Marian P. Merritt - Lagniappe

Where the Bayous Meet the Mountains

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Order of Events in Story - LoRee Peery

Lagniappe Welcomes...

Guest Blogger

LoRee Peery

Please welcome LoRee to Lagniappe. She gives wonderful writing tidbits on:

The Order of Events in Story

Writing, like our Christian walk, involves a lifetime of learning. 

I continually find things to change, eliminate, or improve upon. Each project teaches me something about my own writing, often my little oopsies. For some crazy reason, I’ve discovered I have a pet word, or several, that I use over and over in a story and I have to edit those out before submission.

I call my first draft polished prewriting. Order, or effect before cause, is one of the idiosyncratic writing issues I can still find when I take a second look (or fifth, seventh, or tenth look!). And I can’t thank my critique partners or editors enough for pointing out to me those places where events were out of order.

A few days back I sat down with my current WIP before me. I did what I often do in order to get into a scene for that day’s writing session, I looked back a couple paragraphs. 

This is what I found:

“He spoke softly, offering a half smile. She forced herself to look at him.”

Oops! I wrote her reaction before his preceding action. 

She had to be looking at him in order to see his smile.
In other words, something has to happen to render a response from a character. A writer needs to build on a previous event. How can I keep a reader in the emotion of a character if I slow things down by telling how my heroine “realized” something? I need to show it. (The old infamous, show, don’t tell.)

And it happened again the next day. I opened up my WIP, scrolled up, and read:

“She stepped aside when the afternoon receptionist came to the desk…”

Good grief, the receptionist had to come to the desk before my heroine could step aside.

It is prewriting, but I remind myself often now to again think about order. Putting actions in order should be simple but can still trip me up. 
Yep. I’m still learning.

Something happens. A character reacts. 

For a writer’s words to be effective, they must pull the reader in as events evolve. It’s easy to explain events. But for a character’s emotion to pull in the reader, the writer needs to touch emotion in the reader by drawing the reader in.

Any time I find that I’ve used the words after, when, or before, my inner red flag waves and I discover I have something to fix in my story. Those are some of my watch words when I edit completed drafts. But like many words, there are times they do work.

Out of order events kick the reader out of the character’s perception of what is happening in the story. And our stories are meant to keep on coming, as long as we write for our King.

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer,” —Psalm 19:14.

Thank you, Marian, for allowing me to visit your little spot here today. I love the word Lagniappe.

And thanks to all readers, everywhere.

The Frivolities Series is one of those God-things that just evolved. What a journey it was, because I sure never set out to write a series. Other than suspense, reunion stories are one of my favorites. I wrote of Moselle and Eric’s reunion in Moselle’s Insurance. At the end of their story, I didn’t really want to leave the kooky shop the women had established. In fact, a friend said she wanted to stay in Frivolities…. Fellow writers and critiquers commented along the way how much they enjoyed the secondary characters portrayed as Moselle’s mother and aunt. And one writer friend really liked the hero’s ex-wife.
I tucked those remarks away and still get tingly when I think how God worked it all out.

Moselle’s Insurance ~~ Frivolities is established
Creative artist Moselle Carson runs into firefighter Eric Todd and their former love returns to the forefront of their minds. Can Eric forgive himself and keep the secret that may redeem him in her eyes?
Rainn on My Parade ~~ The heroine, Geneva, is Moselle’s mother
Younger man Rainn Harris falls for Geneva Carson when she falls into his arms from a tree. As tension threatens to pull them apart, will they learn to rely on the Lord to direct their future?
Sage and Sweetgrass ~~ The heroine, Lanae, is Geneva’s sister
Survivor Lanae Petersen finds a moving love letter in an antique and seeks to discover the writer. Sage Diamond is holding on to the memory of his deceased wife. The last thing he needs is a tenacious woman who threatens to uncover his family secret.
Found in the Woods ~~ The heroine, Beth, is Eric’s ex-wife
Beth Phillips returns to Platteville to find purpose to her life. Aiden Holt, Nebraska Game and Parks, reluctantly follows up on reported wolf sightings along the Platte River. He encounters spunky Beth at the hurt end of a two-by-four. What is she so afraid of?
Lezlie’s Lifeline ~~ a dollar download ~~ Lezlie is Sage’s daughter
An accusation reunites Lezlie Diamond and Jordan Marshall – will a secret keep them apart?

LoRee Peery is the author of the Frivolities Series. An avid reader, one day she slapped a story in her lap and said, “I could write better than this.” Was that a lofty assumption or a nudge regarding God’s plans? Her dear hubby said, “Why don’t you?” And thus, her writing journey began.

I John 5:4 has a special place in her heart, for she believes she is an overcomer as well as victorious. "For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith."
She and her husband reside on an acreage in Nebraska. 

They have a blended family of five children and eleven grandchildren.

