Tag: A Slice of Orange

Home > ArchivesTag: A Slice of Orange

Welcome!

April 1, 2017 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley tagged as , , , ,

 

Welcome | A Slice of Orange

Welcome. Welcome. Welcome, to the all new A Slice of Orange.

Our new website is up, running, and ready for you to explore.

Boy, have we changed!

In addition to our lively and informative posts, we now have a Book Store featuring the titles of our authors and guests. We have a page dedicated to books On Sale (or free) and a New Release page. Our Events page features Contests for both published and unpublished authors, Conferences, Online Classes and workshops and Reader events.

If you are a long time reader of A Slice of Orange you will find your favorite writers, Jann Ryan, Tracy Reed, Linda O. Johnston, Kitty Bucholtz, Jina Bacarr, Rebecca Forster, Linda McLaughlin/Lyndi Lamont, Meriam Wilhelm, Isabel Swift, and Geralyn Corcillo still writing columns every month.

We are pleased to introduce several new bloggers to A Slice of Orange: H.O. Charles, Tari Lynn Jewett, Denise Colby, Sally Paradysz, Jenny Jensen, Robin Blakely, Veronica Jorge and partners Janet Lynn and Will Zeilinger.

On the last day of every month, we will feature The Extra Squeeze–four different perspectives on one topic. The team consists of Rebecca Forster, H.O. Charles, Jenny Jensen, and Robin Blakely. This month they will be tackling sensitivity editors. You can read this article from the Chicago Tribune now and then come back on April 30th to see what The Extra Squeeze thinks about the subject. You can also get in on the fun by asking questions or proposing topics you would like to see the team cover. Use The Extra Squeeze contact form to send them your ideas.

We’ve come a long way from 2006 and that small blog written by authors from Orange County, California. We now include not just California authors but with authors from the UK, all across the US to New Zealand–we nearly span the globe.  We hope you poke around, read some posts, buy some books.  Then, let us know how you like our new and improved version of A Slice of Orange.

Marianne H. Donley | A Slice of Orange

 

Marianne H. Donley

A Slice of Orange


5 0 Read more

Best Writing Tips for 2016 by Connie Vines

January 13, 2016 by in category Archives tagged as , , , ,

It’s a new year, a new novel, and a time revisit the basics.

As the commercial says, “Just Do it.”  Just write.

Read as much and as often as you can. Remember, every writer is a reader first.

Keep a journal or notebook handy to jot down your ideas. If you’ve got a smartphone, download a note-taking app. A voice-recording app also comes in handy for recording notes and ideas.

Make sure you have a dictionary and thesaurus available whenever you are writing.  Dictonary.com is also a great resource.

Be observant. People and activities will provide you with great inspiration for characters, plots, and themes.

The Chicago Manual of Style and The Elements of Style are a must for your book shelf.

Grammar: learn the rules and then learn how to break them effectively.

Stop procrastinating.

Read works by highly successful authors to learn what earns a loyal readership.

Join a writers’ group.

Create a space in your home especially for writing (I covered this topic in an earlier blog).

Proofread everything at least three times before submitting your work for publication.

Start a blog. Use it to talk about your own writing process, share your ideas and experiences, or publish your work to a reading audience.

Subscribe to writing blogs on the Internet. Read them, learn, share, and enjoy!

Let go of your inner editor. When you sit down to write a draft, refrain from proofreading until that draft is complete.

Make it your business to understand grammar and language.

You are a writer so own it and say it aloud: “I am a writer.”

Write, write, write, and then write some more.

Most importantly, love your craft and always, always fall in love with your heroes.

Wishing you a happy 2016,

Connie Vines

coming soon



0 0 Read more

Software Programs for Writers by Connie Vines

December 13, 2015 by in category Archives tagged as , , , , ,
I was reading my friend, Beverly Bateman’s, blog topic titled Writers Software Programs (Blogging with Beverly on Blog.spot) when I realized this  topic was of interest to me and most likely other novelists too.
I also began to wonder exactly how many programs I used when writing, plotting my novels, balancing the reading levels for my YA stories, etc.   I feel the content would be of interest to writer, readers, and those who man be looking for a program help them make it through the rigors of an AP, university level, or an extension class.

