New Release: Who’s Writing Their Next Bad-ass Short Story?

The art of short story and novella writing official 1

So I did it again lol, I penned another writer’s reference book #2 in the ‘Savvy Writer’s”  series that follows 365 Days of Writing Prompts for Romance Writers I don’t know what came over me but I wanted to add this to the series. I never planed to write another one  so soon. That said, I love short story writing as you all know very well, from my work with Didi Oviatt, and I love novella writing from my Romance in The City and Romance Set in Paradise series novellas. Novel writing will never leave me I will always do it, the more I write the more I learn, never under estimate the different skill needed to tackle shorter pieces…well!  The Art of Short Story and Novella Writing is out now on pre-sale. Audio and paperbacks will be available in August too.

Amazon Link: https://bit.ly/2WRjzPn just 2.99

Blurb

Compared to novel writing, short stories and novellas need special and different skills that every writer should master. Readers love shorter stories! From Kim Knight, the award-winning and number #1 best-selling author of 365 Days of Writing Prompts for Romance writers, The Art of Short Story and Novella Writing writer’s reference is perfect for both seasoned and aspiring writers of all genres. The Art of Short Story and Novella Writing will help you perfect, sharpen, and increase your skills and abilities when writing engaging shorter stories, novellas, or novelettes for both stand-alone and series stories. With detailed and practical steps, the sole aim of this guide is to help writers confidently write within a high demand and well-paid market.

With easy-to-engage-with chapters, discover the practical art of short story and novella writing. The Art of Short Story and Novella Writing includes practical exercises to help you master the skills to write your next series of stories:

  • Story-telling styles for short stories: how and why it should differentiate from novel writing.
  • Character development with limited word count.
  • Strengthening themes and plots with limited word count.
  • Where and how to start a shorter story to capture reader’s attention.
  • Creating compelling stories with peaks and satisfying endings for readers, with a small word count.
  • Learn about the market, paid writing contests, and where to submit shorter stories.

Each chapter has a dedicated writing space for every practical exercise, and for plotting your ideas and characters. Writing compelling shorter stories with meaning, and well developed characters is not easy! But, with The Art of Short Story and Novella Writing, you will ramp up your skills set and become a master of the technique.

Note: the paperback will allow writers to make notes, carry out the exercises, and throw away  the hundreds of note pads us writers have sitting around.

Amazon Link: https://bit.ly/2WRjzPn just 2.99

 

 

What Made You Write That, Kim?…

Good question! Many of you might be wondering ‘why the hell have you written a writing prompt book?’ The long answer is very long, the short answer is, well I just love writing prompts. And writing prompt for romance writers are even better!  Those of you who have followed my blog since day one will know this, I have been blogging using writing prompts for short stories, random thoughts and to allow you all to get to know me since day dot when this blog started. I love picture prompts too. Back in the day say 2016-2018,  I used to participate in weekly writing prompt challenges much more than I do now. I think it’s so exciting to be given something, or even half of something and then to complete it and make it your own.

Also, they are really great for motivation also, writers often can suffer with procrastination a lot they can help overcome this.

What was the process like writing it?

Very different to a romance or thriller that’s for sure, and a hella-lot quicker! The idea started a little while back, if I think back to pin point it I’d say just before Didi and I started really working on The Suspenseful Collection #2 – Blurred Lines. I started to write down ideas, sentences, situations and things as prompts. I collected a lot and tucked them away. I took inspiration from situations or people (characters I guess), that just came to me.

Fast forward many, many months, one of my author friends on Facebook a fellow romance author Kristi Tailor had also been a busy bee. She has actually launched a line of journals, like notepads that are simply beautiful. She tagged me in on them on Facebook  I bought one yes, but it gave me the push I needed to actually get my manuscript together and write the damn book! So I did!  I kinda thought ‘get out of your fiction writing for a bit, do something different during lock down.’

The first step was to look at what I had so I could organise them somewhat, and try to ensure that they are not too similar. Then, from here I thought okay, let’s make it 365 days of prompts because really where possible, I’d love to help keep my fellow writers going all year! You see lots of 101 or a less books of writing prompts. I wanted to make it as full as possible.

I decided on a ‘theme’ for each month, be it new directions in love, love in an unexpected place etc also some genre focused months, like historical, paranormal etc. However each of the prompts can be adapted to any genre really. If you’re an urban romance writer  for example just place the situation or characters you feel drawn to, in an urban setting. So from here, I organised the prompts from January – September with a focus for each month.

January- New Directions Love
February- Unexpected New Love
March- Fresh Starts and New Beginnings
April- Love in Unexpected Places
May- Historical, Regency and Multicultural
June- Contemporary Romance
July- Paranormal, Horror and Dark Romance
August- Christmas and Holiday Love
September- Mixed Bag of Goodies!

How Did You Put Your Own Spin On Things? So Others Can Put Their Own Spin On Things?

