Thursday, June 22, 2017

Image result for bed and typewriter

Create Romantic Friction between the Sheets
...of Paper
*Goals, Motivation & Conflict: The Building Blocks of Good Fiction by Debra DixonI’m a big fan of writing the story down as quickly as possible and then layering in the “details”: Descriptions, pacing, backstory, dialogue, emotions, reactions, timelines, and loose ends/plot problems. Here is what I do with three of these elements:

This page summarizes the brief explanations from every step of the Hero's Journey. The call to adventure is the point in a person's life when they are first given notice that everything is going to change, whether they know it or not. Often when the call is given, the future hero refuses to heed it. This may be from a sense of duty or obligation, fear, insecurity, a sense of inadequacy, or any of a range of reasons that work to hold the person in his or her current circumstances. Once the hero has committed to the quest, consciously or unconsciously, his or her guide and magical helper appears, or becomes known. This is the point where the person actually crosses into the field of adventure, leaving the known limits of his or her world and venturing into an unknown and dangerous realm where the rules and limits are not known. The belly of the whale represents the final separation from the hero's known world and self. It is sometimes described as the person's lowest point, but it is actually the point when the person is between or transitioning between worlds and selves. The separation has been made, or is being made, or being fully recognized between the old world and old self and the potential for a new world/self. The experiences that will shape the new world and self will begin shortly, or may be beginning with this experience which is often symbolized by something dark, unknown and frightening. By entering this stage, the person shows their willingness to undergo a metamorphosis, to die to him or herself. The road of trials is a series of tests, tasks, or ordeals that the person must undergo to begin the transformation. Often the person fails one or more of these tests, which often occur in threes. The meeting with the goddess represents the point in the adventure when the person experiences a love that has the power and significance of the all-powerful, all encompassing, unconditional love that a fortunate infant may experience with his or her mother. It is also known as the "hieros gamos", or sacred marriage, the union of opposites, and may take place entirely within the person. In other words, the person begins to see him or herself in a non-dualistic way. This is a very important step in the process and is often represented by the person finding the other person that he or she loves most completely. Although Campbell symbolizes this step as a meeting with a goddess, unconditional love and /or self-unification does not have to be represented by a woman. At one level, this step is about those temptations that may lead the hero to abandon or stray from his or her quest, which as with the Meeting with the Goddess does not necessarily have to be represented by a woman. For Campbell, however, this step is about the revulsion that the usually male hero may feel about his own fleshy/earthy nature, and the subsequent attachment or projection of that revulsion to women. Woman is a metaphor for the physical or material temptations of life, since the hero-knight was often tempted by lust from his spiritual journey. In this step the person must confront and be initiated by whatever holds the ultimate power in his or her life. In many myths and stories this is the father, or a father figure who has life and death power. This is the center point of the journey. All the previous steps have been moving in to this place, all that follow will move out from it. Although this step is most frequently symbolized by an encounter with a male entity, it does not have to be a male; just someone or thing with incredible power. For the transformation to take place, the person as he or she has been must be "killed" so that the new self can come into being. Sometime this killing is literal, and the earthly journey for that character is either over or moves into a different realm. To apotheosize is to deify. When someone dies a physical death, or dies to the self to live in spirit, he or she moves beyond the pairs of opposites to a state of divine knowledge, love, compassion and bliss. This is a god-like state; the person is in heaven and beyond all strife. A more mundane way of looking at this step is that it is a period of rest, peace and fulfillment before the hero begins the return. The ultimate boon is the achievement of the goal of the quest. It is what the person went on the journey to get. All the previous steps serve to prepare and purify the person for this step, since in many myths the boon is something transcendent like the elixir of life itself, or a plant that supplies immortality, or the holy grail. So why, when all has been achieved, the ambrosia has been drunk, and we have conversed with the gods, why come back to normal life with all its cares and woes? Sometimes the hero must escape with the boon, if it is something that the gods have been jealously guarding. It can be just as adventurous and dangerous returning from the journey as it was to go on it. Just as the hero may need guides and assistants to set out on the quest, often times he or she must have powerful guides and rescuers to bring them back to everyday life, especially if the person has been wounded or weakened by the experience. Or perhaps the person doesn't realize that it is time to return, that they can return, or that others need their boon. The trick in returning is to retain the wisdom gained on the quest, to integrate that wisdom into a human life, and then maybe figure out how to share the wisdom with the rest of the world. This is usually extremely difficult. In myth, this step is usually represented by a transcendental hero like Jesus or Buddha. For a human hero, it may mean achieving a balance between the material and spiritual. The person has become comfortable and competent in both the inner and outer worlds. Mastery leads to freedom from the fear of death, which in turn is the freedom to live. This is sometimes referred to as living in the moment, neither anticipating the future nor regretting the past. Maricopa Center for Learning and Instruction (MCLI)Maricopa Community Collegesthe ' net connection at MCLI is Alan Levinecomments about the site to : alan.levine@domail.maricopa.eduquestions about the content to :

