The Protagonist’s Goal

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Creating the first scene!

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Brainstorming Homework #1

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Join the Free Course!

Come and join the FREE online Creative Writing course!

Click on the link below:

https://edmo.do/j/kybesy

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Book Review: Stars in Their Eyes by Lauren Blakely

Lauren Blakely’s incredible romance novel will hook readers in instantly! Her spectacular plot will drive readers further into her wonderful story. The characters are dazzling and their budding romance will make you sizzle with heat. Stars in Their Eyes has everything a romance novel should have plus, more. Both main characters are attending the same college and end up working or the same man. But unlike Jess, William is holding back a big secret. After convincing Jess to eat ice cream with him and hanging out with him at the movies, William doesn’t want to lose Jess. Their kisses and her turning him on isn’t helping him either. Jess is just as turned on about William as he is about her. But will Jess still like him after William’s secret breaks loose? Will Jess hate William? Or will William give up everything just to have Jess back in his life?

I found this book to incredibly charming and irresistible to put down. Lauren Blakely knows how to beautifully craft a masterpiece that readers will fall in love with. I was easily able to connect with the characters, which made the book even harder to resist reading. I would recommend to readers everywhere to pick up a copy of Stars in Their Eyes and to start reading it asap! Overall, I rate the novel a 5 out of 5 stars.

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Have You Ever Wondered..

Have You Ever Wondered…

What it would be like to a book reviewer? Or an author? Or an editor? Or just an article writer?

Well… I can definitely say that the have many same traits. One being that they all have to learn how to write well. Why is writing well is so important? Because it is the very first fundamental that all writers need to learn before moving onto the second step.

What do writers need to learn in order to write well? First, they need to learn grammar, punctuation, mechanics, and usage.

Where does one acquire these must need skills? In school.  Or you can take a free English course that covers all the above on sites such as Alison, Coursera, Canvas, and Udemy.  Or take classes from Universal Class. Their courses are structured to teach you what you need to know. Plus, you get a certificate with documented CEU’s.  Which of course helps build up your resume! :-)

Now, what is the second step? After learning the basics in a free or paid course writers, then move onto interning.

Why should writers apply or an internship? Because internships help build a writer’s reputation, connections, and teaches them hands-on what the ins and outs are in writing.  Some internships pay the intern and some don’t. But, I highly recommend that you complete at least two non-paying internships to build up experience, which is what you will need for a paying internship. Then apply or one that pays you while doing what you love to do!

Next, after completing several internships under your belt you now have the experiences, tools, and connections to  continue onto the third step!

If you are wanting to become an author, there are many tools out there to help you grow your full potential. Kindle Direct Publishing is a free service that allows authors to publish their work as eBooks. eBooks are the most popular reading format that readers choose. Why? Because they are easy to access everywhere and on the go! They also cost less and save the trees. Plus, they can be bought from literally every bookstore that exists today.

- It is very important that every writer is an active reader. Read, read, and read! Reading helps writers improve their thought process.

- Another thing all writers should do is practice writing. Write every day. Whether short or long. Practice, practice, and practice writing! The only way to perfect one’s writing.

These two important reminders are the sole keys or every writer whether he or she wants to become an article writer, author, blogger, book reviewer, or an editor.

What is a writer’s schedule like? A book reviewer’s, an author’s, and an article writer’s schedule is chaotic. There are always deadlines popping up that need to be finished. There are always more books to review. There are tons of articles that are 500 words in length that need to be written daily for companies’ websites. And the pressure or an author to complete his or her book is tough. Writer’s block can happen halfway through a book. So, being a writer in any field requires the utmost patience!

Book reviewer’s job: Requires that the reviewer can at least review two novels a week. Most book reviews are 300-500 words in length. A book review consists of two paragraphs. The first paragraph needs to be about the books. A brief summary o what it was like without giving away too much of the plot. Also, need to mention the author, the writing style, characters, plot, setting, the targeted audience and would you recommend it to others. The second paragraph is made up solely on your opinions of the book. What did you think o it? What could have improved the book to make it better? What did you like and not like about the book?

Article Writer: An article writer’s job is to follow all terms on what each article is to be about, how it should be formatted, and what type of article needs to be written. Whether it’s a promotion of a product, educational, or informative. Each article is anywhere from 150-500 words each. Most article writers are required to write 10 five hundred word articles each week! All articles are can be a variety of weird topics. For example dog beds.  Try writing an informative article using 500 words on the topic of dog beds. And no plagiarism! Article writers have to do a ton of research on each and every topic they are given. Being an article writer is not the easiest job.

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Submissions for Publication in Digital Magazine!

Submissions for Publication inside a digital magazine issue called, Universal Creativity Inc.  is now open for short stories!

- Short stories can be in any genre.

- Must be double-spaced.

- Times New Roman

- 12 sized font.

- In English.

- Must be submitted as a Word Document.

All submissions can be submitted via email to me at: danielleurban442@yahoo.com     or must be submitted below.

Be sure to include your first and last name, title, genre, and word count.

Short stories will be judged and critiqued by three different judges on the following criteria:

  • Is the story compelling?
  • Professionalism of editing and formatting
  • Characterization
  • Continuity of storyline
  • Satisfying ending
  • Intriguing opening
  • Uniqueness of story
  • Writing craft
  • World construct
  • Premise

Short stories can range anywhere from 500- 10,000 words. There is  a $2 fee that goes toward the judges for taking their time to read and review each individual manuscript. You can pay the fee via PayPal to: danielleurban442@yahoo.com

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Book Review: Murphy the Gold Rush Dog by Alison Hart

download (5)This exciting adventure novel is one that children and adults will love. The story is told by Murphy’s point of view. I found Alison Hart’s book to be very fun, unique, and educational. Children and adults can learn so much by reading this lovable story! Learning about the gold rush and  the hard life that people lived through in Alaska. The climate there is very harsh. Readers will love following Murphy the gold rush dog, Sally the little girl, and Sally’s mother as they try to make a living. Will Sally be able to keep Murphy or will his awfully mean owner come back to get him? Will Sally and her mother be able to find gold? What hardships come their way?