In three main ways, firstly within  365 Days of Writing Prompts For Romance Writers  nothing is set in stone and I make that clear, I want writer’s imaginations to run wild, which means take an idea and make it your own. Secondly, I have learned the beauty over the years since 2016 of personal blogging, not just for myself but the beauty of it or readers of your work or those that simply wish to follow your online author site/blog. Therefore, I dedicated three months of the year to personal blogging with prompts that are general, random and allow writers to express themselves as people. Not just creatively in fiction. I really want to encourage writers to put their personalities and self out there! To grow, engage, interact etc. On Facebook I am a moderator for a book club group, we have ‘question of the day’ each day. One question I asked was ‘what do readers like to receive in newsletters?’ To my surprise ( really it should not have been) a  book club member responded, ‘to know the author and their personality and snap shot of them and their lives.’ This got me thinking, as my response was ‘ I do all that on my blog’ and it dawned on me that even if bloggers, writers whatever you want to call yourselves feel that no one tunes into YOUR blogs, some really do!! So do it!! Write those personal rambles and give a feel of who you are, as a person. Be human. October- December Romance Writers’ Blog Writing Challenge Prompts.

That’s why I have included the ‘three month romance writer’s personal blog challenge,’ with prompts dedicated to this within 365 Days of Writing Prompts For Romance Writers. In a nutshell, I’ve created a two for the price of one, or two in one book. Creative writing fictional prompts for romance writers yes, but also inspiration for those with a copy of the book to be themselves and engage, and to encourage them to start a blog and how!

Thirdly, I’ve kept the prompts pretty open. There are so many directions writers can go in, with questions like ‘what happens next after character A and B do x,y.z’  or ‘you decide why they are broken-hearted’, ‘you decide how they are linked’. I’ve provided situations for love to bloom or people/characters for writers to create the love in a particular context. There is a lot of room for creativity with a starting point.

What About Structure?

There is none LOL if it’s January and you like  writing a prompt in September, so what? You do not need to work to dates at all. This is just purely for organisation. Also some prompts are based on particular days that are celebrated around the world, like World Braille Day for example. There’s a prompt with a partially sighted character. But nope, no real structure also the personal blogging challenges I encourage writers to start as soon as they pick up the book don’t wait until October.

Will You Do Another One?

Yes, yes and yes! I think I have the bug. I plan on doing one for crime, thriller, mystery and suspense writers. Also,  I actually have some other things up my selves for the series of ‘savvy writer’s’ books I wish to put out. So stay tuned.

So in a nutshell… you did it because, Kim?

I wrote this book because it was an idea that had to be brought to life! One I’ve had for a while and  got a real taste for. Of course I will still write romantic suspense and crime, thrillers but I also wish to do writing reference books too. In a nutshell I want to help all of you! And share creative ideas.

Here’s my baby!

365 days -romance graphic

 

 

101: Writing Realistic Romance, Seven Tips #amwriting

writing Everyone has their own style of storytelling, believe me I know! I’m a big rebel when it comes to writing in this genre!  I don’t believe in following the crowd, I hate it. I use the present tense and first person often. While a majority of this genre is third person and past tense. That said, I have been pulled to write this short 101 to helpfully help other aspiring romance writers, and anyone for that matter, as this simple advice can be applied across the board in all genres really. Also, I’ve not written a writing 101 for ages!!

I’ve been compelled to write this as, one I read a hella-lot of romance, two I’ve read a hella-lot of romance that’s sadly unrealistic in some ways. This genre has this ‘reputation’ and I feel us romance writers should do what we can, to fight that battle. Now, I don’t claim to be an expert. But I do claim to be a kick-ass romance author that I will blow my own trumpet! And I will admit, that I won’t be everyone’s cup of tea you either feel me, or you don’t as a reader. But I’ll always be feelin’ myself LOLZ.  That’s because I have mastered ‘Kim’s style’ like all writers, I’ve got to a place where I feel happy with what my pen does, and at ease if others don’t like it.  Not everyone will like what you write, but if you write for yourself first, and use your own style whatever comes after is just a bonus, praise of critique. Because, you write for you first.

I’m now on novel number eleven, so from this experience here’s my simple advice and take from a humble POV, that I’d give to craft engaging and believable romance. So we can fight the whining  readers who find it ‘unrealistic’.

Characters

As a big reader I love it when characters are so believable, realistic and engaging to read. When they’re not, it can be a turn off. Not everyone is going to like your characters, and so what if they don’t they’re may be the wrong reader. The point is, when it comes to characters who are they? This is my starting point before I think about my plot. This is because, if you’re  going to write a realistic romance ( or any genre story), the characters will be what drives the plot. Not and never the other way around.  Remember this, think of your characters like this as the plot drivers.

Many may start with the plot and fill out characters, cool okay if that’s what’s best for you. But you may find that you”re  so busy spinning your plot, your characters do unrealistic things, and fall flat. I recently read two books one romance and one other, and this was my experience as a reader. If you know your characters well,  you can portray them better. They will react, think, move, talk, walk more vividly in your plot if you can focus on them first. This helps massively with character development also.

