Friday, October 14, 2016

What Makes a Novel Memorable? by Connie Vines

The best stories connect with readers on a visceral level. They transport us to another time and place and put us in a different “skin,” where we face challenges we may never know in life. And yet, the commonality of the story problem draws us onward and, in solving it vicariously through the protagonist, changes us.

Another feature of a memorable story is characters that live off the page. One of the highest compliments I’ve never received for my novel “Lynx”, Rodeo Romance came when one reader told me she thought about my story constantly. She said that Lynx and Rachel’s story seemed so real, so heart wrenching, and their love so very enduring.  She said that she was going through a difficult time in her life and my story gave her hope.  Hope.  Hope for someone during a desperate time—I felt blessed that she shared her story.  I was also humbled.  It is moment such as this that I know just how powerful worlds and stories are to our readers.

While I never sit down at the keyboard and say, “I think I will write a powerful, life-changing story today.”  What I do, by nature, is select a social issue for the core of my stories.  Since my stories are character driven and often told in the first person, the emotion has a natural flow.

How do you create this type of engagement with your story?

Go beyond the five senses.  Your reader must feel your character’s emotions.  Your reader must forget there is a world outside of your story.

Embrace idiosyncrasies.  As teenagers everyone wanted to fit in, be one of the crowd.  Your character isn’t like anyone else.  Give him an unexpected, but believable trait.  In “Here Today, Zombie Tomorrow”,  my heroine, a Zombie has a pet. Not a zombie pet. Not a dog, or a cat.  She has a teddy bear hamster named Gertie.

Make them laugh. It doesn’t need to be slap-stick.  Just a little comic relief when the reader least expects it to happen.

Make them cry.  Remember the scene in the movie classic, Romancing the Stone, where Joan Wilder is crying when she writes the final scene in her novel?  I find this is the key.  If you are crying, your reader will be crying too.

If you are writing a romance, make them fall in love.  Make the magic last.  The first meeting, first kiss, the moment of falling in love.  These are the memories our readers savor, wait for in our stories.

 Don’t disappoint them.

As Emily Dickinson, said so well:
There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul!

Enjoy the month of Halloween, my lovelies!


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

FREE Copy of "Here Today Zombie Tomorrow" Don't miss out!

My Sassy & Fun Fantasy Fantasy/Paranormal Romance is FREE @
As part of the Kindle Count Down!

Celebrate Halloween early!

Please stop by and download a copy!


Monday, July 25, 2016

Goth Monday--How do you Define the 'new' Goth Genre?

Good day,

It's Goth Monday!

While scanning websites I located so interesting material. gives instructions on 'how to write Gothic Fiction;.

Have you read this article? Do you agree?  Disagree?  Is there a template of excellent fiction?
I believe the elements in each genre are what a reader is hungry for.  However, the storyline, can never be developed from a template.

What about the genre itself?

Has the genre evolved since "Dracula" and "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" was written? Or, in your opinion, has it spun into an entirely 'un-gothic direction?

Is "American Gothic" the new Gothic?

Top Ten Gothic Films  Agree?

Worst Gothic Films  I liked 'Mary Reilly'.  Even though I am not a Julia Roberts fan, I found the take on the story very thought provoking.  I also felt that"Lady Frankenstein", it was a little disturbing (I have difficulty with Frankenstein and the abandonment issue evolving around of Victor and the Monster, anyway). However, I didn't think is should be on this list.

Readers, what are you thoughts?


Friday, July 22, 2016

Monday, July 18, 2016

Goth Monday--Gothic Rose


It's Goth Monday!

I located a website with a tutorial program (free) if you are interested in learning to sketch a Gothic rose.

I found this helpful, because I am not much of an artist. I like to add an additional touch when autographing my print books.

If you need additional tutoring (Connie is raising her hand), here is the video

I located another site about Gothic Arcitecture.  This site provided pictures and detailed information and photos of Gothic architecture.  For those of us not inclined to visit overseas to verify specific details in our WIP. This site will provide a great way to complete that scene.


Monday, July 11, 2016

President's Message July 2016

Hello Fanciful GothRom Writers,

I hope everyone is having a fabulous start to their summer. It’s July many of us (though not I) will be in San Diego at RWA Nationals Conference, July 13 – 16.

I would encourage you all to take advantage of the many opportunities we have for getting our chapter in social media.  As you know from my email, are blog site, Facebook and Twitter accounts are up and running.  If you are interested in writing a weekly/monthly article for our blog, please contact me.

As always fellow authors, thank you for all that you have done and continue to do. Your commitment to excellence is what keeps GothRom/RWA a growing chapter. Our sincerest thanks for being a part of this chapter where our motto is: “To encourage authors of Gothic romance through networking, inspiration, and provide a support network for those authors while submitting their work.”

With kind affection,

Connie Vines

Monday, June 27, 2016