Saturday, January 30, 2010

Reaching that set goal

Osiyo, (hello)

What a week! Kat O'Reilly had some great points to ponder, don'cha think? Wado (Thank you), again Jen Nipps for dropping in this week and filling our heads with wonderfully yummy images of those Irish men of yours. Can't wait to read more.
Wado, to those who stopped by and joined the discussion. I'll have more later for you to jump into. I am open to suggestions as to what you'd like to hear about and talk about.

I've been reading Sherryl Woods' Amazing Gracie since Thursday. What a great book. Her hero, Kevin Patrick Daniels, tortures her heroine, Gracie Mac Dougal, deliciously and with such humor I fell in love with him instantly. From his threadbare denims (my kinda man!) to that slow southern drawl that I can almost hear when Kevin Patrick teases Gracie, this book is a gentle southern treasure. If you haven't got it in your tbr pile- get it! You won't be sorry after page one. I wanna be tortured by him! And, to be sure, she does her fair share of torture in return. She doesn't dress right, eat right, talk right... but he's a good sport who is more than willing to teach her how to do things the 'right' way.

In between reading and keeping up with blogs I enjoy reading (I discovered the romance bandits today and will add them to my list) I have added 2,393 words to my own WIP today. First Chase wants Kelly to dine with him, now she's about to return the favor she denied him! I can't wait to see what these two get into next. I'm up to a new total WC of 14,120 and gaining. I hope to make 16K tonight before I stop. Then, it's a few more pages/chapters of Amazing Gracie. WOOT!

Now, I have a question for ya'll. When you want to get a set amount of words written in a day- what do you do to ensure you reach your goal?
I ask this because I realized during this last two days of procrastination that reaching 300 words a day (the daily goal of our challenge) isn't my problem. It's reaching 300 words. Period. I can get those in in an hour, no stress. My problem seems to be that I need to go farther and that if
all I'm trying to reach is that number, then I have trouble starting at all. I'm a marathon writer who starts and doesn't stop until my hands are ready to fall off and my brain is thinking faster than I can write. I'm a pantster on top of that. It takes a lot more for me to give myself permission to write just 300 words than it does to stop after 3000. Which is why I wrote my last manuscript in less than 2 months and spent the next 10 editing and rewriting it. Arggggh!

So, what do you do to ensure you reach your goal no matter how short or long it is? (Life woes aside that is.)

Dodadagohvi (until we meet again)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

And there you have it


Thank you Jen (Ie. Kat)! Your books sound intriguing! I love those sexy Irishmen! I also love it when the heroines 'beat up' the Hero. Bad girls gone badder and all that. Lol

Please leave comments of your own and let us know how you like to torture your Heroes and what methods you use to do it.

In my (as yet unpublished) contemporary romance, Contract For Love, I have horseman/construction contractor Trey Durango who's first and only love abandon him and then popped back into his life six years later acting like nothing happened. She had left because of a misconception of what Trey expected out of life with her (a dozen kids who looked like her!). Shana Raven is still very much in love with Trey, but can't give him the children he speaks of after discovering a pre-birth plumbing medical complication. In their struggle to get back the love they had lost, he discovers the truth, which she had tried to tell him about before she left but he didn't hear. They realize it's not having the family that matters, but how they acquire that desired family unit. Adoption is always acceptable. But before they get to this point Shana loses her horse sanctuary due to his means of helping her--for his own personal-gain reasons. She blames him, as well she should. He is left to face the pain of realizing he screwed up big time and has to find a way to fix it. Sure he meant well, but it bounced back to bite him in a very sensitive place in the end. His heart. He almost lost her again. But he plays his cards right and charms his way back to become the hero of the day, and found his HEA in doing so.

So, you see- as Jen/Kat said- it can be fun to heap pain on the hero and heroine to bring them closer together. But a more logical reason is to help them grow (also as Jen pointed out) as individuals and as a couple. They have to face their demons head on, accept the fact that they are NOT perfect, despite what their mother may have led them to believe! and correct the damage they may have caused by ignoring their faults. In doing so, they become a person women love, according to Shana, and men admire. Just ask Trey's brother.

There are so many other ways to bring a couple to that point in a relationship where they know that, no matter what lemons life gives them, there's always enough sugar with it to make lemonade!