Ever read a book and the characters are boring, or they are from a certain part  of the world yet they speak perfect English in their conversations? Hmmm, chances are the  writer has skipped this part. Hence they speak perfect English, or just flat and not real. For example, when they are from the depths of south London for example and may have a different accent.

When I wrote a particular story for The Suspenseful Collection #2- Blurred Lines, I placed myself and Didi in the story lol. So when I portrayed myself in speech, I did not say, ‘oh I’m so sorry about that, here let me help you.’ I said, ‘oh no, I’m sorry, ‘er lemmie help ya’. That’s because I’m from London, and a certain part and I would not in casual speaking speak like the Queen herself!   Didi and I also had a Russian female in The Suspenseful Collection Volume #1 and of course  she said, ‘ello, yass ‘ow can help you.’ rather than ‘Hello, yes how I can I help you.’ The point is, little things like this matter, as well as who they are as people.  You may think, yeah Kim this is basic stuff. Trust, you’d be surprised  how many can easily forget, during character development.

This brings me to character development and thinking about it a  little deeper, if you start by really thinking about who your characters are, outside of things like age, race etc. But who they are as people, where they have been, how they react to things and most importantly their flaws as people. You will have more rounded, believable and developed characters that drive your plot. Rather than a plot with flat characters, doing very unrealistic things.

Flaws and Growth…

Okay so we all love a romance ( or any genre book really) where the characters are not only real, but we as readers experience and see their growth. Don’t forget this, once you know who your characters are as people, what flaws do they have? And these flaws should help drive the plot and show how they grow from it…. why? As it shows growth of each character, develops story and adds to reality! People have life experiences and we all grow from them, love and romance are no exception to the rule. If anything love and romance really do allow us all to grow in some shape or form. So, give your characters a flaw or two, then make sure in the plot you show somehow that they have overcome it, or made steps to over come it, changed or grown from it.  This could be so subtle in your writing, it does not have to be over the top, but if you can show it well it should make good believable reading. It makes the characters real, the situations real, and the best bit allows readers to experience the plot better.

Plot, Story-line and Storytelling…

Okay y’all like I said, I’ve read a hella-lot of books, especially romance and I feel a plot needs to be very realistic in as many books, if not all as possible. End of story, period and full fucking stop!! This genre has such a reputation for delivering ‘unrealistic stories’ and I hate it, and I will defend my genre I love to read and write until the cows come home! But, as a reader, I gotta say… yeah there’s some truth. Don’t get caught up in trying to spin the perfect ‘fairy tale’ that things seem unreal.  Ask yourself…

1.Would this really happen?

2.Could this even be possible?

3. And would my CHARACTER react like this, or how would they react and why?? What would my characters do in the situations I have placed them?

Where’s the challenges?…

Now if you, one know your characters, two they have realistic flaws, they should not be doing unrealistic stuff…right? Good glad we agree.

But, how do we keep it realistic, in my personal and humble opinion as a romance author, it’s down to the challenges we give them. By this I mean, if there’s no challenge and everything just fits into place we all know love and life does not roll like that! So it can come across as unrealistic, there needs to be some kind of ‘challenge’ and I use the word loosely to mean some kinda ‘debate’, ‘back and forth’ ‘questions’ or even just a good ‘ol dose of drama to keep the plot realistic. Don’t go too mad ( unless it’s like romantic suspense), but for good, clean, sweet romance a little challenge or dilemma where a decision or choices need to be made are key. And for romantic suspense, ha! Well, bring the heat with challenges!! 🙂 But keep them realistic to the characters, their environment and where they are at in life no matter what kind of romance you’re writing.

My best advice is, place your plot outline in the real world, in the time frame your story is set. So if it’s the present day would what you’ve outlined…

1. Have a chance of happening? Is this a realistic challenge to the character, time-frame and who they are?

3. Could it be believable? What is a realistic challenge for this couple to either be together, come together, or hold them back for some reason. Where is the push and pull before they can be happy?

4. Does it go inline with the challenges, flaws, and issues you’ve given the characters and the overall plot? Does it work?

5. Is there an actual challenge here worth telling? Is there more than sex in your plot? Does it develop into an actual story involving the characters? 

Pace…

All right y’all now, I believe when or if there’s  an issue with pace, it might be because of one of two things.

  1. There’s no fucking story at all to tell or is being told! And really pages are just being filled with words- the story does not move!
  2. The story does not have ‘peaks’ to keep the reader engaged. So, the pace seems like this ———————————————- all on one level and not really moving.

If you’ve really looked at your story line,  plot  or the outline whatever you call it, you should be able to see if there is a story really, and eliminate point one. If so, now where are the areas of ‘peak’ ‘heat’ tension’ whatever you want to call it. Make them clear, for you and the reader. Then decide how you will build up to these peaks. By this I mean what’s your approach to bringing the readers to these peaks, is it a sub-plot, surprise, mystery, a twist, or are you just ensuring that the story is told at a good pace and not dragged out.

