I Need to be Serious for a Minute…

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This isn’t something that you’ll see too often on this blog, but I feel the need to be serious for just a few minutes. I’m going to be posting my character’s back stories for your reading. But, I want to say something before I do. I’ve learned a few things since I’ve gotten more serious about my writing. I’ve joined some writing groups and met some amazing people.

One of the biggest things I’ve learned is that many people suffer from PTSD for many reasons. I’m fortunate enough to not have to worry about it, but I want to be sensitive to readers that might be dealing with this. So consider this a trigger warning for any posts in the future. I don’t write graphic stories other than mushy, lovey-dovey stuff, lol. BUT, some of my characters don’t have the most stellar pasts, and this might cause issues for some people. There is mention of rape, drinking, suicide, and possible drug use. Again, nothing detailed or graphic, but some people might have an issue just with the mention of these things. So I want to give fair warning to readers who may be sensitive to these things.

Ok, let’s get back to our regularly scheduled programming!

What Would You Attempt if You Knew You Would Not Fail?

What Would You Attempt if You Knew You Would Not Fail-

Well, I guess today is as good a day as any to start something new. I was Googling for some Writing Prompt ideas, mostly of a clean nature (preferably Christian, if I’m being honest). While I did find some and I saved them, I happened upon this one blog that had 400 weekly writing prompts that had been done over the course of a few years. BINGO! While they’re not adding any new posts to it now (and haven’t for quite a while), I figured it would be something I could use to get my writing juices flowing and use it to create some new posts on my blog. Which, let’s be honest, has been silent for quite a while now. Life gets in the way so much sometimes! Here’s a link to the blog I’m referencing and if you’d like to join me along this journey, feel free! Also, I can’t really commit to a weekly post for these prompts, so I’ll be doing monthly posts, which is far more manageable for me. Here we go…

Month #1 – 7/10/2017

What would you attempt if you knew you would not fail?

Hmmmm, that’s a tough one. I’m already attempting a few things that, of course, I’m afraid I’ll fail at. BUT, if I knew for a fact that I wouldn’t fail, I think I’d attempt being a singer. Now, I’m not much of an out-of-the-car singer, but I love to sing. Sadly, my son shushes me when I do sing, so we need to work on that. But I do it anyway and watching him tell me to stop is hilarious! I had thought I’d like to be a singer when I was younger, but it wasn’t something I was ever serious about. Though, it is something I enjoy doing…in private. I have a thing about being in front of a lot of people with all eyes on me. Yikes!

So, I’d love to read in the comments below what you would do if you knew you wouldn’t fail. You can be a bit more serious like I was, or you can be silly with it! And if you decide to write it up on your blog I’d love to get that link so I can go take a look and leave a comment for you!

God bless!

Meet My Characters: Jaimie Allen Brillinger

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Jaimie Allen Brillinger, 25 when story begins, female lead’s ex

Lives just outside of Nashville, TN until he gets arrested for stalking Madalena.

Backstory

Jaimie and Mady dated for 2 years, her senior year of high school and her first year of design school. He hated the fact that she took the job at the Coyote Ugly Saloon in order to pay for school. They fought about it constantly and he even showed up at the bar a few times, trying to get her fired. The bouncer at the bar escorted him from the premises and eventually banned him from coming back. Jaimie threatened Mady multiple times if she didn’t quit her job, but she refused and the last argument resulted in him trying to strangle her because he’d been drinking. She called the police on him and pressed charges and he was sentenced to serve 18 months. He’s in jail at the South Central Correctional facility in Clifton, but gets moved to a jail in Texas because he got in trouble. After serving his 18 months he’s released and is obsessed with going after Mady.

Birthdate: August 28, 1987

Appearance:

Hair: Short, blond

Eyes: Green

Height: 6’ 1”

Weight: 225lbs.

