Saturday, January 31, 2015

Survival Saturdays #6

Writing advice to help you survive that first draft. 

Getting inside your character's head. 


It's hard to have a good story without good character development.  There are many ways of going about this. You have the standard "100 questions", the "figure him out as you write" and the "talking in the mirror" method.  The list goes on.

Just last year I discovered my favorite method for understanding how my characters think and act and more importantly, why they do what they do.  

I'm sure most of you have heard of it.  It is known simply as the Myers Briggs Personality Test. (take it here)

What it is, for those who don't know, is a list of 72 yes/no questions about things relating to personal preferences.  

For example:  "You often prefer to read a book than go to a party: yes or no."

Unlike many other personality tests, this one is based on scientific fact.  It doesn't put you in a box, or label you in any way.  It merely explains how you see the world.  And let me tell ya, it's ACCURATE.

According to the test, my personality type is INFP.

This means I am:
...more Introverted than Extraverted,.. 
...more iNtuitive than Sensing...
...more Feeling than Thinking...
...and more Perceiving than Judging...


Now, how does this help with character development? 

Each personality type (all are listed above) have their own facts and traits that are CONSISTENT with that type. 

Here are a few examples of the facts:



As a certified INFP, I can honestly say that these are accurate.  You can find facts like this for each type, as well as other information like strengths and weakness of character in each type. 

This is especially helpful when you have a large cast of characters.  Having a cataloged personalty type with quirks and traits for each one will help keep you from ending up with cookie-cutter characters that all look and sound the same. It will also help keep your character from acting out of character.

And don't get frustrated if your character doesn't seem to fit in any single type.  My character, Talcon, actually has tendencies of TWO different types. He is more dominantly INTJ, but he often displays traits of an INFJ.  This simply means that he views the world more broadly and completely than a character with just ONE personality type.  As it turns out, the fact that he doesn't have just one personality type fits perfectly with the type of character that he is.  He's not someone who is easily cornered.  He's open, flexible, but wise and sincere. 

As you can see, even NOT matching a single personality type can help you learn so much about your characters.  

I highly, HIGHLY recommend it. In my opinion, you'll find out more about your characters than any "100 question" list.  You might even find out a little about yourself in the process. 

God bless,
~Amy Rochelle

Friday, January 30, 2015

Funny Fridays #6

A little humor can go a long way. 

Funny GIF edition. 


You had one job, darlin'.


He always took the stairs after that....


This would be me and my brother. Yep.


So cute!


Poor little guy. All he wanted to do was kick it....

God bless,
~Amy Rochelle

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Thingy Thursdays #6

A fascinating object that begged at the chance for a story. 


     Marcus showed up to volunteer on time as usual.  It was time to clean out another house destroyed by the flood.  He lived about an hour away, but when he heard that the flood had taken out half the town, he couldn't rest until he had helped put it back together somehow. 
     He got to work with a large crew sorting through trash--most of it still sopping wet.  The skeleton of a once living home already smelled of mold and mildew.  Everything was decidedly trashed. 
     Marcus moved aside a stack of ruined books, revealing a small object.  He could tell it was made of glass, but after that he wasn't sure.  He pulled out the cork and studied the metal part.  It looked like a thumb drive.  Marcus glanced around at the other items being thrown away.  There was nothing technological in this place at all.  Only the thumb drive.  Curious, Marcus pocketed the item with plans to look at it once he got back to his hotel. 
     A few hours later, Marcus sat down on the hotel bed and pulled out his laptop.  He uncorked the little glass jar and stuck the drive into his computer.  Two works flashed on the screen in front of him. 

Hello, Marcus.

     He jumped.  
     "What in the world?" Marcus whispered to himself.  He waved his cursor over the words.  After a moment, new words appeared before him. 

You thought the flood was an accident, didn't you?

     Marcus felt the hair at the back of his neck stand on end.  
     "Of course it was," he said, not caring that there was no one to hear him. 

Ha. Ha. 
Try again.

     Marcus got up and ran over to the window--no one was there.  He even checked the hallway.  Also empty.  He sat back down at the computer, glancing uncomfortably around his room once more. 
     "Why would someone cause a flood?" he whispered, feeling a little stupid for talking to his computer screen. 

It brought you here, didn't it?

     His heart started beating a little faster. 
     "Why would someone want to bring me here? And why go through all that trouble to do so? There is such a thing as emailing or texting..."

That is for me to know, and you to find out. 