I enjoyed reading this brilliant novel and following the characters as their journeys continued. I believe that this book can definitely be considered as a crossover. Alison Hart has written a beautiful story with amazing characters. Her stunning plot will keep you reading! I also enjoyed learning more about Alaska and the hardships of life there. I would definitely recommend this novel to readers everywhere to pick up and read. A very fascinating story that comes to life on every page. Overall, I rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars!

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Upgraded Membership!

Dear Viewers,

I have recently received an email that my application for becoming a Gold BookLook Blogger member by Harper Collins, has been approved! :-) I sent in my application last night! I was excited to find out that I was accepted.

Sincerely,

Danielle

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Book Review: Normal by Danielle Pearl

NORMAL

Danielle Pearl has a talent like no other author. Her stunning novel, Normal, was out of this world! The characters are so realistic and believable that readers will be laughing, crying, and falling in love. Aurora also known as Rory, goes through a ton of traumatizing events before her life is turned upside down. Having been a tomboy growing up, Rory did everything to fit in. She was friends with the mayor’s daughter and started dating the mayor’s son. That alone was the one thing she should have never done. Dating Rubin, an older high school student who was the town’s pro football star, was a huge mistake. Rory was at first fascinated by Rubin. He was good looking and cool. But once they start dating Rubin shows his true side. Rory soon experiences Rubin’s ugly and brutal side. He forces himself upon her and has major anger issues. Rory turns to her dad about what Rubin is doing. And her father only tells her not to tell anyone and pushes her to be with Rubin. Rory wants her father’s affection more than anything, but as things escalate way out of control, she dumps Rubin. She then goes to the only person who is her true friend and defends hers every time. Cam is her best friend since they were three. Cam has loved Rory since they first became friends and still does. Rory doesn’t realize that until it’s too late. After telling Cam about how Rubin and her father treated her, he becomes so anger. But seeing Rory’s fear and sadness, he calms her. Then leaves her only to be found dead later on. Rory finds out that her one and only best friend died in a car accident. Now she feels more alone than ever. Her mother divorces Rory’s father and moves them to where she grew up. Back up north, Rory and her mom live together starting new lives. Soon Rory makes new friends and finds a new love. Sam the best looking guy in school, wants to be Rory’s friend. He makes it his responsibility to take care of her. But will Rory let him be her friend? Will their friendship prove to be more than just friends? And what about Sam’s friend who is jealous of Rory? What happens when Sam convinces Rory to go on a spring vacation? Will her past come and find her? And what will Rory do after her past comes back to find her and puts Sam in danger? I enjoyed reading this exciting, brilliant masterpiece by Danielle Pear! She definitely knows how to lure her readers in with a compelling story unlike anything I have ever read before. I have no doubt that readers everywhere will fall in love with her novel the same way I did. I recommend readers to pick this book up and start reading it! I can’t wait to read book two in this spectacular series! Overall, I rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars!

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Happy Happy Happy News!

I just received an email sent on behalf of Tule Publishing and was thanked for my honest book reviews! That email has just made my night! And especially since they have me approved for auto-approvals. That means that when I see a book by their company I am allowed automatic approval to read and review it! :-)

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ATTENTION ALL WRITERS!

Write a novel within 12 months! How is that possible? Most novels are about 10,000 words. Within 12 months you can write a total of  12,000 words. By breaking it down into small sections. Each month your goal is to write 1,000 words! That’s right! A grand total of  1,ooo words a month. Now, you may say that is a lot of words but it really isn’t. That’s only 250 words a week!

Therefore starting on today, October 15th – November 15th, you are to write 1,000 words.

Your goal is to write 250 words by October 21st.  Can you do it? Yes, you can!

You are required to:

- Post the word count that you wrote for week #1 on October 21st.

- Post briefly what your story is about for week #1.

- Post a list of who your protagonist and antagonists are, where does your story take place, what are your main character(s) goals (needs or wants), and name 3 conflicts (problems) that you plan to happen.

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Using Dialogue!

Have I ever found using dialogue to be hard? 

Yes, I did find writing in dialog very, very, very hard! At first, as a newbie writer I was overwhelmed by the mention of the need to use dialogue to make any novel a good one. So, what did I do?

 

I took the task of doing this:

Hi, Sam. How are you?

Hey, Sally. I’m good. What about you?

The above are two phrases with words being exchanged between two people. So, first. I went through writing any conversation between one of more characters like the above. Then I did this:

“Hi, Sam. How are you?”

“Hey, Sally. I’m good. What about you?”

In this second set, I then went back and added quotation marks. Then, I did this:

“Hi, Sam. How are you?” Sally asked as she walked by.

“Hey, Sally. I’m good. What about you” Sam asked turning around to face her.

I hope this helps you all!

Best Wishes,

Danielle

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Book Review: Her Mistletoe Cowboy by Alissa Callen

Her Mistletoe Cowboy is a hot,sexy, and romantic read that will heat up your holidays! Alissa Callen has an extraordinary talent will hook readers in all the time! Her novel’s plot is intoxicating from the beginning to end! Ivy Bishop is a corporate analyst that ends up alone on Christmas with an adorable puppy that was abandoned. She is still on the mend from a broken heart and it isn’t until she meets a certain man that makes her realize her heart wasn’t quite as broken. This one man could break her heart or fix it. Will this man who finally has decided to put his playing days behind him, fall in love with Ivy? How does this hard working cowboy, try to ignore the one beautiful woman who has him constantly distracted? I definitely recommend reading this novel! Once you start reading you won’t want to put it down! Overall, I rate this spectacular Christmas Romance novel a 5 out of 5 stars!

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New Writing Assignment!

Craft a premise sentence for your story. Be sure it includes your hook, main character, objective, opponent, and disaster.

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New Challenge!

