Tuesday, April 28, 2009

With Love, from Ms. Blush

Hello to you all wonderful, beautiful people!

In the past 4 weeks of April, we have brought you topics on logic and how to feature it in your story. From archetypes leading to inherent logic, to practical application of logic in your works, the posse at Royal Blush has been working on many fronts.

But, we have only started to scrape at what logic means and implies in a story.

Catch us in May as we bring you more in-depth tips and know-how where logic is concerned. Characterization, world-building, set-up, plot arc, character fulfilment and realization... We have all this and more on the agenda for you.

Starting May 4, the second wave of logic will be rolling at the blog of the Royal Blush Authors. Don't miss it!

For this week, well, let's just say we're giving you all a little break to assimilate and ponder all we've bombarded you with so far! The posse will also take a much-needed breather to come back even more refreshed and raring to go!

Our quest for logic is not over, far from it!

The best of us for the best of you, that's our promise as we deliver the full flush of romance.

From now till later, enjoy!

With love, from Ms. Blush

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Acting up

I remember when I was a teenager and I needed something, I'd got to my dad and ask. Well, what do you expect? Teenagers do live on daddy's money, innit? Well, I asked, and I got it.
Today, I am what is known as a housewife. I work part-time and am pretty much financially independent, but that doesn't cover every purchase I need to make. Like that new, bigger oven I've been wanting. So, I go the the husband and ask, and I usually get what I want.

You might think I'm a man-manipulator. To a certain extent, that's true. You need to know how to tackle/handle situations. With my dad, the big-eyes-like-Puss-in-Boots-from-Shrek2 worked wonders. Not so with the hubby - a logical explanation and a clear balance sheet would most probably win me my endeavour. On my boys, a glare generally works.

So what am I getting at? In dealing with these 3 types of men, I am the same woman, the same character in the story of my life, but I show/use/display different facets with every one of them. I know what 'logically' works on every one of them to get me my goal.

Every life is a story in itself, and every person is the actor acting his/her part out. True - you may not always know the scenario and it's almost always improvisation. But even in improvisation, you need logic. This is no different from any story you're writing, even though you as the writer should, logically, know the scenario of your story and how your chaarcters/actors are supposed to play their parts.

So what is logical and what's not where emotions are concerned? T.J. mentioned the aspect pertaining to archetypes, and how each archetype is logically expected to act in a situation. My answer to the above question is -

There is no better way to get this right than by knowing your characters.

I stress the plural on the word - knowing your main character, the heroine, is good - you know how she will act. Fine. But acting is not a one-way street, and it is always an interpersonal interaction. You act in relation to other people too. Know those other people as well as you know your heroine.
Let's take, again, the Nurturer. Thus, when she will take on the stoic banker, she will be professional, not an insipid, crying and bailing-her-heart-out wimpy creature even if that's how she feels inside because she isn't used to tackling hard situations as she always "fixes". When she takes on the tough-as-nails, cynical hero, she won't be commanding that he do this and he do that. She'll work him through emotion, through an indirect approach that will slowly work a way into his heart, because she fixes broken things and the best approach to do that is through patience and little gestures (these are aspects/characteristics tied to a Nurturer archetype).

You can also work through preconceptions, stereotypes and the like as the starting point of your 'logical' approach. If you say (like my good gal pal and I discussed not too long ago *wink at her*) that 'all men have their mind in the gutter', know how much of your hero's mind is actually in said gutter. But this approach is tricky - you can easily fall into the trap of surface logic and cardboard-cutout-character-logic in this case.

Goodness, I really am clear as mud today, aren't I? And, in case you're wondering, I'm still pleading my case to get that new oven.

Any questions, feel free to holler!

Aasiyah Qamar - Cultural Romantic Fiction, With a Twist
Coming out October 2 - Light My World - Eirelander Publishing
Nolwynn Ardennes - the Promise of Fulfilment
Coming out in early 2010 - Storms in a Shot Glass - Eirelander Publishing

Aasiyah Qamar/Nolwynn Ardennes - Romance the world over

And in this corner....!


Oh dear.

