Today I have the pleasure of having author Kelee Morris guest blog. She has just released her new book Goddess.
Check it out at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B015JVAF54
Here is Kelee:
I’m honored to kick off my Goddess blog tour with a post for writer Melanie Moxon. I love supporting other writers, especially when they’re on the other side of the world. Good luck with your debut novel, Melanie!
Back in my screenwriting days, one of my favorite gurus was Hollywood story consultant Jen Grisanti. Her book Story Line: Finding the Gold in Your Life Story taught me a great deal about locating and utilizing a central dramatic question as the backbone of a story. Now, I don’t believe in formulaic writing where you plug in a some boilerplate structure and out comes your story. But I do find it useful to use structural tools when I’m writing my initial outline and more importantly, when I take the mess I call a first draft and attempt to shape it into a compelling, coherant narrative. To me, it’s like wordworking. If I use the proper tools, it allows my imagination to run wild and results in something beautiful.
One of the key things Jen taught me was to put my main character between a rock and a hard place. That’s particularly useful in writing for television, where Jen does most of her work. In a television episode with a limited amount of time, it forces the writer to stay focused in every scene. While the structure of a romance novel is looser, that focus on a central dramatic question is still vital. Too often I read romance novels that get sidetracked by pointless dialogue and scenes with little connection to the main dilemma. The result is that I often skip ahead to the good stuff. (And I don’t mean the sex!), or I just give up and go on to a more interesting story.
Putting your character between a rock and a hard place means giving her a choice between two alternatives. Each of them has a reward, but each also has serious consequences. Since this post is part of my blog tour for Goddess, allow me to use my book as an example.
Julia Nelson seems to have a perfect, settled life. but when she meets hot archeologist Ashland Stewart, her world is turned upside down. He awakens a sexual longing in her that she’s suppressed since adolescence. If she gets involved with Ashland, the rewards are obvious: hot sex and a chance to explore her inner sensual goddess as represented by the tattoo on her ankle.
But there’s a downside to getting involved with Ashland: her family, the most important thing in her life. If their affair is exposed, she risks losing everything. Her rock and a hard place deilmma becomes even more constricted when Ashland falls in love with her. Being with Ashland means giving up everything she currently has. But what makes this dilemma resonate with readers is the character growth that Julia goes through. In trying to make her choice, Julia learns more about herself and the amazing power that lies inside her.
Julia fully awakens her inner goddess. She won’t completely resolve her dramatic dilemma until the end of book three of the Goddess trilogy, but how she deals with being between a rock and hard place in book one will define who she is as a character, and give her the tools to deal with all the conflicts that come her way.