last modified: 11/19/1999 12:06:34URL:
Fingertip Clasp
straight arm extended handshake
hand clench - chin level
fingers to mouth
ear rub
back neck rub - looking up
single arm cross
adjusting watch/bracelet or sleeves
leg lock position - no cold
foot tapping or wagging w/redundant foot movement
hair twisting
twisting of neck chain
clear throat
jaw drop/open mouth
dry mouth
wet lips with tongue/touch lips with finger
catch in throat
raspy voice unable to speak
male – bobbing/jumping Adam’s apple
perspire (palms/face/neck/armpits) = cold sweat
pale skin
lean/angle away from what’s making person anxious

make oneself smaller to reduce exposure to danger
tense lips, neck, shoulder muscles
arms folded across lower chest/upper abdomen
neutral facial expression = do not approach
no eye contact
rapid eye blink
protruding eyeballs
wide eyes
 tick in cheek/eye/corner of mouth
dilated pupils
flared nostrils
increased breathing rate/rapid heartbeat
tremble, especially lips
chattering of teeth
hair bristling
clenched fists
 drumming/tapping fingers
palms down, beating gesture/flailing hands/arms
scratching/rubbing/pinching/holding parts of body
Angling body away; "Don't touch me."
Release of underarm scent; "Go away! I am unappealing! I stink!"
Increase in breathing rate. "I'm going to run away!"
Trembling and/or chattering teeth. "I want to run away!"
Crouching. "Don't hurt me!"
Crying. "I'm hurt enough!"
Displacement gestures; "How did THIS happen?"
Fast eye-blink rate. "I don't believe what I'm seeing!"
Fear grin. "I'm friendly! Honest!"
Widely opened flashbulb eyes. "I can't believe this!"
Unconscious escape motions designed to remove a body part, or parts, from danger (e.g., flexing the neck to lower and protect the head). "Don't hit me!"
Freeze reactions; "Am I in danger?"
Hair-bristling; "I feel danger!"
Accelerated heart rate. "I'm getting ready to run away!"
Tightened shoulder muscle tension; "It's going to hit me!"
Screaming; "Don't touch me!"
Squirm cues; "Let go of me."
Staring eyes with wide-dilated pupils; "How much danger am I in?"
Sweaty palms. "I don't wanna touch that!"
Tense-mouth. "Don't make me bite you."
Throat-clearing. "I want to vomit."
Audibly tense tone-of-voice, either low and close to a growl, "I'm warning you..." or high to present a non-threatening sound. "I'm not a threat!"
Yawning. "I have no fangs, see? I'm not a predator!"
rearing back

mocking bow of head or upper torso
lift chin
look down nose
jut chin
lift one eyebrow
tilt head back
narrowed eyes
compressed lips/mouth
lip raised/curled in sneer
hands on hips
look down one’s nose
flared nostrils
loud voice

hand to chin & cheek
foot tapping or wagging

folded arms - cold
leg lock position - cold

hands behind the back - clasped together
hands behind the head - relaxed
crossing the knees
ankle on knee
ankle to ankle leg cross
square shoulders
full body display
stand erect/tall
hands on hips
swagger when walking

slack jaw
pursed lips
wet lips with tongue/touch lips with finger
tongue clenched between lips
suck thumb
mouth turned downward
clenched jaw
clear throat
lowered eyelids
elbow raised with hand behind head
scratch head
tug on ear
tap cheek with finger
rub back of neck with one hand
Wrinkled nose
scratching/rubbing/pinching/holding parts of body
hug waist with arms
shrug shoulders
raspy/thready voice
Involuntary sideward eye movements; "Where is the danger coming from?"
Self-touching gestures; "Am I still in one piece?"
Frown; "I don't want that…"
Hand-behind-head; "I don't like it."
Side-to-side head-shakes "No."
Sideward head-tilts; "I don't want that…"
Lip-pout, lip-purse, and tense-mouth expressions "That looks like it tastes bad."
Palm-up gestures; "I surrender."
Shoulder-shrug; "Don't touch me."

