Wednesday, February 29, 2012

“A House Full of Hope” – Five Stars and the Best Yet!

Missy Tippens is an Amazing Author Who Writes 5-Star Inspirational Romances With Each New Book Better Than the Last!

Love Inspired
February 2012

Author Review

How does an author make a 5-star book even better? She grows as a writer. She demonstrates a burning desirer to take God’s gift and manifest it to its greatest extent. She never stops learning. She shares what she’s learned by teaching others.  These are just some of the things I’ve experienced the author do. 

With each book the author has layered in a greater depth of understanding while creating richer conflict. This provides the reader with interesting characters who seem to grow with each page. As always, there is a strong inspirational message that renews the spirit and warms the soul. Better yet, Missy Tippens does all this in an unassuming voice which, with each word, demonstrates her love for her readers.

Reading a Missy Tippens romance is like receiving a warm hug from someone who really cares about you. I never hurry a Missy Tippens’s romance. Why would I want the reading enjoyment to end quicker? The author takes extra time to write her books and I take extra time to savor every word. 

I enjoy ‘feeling’ the author’s kindly voice. I like mingling with her characters. These are genuine people who you would like to get to know in real life.  

If I sound high on the author, it’s because I’ve never been disappointed with her books. Tippens’ books are auto-buys and auto-reads. They preempt any book I am currently reading at the time they debut. If asked: “Which Missy Tippens book should I read first”, I instantly say, “Read any one of them.”  

Reading a Missy Tippens book is like being in a state of mind you never want to leave.

Book Review of "A House Full of Hope" 

"A House Full of Hope” may be the author’s most heartwarming and inspirational romance to date. I believe this because the conflicts run deep and are not based on simple misunderstandings. The characters are so sympathetic that they will win your heart within a few pages. These are good people who suffer through no fault of their own but yet carry on with faith and determination. These are characters with character. You will care about them and that makes the reading enjoyment run far deeper.

Solving the many conflicts in “A Hose Full of Hope” requires both redemption and forgiveness. It also involves characters to grow and forgive themselves. 

The hero, Mark Ryker, has recently found Christ and returns to his home town to seek forgiveness from the many people he hurt ten years earlier. Mark has a lot of genuine guilt to atone for. He was responsible, in part, for his little brother’s death which lead to his mother’s death and his father becoming estranged from him. 

Mark became a troubled teenager. His drinking helped a girl hang with a bad crowd. The girl went wild and became a long term drug addict. Mark has not seen his father in years. They are not even talking. After Mark ran away from his problems he eventually cleaned up his act and started a business that his made him rich. 

The heroine, Hannah Hughes,  is the younger sister of Sydney, the woman Mark badly influenced. (He's the man who ruined her life.) Hannah is a widow with four little children. She once had a crush on Mark but he only saw her as a little pest at the time.

Most of the town has good reason to dislike Mark -- especially the heroine’s mother Donna. Mark thinks that becoming a good Christian and asking for foreignness should clear the way to peace but it is not that easy. Being a Christian is not easy. Some people find it very hard to forgive. I very strongly sympathized with Donna. I would not be very willing to forgive Mark myself. 

Mark’s one hope is the heroine but the heroine’s mother drives her away when she even befriends Mark. 

“A House Full of Hope”  reads so well because the characters are so real, the conflict is genuine and the road to happiness is not easy and nor is it certain.

A Very Moral Book With A Clear Moral Premise 

from "A House Full of Hope":

“Ann’s coffee-cup slogan popped into his mind and made him laugh. Money can’t buy love. Maybe God had been trying to show him something even then. And hadn’t God proven the point the whole time he was in Carinthia?  

“No matter what he tried to do for people – with money –his efforts hadn’t made a difference.
   But when he spent time working with them, relationships had started to slowly improve.” 

“What if he went back and showed them he wanted to commit to them? Showed Donna he was committed to Hannah. Showed Hannah he was committed to Hannah.” 

Page 147 on Sony eReader… (Now that’s a Moral Premise). 

If You Want to Read A Better Book Than
 “A House Full of Hope” You’ll Just Have to Wait for Her Next One! They Just Keep Getting Better!

Missy Tippens 5-Star Books:

Monday, February 27, 2012

GMC – Goal, Motivation & Conflict – A Classic Writing Book

GMC is the Best Book on the Topic! Easy to Read, Easy to Learn, Easy to Apply!
Author Name Dixon, Debra
Title Goal, Motivation & Conflict
Binding Hardback
Book Condition New
Size 6x9

The material covered in GMC is not new, in fact, it is very well known. Usually this material is covered in one chapter in "How To" books on writing. The author, Debra Dixon, even acknowledges this when she points out that GMC has many other formulations. 

