Tag Archives: Romance Writer

Writing Tips: Lovers

16 Jun

Writing Tips: Lovers

Read my latest interview by clicking here. I talk about fellow Indie authors who’ve inspired me, Take Me Tomorrow, and so much more!

The protagonist lover characters seem to follow these molds:

  • Gorgeous, mysterious, heart-striken male who cannot communicate his feelings until death is threatening separation, because of some past that has caused him to reject relationships in any form until he falls in love.
  • Stunningly pretty female who doesn’t seem to realize she’s beautiful, therefore causing her to be more desirable despite having no capabilities in regards to physical strength or mental strength. The only appealing part of them is their love and how they can support the male with their love.  

So I wanted to share three basic tips to deepening characters within their relationships, but the basic rule I follow is to show why they are uniquely beautiful in the inside and out to the narrator and to the reader. Let the “beautiful people” stand on their own beauty, let them define what “beauty” means to them, and create a beauty that is 3-D, that is rounded and deeply set inside of the characters’ hearts. This includes their unique features, gestures, speech, and more, but here are three examples:

1. Scars, injuries, birthmarks: 

Physical descriptions can, in fact, have a rounding out effect on a character, but these descriptions go beyond “brown hair and blue eyes.” For any character, scars and birthmarks can show a history written on their skin, but you can show this as an intimate thing between lovers. Maybe a lover is the only who has seen a scar or maybe everyone has seen it but the lover is the only one who knows the true story behind it. These little marks of history can be very telling. Someone may have beautiful eyes, but that time they fell out of a tree and broke their arm trying to save a cat tells about how caring they are of animals and others’ lives. It might even insinuate how they have a lack of fear of heights (or, perhaps, explain why they now do.)

Ex/ In November Snow, Daniel has a huge scar on his back, but no one knows what it is from until much later in the story. Serena isn’t the first to see it, but her curiosity about it showed a deeper concern for his past and health than other characters expressed toward him.

This reminded of Eric and Jessica from The Timely Death Trilogy.

This reminded of Eric and Jessica from The Timely Death Trilogy.

2. Gestures:

How do your loved ones show they love you? Think of the small things–the daily “How are you” can make all the difference. Maybe, in a time of danger, a lover would place a hand on the other to remind them they are present. It’s small, yet it tells so much. It says, “I am here. I am listening, and I’m aware that you are, too. I am here for you.” There is an endless streak of gestures – big and small – that people do to show how much they care, and gestures are a great way to define emotions in a relationship between people.

Ex/ In Seconds Before Sunrise, Eric automatically makes Jessica tea without asking her if she wants some or if she likes it. He already knows she does, but a part of him does this without even thinking about it because it comes naturally to him.

 3. Speech: 

Choose their conversations carefully. It seems to me, in young-adult especially, the characters are undyingly in love, yet they never have a conversation about their feelings, insecurities, and/or questions. They never ask the other what the other is thinking. I’m not saying that your characters necessarily have to do this literally. (Ex/ “Do you love me?”) I get it. There is normally a sense of tension in novels, so discussing love is removed for many reasons, so you don’t have to have a discussion about love, but let the lovers have deeper conversations. (Ex/ life, hobbies, past memories, etc.) Most characters – like people – will talk out loud, and choosing what characters discuss can define relationships early on – it may even define their relationship before they even realize they have one.

Ex/ In Minutes Before Sunset, in their human identities, Eric talks to Jessica without even realizing he is opening up about topics he doesn’t discuss with other people. He doesn’t act like it’s a big deal, but Jessica isn’t sure what to say because she realizes he doesn’t talk about it. On the contrast, Jessica tells Eric how she doesn’t like opening up to people. Ironically, admitting that to him was her way of opening up. She doesn’t admit this to anyone else. But in their shade identities, they both open up fairly quickly. Going back and forth between the two identities, their discussions become the main growing aspect of their relationship.

These are only three places to start, but there are endless possibilities to round out characters and their relationships with one another (lovers or not.) A great question for aspiring writers to contemplate is who their favorite book relationship included and why. Write down a list and figure out how to incorporate unique ways into your own stories.