hand steepling - lowered
closed hand, index finger extended
hand on lower jaw w/chin stroking
head tilt
head cocked to one side
wrinkled nose/brow
pursed lips
raised brow
wide eyes
finger touch to cheek/jaw

hand clench - chest level
hand chop @ chest level
slumped/hunched shoulders
vacant expression
toneless voice

open palm out or down
closed palm w/Ext Finger
handshake on top
Power handshake (knuckle cruncher)
hand chop @ chin
hand behind the back - holding wrist or arm
thumb presentation
hands behind the head - lean back/'chin up
folded arms - no cold
folded arms w/clenched fists
arm gripping (both arms)
backward head tilt
nose flare
skewed mouth
tense jaw/mouth
compressed mouth/lips
biting bottom lip
guttural throat sounds
loud speech/yell/scream
jutted chin
clenched jaw
wrinkled nose
flared nostrils
widened eyes
protruding eyeballs
dilated pupils
body displayed broadside
squared shoulders
shrug shoulders
body held erect/stand tall
head jerks
 tick in cheek/eye/corner of mouth
head brought forward
clenched fists
drumming/tapping fingers
palms down, beating gesture/flailing hands/arms
red face/neck/ears
hitting something with fists
stiff walking
Jaws tensed to a biting position; "I'm going to bite you!"
Chest expansion, squaring of shoulders, and/or hands-on-hips; "I'm bigger than you."
Cut-off and head-jerk cues; "No. I don't want that."
Hand-behind-head / hand-above-head. "I may or may not strike you."
Fists, palm-down beating gestures. "I will strike you!"
Frowning and tense-mouth expressions; "Don't make me bite you."
Growling voice tones; "Consider me a threat."
Staring; "I consider you a threat."
Gaze avoidance; the head is turned fully away to one side; "Run while I am not looking and I will not attack you."
Eyebrow raise; "Are you challenging me?"
Hands-on-hips posture; "I'm ready for battle."
Head-tilt-back; "I dare you to bite me."
Palm-down gesture; "Do I need to strike you?"
Swagger walk; "I'm stronger than you."
Table-slap; "I will strike you!"
Lower tone of voice, close to a growl. "Don't make me bite you."
Wedge-shaped Chest expansion, squaring of shoulders; "I'm bigger than you."
Direct stare; "I consider you a threat."
Looming with chin down; "I will bite you."

distance from object
turn or face away/shift body away
turning one’s back
lean back
fold arms across upper chest/lower abdomen
cut off hand gesture
roll eyes
narrowed eyes
no eye contact
wrinkled nose
flared nostrils
backward head jerks
head shake
protrusion of tongue
guttural throat sounds
pursed lips
thin lips
tongue pressed between lips
clenched jaw
Curled upper lip, a retracted upper lip, and mouth movements. "I feel like vomiting."
Digestive sounds of revulsion. Guttural sounds ("ach" or "ugh"); "I AM going to vomit!"
Narrowed or partly closed eyes; "I don't want to see that!"
Lowered brows of the frown face. "I don't want to smell that!"
Backward head-jerks and side-to-side head-shakes. "I don't want to taste that!"
Visible protrusions of the tongue. "I can see that it tastes bad."

lifted eyebrow
arch eyebrow
narrowed eyes
compressed lips/Down-turned mouth
head shake
clenched jaw
shoulder shrug

clear throat
wet lips with tongue
male: bobbling or jumping Adam’s apple
flushed skin
hot/tingling skin
lack of eye contact

handshake not up or down
gloved handshake (2 hands)
handshake w/clasping arm
hand steepling - raised
hair stroking & head tossing
head tilt - when man present
raised eyebrows - rapid and widen eyes
raised eyebrows - rapid and widen eyes w/longer duration

Friendly/Love/Infatuated (cont)
head tilted to one side
head/hair toss
shoulder shrug
stand up straighter, more alert
pull in stomach
skin blush or pale
change in body smell
draw attention to lips (i.e. wet with tongue, pout)
 touch own body
stroke or push hair away from face
adjust clothing
hand on hip to expose wrist and/or palm
increased heart rate
nose rub
playful bite
 tongue touches lip
bat eyelids
flirting glance
narrowed eyes
deliberate eye contact/holding gaze
eyes roam over other person's face, linger on throat, breasts/chest, body in deliberate signal of interest 
dilated pupils
caress with fingertips or lips
hold hands
stroke other person's palm with thumb
 lingering touch
extend or reach out with arms/hands
 man - place open hand at the small of woman's back while walking = you're mine/I'm in command
female: sway hips when walking\male: saunter
thigh contact
facial flush
gaze down coyly 
husky voice
throaty voice
flattering comments
Physical contact, including hugs and kisses. "I like you."
Increased breathing rate; "I want to smell you."
Courtship behavior; "I want to make love to you."
Direct gaze with wide pupils; "I find you pleasing to look at."
Facial flushing; blood rushing to enhance the senses: hearing, sight, taste, smell.
Head-tilt-side; "Do I have your attention?"
Increased heart rate; to enhance the senses: hearing, sight, taste, smell.
Mimic of behavior and/or appearance; "We make a set, we belong together."
Softened tone of voice; "If you want to hear what I say, come closer."
Closing personal distance; "I want to touch you."

