Friday, April 26, 2013

On Writing Romance...

Writing romance takes a special type of progression. We've all heard stories described as: boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy finds girl and happily-ever-after ensues. It is in a sense a three act play with turning points that leads to the next act.

Act one, you set the stage, introduce your characters, their setting, their problem. You sit back and allow the characters to grapple with the problem,devise all the reasons they can't be together. They'll use society, personal flaws - ie. thou protest too much, and all around it just ain't happening. Which brings us to how to move from Act 1 to Act 2.

To march or finagle your couple to the altar, you employ the use of the well developed secondary characters. Your secondary character is your everyman. The person that acts as the conscious of your hero/heroine. They are the force that moves your characters from walling in all the reason they can't be together with a swift kick in the pants, pointing out the flaws, and establishing the reasons why they must try.

I mean, think of all the great secondary characters we've come to know and love. John Wayne and Gabby Hayes, Harry Potter and Ron Weasley, Felix Unger and Oscar Madison, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. I'm sure you all can name a few more.

So when you create your secondary make sure they can stand up to the heroine/hero and push, shove, accidentally trick them into following their heart. For we know, the path to true love doesn't run smoothly.

Here's an example from a work in progress. Heroine can't have hero because their families have been feuding for years. But as you'll see the secondary pushes them forward.

“So, you’re going over to the Jenning’s place?”

Jason didn’t answer. The seven steps it took to move to his mount’s side and place the saddle upon it’s back gave him time to think before he answered. “Phone call might be easiest,” he remarked hooking the stirrup over the horn to reach for the girth. “But turning up, face to face, shows a lot of goodwill.”

“Hu hu.” The acknowledgement dripped in doubt.

Ignoring his foreman, he threaded the leather through the ring and tightened it. Beneath the brim of his hat, the shadows gave enough cover to allow a guarded glance at the cowboy standing at his horses head. Dropping the stirrup, he laid a hand across the seat and confronted him. “If you’ve got a problem, Chip, say it.”

Chip ran his hand down the front of the gelding’s nose. “Look, we all know there’s bad blood. I just want you to use a bit of caution. The Bar M doesn’t need any altercations with the Flying J. Max can be just as big of a hot head as old man Jennings.”

“I’m well aware,” Jason growled and walked over to the corral post to untie his horse. He drew the split reins around the horse’s neck and stepping to the left, planted his boot in the stirrup, bringing his leg over the saddle.

“This wouldn’t have anything to do with Jennings’ daughter?”

Jason gritted his teeth and his jaw muscle twitched. “Don’t you have cattle to tend to?”

“Nothing that can’t wait. Why don’t you let a few of the boys ride along with you? Kind of keep the numbers even.”

Fuming, Jason placed an arm on the saddle horn and leaned down. He didn’t want his message to be mistaken. “I don’t need a chaperone. This is just a friendly call to let Maz know what’s going on. You comprende?”

“Yeah, sure. I gotcha, boss.”

Happy Writing ....

Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday Action Adventure snippet

“Don’t you dare tell me it’s not my right to work,” she hissed. “My brother may be dead, but I own that freight company. It is my blood, my sweat, my life!”

“Your life,” he scoffed. “Your death, Miss Thornton, if you keep up with this foolhardy attempt.”

She flashed him a look of disdain. “You pompous windbag.” Her nostrils flared and color crept into her cheeks. “Don’t you preach to me! I intend to honor my brother’s memory by making Thornton’s the best freight company in Texas.”

Her fire set his blood aflame. Any other woman would have run in the opposite direction. In defiance,she stepped closer, glaring up at him, the color of her eyes deepening from blue to deep indigo. In their depths a sparkling of fire leaped and could not go unchallenged. Unable to control his movements, Trace reached out and grasped her by the waist, his broad hands nearly spanning her middle.

“Oh, yes.” His words tumbled over his lips, deep,throaty, and laced with desire. “You’ll make a name for yourself. Every unmarried man, every scoundrel, and every hot blood in southwest Texas will turn up on your doorstep. They will watch the tilt of your head, the sway of your skirts, and try to catch the shimmer of fire in that fine head of hair.”

Beneath his stare, her eyes widened. Not from fear, but with understanding of what his words meant. He searched her face but didn’t hold back. “They won’t stop there,” he continued, pulling her toward him. “Not until they have a taste of heaven.”

From Castillo's Fiery Texas Bride now available at Amazon.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Facing Fears

The toughest thing you can do is to get back on...

We've all heard the saying, fall off a horse and you must get back on, but when the beast is nearly 2000 pounds of Brahma terror, the task becomes more than daunting. In Eight Seconds to Glory, Travis Hargrove has a lot to prove if he wants to win Glory Beebe's heart.

“You're crazy, you know it?” Mickey snapped as he handed Travis a chest protector.
“You got no more business on that bull than a jay bird.”
“Yeah, I do.”
Travis paused and cut Mickey an impatient glance. “I know what I'm doing. Jax is right. It's time I showed those kids what a bull rider does.”
“You ain't ready,” Mickey shook his head. “You haven't been on a bull yet. You could go and get yourself killed.”
Travis put on the metal helmet. “I got news for you,” he thumped Mickey's chest. “I'm coming out on top.”
“And Glory? You get hurt and what am I gonna say to her?”
He paused and turned to look at Mickey. “I'm not gonna get hurt. In fact when I get done, I'm gonna tell her I love her.” His face contorted in thought. “I don't know how we‟re gonna make it work, but I know when two people are as good together as we are, you don't look back, you just do it.”

Eight Seconds to Glory is available in print and in ebook.