It's no secret, at least to my editors and crit group, that I have a problem with logical progression. It's not that I'll suddenly be on a boat when I should be in the living room of a Victorian home, but moving from one flow to another sometimes my mind sees it in what I've written, and no else does.

That's not a bad thing.

It makes me think. Causes me to have a deeper vision, a stronger picture to deliver in the telling of the story. I have to ask myself more questions, make more finite details, in less or more words or just write what I really meant to say. Sometimes I write too fast, or get too engrossed in my characters and dialogue to fill in the necessities. That's not a problem either. I mean, it's all fixable.

This post isn't about getting it right or getting it perfect as you write, or the magic elixir to give you that perfection. It's a personal look at a single person's writing style. And it's a very strong argument for needing a reading partner to go over your work to find those moments that are SO clear in your own mind, but make them go "huh?"

Because that's perfectly okay.

No one writes a perfect first draft. Even Nora Roberts has admitted that everyone needs editors. Logic is one of those points where I know I need someone else to read for me, to tell me when I've left out a singular (and likely clarifying as a microscope) narrative or transition because it's clear as mud to everyone but me.

So in truth, logic and I have a truce. We stay in our adjacent corners and I only get beat up as necessary, because believe me, we'll probably never be friends.

And I'm okay with that. I'd much rather have a tough crit or edit, than a string of rejections because of logic. It's an easy fix because no one knows the story better than the person who wrote it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Archetypes, logic and emotional drive - oh my!

The past two months we spent a lot of time on archetypes. What are they and how do they apply to a story. Simply put, the archetypes give you a general set of guidelines for your characters.

If a Nurturer shows up in the middle of a battle, she’s not likely to take up a gun and start shooting. No, she’s more likely to hurry to the injured and comfort them. This in no way makes her a beta character. Her strength isn’t in her ability to fight; it’s her caring that makes her real. Nurturers by nature are ‘fixers’.
In fact, the Nurturer is the polar opposite of the Warrior. It’s why you see them coupled so much. One is the knight in shining armor that will maim or kill anybody who gets in the way of his duty whereas the other is the one who will clean up his mess.

Archetypes are important.

The emotional drive of the archetype is equally important.

Your characters should have ‘real to life’ emotions. That’s never been argued. They should shout when it’s appropriate and turn docile when the time comes to quiet down. Remember, draw your characters in a three dimensional way, it makes this easier. Also, try to understand your character’s motivations.

The one thing I see trip new authors up is putting logic to the emotional drive. That happens to everybody from time to time. The logic of emotions is progressive unless you have a spout off character who rules the world. This progression should fit the archetype.

A general example –

A Nurturer is thrown into the middle of a battle. Her emotional drive would most likely start at ‘horror’, ‘surprise’ or ‘fear’ (remember, she’s not a tom boy who will pick up the closest weapon or a boss who will begin spouting orders. She’s a fixer.) She’ll *probably* assess the situation quickly, and then get to work.

Throughout that scene, you can almost see how she will act. She won’t smile (one of my biggest pet-peeves is characters who smile when the situation doesn’t call for it). She might give off a horrified laugh. But inevitably, she’ll get the job done—her job. And, she’ll do so with the logical progression of emotions.

You can follow this method with any archetype, even blended ones. The trick here is when you blend write down when a certain aspect of their coupled archetype comes forward. Keep this in mind, at a plot point the main archetype always shines through.

Do you think this is really as important as I do? Do you think your reader will even care? Let me know.

Until next time, cheers and happy writing,


Monday, April 20, 2009

With Love, from Ms. Blush

Hello to you all wonderful, beautiful people!

Once again, we're taking a closer look at logic. Last week we broached the overall arc of sense and sensibility. T.J. and Z(Aasiyah/Nolwynn) both went over the need for logic in the story, most precisely where the myths and the conventions of the genre is concerned.

This week, we're concerned more with sensibility. Yup, how sensible are you characters? How do they react? And more importatnt, how should they act?

Catch T.J. on Tuesday as she tells us more about the emotional logic behind your archetype. Yes, there is sense in there - catch her post and you'll see it.