I challenge you to think of a relationship (real or not) where there were no conflicts to cause major upheaval that made both involved stand back and re-evaluate their situation. Were there doubts and concerns that one or both felt sure could never be resolved? And yet, love conquers all in the end...Even if the road remains a little rough and bumpy from time to time.


Curse of the Heroes

Dia duit. (Irish for "Hello.")

Before I get into the how and why of giving my heroes ... heck, here's a little bit about me: My main website is I write articles and nonfiction books (soon) under Jen Nipps, but my romance, whether they be historical, contemporary, or suspense, as Kat O'Reilly. (There are some things on that site that are not safe for work.) I'm currently working on book 4 of the Maguire Men series. Books 1 and 2 are currently under consideration with a publisher.

There are two questions to address here:
  1. Why do I torture my characters, especially the men?
  2. How do I torture them?
The short answer for why: Because it's fun.

Really, though, without conflict, there is no story. I throw everything I can think of at them. For example, in my first Maguire book, the morning after he meets the heroine, Kiernan gets hit on the back of his head with the butt of an axe.

Major immediate conflict.

Now, in my day job, I do medical transcription. I never thought I would use it very much outside of work. Let's just say I was wrong. With the knowledge I have of head injuries from that, I gave him blackout spells, seizures, and vision problems. That's enough to stress anyone out, much less someone who's dealing with a persistent woman who insists she's his next wife and is moody and emotional herself.

In the second Maguire book, the hero, Devon, is nearly killed in a hunting accident. In the third, Benen is severely burned in a fire on the first page of the story.

The women in their lives all serve as nursemaids, whether by choice or circumstance. There's another method of giving them heck. None of the men in these stories take orders very well unless they come directly from the king. Why would they do what their physician or healer, through their nurse, says to do just because they were told to do it?

In the first case, it drives Maeb away from Kiernan on more than one occasion. Even to the point that she goes to the community of priestesses in Kildaire, Ireland, to have her baby and leave it with the sisters. (You know with the Happily Ever After inherent in many, if not most, romances, this doesn't happen.)

Those are all answers to How. For why?

Like I said before, it's fun. But it also lets the characters develop and grow. It makes them understand the need they have for each other. And it shows their mettle. No one wants a wimpy hero, especially a woman living in central Ireland in the early Middle Ages.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Make 'Em Pay!


In all really great books we meet a damaged man of the hour, the HERO. With this intriguing and irresistible man comes along a (sometimes) equally damaged woman of the hour, the HEROINE.
They want one another beyond all reason...well, sometimes they don't, but that's another story... This couple will walk through fire to get to the other, or for the other. They will risk life and limb for one another, challenge the worst demons of hell, the sweetest angels of heaven to be together forever. The only thing these two won't do is face their own demons and faults.
No way, no how, ain't gonna happen!

It is because of this that we, the authors, are able to tease and torture the destined couple incessantly. It isn't until he and/or she comes to grips and accepts their personal failings, turning them into a victory, that the author runs out of reasons to keep these two love birds apart farther.
It is only at this time that they are rewarded with their very own HAPPILY EVER AFTER that every couple strives for.

Does this mean that they will never fight again? Pu leee eease! Let's be realistic here. Of course! Not. But, we are rewarded with the knowledge that this struggle gets them to the place where we know without a doubt they will be able to work through anything life comes at them with from here on out.

This week I will take you on a journey of "The Why's and Hows of Successful Character Torture".
I hope you enjoy your trip down 'Pain Lane' and come away with something you can use.

I bestow a respectful and heart felt 'THANK YOU' to of my guest(s) and those who have contributed on this topic. Thank you to those whom have given their own precious time to comment and help make this discussion possible. Don't forget to tell your friends if you enjoy yourself here.

***Join me tomorrow with Historical and Romantic Suspense author, Jen Nipps. Maybe she'll tell us how to successfully torture an Irishman?


All contributors involved with this leg of our journey may be held responsible for any and all successful tortures which are
masterfully carried out on forthcoming HEROES and HEROINES as a direct result of this message.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Time To Get Serious


It's been too long since I came in here. I apologize for the delay to my update. I've had the flu and haven't even opened my lap top in a week. Which means no writing has been done and I have a LOT of words to make up for this week. I did make my word count for the week last time though, but now I am 2500 words behind! Darn sickness... But the good in that is that I love to sit and lose myself in another world and look forward to doing that today and tomorrow. I will hopefully have the opportunity to marathon write to catch up again.