animated eyes/expression
tears in eyes/crying/sobbing
tightening of the throat/inability to speak
quivering chin
dilated pupils
raise/lift eyebrows to widen eyes
facial flush
laugh (can be silent)
hugging upper abdomen/lower chest sigh
a. Laugh or smile
b. Tears; "I am overwhelmed."

open palm up
handshake on bottom
Dead fish handshake
bowed head
head tilted to one side
Lowered chin
down-turned eyes
no direct eye contact
slumped/hunched shoulders
shrug shoulders
turn body inward to make smaller
open palms
arms next to side
low voice
Turning away "No thank you."
Body-bend, body-shift, and bowing "Please don't…"
Displacement cues "How did THIS happen?"
Facial flushing; Blood rushing to enhance the senses: hearing, sight, taste, smell. ; Blood rushing to enhance the senses: hearing, sight, taste, smell.

Humble/Deferential/Non-aggressive/Submissive (cont)
gaze-down; "I am not a threat."
give-way; "I will not challenge you."
head-tilt-side; "Don't…"
Mimic of superior's body movements "I will not challenge you."
laughing; "I will not challenge you."
palms-up; "I surrender."
exaggerated personal distance; "Don't touch me."
pigeon toes; "I can't chase you, I am not a threat."
shoulder-shrugging; "Don't touch me."
shyness; "Don't notice me."
difficulty gazing directly at, or cross lines of sight with, a dominant individual. "I don't want to challenge you."
higher vocal pitch "I'm weak, and helpless."
yawning; "No fangs, see? I am not a threat."

hand/finger to mouth
hand over mouth
hand over mouth w/finger under nose
eye rub
back neck rub - looking down
gazing down/lack of eye contact
sweaty palms/head/neck/armpits
raising upward on/lifting toes
scratching/rubbing/pinching/holding parts of body
dilated pupils
rapid eye blink
pretending excitement to convince
lips pressed together
darting tongue
clear throat
false smile
reticence/withdrawal from contact
shoulder shrug
touching forehead/jaw with hand
facial flushing, especially around eyes
deliberate control of body energy = fewer movements, stiffness of demeanor
wheedling tone of voice

tears standing in eyes/crying/sobbing
narrowed eyes
closed eyes
tightening of the throat
inability to speak
repeated swallowing
quivering chin
compressed/down-turned mouth or lips
chew lip
flared nostrils
wrinkled nose/ brow
forward bowing of body, turning in on oneself
arms folded across lower chest/upper abdomen
clenched fist
stiffness of body
hand over heart
slumped posture/drooping shoulders
gazing downward
wavering voice
toneless voice
Bowing postures; "I'm terribly sorry."
Cry face and lip-pout; "Please don't hurt me anymore."
Gazing-down; "I am not a challenge."
Slumped flexed-forward posture of the shoulders; "I give up."
Audible sigh; "I give up."
Compressed lips; "No, I don't want that."
wide eyes w/blinking

wide eyes
brows arched upward
open mouth
parted lips
wide eyes
fixated stare
rapid eye blink
startle reflex
sudden intake of breath
drawing back of body
head jerked/thrown back

Summary of common Facial Cues.  

1. Nose:
a) nostril flare; "Oh that scent!" (arousal, rivalry)
b) nose wrinkle; (disgust)

2. Lips:
a) grin (happiness, friendship, contentment)
b) grimace (fear)
c) lip-compression (anger, emotion, frustration)
d) canine snarl (disgust)
e) lip-pout (sadness, submission, uncertainty)
f) lip-purse (disagree)
g) sneer (contempt)

3. Brows:
a) frown (anger, sadness, concentration)
b) brow-raise (intensity)

4. Tongue:
tongue-show (dislike, disagree)

5. Eyelids:
a) flashbulb eyes (surprise)
b) widened (excitement, surprise)
c) narrowed (threat, disagreement)
d) fast-blink (arousal)
e) normal-blink (relaxed)

6. Eyes:
a) big pupils (arousal, fight-or-flight)
b) small pupils (rest-and-digest)
c) direct-gaze (affiliate, threaten)
d) gaze cut-off (dislike, disagree)
e) gaze-down (submission, deception)
f) CLEMS* (thought processing) This is an acronym for "Conjugate Lateral Eye Movement." When the eyes move sideward (to the right or left) in response to a question. Rightward movement is associated with symbolic thinking, or Memory, (what we KNOW,) while Leftward Movement is associated with visual thinking, or Creativity, (what we INVENT).