On Thursday, Z will again bring her take on the matter. What is logical and what's not where emotions are concerned?

And, don't miss this one, for you're bound to be lol after reading it. Diana Castilleja is penning her opinion for us on Wednesday, on the topic of Logic. But, heck, logic and she are not acquainted! So how does the writer in her do it then?

Don't forget: This April, we're delving deep into the recesses of the true writing craft.

This April, we're on the quest:

Searching for the logic that actually makes sense...

The best of us for the best of you, that's our promise as we deliver the full flush of romance.

From now till later, enjoy!

With love, from Ms. Blush

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The good host and the perfect guest

I have recently been taken in by a show on satellite TV here, on French channel M6. The show is called Un diner presque parfait, which translates to, A near perfect dinner. It runs for 5 days every week, in one specific region of France every week. 5 strangers, decided by the production crew, meet and invite each other for dinner every day. Each contestant is then judged by the remaining 4 guests on the food, the table decoration, and the ambiance of the dinner. The one with the highest average, wins.

Nothing complicated there, true. But what I like watching is the score sheets. Was the food actually related to what the menu proclaimed? Was there a theme to the food from appetizer, entree, main course and dessert? Was the theme respected in the decoration/layout of the table? Was the ambiance too in accordance with the theme? Did the host manage to wing it all together?

What my point, you may ask? Well, every story you write is akin to this near perfect dinner, and your readers are the numerous guests coming to sample your brand as a host.

T.J. stated on Tuesday that you need logic behind our mythology. What happens is that logic is primordial for paranormal mythology because you are stating about something that doesn't exactly exist and which needs to be conveyed to the reader. The same happens for fantasy (think Tolkien's world, setup, hierarchy) or urban fantasy (think Underworld, how the vamps and weres now exist in the world as we currently know it).

But, a big but here, is that logic doesn't simply apply to a world you are creating from scratch. Logic applies to every world you put across in your story.

Say for example, I am writing about present day London. London is vast, and the area of Walthamstow with it popular markets is very different from the classy areas of Belgravia or Hampstead Heath. How does logic play here? Well, the 'normal', everyday person goes grocery shopping, right? Asda, Tesco's - these are the common shops everyone goes to. But, an upscale snob will not go there. More like Harrod's for their shopping, even the basic stuff. So if you are writing about a modern day London snob who lives in Belgravia or Knightsbridge going out to pop into the nearby Asda that's just around the corner from the hottest spot of the area... Bleep!! That is not logical! A snob doesn't mingle with the commoners, and wouldn't be caught dead in a commoner's shop! Not to mention that such commoner's shops wouldn't be found in such areas normally.

Another example - you are writing a Regency historical. Your heroine is making her debut this Season, and the rogue hero has his eye on her from the minute she appears at her first ball. A waltz comes in, and he sweeps her into his arms and they twirl across the floor-- Bleep!! Wait a second, sugar. You don't dance a waltz so easily in Regency times, especially as a debutante. You need society's approval first, the voucher for Almack, and the old crones' permission to waltz, before you go waltzing. The easiest way to fall from grace would be to dance the waltz before getting this approval.
Here, the logic of the time applies. What makes sense to us today need not apply to a different era.

Now, back to out near-perfect dinner comparison. You write about either of the two scenarios above, and your 'guests' bring out the score cards (reviews, sales figures, word of mouth). You will not be in line with your theme in the Regency setting, the same kind of faux-pas of presenting red wine with fish and, on top, the red wine is chilled! With the London scenario, you strike the faux pas of your theme about, say, the richness of summer, but your table, with its red, green and white colors, striking as a festive table for Christmas.

Your genre is your theme, and from this theme, you present the dishes (your plot and story), the decoration (your setup, setting, your era's logic, your mythology), and your ambiance (your distinctive voice to bring it all together). Think logically around your theme, and it should all fall into place.

Any question, feel free to holler!