Create a “perfect review” of the story you hope to create. Begin with a back-cover type summary, then move on to a professional-style review of your entire story from the perspective of a reader who loved every chapter. Have fun with it, but be as thorough as possible, touching on character, plot, setting, and theme. Aim for 800-1,000 words.

Best of luck!!! :-)

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Introduction to Romance Writing Course is Now Available!

Introduction to Romance Writing Course is Now Available!.

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Introduction to Romance Writing Course is Now Available!

Introduction to Romance Writing is Now Available!

It is 100% online.

- Teaches how to write the perfect scenes and sequels.

- Learn how to create a hook that will lure readers into your book instantly.

- Learn how to create cliffhangers to leave your readers deeply interested in reading on to find out what happens next!

- Learn how to write the  that hot sexy scene for your romance novel.

- Find out where you can submit your manuscripts in to be published!

This course is only $5 and is open for tonight! Please email me that you want to join the class!   My email address is danielleurban23@gmail.com

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Introduction to Romance Course!

Introduction to Romance Writing Course will be available later tonight for all to join! 

What will you learn?

- Creating the perfect Hook to lure readers in.

- Brainstorming your story ideas and turning them into a novel.

-  Outlining your manuscript.

- Creating hot intense scenes.

- Creating cliffhangers.

-  Where and how to submit in your manuscripts?

The course  is 100% online, self-paced,  and only costs $5. 

To sign up for the course, please email me at: danielleurban23@gmail.com

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Questions of the Day!

#1           What happens when someone unknown to your character, leaves them an inheritance?  And what happens when after receiving the inheritance that threats start coming in? Who is behind the threats and why? And more importantly who gave the inheritance to your character and why?

#2          What happens when someone decides to kill off the homeless people? Who is behind it and why? And can they be stopped before it’s too late?

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Must Have Books for Authors!

FREE! Must Have Books for Authors!

Click on the link below!

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00O9LIBMK

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Book Review: To Have and To Hold by Trae Stratton

download (5)

Trae Stratton’s novel, To Have and To Hold is absolutely amazing! I highly recommend reading his fabulous novel. Trae Stratton definitely knows how to keep his readers intrigued and lured in from the first page onward. I loved his characters journey of romance unfolded right before me! A beautiful and simple love story told from the groom’s point of view! This book  caught my attention because most novels are told from the woman’s or both the woman’s and man’s point of view. But Trae’s dashing novel was strictly told from the groom’s and the groom’s family point of view. The chapter’s switched point of views and kept me intrigued as to when the groom will be finally getting married. Collin MacLann  has it all. A good life and many girlfriends that come  in his life at different points in his life. Making the novel highly unique and interesting. Which one of the girlfriends will be his bride? Or will someone else be his bride? Whether you love reading a good mystery or a perfect romance, To Have and To Hold, has it all! A brilliant must read that will keep you reading all night long! I highly recommend getting a copy of Trae Stratton’s book and start reading it now! I rate the novel a 5 out of 5 stars!

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My Book Review: Piece of You by Ella Harper was Featured on Avon Romance!

Click the link below to view it!

http://www.avonromance.com/post/book-review-pieces-of-you-by-ella-harper

Also, if you can, please like it!

Thank you!

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Would Happen if Characters from My Favorite Book and Movie Were to Come Together?

We would have Cammie from the Gallenger girl spy series be undercover as a normal girl on a co-ops mission in a theater… as the movie Hansel and Gretel is playing, until all the lights go out and the next thing Cammie realizes is that the Hansel & Gretel characters are let out of the movie screen in the real world and not only are they let out of the movie screen but so is their bad guy-the black witch lose. Cammie and the rest of the Gallenger spy girls go on a real co-ops mission with Hansel and Gretel in capturing the black witch that is destroying the world and eating vulnerable innocent children. Will they be able to catch the witch before it’s too late or will there be many children dying at the hands of the black witch? And how do Hansel and Gretel and how do Hansel and Gretel make it back to their world inside the movie screen? Or are they stuck forever in the real world learning from Cammie and the other girls on how to live in their world?

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Book Review: Pieces of You by Ella Harper

Ella Harper’s novel, Pieces of You is absolutely the best book that I have ever read! Her novel is heart melting and will bring tears to your eyes. Her characters Luke and his wife will leave you falling in love, laughing, crying and wondering what’s next! After only a short time meeting each other Luke and his love soon drive right into what only married couples do. But despite what they just did, Luke ever the romantic tells his wife everything every woman would love to hear after making love with a man before marriage. But unlike all other men, Luke actually means every word he says! His wife can’t believe how lucky she was to find a man like Luke and to be married to him and to be expecting a baby! As time goes on, sadness erupts their happy marriage. Luke’s wife lost her baby. And every time they kept trying she would keep losing another baby. They have tried everything and still no baby. Luke’s wife is so keen on having a baby that she doesn’t notice how her husband, Luke feels. He feels like he is just a sperm donating machine to his wife. She is devastated and sad every time she loses another baby. Luke feels his wife’s pain and struggles with seeing her go through another false hope only to lose another baby. One night Luke has a drink with a co-worker. She pushes Luke to have a drink with her. He talks about his wife and how much he loves his wife and how he wishes she can be happy again like she was when they first fell in love. This co-worker, Stella, forces herself on Luke in his absolute drunken state. Luke can’t remember even making love to Stella. But he finds out and writes a letter to his wife apologizing about what he did. His, wife Lucy doesn’t find the note until Luke went  through a major accident and is in a coma in the hospital. Lucy ends up losing another baby that she and Luke recently created before his accident. This is when she finds the note and feels her heart breaking. What happens to Luke? Does he make it out of the hospital or does Lucy end up losing him too? And what about the Stella woman? Will Lucy have a talk with her about what happened? And if so, will she only feel more pain? And what happens when Lucy finds out that Stella might be pregnant with her husband’s child? I highly recommend reading, Pieces of You! You will never want to put the book down! I loved reading this wonderful novel by Ella Harper and look forward to reading more of her novels. I rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars!

