Friday, October 28, 2016

Understanding a Character's Motivations

Two Characters on a journey.Plotting for NaNoWriMo.
Who’s with me? 

With only five days to start, I had better solidify my ideas. I have a concrete plotting schematic I follow when outlining my novels, but sometimes events and specific scenes don’t come to me until I’m almost finished the first draft. And even then, sometimes epiphanies will come, and I’ll rush to include this new breakthrough into my story.

When I was writing Master of Time, I wrote out all eighty-something scenes on sticky notes and laid them out on my dining-room table. I preceded to label the scenes according to the plot points on my outline. It wasn’t as easy as I thought, and it wasn’t until later that I learned what I was doing wrong.
I was confusing my characters’ inner and outer motivations and trying to fit them onto one linear line.
The two are completely different.

The characters’ outer journey manifests in the physical things that the reader sees happen. The actual events that open the doors between acts. In Master of Time, my first plot point occurs when Meuric and Catrin set out on their journey. Fifty percent of the way through the novel, BAM! Another course-altering event takes place. And then 75% of the way through, another door opens and the characters’ journey takes another turn.

This is not the inner motivations that drive the characters or the characters’ emotional trek. The outer journey has a continual uphill climb until WHACK, the characters reach the apex of the story and it all goes downhill from there.

Not true with the emotional journey. Both Meuric and Catrin went through so many ups and downs that their paths looked more like a seismograph wave. 

Just remember—three catastrophes and an ending. That’s plot point one at 25%, plot point two at 50%, and plot point three at 75%. The ending is the climax, somewhere around 90-98%. All the other way points pertain to the characters’ emotional journey or are there to propel events forward, like with the Hook and the Inciting Incident. The All-is-Lost Moment is another pivotal scene. They are events, but not the KEY events.

Think of the plot points as answering what and when while the inner motivations answer the how and why.

Once the distinction is made between inner and outer motivations, laying out your outline and mapping your plot points is a piece of cake.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Reversal Zone Blog Tour

J. Grace Pennington has published four science fiction novels. They each have a unique bent to them, but this one is very different. Each book is a standalone, but as with any series, you get more of the story if you read them all in order. In Reversal Zone, the main character, Andi Lloyd, becomes the only one who can save the ship and crew. Can she do it in time?

About the Book

Nothing is as it should be.

After weeks of boredom, Andi is excited when the Surveyor is called upon to rescue a freighter that mysteriously vanished in uncharted space.  Excitement quickly turns to unease when the ship encounters an unknown phenomenon—a cloud that appears not to exist.  But with the freighter's crew in danger, the Surveyor has no choice but to venture into unknown territory.

As soon as they enter the cloud, its unstable effects wreak havoc on the ship.  They're flying blind.  Every piece of equipment is malfunctioning.  And every member of the crew is unable to think straight or act like themselves—except Andi.

Now she's expected to guide them through the predicament with no previous command experience and no one to turn to for support.  And with each passing hour, it becomes clear that if they don't escape the cloud soon—they won't escape it at all.

About the Author

J. Grace Pennington has been telling stories since she could talk, and writing them down since age five.  Now she lives in the great state of Texas, where she writes as much as adult life permits.  When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading good books, playing movie soundtracks on the piano, and looking up at the stars.

You can find out more about her writing at


When I reached sickbay a second time, I found the Captain there speaking with the Doctor at the far end of the room. The Captain held his head high, and any hint of playful bickering between the two men was gone.
“ trace at all,” the Captain was saying. “They say it disappeared almost a week ago.”
The Doctor furrowed his brows. “Just how are we supposed to find it, then?” He looked over the Captain's shoulder and saw me standing there. He cocked his head to beckon me over, and I scuttled to his side, set the box down, and kept quiet.
“They're sending someone to help.” The Captain looked down at me. “The Pigeon—the ship we were supposed to rendezvous with—has been lost. Just... vanished. No communications, no trace. They want us to investigate.”
I nodded, feeling guilty for my thrill at the prospect of a new mission.
“Sending someone?” the Doctor questioned.
The Captain nodded. “Yes. I don't know who it is. He was a guide on the Pigeon, apparently, but left before they were lost.”
“That's probably why they got lost,” the Doctor grumbled.
“So.” The Captain stood a bit straighter. “The guide is supposed to arrive tonight, and then we can start looking. I wanted to let you know.”
“Thank you.”
“I'd like you two to be present when the guide arrives. It should be at twenty-hundred.”
“We'll be there.”
With a nod and a smile, the Captain turned and left.
“I wonder who this 'guide' is, anyway,” the Doctor said, picking up a scanner from the box at his feet and setting it on a shelf in the cabinet.
“Are you grumpy 'cause there are no patients, Doctor?” I teased.
He turned and shook a finger at me. “You'd better be careful what you say, young lady. There are still a lot of cans to inventory.”
“Dad!” I protested.
I caught a grin on his face as he turned to close the cabinet.