Build: Muscular

Meet My Characters: Greggory James Orwin

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Greggory James Orwin, 45 at start of story, male lead’s mentor

Lives in high-rise penthouse in Nashville, TN

Appearance:

Skin: Pale

Hair: Short, wavy, graying light brown

Eyes: Dark brown, somewhat small

Height: A little tall

Weight: A bit pudgy

Build: Average

When Gregg was younger he too got in trouble and spent time in jail. When he was released from jail he found out that his father had passed away and left him his entire estate. He knew he wanted to use the money to help people who were in a similar situation as he was. Gregg had been raised in a conservative Christian home, but was led astray when he got involved in drugs at the age of 17. His mother passed away when he was 20 and his father didn’t know how to control Gregg after that. His mother’s death sent him over the edge and he would spend weeks at a time away from his father’s home doing drugs and ending up in the hospital a few times, but his father never knew about it.

Gregg didn’t have any siblings, but he did have a cousin that he would keep in touch with, but he never accepted his offers to help Gregg get clean. One night when he was desperate for another high, but had no money he attacked a guy he saw walking through the park alone after dark. The guy ended up in the hospital, but after he was released about 2 weeks later he was able to identify Gregg so he was arrested, charged and convicted. He spent 4 years in jail and was treated for his drug addiction as well as depression and anxiety.

Meet My Characters: Madalena Symone Young

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Madalena Symone Young, 23 when the story begins, female lead

Birth date: February 19, 1989

Appearance:

Hair: Blonde hair past shoulder length with burgundy highlights

Eyes: Hazel

Height: 5’ 4”

Weight: Slender

Build: Average

Backstory

Prefers to be called Mady. Mady’s parents were arrested when she was 10 for selling drugs. They lost custody of her and she was placed with her aunt (Lorain Caterina Polinsky), but her husband was an alcoholic and was emotionally abusive to them. He eventually left when she was 17. She went to college to study fashion and design and worked 3 part time jobs to pay for it along with having a scholarship and taking out a student loan. Her grades were suffering and she almost lost her scholarship. At that point she was approached by a male student who told her the Coyote Ugly Saloon in Nashville was hiring. The pay was a lot more than her 3 part time jobs put together and she would work less hours so she’d have more time for her school work. She reluctantly went and talked to the owner. She told him she’d give it a try. She also told him that she lied about her age when she was 19 and her uncle left her and her aunt. She needed a job and the corner bar hired her, so she had experience bartending. Soon she had quit her other jobs and was making decent money every week.

One night while serving an older gentleman he told her he was making an adult film and she’d be perfect for it. She declined his offer at first, but he gave her his card and told her to give him a call if she changed her mind. The more she thought about it, the more the thought of the money she’d make appealed to her. She didn’t have any friends to talk to about it, other than the other girls at the bar. They told her it wouldn’t hurt to at least check it out, but to be careful. She gave the guy a call and he gave her an address. She went on a Saturday, a few hours before her shift at the bar started. It was a warehouse in an industrial park, but there was a sign on the door that read: ‘Garry Martino – Producer’. Inside there was a well-appointed lobby with a large desk at the far end and an attractive young woman sitting behind it. She directed Mady to take the elevator to the third floor and she’d find him there. When she got out of the elevator she saw about a dozen people walking around what looked like a movie set. It was a living room with a sofa opened into a bed, a loveseat and a few chairs. There was loud music playing, but it stopped a moment later. She caught sight of Garry, he was standing in front of a table of food. She quietly made her way towards him and tapped him on the shoulder. They talked for a while since everyone was on a break. He explained what was going on and told her she could just hang out and observe for a bit before she made a decision about whether or not she wanted to be in the movie.

When everyone came back from break they were talking about the next scene and it hit her that they were talking about sex. She didn’t say anything, but it made her feel uncomfortable. When they started shooting the scene she was surprised to see the actors and actresses were actually having intercourse and being filmed. Being in a pornography movie made her feel sick to her stomach, so she excused herself and tried to walk out of the building as calmly as she possibly could. She got on her bike and drove to the bar so she could talk to the girls there and see what they thought about this. A couple of them told her she’d made the right decision, but some of the others told her she should have stayed a little longer and talked to the guy about it some more. Apparently they didn’t see a problem with being a porn star.