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New Course I am Taking!

I am taking an online course in Copyright Basics. I love taking as many courses online as possible to enhance my writing skills and knowledge. I will keep you all posted on any tips and advice on Copyright Basics asap!

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4 Ways to Motivate Characters! (I had to share this article by Nancy Kress with all of you after reading it.)

4 Ways to Motivate Characters and Plot

 Article is written by Nancy Kress.

Categories: Brian Klems’ The Writer’s Dig, Writing Fiction Tags: Brian Klems, online editor blog.

Confused? Don’t be; it’s simpler than it may seem. Characters come in four basic types:

By Nancy Kress

  1. Characters who never change, neither in personality nor motivation. They are what they are, and they want what they want.
  2. Characters whose basic personality remains the same; they don’t grow or change during the story. But what they want changes as the story progresses (“progressive motivation”).
  3. Characters who change throughout the story, although their motivation does not.
  4. Characters who change throughout the story as their motivation also progresses.

When you know the key motivation(s) behind your character and plot, you can write scenes that not only make sense to you and your readers, but also add depth to your story. Because character and plot are intertwined, we’ll refer to the above four as character/plot patterns. Let’s further explore each one.

Static Personality, Static Motivation

Sometimes a character will have a single overriding motivation for the entire length of a story or novel, plus a strong personality that does not change much. James Bond is a good example. He’s a stayer who starts out resourceful, suave, unflappable and smart. At the end of each of Ian Fleming’s novels, Bond is still resourceful, suave, unflappable and smart.

Nor does his motivation change. At the start of the book he receives a mission, and his goal is to pursue this mission until it’s over, at which point the book ends. There may be interim temporary goals (not getting eaten by alligators, protecting the girl), but they are all part of the single overriding motivation.

It isn’t only adventure fiction to which this applies. In John Steinbeck’s classic Of Mice and Men, both protagonists, George and Lennie, retain the same motivation throughout. They want to earn enough to buy a small farm of their own. Their personalities, too, remain the same: George the planner and caretaker, Lennie the well-meaning bumbler who brings them both to tragedy.

If you are writing this type of book, your job is to present to us the character and the goal clearly and forcefully fairly early on. Then unfold your tale; we’ll know who your man is and why he’s doing what he’s doing. This leaves us (and you, the writer!) free to complicate other things besides the hero, such as the plot, the conspiracies or the hardware.

Please note, though, that an unfaltering character with an unfaltering goal can still feel more than one emotion at a given moment. James Bond might, for instance, feel attraction to one of the “Bond girls” at the same time that he distrusts her (often with good cause). If your character feels two conflicting things toward another character, bring this to life in the scene in which it happens. Then—and this is the important part—return in the next scene to the main goal.

This tells us that the basic situation is unchanged. Although Bond, for instance, has just made love with a woman, she hasn’t fundamentally changed him. He is not altered in either his personality or motivation as a result of her attractions.

Static Personality, changing motivation

This type of story features a character who doesn’t change in basic personality or beliefs, but what she wants changes as a result of story events.

These characters are often of two types: heroes or villains. The heroic ones are essentially admirable characters from the get-go. They don’t change because the author clearly doesn’t feel they need to; they embody virtues he wishes to advocate. Two disparate examples are Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (Jane Eyre) and Ayn Rand’s Howard Roark (The Fountainhead).

Jane is spunky, plain, passionate and moral, even as a child. She believes in the dignity of all individuals, including those at the bottom of the Victorian power structure. We see this early in the book when she stands up for herself, for her friend Helen Burns, or anyone being abused. At the end of the book, she’s still doing it.

However, as Jane grows up, her immediate motivations change. At first, she merely wants to survive the brutalities of her terrible aunt and then of the boarding school that the aunt sends her to. Later, she falls in love with her employer, Mr. Rochester, and wants him—until she learns the truth about him and wants to escape his home. Still more motivations follow.

Howard Roark, even more resolute and heroic than Jane Eyre, never really changes, either. He just rises, without flinching, above the failures and stupidities of the rest of the world. His initial motivation is to design buildings that suit him, with no outside influences dictating his designs; his next motivation is to blow up those buildings because the builders changed some of his architectural plans. Both actions proceed from an unchanged and unshakable conviction of his own superiority.

The point is that if your character is basically heroic, you may not want him to change. In that case, you construct the story this way:

Your character is trying to live his life, but the outside world imposes an obstacle.

The obstacle gives the character a motivation: fight it, flee it, change it or adapt to it.

That first motivation is met by a consequence, which in turn supplies another motivation (the consequence of Jane’s seeking a new teaching post is meeting Mr. Rochester).

That motivation encounters obstacles, etc.

You may recognize this pattern; it’s sometimes referred to as “the classic plot pattern.” (But as we’re discussing here, you know it’s actually one of four basic character/plot patterns.) Its success, as in the first character pattern, depends on a strong, interesting character. Once you have that, you set up initial circumstances for her to cope with and then have her motivation change as consequences flow.

However, as with the first type of character, a basically unchanging personality may nonetheless experience changing or conflicting emotions at any given moment. When Jane Eyre’s cousin, St. John Rivers, asks her to marry him in order to accompany him to India on his missionary work, Jane has mixed reactions:

Of course (as St. John once said) I must seek another interest in life to replace the one lost: Is not the occupation he now offers me truly the most glorious man can adopt or God assign? Is it not, by its noble cares and sublime results, the one best calculated to fill the void left by uptorn affections and demolished hopes? I believe I must say, Yes—and yet I shudder. Alas! If I join St. John, I abandon half myself.

During the rest of this scene, Jane will also feel awe, disdain, humility, dread, rebellion, scorn and hurt. Mixed emotions indeed! But her basic personality and beliefs do not waiver: She wants more than a loveless marriage, even if that marriage is dedicated to God’s work. Jane wants love.