You don’t have to spin mystery, surprise, or suspense into a romance, it could just be a nice sweet story ( something I’m not great at writing lol), or a contemporary romance. The point is, as you write your actual story keep up that damn pace! End as many chapters as you can with something interesting for the reader, and for the love of God keep moving! Without skimming or rushing, just make sure your pace is even.

  1. Start
  2. Middle/climax etc.
  3. level off/ OMG what will they do??/tension.
  4.  Bang…ending!

This is the most simple way I can  put it with pace. I would avoid leaving all the juicy stuff until the later part of your story, readers may fall off, lose interest or just feel that ‘the pace is slow’. Keep them interested. As a side note, I mentioned reality as a big thing. So if you leave all the juicy stuff to the end, is this realistic to how life would go, in the situations you’ve placed your characters?

Think about it. Do life and love just fit into place? Nope, think not. Especially if you have a plot with some drama, if your characters just roll with it is that really believable??? Adjust reaction if you can to fit the pace.

Insta- Love?

Ya know lots of readers may dislike this, I kinda do  as a reader as long as it’s believable. That’s the deal breaker. If you like to write insta-romance- do your thang! I like to read it and  have written it where characters connect fast. Remember what I said about pace…. That said, if you serve up some insta-love have you shown a reason ‘why they can’t get enough of each other?’  Give them some kind of connection. There is no use allowing your characters to say, ‘I love you’  ( a lot), when you can’t even see why they would love each other. It sucks, it’s unrealistic and well, where’s the connection more to the point? How or why have they fallen for each other, even if it was pretty soon.

Now connection could be simple things, common interests, both want the same things in life, at the same point in life, etc. People connect when there is a connection no matter how small, we all know and have experienced this. Establish the connection….and keep it real! Show the reader why there is a believable chance these people would fall in love, even if it’s soon.

I read a book recently and I could not see why the author’s characters had a connection, and that placed doubt in my mind about the story, reality, and why these two people were in love. But they said ‘ I love you’ a hella-lot though *rolls eyes*.

In my humble view again, if they fall fast or not, show them falling, show the change of heart! Don’t forget this, don’t write a car crash of love and  not show the change of heart, or the development of feelings in your story. Even in a very subtle way as word count can be limited at times. If you do show this, It will…help it to seem realistic! That’s the name of the game.

How Much Sex, is Too Much Sex?…

Well, this is a hard balance to strike, but in my honest view as a reader yes, there is such thing as too much sex WHEN and only WHEN the rest of the plot is not developed enough. Simple.

You decide on how much or little sex you want,  it’s not for anyone to say…but just remember this can not be the be all, and end all of how you bring your story alive. Consider carefully where you place it, why and what it adds to your overall development of the actual story. Don’t just scatter it around to fill pages, and hope that a steamy story will hold your reader, it won’t and probably can’t when there is nothing else going on. *Shrugs shoulders* I’m just being honest as a reader, and that’s my view as a writer too.

So off the top of my head these are a few tips! I will come back and keep adding to this post, if and when I feel the need. I wish every romance writer the best of luck! Let’s fight that damn reputation we have for the genre, and pen some page-turning and realistic stories! *High five*

 

 

 

 

 

Kim’s Top Tip: Editing Vs Proof Reading, So What’s The Difference? #writerslife #writingtips #amwriting

women writer funny

 

Good question! Okay so as part of the writing tips I want to share here and there, this one came to me last month after writing, editing and proof reading two books to release.  I’m not an expert, I don’t claim to be one, I would never swap my role as a writer for an editor. This is my take and advice on what I’ve learned. Let’s get into it!

To me editing comes before proof reading. This is the natural progression I follow when I write. Write, edit, edit, edit, proof read, then proof read!

What is Editing?

To me once I’ve wrote the last word, in the last chapter, on the last page, in the last paragraph I’m ready to edit. I don’t edit as I write. Why? Personally… I’ll never get any writing done. I’m a hardcore editor of my own work before I put it in front of my actual editor. If I spend to much time on this I’ll never create, so I don’t do it until I’m done writing.

Personally what I do is read through my work checking for these things in general:

  • Consistency in names, places, dates, times.
  • Plot holes.
  • Tense, spelling, use of English etc.
  • That I am happy with the storytelling, build, heat, crime scene, suspense, all that jazz. It’s as I want it to be told.
  • Check facts. I often use real places and events when writing.
  • Character development, I like to make them pop as best I can and not be flat.

My aim: to ensure it’s accurate factually, consistent.  (Hopefully) no one will read it and go huh?.. What Kim?

What is Proof Reading?

