Monday, July 16, 2012

The Emotions Thesaurus

Several years back, I purchased a book on body language in hopes it would help give my characters emotions without me 'telling'.  Needless to say, the book didn't not help me much, at least not in the way I wanted it too.  The book talked more about power plays, stand during the meeting, have your enemy sit with their back to the door, etc., how to tell if someone is available and interested in you and more.

With the book recommended by my writer's group, THE EMOTIONS THESAURUS, I can hit the trifecta in expressing a character's mood or behavior with physical signals, internal sensations, and mental responses.

Take for example:

Sam made Jacob mad.  He knew he was lying.


Jacob loosened his collar.  Being careful not to say what he really wanted to, he bite those words back.  He knew Sam had kissed MaryBeth but he wouldn't get him to admit it like this.

The book even gives you cues on long-tem effects of the emotion, such as anger and what other emotion it may escalate to, like rage.  They even give you examples of suppressed anger. 

I give this book the thumbs up!

You can buy the book on Amazon for $4.99.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

First Publisher Interest

I came home from work Monday evening and found my husband in the kitchen going through the mail.  He looks at me with the most seriousness I've seen in a while and says, "You're in big trouble, Missy."  In his outreached hand, was postcard.  I knew then I didn't go over my Kohl's limit so it must be a postcard that I slipped in with my manuscripts that I mailed out the beginning of June. 

So, I'm excited someone opened my manuscript.  But then, I flipped over the card.  Not only did I see my handwriting, but there is red ink all over it!  They wrote me a note!  I begin reading it, to my joy the editor not only said she was intrigued by my story but wanted to see more!  I was so excited!  I didn't know what to do with myself.  So, like an other rationale adult female, I ran around the inside of my house happily screaming with my dog, Birdy, running and barking with me.

A new cartridge of ink ($38), postage ($9.20), the knowledge that someone in the publishing field thought my first chapter and query letter were intriguing, PRICELESS!

Sunday, July 8, 2012


I never understood the importance of writing contests until recently, but since I joined NEORWA, I understand that contests are another way to present your work to the experts. Whether they are an editor or agent, I couldn't think of a better way to showcase your work because editors and agents who are judges are seeking a particular book to publish and since there are a limited number of entries, this gets you out of the slush pile!  Now, I wouldn't go and enter all the contests just because, instead, I would enter the contest that appeal to you and have judges that you want to see your work that may not otherwise see it.

I have listed a few contests that peak my interest from the latest ROMANCE WRITERS REPORT:

Kathryn Hayes "We Need a Hero", Fee $25-30, Deadline: Sept 10, 2012,
Launching a Star Contest, Fee $25-30, Deadline: Sept 15, 2012,
2012 Heart to Heart, Fee $15-20, Deadline: Aug 31, 2012,

Also, I have listed below the elements and grading scale of contests.

5 = Excellent, ready for an editor’s eyes.

4 = Well done, minor improvement may be possible

3 = Element lacks spark or could use polishing

2 = Element there, but should be strengthened/revised.

1 = Element missing or needs major work.

Writing Techniques Total possible: 25 points

____ Strong Opening Hook

____ Consistent use of Point of View

____ Transitions

____ Word usage, strong verbs, specific nouns, free of clich├ęs

____ Rhythm (Varied sentence structure, readability)

____Total Points

Setting Total possible: 25 points

____ A strong sense of place and time without being intrusive

____ Accurate Research/Details

____ Backstory/Information relayed is necessary

____ Atmosphere appropriate for story

____ Starts in appropriate place

____ Total Points

Characterization Total possible: 25 points

(Heroine or Primary character)___________________

____ Distinctive voice

____ Motivation

____ Multi-dimensional/Well-rounded

____ Consistent/Believable

____ Appropriate Actions/Reactions

____ Total Points

Characterization Total possible: 25 points

(Hero or Secondary character)____________________

____ Distinctive voice

____ Motivation

____ Multi-dimensional/Well-rounded

____ Consistent/Believable

____ Appropriate Actions/Reactions

____ Total Points

Relationship Total possible: 15 points

____ Attraction believable

____ Sparks from emotional as well as physical attraction

____ Develops at an appropriate pace

____ Total Points

Conf l ict Total possible: 20 points

____ Strong enough to sustain the story

____ Wel l -mot ivated

____ Internal , very clear

____ External , very clear

____ Total Points

Dialogue Total possible: 25 points

____ Sounds natural

____ Characters have their own consistent voices

____ Appropriately tagged (Both amount and kinds of tags)

____ Advances the plot/reveals character

____ Wel l balanced wi th the narrat ive

____ Total Points

Manuscript Preparat ion Total possible: 20 points

____ Grammar

____ Punctuat ion

____ Spel l ing

____ Proper format (Double spaced, margins, headers, font size, e tc.)

____ Total Points

Plot Total possible: 25 points

____ Easi ly understood chronology

____ Logical

____ Characters goals and act ions advance the story

____ Consistent Tone

____ Sat isfactory Pacing

____ Total Points

Synopsis Total possible: 25 points

____ Appropriate amount of detai l for the proposed length

____ Shows character/relat ionship change or growth

____ Bel ievable and sat isfactory conf l ict resolut ion

____ Loose ends t ied up

____ Does the synopsis make you want to read the book?

____ Total Points

Overal l Impression Total possible: 20 points

____ Wri t ing is fresh and original

____ Strong Emot ional Impact

____ Great ending Hook

____ I would l ike to read the rest of this book

____ Total Points

________ Grand Total Points Total possible: 250 points