At the other end of the heroism spectrum, some villains have unchanging personalities but changing motivations. They start out venial, greedy, evil or destructive, and they end up the same way. This is true whether they win or lose. Along the way, however, their motivations often enlarge: They become greedier for greater things, destructive on a larger scale, or want to succeed at different, grander schemes of evil. Or, as with heroes, their motivations may change as a result of story events.

Thus, your villain may start out wanting to rob an armored car. He succeeds, but in the course of the robbery kills a police officer. Now his goal is to elude capture. While pursuing him, your detective is forced to shoot the villain’s nephew and protégé, who has drawn a gun on the cop. Now your villain has an additional motivation: revenge on the detective. The stakes have risen with each story event and its consequence—and that’s key to making this type of plot pattern compelling.

Changing Personality, static motivation

In many stories, a major character changes significantly. The character has a single motivation and may expend enormous effort to reach it, like those covered-wagon pioneers who risked everything to trek west. However, during the process of achieving (or not achieving) this overriding goal, the character’s basic personality and/or beliefs change. In fact, this change is often the point of the story.

For example, a young woman has as her motivation the desire to get out of prison. She forms this desire as soon as she is incarcerated, in the first chapter. The book ends when she gets out, for whatever reason: Her time has been served, she successfully escapes or her lawyer wins the appeal. However, this character is a changer, which means that while her goal has stayed constant, her personality/belief structure has not.

For instance, as a result of her interactions with the other inmates, maybe she’s changed from a superior, scornful snob to one who feels that she and the other women are basically the same. She’s gone from scorn to empathy, from disdain to friendship. All the while that she’s been working on getting out of prison, prison has
also been working on her.

When you write this type of character, there are a few critical points to remember:

  • Her character change must come about in response to story events. Create events that could logically lead the character to change in the ways you want. “Devise incidents,” W. Somerset Maugham said about the secret of writing. This is what he meant: You must think up those plot events that will affect your characters enough for them to react with genuine change.
  • Your character must have emotional responses to these events.
  • The character change, too, must be dramatized. We can’t simply be told, “Abby now sympathized with her cellmate.” We must be shown Abby’s change of heart through things she does that she didn’t do before, such as giving and accepting help from this once-despised cellmate. This is called validation, and it is essential for all changing characters.
  • You must include a final validation at the end of the story so we know that your character’s change is not temporary. Usually this ending validation is on a larger scale than what has gone before. For instance, instead of just helping her cellmates with daily frustrations, your protagonist, now out of jail herself, does everything she can to improve the situations of those still inside.

Readers find this kind of story intrinsically satisfying. The single motivation throughout gives the book unity and comprehensibility, and the changing character satisfies the need for fiction to make a comment on life. In the case of the prison story, that comment is positive: People can grow nicer.

You might, however, also use the same character/plot pattern to make a negative observation about the world. In that case, the character with a single goal would, in the course of failing to achieve it, change from naive innocence to “sadder but wiser.” For example, this is the structure of Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth. Protagonist Lily Bart sustains the same motivation throughout the book: to marry for money. She does not succeed. Only at the end, both of the novel and of her life, do events force her to change and then she realizes that she might have had a better life if she’d paid less attention to luxury and more to love. By then, however, it’s too late.

The single-motivation, changing character also works in stories in which the character succeeds in getting what he wants but is disappointed in his success. These are the “be-careful-what-you-wish-for-because-you-might-get-it” stories. The change in the character can be one of two types. In one, he realizes that he’s paid too high a price for success, at which point he may or may not change his life. Or, he never realizes this (or at least never admits it), but changes to grow regretful or bitter as a result of getting what he thought he wanted.

Changing Personality, changing motivation

This is the most complex fictional pattern. A character’s goals change throughout the story, and so does her personality/belief system. Obviously, this is confusing for the character. Your goal is to keep it from also hopelessly confusing the reader.

Consider, for instance, Ensign Willie Keith from Herman Wouk’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel about World War II, The Caine Mutiny. Willie undergoes a lot of personal change during the war. He also changes motivation often. In sequence:

  • Willie wants to avoid being drafted, so he joins the Navy.
  • Willie wants to avoid difficult duty, so he tries to avoid dangerous ships like minesweepers.
  • Willie wants to transfer off the minesweeper Caine.
  • Willie wants to survive the Caine’s tyrannical, irrational Captain Queeg.
  • Willie wants to get rid of Queeg and joins a mutiny.
  • Willie wants to avoid court-martial and a dishonorable discharge.
  • Willie wants, finally, to become a good naval officer and defend his country as well as he can.

From these changing motivations, you can also see Willie Keith’s internal changes. He moves from being self-centered, looking for the easy way out, to an assumption of duty and, even more important, to feeling that duty is worthwhile.

If you have a character with both progressive motivation and internal changes, congratulations. You’ve got a strong character to carry an ambitious book. To keep all these changes from seeming arbitrary, however, it’s important to follow all the guidelines set out above for single-motivation changers. Your character’s changes must be dramatized, come about as a result of dramatized events, be accompanied by plausibly rendered emotions, and be validated by subsequent actions on his part.

This article on novel writing is by Nancy Kress, who is the author of Write Great Fiction: Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint. Click here to order your copy (or click here to download the ebook).

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7 Best-Paying Projects for Writers in 2015!

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Comparing Lais of Marie de France with Modern-day Romances (My Literature Response)

Lais of Marie de France is very similar to the modern-day romances.  One way in which both the lais of Marie de France and modern-day romances are similar is that they share one theme. The theme of lovers in a hostile world; oppressive marriages and social conventions.  Lais of Marie de France contained all of these within its story.  Lanval refused the Queen of a secret and adulterous affair. The Queen went and lied to the King about Lanval.  Lanval was granted a trial to prove of his innocence. He tried telling the King of his beautiful lady that he was deeply in love with but the King and the others didn’t believe him. It wasn’t until later in the trial, Lanval’s beautiful lady comes to his aid proving his innocence.  Lanval, declaring love for his beautiful lady proved true. Thus, this went with the story of chivalric adventures of knights and their ladies.