In my view once I’ve got my work cleaned up, and my characters stand out, it’s then time to proof read it. My focus is not on the nitty gritty above, as all this is as best as I can get it. It’s now time to read through my work and check the flow of the story also see if I can spot a missed full stop, capital letter the minor details that make me shriek in a high pitched voice, what’s that b*tch typo doing there??  🙂 . I’ll proof read maybe a day or two after I’ve done the edit(s). Then hand to my editor to look over. She then works her red pen magic, and hands me back my work with her personal edit and proof read. I also send a rough copy to my Beta Readers at the same time, they come back with comments…. the whole process of correction (edit) proof read starts again based on what I get back!

Aim:  Personally, proof reading for me is to pick up the minor things and polish up, check the flow.

So what’s the difference Kim? You’re doing the same thing.

Yes and smarty pants! To me the edit is more focused and I really cut up my work, chop scenes, add scenes, develop characters and plot. I don’t do that in a proof read, as this is already done. The proof read is to check what I’ve done in edit makes sense to me, and hopefully you… and there is logic, it’s readable.

Do You Really Need To Do Both? Can’t The Editor Do it?

Like I said when I posted a tip on how to find an editor and who should editor your work, you can read it here, editors don’t write the best sellers, page turners or five star rated books writers do. Personally, as a writer I feel  it’s my work, don’t be lazy. My advice and personal view is don’t fall back on only your editor, or Beta Readers to write that page turning five star book, you do the work.  Wanna write? Good …Writing = editing= proof reading= your A-game = happy readers hopefully= some five star reviews hopefully.  You do the math, still not convinced you should do a bit of DIY, and not leave it all in the hands of an editor?  Great glad you agree 🙂 .

I’ll see you soon with another tip! Happy writing.

Kim’s Top Tips: How To Write A Steamy Sex Scene *wink #amwriting #romance #sex

Hmm well that got your attention didn’t it! Step right up, this is Kim’s class on creating steam in your stories. So last month, or maybe earlier this month… I can’t remember the days roll into one I’ve been so busy. Wait.. wait no it was this month, I set up a new  blog habit of  writing a tip or tick I use or have learned. I started to get messages from aspiring published authors and writers asking me to read their “hot new shit”, they wrote LOL.  They asked for some tips and advice. I was like of course! Lemme see it. So here I go with tip #2 you can read tip #1 on editing right here.

First I want to say, I’m no expert I’m not a know-it-all I too am learning, these tips are just my take on things. Second, I’m not an erotica writer at all. All I do when I’m not writing crime or general thriller /suspense is write romance, with a bit of steam. I like to add some heat to my writing. Second, I’m not overly explicit with sex, I’m a mother and one day my son will read my work *cringe.* Also I’m fed up of my mum looking at me over her glasses like “Kimberly… I’m on page sixty six?!” Then I’m like what the hell did I write on page sixty six?! *cringe* so let’s get into it! Here’s my tips.

What is steam/heat?

Well according to standard romance writing norms, it’s the level of sex  / intimacy in your writing. The amount / frequency and how sexy it is. eg is it very explicit with graphic details, or in the middle more sensual but there is a clear idea of who is doing what, and to who, or less so and all the characters do is hold hands.

High heat: lots of sex, graphic, explicit language. Your kindle will be on fire. ( Erotica).

Mid range heat: moderate levels of sex,  or often, graphic but maybe not as explicit. But the word cock is used! For example 🙂 Your kindle will steam up for sure.

Low level : nothing to write home about.

How to decide on your level of steam/heat?

Personally, I….

  • Let the story talk to me, the plot kind of dictates how steamy I get.
  •  Consider what else has happened in the story.
  • Consider my characters, their age, who they are as people, and what is suitable realistically for them as people.

Personally I’m mid range heat, generally as I’m not an erotica writer. My advice to those wanting to heat up their writing, is to consider the points above. Also remember you don’t have to write romance to bring the heat. A classic example is when Didi and I wrote It Was The First Time I Killed A Man,  for The Suspenseful Collection that’s a crime short story with mid- high range heat levels in terms of how descriptive it is. However the character (Lisa) made it appropriate to bring the heat, because of who she is. Do you see what I mean? Work heat into your writing regardless of genre  based on your characters, and who they are if it fits. You don’t have to just be a romance writer. Just make sure it is appropriate, and the level is good for the characters, don’t write a sex mad underage kid.

Okay smarty pants Kim, how do I actually write sex, I’m nervous and shy

Good question. Again, personally I approach writing about sex, love and emotions from this angle