     The screen blinked and showed a map of the city.  A red circle appeared near the far right corner. 

Meet me here at exactly noon, tomorrow. 
I trust you will be on time, as I will not wait long.
Goodbye Marcus.

     Then the screen went black.
     Marcus slowly reached up and closed his laptop.  Then he smiled. 

     His father was alive after all.

To be continued....  

God bless,
~Amy Rochelle

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Whatnot Wednesdays #6

Info dumps on the life of an aspiring writer.

Hey guys! Today was given the opportunity to do another guest post on a friend's blog. Check it out here: Midwest Village - 5 Tips for Writing Chapter One.

God bless,
~Amy Rochelle

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Two-Fifty Tuesdays #5

Excerpts of my writing consisting of 250 words. No more. No less. 

The following passage is taken from Chapter One of my novel: Guinea Pig Maverick.


    Laughter fills my ears. I close my eyes for a moment and try to shut it out.
    “What’s wrong, Carter?” One of them asks, kicking at me. “To scared to fight back?”
    “I might have fought back if you had given me a chance.” I grunt through swollen lips.
The second boy laughs.
     “But where would the fun in that be?”
     He swings his fist around to hit me again, but my right arm comes up to block it. A surprised look comes over his face. I duck my left fist under his arm, and punch him in the gut.
     “Hey!” The third bully pushes the second one out of the way, advancing towards me. I put my swollen fists up to protect my face.
     “You’re going to be sorry for that,” he sneers.
     I punch out at him, but my bruised arms are too slow. He grips my arm and throws me against the wall. “Come on, Davis!” he yells. “Get back up!”
     I peel myself away from the wall and cough. Blood is dripping from my nose and my whole body aches. Before I can advance on him again, the first boy is punching me in the stomach. Over, and over, and over again. I can’t breathe. Finally he stops, and I drop to the ground; my back against the cool brick wall, my cheek against the pavement. 

     “Come on.” Through a haze, I see them turn away from me and walk away. “He’s pathetic.”
     I lay there ...

God bless,
~Amy Rochelle

Monday, January 26, 2015

Mature Mondays #4

Something that is thought provoking and/or inspiring. 


Okay let's be real here.  We all have that little blemish that no matter how hard we try, we can't seem to wipe it away from our perfect windshield of an existence.

In writer terms, that would be a character flaw.

It could be anything.  Something physical, something mental, something pink.  The possibilities are endless (unfortunately).

And how do we get rid of that annoying triangle?  It requires someone coming and cleaning it off manually. But sometimes it never truly goes away.

There IS someone who can wipe away the smear that our wiper blades can't seem to reach.  Our Lord and Savior.  By the blood of Jesus Christ we are cleaned.

Does that mean it will stay away forever?  Not always, but He will always be there to wipe it away again.

God bless,
~Amy Rochelle

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Story Starter Sundays #4

Featured writing prompts from Pinterest


What makes this photograph surprising? 

Is the photograph of a secret place?
Is the photograph of a priceless treasure or a strange object?

Maybe the photograph is taken of someone doing a horrible act--or a good act. 

What if the photograph is from the future?

What if the photograph is you?

God bless,
~Amy Rochelle

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Survival Saturdays #5

Writing advice to help you survive the first draft. 

Starting a novel can seem like a pretty daunting task--and it is.  James Dashner, author of the best-selling Maze Runner series spent three years on the first book alone.

So let's break things down and make it seem a little less daunting, and little more manageable.

First off, let's clarify the word count:

Novel - over 40,000 words
Novella - 17,500 to 40,000 words
Novelette - 7,500 to 17,500 words
Short Story - under 7,500 words

Personally, I like to shoot for 50,000 for my novels.  

Now for a little math.  (thought you writers could escape the subject, didn't ya?)

Let's say you set a goal to write 1000 words a day.  To achieve a 40,000 word novel, that would take a mere 40 days.  Bring that goal up to 1500 and you'll have a draft done in a month.

But it doesn't have to be 1000. It could be 500, or even 100.  (100 words a day will take 400 days to complete a novel)

And really, a year is quite realistic/reasonable.  It usually takes me anywhere from 8-12 months to get a first draft completed.

Basically what it will always come down to is actually sitting down to WRITE.  It doesn't have to be perfect--or even pretty.  This is just a first draft.  All you need to do is just GET IT OUT THERE.  Write a little each day--or even every other day--and you'll get there.