By Minnette MeadorTHE ROMANTIC ARC – There is a story ARC in everything you write; whether it’s a thriller, mystery, or even a children’s book. I use a mix of the Heroes’ Journey (1) and Aristotle's tragic fall from grace for most of my books.THE NORMAL LIFE – My depiction of the “normal life” that prefaces the story ARC of a romance doesn’t have to be dull. As a matter of fact, I try to portray the life of my lead characters as dramatic as possible. In the beginning of my first historical the hero has just killed a Celtic warrior. In the second historical he is running from Roman soldiers trying to hide his identity. Both normal everyday things Marius does. In Ghost of a Chance the story starts out with Keenan ogling the woman of his dreams just to be interrupted by a screaming apparition, which, for him, is also his normal life. I try to blend in the barriers right from the beginning to create mystery. In a romance ARC I think it’s important to build the “normal” romantic life from the beginning too: i.e. he sees ghosts so how can he ever hope to have a normal relationship; she has sworn off men and will never date again; she finds him annoyingly attractive, until he opens his mouth, that is; he can’t stand bossy women and this one is the worst… if only he didn’t like her so much. It makes that fateful step through the Looking Glass or crossing that first threshold an even harder step. The character has already been through a lot when I open my stories. I try to stay away from backstory as much as possible in the beginning pages. I want to portray that the normal life for this exceptional character will only become more intriguing.
THE OPEN DOOR – The second part of the ARC for me is the beginning of the journey, the stepping through that forbidden door, or the change in circumstances that hurls the character into unknown territory. In a romance ARC, this could be anything out of the ordinary for my characters. In The Belle Stalker, the path opens when Belle finds her lover murdered in her apartment and her homicide detective ex-husband back in her life. In A Ghost of a Chance the road changes when Keenan is seduced by a powerful spirit that changes his life forever. In The Centurion and the Queen, Delia’s life changes when she meets the Centurion and is thrust into the middle of a war. Every story has this dramatic change of life circumstances and I try to make them powerful enough to turn the characters onto different paths way beyond their comfort zones.THE FALL FROM GRACE – some people don’t use this step in the story, but I love it. Human beings are flawed, awkward, crazy, argumentative, docile, and have many imperfections that make them ultimately fascinating. Even a hero has bouts of nerves, kind people sometime hiss with the best of them, smart people go suddenly stupid in the most dire of situations, and evil people can even show compassion. I build in a fall from grace for my characters; in the romance ARC this might mean something like deliberately pointing out a mate’s shortcomings in a heated argument; turning into a coward at the threshold of disaster to save your own skin; walking away from responsibility when others are counting on you. The lower they go the more glorious the black moment and the resolution.MAKE IS WORSER – I have a wonderful editor, who would tell me to make it worser, i.e. make it bad, then go one further and make it worse… then make it worser. That piece of advice has always helped me. I torture my poor characters mercilessly. It makes for good reading every time. THE BLACK MOMENT – Donald Maase is an amazing instructor and teaches this about the black moment:
Work out the one thing your character would never do, then make him/her do it.Work out the one thing your character would never sacrifice, then make him/her sacrifice it. Work out your character’s greatest fear then make him/her face that. THE RESURRECTION – This is the shining moment of the romance ARC, the place where the couple decides they can’t live without each other, the daring rescue despite his fears, the resounding revelation that they do love each other, or the all-encompassing realization that what you wanted all along was right in front of you. This works for the romance ARC as it does for any genre. THE JOURNEY HOME – This is the part that wraps up the story and takes the character “home,” wherever that might be. THE LANGUAGE OF LOVETHE WORDS – There has been countless articles written about what words to use for the romantic ARC and many can be found on the internet. When I first started to write I fell into a lot of the same traps that lots of us do; trying to come up with new and exciting ways to talk about physical love. I found out that that usually ends up sounding like “purple prose” ( For me, the more straightforward the better in love scenes and to write about them baring their emotions to each other, their fears, their passions. I have written just about every level of sexual heat in my books. The difference is language; innuendo vs. explicit. I’m giving you some examples attached of the two, but keep in mind both are for adults only. I don’t know if I can tell you my technique; for me, these are the hardest scenes to write and take lots of practice. My suggestion would be that if you want to write sex scenes you read what others have written and learn from them. Here is an excellent article on the subject as well: THE FACE – The eyes are the windows to the soul, but the hundreds of tiny muscles in the face are what really communicate to us. When someone is interested we send off a plethora of signals to the other person. These can be so subtle you’d have to have stop motion photography to catch them, yet we know them instantly when we see them (or not… how many signals have you missed from others in love?). The face is an excellent place to “show, don’t tell.” Here are some of the things the face can tell us in love:It’s in the EyesThe size of the person’s pupils and gaze behaviorsExcitement, happiness, lustPupils can dilate up to four times their original sizeDilation also associated with problem-solving, mental activities – dilating to maximum when a decision is reached.Angry, negative moodPupils restrict to what are commonly known as “beady little eyes” or “snake eyes”Lighter eyes can look more attractive because it’s easier to see the dilation – we can read the other person better. This is why dark eyes are considered mysterious.Key signal in courtship – purpose of eye makeup is to emphasize eye display. Centuries ago, prostitutes put drops of belladonna, a tincture containing atropine into their eyes to dilate their pupils and make themselves look more desirable.Dimly lit places prove to be more successful in romantic encounters – everyone’s pupils dilate. This is why you’ll need to reflect more body language.