About a week later Garry showed up at the bar again and asked for her. He wasn’t upset, but was wondering why she left without telling him and wanted to know if she was still interested in being in his movie. She told him it made her uncomfortable and she wasn’t interested, so he left.

Meet My Characters: Derrik Jasun Olsen

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I currently have two stories in progress, but I want to share characters from one of them with my readers. I don’t know if they will give interviews, but if there’s anything you want to ask them, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll see what I can do. So without further ado, here’s my main male character…

Derrik Jasun Olsen, 28 when the story begins, male lead

Birth date: June 24, 1984

Appearance:

Hair: Short, wavy, black

Eyes: Green

Height: 6’ 1”

Weight: Slender

Build: Average

Backstory

It had been almost 3 years since he’d touched a computer. It was part of his recovery and in reality, he didn’t miss it. But, starting this new job as an insurance adjuster on Monday meant he’d have to use one again. The company would provide full training since they had software developed specifically for their use, so he wasn’t worried about that. But he was told he’d have his own office, which meant he’d have privacy. If there wasn’t someone around to hold him accountable there was a chance he’d slip right back into his old habit and that was dangerous.

He could still think back to the days when he would sit up half the night watching porn movie after porn movie on his computer, even though his fiancé was mere feet away from him. She had no idea he had this addiction, but she could tell something wasn’t right with him after living together for about 6 months. They hadn’t had sex in at least a month and he was always on edge and angry about something. One night around 4am she woke up and found him asleep at the computer. When she saw what was on the screen she screamed and he jumped awake. He had headphones on so she wouldn’t be able to hear it, but it was obvious that he’d fallen asleep while watching a hardcore porn movie. She immediately told him their relationship was over, packed a bag and left to stay with a friend. At that point he knew that things were getting out of control, but he couldn’t help himself. Eventually however, it got to the point that just watching wasn’t enough. As he walked down the street most days on his way to and from work he would see the women he passed and imagine what it would be like to pin then against the side of a building in a deserted alley and rape them. The thought got stronger and stronger until late one night after watching a movie that again did nothing for him, he put on his sweats, grabbed his keys and left his apartment. There weren’t many people around, so he slowly walked down the sidewalk until he heard a group of women coming out of the restaurant on the corner and as they parted ways, one of them was walking toward him. Her car must’ve been parked nearby. At first he just smiled at her and she smiled back. But as he turned to watch her walk a bit farther he found himself turning and walking towards her.

Two hours later he was back in his apartment sweaty and exhausted after raping her and leaving her in the alley two blocks from his apartment building. He showered, went to bed and got up after only sleeping 3 hours and went to work as if nothing had happened. The next night he was woken up by nightmares of what he had done, but he never told anyone about it. A few days later while he was getting ready to go into a meeting at work, 2 officers walked into his office and asked for a word with him. They told him that they had a warrant for his arrest for raping Stephanie Tiffney. He denied having anything to do with her, but they took him into custody for questioning. At the police station he was put in a line up with a handful of other men. He knew that she was on the other side of the 2 way mirror he was staring at. After a few minutes he heard over a loud speaker that everyone was excused. They were escorted into a room, but he was quickly taken into another room and questioned by the officers that had taken him into custody. He was quickly charged with rape and found guilty.

Rather than just being thrown into a cell and left to rot, the judge ordered that he attend counseling and get help for addiction. Three years later he’s a free man and starting his life over again. While he was in jail and going through counseling he met an older man that was there for the same thing and he introduced Derrik to God.

 

National Novel Writing Month

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I know I’ve been quiet lately. I’ve been slacking on my writing, but I’m hoping to change that next month. I’ve been saying that I want to finally complete a novel, but have yet to do it. So, I’ve made the decision to join the craziness of Nation Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)!