God bless,
~Amy Rochelle

Friday, January 23, 2015

Funny Fridays #5

A little humor can go a long way. 


This. Poor. Cake. 


I'm not the only one who completely fell for this up until the end....right?


Sometimes I worry.  And wonder.  A lot. 


This kitten.  I want this kitten. 

A parting thought:
Why does your nose run, and your feet smell?

Hope you all are having a fabulous day!

God bless,
~Amy Rochelle

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thingy Thursday #5

A fascinating object that begged at the chance for a story. 


     Missy skipped along the path, a bright smile on her face. Today was a good day, and she couldn't be happier.  She saw someone sitting on the curb up ahead.  His shoulders were slumped.  His expression tired. 

     Missy bounced over to him.  "What's wrong?"
He looked up with a start at her young voice.  The man gave some sort of grumbled response, then moved away to ignore her.  Missy sat down on the curb next to him, quiet.  If ever there was anyone who needed comfort, it was this man. 
     "You look like you could use a dose of sunshine," she said.  The man gave her a strange look.  A dose of sunshine?  That's a nice thought, kid, but no thanks.  It's not like sunshine comes as a prescription. 
     The little girl, Missy, reached into her sparkly pink purse and pulled out a packet. 
     "Here," she said, handing it to him.  "Try one."
     The man was skeptical, but he was curious enough to at least SEE what was inside.  His eyes widened at the glowing little pills. 
     "What ARE these?"
     "Sunshine," Missy said simply.  "Have you never had one before?"
     The man was stunned.  No, of course he hadn't!  Sunshine pills were no such thing. 
     "Seriously. What are these?"
     Missy gave a small pout.  "I told you. Sunshine pills."  Well, it was worth a try.  Missy smiled again when the man took one out and swallowed it.  It felt like something warm was glowing inside him.  He couldn't help but smile.  It was as if the pill brightened his entire day. 

     He turned to Missy to thank her, but she was gone.  Left without a trace.  He glanced down at the box of pills, but those were gone as well--replaced with a bag of little yellow candies.  Confused, he stood and looked around. There was no sign of the girl. 

     Maybe it wasn't a girl at all, but an angel.  A little ray of sunshine. 

     He thought he heard the sound of a child crying.  He turned and saw a little boy who had fallen off his bike.  The man glanced down at the candy in his hand.  He smiled.  Maybe he could help brighten the boy's day. 

     And so, the little dose of sunshine lived on. 

God bless,
~Amy Rochelle

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Whatnot Wednesdays #5

Info dumps on the life of an aspiring writer. 

Hey guys! Today I was given the opportunity to do a guest post on a friend's blog on the topic of why I write.  Check it out here: Midwest Village - Why I Write.

God bless,
~Amy Rochelle

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Two-Fifty Tuesdays #4

Excerpts of my writing consisting of 250 words. No more. No less. 

The following passage is taken from Chapter Two of my current work in progress, Somnia


     “Can you prove it?”
     He raises an eyebrow and bends his head forward.  “Excuse me?”
     “Can you prove that I’m a book character?” I repeat.  I don’t like the way the words sound coming from my mouth.  A dream I might have been able to accept, but a book?  I glance down at the journal still in my hands.  No.  It just doesn’t work that way. 
     The ready look on Jesse’s face bothers me.  He has an answer to my challenge. 
     “When was the last time you ate?” He crosses his arms over his chest.  “When was the last time you slept? My guess is never.”  I feel as though he has me cornered up until that last part.
     “Not true!” I say, pointing at him for emphasis.  “I used to eat and sleep back when the town was alive.”
     “But not since they all disappeared,” he counters.
     “No….” I have to admit that much is true.
     “Listen Wiles, I can’t force you to believe me. But what I’m telling you is the truth.”  I stare at the cover of the journal and rub my thumbs over the tattered edges.  Is that all I am?  Someone disguised as paper and ink hidden away in the pages of a book that sits somewhere in another reality?
     “So if I’m a book character…” I begin, still hating the sound of those words.  “Than this is my story? My fate is to live alone in a crumbling town?”  Again, Jesse averts his eyes. ...

God bless,
~Amy Rochelle

Monday, January 19, 2015

Mature Mondays #3

Something that is thought provoking and/or inspiring. 


I have learned that using my circumstances as an excuse to be miserable and negative reflects not on my hardship, but on me.  