Aasiyah Qamar - Cultural Romantic Fiction, With a Twist
Coming out October 2 - Light My World - Eirelander Publishing
Nolwynn Ardennes - the Promise of Fulfilment
Coming out in early 2010 - Storms in a Shot Glass - Eirelander Publishing

Aasiyah Qamar/Nolwynn Ardennes - Romance the world over

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Ever read a paranormal story that left you scratching your head because you’ve been left been left with so many questions. It’s not an uncommon problem, but one that can be easily handled. The author just needs to plant their mythology.

Mythology, whether it is the accepted form or of the author’s creation, must in some way, shape or form, be delivered to the reader. There are a few things it should include.
Who – who is the paranormal and how did they become that way.
What – Are they night loving vampires or baying at the full moon werewolves – this relates to the rules of the paranormal. All paranormal characters should have rules and at least one weakness, otherwise they are lawless, too super superheroes.
Where – the mythology is always attached to the world in which the paranormal is living.
When – Are they new to this or not. Where are they at in their development of powers and in respect to the powers-that-be.
Why – Why pulls it all together. Almost always, it relates to why the character is in the story. Are they an unfortunate soul who just got their freak on with a vamp and wound up undead? Has the character been charged with a duty, such as protecting the counterpart? I’ve always found it easiest to attach the paranormal’s GMC to the plot.

None of these points need to be over explained, but it does need to show up in the story. If it doesn’t, then how does the reader understand the basics of your paranormal character?

Have a great week and until next time, cheers and happy writing,

Now available, Torrid Teasers #57 from Whiskey Creek Press Torrid
Coming soon, Master and Commander’s Prey from Eirelander Publishing

Monday, April 13, 2009

With Love, from Ms. Blush

Hello to you all wonderful, beautiful people!

Sense and sensibility... No, not the Jane Austen version, though as writers we do need sense tempered by a good deal of sensibility.

We're almost at the mid-point of April and we're still on the road path of logic.

So how does sense and sensibility play in? Sense, well, logical - you need a good deal of sense to be able to convey logic. Sensibility? Well, every writer is unique, and the person at the heart of this writer brings to the fore his/her characteristics, inherently, their sensibilities.

Catch us this week as we bring you further takes on logic from the perspective of sense and sensibility.

T.J. on Tuesday will tell us more about the myth of the paranormals, how logic plays in there and why your mythology should inherently be driven by logic.

Aasiyah/Nolwynn expands on the same subject, delving into logic and the 'myths' in the historical and also the contemporary genres.

This April, we're delving deep into the recesses of the true writing craft.

This April, we're on the quest:

Searching for the logic that actually makes sense...

The best of us for the best of you, that's our promise as we deliver the full flush of romance.

From now till later, enjoy!

With love, from Ms. Blush

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Get to the point

What writer hasn't dreaded 'the pitch'?

What writer hasn't obsessed over the need to have a succint description of their story in a nutshell to present to a potential editor?

Say you meet your dream editor in an elevator and he/she tells you, What's your plot? You start to go, my story is about this girl who gets divorced and then she comes back home and realises life has changed and then she decides she must put up with it and-- Ding!!

The elevator door opens and out glides your editor. Unless you got stuck between floors for at least an hour would you have been able to lay out all your story is about.

That's too true, you think? Actually yes. And unfortunately for the editors, and to a great measure the writers too, we miss a lot of good stories this way, because the writer wasn't able to grab our attention.

I've been there before, even if it wasn't in an elevator. As Lady T.J. already pointed out, I've known the barb of, And your point would be? What's your plot, girl?

What many of us do not realise is that editors know their job, or at least, a good editor should know his/her job. This implies that a brief description in the appropriate language/words will convey more than a drawn-out monologue will ever convey in this circle.

Take the story I just started outlining up above. A divorcee comes back home and realises society views her in a new light. Amidst all this chaos, she meets the man she had loved and given up on in the past, because she hadn't had it in her to pursue this 'impossible' relation in her youth.

That pitch would take at least 2 minutes to convey, and that is way more than the average elevator trip, unless you're on a ride to the top floor of the Empire State Building.

Now, I meet an editor and I go - the plot is about Maturation in the setup of Man V/s Society/Nature/Man with underlying hints of Forbidden Love.

This might not make sense to you. How the heck did that explain your plot or the uniqueness of your story?

