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Your Stories with Rachael Thomas & #Giveaway

This week's we have Rachael Thomas talking about your story ideas. She has a new release, To Blackmail a Di Sione. She also has a Kindle copy giveaway to one commenter!


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Getting Your Story Idea From Start to Finish


It’s wonderful when you have a fantastic story idea, or when a brilliant hero or heroine comes to you, but how do you get that germ of an idea into a complete manuscript ready for submission?

Here’s my tips.

Firstly, I’d like to say that I am not a plotter or pantser. I prefer a good mix of both. This gives me a solid foundation on which to focus the story, but also the freedom of allowing the characters to live and breathe in my mind and my story.

Whether you have a plot idea or a fantastic setting in which to set a story, you will need to know more about your characters. For this I have compiled a character profile sheet, which I fill in such details as their age, how they look, to what they feel about love. I also dig around in their past and find out if any significant emotional events which happened to them in their childhood, adolescence and finally as an adult. This gives me a more rounded character with which to start writing.

If you have an idea for an opening scene or a setting you want to use, now is the time to put your hero and heroine into that scene. It’s time to ask the all-important question. What point of change is each of them facing as the story opens, the moment when the hero and heroine meet or reunite?

The opening of any book needs to draw the reader in, to excite them, and make them ask questions which will leave them no other option but to continue reading. This is why you need something that has changed in your character’s life, a situation that has to be overcome and most importantly for a romance, a situation that will bring the hero and heroine together.

Once I have got to this point, I finally begin to write the first chapter. If you are more of a pantser, you can go on from here and write you story to the happy ever after ending. For me though, once I’ve written that first chapter, I begin to think about the remainder of the story, using some of the questions which came to light writing the first chapter. After that I continue to write, chapter by chapter until the first draft is complete.

Now you will feel jubilant – and so you should. You have written a book. But the hard work isn’t over yet. Now is the time to put the story away, so that you can come back to it with fresh eyes. Critical eyes. You want to be able to read the story as if you are doing so for the first time and if you find yourself wondering why a character said or did a certain thing, then you need to work on the scene. Don’t be afraid to change things. That first draft isn’t set in stone; it’s just the beginning of your story. Read it and edit it as many times as you feel necessary.

How do you keep motivated to write and produce a full length manuscript of 50,000 words or more?

* Set yourself targets, but make sure they are achievable otherwise you will set yourself up for failure.

* Write regularly. It doesn’t have to be daily, it could be weekly, whatever fits in with your lifestyle.

* Believe in yourself and believe that you can do it, that you can write from the beginning to the end.

* Finally have fun. Enjoy your writing.



"When you've finished making offers for the bracelet, I have a proposition for you." 
Billionaire Liev Dragunov has spent a lifetime plotting revenge against those responsible for his family's ruin. Finally he has the way: Bianca Di Sione. 
She's denied their obvious attraction and coolly rebuffs every request to work for him—until he finds her weakness: a diamond bracelet she desperately needs! 
Bianca must become his fake fiancée if she wants her trinket! But the taste of revenge isn't as sweet as desire, and Liev discovers that she is innocent in more ways than one… 
Book 3 of The Billionaire's Legacy



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22 comments:

  1. Great tips. I'm a pantser at heart, but I'm learning to plot - trying to save on those edits!!!

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  2. I laughed at Jemi's reply because I'm a plotter at heart, but I'm learning to write more freely. :D

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    1. I'm laughing too! Everyone is different and there is no right or wrong way. Thanks Chrys.

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  3. I am in the same boat as Jemi. It's time to start plotting for me--enough getting into trouble with plot holes 70k words in ;)

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    1. I like a mix of both! Thanks Meradeth.

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  4. I use a mix of plotting and pantsing too. :)

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  5. Wonderful tips, Rachael! I'm more of a plotter, but my characters still provide plenty of things that I don't realize are vital to the story until much later. LOL! Congrats!

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    1. It's amazing how they do this! Thanks for the congrats Cheri.

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  6. I don't know that I could totally panst a book any more. I've done both, and I like a hybrid solution where it's loosely plotted with elements that can still surprise me.

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    1. A little bit of surprise is always good! Thanks Crystal.

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  7. These are excellent pointers, Rachael. Anyone could draft a book if they follow your advice. Good job.

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  8. That's a great rundown of how to write a book. Perfect for the novice and a full of ideas that could help a more seasoned writer get unstuck.

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  9. Great list. I'm driven by a setting, opening scene, character, or feeling. I plot, but my subplots are pretty open and they change as I write.

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    1. I love it when an opening scene comes into my mind. Thanks Medeia.

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  10. Excellent advice! The time away from the draft so it can be read with fresh eyes- is SO important. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. It certainly is and the longer the better!

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  11. I'm a switch hitter these days. Sometimes I make nice linear notes about plot and other times I'm doodling and looking at images for inspiration. The process is always interesting.

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