Sure, what I'm dealing with might not be all rainbows and lollipops, but it certainly isn't the worst thing out there.  I still have a home. A family. A future. Many things to be thankful for. So I can use my hardships, or trials, as a way to grow, or I can treat them like the world is ending. can still read this, so it must not be the end of the world after all.

I take comfort in knowing that I am not my trials--I am what the trials make me.  So what am I? I don't want to be an egg, hardened from life, when I could be so much more.  From this day on I shall continue to aspire to be a potato.

...........this was supposed to be meaningful, I swear. 


God bless,
~Amy Rochelle

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Story Starter Sundays #3

Featured writing prompts from Pinterest.


Tell this story. 

Is this in a child's room, or an adult's?  Is there something evil in the closet, or something good?  

Maybe the closet is an entrance to another world or dimension. Maybe the people in the house are keeping her from escaping into such a world.  

But why doesn't the bedroom door have a lock?  Does her family trust her? Does she live with her family?

What if the girl IS the monster, and the lock is merely there to keep her from returning home?

God bless,
~Amy Rochelle

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Survival Saturdays #4

Writing advice to help you survive that first draft. 

Every story needs depth.  There are several ways to achieve this.  Today I have decided to shine the spotlight on those with smaller roles.

Who am I referring to? The minor characters--or side characters.

This can be your hero's goofy sidekick, or the quiet neighbor who doesn't even have a name.

In a story, just like in real life, every character--both great and small--has a purpose.  If they don't, they shouldn't be in your story to begin with.

I'm serious.  If they're there just to be there, take 'em out. Few things will annoy a reader faster than a useless character-- (not to be confused with an INTENTIONALLY useless character--if their role is to be horribly inconsequential and cause trouble for the hero, then by all means milk that for all it's worth).

Today I'm going to skip the SIDE characters for now and just focus on the BACKGROUND characters.  (you'll often find them even further to the side than mere side-characters.)


These characters are not only nameless, but often faceless too.

If your hero is walking down a city street, odds are that he's not going to be the only one up and moving. But even though none of the passerby have a known name, they have a purpose.  They complete the scene. Without them the scene would feel empty. (Unless the city is abandoned. In that case, carry on...)

But again, I caution you to make sure you give said background characters the attention--as their author--that they deserve. Even though your readers, or even your hero, may never know anything about them, it's important that YOU, the writer, DOES.

That gruff guy in a suit who brushes past your hero? He's late for a meeting.
The girl walking her dog? She's been walking for an hour because she's afraid to return home and find her family still arguing.

Why should you do this?  Because it adds depth.  Even if you don't mention anything like the above, there is something that happens subconsciously as you write that makes the background characters come alive at just KNOWING this information.  I have found this to be true from my own experience.  Treat them like real people, and they become real.

Even better is that in doing so, I sometimes figure out a small plot twist--or a plot parallel that changes the course of the entire story. And it was all thanks to the fact that I gave that one background character an identity.

For example, in the book series that I'm working on with my best friend (aka: partner in crime: Adelaide) there are many guards who do nothing more then guard things. (so profound, I know.)

However, there was one guard in particular that we would use in random scenes to help move a story point along.  At the time this guard had no face, no family,--basically no identity whatsoever--except for a first name. It wasn't until we looked into said guard's backstory that he suddenly came alive.  He is now a VERY important and influential character in the series. He even has his own character profile on Pinterest.  Many of the ideas that followed wouldn't have occurred if we hadn't treated him with the same developmental depth as one would a main character.

Needless to say, background characters are very important.  And sometimes, they even have a few secrets of their own.

God bless,
~Amy Rochelle

Friday, January 16, 2015

Funny Fridays #4

A little humor can go a long way.

Random bits of hilarity for your enjoyment. 

Anyone else?  Oh good. I'm glad it's not just me.

It was a tragedy like no other. That was the night I could no longer Ctrl+A.

Why did I laugh so hard.

I have a feeling that if I ever became a bird, this would be me.

And finally, this little gem from my brother:

"Singing in the shower is all fun and games until you get shampoo in your mouth.  
Then it becomes a soap opera." 

God bless,
~Amy Rochelle

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Thingy Thursdays #4

A fascinating object that begged at the chance for a story. 

It's just a pen....


     The day started out completely ordinary for Michael.  He got up.  Took a shower.  Had breakfast.  And prepared for work.  He slipped on his jacket and walked out the door.

     An ordinary start for an ordinary man. 