I ended with 11,727 as of last Friday.

I haven't been idle during my sick leave, however. My mind is constantly working on my projects even when my hands aren't. I so want this book to be 'the one' and continuously plot in my head where I need it to go to be the best it can be when it is finally finished. I'm still working out little details of how, when, where, and why everything happens. Oh, and still thinking of ways to torture my h/H!

I will be posting a blog later this week on the hows and whys of torturing heroes and heroines in a book. Before I do, I want to get some information, input, from some other authors on this subject. Maybe I can line up a guest author to blog about it, as well.

Dodadagohvi (Until you and I *see* each other again)...

Monday, January 11, 2010

It's a Good Day!

Osiyo! (Hello!)

It's been a few days and I have been busy. With sick grand daughters, abandoned puppies that need hand nursing, and trying to write. I am
not a multi-tasker of the hundred tasks! Yet I managed to get it all done and still had time for family (husband). He got slightly scorched broiled breaded chicken tonight and instantly suspected I got caught up in another world (writing) and forgot to watch it. Not the case!
I think my oven temp was too high and the rack too close to the heat element. Nope, I don't broil a bunch, preferring 'Bake'.

When I was last here I ran into some issues with emails/blog and had to stub the other URL to start this one (one more task on my never-ending list) so now I am in the process of going everywhere I have my blog and changing to the new URL so I don't lose anyone.

Now, I had 7,263 words on the work in progress (WIP) I can't talk about and wrote 802 words the first day. I didn't get to write much through the week but today I finally found the time (among puppy feeding and horse arranging) to sit and write. I think it was about five p.m. when I sat in front of the keyboard and when I looked at the clock it was suddenly 8 p.m.! Wow. Time flies when I'm torturing a handsome man! Not that the lovely lady didn't get her fair share, too. She absolutely did! And I'm not finished with these two lost loves yet.
So when the day was done I counted and have added another 1575 words today! Not the time to celebrate since I needed another 599 just to break even for the week, but I will get those rascals in first thing tomorrow and start on the new weeks' word count. My short goal is 2100 per week. But... since I usually don't go by a word count goal (WCG), I will probably get in a lot more than that. My daily word count (DWC), when I can just sit and go, is usually closer to 2100 rather than 300 or 500 hundred, but as life is- I don't get to write every day. Sometimes I am forced to spend my 'writing' time thinking about what to write, which is a good thing. Plotting is a very important part of the craft and since I don't generally write out a plot, I do mentally plot a lot.

The most important thing about writing is to 'write'. Every day. That's what this challenge is about. And sometimes that is in my head, or on hard paper before it ever reaches the screen.Writing 'something' each day just to get those words in, no matter if I write 2000 or 20. I can go to sleep knowing I'm that 20 words closer to completion.

So I'll report again in a week.

So to end the first week of the OKRWA- Outlaw's 300 words per day challenge- I sit at 9,664 total words on a new book. That's 2,401 more than I had when I began the challenge January 1, 2010.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

I had a thought


When I read books by someone else I think "I can write this", and I feel my well of creativity fill with excitement and ideas. Then, there's that occasional book that makes me feel like I'm totally wasting my time. Ms. Nora does that to me, but I know I am nowhere near her league yet. Being published is sort of a requirement to even get close to her! But there are others who are new to this game and I can read from them and just know they will go so far. These are the authors I aspire to match one day. Those who were just published since I became a serious writer are my true inspiration because they are the ones I relate most to now. They are friends who are completely comfortable in their own talent that they have no qualms with giving advice to a beginner. 
We are not their competition, we are co-workers striving for the ultimate goal: Success in our individual abilities to tell not just good stories, but great stories.

It is to these wonderful people that I want to say: Thank you.
I value these writers and their opinions and hope to repay them for their generosity. 

I am considering a monthly book review and, hopefully, in time I will have the opportunity to have guest blogs from some of them.

So, what I need from ya'll out there is names, titles, suggestions. What have you read, and by whom that struck your fancy? 
Was it a good book, one you couldn't put down before that very last page? 
Why or why not? 
Who is your favorite author and why? 

