Tag Archives: Laure Schnebly Campbell

June 25th Special Event: Laurie Schnebly Campbell

MEETING VENUE:

Viscount Hotel
4855 East Broadway, Tucson
9:30 am – 3:00 pm
 
Special Event Meeting fee of $30 for members $45 for guests and walk-ins includes a single-entree buffet lunch.

Perfecting the Pitch

Part of your job is overcoming the fear most writers feel when it comes to selling themselves and their work. (If we were the naturally outgoing type, we wouldn’t BE writers!) So this session begins with a look at the seven fear-fighting techniques. Next comes the pitch itself, with hands-on work to prepare what you’ll tell the agent or editor during a formal appointment or an elevator meeting. Finally, we’ll cover the tricks for improving your presentation…and following up for the best chances of success. If you’re not planning to pitch anytime soon, you’ll get to choose an editor / agent’s role and play it for all it’s worth!

Letting “Mad Men” Write Your Synopsis

Whether or not you’ve met the editor / agent face-to-face, at some point they’ll need a synopsis to convince their superiors “we want this book.” So you’ll need to put on your Dan Draper hat and use some proven techniques from Madison Avenue that get people wanting to buy a particular product. We won’t get your entire synopsis written during this session, but you’ll learn every step you need for creating a synopsis that makes people eager to see your book.

About Laurie Schnebly Campbell Laurie Schnebly Campbell

Laurie Schnebly Campbell loves speaking to writers about issues that draw on her background as an advertising copywriter, a counseling therapist and a romance novelist who beat out Nora Roberts for Best Special Edition of the Year. Along with romance and how-to books for writers, Laurie writes scripts for videos and commercials (some of which feature her voice) at a Phoenix ad agency. She also enjoys teaching a catechism class, narrating at Talking Books, playing with her husband and son in Sedona (the red-rock town named for her grandpa’s mom), and teaching online classes every month except July & December. “People ask how I find time to do all that,” Laurie says, “and I tell them it’s easy.  I never clean my house!”

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WHY MOTIVATION MATTERS

WHY MOTIVATION MATTERS
by Laurie Schnebly Campbell
You already know that, no matter what kind of plot you’re building, it’s gotta be motivated by your characters in order to feel plausible. It doesn’t matter whether you’re doing an emotional plot or an action plot or both — what makes it work is the characters.

So what IS it that makes your characters do what they do? Or another way of asking that is, what makes anybody do what they do?

There are all kinds of theories of motivation, and they all boil down to the same thing.

We want to be Okay.

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Whatever it takes to be okay, that’s what motivates us.

Maslow talked about that, saying that to be Okay we first need Food and Water…yep, okay…Shelter…got it…then Safety…and in most books, those issues are pretty well taken care of. Sometimes you’ll get characters fleeing the murderer in the North Woods or laid off from the factory job, but food isn’t usually a driving motivation.

So we get into the next level of what people need to be Okay, which is Belonging / Acceptance / Love. Then there’s Respect of Others and Self-Respect, and finally there’s the drive to Be All You Can Be. Everywhere along that continuum, you’ve got some great motivators.

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And that matters, because it’s the motivation that makes a character interesting.

Some writers start with the motivation: “let’s see, a woman who’s motivated by the desire for adventure would be THIS type of person.” Other writers start with the character: “my heroine wants to sail to Jamaica, so that must mean she’s motivated by adventure.”

Either way works fine. And either way leaves you totally free to write any kind of story you want.

 

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Say, given this heroine who wants to sail to Jamaica in search of adventure, could your story be full of soul-deep emotion? Absolutely. Dizzying suspense? Yep. Heartwarming faith? Yep. Quirky humor? Yep. Spine-tingling terror? Yep.

It all depends on how you write it.

So in that case, why does the heroine’s motivation even matter?

Because it’s what makes her credible. Same as we can’t have pink-elephant aliens showing up in some 14th-century castle without sacrificing a bit of credibility, neither can we have this woman sailing off to Jamaica without SOME plausible motivation.

And that’s where it’s easy for us authors to fall down on the job. We love this heroine who’s rigging out her sailboat, we love that she’s going to Jamaica, and we know that on the way she’ll meet this incredibly witty sailor, there’ll be a pirate attack — oh, and the pirate ship will have a yellow parrot named Sidney! — it’s all taking shape. We KNOW it’ll work, because we can SEE this story.

