carried on with the story and gave more space to my favourite secondary character in the novel (Lord Dionis, the Master of Enchantments of the Escarran court… the last wizard of a dead magical order, who must somehow keep up the fiction that Escarra still possesses powerful magic, to ward off their arch enemy, Hassia). However, this sequel didn’t come. Real life got into the way, and by the time I got to writing again Lord Dionis had somewhat faded away (he might come back).

Instead Spellbreakers has now a spin-off, In the Eye of the Wind, which also gives a glimpse in the future of some of Spellbreakers’  characters, but can be read as a standalone, because it’s a completely different story-line. It was a lot of fun to expand that universe however, both in time and space!


5.       Do you believe a book cover plays an important role in the selling process?

Yes, without a doubt. I see a very direct correlation between the quality of the cover on each of my books and their success, but of course it might also depend on the fact that I am more comfortable plastering a book all over my social media if the cover looks attractive, high quality and professional. Unfortunately some Romance covers are less good than others. We are very very lucky to have Jay Aheer at Evernight now.


6.       Any advice you would like to give to your younger self?

It would probably be a waste of time, since I am notoriously allergic to well-meaning advice, especially when it comes unrequested. But I think I would pass on to my younger self one of my very favourite quotes:  “Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.” Natalie Goldberg


Exclusive Sneak Peek

…He kneeled between her legs and rubbed her thighs with his palms, slowly, dreamily; then he plunged his face in her sex, breathing the scent of it, lapping its dampness greedily, almost roughly. She whimpered in painful pleasure, but she wanted him already. She realized now that she had wanted him since that first night, in the spell-world under the ice. She tugged at his shoulders until he crawled up along her body and came to kiss her mouth with the same fire with which he had licked her sex. His long hair fell all round her face, pale and smooth, light as a moth wing. She closed her legs around his waist, locking their bodies together while the tip of his member found its way into her longing flesh. He filled her up entirely, painfully, beautifully. Every thrust brought a moan to her lips as pleasure and ache mingled. Then her flesh eased around his length, and it was just pleasure. She rocked into his rhythm, meeting every thrust.

****
They say one never forgets how to ride a horse, but that is a lie. In a very few years, one can lose all feel for the delicate interconnected balance holding a rider and his mount together. 
But one could never forget how to ride a sweet, spirited woman. It’s homecoming. It’s where I belonged all along. All my life I have been coming here, to this, to these thighs, to these lips.
He climaxed inside her with a low rough moaning growl. He almost wept with the bliss of it, but by a miracle of will and luck he managed not to spill his seed. 
Not yet. No, not yet. The night is young. Our first and last night together, I fear. Would that I could bring her home with me, free her from this stone cage. Would that she were free. The north would be a good home for this disìr. She had braved the ice waste and its deadly queen to save his life. If she were my woman, I’d never close her away in a stone tower. She would ride and hunt and hawk and fight at my side, like a young she-wolf. 
He lay panting on top of her. She held him fiercely, still rocking him, back and forth, back and forth. His member was still hard inside her, and she was still taking her pleasure from it. He smiled, but he pulled out of her slit and of her embrace. She moaned in protest.
“You will come on my tongue, honey, not like this. I want to taste you,” he said, low in her ear.
She moaned again, but he turned her on her belly and pulled her to the edge of the bed. 
“Kneel,” he whispered.


You can see a video trailer for Spellbreakers here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2MwKOajga4




WHERE TO BUY




02 January 2019

Wednesday's Writers Block Bypass Exercise

I first posted this back in August 2017, but only now decided to follow up with a regular post (now that I figured out I can schedule posts ahead of time).  For this first one, I'm reposting what I wrote, to make sure I go in order. I find these cards are great and wanted to pass them along. (Disclaimer: I make no money on endorsements from this deck). 


Got Writer’s Block?

 Yeah, it happens to the best of us.  Life gets in the way and your brain is taken in another direction and before you know it, it’s been days or weeks since you last looked at that book you’re trying to write.  You’ve forgotten little details.  What eye color did you give your hero?  What town was your heroine born in? 

My awesome significant other, Mike, got me a Writer’s Emergency Pack two years ago for my birthday. They’re by John August and I thought I’d give you a little jump start that might be fun for your brain.  They were for mine.  So, focus on the moment in your story that’s causing you grief and see if these exercises help you out.

First one…

Cause and Effect

 Actions have consequences.  How can the next few events result because of something your hero does?

 >Talk through your story, replacing every “and then” with “because”. What would need to change?

> Imagine your story being told in reverse, Memento-style. How could your setups become payoffs?

> The biggest effects come from irrevocable choices. List three decisions your hero couldn’t take back.


Everything happens for a reason. Usually, that reason should be your hero. Look for ways he can take the reins of the story.  There’s nothing wrong with a “passive” hero as long as his passivity alters the course of the story. (By his doing nothing, something changes). Consider reversing the cause and effect.  What if your hero robs a bank because he’s a fugitive?  What if your doctor causes rather than cures the epidemic?



Drama happens when opposing forces are in play, and the easiest way to write this is direct cause and effect. Stories come to life when it's "show not tell". Action derived form effect moves the story along and helps jumpstart your writing mojo. If all else fails, perhaps move away from linear storytelling to somewhere else to write that piece out. I use @@@@ to separate story lines. Just remember, a character is more interesting when he has something driving him to do the things he's doing. Have fun and happy writing!




***John August designed these cards to help writers fix plot holes, spice up stock characters and rethink your themes.  They, of course, do not guarantee you’ll get published or that you’ll become the next J.K. Rowling, and of course they are only a tool to help you think outside the box. I make no monetary gain with them nor do I expect anything in return.  I do not own the contents in these cards. If you're interested in them, here's the amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Writer-Emergency-Pack/dp/B00R6ZLIOY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1502046610&sr=8-2&keywords=john+august