  • Get over shyness, sex is natural  write like you’re proud regardless of who the characters are, I stepped into the shoes of an explicit lesbian serial killer for God sake. I got over the “what will people think” by the time we blogged it.  Mean what you write give it heart. Don’t write like a chump!
  • I’m a girl, as you can see.. so for me naturally I tend to focus on the emotional side, not just inserting body parts and the “ohhh ahhh do me now part”. I get into character emotionally. What do your characters feel, about the moment, the other person, the situation etc. I express this or show it via their actions and dialogue. I try not to “tell it” if I’m writing third person too much, some times you have to but try to focus on the character’s actions showing feeling.
  • Be natural, what do you honestly think is a hot sex scene?? I interviewed the erotica author Ava Sterling a few months back, her take on is was to use your experience… within reason so go for it. I’d agree with this advice from an actual erotica author.
  • Use more than just “oh it feels so good” “don’t stop” lol let the dialogue flow in a realistic way.  Also, would a real man/woman stop in the middle of doing the deed and say some dumb sh*t?? No!!… Well I hope not anyway. Keep it realistic, focus dialogue on the moment and heat of the scene, not the weather.
  • Hype up the five major senses.  This will ramp up your writing so much. Again, this is a personal thing how I write, but do what works for you. Try not to just focus on feeling or how good it feels, and characters say this over and over. Sure it feels good. We have other senses, vision, hearing etc.  What about touch how does a part of the body feel?, Taste ?* Raises eyebrows* get creative with whatever your character is tasting, that kind of thing. Or smell, I love a man who smells goooooooooooooooooood ladies you get where I’m going with this right? The weak feeling you get, when you smell a man’s aftershave unexpectedly when he’s up close. AND it’s fresh or whatever your preference is.  Whoah!!

  • I’m a sucker for it. Use this, work it into your writing how do the characters smell?
  • Don’t be over sexual and think that’s the best way to go, sometimes sensual is just as good. Unless you are writing dark erotica where foul language is needed, and most suited. In your everyday romance you don’t need to really take it there. Some raw language but not over kill.

And my best bit of advice, send your scene to someone to read, I did when I wrote Lover’s Retreat there’s a really steamy scene in there, the person I sent it to wrote back and said  “I think I need to call a babysitter, and go jump on my husband, that’s how you do it!! ” HAHA :).  Get feedback, it’s so helpful and think about what reaction you want from readers. I did in that particular scene want to make readers feel a bit hot under the collar, send your work out and see if you’ve delivered. Take all feedback and perfect your craft if you did not deliver. It’s fine, no one will know just re-work your scene.

If I’ve missed anything writers our there let me know, drop me a comment.

Happy writing!!

Guest Author Over @ Author Jane Risdon’s Blog. #author #writerslife #writingtips

I had a lovely time as Author Jane Risdon’s guest  this week.  She made me feel very welcome. She asked me a lot about my experience with traditional and self-publishing, and what tips I’d give to writers who shy away from using a multi-cultural line up for the characters.

Check it out here:

Guest author with Jane Risdon

 

Writing Tip: Character Profiles & Their Importance #writerslife #amwriting

I’ve just sat down to do a couple hours work on the next novella story for my Romance Set in Paradise series, I started to think a lot about character development (as I normally do) as I’m creating a scene that’s unfamiliar to me. On top of that my main character is in a situation also unfamiliar to me. In order to do this  scene and story justice, other than research, one thing I have learned while creating unfamiliar or difficult scenes is it’s helpful to react to things as your character would rather than yourself. In order to do this you need a detailed character profile. (In my humble view).

When I wrote A Stranger in France, all 90,000 words were mapped out across chapters and character profiles, it helped A LOT especially as the characters are so far removed from me. I also wrote from a male POV – two very different males! So I had to keep in line with what my character’s traits are rather than me a thirty four year old woman. The benefits of a character profile I can not stress enough to every aspiring or even established writer out there. Here’s my take on this and why I’d say use them, don’t write blindly…. even if Stephen King does it!

  1. You’ll be consistent and save yourself a hell of a lot of headache while editing, you’ll have less red pen marks on your work from your editor saying ” you said x on page 57 now you say y on page 78″ LOL.
  2. Your stories will pop and so will your characters.
  3. You’ll write in an unbiased way, as your characters react to things based on who THEY ARE not  who you are.
  4. Character profiles can help move your story in a new and exciting direction!
  5. You’ll suffer less so called “writer’s block”.

So how do you go about developing a character profile? Here’s how I approach it as a tip generally you could….

  1. First see them as real 3D people. How they look, sound, smell, dress, talk. This helps to enhance your writing. ( I feel) and the reader’s experience.
  2. Interview them. Where do they live, car they drive, hobbies, interests, their general take on life?
  3. What is their overall goal in your story? What do they need to make sure happens to achieve it? What will happen if they don’t achieve their goal? What’s at stake?
  4. Take into consideration your genre and story length. I say this as you don’t want to take up all your words on too much of this if you’re writing a short story- a short story to me is like 30k words, to others this can be as little as 10k…. If you’re crafting a full blown novel over 40k words then by all means really work on your character’s profile and make them pop. With genre, I’m all about the suspense! 🙂 this is where my talent is, so to make the suspense come across character development helps within my genre, as I am SHOWING readers things via the moments of my characters rather than TELLING. Some genres don’t need this much work on characters to create the atmosphere of the genre.

And that’s my reflection on creating difficult scenes, and how to make your characters come across as some what believable! If you’re a writer what approach do you take? Do you even agree that character profiles are useful and important?

