Fun with the folks at WROTE

I had the opportunity to talk with the fabulus folks over at the WROTE Podcast. Check out my interview where I talk about the lessons I learned writing an accidental series, panty liners  and the small moments that change your life.

Rainbow Snippet August 31

Hello Snippeteers! Tomorrow is the start of September and in our house the countdown to October because we are all Halloween freaks. In the spirit of Halloween this week’s snip is from my paranormal novella Shifting Flames.

Shifting Flames is part of the Soul Burn duology with Megan Hart that will be published by Ninestar Press in January 2020.

 

From Shifting Flames: Eve’s gaydar had pinged solidly the moment Celeste had pulled off her helmet and made eye contact. Observing the elegant and sexy woman before her, Eve wondered about Celeste’s fierce insistence on privacy and how she was ever going to work with her. The tantalizing prospect of breaking down Celeste’s walls while keeping her own boundaries in place titillated Eve.

“Would you like some wine?” Celeste used the sprayer to rinse the sink.

“I would.”

Celeste turned to her and dried her hands on a dishtowel. “Red?”

Eve smiled. “Do I look like a red wine drinker, or are you guessing?”

Celeste inclined her head toward a walnut-paneled cabinet. “That’s the wine chiller, see if anything there suits you, if not we’ll make a trip to the cellar.” She hung the towel to dry and opened the cabinet behind her extracting two red wine glasses and a corkscrew. She  placed them on the kitchen island.

Eve worried her lip with her teeth wondering at the shift Celeste’s demeanor as she examined the wine bottles labels. Charming hostess or stoic loner? Which one is the real Celeste?

Rainbow Snippets( https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/)is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).

In this group, you’ll find anything from romance and historical fiction to mystery and YA. The common thread is that every story’s main character identifies as LGBTQ+. The snippets could range from zero flames to full-on sexytimes, anything goes content-wise. The only rule is snippets will be 6 sentences long–one for each color in the Pride flag.

 

Brenda Murphy writes erotic romance. Her novel, Knotted Legacy, made the 2018 The Lesbian Review’s Top 100 Vacation Reads list. She loves sideshows and tattoos and yes, those are her monkeys. When she is not loitering at her local library she wrangles two kids, one dog, and an unrepentant parrot. She reviews books, blogs about life as a writer with ADHD and publishes photographs on her blog Writing While Distracted. You can find her on Facebook by clicking here.  Sign Up for her email list here  www.brendalmurphy.com

Books available at

Amazon 

NineStar Press

Knotted Legacy

Both Ends of the Whip

ONE  

Sum of the Whole 

Dominique and Other Stories 

Complex Dimensions,  book four in the Rowan House series

Keys to Compelling Fiction: Crafting Characters

The lovely thing about writing is, well, two things. One, writing fiction allows us to bring an order to our lives that doesn’t exist in real life. And two, it allows us to create human characters that we know better than we will ever know anyone in real life. ” Octavia Butler

I adore the above quote from Octavia Butler.  Characters are, for most readers, the most compelling reason for them to keep reading. Readers may tolerate a mediocre plot and pacing that is a bit off, but if they don’t give a rat’s patootie about the characters, they will stop reading your novel.  I know from discussions with both authors and readers I’m not the only person who misses fictional characters after we finish writing, or reading a book, in fact sometimes the only thing that pushes me to finish is a desperate desire to know how my characters’ stories unfold and because I write romance I want them to get to their happy endings.

How do you go about crafting characters that keep readers turning pages? Some writers fill out exhaustive inventories of personality questions, and character inventories, some authors write reams of backstory, and others wing it. I have one friend that draws Tarot cards and uses them to create her characters.

I have a few tools I use for character creation and thought I would share my favorites. I begin my character building by starting with generalities: what they look like, age, where they grew up, and what they do for a living. The next step is completing the Backstory Wound Profile tool developed by Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman and available in their book, The Emotional Wound Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Psychological Trauma. I use The Emotional Wound Thesaurus to give depth to my characters, to provide them with reliable, understandable, and relatable reasons for their behaviors.

