The Trilogy


Outtakes 222

The Trilogy

by Cait Collins

 

 

Take a seer, an archeologist, a magician, a navigator, a sprite, and a warrior, add a legend and an exotic locale and you have Stars of Fortune, book one of the Guardians trilogy. Nora Roberts is a master in writing serial releases. Her fantasy/paranormal romances are among my favorite reads. I got hooked on this line of her works when I read the Three Sisters Island trilogy. I have not been disappointed. What makes the trilogies good reads? It’s in the essential elements of the books.

Characters are the key element of the stories. Each person possesses special skill sets. In many cases, the character knows his primary talent. For others it’s a learn-as-you-go revelation.

E ach character has flaws. Despite their gifts, each one must overcome his weakness in order for the group to fulfill its destiny.

 

Unity is primary. All skills are necessary for success, but trust is essential.

Good and evil are clearly defined.

Actions or lack thereof are the choices of the character.

Magic is a respected gift that should not be abused.

 

Locales are exotic. Islands, gardens, forests, Ireland, and country inns provide setting. Bold descriptions make the story realistic. Local lore and customs ground the reader and allows her or him to become part of the story.

Romance is an element of the story, but it is not the story. Some of my friends view romance novels as silly and stupid. In their minds, it all about sex, But if the story were only about sex, it would become unbelievable. There has to be more than the physical response. In good romance novels, it is committed love that permits the characters to keep going when the odds are not in their favor. Love is glue that holds them together.

Friendships are cemented by love. Knowing that the members of the team are willing to fight and die for a cause frees the protagonist to step up to defeat an enemy.

Love is magic. With love all things are possible.

In skillfully combining these elements, Ms. Roberts weaves stories of bold deeds, causes won, and life fulfilled. And it leaves the reader anticipating the next installment of the tale. Even though the second book will not be released until late next year, the author will release a contemporary romantic suspense in April of 2016. And that, my fellow readers, is just one more jewel in Nora Roberts’ long list of successful novels. I wish I had her backlist.

 

Eyes On the Prize


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

Eyes On the Prize

By Nandy Ekle

 

Your main character is the most important person in the story. Your readers immediately love him for good reason. He’s just a normal guy try to better himself in some way. Basically, he’s exactly like the person who’s reading your story, and that’s why they love him so much.

He’s average, he needs food, shelter, and love. And he will do anything in the world to get those needs met. Every action he takes, every word he speaks lead toward this goal. And, since those are the basic needs of every person who has ever lived, your readers are involved from the first word.

Now, there is a nemesis who, for whatever reason, wants to keep one, two, or even all three of these needs from your main character. This nemesis could be another person, a government, a circumstance, a situation, or mother nature. He could even be against himself.

But our readers want our character’s needs to be met. Remember, the reader loves the person in our story and their heart will be broken if the story ends without so much as a slight struggle. And our character has a strong will to have those needs met, which makes him that much more lovable to our readers.

So we much have struggle. The character is willing to give up nearly anything to get those needs met. In fact, he has to go so far as to give up his life to attain his goal. And this is when he becomes a hero to the reader. Even he doesn’t actually every receive his prize, the fact that he makes the sacrifice to get within arms reach will make the reader love him even more.

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.

Eyes On the Prize


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

Eyes On the Prize

By Nandy Ekle

 

Your main character is the most important person in the story. Your readers immediately love him for good reason. He’s just a normal guy try to better himself in some way. Basically, he’s exactly like the person who’s reading your story, and that’s why they love him so much.

He’s average, he needs food, shelter, and love. And he will do anything in the world to get those needs met. Every action he takes, every word he speaks lead toward this goal. And, since those are the basic needs of every person who has ever lived, your readers are involved from the first word.

Now, there is a nemesis who, for whatever reason, wants to keep one, two, or even all three of these needs from your main character. This nemesis could be another person, a government, a circumstance, a situation, or mother nature. He could even be against himself.

But our readers want our character’s needs to be met. Remember, the reader loves the person in our story and their heart will be broken if the story ends without so much as a slight struggle. And our character has a strong will to have those needs met, which makes him that much more lovable to our readers.

So we much have struggle. The character is willing to give up nearly anything to get those needs met. In fact, he has to go so far as to give up his life to attain his goal. And this is when he becomes a hero to the reader. Even he doesn’t actually every receive his prize, the fact that he makes the sacrifice to get within arms reach will make the reader love him even more.

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.

Love is in the air!


Love is in the air!

The Romance Genre 

It’s Valentines Day and the genre topic for the day, you guessed it—Romance.

Nibble on smooth and creamy chocolate kisses from your lover, because you’re oh, so sweet. Inhale the scent of the flaming red roses delivered to your door letting you know how intoxicating you are. Now that’s romance.

According to the Romance Writers of America, all romances have two major elements, the first, a central love story, and secondly, an emotionally satisfying ending. Within those parameters, the stories are like products in the world’s largest candy store ranging from sugary sweet, to red hot SIZZLE!

The settings can vary from ancient history to futuristic, or anywhere in between.

Romance Subgenres

Romance fictions usually are classified into subgenres based on the story’s setting and plot.

  • Contemporary Series Romance: A series usually focused on the romantic relationship set after 1945.
  • Contemporary-Single Title Romance: An individual title, not as part of a series and set after 1945.
  • Historical Romance: 
Romance novels set in any time period prior to 1945, and taking place in any location.
  • Inspirational Romance: Romance novels in which religious or spiritual beliefs are a major part of the romantic relationship.
  • Novels with Strong Romantic Elements: A work of fiction in which a romance plays a significant part in the story, but other themes or elements take the plot beyond the traditional romance boundaries.
  • Paranormal Romance: Romance novels in which the future, a fantasy world, or paranormal happenings are a major part of the plot.
  • Regency Romance: Romance novels in which the majority of the story is set against the Regency period of the British Empire.
  • Romantic Suspense: Romance novels in which suspense, mystery, or thriller elements constitute a major part of the plot.
  • Young Adult Romance: Novels with a strong romantic theme geared toward young adult readers.

Rory C. Keel