     The city street was already full of life despite the early hour.  Cars and people moved past, some faster then others.  Michael made sure to keep out of peoples' way, and hoped that they had the courtesy to do the same. 

     Michael glanced down at the object in his front pocket.  He had borrowed the pen from his coworker the other day.  The guy had seemed reluctant to give it to him, but Michael promised to give it back. His pens were always disappearing from his desk. But his coworker left in a hurry that day before Michael could hand it off.  So the first thing he was going to do today was give his coworker back the pen and hope there's no hard feelings.  It was just a pen. 

     Michael had been walking for about a block when he felt it.  That strange, unnerving sensation in the back of your neck that alerts you to danger.  This time in the form of a tail.

     He risked a quick glance back over his shoulder, scanning the thin crowd for an obvious suspect.  No one stood out as far as he could tell.  But that feeling wouldn't go away. 

    He picked up his pace. The sensation of danger only grew, but he forced himself to look straight ahead.  Looking paranoid only makes you a bigger target to muggers.  But Michael couldn't hold back any longer.  He turned his head just enough to look behind him.  That was when he saw him.  A gruff looking man who returned Michael's stare.  The man started to run. 

     Michael's heart rate shot up, adrenaline flooding his system.  He shot forward in a panicked sprint.  Someone was after him!  He didn't bother to stay out of peoples' way anymore.  He didn't even apologize for bumping into them.  There was only one thought on his mind, and that was to run

     Michael's lungs started to burn.  He needed a break.  He stumbled into an alley and leaned against one of the buildings, chest heaving.  Michael was careful to stay within full view of the public--or at the very least within earshot--in case that guy caught up to him.  

     He waited two minutes--five minutes--ten.  His pursuer still had yet to show.  Michael suddenly felt incredibly stupid.  Maybe that man wasn't after him at all.  Maybe he had just realized he was late for a meeting.  Michael must have looked like a paranoid idiot to the guy. Whatever.  Michael straightened his jacket, gathered up what little dignity he had left, and stepped back out onto the street. 

    Turns out that guy wasn't as gone as Michael had hoped. The gruff man grabbed Michael and pinned him against the uneven surface of the building. 
     "My wallet's in my back pocket!" Michael sputtered.  The man laughed at him. 
     "I don't want your money."
     Michael looked slightly terrified.  "What?"  Michael wondered why none of the passerby seemed to notice the crime in process.  
     The man let go of Michael's jacket with one hand and slipped the pen out of Michael's front pocket.  "Ah, what do we have here?"
     Michael was even more confused now.  What was so special about this pen?  The man grinned--it wasn't a nice smile. 
     "You're coming with me."
     Michael's eyes widened.  "Why? Because I have a pen?" 
     The man calmly turned the pen so that Michael could see the tiny camera lens. "This is not an ordinary pen, my friend.  This is a camera.  And that makes you the spy we've been after."
     Michael's coworker was a SPY?!
     "Yeah. Spy."  The man freshened his grip on Michael's arm and dragged him along.
     "But I'm not a spy! You have the wrong guy!" Michael insisted.  "I'm just a quiet businessman. I have a meeting in fifteen minutes!"
     "That's what they all say."  Before Michael could plead his case any longer he was shoved into the backseat of a black van. 

To be continued....

God bless,
~Amy Rochelle

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Whatnot Wednesdays #4

Info dumps on the life of an aspiring writer.

Have you ever written something in the first person point of view, but then after you finished it you realize you SHOULD have gone with third person?

Such is my most recent writing experience.

My novel White Wings is currently written from Rae's point of view.  While she does a good job of narrating the story, I am starting to realize that the story doesn't end with her side of it.

When Rae's story ends, Cole's actually begins.

Originally I didn't plan for Cole to have his own side, his own plot.  But I'm realizing that without it, White Wings isn't complete.  So Cole's story must be told.  But Rae won't be there to tell it.

At first, I was planning on having Cole narrate his side of the story in first person, but I decided that that might get too confusing.  Also, I run the risk of both Rae's and Cole's narrative voices sounding the same.  One of the worst mistakes a writer can make.

So with all that in mind, I have decided to give it a try and convert the novel to third person.  We'll see how it goes!

Be sure to keep on the lookout for new excerpts of White Wings in future Two-Fifty Tuesday posts!

God bless,
~Amy Rochelle

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Two-Fifty Tuesdays #3

Excerpts of my writing consisting of 250 words. No more. No less. 

