Chemistry Between Characters

I was reading reviews last week for a book on Amazon. One of the main complaints by readers was there was no chemistry between the main characters who met and fell in love in the novel.

That got me thinking about my characters. Is there chemistry between them, particularly those in love? I didn’t take chemistry in high school, so it’s a subject I know little about. However, I did take years of physics, biology and astronomy, so I understand the law of attraction, friction, biological similarities, procreation and out of this world relationships.

When it comes to chemistry, I feel lost, unable to say if my characters have it because I am so close to them and I can’t define it. I can see chemistry between actors. Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston have great chemistry in the Thor movies. But what does that mean exactly? They have a come back for every line the other says? They work well together? They play off their shared past experiences?

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The Value of Writing Every Day

My goal for more than ten years has been to write a long epic fantasy series, and while I was set on the goal, little had been accomplished. By October 2018, I had two books written and book number 3 containing about 30,000 words. It was far from the epic adventure I’d envisioned more than a decade ago.

For a few years, I’d had wonderful spurts where I’d write 10,000 sometimes 30,000 words in a month, but there were many months I didn’t write anything. And there were writing projects I took on unrelated to the Castle Keepers series. While I’m glad I wrote the humour and two romance novels, they didn’t bring me closer to my goal: author of a ten-book fantasy series.

Last October, I put my foot down and I promised to not only focus on the fantasy series but to write every day. Every day.

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Why Do I Write?

Why I writeI’ve been asked many questions over the decades concerning writing, but one that often stands out is: Why do you write?

I’ve answered this with a question of my own: why do you fish, why do you build houses, why do you do what you do? The obvious reason is because I want to.

Telling others why I loved fishing was easier than explaining why I loved to write. I mean, to many, writing was school work, which they were thankfully graduated from and wouldn’t have to do again.

Lately, I get this question with an add on: Why do write so much?

Ten years ago, I couldn’t answer this question nor the simple one (why do you write) as accurately as I can at this moment. It’s not that I’ve thought about it any more; the answer simply comes to me when I’m asked.

Why do I write like a mad woman?

The Short Answer

I have stories that need to be told before I die, and I want to live where I love.

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My Epic Writing and Personal Goals for 2019

Eye on the DestinationAs an epic fantasy writer, I suppose it is only fitting for me to make epic writing goals. Normally, I don’t, but 2019 will be different. I’ve been feeling it in my bones since September that this year was going to be my year.

For the past five or six years, I’ve been all over the place with my writing and editing. I’ve not made a lot of headway with my books; it’s disappointing. I’ve done a lot of work with little to show for it. Last summer, I realised why.

I spent autumn figuring out the best course of action and putting a few things in place. Now that the prep work is complete, it’s time to launch the new goals, ones that will get me closer to what I desire.

Changes

Obviously, there will be changes. To make time in my life to meet my 2019 challenges, I had to reduce time spent on other projects and other types of work. This means, once I finish the two editing/formatting projects scheduled for 2019, I won’t accept others.

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How to Make and Accomplish Goals

Eye on the DestinationI’m a huge believer in goals. Let me rephrase that. I’m a huge believer in setting realistic goals. Goals that are impossible to reach, other people’s goals and goals set for me by someone else are unrealistic, and I have no interest in them. Years ago, my goals were simple. I had only a few and they were easily reached. As I got older, goals became more complicated and harder to accomplish. When I failed at them, it disappointed me, but I didn’t change my behaviour, so I failed more frequently.

Wisdom comes with age and the older I got, the more attention I gave to those who successfully reached their goals. I started making goals and succeeding more times than I failed. They were goals for writing a novel, researching genealogy, getting my articles in newspapers and magazines, buying a new truck and a boat, making more time for camping and fishing and completing projects around the house.

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What I learned about writing two novels at the same time.

NaNoWriMoFor NaNoWriMo 2018, I wrote two novels at the same time: Revelation Stones and Beyond the Myst. I didn’t plan it that way. My goal was to complete the first novel. The second one started as a homework assignment from my writers’ group.

I focussed on the book I wanted to complete first, writing a minimum of 2,000 words a day for it. I wrote 1,500 words a day for Beyond the Myst.

To keep the stories separated in my mind, I wrote Beyond the Myst in the morning between 5:30 am and 7:20 am. If I didn’t reach my goal, I spent a few minutes after the morning chores to complete it. I wrote Revelation Stones from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Often I finished early, so I was in bed by nine o’clock. I get up at 4:35 am, so I need to go to bed early.

Before each writing session, I’d envision the scene I was about to write. This put me in the mood to write and provided details I might not have considered. I run scenes in my head like movies, so I get a clear idea of what I want. The scene is basically written before I sit down to the computer. I just record what happened.

