Tuesday, January 17, 2017

3T Writing Tidbit

When to reveal?

This is one I struggle with. I've done other 3T Tidbits about it, but this is a different slant, brought about as, on this Tuesday in January 2016, I begin mapping out the opening to a new vampire UF/romance.

Here's the rule I've heard--reveal the THING (twist, secret, change of heart, whatever) as late as possible.

So I did. That led to vague nonsense, random bad feelings about blah-blah that I didn't actually explain until it was too late for the reader to care.

New directive: reveal the THING when it will do the most damage.

Or has the most impact, but I like the word damage. I think we remember damage longer than impact.

Example: Vampire UF/romance--as I'm envisioning it now, starts with a prologue from the point of view of Our Hero, an ancient vampire who's also FBI or NSA, not sure which yet, stationed in New York City. He's kneeling beside a bloodless body with two very obvious puncture marks on the throat. "This is the fifth one."

Now, I could leave it at that, and it might make a nice little mystery, but I'm going further. Our Hero says, "A vampire is murdering humans and wants the humans to know it. Wants to show vampires are real." "Why?" asks the sidekick. "My guess?" says Our Hero. "Incite panic."

So right away, I'm revealing the bad guy and his motive, because now it's not just a murder, its a vampire who's operating against the vampire Code of Masquerade, which I think raises the stakes.

Our Hero needs to go to Heroine's HomeTown (for Reasons), but because he's not part of the town's  Local Vampire Network, he needs an excuse. Enter Our Heroine, a HomeTown native living in New York (who does NOT want to go back to HomeTown). He says he has to go undercover and Our Heroine's homecoming (or class reunion) is the perfect excuse--he's going as her date.

At this point she knows something is off, but not what. He doesn't tell her, not that he's a vampire or that he's not part of the LVN and the locals are going to get miffed. She'll get vague vibes that things are off, but won't know what. I could have him reveal this stuff to her, but I think it'll be much more effective if he tells the truth after--you guessed it--he's started to care for her and will care about the lie hurting their relationship.

See how this works? Try imagining the THING revealed now. How much headache or heartache does it cause? Now imagine revealing the THING later on down the road. Is the damage worse? The same? Less? If the same or less, how much clarity does the story lose by revealing later?

Now you can decide the best place to put the reveal.

Published since 2009, over the years I've accumulated various items of writing wisdom. The Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit showcases these items in no particular order. Click here to see all 3T Tidbits.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

1T Status Update--Is it Summer Yet?

photo credit: Happy New Year! via photopin (license)
Happy New Year! Warm wishes for a prosperous 2017!

Here in the north, it's deep winter. I don't have Seasonal Affective Disorder but I do have a twitchy diminutive version of it.

Late October or early November, I usually put a pin in the calendar as the first day I CAN'T STAND THE DARK anymore. I know that I'll have to suffer from now until December 21 (shortest day) PLUS that number of days into February or March, before I can stop huddling and shivering, and can start to breathe again.
So to help me and those like me, here's a reminder that yes, summer is coming.

Ah, summer!

Looking ahead:
  • The box set Happily Ever Alpha is releasing next month. 
  • We'll have another grand HEA Facebook party soon. 
  • Preorder HEA for $0.99. 
  • Preorder iPad Mini giveaway here.
  • Night's Caress is in the hands of my Entangled editor. 
  • Now I get to pick what to work on next! So what should it be, Soul Mates, Night's Kiss, or something completely different? Email me if you have a preference :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

4T Olio

December is a month of holidays of all different sorts. As we wind down the month and the year (and wind up the sunshine in the north :) ), I hope everyone is finding peace and happiness in their lives.

My dear hubby just posted a meme saying "In 2017: My goal is not to be better than anyone else, but better than I used to be." Sounds like a good plan to me.

I was sorry to learn Carrie Fischer passed away today. I mourn her loss. Her Princess Leia was a big inspiration to me, not the prevailing damsel in distress of the 70s but a woman with spine. Each life lost is hard, and my heart is with those who mourn for her, and all those who mourn those lost to us.

The past is golden, because, like the golden sun disappearing at the end of the day, it's set. We know how the past's story ends. It's not scary anymore.

Twenty-seventeen begins a new story, and because we don't know how it ends, it may seem frightening. It may actually end up being frightening. But I hope and wish for the best, for all of you. I look for the best, in all of us. I know by focusing on the positive, by being the best I can, by digging in and doing the work, by celebrating the small things, whatever goes down in 2017 will be better than it could have been.

Just realized...there's a new series of Sherlock plus more episodes of Grand Tour. That's enough to give 2017 a thumbs-up from me, lol.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

3T Writing Tidbit

What is show, not tell?

I've probably covered this in a number of 3T writing tidbits over the years, but it bears saying again.

Show--make a movie of it.
Tell--make a movie of me talking about it.

Show--Suzie fastened the collar on Spot. The dog wriggled under her hands and she barely got the lead snapped on before he bounded for the door. Smiling, she opened the door and let him pull her onto the snow-covered sidewalk.

Tell--Suzie took Spot for a walk.

Published since 2009, over the years I've accumulated various items of writing wisdom. The Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit showcases these items in no particular order. Click here to see all 3T Tidbits.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

December 1T Status Update

Busy, busy! Happy holidays to everyone. See you on the other side of 2016 :)
Cliff is a billionaire computer genius hiding his life as a spy. Skyler is competitive with a temper, a programmer whose genius is people. She's kidnapped; he rescues her, kisses her senseless, and puts her on a ship home. 

She thinks she'll never see him again—until he shows up at her company, wanting her help on a programming project. But is Cliff the spy really working with her kidnappers?

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M1CP2MP
Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hot-chips-and-sand-mary-hughes/1125253673?ean=2940153878911
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/684799
All Romance Ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-hotchipsandsand-2181646-153.html
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/hot-chips-and-sand/id1180687236
Google Play: https://play.google.com/books/publish/a/10444055293236913899#details/ISBN:9780985517755
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/hot-chips-and-sand
Kindle UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01M1CP2MP

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


Big party today! Join here.
Facebook Party Nov 29 for Happily Ever Alpha Billionaire Box Set (Christmas theme) from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

Just a couple more days to get Hot Chips and Sand for the special preorder price of $0.99!

The sun is hot; the love is hotter.

When American Skyler Johnston is kidnapped, she manages a heart-pounding escape, only to be cornered in the hotel room of a lithe, enigmatic man. The kidnappers burst into the room, but the man hides Skyler by covering her body with his—and kissing her. Her kidnappers are thrown long enough for the man, known only as Cliff, to race Skyler through narrow streets and hide her on a boat going home.

Skyler thinks her troubles are over, but Cliff is really Sir Humphrey Hawkesclyffe, genius inventor of the next gen supercomputer. He’s zeroed in on Skyler—he says for heading his software development team, business only. But as they work together, Skyler starts to fall for the lonely boy genius who's become a rugged man of action.

He seems to fall for her, too—at least their sizzling kisses suggest more than simple chemistry. But is Cliff just mixing pleasure with his business? And then the kidnappers come back for round two...but it's not Skyler they've come for this time.

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M1CP2MP
KindleUK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01M1CP2MP
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/hot-chips-and-sand/id1180687236
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/hot-chips-and-sand
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/684799