Modern-day romances portray the men as knights and their adventures as chivalric. The men in these modern-day romances show loyalty and obedience to their women (ladies).  Lovers in a hostile world is most common for modern-day romances. Characters in romance stories have to fight their way through their hostile world to fight for their love. Lanval denied the Queen of an affair because of his loyalty and unwavering love for his lady. This also applies to modern-day romances. One or both of the characters in the modern-day romances does exactly what Lanval did for his lady. Lanval declared his love for his lady and was obedient and loyal to his lady even when in trouble. The characters from modern-day romances declare their loyal and obedient love for each other even when they are facing so many problems in their own hostile world. Also, many modern-day romances are about social conventions and oppressive marriages as well.

In both lais of Marie de France and in modern-day romances, women played more central roles. In Lanval’s story, both the Queen and his beautiful lady played more central roles. In modern-day romances, women play more centrals such as playing the heroine.  Both lais of Marie de France and modern-day romances target an audience mostly made up of women.  The purpose of these stories are the ambiguous moral messages within the stories themselves.

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Book Review: West Winds of Wyoming by Caroline Fyffe

Caroline Fyffe’s  novel, West Winds of Wyoming, is a must read! A perfect romantic read that will have every reader falling in love! The plot instantly drew me into the book! The characters were so realistic that I found myself easily connecting with them and their troubles. Oh, yes, that’s right! Nell and Charlie both have their own problems. Nell is struggling with threats from the bank and protecting her ranch in Wyoming. Charlie moves to Wyoming wanting an escape from danger and a place to raise his blind daughter safely. But soon, as their fall deeper in love with each other, their troubles come chasing after them. Will they survive without their romance being destroyed from their own problems? Or will their troubles send them far apart? What happens to Nell’s ranch and to Charlie’s blind daughter?
I found this story very interesting and full of passion! I love when the characters resemble two ordinary people living the  regular lives like the rest of us. It was refreshing and enjoyable to read! I highly recommend reading Caroline Fyffe’s novel, West Winds of Wyoming! I rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars!
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Murder Mystery! What happens next..

Not again..

The neighbor’s dogs were barking like mad once again. Lora walked near her bay window to see what was outside causing the dogs to bark like hell.  Peeping out at the grass across her freshly mowed lawn and to the dogs fenced up, Lora saw nothing. Until a tall shadow caught her eye.

What the hell? Who would be out at night lurking around?

Hurrying to the kitchen, Lora dials her neighbors phone. No response.

Strange..her elderly neighbor always kept the answering machine on when he left the house for any reason no matter how long he would be outside. But the other end just kept ringing.

Hanging up the phone, Lora grabs her flashlight from the top kitchen drawer. No way was she going to take any chances.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

Fear rose deep into Lora’s gut..

Shit! Someone is inside!

Running, Lora heads to her room but not before the intruder knocks her to the floor. Soon as Lora felt the impact all went dark..

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What Happens Next?

The door slammed.

When will the pain end..

He could sense her fear.

He was dead. Or am I now dead too?

“You’re not dead, my brave one.” He chuckled.

Where was I? What was happening to me? 

The door slammed again. This time bringing in cold air.

Belle felt her body shiver..then twist in agony as the pain once more came alive.

Voices.. male voices. Shouting. Heavy footsteps. Then nothing.

Struggling, Belle was waiting for the moment for her body to be able to move. She tried mentally moving her legs..nothing but a sharp pain washed over her.  Sweat breaking out on her forehead.

Once more male voices were shouting. His voice..

No! It couldn’t be! He died! I saw him die!

Next thing Belle heard before the darkness took her under was the sound of a shot going off.

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Main Events!

What are the main events that will move your character toward (or away
from) solving the novel’s central problem or achieving its central goal? (Make
a list.)

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Writing Question of the Day!

What is the main problem your character has to solve, or an important goal
your character has to achieve? Why is it deeply important to your character?
(If it isn’t that important to your character, look for another problem or goal
to be the focus of your story. If your character doesn’t care a lot that he or she resolves the
problem, your readers won’t either.)

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New Agent Seeking Submissions!

About Julie: Before joining The Seymour Agency, Julie Gwinn most recently served as Marketing Manager for the Christian Living line at Abingdon Press and before that served as Trade Book Marketing Manager and then Fiction Publisher for the Pure Enjoyment line at B&H Publishing Group, a Division of LifeWay Christian Resources. Last year she was awarded Editor of the Year from the American Christian Fiction Writers and won B&H’s first Christy award for Ginny Yttrup’s debut novel Words. She has more than 25 years public relations and marketing experience and has also worked in marketing for several Nashville non-profit organizations including the TN Assoc. for the Education of Young Children, the Nashville Area Red Cross and the YWCA. She is married and has two children.

She is seeking: Christian and Inspirational Fiction and Nonfiction, Women’s fiction (contemporary and historical), New Adult, Southern Fiction, Literary Fiction and Young Adult.

How to submit: E-query julie [at] theseymouragency.com. Be sure to include: genre/target audience, word count, contact information, references (conference, recommendation, etc.). No attachments, please. All of The Seymour Agency agents ask that you paste the first five pages of your manuscript into the bottom of your email. “Simultaneous submissions are acceptable for queries and partials. However, we only review complete manuscripts on an exclusive basis.”

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Complete the Story!

A mug of hot chocolate was kept beside my bed. Pulling a blanket over my legs, I was sitting comfortably and lost in thoughts, in my cozy bedroom, holding a pen in one hand and keeping a diary in front, I picked up the mug and took a long sip, feeling the hot chocolate pouring down through my throat and giving me a warmth feeling.

It was a cold December night, around 11 ‘o’ clock, as soon as a string of thoughts passed through my mind, I started penning them down in my diary. As I was writing, I heard some noise from outside, but ignored it of being some noisy chilly breeze passing by. But, then, I felt  chilly, like as if all the warmth of my room was fading away, and that coldness made me divert my concentration from my diary to that open window, on the front wall through which that chilly breeze was entering my room.