I know there will be days that I won’t be able to write, but I’m going to find ways to make up for those days and I’m going to give it my best shot at hitting the 50K word goal by the end of November. If I don’t make it by then I’ll keep going into December until I hit my goal!

I’ve decided to make a Bullet Journal to keep track of everything for NaNoWriMo so I printed out a word count tracker and taped it inside and I have a collection of other pages, mostly tips about grammar and such because I tend to struggle with grammar from time to time. I’ve also added some quotes and things. I’m not much of a planner when it comes to writing, but I’m going to work on creating some characters and adding that to my journal. I have an idea for a story, but I still need to do some research for it.

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I want to try and develop some characters for my story. I don’t usually do much planning for my stories because as my characters develop they usually write the story for me. They seem to have a life of their own and sometimes I can hear them in my head, lol.

THEN, comes National Novel Editing Month (NaNoEdMo) in March and I’m considering doing that as well so I will have a novel written and edited early next year. I might make another Bullet Journal to go with NaNoEdMo, but I’m not sure yet since it’s a ways off still.

I Just Can’t

So I’m posting this quick message to let my readers know that this is the extent of this week’s post. My writing motivation has run screaming for the hills and refuses to come back. I guess you could also say I’ve been hosting a pit of a pity party for myself recently. I hope soon to have another post up for readers to enjoy. In the mean time, check out my other posts, comment and follow.

Calling All Fiction Readers!!

Calling All Fiction Readers!!

Calling all avid readers! I’m looking for some dedicated readers that are willing to give feedback on my stories. Some of them will be completed, but some of them will be ones I’m still working on. I want to make sure the completed stories are ready to be shared on my blog as posts and some of the longer ones will be broken up into multiple posts. I don’t have any formal training when it comes to creative writing, but I’ve been told I have talent.

As I was doing some research on how this whole Beta Reader or Advance Copy Reader thing should work, I found this  blog post about the topic. There’s also a worksheet that has been created for this very thing, but not all of it will apply to my stories. It’s more or less a guideline as to what I’m looking for when giving feedback. There are also tons of other articles out there about how to be a beta reader if you want more info.

This link is a simple form I’m asking my ACR’s to fill out before I send my work out. Please be sure to read it and feel free to send me an email if you have any questions: nikki.ayve@gmail.com.

How To Differentiate Between Love And Romance Stories

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I’m not very good at explaining the difference between the two to be honest. I’ve done some Googling on it and I’ve pulled a quote from Nicholas Sparks’ website as he answers this question:

“Though both have romantic elements, the sub-genres have different requirements. Love stories must use universal characters and settings. Romance novels are not bound by this requirement and characters can be rich, famous, or people who lived centuries ago, and the settings can be exotic. Love stories can differ in theme, romance novels have a general theme—”the taming of a man.” And finally, romance novels usually have happy endings while love stories are not bound by this requirement. Love stories usually end tragically or, at best, on a bittersweet note.”

To be quite honest, after MORE Googling I feel like it’s a bit of a gray area and kind of open for a bit of interpretation. So I decided to get opinions from people in one of the Facebook groups I belong to. Naturally, romance has to be a major key in any romance or love story. But in a romance story, we focus more on the journey they take to be together and how they change along the way.

Additionally, secondary characters, while present, aren’t major parts of the story. They support the main characters and they don’t have their own story apart from the main characters. Plus, romance stories have a happily ever after (HEA) in the end. Whether the main characters get married or engaged, readers can still tell they will be together, at least for the time being.

Love stories don’t have to have a HEA, but the main characters can be together, even if one of them changes (for better or worse). A lot of fiction writers write love stories with multiple characters and storylines in the same book.

While there will always be differing opinions about romance stories vs love stories, I think this is a pretty good explanation. Comments and questions are always welcome!