I’ve never tried to write two full novels at once. I have written a short story while writing a novel, but usually I’d write the short story in a few days, then return to the novel writing. This whole experience of writing two in one day was completely new to me. Here’s what I have learned listed under the benefits and the drawbacks.

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My 2018 NaNoWriMo Experience – Why Was I Successful

NaNoWriMoNaNoWriMo 2018 has been extremely successful for me. My record for words written in a month stood at 60,000. In November, I shattered that and wrote 143,770 words. That’s an entire fantasy novel. I’m thrilled, shocked and every other word that means unbelievably amazed. I never knew I could do it. There are two reasons for that:

  1. I’ve never done it before.
  2. Others said it couldn’t be done.

So, how did I do it? I’m not exactly sure, but here’s what I think I did right.

The Writing Stage

The stars aligned in 2018 and after completing several assignments and miscellaneous projects, I was left in the middle of October to complete the draft for Revelation Stones, the 3rd book in the Castle Keepers series. I had also started a small assignment from my writers’ group, one I thought would be a short story. However, it turned out to be a full-blown novel, one that ties in to the Castle Keepers series. I predict it will be 100,000 words. I called it Beyond the Myst.

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Last Day for NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMoIt’s the last day of November and as of bedtime last night, I’ve written 135,880 words since November 1st. It’s a record for me, one that once stood at 60,000 words in a month, one I don’t plan on breaking any time soon. I still have one more day to add to that record. Specifically, 18 hours, but I’ll be in bed before midnight, so that will trim down to about 15 hours.

My goal today is to write every minute I can. It’s unrealistic to do this every day, but today, the last day, I will. I’ve cleared everything off my schedule. Besides usual housekeeping duties, getting kids off to school and work, feeding animals and the unexpected interruption (fingers crossed the power will stay on today), I will write, drink tea and work towards the end of Revelation Stones, the 3rd book in the Castle Keepers series. It currently sits at 139,614 words, Chapter 32, Scene 2. Looking at the six scenes left to write, I imagine it needs about 15,000 more words before I can write THE END. Much of the second-last scene has already been written – it came to me a week ago, so I recorded it.

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Book Review: The Girl at the Top of the Tree by Barry Corbin

The Girl at the Top of the Tree

by Barry Corbin

Published: 2018

ISBN: 978-1775327905

Genre: Historical Fiction

Pages: 380

I enjoy local stories that take place in rural settings, so when I read The Girl at the Top of the Tree, it struct a nerve. The story takes place in rural Nova Scotia, the Annapolis Valley to be exact, or as locals call it, The Valley. It starts several generations into the past, but quickly transports readers to the 1960s.

The brief family history tugs at my genealogical nerve, and I’m wondering about the surname and if I can find it on a census record. Details about the First and Second World Wars also pique my interest. I’ve done a lot of research on both because of family members, including my father, who served in them.

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Catherine MacKenzie interviews Diane Lynn McGyver at the Writing Wicket

Today I’m at the Writing Wicket as Diane Lynn McGyver, my alternate ego who writes fantasy novels. Catherine MacKenzie interviews writers every Wednesday on her blog, so if you’re interested, drop her a line.

You can check out my interview here: Writer Wednesdays – Diane Lynn McGyver.

Also, since it’s my birthday, I made all my Castle Keepers Tale short stories free for the day. These short stories tie in with my fantasy novels, Shadows in the Stone and Scattered Stones.

Catriona Wheatcroft

stars in Destiny Governed their Lives

Destiny Governed their Lives short story fantasy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bronwyn Darrow

stars in Blade of Truth

Blade of Truth fantasy short story

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alaura of Niamh (pronounced ‘Neev’)

stars in The Pledge

The Pledge short story fantasy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free eBook: Conflicted Hearts by D. G. Kaye

Kaye, D. G. - Conflicted HeartsAre you looking for, “a book that makes you think, reflect, understand and most of all is a book that shows you that with the right attitude and beliefs, you can forgive and move forward”? (Quote from 5-star Amazon review of Conflicted Hearts by D. G. Kaye)

Then today is your lucky day. Kaye’s book Conflicted Hearts is available for free for 24 hours. The promotion runs only today, Friday January 10th, and ends at midnight tonight, 11:59 pm Pacific time.

More about Conflicted Hearts: a daughter’s quest for solace from emotional guilt

Somehow I believed it was my obligation to try to do the right thing by her because she had given birth to me.
Burdened with constant worry for her father and the guilt caused by her mother’s narcissism, D.G. Kaye had a short childhood. When she moved away from home at age eighteen, she began to grow into herself, overcoming her lack of guidance and her insecurities. Her life experiences became her teachers, and she learned from the mistakes and choices she made along the way, plagued by the guilt she carried for her mother.

