All posts by Vicky L

May 18, 2019: Author Tanya Stowe

Finding the Black Moment

Hold on to your hats! Our morning interactive workshop is going to cover a lot of territory. Whether you’re a Plotter or Pantster, structuring your characters can help avoid the dreaded pitfalls of lifeless characters and too little or too much conflict. But most importantly, structuring leads to finding the dramatic high point of the story, “The Black Moment.” Structuring your characters requires answering essential story questions like who, what, why and why not. Putting those answers in a grid can help you avoid those dreaded pitfalls and lead you to the dramatic moment YOU and YOUR READERS want. So bring your pencils (yes, with erasers!) and let’s get started!

Structuring Your Novel for Suspense

Characterization, description and dialogue fill the pages of your story as you develop the romance between the hero and the heroine. But if you’re writing a suspense, where do you fit in the action sequences, the villains POV, and those essential suspense scenes…let alone the clues?

For our afternoon session, join Tanya as she discusses how she uses a chart to structure her plot points, action scenes and clues.

About our Speaker

Tanya Stowe

Tanya Stowe is an author of Christian Fiction with an unexpected edge. She fills her stories with the unusual…mysteries and exotic adventures, even a murder or two. No matter where Tanya takes you…on a trip to foreign lands or a suspenseful journey filled with danger…be prepared for the extraordinary.

To learn more, visit Tanya’s Website, Facebook, andBlog.

Meeting Information

Meeting fee of $30 for SRW members $35 guests and walk-ins includes a single-entree buffet lunch.  Doors open 9:15. Program runs 10am – 2pm.  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.

Chapter Dues are Live!

If you haven’t received an email from RWA prompting you to pay SRW dues, please contact president@TucsonRWA.org as soon as possible. You must pay dues by March 31 in order to attend chapter meetings or participate in events.

Please fill out your 2019 Membership Form

We’ve all been waiting anxiously to pay our 2019 dues via the new RWA nationals web portal, and it’s finally live! If you haven’t received an email from RWA prompting you to pay SRW dues, please contact president@TucsonRWA.org as soon as possible.

2019 dues must be paid in order to attend meetings or participate in SRW activities after April 1.

Once you’ve rejoined the chapter, please fill out our 2019 membership form so we can be sure we’ve got your current contact information and other important details. It only takes a second!

April 27, 2019: Laurie Schnebly Campbell: Braiding your Book

Weaving the different strands and levels of your story is trickier than making a simple braid, but the idea is the same — you need to pay attention to every separate element that’s part of the finished creation. Whether you’re braiding the plot, characters and resolution of a romance, thriller, fantasy, women’s fiction, mystery, or any other journey of discovery, your readers want a certain balance between factors that aren’t always equally important.

Bring a work in progress or one you’d like to revisit, and with hands-on exercises you’ll see how to:

  • Build a braid strong enough to support your entire story
  • Maintain the balance of tension among each of your characters
  • Make sure the plot twists don’t unravel in later chapters
  • Enrich the three-way blend with individual “extras”
  • Incorporate as much action or emotion as your readers expect
  • Keep your plot from overshadowing the characters, or vice versa
  • Tie off the braid for a satisfying conclusion

About our Speaker

Laurie Schnebly Campbell loves giving workshops that draw on her background as an advertising copywriter, a counseling therapist and a romance novelist who beat out Nora Roberts for RT’s Best Special Edition of the Year. Her favorite books are those created during her classes, with 42 First Sales so far.

By day she writes for McDonald’s, Massage Envy and other clients at a Phoenix ad agency. She also enjoys recording for the blind, playing with her husband and son, mentoring a teenager, vacationing in Sedona (the red-rock town named for her grandpa’s mom), and running WriterUniv.com.

“People ask how I find time to do all that,” Laurie says, “and I tell them it’s easy. I never clean my house!”

Learn more at www.booklaurie.com

Meeting Information

Meeting fee of $30 for SRW members $35 guests and walk-ins includes a single-entree buffet lunch.  Doors open 9:15. Program runs 10am – 2pm.  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.

Chapter Dues are Live!

We’ve all been waiting anxiously to pay our 2019 dues via the new RWA nationals web portal, and it’s finally live! If you haven’t received an email from RWA prompting you to pay SRW dues, please contact president@TucsonRWA.org as soon as possible.

Please pay dues by March 31, 2019 in order to maintain your chapter membership.

February 27, 2016: Vicky Loebel & Michael Petersen

Plot Points for Pansters
(And the Outliners who Love Them)

Morning Session:
Are you confused by story climax and big black moments? Does rising and falling action make you want to shove your characters off a cliff? Do turning points spin your head, and does the thought of filling out pages and pages of scene lists and character questionnaires make your day job look pretty good?

Whether we’re outliners or pantsters who plot as we go, most authors reach the point sooner or later of asking “am I doing this right?” And one of the keys to evaluating your work is understanding classic three-act structure.

In our February morning session,  SRW author Vicky Loebel will draw on her history as honorary “queen of false starts” to show how mastering few basic plot concepts makes novel-writing faster. We will review the basics of plot structure (drawing from K.M Weiland’s Structuring your Novel,  Michael Hauge’s The Hero’s Two Journeys, and James Scott Bell’s Superstructure), banish sagging middles, consider ways to combine plot, character, and setting to make a story stronger, and debate the usefulness of constructing a simple plot grid.

To illustrate plot structure, we’ll do a quick analysis of Romancing the Stone, Pride and Prejudice, and (time permitting) The Wizard of Oz.

About Vicky Loebel

FB PhotoVicky Loebel began her professional life as a systems programmer for NASA and moved through successively more challenging careers before settling in as a writer of tightly-plotted romantic fiction. She lives on the slopes of Mt. Lemmon, AZ with her sister, three dogs, a rotating assortment of offspring, and a husband who has the patience of a saint.

Vicky is the author of two humorous urban fantasy/romances, Keys to the Coven and Speakeasy Dead. Her latest book, Vacation Bride, is a contemporary marriage of convenience set in the tropical paradise of St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.

It was the subject of several false starts.

Michael Petersen: The Romance Writer’s Business Guide

Afternoon Session:
What is the writer’s cost-benefit analysis of traditional vs self publishing? What advertising avenues give you the best bang for your buck? What is the best price point for your novel series vs your standalone? Is it worthwhile to register as an LLC as a writer? And taxes are coming….how does a writer handle filing taxes best?

Michael Petersen will address these questions and more as he outlines the business side of a romance writer’s life.

About Michael Petersen

headshotMichael Petersen has a Bachelor of Arts from Seattle University and a Masters of Business Administration from Illinois State University. Before retiring from Microsoft at age 35, he worked in various roles including program manager, technical account manager, and technology strategist. He currently manages the business strategy, marketing and production for his wife, USA Today Bestseller Jess Michaels.


Meeting fee of $25 members $30 guests and walk-ins includes a single-entree buffet lunch.  Please let us know you’re coming by reserving on  our payments page or by emailing reservations@tucsonRWA.org no later than 8 am Wednesday before the meeting.