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Monster Revision & Deep POV: Suzanne Johnson – OCCRWA August Online Class

July 23, 2017 by in category Online Classes tagged as , , , , ,

I’m excited about the August OCC/RWA Online Class, Monster Revision & Deep POV, with instructor Suzanne Johnson, who also writes as Susannah Sandlin. I have a manuscript in mind I want to tackle.

Monster Revision graphic

Pull out that WIP, ready-to-revise manuscript, or even a chapter from an already-published book, and get ready to dive into “Monster Revision,” an intensive one-pass revision system that’ll take you from Draft Zero to Done.

In this 30-day workshop, we’ll cover a one-week overview series of lessons, followed by three weeks of techniques that will leave you with a lot of tools in your revision toolbox. You’ll get individual feedback on your posted homework (yes, homework!), and I’ll work on a revision of one of my WIPS as we go through the course as illustration.

Part One:

* The Monster Revision Process: It’s easier than you think. Not fast, but not rocket-science.

* The Opening Scene Test.

* The Action-Reaction Test.

Part Two:

Warning: There will be color-coding. Take a deep breath and pull out those highlighters.

 For the remainder of the class, we’ll take a sample chapter or two from your manuscript and massage it till it hurts. (You can try doing a whole manuscript during the class but it’ll be more effective to do the techniques on one or two chapters.)

We’ll be covering:

  • Methodology and color-coding, and why deep POV is an important part of revision.
  • Setting and description, including timeline, continuity, and backstory quicksand.
  • What’s important to show, and what is better told.
  • Dialogue as Action, and isolating character voice.
  • Internal dialogue: pace, voice.
  • Emotion: raw, ugly, visceral, internal.
  • The color wheel.
  • Read to the dog.
  • DIY Toolbox: manual and online.

About the Instructor:

Suzanne Johnson was happily ensconced in New Orleans as a university magazine editor when Hurricane Katrina sent her adopted hometown underwater. She took her Katrina experiences, added wizards and magic (and the sexy undead pirate Jean Lafitte), and began what has become the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series published by Tor Books. Writing under the name Susannah Sandlin, she also writes award-winning paranormal romance, including the popular Penton Legacy series for Montlake Romance, and romantic suspense and thrillers, including two series, The Collectors and Wilds of the Bayou, also for Montlake.

Suzanne grew up in Alabama halfway between the Bear Bryant Museum and Elvis’s birthplace and lived in New Orleans for fifteen years, so she has a highly refined sense of the absurd and an ingrained love of college football and fried gator on a stick. She currently lives in Auburn, Alabama, where she is a full-time author.

Enrollment Information:

This is a 4-week online course that uses email and Yahoo Groups. If you do not have a Yahoo ID you will be prompted to create one when you join the class, but the process is not difficult. The class is open to anyone wishing to participate. The cost is $30.00 per person or, if you are a member of OCCRWA, $20.00 per person.

Enroll here: http://occrwa.org/classes/august-online-class/

Linda McLaughlin
OCC/RWA Online Class Co-coordinator

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Color-blind Bots & Cloudy Cleavage: #Facebook Ads by @Lyndi Lamont

July 16, 2017 by in category The Romance Journey tagged as , ,

This last week, I took a Facebook for Business Made Easy 5-Day Challenge led by Sherri-Lee Woycik of Social Media Minder. It was wonderful, intensive, and my Facebook pages have never seen so much activity!

One of the lessons involved boosting a post from your Facebook page. I was able to successfully boost one post at my Lyndi Lamont Page. (I’m always happy to get new likes and engagement. Hint, hint.)

Then I tried to boost one from my Linda McLaughlin page. This is what the ad looked like:

Linda Mac Facebook post

Seems pretty straightforward, right? Easy question plus two images. Should be a no brainer.

So when it wasn’t approved, I was surprised. I delved into why FB found the post unacceptable and got this mind-boggling answer.

FB Ad Disapproval

What the heck?

After Sherri-Lee got done laughing, she explained that the ads are checked by bots, not real people. Apparently the bot is somewhat color-blind since it seemed to mistake my sunrise for naked skin, and the clouds surrounding the moon for cleavage? Or something like that.

So much for artificial intelligence, LOL.

Needless to say, I sent an appeal and I’m waiting for a human being to get around to looking at it.

In other news, my latest release, Lily and the Gambler, is on sale for 99 cents for the summer at at Amazon Kindle, BN/Nook, Kobo and Smashwords.

LilyGambler Summer ad

Also, I’m participating in the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale through July 31. Rogue’s Hostage and Lady Elinor’s Escape are now half off at Smashwords through July 31. Don’t forget to use the code SSW50 at checkout.

And all my Lyndi Lamont novellas are free at Smashwords through the end of the month! How To Woo… A Reluctant Bride, Ilona’s Wolf and Marooned. Don’t forget to use the code SSW100 at checkout.

Hope you’re having a great summer. Mine has been hectic and productive as well as fun.