Believe me, to an editor, you just exposed the very uniqueness of your plot, because you related it to the basic framework that is predominant in the publishing world. This tickles the editor, because this description tells him/her what you have done and he/she can relate it immediately to what's already been done.

Take a moment to study the basic plots and the master plots. Like Lady T.J. already said, they are going to be your road map, and through this road map, however silly/overstretched/far-fetched your story, laying it down within the framework of the basic and master plots will mean you never lose the way and what you write will ultimately make sense.

I give you another analogy, that of the medical world. You bring someone to ER and the paramedic says to the resident- this man was brought in with shortness of breath, near paralysis on the right side, excessive sweating, erratic heartbeat, difficulty to articualte resulting in slurring speech. By this time, the pateint may already be dead. Why do you think the paramedic goes, man of fifty, possibility of a massive stroke to have occureed within the past hour? The resident knows what a stroke entails, and he knows what to do with this description.

Same goes for your editor. Be brief, succint, and know your jargon - in other words, know your plots. Your words will only speak louder and your writing path for a story will only be clearer.

Any question, feel free to holler!

Aasiyah Qamar - Cultural Romantic Fiction, With a Twist
Coming out October 2 - Light My World - Eirelander Publishing
Nolwynn Ardennes - the Promise of Fulfilment
Coming out in early 2010 - Storms in a Shot Glass - Eirelander Publishing

Aasiyah Qamar/Nolwynn Ardennes - Romance the world over

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Holy cannelloni, Batman, it's a plot.

Last week, Lady Aasiyah and I went over two methods for creating a story. One was basic formula and the other was p...p...plotting. Notice, I stutter when I say that word. Not because I have any problem with plotting, but more because as most writers who have met me know, I expect them to know what their plot is.

Many of them start into this rambling explanation of the story. Then they get the good old wallop from me – what is your plot? Tell me, in one sentence, what's the plot. I normally get asked – you mean my tagline?

No, what is your plot.


As an editor, I find a plotless story a big disappointment. I also understand that most authors have never been taught that a strong plot can rescue a story.

There are seven basic plots.

1.Man vs. Man
2.Man vs. Nature
3.Man vs. Situation
4.Man vs. Himself
5.Man vs. Destiny
6.Man vs. God
7.Man vs. Machine

There are twenty Master Plots.

01. Quest
02. Adventure
03. Pursuit
04. Rescue
05. Escape
06. Revenge
07. The Riddle
08. Rivalry
09. Underdog
10. Temptation
11. Metamorphosis
12. Transformation
13. Maturation
14. Love
15. Forbidden Love
16. Sacrifice
17. Discovery
18. Wretched Existence
19. Ascension
20. Descension
It's easiest to explain a plot as it is the path your story follows. If the plot makes no sense, then the story won't make sense either. If you take your building blocks or your plot points and follow the map of a specific plot, you aren't likely to lose the logic of the story.

An example is -

You are writing a Quest. Tolkien is the King of the Quest, and his formula is followed in at least a basic form to this day.
One character (the martyr) starts the quest. He/she is given a mission which involves him starting at one place and fulfilling a mission in another. Quests are rarely one character stories. He'll start with partners who are as invested in fulfilling his mission or meet them along the way.

From place to place, the martyr grows. The readers sympathize with him because he's always placed in incredible situations. Remember, he must mature, as will the ensemble in some way, as the story progresses.

He goes through the quest until he reaches his destination – end of story.

Makes sense, right?

The biggest thing to realize when you have a story that comes across as nonsensical is to know your plot. Tailor your road map to follow it in a logical progression.

Do you think the plot is that important? Or is it just a waste of mental energy to think on this? If someone gave you the opportunity to learn more about plots, would you be interested or shrug?

Can't wait to hear your answers.

Until next week, cheers and happy writing,


Now Available - Torrid Teasers #57 from Whiskey Creek Press Torrid
Coming Soon - Master and Commander's Prey from Eirelander Publishing

Monday, April 6, 2009

With Love, from Ms. Blush

Hello to you all wonderful, beautiful people!

As April slowly rolls by, we're still dealing our hand in the game of Logic!

