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FIVE TIPS THAT TO SHARPEN YOUR WRITING

February 8, 2016 by in category Guest Posts, Spotlight tagged as , , ,

I never give writing tips. I figure everyone has his own personal style. Plus some people are just naturally good. But I do think there are a few things authors can do to sharpen their work. Here are some of the things I think about when I am writing a novel.

1. Start with a hook. Make your first sentence or at least your first paragraph compelling. Make the reader want to read the book! In INTO THE FURY, my newest Romantic Suspense, the first sentence reads,

SINNERS, SLUTS, and WHORES–BEWARE. Your TIME is at HAND. Standing next to the long mahogany table in the conference room, Ethan Brodie re-read the note he’d just been handed.
Everyone who sees this paragraph recognizes the threat in that note. Someone–probably a woman–could be in grave peril.

With any luck, this opening will intrigue the reader enough to keep reading.

2. Enter late and leave early. In the above example, we’re starting in the middle of the scene. We’re not in the conference room waiting for Ethan to show up. We aren’t there until after he receives the note. From there we start charging forward, finding out what’s going to happen next. Just remember the reader isn’t interested in “Hi, how are you?” “I’m fine, and you?”

At the end of the scene, get out.

3. Make sure there’s conflict in every scene. This doesn’t necessarily mean violent conflict. It can be man against nature, man against man, man against himself, anything that makes the reader interested in continuing.

In my example, the conflict in the opening scene of INTO THE FURY is mostly Ethan’s battle with himself. He doesn’t want to take a job bodyguarding what he thinks will be a bunch of air-headed models. He’s had too much woman trouble lately, but it’s a good job that pays well. They need his skills and so he decides to take it.

4. Stay in the active voice whenever possible. Try not to use the word was too many times. Here’s an example. A rumble of thunder in the sullen gray sky blotted the reverend’s next words. I could have written, The sound of thunder could be heard in the distance. The sky was a sullen gray. That’s passive voice. It’s important to stay active.

Personally, I have to work at this. I often go back and change from passive to active after I write the first draft.

5. Write characters that grow and change. Writing a character arc, it’s called. It means your characters learn something or do something that changes them. During the time Ethan is working with the La Belle lingerie models, he learns how difficult their job is. He comes to admire their work ethic and their brains.

It changes some of his thinking about the female sex and helps him realize the kind of woman he really wants in his life.

There are lots of great tips to writing. The five above I learned from studying very successful authors. Dean Koontz has a wonderful book called Learning To Write, but its out of print and hard to find.

All the authors I’ve studied, all the books by other authors that I’ve enjoyed through the years, have helped me immeasurably. I hope these tips will help you, too.

Best of luck with your writing and all good wishes for a terrific 2016.

 Warmest,
 Kat

New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. She is married to L.J. Martin, author of western, non-fiction, and suspense novels.

Kat has written more than sixty-five novels. Sixteen million copies of her books are in print and she has been published in twenty foreign countries, including Japan, France, Germany, Argentina, Greece, China, Russia, and Spain.
Born in Bakersfield, California, Kat currently resides in Missoula, Montana, on a small ranch in the beautiful Sapphire mountains.

Her last 10 books have hit the prestigious New York Times bestseller list. AGAINST THE WILD, AGAINST THE SKY, and AGAINST THE TIDE her latest release, took top ten spots. Visti Kat at the following:

WEBSITE


VIDEO
PURCHASE LINKS

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TRAVELING FOR RESEARCH

January 27, 2016 by in category Guest Posts, Spotlight tagged as , , , , ,

I’ve always loved to travel. I’m fortunate to have married a man who enjoys it as much as I do…or maybe being adventurous was an unspoken quality I was looking for in a man.

Since I live in rural Montana, a twenty five miles to the nearest movie theater–I especially love going to the city.

INTO THE FURY is set in Seattle. When ten of La Belle lingerie’s most beautiful models receive death threats, its bodyguard Ethan’s Brodie’s job to protect them. Ethan goes toe to toe with bombshell blonde, Valentine Hart, in a fast-paced novel of action, adventure, and steamy romance.

I knew the story I wanted to tell, but I needed a starting point. From where we live, Seattle is the closest place I can go to get my “city fix.” Plus it’s a gorgeous place to visit, surrounded by the ocean and dozens of interesting islands, wonderful restaurants and great hotels.

Since Nick Brodie, my hero in AGAINST THE SKY, had moved to Seattle at the end of the book to get married and take a job with Brodie Operations Security Services, I decided to set my next three books there.

Ian Brodie owns the company the guys call BOSS, Inc. Nick’s cousins Ethan and Luke also work there, an office just chock full of hunky guys.

One of the things that made Seattle ideal for the trilogy was the interesting diversity of the people who live there, which also means different sorts of crimes.

I knew the area, since we go there often. I was able to use hotels we had stayed in and restaurants like the gorgeous El Gaucho, where we’ve dined and is very romantic.

Along with the trips to Seattle, I researched the criminal activity in the area and also used Google Earth to refresh my memory or help with locations I was less familiar with. Traveling for research can bring excitement, adventure, or just simple insight into a place different from where you live.

INTO THE FURY hit bookshelves on January 26, 2016 and is available in all e-book formats.

I hope you’ll watch for INTO THE FURY and that you enjoy it. Next up, INTO THE WHIRLIND out May 31, followed by INTO THE FIRESTROM.

Till then, all best and happy reading.

 Warmest, Kat

New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. She is married to L.J. Martin, author of western, non-fiction, and suspense novels.

Kat has written more than sixty-five novels. Sixteen million copies of her books are in print and she has been published in twenty foreign countries, including Japan, France, Germany, Argentina, Greece, China, Russia, and Spain.

Born in Bakersfield, California, Kat currently resides in Missoula, Montana, on a small ranch in the beautiful Sapphire mountains.

Her last 10 books have hit the prestigious New York Times bestseller list. AGAINST THE WILD, AGAINST THE SKY, and AGAINST THE TIDE her latest release, took top ten spots.

Visit Kat’s website at www.katmartin.com

Or look for her on Facebook at Katmartin/author.

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