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But it’s that dazzling clarity which can get us into trouble. Because our readers weren’t IN on this first glorious flash of inspiration. They can’t see that wonderful vision. All they see is a heroine rigging out her sailboat for a trip to Jamaica, and they have no idea why she’s doing it.

Unless the readers GET her desire for adventure, they’re gonna feel out of the loop. They might not know why the story isn’t working for them, but they’re missing her motivation.

And motivation is what makes a book memorable.

 

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For some writers, it comes so naturally that they never even question how their characters’ motivation will feed into the plot. (Which sometimes leaves them at loose ends, wondering what on earth can HAPPEN during their plot.)

For others, it’s more of a tack-on because their strength is in plotting. (Which sometimes leaves them wondering how to explain WHY this character did something that seems senseless but is actually integral to the plot.)

Either way, motivation is vital. And yet we’ve all found ourselves in trouble with motivation every now and then. So that’s my question for yoL6u:
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When was the last time you found yourself dealing with a problem character? Who was this person? What did he or she do? How did you resolve the situation?

Everybody here will be able to sympathize with such a situation, because pesky characters strike EVERY writer! And if 25 people post today, one of ’em will win help for all their future characters,with free registration to my “Plotting Via Motivation” class (at WriterUniv.com) next month.

Meanwhile, I can’t wait to see those pesky characters on parade — because it’s always a lot more fun to read about other people’s problems than to focus on our own. :)

Laurie, hoping today will be slow at work so I can check email sooner than lunchtime…but don’t worry if it takes a while to hear back; I’m definitely checking in!

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November 1, 2014 – Special Event with Laurie Schnebly Campbell

How to Create Compelling Characters

Laurie Schnebly Campbell loves speaking to writers about issues that draw on her background as a therapist and in advertising. Having published half a dozen award-winning novels plus non-fiction, she teaches classes on creating plots & characters, and marketing books.

On November 1, Laurie will present a special workshop open to both RWA members and anyone else who wants to improve their understanding of characterization.

How to Create Compelling Characters Will Cover

  • Shaping a character’s journey
  • Choosing their psychological type
  • Making conflict come naturally
  • Blending plausible personalities
  • Finding (and fixing) the fatal flaw

Along with the presentation there will be some hands-on exercises as well as extensive handouts, and — for every 25 people who attend — a door-prize gift of free registration to one of Laurie’s online classes.

Event Details:

  • Date: Saturday, November 1, 2014
  • Place: Viscount Hotel: 4855 E Broadway Blvd, Tucson, AZ
  • Time: 9am to 3pm. Includes lunch
  • Price: $45 – RWA members (any chapter), $55 nonmembers. (includes a deli lunch buffet with salad, cookies, coffee, and tea)

Register early! Space is limited and we expect this event to fill up.

About Laurie

Laurie Schnebly Campbell photo
Laurie Schnebly Campbell

Laurie Schnebly Campbell loves giving workshops for writer groups about “Psychology for Creating Characters,” “Making Rejection WORK For You,” “Building A Happy Relationship For Your Characters (And Yourself)” and other issues that draw on her background as a counseling therapist and romance writer.

In fact, she chose her website (www.BookLaurie.com) so people would find it easy to Book Laurie for programs.

But giving workshops — for students from London and Los Angeles to New Zealand and New York — is just one of her interests. During weekdays, she writes and produces videos, brochures and commercials (some of which feature her voice) for a Phoenix advertising agency. For several years she would turn off her computer every day at five o’clock, wait thirty seconds, turn it on again and start writing romance.

It finally paid off. Her first novel was nominated by Romantic Times as the year’s “Best First Series Romance,” and her second beat out Nora Roberts for “Best Special Edition of the Year.” But between those two successes came a three-year dry spell, during which Laurie discovered that selling a first book doesn’t guarantee ongoing success.

“What got me through that period,” she says, “was realizing that the real fun of writing a romance is the actual writing. Selling is wonderful, sure, but nothing compares to the absolute, primal joy of sitting at the computer and making a scene unfold and thinking ‘Wow! Yes! This is great!'”

After six books for Special Edition, she turned her attention to writing non-fiction — using her research into the nine personality types to help writers create plausible, likable people with realistic flaws. Her other favorite activities include playing with her husband and son, recording for the blind, counseling at a mental health center, traveling to Sedona (the Arizona red-rock town named for her great-grandmother, Sedona Schnebly) and working with other writers.

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

 

 

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