THE BODY – Just as the face displays romantic interest, so does the body.Regular furtive glances with intervals of three to five seconds, decreasing as interest develops to two to three seconds.Staring and full of intensityHide and seek game of sneaking looks and flashing glances
LOVE RESOURCES: There are hundreds of web pages on this subject and I’ve researched many of them. They give you countless ways to show male and female interest without using words and are wonderful resources. Here are just a couple, but there are many more:
SHOW DON’T TELL - I spent years working on craft and studying that ever elusive “show, don’t tell” maxim. One of the best tools I’ve found is the “cheat sheet,” a wonderful quick guide to body language for every emotion. I’ve created an 11 page cheat sheet for myself with a wide range of body language cues (things we do that project certain emotions) and I’m happy to share it with you. This was compiled from several resources and has helped me immensely. I hope it can help you too. GOALS, MOTIVATIONS, AND CONFLICTS – A great book on GMC is Goal, Motivation, & Conflict: The Building Blocks of Good Fiction by Debra Dixon. This is an amazing book about building substance into your heroes, heroines, and bad guys to make them more three dimensional. I do GMC for every major character in my book and even for secondary ones if it’s needed. I also do an extensive character survey sheet for each one to tell me all about them. In a nutshell:
What: The ideal scene – What does the character want more than anything else? Note: It is NOT to fall in love. Romance is usually the LAST thing a character wants and it messes up everything every time. What is your protagonist’s goal? What is your antagonist’s goal?Why: What is his motivation?  Why does he want this goal? Because… The motivation is what drives characters and sets up the foundation for the novel. It also what keeps it moving forward. Think of a motivation your character has.Why not? Who or what stands in our way?Definition of conflict*:Conflict is a struggle against someone or something in which the outcome is in doubt.Conflict is bad things happening to good people.Conflict is bad things happening to bad people.Conflict is friction, tension, opposition… and danger.Conflict is two dogs and one bone. THE WIZARD OF OZ:WHO – DOROTHYWHAT/GOAL – TO GET BACK TO KANSASWHY/MOTIVATION – BECAUSE HER AUNTIE EM IS SICKWHY NOT/CONFLICT – THE WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST WHO WANTS THE RUBY SLIPPERS
LAYERING IN THE ROMANCEThe backstory – I try to work in as little back story as I can in the beginning of the book and reserve it for the “quiet” times. I try to build it into dialogue first and then in reflections. This for me is one of the hardest things to do because you don’t want to just do a “data dump” to your readers. It pulls them out of the story and usually causes page skipping. I’ve seen it myself in books by some of the best authors in the world. The backstory needs to come out naturally, a bit at a time, leaving a mystery after each bite to move the reader forward in the story. I try very hard never to give them all the story until the very end.Dialogue – This should be a natural result of relationship building. Sometimes just throwing two people together where they have to stay that way will generate dialogue. I try to make my dialogue short, sweet, and pithy wherever I can, however, I also have my characters tell their own stories as well. It’s usually more interesting coming from them than it is from me. I’m notorious for the “story within a story” using flashbacks that are usually funny and hopefully always interesting. Romance dialogue is used to learn about each other; think of a time when you went on a date. What was your conversation like? Have the characters ask questions, get into a tiff where something comes out that shouldn’t have, come up with a solution to a problem based on past experience that the other person didn’t know about. You can weave this all into your story to bulk it up. The quiet moments - If you have no quiet times you are going to exhaust your reader – everyone needs a breather, including your characters. It is during these quiet moments that we learn all the good, bad, and ugly things about our characters, heroes and villains. As a musician I learned a lot about silence and its importance to music. It is the pauses as much as the crescendos that define the emotion of music. It’s the same with writing; the quiet and even silent times in the story builds a foundation for the tension and movement and make them more real. Just as life breathes in and out, so does a story. Even the most thrilling of suspense novels have their quiet times. The trick is learning to balance the two. LAST NOTES:If you want to write well, read well.Study and practice your craft. No one lives in a vacuum. Learn from as many other writers as you can.Romance can be as subtle as a stolen kiss and as grand as an elaborate marriage. Let your characters be frightened, unsure, clumsy, and doubtful. In matters of love, we’re all like that no matter how we act on the outside. The only other occupation we know less about is being a parent. That is true for your characters as well.Even the most macho man in the world can be brought down by the flash of a lovely eye.Even the most steadfast liberated woman can melt into the arms of a lover who truly cherishes her.Romance can add warmth and passion to any story, even the dourest ones. We often cling to love when all else fails. And it is usually love that sees us through the worst life can throw at us.
SEX SCENE SAMPLES (Available after meeting with author)
Please email me at for a copy of this presentation with notes or any of the handouts. I’m happy to share whatever I have with other writers so please don’t hesitate to ask.