“Goal – desire, want, need, ambition, purpose
 Motivation – drive, backstory, impetus, incentive
 Conflict – trouble, tension, friction, villain, roadblock”

James Scott Bell even adds a fourth item to his list in, “Plot and Structure”:  LOCK:  Lead, Objective, Confrontation and Knockout I like the “Knockout” addition. That’s writing a knockout ending to better sell your next book or books from your backlist. 

What makes Debra Dixon’s GMC so valuable is that it is written by someone who has conducted many workshops. Someone who has received constant feedback. It’s written in first person conversational English. It is easy to undersand. Easy to remember. And easy to apply. Debra Dixon is an excellent teacher.

There is another very important point to devoting an entire book to this material: knowing and understanding GMC concepts and then applying them in practice forces a writer to do many other things right – without even knowing or having to learn them. This makes GMC highly leveraged knowledge. The material is so central to everything else a writer needs to know to write a novel, that I think it should be the first book a beginning writer reads. 

GMC is so well written to convey its subject matter that I am using the same 'reader friendly', first person. POV as a guide for my book, "RPP, Rewards Per Page" which I hope will be finished by the end of March.

I expect that most serious writers will already have a copy and have read GMC. However, I think it’s a good idea to read GMC  every so often. If you go to Amazon you might think the book is out of print but actually you can buy it directly from the publisher for $19.95 – a real bargain!

GMC is the Best Book on the Topic! Easy to Read, Easy to Learn, Easy to Apply!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

“Liz Fielding’s Little Book of Writing Romance”

The First Book to Read for Aspiring Writers! 

The Next Book to Read for Established Writers!

Format: Kindle Edition
Publisher: Classic Romance Publishing
January 2012
Amazon Digital Services

"Liz Fielding’s Little Book of Writing Romance" is all about the essential elements of the craft. As such, it provides the romance writer with the necessary information for creating the most enjoyable reading experience. 

While, as a primer, the book is ideal for a beginning writer, it is not simplistic! Nor is it a book of rules you have to follow. Rather "Liz Fielding’s Little Book of Writing Romance” is a book of ideas. It’s a book of, “I wish I’d known this when I first started writing” advice.

As the author writes in the Introduction: 

“…I have written the book I wish I’d had when I was starting out.” 

While the book covers the essential elements of romance writing, it is by no means 'basic' -- in the sense that learning your ‘A’ ‘B’ ‘C’s, before learning how to read, is 'basic'. Indeed, very complex subjects are covered in this book.

For example, understanding the idea of ‘conflict’ is essential to writing fiction but ‘conflict’ is a very complex and often misunderstood concept.  If a writer does not have a clear understanding of the essential elements of her subject, then applying writing rules can actually make a novel worse. 

Consider 'conflict'. Here's what the author has to say about what 'conflict' is not:

First, most importantly, it is not two characters having an argument for 199 pages and then saying “I love you” on page 200. 

An event that delays a hero or heroine’s progress towards a goal is not conflict, it is only an incident. 

A misunderstanding, a wrong assumption, one or other of the characters jumping to the wrong conclusion is not conflict. Conflict lies in the underlying reasons why they are unable to communicate.

   Meddling by another person is not conflict and can make the main characters appear weak, passive, unable to take charge of their own lives. Nor is the main character’s unwillingness to admit that they are attracted to the hero or heroine in any way, conflict. They might fight off the attraction, but conflict lies in the underlying reasons why they fight instead of fall into bed. 

So what, in the context of a novel, is conflict? 

Imagine the very worst person that your hero or heroine could fall in love with. Then double the nightmare. Tighten the screw. Layer in more reasons why this match is impossible. Family feud, faith, social class, distance, politics, health, reputation, a past relationship, secrets, lies, perceived past betrayal.

Conflict comes when, despite all and every apparently good reason for the characters to say “no way”, the attraction is too powerful for them to walk away, as in these partnerships that should never have worked."

Now, if a writer thinks ‘conflict’ is something that Liz Fielding points out is not 'conflict', (like having people argue) then adding such ‘non-conflict’ to a novel could well make it annoying to the reader! (And here the writer is thinking she has followed the rules and made her novel better!) This is exactly why established writers will benefit from reading this book. It is essential for all professionals to always be learning those things they ‘know’ that ‘ain’t so’. 