No, we're not playing poker, though it sometimes feels like it when you're a writer and you are submitting, submitting, and submitting but not getting any nibble back.

The reason may be - you don't know your plot.

Plot is an important part of logic, and this is what we'll be focusing on this week.

Catch T.J. on Tuesday as she tells us what the plots are. Aasiyah/Nolwynn will extrapolate more with her own brand of rambling on Thursday.

This April, we're delving deep into the recesses of the true writing craft.

This April, we're on the quest:

Searching for the logic that actually makes sense...

The best of us for the best of you, that's our promise as we deliver the full flush of romance.

From now till later, enjoy!

With love, from Ms. Blush

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Take me to an HEA

Hey everyone!

Ready for a boring lesson that'll have you sleepy by the time you get to the third paragraph? Great, so let's get it rolling.

Following on T,J.'s post about the building block method, I'm gonna expand on another building method (which is often rightfully called plotting) that enables you to get a logic thread in your story and allows you to carry logic from the start to the finish line.

Now, I am what is called a compulsive and completely anal plotter, so this might make sense to plotters out there. Pansters, I'll try to be clear by using examples.

I usually follow the route gone by almost all romances. Start, middle, black moment, end.

Basically what does it mean? It's like a train with the wagons coming one behind the other.

Start - obvious - intro of character, plot, leading us into the story (don't worry, I'll have examples further down!)
Middle - where things and issues are being dealt with, in a romance, it's attraction, falling in love, confessing the love.
Black moment - well, where it all goes wrong and you dunno how a happy ending can come about now.
End - resolution of all issues and everything that brought about the black moment.

Let's take this one step further. I usually work with external and internal conflict in the start-middle part of a story, and the black moment usually stems from a mix of the two and what they brought to the story. The end/resolution goes back to internal conflict and what was the root of the black moment, easing it all to bring an HEA.

External conflict refers to whatever conflict in the plot that is external to the characters, that is out of their hands if you want. These are environmental factors, fate, that sort of thing. External conflict bring your characters together and gets the plot moving.

Internal conflict refers to what is inside your characters. Their mindset, prejudices, ideas, convictions, beliefs. Whatever is inherent to them that may hinder the progression to HEA. Internal conflict is usually the lead-in to the black moment. It then takes resolving these internal conflict issues to have the H/h together again for your HEA.

Allright, I've confused everyone now, so let me try to use an example. Or two. I'll pick the movie How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days and the book Pride and Prejudice. I suppose everyone is familiar with those.

Let's break those down in the external-internal-black moment-end format.

How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days, for short I'll write 'movie', ok?
The title says it all. You have heroine Kate Hudson and hero Matthew McConnaughey (for short, we'll use McYummy). She writes How-to articles for a women's mag, and must show how to lose a guy in 10 days. Writing this will mean she can move up the editorial ladder and write about more serious stuff than shoes and scarves.
He is fighting for an advert campaign, and has two absolute cold, heartless, biatches as rivals.

These two are your H/h, you need to bring them together, fall in love, throw in a wrench to break them up, and then make them end up together again. How do you do this?

You bring them together through external conflict. How did they do it? The 2 biatchy rivals come to the mag, where the editor tells them Kate is doing this article. She has to pick a guinea pig. Now, the rivals need to have McYummy out of the picture, so they bait him - a bet wins the contract: he'll have to date the girl of their choice and have her fall in love with him within 10 days. They want him to lose, so they sent him to Kate, who has been told she must 'lose' McYummy in 10 days.
Neither Kate nor McYummy had a hand in there, yet they're brought together and have to stick to it now (external to them). Both have different motives, But motives are part of characterization (prolly another post to come soon).

Now, middle of the movie. Kate has done all she could think of to lose McYummy (acting on the external conflict), but the guy is stickier than Power Glue. He always comes back. Then he takes her home to his parents' place, where Kate learns she's the first girl he's brought home (external conflcit is easing into internal conflict - the parameters are merging). Now, she knows she's 'playing' him, she needs her article, but the woman in her, not the reporter, is falling in love with him. She is deceiving him - that's the internal conflict! McYummy too has issues. He's falling for her, but it's all about a bet, and he has to win the contract, not the girl exactly. That's his internal conflict.