My go-to program is Power Structure purchased via Write-Brain.com.  Since I work in segments: Chapter 1 – 3, etc. rather than scene-by-scene or chapter-by-chapter, this program is adaptable to my thought process.  I am able to work in three Acts, Chapters, Scenes, or any structure model of preference.

Conflict, Subplot, plot point. You can also change almost any term used in Power Structure to suit your personal preference.  Long ago attended a class held at OCC using a writer’s workbook written by Chris Vogler, a Hollywood screen writer, who uses Joseph Campbell’s “A Hero’s Journey” as a plotting bible.  Since I have followed Joseph Campbell’s works and find the “A Hero’s Journey” the best way for me to write a story.

Beverly also mentioned Dramatica Pro.  Pricey, yes.  I believe for characterization, especially for detailed historical novels, or when writing a continuing series, this program was a good investment.

This program also allows you to work on levels for character development. If you so wish, you may print a StoryGuide at each stage of development.  This program also has a number of templates to choose from, e.g., screenplay, novel, short story.  Each comes with an appropriate number of archetypal characters already created, ensuring that each character has a clear dramatic function in the story.

A Plot Progression Window allows me to examine where to place a pivotal point.  There is also a Spin-the-Model Brainstorming option.  This helps when, heaven forbid, I have writer’s block–and much, much less painful than pounding my forehead on mt desk until my muse comes up with a plan.

On my iPad I have several program: My Writing (which I seldom open), A Novel Idea (where I have grains of thoughts/names of future novels) this takes the place of scribbles from my lip liner on discarded pieces of paper I’d find in the depths of my tote bag. I Do Notepad I Do Notepad Pro that I will use but it have a devil of a time retrieving what I have saved.

The Journal app is good for free-flowing thought/plotting etc.  and also for using as a writer’s journal.  You can create labels, change the font and even add a background picture.  This is where I many place the notes from my character interviews. 

Of course, every writer has his or her personal method of developing a story. 
If you have software programs that you cannot live without, please post a comment.  I’d love to hear the details!
Happy Writing,
Connie Vines