My next step is to complete a quick reread of Debra Dixon’s GMC: Goal Motivation and Conflict. Her short book is a concise explanation of why it is essential to understand your character’s goals, motivations, and conflicts. Dixon provides a GMC sheet that I complete as well using the information from the Backstory Wound Profile tool. If you don’t read any other book on this list, read this one. The third step in creating my characters is to research their occupations and culture. I use blogs, ethnographies, and in some cases, my travel journals to add details to my characters profiles.

Developing my characters is as much a part of my writing process as much as creating an outline. If I get stuck writing a scene or if the story is not flowing, I go back to my character sheets. Story flow problems are most often issues with a character’s growth arc. After rereading my character sheets, I’m usually able to suss out why my story is not working. After I address character arc issues, I’m ready to continue writing with confidence, knowing that my characters are moving along a believable path.

Writers, what are your favorite ways to craft characters? Do you have favorite tools and techniques you use? Readers, who are your favorite characters from fiction, the ones you still think about long after you close the book?

Brenda Murphy writes short fiction and novels. She loves tattoos and sideshows and yes, those are her monkeys.  When she is not loitering at her local tea shop and writing, she wrangles two kids, one dog, and an unrepentant parrot.  She reviews books, blogs about life as a writer with ADHD and publishes photographs on her blog Writing While Distracted. You can find her on Facebook by clicking here.  Sign Up for her email list here  www.brendalmurphy.com

Books available at

Amazon 

NineStar Press

Knotted Legacy

Both Ends of the Whip

ONE  

Sum of the Whole 

Dominique and Other Stories  

Coming Soon

Complex Dimensions, book four in the Rowan House series. Preorders Available September 20, 2019

Rainbow Snippet August 17-18

 

Hello Snippeteers!

I’ve had a lovely break including a fantastic 10 day digital detox, and I’m ready to get back to work. This week’s snip is from a paranormal romance I’ve had on the back burner for several years and plan to finish this fall. The working title is Helen and Lucinda. This is a first draft so please be forgiving. 

From Helen and Lucinda:

Lucinda relaxed her grip, tracing her claw down Helen’s face.  “Not a threat. I have a gift,” sliding her hand to the back of Helen’s neck she gripped it hard. With her other hand she ran a nail across her breast.  Golden liquid seeped along the line of the wound. Lucinda touched her finger to Helen’s lips  “Drink and be mine. Forever bound. Blood by blood, lifetime by lifetime.”

“Why now?” Helen gripped Lucinda’s waist with both hands.”I have nothing to give you”

“You fear loosing me to Lilith. This is my pledge to you. Drink and know you are bound to me.”

Helen lowered her head and lapped the glistining drops of blood Lucinda offered. Sweet and coppery, Lucinda’s offering filled her mouth.

“Your gift to me will be freeing Lilith from the stone.” Lucinda pressed a kiss to the crown of Helen’s head

Helen sighed as she swallowed the last of Lucinda’s gift. A tendril of desire curled up from her belly spun out from her center and she pushed her body hard against Lucinda craving more of her dark gift. 

Rainbow Snippetshttps://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/)is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).

In this group, you’ll find anything from romance and historical fiction to mystery and YA. The common thread is that every story’s main character identifies as LGBTQ+. The snippets could range from zero flames to full-on sexytimes, anything goes content-wise. The only rule is snippets will be 6 sentences long–one for each color in the Pride flag.

 

Brenda Murphy writes short fiction and novels. She loves tattoos and sideshows and yes, those are her monkeys.  When she is not loitering at her local tea shop and writing, she wrangles two kids, one dog, and an unrepentant parrot.  She reviews books, blogs about life as a writer with ADHD and publishes photographs on her blog Writing While Distracted. You can find her on Facebook by clicking hereSign Up for her email list here  www.brendalmurphy.com

Books available at

Amazon 

NineStar Press

Knotted Legacy

Both Ends of the Whip

ONE  

Sum of the Whole 

Dominique and Other Stories