I stood up and started walking to bolt that mischievous window, as soon as I reached to it, I took a glimpse of outside and became breathless. I couldn’t believe at the view in front of me. The whole land outside had turned pink with no house or person out there. Anxiety rose to my head and then suddenly, I heard a knock on my bedroom’s door………..

Now post the complete version of this story in the comment area below!

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Brainstorming Practice Example!

Working Title: Heartbeat

Protagonists: girl (Tara?) and boy (Eli?)

Genre: Romance

Themes: Unrequited love between friends; loss

POV: Third person…limited? omniscient?

Misc. thoughts:

  • Begin in the middle of the action, with the two characters preparing to say good-bye. The girl loves the boy. The girl is already sick. Does she already know? She does know, but she keeps it a secret from the boy.
  • Time passes. The two stay in touch; the boy lives life to his fullest while the girl gradually finds out more of her illness.
  • What is her illness? Cancer? Heart condition? Heart condition seems more fitting, considering the dual implications of a “heart condition” (medical and emotional).
  • The two meet after a year or two pass. The boy still doesn’t know. The girl tries to keep him in the dark but is too weak and eventually faints. As such, she is forced to spill the truth. Perhaps the two should argue about why she never mentioned anything earlier. Maybe this argument leads into a confession about her feelings for him…
  • Did he already know about her feelings? Has she hidden them well enough for him to really be clueless? How will he react upon the sudden revelation? Will he accept her? Push her away?
  • At this stage, maybe she has already come to terms with her fate. Or maybe she’s just putting on a facade of calmness? Perhaps she collapses a second time, more severe than the first, and finally breaks down about her fears.
  • The two are again forced to separate. Maybe they reach some sort of tentative understanding. The boy agrees to visit again soon…

Ending options:

  • Tragic #1: The girl passes away before the boy can return, causing him to contemplate his loss and ask himself what his feelings for the girl really were.
  • Tragic #2: The girl is miraculously cured, but the boy dies randomly in an accident before the two can meet again. Would work especially well if he finally returned her feelings.
  • Bittersweet #1: The girl dies but not before meeting the boy again. Are their feelings mutual? Do they share a kiss? Or do they simply reach an understanding?
  • Bittersweet #2: The girl lives, miraculously, but the two do not end up together.
  • Happy #1: The girl is miraculously saved and ends up with the boy.

Now, you are to brainstorm on your own! And post it in the comment area below for feedback and rating! :-)

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Writing Great Books for Young Adults by Regina L. Brooks

9781402293528-PR

Writing Great Books for Young Adults

October 7, 2014

By Regina L. Brooks

ISBN: 9781402293528 ● Trade Paperback/$14.99

Praise for Writing Great Books for Young Adults

“Written from the perspective of an industry insider, the book shows budding authors how to edit their work with fresh eyes.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Brooks offers writers who are serious about attracting teen readers solid guidance through the creation process of writing YA fiction.” —Library Journal

“Brooks fills her book with clear examples that illustrate her points… If you’re looking for an A to Z guide on writing and publishing YA fiction, Regina Brooks’s how-to is the place to go.” —Writer Magazine

 

Break into the young adult market with this indispensable guide!

With an 87 percent increase in the number of young adult titles published in the last two years, the young adult market is one of the healthiest segments in the industry. Despite this fact, surprisingly little has been written to help authors hone their craft and truly connect with the young adult audience.

 

Writing Great Books for Young Adults gives writers all the advice they need to tap into this incredible and innovative market. Literary agent Regina L. Brooks shows writers how listening to young adults will help them create characters their audience can identify with.

Topics covered include meeting your protagonist, engaging your readers,, trying on points of view, and many more.

 

About the Author: Regina L. Brooks is the founder of Serendipity Literary Agency and has been developing award-winning authors and books for over a decade. She has been highlighted in several national and international magazines and periodicals, including Poets and Writers, Essence, Writer’s Digest, and Sister2Sister, Forbes, Media Bistro, Ebony, and Jet. She lives in New York City.

Connect with Regina:

@serendipitylit

facebook.com/serendipitylit

serendipitylit.com 

 regina image

Read on for an Excerpt

Writing Excerpt

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Here Are Other Samples of Query Letters!

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Sample of a Query Letter!

Here is a sample of a query letter:

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The Author I am Going to Meet!

Photo: True crime author Diane Fanning played a critical role in finding justice for Julie Rea Harper, who was wrongfully convicted of murdering her 10 year old son.   Meet Fanning, Saturday, October 11, 10:30am at the Donald W. Reynolds Library.  Fanning is the author of over 10 true crime novels.  Her book, Written in Blood, was nominated for the Edgar Allen Poe award. Another Fanning title Gone Forever is considered by Domestic Violence Shelters around the country as an important book for women. Several of Fanning’s titles are currently on display at the Library and available for checkout.  Her October 11th program will begin with a presentation from Fanning about her writing career, research methods, and experiences, followed by a Q & A session, and book sale/signing.  This program is part of a line-up of special programs slated at the Library during the run of the Crime Lab Detective exhibit, which will be at the Library through November 2.  See 20/20 news story about the Julie Rea Harper case at http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=2931404&page=1.

True crime author Diane Fanning played a critical role in finding justice for Julie Rea Harper, who was wrongfully convicted of murdering her 10 year old son.  Fanning is the author of over 10 true crime novels. Her book, Written in Blood, was nominated for the Edgar Allen Poe award. Another Fanning title Gone Forever is considered by Domestic Violence Shelters around the country as an important book for women.  Her October 11th program will begin with a presentation from Fanning about her writing career, research methods, and experiences, followed by a Q & A session, and book sale/signing.  See 20/20 news story about the Julie Rea Harper case athttp://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=2931404&page=1.

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Meeting an Author!