www.minnettemeador.comBLOGwww.minnettemeadorbooks.comE-MAILmmeador@minnettemeador.comTWITTER & NOBLE BOOKS The hero's journey: summary of the stepsDeparture The Call to AdventureRefusal of the CallSupernatural AidThe Crossing of the First ThresholdThe Belly of the WhaleInitiation The Road of TrialsThe Meeting with the GoddessWoman as the TemptressAtonement with the FatherApotheosisThe Ultimate BoonReturn Refusal of the ReturnThe Magic FlightRescue from WithoutThe Crossing of the Return ThresholdMaster of the Two WorldsFreedom to LiveHeros Journey : Summary of Steps SAMPLE 1 – INNUENDO – The Centurion & The QueenAll at once, there was nothing in Delia’s universe but Marius kissing, touching, biting, and exploring every inch of her body with his mouth, his tongue, and his hands. For the first time in her life, Delia forgot everything else. The bliss sent an earthquake through her loins, causing her body to teeter on the brink of the sublime. Nothing in her experience prepared her for the new sensations; the tingle in her neck, arms, and hands; the tightening of her belly when a wave of lightning engulfed it; the escape of her moisture as it saturated her, swelled her. Once unrestrained, her passion was urgent, desperate, and critical, but Marius forced her to yield to his slow pace, his unhurried touch, bringing her, again and again, to the edge of rapture and then denying her, until she wanted to beg for it. Marius’ lips devoured hers; his tongue explored her mouth, her neck, and her ears. His teeth found her breasts and her nipples, his tongue torturing them until she moaned in need. With a movement that startled her, he forced her legs open with strong arms, cupped her buttock in his hands, and lifted her hips to meet his mouth. With gentle, delicate flicks of his tongue, he brought her close to the edge so many times she lost count in delirium. Delia could do nothing more than squeeze the blankets. His hands finally opened her, slowly, gradually, insistently. With his thumbs, he spread the softness, the moistness, grabbing her wrist to force her own hand to feel for herself, and laughing at her greedy caresses. Marius moved Delia’s fingers to the soft head of his erection where she let them linger and explore, running the tiny, delicate pads over the heavily veined skin. Delia could feel herself blush and prickles of pleasure moved through her arms when he grew harder in her hand. She squeezed instinctively, feeling the muscle throb and flex, forcing her to tighten her grip. More moisture drenched her in anticipation.
SAMPLE 2 – EXPLICIT – A GHOST OF A CHANCENaked heaving breasts came into view; the nipples were long, slate hard, and the areolas black against dark skin. Her waist and hips were slim. Stretched fingers pinched the nipples, making them longer, more rigid. The triangle of her pussy was bald, the slit dark and inviting. Hazy clouds covered her face, making it soft and featureless, but billowing tendrils of black hair twisted out from around it, flowing in a wind Keenan couldn’t hear. It moved in a watery dance. The covers glided slowly down his body. The soft touch of the silk made his cock twinge in agony, and he gritted his teeth to hiss his pleasure. Electric shocks ignited the nerves in his neck, shoulders, and arms. When Keenan was completely exposed, he wasn’t cold. His cock sprang into ready position. The hair on his arms and legs snapped with static. Rising from the floor until her naked body hovered horizontally inches above him, the entity’s nipples brushed his chest scattering goose bumps across every pore. The creature reached down and wrapped a hot hand around his erection making it pulse when she squeezed. Her grip was like iron. Keenan pulled a gasping moan into his lungs. He could only watch as she slid down to put her mouth above his agonized member. She brushed her tongue several times across the tip then pulled it hard into her mouth. Barbs of lightning convulsed Keenan’s body, intensifying his senses. The sucking sound of her mouth against his flesh, the sweet smell of her juices mixing with his own musky scent, the feel of those hot soft lips caressing the sensitive flesh as they slid over the head of his cock, and the strong grip of her warm hand, all fought for his attention. It’s Not What You Say; It’s How You Say ItBody Language Basics for Writers