Grace is generously offering three prizes. A signed copy of each of her three previous novels in the series. They are each standalone stories, but they are also connected. If you would like to read more about them, you can read about them here: Radialloy, In His Image, Machiavellian.

To enter the giveaway, please fill out this form.

Tour Schedule 

Friday, October 7
Bookish Orchestrations-Tour Introduction
The Destiny of One-Guest Post
Rebekah Lyn Books-Author Interview

Saturday, October 8
Shout outs-Guest Post
Shire Reviews-Book Review

Sunday, October 9

Monday, October 10
Rachel Rossano's Words-Excerpt and Guest Post
In the Bookcase-Excerpt and Book Review

Tuesday, October 11

Wednesday, October 12
Bookish Orchestrations-Giveaway Winner


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Goodreads Giveaway!

Epic opportunity! Enter these giveaways while you can!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Master of Lies by Lisa Rector

Master of Lies

by Lisa Rector

Giveaway ends November 01, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Two Masters by Lisa Rector

The Two Masters

by Lisa Rector

Giveaway ends October 26, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Master of Time by Lisa Rector

Master of Time

by Lisa Rector

Giveaway ends October 26, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Blog Tour: Emma's Match

Franky A. Brown started writing her Jane Austen retellings in May 2015. She started with Pride and Butterflies, then None But You. Now she's published Emma's Match a retelling of Emma by Jane Austen. In Franky's retelling, Emma is a designer who's business is struggling, but she's never failed at anything and she doesn't plan to fail here either. Can she walk the line between friendship and love or will she lose the only man she has ever loved?

About the Book

Emma Wallace has a plan up her sleeve to save her struggling design business, but not a clue what do to about the man who has her heart. 

Stealing a kiss from Will Knight years ago ended in an embarrassment she didn’t want to repeat. But when a popular new designer in town starts taking her clients and has eyes on Will, too, Emma decides it’s time to fight for what she wants. The perfectly irritating designer she wants to shove into a hole isn’t the only one who can be down-to-earth and likeable. After all, Emma’s never failed at anything...except walking the line between friendship and love. Crossing it again could mean losing Will’s friendship for good.

About the Author

Franky A. Brown has always called the South home and loves to write about it. She holds an English degree from the University of South Carolina and can’t seem to stop reading. She is the author of women’s fiction and chick lit about life, love, and Southern women.   


Is someone there? My bedroom is too dark. Who was that guy on TV that said a person needs to sleep in total darkness? If that person hears a noise in the middle of the night, it’s only that much creepier.
There it is again. My body goes cold as my hands grip my pillow in front of me.
Maybe something fell in the other room. That’s it. Or perhaps it’s that cat I found outside the building yesterday. It was chilly outside in the fall weather and I adopted him right away. He’s likely wandering around out there in the living room making strange noises.
Swinging my feet over the side of the bed, something furry touches my feet before a loud “Meeeooow!” makes me jump.
“Oh, sorry,” I whisper. Yikes. It’s not the cat making the sound out there. Where is my phone?
That sound again. I drop to the floor, shaking, too afraid to turn on the light. I crawl over to my dresser and feel around for my phone. Where is it? If I turn on the light, I could alert a crook that a single woman is here all alone. Weaponless and alone.

What am I doing? Is Emma Wallace a victim? Absolutely not. I am turning on the light and taking control. 


Franky has generously offered a paperback of Emma’s Match! Use the Rafflecopter to enter. The giveaway will be closed at midnight on October 5th and the winner will be announced around 6AM on the Bookish Orchestration blog on October 6th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

Saturday, October 1
Bookish Orchestrations-Tour Introduction
Rachel Rossano's Words- Excerpt and Character Interview

Sunday, October 2

Monday, October 3
Crystal Walton- Excerpt and Book Review
Laurel's Leaves-Guest Post

Tuesday, October 4
Ramblings- Guest Post
Once Upon an Ordinary-Author Interview

Wednesday, October 5
Rachel John Reviews- Book Review

Thursday, October 6
Bookish Orchestrations-Giveaway Winner