Both reason the other need not know and won't know once the article and the bet is over. Can you already hear 'bad move'?

Fast forward - he's won his bet and won the contract as Kate confesses she loves him to his boss and rivals. She's written her article and can now write 'serious' stuff. But then Kate learns it was all a bet, and when McYummy knows he's lost her, her boss tells him how she's done this fab job on a poor guinea pig for 10 days.

You know all hope is lost here! That's the black moment.

Yet, by the end credits, the 2 are together in an HEA. Turns out they worked out their issues and each explained where they were coming from. A bit simplistic, but it shows you how you get to the end,

Now, Pride and Prejudice. Less details here, but almost same plot progression.

Darcy and Lizzie meet at the ball - Lizzie's sister Jane is invited to Bingley's estate, she falls sick and Lizzie goes to see her, ending up spending the night - Darcy has time to kill and is thus in the area with his best friend - external conflict.

Middle of the book - Lizzie learns Darcy discouraged Bingley from proposing Jane. Her prejudice plays in then (internal conflict). Darcy thinks the girls are hunting for rich husbands (internal conflict). Enters the scene at Lady Catherine de Burgh's place - issue about Lizzie's advanced age, how Darcy is 'promised' to the lady's sickly daughter, and how the Bennets are so further down the class hierarchy, how could they even pretend they could land Darcy and Bingley?
Big fight then between Darcy and Lizzie - the black moment. They almost confess their love, it's palpable in the air, but both know they've crossed a line they shouldn't have crossed in the argument.

Resolution - when Lizzie's sister Lydia runs away with Wickham, Darcy is the one who restores the Bennet family's honour. Lizzie has to revise her judgement, and Darcy does too when he realises Jane loves Bingley and he shouldn't have told his best friend to stay away from her because she was a gold digger. Darcy proposes, Bingley proposes too, and Mrs Bennet ends up with 3 of her 5 daughters married off in the space of a few weeks.

See how the progression plays in all of them? It starts with a simple premise. You expand on it, thinking of the circumstances of the story, and you find your external conflict. Next, you bring your characters in the spotlight - internal conflict takes center stage. Then you get sadistic and break them up, only to play matchmaker again and being an HEA.

Clear as mud, right?

Any questions, just holler!

Aasiyah Qamar - Cultural romantic fiction, with a twist
With stories set amidst the rainbow nation of Mauritius, a multicultural island in the Southern Indian Ocean, author Aasiyah Qamar brings you tales of today's young women battling life on all fronts and finding love where they least expect it. Indo-Mauritian culture wants to stifle them in traditions, customs and antiquated morals while the world is opening its arms of modernity and globalisation. Where do these women belong? And more importantly, with whom? Find out more about her first release, The Other Side, here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Logical Action and Reactions

April is the month, we are focusing on logic. What can I say? I am one of the most illogical people you will ever meet. I have to be told when my characters actions, then their reactions don’t make sense.

Why is this you ask? Personally, I think it has to do with the wiring in my brain because I think what I write makes sense. Now, the question is can I undo this system? My answer is anything can be relearned, but it takes longer than if you had started with a clean slate.

I have learned (in most cases) to ask myself would I do this? If I would, then I ask what my reaction would be. Here is a simple example: Tommy knocked Jane into the muddy puddle. Jane started crying lifting her dirty wet skirt out of the mud. Now, this is Tommy’s action and Jane’s reaction.

To go a little farther if in my story Jane was a tomboy her reaction above would not fit the character. A tomboy would not cry she would be fighting mad. She might even attack Tommy and rub mud all over him.

Another scenario: Tommy pushes Jane onto the mucky ground, and Bobby sees him do it and rushes to her aid. Jane, the tomboy half-blinded by mud and water rises screaming, her fists swinging at Bobby. Here again this is logical for a tomboy because we know she can’t see the person coming to her aid.

Learning the logical aspects of writing is not any easier than the other elements we have to study. It’s all hard and takes time.

Thanks for joining me today.