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The Ultimate Guide to Character Motivation (Part 1)

ultimate guide to character motivationDo you know the real reasons why your characters do what they do? You should.

Without a rock-solid motivation, your characters risk coming across as boring and flat. But if you can give your characters intriguing motivations, you can write a story that truly resonates with readers. That’s because motivation is the engine that powers character-driven stories.

Plus, it’s fun and easy to figure out what makes a character tick. In this two-part article, I’ll show you how.

If you’ve read any of my other columns here on Fiction University, you know that I’m a big believer in acronyms. An acronym not only breaks down complicated concepts clearly and simply, it also helps you remember. The acronym I use for the most common motivations – and here you can imagine the knights of the round table questing after the Holy Grail, if you like – is GRAILS:

  • G is for Greed
  • R is for Revenge
  • A is for Acceptance
  • I is for Identity
  • L is for Love
  • S is for Survival

You can tap into these powerful motivations to enhance your story. Here’s how.
Continue reading

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My Funny (and Totally True) Ghost Story

Fresh FictionThe fine folks over at Fresh Fiction asked me to write a little bit about ghosts. (Because, you know, there are ghostly bad guys in my new book, Forever and a Doomsday.)

So I got to talk a little bit about the Stanley Hotel, haunted Cheesman Park here in Denver, and — best of all — the funniest ghost story I’ve ever heard.

It’s actually a true story. I know, because it happened to me.

Check it out on Fresh Fiction.

P.S. Don’t miss out on my next book giveaway! Hear about it first in my author newsletter.

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Forever and a Doomsday (Dru Jasper #4)

Forever and a Doomsday

A chilling cohort of soul-devouring wraiths has risen from the netherworld to crack open the final seal of the apocalypse scroll and bring the world to a fiery end.

To keep the scroll out of their clutches, Dru must solve a 2,000-year-old magical mystery, find a city lost in the netherworld, and unearth a crystal older than the Earth itself.

Can she elude the forces of darkness long enough to save her friends and safeguard the scroll forever—before the undead break the seventh seal and bring on doomsday?

Amazon Barnes & NobleBooks-A-Million | Kobo | IndieBound | Powell’s | Tattered Cover | Goodreads 

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OUT NOW: No Sleep Till Doomsday (Dru Jasper #3)

No Sleep Till Doomsday, Dru Jasper 4A wicked enchantress has stolen an amulet that will destroy the world in 24 hours. Unless Dru and her sorcerer friends can get it back, the seas will boil, the stars will fall from the sky, and the earth itself will split apart. Overall, bad news.

To make things worse, Dru’s half-demon boyfriend Greyson and his demon-possessed muscle car, Hellbringer, are hiding a dark secret. Can she trust them?

As the clock runs out, Dru is locked in a high-octane chase with a pack of killer shape-shifters, the grim mystery of a radioactive ghost town, and the most powerful speed demon on Earth.

Can Dru unravel Hellbringer’s secrets, outwit the shape-shifters, and find the amulet before the dawn of doomsday?

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Books-A-Million | Kobo | IndieBound | Powell’s | Tattered Cover | Goodreads 

COMING SOON: Forever and a Doomsday (Dru Jasper #4) is now available for preorder!

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Exclusive interview with Angela Roquet, USA Today bestselling author of Flesh & Blood

Angela Roquet, USA Today bestselling urban fantasy author

Angela Roquet, USA Today bestselling urban fantasy author

If you haven’t yet read anything by USA Today bestselling author Angela Roquet, you’re in for a real treat.

At the moment I’m posting this, her brand new book, Flesh & Blood (Blood Vice #7) has 5.0 stars on Amazon. This is urban fantasy you can really sink your teeth into. ; )

Here’s Angela to tell you, in her own words, what inspires her, what she loves to read, and why urban fantasy is her favorite genre to write. Continue reading

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How to Write a Novel This Year: 10 Free How-To Articles

Writing Desk - how to write a novel

Do you have questions about writing a novel? Here are the answers.

Something like 92% of all New Year’s resolutions are doomed to failure. If one of your goals is to write a novel this year, don’t let yourself become a statistic. Find out the answers to your questions and learn how to write your book.

Since I joined the powerhouse faculty at Janice Hardy’s Fiction University, I’ve written a monthly how-to guide for writing fiction. If you’re looking for some writing inspiration or technique, you could do worse than checking out some of my favorite articles: Continue reading

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“Toss it in your pool bag.” –That’s What I’m Talking About

That's What I'm Talking About

Apparently, That’s What I’m Talking About is talking about that book I wrote.

Need a good summertime read? Who doesn’t?

I honestly never thought about reading It Happened One Doomsday poolside, but that’s the verdict from book review site That’s What I’m Talking About.

They especially liked the main character, Dru:

“She was entirely genuine and charmingly unaware of her own talents. Dru is also innately charitable, unable to help herself from helping others. It’s a pleasant change in a main character. She shares an unexpected bond with a mechanic, Greyson, who is turning into a demon because of his cursed car.”

What’s all the buzz about? Find out for yourself! Read a fun snippet from the book right on their website. Click here. >

Also, want a chance to win a signed paperback? Subscribe to my author newsletter. >

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The Short, Sad Saga of Mississippi Jones

Don't eat me!

Scary. Freakin’. Fish. That is all. Move along.

Some names stick with us.

Bridget Jones, Holden Caulfield, Nero Wolfe — these names are all indelibly stamped into our literary consciousness.

Those names are evocative. Memorable. Unique.

Some writers are incredibly good at coming up with names.

I am not one of them.

Continue reading

Categories: For Writers, how to write a book, how to write a novel, Uncategorized, writing, writing a book, writing a novel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top 3 Questions of Aspiring Writers

Thriller Author Interview

with Yours Truly

I’m always happy to answer questions from aspiring authors. This week, I got some tricky ones:

Q: How do you know when to end one chapter and start the next chapter?

A: You end a chapter as soon as the lead character either achieves their goal or fails.

The best place to end a chapter is immediately after you raise a new question in the reader’s mind. The desire to answer that question will make them turn the page. Continue reading

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My Dinner with Satan

Dinner with Satan ... or is it Seitan?

It’s pronounced SAY-TAHN. Yeah, it is.

I recently discovered, much to my dismay, that I had eaten Satan for dinner.

This is a true story. Allow me to explain.

In the midst of a snowstorm, my wife and I decided to try a new restaurant.

We ended up at a brightly lit, very mod, hipster-friendly place that put an emphasis on fresh food.

Hey, I’m cool. I love fresh food.

But what landed on my table bore no resemblance, by any stretch of imagination, to the gyro I had ordered. Continue reading

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