What would YOU like to know about the art and the artists?
I'm open to any and all suggestions at this point as I begin the building stage of this quest to help ya'll: 

Meet Your Favorite Authors

One At A Time


Being a typical pantster (no plotting for this wild child) I don't always know what will happen with a scene or chapter until it does, but when it happens, and works... Great! For some reason I haven't found a successful method of plotting that works for me. When I do try to plot, I end up getting confused with where I want the story to go and where it ends up. Most of the time my well thought out plans get put aside while I write blind.
Oddly, after writing a complete ms I sometimes do a mini plot, or a synopsis, that helps me make necessary edits. Unfortunately, it is also this method which causes me to toss a finished ms into the 'don't know what to do with this one' pile, at which time I begin an all new story.

So, you can understand why I am so excited now. I just love it when characters cooperate and scenes come together one at a time. That is what writes the book. One letter, word, scene, page, and chapter at a time. That seems to be my method, and until I find a different one that works better for me, I'll go with it. I wrote 802 words yesterday. Which means I made my 300 per day x2 plus a few more just like I'd planned.

I need to go cyber-searching and find pictures of Kelly and Chase. Visuals always help me focus on my characters. In fact, I may need to cast everyone because there are some interesting sub-characters in this that I want to 'see' as well.

I've decided to give a weekly or bi-weekly word count update, so look for higher numbers to be reported over the weekends from here on out. That said, I will write more tonight and bring these lovable 'people' closer to life.

Thanks for dropping by.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

It's a brand new year!

Osiyo~ (Hello)

With a new year I thought a new look would be nice as well. I'll tweak it out a little more at a more reasonable hour, make it 'me'.

But, this just feels more relaxing already.

Feel free to let me know what ya'll think about it. 

Wow, this day flew! I didn't make 300 words today, but I did get some important re-writes done, so I can get to actual writing tomorrow. I had the 10 pages to get ready for the Soon To Be Published Contest last month and I forgot to do necessary edits to make the final contest entry pages re-fit to the rest of the written part I couldn't use in the contest. Since I just had 28 pages written total, it was a fairly easy fit and went smoothly. I'm excited about this story that I started playing with last spring, when my niece made a comment giving me a wonderfully fun idea. I'm taking the surprise baby scenario, and adding a twist to it that I think will be great. 

I'm loving my hero, Chase Bishop, and adore heroine Kelly King.Because of the contest I don't know how much I can say here, but as soon as I can I'll tell more, about these two lovable characters and their friends.

So~ fitting in bottle feeding/doctoring seven 1 week old doberman puppies at crucial intervals, their mother won't care for them, and with me suffering a hideous cold~ with luck and a little weekend peace, I will write like the Oklahoma winds tomorrow (and have seven surviving puppies as a reward)!

I invite you all back tomorrow to check up on my word count (sitting currently at 7,263).

Until tomorrow~

Friday, January 1, 2010


Well, it's the end of the year. Literally. The 'Ball' will drop in 12 minutes or so and ring in 2010! 

I have big plans for the next year. Big hopes for where my writing will go and I hope you will join me on the journey. As you know if you've been here I finished one manuscript this year and, though I haven''t got it sent out yet I hope to soon. 
2009 brought some interesting things to my life. My youngest, and last, daughter got married and had a beautiful baby girl. I finished a book, got more involved with my local writing group, and entered my first writer's contest.

Next I hope to enter more contests and will submit more books. I would love to be published by this hour next year! What a great Christmas/birthday present that would be!

So, it's time for New Year's resolutions. I don't normally make this list because I'm the worst procrastinator in my family, possibly in the world! But, here goes...

1. Send in the finished manuscript.
2. Finish the current (contest entry) manuscript and submit it.
3. Get even more involved with OKRWA Outlaws, my local writer's group.
4. Keep up with the challenge my group has sent out tonight to write 300 words per day every day this year! (This will come with amendments due to family crisis and any unexpected events that may come up, but I will try my best to write extra on other days to make up for the shortages.)
5. And far from last- I will be the best wife, mother, and grandmother I can be and still do all the other responsibilities on my list without shirking anyone/thing.

Can I depend on all of you to keep me from slacking? Will you commit to me on this?

God bless, thank you and have a blessed and productive 2010!!!