I discovered a few things that "I knew that ain't so" when reading this book. For this reason alone, reading "Liz Fielding's Little Book of Writing Romance", has been very rewarding for me.

Perhaps the most important thing about, “Liz Fielding’s Little Book of Writing Romance,” is the emphasis it places is on the reader. The central focus is not on agents, editors, contest judges, publishers, critics or even rules. The reader is at the central focus of this book and this makes it highly unusual and exceptionally valuable. So many “How to Write a Novel” books are about meeting the needs of the novel. The reader’s reading enjoyment is often lost among all the writing rules. Liz Fielding never forgets the reader!

As Liz Fielding writes in the book: 

   “The primary purpose of a romance novel is to elicit a positive emotional experience for the reader. Make her smile, make her cry, make her sight with pleasure. To put it in a nutshell, give her a good time.”

Writing to the needs of the 'reading experience' is what best selling authors do the best. Liz Fielding's little book is an excellent example of how to do this. From this point of view, "Liz Fielding's Little Book of Writing Romance", is a writing gem. A little jewel in the crown of romance writing books.

The Ten Chapters Cover These Topics:

Grab the reader on the first page.
Create characters your reader will care about.
Make conflict big enough to carry story,
Dig deep for emotion,
Develop romantic tension.
Write realistic dialogue.
Understanding Viewpoint.
Construct a four-dimensional world.
Give reader a satisfying ending.
Last Chapter covers: The basics.

I just want to point out that ‘the basics’ come at the very end in the last chapter. This book could be used in a graduate seminar on romance writing and probably will be.

"Liz Fielding’s Little Book of Writing Romance" – An Ideal Way to Calibrate Your Writing Knowledge!  A Writing Book You Can Profitably Read Again, Again, and Again! 5-Stars!

Friday, February 10, 2012

“Write a Great Synopsis - An Expert Guide” – Best of its Kind!

The Best “Synopsis” Book I’ve Ever Read and Here’s Why:  

I Will Actually Do What “Write a Great Synopsis”  Suggests!

Nicola Morgan
Format: Kindle Edition
Publisher: Crabbit Publishing
January 17, 2012)
Amazon Digital Services $3.45

Let’s face it: synopsis books are like diet books. Every one will work if you actually follow the instructions. The problem with diet books is that you have to find the right diet! And that’s a diet that you can actually live with and implement!  

I’ve read quite of few books and articles on how to write a synopsis and I’ve agreed with everything the authors wrote except for the fact that I couldn’t get myself to do it their way.  

Write a Great Synopsis” is different. The suggestions exactly fit how I like to do things. It’s perfect. Also, I think most writers are like me in this respect.  

Consider these two essential points that I feel stand out as particularly excellent. 

FIRST:  Start your synopsis with a ‘single sentence hook’. Then build that sentence into a paragraph, Next expand that paragraph into a full page. If you are allowed more words by an editor or agent, expand it to the full size allowed.  

Writing your synopsis this way means you are adding material according to its importance. You are not faced with cutting away ‘great material’ -- a process that many writers find painful to do. 

There is also the added benefit of creating your pitch and back cover blurb at the same time that you are writing your synopsis. 

SECOND: The author offers a great synopsis writing idea that she calls her “Crappy Memory Method". (This is actually the same method I used for years cutting 2,000 word full page advertising copy down to 50 to 200 words when the advertised item was later used as a sub-feature in a smaller ad.)  

Here’s how the “Crappy Memory Method” works: put the book aside for a day or two and then write the synopsis without looking at any or your materials. Do it all from memory. If you do this then only the most important elements of the story should be remembered first. If you can’t remember something, like subplots or secondary characters, then you most likely don’t need them in the synopsis. This works very well for me. I think it will also work for most writers.

Write a Great Synopsis” is a total book. A great deal is covered about synopses: fiction and non-fiction, different types of synopses, the real importance of a synopsis, linear and non-linear synopses, guidelines, rules asnot set in stone, why you need several synopses for each book, plus much more. 

The author is an expert who has done it all. From her book: 

“Nicola Morgan is the author of around ninety books, including best-seller and award-winners. She is well known for her strong advice about writing and publishing: her main book for writers, Write to be Published, gained universal praise on publication in 2011.”   

Best of all: the book is only $3.45 on Amazon as a Kindle book as I write this. A must buy if I ever saw one! 

Added benefit: there are many hot links that will help you navigate the book – many Kindle formatted books do not offer this feature!

5 Stars!  Highest Possible Rating!
A Must for Serious Writers of Fiction and Non-Fiction!