0 0 Read more

The Power of Emotion by Connie Vines

August 13, 2015 by in category Archives tagged as , , , , , , ,
e·mo·tion
əˈmōSH(ə)n/
noun
1.    a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.
“she was attempting to control her emotions”
synonyms:
·         instinctive or intuitive feeling as distinguished from reasoning or knowledge.
“responses have to be based on historical insight, not simply on emotion”
synonyms:
instinctintuition, gut feeling
Raw.  Naked.  Emotions.  As an author of romance/ romantic suspense novels, emotion is essential to my story line.  However, as a human being experiencing strong emotions can be overwhelming.  Moreover, often, in the case of fear and sorrow, very unwelcome.
The concept of (raw flesh) exposed from an extensive wound, exquisitely sensitive to the lightest touch, reminds me of my vulnerability and mortality.  
Naked emotion.
How do you deal with emotions in your story lines?
Do you color your story in pastels?  Bold charcoal strokes?  Or, perhaps bright slaps of color? 
Or do you favor dark, deep Gothic hues?
In my opinion, all successful/popular novels, no matter what genre, have one key element: emotion.  Emotion lies at the core of every character’s decision, action, reaction, and motivation.  All of which drive the story. A character’s personal journey does not exist without emotion—it would be pointless. The plot would be made up meaningless events that a reader would not invest any time to read.  Why?  Because above all else, the readers choose a novel to have an emotional experience.  Be it a wild roller coaster ride of pure terror in a horror novel; reliving the sweet courting experience of an inspirational romance; discovering a new unexplored, heart-pounding world of a sci-fi; the pleasure of solving a who-done-it; or, pure laughter and fun in a read-it-at one setting comedy—readers want to connect with your characters.  With this connection to characters, who provide entertainment and whose trials and experiences may, in turn, add meaning to their own life journeys.
We are emotional beings.  Feelings propel us. Drive us.  Define us. Moreover, while it may seem that most of those exchanges happen during conversation, studies show that 93% of all communication is nonverbal.  Even in instances where we try not to show our feelings, we are still telegraphing messages through body language.  Because of the, each of us is adept at reading others without a word being uttered.
                Readers have high expectations.  Long done are the long intros: “There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.  We had been wander, indeed, in the leafless shrubbery an hour in the morning; but since dinner (Mrs. Reed, when there was no company, dined early) the cold winter wind had brought with it clouds so somber, and a rain so penetrating”.  . . I am certain you recognize the first sentences of my favorite classic novel, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.  A delightful read, rich in detail and thick with emotion—but not a read easily consumed during a pause in a workday, or after getting toddlers off to bed.  Readers no longer wish to be told how a character feels; they want to experience the emotion for themselves.
                This leaves the writer with the challenge of ensuring that our characters express their emotions in ways that are both recognizable and compelling to read.  Personally, I find that less is more.  I am always aware of the pacing of my story.  Too many clues to describe a character’s feelings can dilute the reader’s emotion experience.  Backstory is only pepper in to allude to a ‘trigger’ emotion.  Example:  Marty, in the BACK TO THE FUTURE series of movies.  A cliché, but calling Marty ‘chicken’ worked every time—the viewer knew and expected ‘something’ to happen. Not that I have ever, I hope, have resorted to a cliché, but my characters have a ‘fatal flaw’.  I cannot divulge any that I have used because it would ruin the story lines.  Nevertheless, we all have our ‘trigger’ emotion.  If you have siblings, undoubtedly, you were tormented with it on numerous occasionally.  Our ‘characters’ may or may not recognize a personal trigger emotion.  This is writer’s preference in relationship to plot and character development.
                One emotion that I find fun to watch (in young children) and it easy to work into a YA story is amazement.  To a toddler everything is new and amazing.  The child’s eyes widen.  The child becomes suddenly still.  May suck in a quick breath/hand covering one’s mouth. Stiffening posture.  Rapid blinking followed by open staring.  Reaching out and touching or taking a step back. I am certain you could add to the list my recalling your personal experiences or observations.
                Now how would that young child feel, internally?  A heart would seem to freeze, the pound. Tingling skin. Adrenaline spikes. The mental reaction in the amazed person could be disorientation, momentarily forgetting all else, or wishing to share the experience with others.  Now say your character is a shy or too cool to give anything away.  How could this emotion be suppressed? Self-hugging, jerky, self-contained strides, Eyes widening a bit before control is asserted, mouth snapping shut.  The clues are always apparent. 
                I like to get to know my characters, savor my scenes, and always dig deeper for the right word. The right motivation.
                I enjoy the journey to discover my characters, their hopes and wishes.  I feel blessed to tell each one of their stories.  And I hope that my novels, in turn, bring hours of enjoyment into each of my readers’ lives.
                In closing, I would like to share a bit of my past.
                When my first YA sweet historical novel was published, I was honored at a Red Nations Powwow.  A tribal elder, Jacques Condor, told me I was being honored as a Storyteller.  He reminded me, always, to be humble, because it is the Story who chooses the Storyteller to bring it Life. 

                My Mandela hangs my living room wall, and my hand-tooled silver ring is worn to remind me of both my gift, and my duty.
                Thank you for taking the time to read my first post to OCC/RWA’s A Slice of Orange
Blog.  

Please stop by next month.  

              
                Connie Vines

Fall Release: BWL, Ltd.
Novella,
BWL, Ltd., current release

0 0 Read more

Copyright ©2017 A Slice of Orange. All Rights Reserved. ~PROUDLY POWERED BY WORDPRESS ~ CREATED BY ISHYOBOY.COM

>