April 28, 2018: Melinda Curtis – Conflict & Character

Morning Session: Writing Conflict

Writing conflict hurts — not just because it makes your characters suffer, but also because it’s painful to create and carry through on a page. However, conflict drives story and holds an editor’s attention, which means it sells books. Conflict also entices readers to turn the page, which helps create a satisfying experience (plus repeat purchases). Bring a story idea to this interactive course and learn how to build, refine or edit your stories by creating compelling conflict and stronger plots, one element at a time. Takeaways include: an understanding of internal and external conflict and how to summarize it on the page, how to deepen character through conflict, and how to use conflict to create scenes so you don’t stare at a blank page.

Afternoon Session: Unforgettable Characters

Tips, Tricks & Hacks to develop unforgettable characters. Psychologists have identified ten traits people have that make it hard (or impossible) to have a healthy romantic relationship. Using one of these traits in your character to develop internal conflict will provide a believable and relatable foundation for a great character. Each trait will be brought to life by examples from movies and TV, and used to build upon work in the morning session.

About Melinda

Melinda Curtis is an award-winning USA Today bestseller of over 40 romances. She writes sweet romance for Harlequin, sweet romantic comedy and sexy contemporary sports romances. She has two marketing degrees and is fascinated by human behavior, being one course shy of a psychology minor (don’t tell her mother or she might make Melinda go back and finish). Before writing full-time she was a junior executive at a Fortune 500 company, which meant on trips in the corporate jet she was relegated to the jump seat, otherwise known as the plane’s potty. Her latest release is Marrying the Wedding Crasher from Harlequin Heartwarming.

Meeting Information

Our venue costs have gone up. Please note increased meeting fee, effective immediately.

Meeting fee $30 members $35 guests and walk-ins.  Program runs 10am – 2pm (Doors open 9:15) and includes a single-entree buffet lunch.  Please let us know you’re coming by reserving on  our payments page or by contacting reservations@tucsonRWA.org no later than 8 am Wednesday before the meeting. Walk-ins accepted on a space available basis only.

Online Class: Angela Knight – Writing Paranormal Short Stories
Begins May 7

While you’re registering this month, check out SRW’s May online class: Angela Knight – Writing Paranormal Short Stories. This four-week class runs from May 7 through June 1, 2018, and will be conducted via Yahoo email group.  Cost is $30 for SRW members, $40.00 nonmembers. No Refunds except in the event class is cancelled.

Please note: registration requires 48 hours to process. It is your responsibility to mark your calendars and iron out any difficulties joining the Yahoo group by contacting  classes@tucsonrwa.org  before class begins.


Angela Knight: Writing Paranormal Short Stories (Starts May 7)

Paranormal Brainstorming to Revision

During our May online workshop, Angela Knight discusses the techniques she uses to brainstorm, plot, write and revise a 50-page paranormal romance short story. She dissects each step of the process in detail so you can feel confident using the same techniques to write your own books. She also explains how to use the same principles to write a novel of any length. In the series of lessons, she covers characterization, the creation of romantic, internal and external conflicts, and how to write fiction that excites readers and editors alike.

Topics include

  1. Introduction
  2. Brainstorming the initial idea; how I decide what kind of story to write, how long it will be, and which publisher to target it to.
  3. Designing the hero (and villain, if there is one.) This lesson will discuss how to construct the three forms of conflict for the hero: inner conflict, external conflict, and romantic conflict. I’ll also provide a character template I use.
  4. Designing the heroine (same structure)
  5. Brainstorming the plot and the paranormal world
  6. Beginning – How to establish sympathetic heroes and heroines, while simultaneously putting them in conflict with each other and the villain (if there is one).
  7. Middle – How to ensure their efforts to resolve their conflicts only make matters worse.
  8. Climax – Resolving the conflict in a believable way that doesn’t result in an anticlimax.
  9. First rewrite – The methods I use for the first rewrite, including adding sensual detail, plugging logic holes, etc.
  10. Grammar, comma placement and working with editors – Why you can’t assume an editor will fix your grammatical mistakes – and what to do when the editor requests changes.
  11. Novels: expanding this technique for novel length works. How to construct conflicts and characters complicated enough for 100,000 words.
  12. Summing everything up. I’ll also touch on how to submit your work to publishers, and how to deal with publishers in a professional way.
 Instructor Bio:

Angela Knight PicAngela Knight is the New York Times bestselling author of books for Berkley, Red Sage, and Changeling Press. Her first book was written in pencil and illustrated in crayon; she was nine years old at the time. A few years later, she read The Wolf and the Dove and fell in love with romance. Besides her fiction work, Angela’s publishing career includes a stint as a comic book writer and ten years as a newspaper reporter. Several of her stories won South Carolina Press Association awards under her real name.

In 1996, she discovered the small press publisher Red Sage, and realized her dream of romance publication in the company’s Secrets 2 anthology. She went on to publish several more novellas in Secrets before editor Cindy Hwang discovered her work there and asked her if she’d be interested in writing for Berkley. Not being an idiot, Angela said yes.

Angela lives in South Carolina with her husband, Michael, a polygraph examiner and hostage negotiator for the county’s Sheriff’s Office. The couple have a grown son, Anthony.

Learn more at www.AngelaKnight.com

How to Register:

Class runs May 7-June 1, 2018 and will be conducted via Yahoo group. Register by paying the course fee ($30 SRW members, $40 nonmembers) on our Payments page.  No Refunds, except in the case class is cancelled.

Shortly before the class begins, the moderator will send you an invitation to join the group. The invitation will be sent to the email shown on your PayPal payment, so if you wish to use a different email address or have questions, please contact classes@tucsonrwa.org.

 Registration requires 48 hours to process. It is your responsibility to mark your calendars and iron out any difficulties joining the Yahoo group by contacting  classes@tucsonrwa.org  before class begins.