Conflicted Hearts is a heartfelt journey of self-discovery and acceptance, an exploration of the quest for solace from emotional guilt.

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Meeting Author Laura Best

Best, Laura - Flying with a Broken Wing coverFor the past two and a half years I’ve followed the blog written by Laura Best, author of Bitter, Sweet. We’ve exchanged many messages during this time, and I’ve interviewed her twice, the first time regarding Bitter, Sweet and the second for her latest novel Flying with a Broken Wing. On October 23rd I posted a review for the second book.

Although I’ve attempted a few times to connect in person with Laura, our paths never crossed…until Saturday.

Laura was at Chapters, Mic Mac Mall, Dartmouth, NS, signing copies of her book. I had to work that day, but fortunately I was only about five minutes away and my shift ended 45 minutes before Laura’s signing engagement finished.

So here we are…

2013 11 02 Laura Best and Diane Tibert Chapters Dartmouth edited

Laura signed the copy of Flying with a Broken Wing I already owned. We chatted for a few minutes, and then the signing was over.

For your chance to meet Laura Best and pick up a signed copy of her book (they make great Christmas gifts), she has two upcoming engagements this Saturday November 9, 2013. They include:

12:00 pm to 1:30 pm: Coles Bookstore, New Minas, NS

3:30 pm to 5:00 pm: Coles Bookstore, Bridgewater, NS

If you’re in the area, stop by and say hello.

**The picture was taken by a friend of Laura’s using Laura’s camera.

Author Interview: Laura Best

5x5Author InterviewNova Scotia author Laura Best generously agreed to answer a few questions about her brand-spanking-new novel Flying with a Broken Wing.

Basic Details: Nimbus Publishing; September 2013; Paperback; 216 pages; 7.75 x 5.25 inches; ISBN: 9781771080385

The novel is available at many fine retailers including your local books and online at Chapters/Indigo and Amazon.

1) What inspired you to write Flying with a Broken Wing?

When I’m writing a story, a line will often come to me right out of the blue. It was the case with Flying with a Broken Wing. Years ago, my mother and I had a conversation about reincarnation. She made the comment that, as a child, she always wondered what her next life would be like. Her words stayed with me, and years later sparked the idea for the first sentence of the book. “From as far back as I can remember I’d lie in bed at night and wonder what my next life would be like.” Although I immediately knew the character wasn’t speaking about reincarnation, I was interested in knowing why a young girl would even be thinking about a brand new life. What was so terribly wrong with the one she had?

I was also inspired to create a character that is visually impaired since my mother is visually impaired.  I wasn’t sure there were many books out there with a visually impaired protagonist, so I decided to create one. It was important to me. Many years ago I wanted to write my mother’s story, but I soon discovered that creating fiction from fact is not as easy as it sounds. I eventually gave up the idea. But once that first sentence came to me, the character of Cammie quickly emerged all on her own. As I continued to write I began to learn the details of her life; not only was she visually impaired, but she’d been abandoned at birth and was being raised by her bootlegging aunt. It was easy then to imagine why she’d want a brand new life.

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Self-publishing Consultant

DianeTibertSelfPublishingConsultantMy self-publishing journey was like many others. Although I’ve been published thousands of time in magazines and newspapers, I have never had an acceptance letter from a traditional publisher (except when I was 18 and the publishing company folded before my story actually went to print). I’ve had many great comments from editors that made me believe I was very close, but in the end, close didn’t count. I’ve spent years waiting and hundreds of dollars on paper, ink, envelopes and postage trying to convince an editor to accept my fiction.

I was waiting for someone else to say my stories were good enough for others to read.

Eventually I gave up waiting and learned how to do it myself in 2010. There was a lot of information for self-publishing writers three years ago, but there’s a whole lot more now. And there are many more people/companies who are lined up to take my money to help my dream of publishing come true.

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Writing an Author Biography

I recall the first time an editor asked me to write a byline for a magazine article. It was a frantic time. What could I say about myself in a few short lines?

After much thought, frustration and drafts, I came up with something like this: Diane Lynn Tibert is a freelance writer living in central Nova Scotia.

I know…pretty boring. I honestly didn’t know how to write a byline or create a biography. From the examples I seen in current newspapers (this was 1998), most of them were this simple. Being new to publishing, I was a little weary of being too different from the rest.

After having a few articles published, I added another line: Her work has appeared in Saltscapes, Canadian Gardening and East Coast Gardener.

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