Linda McLaughlin
aka Lyndi Lamont
http://lindalyndi.com

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Horse Sense for Your Characters with @sdwriter: June @OCCRWA Online Class

May 23, 2017 by in category Online Classes tagged as , , , , ,

June’s OCC/RWA Online Class is Horse Sense for Your Characters

with

Shannon Donnelly

June 12 – July 7

June 2017 online class banner

About the Class:

Most folks today have limited experience as mounted riders, even less for side saddle, or driving a carriage, or training a horse for the movements once used by knights. This workshop provides some basic horse sense through the ages so your horses act more like characters who enrich your story and less like cars or other inanimate transportation objects.

We will cover:

  • General Horse Sense – Habit and herds: Horse Personality, Basic gaits, Useful Terms
  • Carriage and Riding Horses – What’s the difference?
  • Quick Trip Through History: Ancient Times, Palfrey/Destrier, The West: Knights of the Plains
  • England: Town and Country – Hunting season, ladies’ mounts, side saddle myths, Rotten Row
  • Basic Transport – Times, distances, and comfort, public transport of the coaching era
  • The Racing World – The sport of Kings; The sport of Queen
  • Special Breeds – Arabian, Lippizan, Akhal-Teke, Fresian, Viking’s Horse: Islandic Ponies

Save

About the Instructor:

Shannon Donnelly and Drake

Shannon Donnelly and Drake

Shannon Donnelly’s writing has won numerous awards, including a RITA nomination for Best Regency, the Grand Prize in the “Minute Maid Sensational Romance Writer” contest, judged by Nora Roberts, RWA’s Golden Heart, and others. Her writing has repeatedly earned 4½ Star Top Pick reviews from Romantic Times magazine, as well as praise from Booklist and other reviewers, who note: “simply superb”…”wonderfully uplifting”….and “beautifully written.”

Her Regency romances can be found as ebooks on all formats, and with Cool Gus Publishing, and include a series of four novellas.

She also has out the Mackenzie Solomon, Demon/Warders Urban Fantasy series, Burn Baby Burn and Riding in on a Burning Tire, and the Urban Fantasy, Edge Walkers. Her work has been on the top seller list of Amazon.com and includes Paths of Desire, a Historical Regency romance.

She is the author of several young adult horror stories, and computer games. She lives in New Mexico with two horses, two donkeys, two dogs, and only one love of her life. Shannon can be found online at sd-writer.com, facebook.com/sdwriter, and twitter/sdwriter.

Enrollment Information

This is a 4-week online course that uses email and Yahoo Groups. If you do not have a Yahoo ID you will be prompted to create one when you join the class, but the process is not difficult. The class is open to anyone wishing to participate. The cost is $30.00 per person or, if you are a member of OCCRWA, $20.00 per person.

http://occrwa.org/classes/june-online-class/

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Pitfalls of Research: Too Much vs. Too Little by @LyndiLamont

May 16, 2017 by in category The Romance Journey tagged as , , ,

Recently I listened to a perfectly delightful Regency romance on audio, but some obvious errors nagged at me and got me to pondering which is worse, too much research or too little?

Regency costumeThose of us who write books that require extensive research are always advised to not let the research show. Weave it as seamlessly as possible into the narrative. That makes perfect sense, though it isn’t easy to do. But what about too little research? That’s when errors become glaring enough that some readers, esp. the ones who also write, are pulled out of the story, saying “Wait a minute, that’s not right.”

Sometimes it’s a matter of historical characters acting or speaking in modern fashion. This can be one of the most glaring problems. Then there is the matter of social mores of the time, which vary from one period to the next.

One of the biggest traps novelists can fall into is writing historical characters with 21st century mores. And nothing can make the reader want to throw a book across the room quicker. This especially applies to women. The double standard still exists, but it was much greater in previous centuries. A young woman’s reputation was golden.

War and social unrest have always upset the normal patterns of life, and social mores tend to fall by the wayside during such periods. Still, a historical female character who shows no regard for her reputation isn’t believable unless she’s already a fallen woman and has no reputation to lose.

Regency Throne RoomPersonally, I don’t necessarily mind a heroine who flaunts society’s rules; I just need to believe that she knows what she is doing and is well motivated in her choices. The woman who doesn’t understand the consequences of her actions strains credibility. Women had a lot more to lose in the not-so-good old days.

In the book in question, the problem seemed to be more one of the author not understanding how the social season worked. Societal rules were much more stringent, esp. among the upper classes. It was one way the maintained their air of privilege. It all seems ridiculous to us now, but the aristocracy took these things very seriously.

Lady Elinor's EscapeIn general, a young lady could not be out in society unless she had been presented at court and made her bow to the Queen. In my Regency romance, Lady Elinor’s Escape, Lady Elinor is hiding out in a dress shop, pretending to be a seamstress, which means she could not also be out in society. But we writers find ways around details like that. The one ball scene in the book is a masquerade ball she attends only because the shop owner retrieved a discarded invitation from the trash. As long as Elinor leaves before the unmasking at midnight, she feels the risk is worth it.

In writing, like Regency society, it’s best to know the rules before you (or your characters) break them.

So too much research or too little? I’m enough of a history freak to prefer too much research showing to wondering if the author did any at all. What do you think?

Linda McLaughlin
aka Lyndi Lamont
http://lindalyndi.com

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