I better get back to work on my character profile and try to finish up this scene. In the mean time, drop me a comment writers what’s your view?

 

Success

Calling All Authors/Aspiring Authors…. Take a Look at This #amwriting #author

Afternoon

And happy Easter, I have come across a lot of talented authors and unpublished authors over the last year. I believe in promoting yourself as well as authors, if you’re an author reading this would you like a spot light  for your book or interview on my author site?? There’s no catch I promise.  Let me know and I’ll share it. This is just part of a new direction I’m taking my author site in, I’ve done a few author interviews, personal book reviews and shared new release news for other authors it will now be a permanent feature on kimknight.com.

Another direction I’ll be moving in as well is sharing (more) writing and publishing tips, now I’ve successfully  traditional and self-published four books and now writing my fifth. It’s been an experience I tell you!

If you’re not published as yet, do you have questions or concerns over the process, your work, ideas or anything else?  Maybe I could help if I have list of questions I’ll happily answer them.

Anyone who wants to participate send me a message via the contact Kim page and let’s begin!

 

Writer’s Block: One Author’s Experience & How to Overcome it #amwriting #writerslife

Craft

This writing prompt is inspired by some questions posed for Goodreads authors to answer. I thought about my response, and thought it be great to share with you all aspiring authors out there! And anyone interested in how I went about writing A Stranger in France, Not Just for Christmas and Code Redhead- A Serial Novel.

So when I think of writer’s block in the traditional sense, I think of a writer sitting behind their lap top with a blank page, with a blank mind- they don’t know what to write or how to start. I don’t personally experience this type of writer’s block. I don’t mean this in a cocky way either, it’s because I’ve personally found a way to avoid it. But I’ll be honest I do experience lack of discipline/ sticking to my own writing schedule I set, this is mainly due to life and being  a busy mama. But when I do sit down to write, in between being a mama and work I’m never blank. Generally speaking, the former experience is what I’ve read and heard most writers experience. How do I avoid this common type of writer’s block, that is so damaging to a writer’s productivity  and even decreases their chances of finishing  their novel or short story? Simple…

 I have some form of detailed plan, I know what you’re thinking we all plan our storytelling ideas, hmm yes but the key is detailed.  Before I even write “Chapter One” at the top of my blank page  when I have a novel or short story idea I do the following:

  1. A detailed mini synopsis of EVERY chapter.
  2. A detailed character profile for EVERY character, especially those who take centre stage.
  3. Drum up two possible endings for the story.
  4. Drum up a few shockers/surprises/ OMG I never saw that coming twists. (this step depends on the genre I’m writing. I do this for romantic suspense and thriller a lot).

Every writer finds their own way and their own voice, but for me in order to avoid that “shit what do I write now?” Feeling, or find myself at a dead end with my story, I have a full idea of how the story will play out in the start, middle and end,  and an idea of what will happen in EVERY chapter for EVERY character. It’s quite a detailed plan. This is step #1 this way when I sit down to write I know what direction I’m going in, just from glancing at my synopsis of where I am with writing. Now don’t get me wrong my detailed chapter synopsis is not set in stone, when I wrote A Stranger in France  for one of my characters a scene I wrote  just came to me that very night I was writing. It was a creative  thought on the spot and it tied in with the story (lucky), so I went off the track I set out on. Another thing I find about this approach is it helps me to  think about possible word count, as I know what will take place in each chapter before I even write it and how long  certain scenes may play out for.

#2 is just a personal thing, many writers have an idea in their head of who their characters are, but I’m a little OCD. Mainly as I enjoy writing from first person, and try to make my characters pop on the page. (Which can be  a challenge as you need to become that character and react to situations as they would, not yourself). Due to my personal writing style, I like to sometimes use I NEED  to know my character’s view points, attitudes, likes and dislikes to a T,so I can be consistent when I am writing their POV. But generally I’d say this is good practice.

#3 this is my plan B, in case I decide to move off my detailed chapter plan, just back up! But it also helps me to move in the right direction when writing, to know what to write and when so I don’t experience writer’s block.

#4 I love this part! And it fits with genre I write in and my personal enjoyment of writing. You can’t have a romantic suspense, without the suspense or even a little surprise. You can’t have a thriller without some kind of thrill 🙂 in my humble personal opinion. If I am honest, this is the most enjoyable part as a writer for me, I love building up a little roller coaster to keep the pages turning. 