How do you round out relationships? Who are your favorite lovers? Why? And if you’re feeling extra open, have you ever used real life inspiration for a fictional character’s love interest?

~SAT

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Writing Tips: Setting Rules

14 Aug

Website Update: Shannon A. Thompson went over 8,500 followers! Thank you for your support. 😀

Yesterday I was very flattered to be featured on Read to Write Stories, a fantastic and detailed blog written by reader and writer, Michaell Noll. I definitely recommend his blog if you’re a writer looking for new ways to enhance your passionate skill. What he does is very focused: he reads a novel and then creates a writing prompt, along with guidelines to understanding a concept of writing, that goes along with said novel. If you haven’t read the post he did yesterday it was How to Set the Rules Your Characters Must Live By, and it discussed Minutes Before Sunset, particularly the first few chapters and how they affect the rest of the storyline. Here is the writing prompt he came up with:

“Let’s practice setting the rules, using Minutes Before Sunset as a model:

  1. Choose a character and a world for that character to inhabit.
  2. Define the world with a single adjective: happy, sad, fearful, proud, bored, etc.
  3. Free write about that adjective. Your goal is to find an image of the world or the people in it that demonstrates the adjective, if possible without actually stating it. The image will set the rules for the world. Future descriptions of the world should adhere to this early image in some way. So, in Minutes Before Sunset, the town’s denial of the supernatural elements in its midst is suggested by the fact that it calls a hill a mountain. In Gone in 60 Seconds, the stovetop burns out of control to suggest Kip’s lack of control.
  4. Now, free write about the character. How does he/she feel about the image you just created? Try to find an action that suggests the character’s attitude toward the world. For instance, in The Hunger Games, the fact that Katniss sneaks through the fence in order to hunt suggests that she’s willing to break the rules to protect her family. Thus, the big event at the end of the first chapter—volunteering for the Games in place of her sister—feels like a natural extension of her character, of the attitude that we’ve already witnessed.”

Rule 4 blew me away. I loved it, because it pushes the prompt that much further–and all of his prompts go this way. Seriously. Check him out if you’re looking for a new set of writing challenges. His Facebook page can be found here.

In other news:1002590_561096383937547_640499946_n

My day was made the other day when reader, Tyler Gravenstein, sent me a picture of him with Minutes Before Sunset. I love seeing readers interacting with any books, let alone mine–and it’s the new version!  I’ve given away a lot of free ebooks this week to interested readers, and I wanted to take a moment to thank all of them! If you’re interested in doing a review and appearing on my sites, I can supply you with one as well. Which brings me to some very important people:

Nita Bee’s Buzzin Books:  

A lover of books and poetry, Nita took a moment to interview me. She was wonderful, and I was delighted to be able to answer her questions and discuss the future. Plus, I always LOVE fellow readers. Here’s an excerpt of her detailed questions:

“Did you put a lot of time into thinking about this book or was it something ready to go in your head?
The second book was written first. It came easily, but, as I was writing it, I realized I needed a book before to set up the world Eric and Jessica lived in. I planned the entire first book, wrote that, and the third book came to me as I edited the second. I think most of my novels come to me easily, but the little details have to be obsessed over for a number of weeks before I feel comfortable enough writing the books down. ”

Kierney Scott (Romance Writer)

Author of Twice in a Lifetime, I was delighted when our interview stretched beyond my novels and allowed readers to see more personal details of my life. For instance, she asks me what was the most romantic thing anyone has done for you and what my favorite meal is. This was fun, because I don’t normally get to answer these things about myself, but here’s an interesting excerpt that revolved around Jessica in Minutes Before Sunset:

“Describe your heroine in five words. Determined. Stubborn. Loving. Learning. Conflicted.

In what way is she most like you? Jessica accepts people for who they are, even if she may not see herself that way. She doesn’t really judge, but it can also lead to conflicting  emotions about people.

In what way is she different? She’s very defensive and has a few moments where she steps over the necessary attitude line.”

Please check these lovely ladies out as well as Michael Noll. There is an entire world filled with talented people out there, and I’m excited to get to know them while also sharing them with everyone else.

Have a great day,

~SAT

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