Dear Viewers,

I will get the opportunity to meet an author who specializes in crime fiction on Saturday October 11th!!!! I will tell you all about it asap, and I will try to post pictures on here as well!

Best Wishes,

Danielle

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Writing Challenge!

Writing Challenge!

Take 2,500 words (about ten pages double-spaced) to start or complete your first chapter. End with a cliffhanger or a lead-in to further the plot development.

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Book Review: Breaking In by Wayne Casey

Wayne Casey’s historical novel is truly a fascinating novel to read. His book, Breaking In, gives readers an insider’s sense of what really happened, how and why. I found his novel unique. He actually experienced the segregation of blacks and whites in schools. He was the first one in his family to break the segregation. He attended an all-white school and succeeded with every new step he took on. Breaking In is an inspiring novel for those who lived and went through the terrible segregation occurring within schools and everywhere else. His book took place during a time when the government ruled that segregation was unequal and the every slow wait for segregation of blacks and white to end. This book is a must read and details the author’s own experience during these hard times. I would recommend others to read Wayne Casey’s book. I rate his novel a 5 out of 5 stars!

All-New Fire HD

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A Follower’s Reply to the Writing Assingment

Assignment was: Take 500 words to create a scene of verbal conflict between your main character and the antagonist. Include action and description if the scene needs it.

 

A Follower’s Response is:

“Can you understand me now?” Demanded D’var. “Yes I can now,” Asora replied. “Good maybe now I can make my intentions known,” D’var said. “And that would be?” Laxur asked in a seductive tone. “Don’t bother,” the alien said. “Your two nations have caused enough damage it is now time to bring order to the chaos that you have created. Asking doesn’t work, so we will achieve this goal by force,” D’var stated. “Oh please you couldn’t, ” Laxur was cut off as she felt her neck tighten as if some one had their hands on it. She is lifted into the air and hovers before the angry alien. “What hubris,  to believe that you think that you are superior to the multi verse which gave you life. A god among animals. Well I am here to show you how wrong you are. For we have come, and like a desolating storm. In the wake of the carnage. A new order will rise!”

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Cafe Shop Mystery Part #1

Ana was sipping her steaming cup of freshly brewed coffee, when the shop’s door bell rang. Entering a stranger to the small quiet town. The man stood at least 6 feet in height with broad shoulders. Something told her that he was lost. His dark hair was messy, and he seemed cold from the cool weather they were having. Fall after all was chilly. He looked about the room, almost as if judging who to talk to. His eyes finally rested upon Ana’s. Yep, there was something about this man.. that intrigued her senses. Waiting for the man to approach her, she continued to hold his gaze. Just then Belle came to the register snapping the man’s attention away from Ana. Who was he? And what was he doing here? Surely that man knew how to use a GPS to find his way back to wherever he was headed. But instead, here he was. Tall, messy, cold and not to mention attractive.

Ana was intrigued by this new stranger. To find out more, she decided to head up by Belle and see what was going on. But to her disappointment he left. Leaving the cafe shop’s door ringing behind him.

“Belle, who was that stranger and what did he need?”

“He didn’t say his name. Even though I asked. But he did say he was lost and needing instructions for the old farm house. So, I told him how to get there and he thanked me then left. Why?”

“Just curious, is all.”

“Uh huh, sure you are. With that man’s good looks any woman would be tempted to know who he was.”

Laughing, Belle headed back to make more orders. Ana didn’t know why a stranger suddenly was  interested in the old farm house. No one has lived there in ages. And there were rumors that the original owner’s ghost haunted the farm. Keeping everyone else from buying it. The big question, was what was the stranger looking for? Grabbing her purse and leaving a tip for Belle. Ana decides to head on up to the old farm house to have a look.

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Online Course Fundraiser!

Dear Viewers,

I will be hosting a series of very affordable online creative writing courses as a fundraiser to raise money for a Historical Writing course that I really would love to take to enhance my creative writing skills in order to provide more help to all of you as well as helping me understand more about that topic itself.

The online courses will be $5 each.  You can pay me by sending the $5.00 to my PayPal address at: danielleurban442@yahoo.com

The courses will range from the following:

- Creating Story Ideas

- Introduction to Romance Writing

- Introduction to Paranormal Writing

- How to Write Perfect Book Reviews for Companies that Pay

- Writing and Publishing Short Stories

Each one of these courses will will begin Friday and are self-paced. They also provide a one-on-one feedback from me on each lesson covered in the course. Which means not only will you be provided and taught the steps in writing in each course but will also, get free honest feedback and editing on your work. I will coach you along your way until you have completed the course(s). Plus after completing each course you will receive a free PDF certificate indicating the course you took, and how many hours you completed.

If you are interested in taking any of the courses, please email at: danielleurban23@gmail.com  ;this will let me know how many people will be taking what course.

Thank you,

Danielle

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New Writing Assignment!

New Writing Assignment!

Summarize your novel in 500 words. If you only have an idea, but no middle or end, just describe the idea or the beginning of the story. If you don’t have an idea, describe the kind of novel you envision writing, e.g., “I want to write about ghosts who help people solve crimes, and my story will possibly involve…” or “I want to write a novel about vampires, and it should be a romance as well.”

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New Issue Coming Soon!

Dear Viewers,

It is time for a new free digital issue of  Universal Creativity Inc. Magazine to come out!

The Magazine will come out this Friday and will be featuring book reviews, author interviews, publishing advice, free writing prompts, new books by both new emerging  and best selling authors alike!

If you want a review of your book to be published in the digital issue, just email me at: danielleurban23@gmail.com

Or if you you are an author, publisher, or article writer and would like to be featured just send me an email before Friday of this week!

Also, just a reminder all editing services are only $25 from now and until November 1st! So, hurry and send in your manuscripts before the deal ends!

Best Wishes,

Danielle Urban

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AMAZING SHORT READS

Come check out tons of AMAZING short reads by Andrew David!

To check out and read his stunning short stories click on the link below that you send you directly to his stories!

http://andrewdavidblog.wordpress.com/

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