With  two out of the three of my published works and my current novel I’m writing now I followed my natural “blue print”, of how I  personally avoid writer’s block. I managed to finish a 90,000 odd word novel and 20,000 odd  word novella. And hopefully I’ll finish what I’m working on now as a guess this maybe about 60,000-70,000 words. The only time I went off track was when I wrote the short story for Code Redhead – A Serial Novel with twelve other authors … what do you think happened? Yep I got writer’s block LOL. I had my idea based on the writing prompt we were given but no real direction or plan, I was less organised and it took me a lot longer to get into my flow. Why did I not stick to what works? I think, looking back it was because the authors featured in Code Redhead- A Serial Novel only had 14,000 words as a limit for their story- teeny tiny ! So I thought to myself, this will be a breeze. But I was wrong,  it was a learning curve for me as a writer. Shorter word count (when it comes to writing for a novel not a blog) means  nothing. I learned in some ways it can be more of a challenge, to write an engaging story with a tiny word count  you need to  focus on the story developing plus balance character development etc.  Also when I saw the cover for the book, I went back to the drawing board, originally my story was a nice sweet feel good romance I called it “From London with Love” originally, but the cover of the book did not scream sensible shoes and a nice cardigan when I saw it LOL. No, to me the writing prompt my publisher gave us all, and the cover said to me “Kim, pull out something a little more stilettos and  a little black dress for your main character.” So that’s what I did, but not as quick as I would have liked, I did get writer’s block in the traditional sense for the first time! But I over came it and the story changed direction and the characters took on a new direction … eventually.

What did I learn from this? Stick to my natural blue print that helps to avoid writer’s block. Even if you change the story line last moment, at least you have a detailed idea of where you were originally going before hand and can adapt it,  rather than  just doing what you love …  writing, a little blindly and ending up blocked, pressed for time and like argh! Second no matter the word limit 14,000 or 140,000 you need a plan.

So the moral is, ( for me on my journey to published author) that I want to share with you is plan your direction, plan your character’s direction, and then plan some more! Then write… like no one is looking and enjoy feeling stress free and writer’s block free.

 

 

Writing Prompt: Write About A Book That Affected You – Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn #amwriting #author #inspiration

Another writing prompt from the random situation generator I found on line, to spark writing creativity. There were a few  random situation prompts,  this afternoon that caught my eye- being a writer this one stuck out. I’d love to share why I love this particular book , (Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn), and how it helped me make some hard decisions as a writer and now author.

Where do I start with this book? Have you read it? If not you really should. If you’ve seen the movie the book is miles better, even though the movie is also good. A few of the things I admire about this book is firstly the genre, (psychological) thriller, the characters, the actual story line’s nuts a bolts (human relationships) and the way Gillian wrote the book. She did something that a lot of writers/authors (not me) shy from- she wrote in the first person. Some say, that this is a sign of amateur writing, I completely disagree and fight this point tooth and nail … I think if you can do it and do it well – get on with it. From experience it is a challenge to do this, if you write in the suspenseful type genres. Do y’all know what it takes to write in first person well enough for it to have the right impact on readers ? A hell of a lot! Gillian did a fantastic job, I can’t praise her highly enough. You have to react to situations like the character, not how you personally would and be consistent- challenging not easy.

When I read Gone Girl, I was there, totally engrossed, mouth open. I felt like I was right there with the main (crazy ass) female character, Amy dressed in black with my hat low, ready to commit the crimes she did in the book, along side her. I saw, felt, heard, tasted, smelt and experienced everything she did in all the (unthinkable) acts of madness Gillian made this character do, in this brilliant suspenseful thriller. In my (humble) opinion the story would not have had the same impact on me as a reader, if it she  wrote in third person.

Apart from the choice of  how Gillian decided to tell the story, through her characters as opposed to third person as the author.  And the brilliant ( unpredictable) twists and turns, the character development was spot on! From chapter one, I sensed Amy was a nut job I never liked her as a person, she was out of this world crazy, but guess what I was not about to put that book down. In my view Gillian created a villain and unusually a female villain- a total bitch I hated, but she ( Amy)  made me want to read right to the last page. To do that as a writer I think is something to be  very proud of.  Nice job Gillian.

How this author’s book helped with my own tough decision making as a writer is also quite important.  Firstly, I honestly believe that when one has a story-line knocking between their ears, the story will tell YOU how you write it eg suspenseful,  scary, horror, thrill, third person, first person whatever. That’s been my experience, while writing two books and now on my third. A Stranger in France (my first book) the story-line and characters I had in mind told me three things 1. suspense is the theme and overall feeling of the story 2. Kim you have to write first person if you want readers to feel and experience, what each of these characters go through, in the twists and turns you have in mind, third person won’t work.  What reading Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl did  for me personally as a writer is  to allow me to  say f*ck it! I don’t care what anyone says about writing first person. I am in the driver’s seat I am the writer damn it I’m going against the “norm” or what is considered as the usual approach for my genre ( romance),  I’m writing in first person, and I’ll do it  as well as I can !  To be honest if an editor or publisher said to me “Kim write this  ( book) in third person” I would have said no and self published, that’s how strongly I felt about it and how much I enjoy first person writing- becoming the characters as I write. So Thank you Gillian! You gave me some balls  that I will carry with me for life as a writer, after seeing an example of perfect first person writing, with excellent character development. I’d do it all again …  in fact I did 🙂   and I plan on writing more stories maybe in first person, using excellent character development. Thanks Gillian!