The following passage is taken from Chapter One of my novel, White Wings

White Wings is currently under revision with the hopes of self-publishing by the end of 2015.


     “Well, I bet if you got rid of those clouds and let some Light through, you would see a lot more colors. All of them, not just red.”
     My heart thundered in my chest.  Was blasphemy going to follow me around all day?  “How do you know this?”
     He looked at me strangely.  “Don’t tell me that you’ve never seen Light.”
     I shook my head firmly.  “People here get punished just for talking about it.”  I gave him a pointed look.
     Rilind made a face.  “Well, then, my stay could prove interesting.”  I gnawed on my lower lip.  There were so many questions I wanted to ask.  So many answers that I craved.
     “If there really is Light, then why—” I stopped and stared at his coat.  It had begun to move.  Rilind opened an inner pocket and a little creature leapt out onto his arm.  It was a tiny dragon, small enough to fit in my shoe.  It flapped its brown leathery wings and tilted its head in my direction.  I gave a small smile.  I hadn’t seen a dragon in years.  I reached over and stroked its pointy head.  A purring sound vibrated in his throat.
     “This is Leaf,” Rilind told me.
     “That’s a strange name.”
     “I decided to call him that because when I found him I thought he was a leaf.”  I chuckled lightly before catching myself.  I couldn’t remember the last time I had laughed.  It sounded so foreign. 
     The little dragon hopped off ... 

God bless,
~Amy Rochelle

Monday, January 12, 2015

Mature Mondays #2

Something that is thought provoking and/or inspiring. 

Puzzle Pieces~

Yesterday my little sister and I started on a 750-piece puzzle.  To my dismay and disappointment, out of the 750 pieces, one was missing.

And that got me thinking. (as conceptual things usually do).

The world is like a giant puzzle; each person a unique puzzle piece.  We're all different, and we all have our place.  No one is the same.  Some pieces are big.  Others are small.  Some jagged.  Some s m o o t h.  But we are all important.  If even one piece is missing it does not go unnoticed.

Maybe you feel like the missing piece in the world--but you don't feel noticed or seen.  You are as absent as you feel.

And it's true that when you first dump out the box of pieces, you won't be able to tell if anyone is missing.  And who cares, right? There are plenty of other pieces happy to show up; happy to sprawl out on the table in a mess of colors and shapes.


It's not until someone takes those individual pieces and puts them in their places--creating a bigger picture--that the lost pieces are always noticed.

Even if you feel like a missing piece, forgotten by the world, there IS Someone who sees the bigger picture.  Who notices you.  Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  He sees you, and He will always have a place for you.  A special place that only YOU can fill.

Remember.  YOU are important.  YOU matter.  YOU have a purpose.  You were not put here by accident or by mistake.  Without you, the world would be a puzzle with a missing piece.

You are loved.

God bless,
~Amy Rochelle

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Story Starter Sundays #2

Featured writing prompts from Pinterest.


Why is this?

Are you in an alternate universe? A different dimension? 

When you walk over to your sleeping body, do you realize with horror that you are, in fact....dead?

What if you are not staring at yourself, but at a twin.  A twin that you never knew about.  And the killer is still lurking in the house somewhere, waiting, watching.  But they don't want to kill you.  They are here to talk to you.  To tell you who your mysterious twin is, and why he is dead. 

What if the twin isn't dead? Does he have a secret message for you?

God bless,
~Amy Rochelle

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Survival Saturdays #3

Writing advice to help you survive that first draft. 

It's pretty straightforward. PEOPLE WON'T READ WHAT THEY DON'T LIKE. As writers, it is our job to deliver a compelling tale that satisfies the reader's inner hero.

But with this can develop a serious problem.  If you're giving your readers everything they want, doesn't that make your book PREDICTABLE?

The way to fix this problem is to: "Give your readers what they want, but not in the way they expect it."

This can apply to things as simple as getting from point A to point B, or as big as a hidden plot twist.


In my current work in progress, Somnia, my main character, Wiles, is trying to reach the second floor of an abandoned mansion.  He gets to work repairing the broken staircase, working quickly and efficiently.

As the readers, we want him to reach the second floor.  In fact, we EXPECT him to.  The trick now is to give it to them in a way they weren't expecting. Something needs to happen that keeps Wiles from reaching the top so easily.

So, before Wiles can make it to the top, the staircase breaks and drops out from under him.  At the last possible second Wiles reaches up and grabs hold of the floor above him, swinging freely over the fallen staircase.