LoRee, thanks for stopping by!

Readers, thanks for visiting Lagniappe.

I pray that you find "a little something extra" in each of your days.


Sunday, May 05, 2013

A Brand New World - Delia Latham

Lagniappe Welcomes...

Guest Blogger

Delia Latham

Check out her latest release, Lexi's Heart (Book 1 in the Heart's Haven Holiday Collection)

Ever wished you could re-create the world?

You know what I mean…. Return it to the way you think God meant it to be. Eliminate the things that bring tears and pain, erase all the crime and hate, and fill every heart with the love of God. Make it a regular Eden. 

Oh, wait…that is the way God created the world!

Mankind has done a top-notch job of messing it up, don’t you think?

That’s probably the reason I love Heart’s Haven—a collection of romance novellas that center around an East Texas cottage-rental complex and the people who live within its gates. It’s a sweet little make-believe world of love and romance, with that touch of the divine that angels bring. Heart’s Haven is owned by landlord Andrew Hart, a crotchety bachelor with a reputation for seeing and speaking with angels. Old Hart won’t confirm or deny it, but it’s a fact that wonderful things…amazing things happen in the eight, charming little rental units on his property.

Angel activity isn’t the only unusual thing about this little community on the border of the Angelina National Forest. Above the gate leading to each and every cottage hangs a wooden sign carved with these words: May love find all who enter here. Sweet, and kind of cute, don’t you think? (Especially considering the fact that a taciturn old guy who apparently never found love put them there!) The thing is, though…love does find all who enter, whether they’re looking for it or not. Which means romance abounds in these humble abodes.

That’s not to say love comes easy. Oh, no, we can’t have that! Heart’s Haven isn’t, after all, a true Eden. Love arrives, but it must conquer a myriad of obstacles to get there—and that’s what makes this collection fun to read. ☺

I’m Delia Latham, and the concept of Heart’s Haven was my brain child. I knew from the first that it needed a broader thought process than one person could manage all by herself. So I prayed about it, and sought out three other authors to help me build the romantic world of Heart’s Haven.

God led me to Tanya Stowe, Marianne Evans, and Mary Manners. When all three agreed to come on board and be my partners in prose, we four became one unique collection of romance stories.

There has definitely been joy in the journey. The four of us worked closely together (via e-mail) to build a fictional world made up of Heart’s Haven as a central location, Angel Falls as the hometown it occupies, a legend of love and a hint of the divine, with the presence of angels felt in some way by every tenant. But as we worked together to develop our little romances and interacted to build Angel Falls and people it with memorable characters, God did something even more wonderful. He formed a bond between four women who had never met one another face to face. He made us sisters and friends.

I believe in my heart of hearts that the success of Heart’s Haven is a God-thing, from the first seed of an idea to the end result. At the moment, that consists of one complete set of four Heart’s Haven books and…drumroll, please!...the kick-off story to a second set—the Heart’s Haven Holidays collection. At least one more collection is already in the making, along with some bonus stories that won’t be part of a set, but may be written by any one of the four authors, or co-written by more than one.
No matter what comes next in my personal writing journey, Heart’s Haven will always be a highlight—a landmark, or milestone that I will remember. It’s where I found three pieces of my heart I didn’t know were missing until God slid them into place. ☺

Here’s a blurb from my contribution to the second series. 

LEXI’S HEART is book one in the Heart’s Haven Holidays collection:

Her heart. His faith. Love Reborn.

Forty-three-year-old Lexi Carlisle’s abusive marriage ended three years ago. Deeply scarred by the experience, and helplessly watching her beloved mother succumb to Alzheimer’s, Lexi is devastated. After selling her fancy home, she rents a cottage in Heart’s Haven, a special place unlike any other. Slowly learning to live again, she despairs of ever delivering the message of love that burns within her heart for her ever-worsening mother. But Mitch Gaynor, a handsome Christian author, reminds Lexi that with God all things are possible, planting within her battered and distrustful heart the seed of hope for a miracle. But can she open her fortressed heart to God? And is Mitch a part of His plans for her future?

Discover the first set of Heart’s Haven tales on our blog, and join us on Facebook for fun launch parties as new books are released. We love interacting with our readers!

Heart’s Haven Collection #1

Jewels for the Kingdom (Delia Latham)

Operation Breathless (Marianne Evans)

Dance with Me (Mary Manners)

Who’s Delia?
Born and raised in Weedpatch, California, DELIA LATHAM is a Christian wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend, but especially loves being a princess daughter to the King of Kings. She’s a Dr. Pepperaholic and loves hearing from her readers. Contact her through her website her blog, or her Facebook author page (Delia Latham).

To win an electronic copy of Jewels of the Kingdom, leave a comment with your name and email address!

Delia, thanks for sharing!

Readers, thanks for visiting Lagniappe.

I pray that you find "a little something extra" in each of your days.