But we still have a problem.  You were expecting the stairs to break, weren't you?  Not to mention Wiles' last-second save is a bit cliche and boring.  Therefore, I take this scene one step further and allow Wiles' grip to slip.

So after all that work of rebuilding the stairs, and even managing to catch himself, he still crashes back down to the first floor. Back to square one.  Eventually, Wiles does make it to the second floor.

In the meantime, not only do the readers get what they wanted (Wiles reaching the second floor), but they will also get to witness how Wiles handles himself in a situation that doesn't go as planned or go his way.
The readers will get to see character development on top of a little extra adventure.

In conclusion, the more you "give readers what they want, but not in the way they expect it", the more exciting and adventurous your story will be.  And your readers will trust that they won't be bombarded with predictable scenarios or cliches along the way.

God bless,
~Amy Rochelle

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Thingy Thursdays #3

A fascinating object that begged at the chance for a story.


Angela carefully positioned her necklace so that it hung perfectly over the middle of her shirt.  It was a simple thing, small and circular.  On it was the recognizable "on-off" light as she liked to call it.  It was always on. 

Her mother told her never to take it off.  The risk of losing it was far too great and unforgivable. 

Why was it unforgivable?  Angela had no idea. 

But most important of all, was that Angela was instructed to never EVER hold the button down for more than three seconds. 

Every night, Angela dreamed about what it might do.  Would she die if the little light went out?  Would someone else die?  Would she lose something precious?  But no matter how much she was tempted to see what it did, she obeyed, and never pressed the button. 

But her conviction changed when her mother died in a car accident. 
Now there was no one to remind her.  No one to stop her. 

Worst of all, now she was plagued with thoughts that maybe the necklace did something good.  That maybe her mother would have been spared. 

The ache in her heart--the grief--it was too great.  So one day, Angela closed her eyes, pressed the button between her fingers and counted to three. 

It happened simultaneously all around the world.  Not one was spared.  For when that light died out, gravity turned off.

God bless,
~Amy Rochelle

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Whatnot Wednesdays #3

Info dumps on the life of an aspiring writer. 

Do you ever have a character who's destiny was to die, but then you find a way to save him?  It is one of the greatest feelings in the world. 

Such is what happened today. 

It will still look as though my character died--LOOK being the important word here.  

Now, when killing off a character, it is important that you only do so if:

1. it furthers the plot. 
2. it builds character. 

The rules are even more picky when bringing a character "back to life".  The reason being is that it is not only CLICHE, but can also be the EASY WAY OUT.  (aka: a big no-no in good writing). 

So if you do choose to bring a character back, make sure it has a purpose and that it furthers the plot, not just so your favorite character can magically come out alive. 

God bless,
~Amy Rochelle

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Two-Fifty Tuesdays #2

Excerpts from my writing consisting of 250 words. No more. No less. 

The following passage is taken from Chapter One of my current work in progress, Somnia.


     Something shiny on a wall caught my eye.  Dust covered the object hanging on the faded, flowery wallpaper.  The wallpaper itself had started peeling, as if the flowers in the pattern were dropping their petals.  I pulled my sleeve over my hand and rubbed the smooth surface down.  It was a mirror.  I had never found one fully intact before.  There was a small chip at the corner, but it didn’t take away from its purpose.  I stared at the face looking back at me—my face.  I didn’t know anyone could look as empty as they felt.  I made a few movements, testing the ability of the mirror’s reflectiveness.  Then I spoke, and the realization of my solitude hit me.  My reflection moved faithfully with me, but the voice coming from the boy in the mirror was still my own. I touched the mirror, my reflection doing the same.  The surface was hard and cold, much like the look in my dark eyes.  I didn’t always look that way.  Gruff and tired.  I suppose the years of being trapped here in this lifeless town has stolen something from me.

     I know that I’m completely alone in the town; it doesn’t take a brilliant mind to understand that from the abandoned homes and the utter silence in the streets.  But on that day when I had spoken to my reflection in the mirror, it was the first time I had felt it.  I wasn’t just alone anymore.  I was lonely.

God bless,
~Amy Rochelle 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Story Starter Sundays #1

Featured writing prompts from Pinterest


Do you keep this mistake a secret, or do you confide in someone?
Do you choose to stay in the wrong place, or do you try and find a way to your correct territory? 

What if you are both?

God bless,
~Amy Rochelle