What is Body Language?A term for communication using body movements or gestures instead of, or in addition to, sounds, verbal language or other communications. Considered “paralanguage” which describes all forms of human communication that is not verbal. Can also incorporate the use of facial expressions.
The total impact of a message is:7% verbal (words)38% vocal (tone of voice, inflection, and other sounds)55% nonverbal (body language)
How does Body Language reveal emotions and thoughts?Body Language is an outward reflection of a person’s emotional conditionHardwired from our pasts when body language and vocal, not words, comprised communication.Dominated by biological rules that control our actions, reactions, body language and gestures.Human animal is rarely aware that our postures, movements, and gestures can tell one story, the truth, while our words are telling another.
Can Body Language Be Faked?Language can be faked but body’s physical reactions cannot.Politicians, interviewees, pageant contestants – use studiously learned body movements but even the most expert can only fake body language a short period.Physical reactions are the key:Pupil dilationSweatingBlushingInvoluntary mouth movements like a split-second sneerForehead crease, crow’s feet
Women are More PerceptiveYour heroine can read the hero and other characters better because:Commonly referred to as woman’s intuitionInnate ability to pick up and decipher nonverbal signals and an accurate eye for small details.Particularly evident in women who have raised children since the first few years, the mother relies almost solely on the nonverbal to communicate with the child.Woman have between 14-16 areas of brain to evaluate other’s behavior – men have 4-6.Female brain is organized for multi-tasking – which is why men lose plot when women try to communicate to them during show.More white around their eyes
It’s in the EyesUnwittingly referring to the size of the person’s pupils and to gaze behaviorsExcitement, happiness, lustPupils can dilate up to four times their original sizeDilation also associated with problem-solving, mental activities – dilating to maximum when a decision is reached.Angry, negative moodPupils restrict to what are commonly known as “beady little eyes” or “snake eyes”Lighter eyes can look more attractive because it’s easier to see the dilation – we can read the other person better. This is why dark eyes are considered mysterious.Key signal in courtship – purpose of eye makeup is to emphasize eye display. Centuries ago, prostitutes put drops of belladonna, a tincture containing atropine into their eyes to dilate their pupils and make themselves look more desirable.Dimly lit places prove to be more successful in romantic encounters – everyone’s pupils dilate. This is why you’ll need to reflect more body language.
LyingMost people associate looking away with lyingLook at the pupils and other tells – pupils constrictedRapid eye blinking
Sexual Attraction – What each sex looks at:WomenMore time on face – mouth, eyes and hairSize and buildClothes – shoes, rings and other jewelryButtCrotchLeg lengthMenBreastsLeg lengthGenerally scans from ground up – feet, legs, crotch, torso, breasts, shoulders and then face.Men who keep their gaze focused on woman’s face rather than her body are consistently rated as being more attractive.Studies show that most men are not hardwired to read a woman’s first gaze signal so she usually needs to repeat it three times for the average man, four times for a slow man and five or more for the especially thick man.
Getting a Man’s AttentionRegular furtive glances with intervals of three to five seconds, decreasing as interest develops to two to three seconds.Staring and full of intensityHide and seek game of sneaking looks and flashing glances
Brain’s Response to ThreatFreeze – to avoid detection by dangerous predators or in dangerous situations and/or to give yourself the opportunity to assess the situation and decide on a response.Stop suddenly, perhaps strike himself on the head before turning aroundA nervous interviewee holds her breath or breaths shallowlyA person being questioned about a crime locks legs interlocked behind the chair legs (position of security)Another – diminishing of the body – hunching shoulders (turtle effect)Flight – to escape the threat or to distance oneself from danger.Lean away, place an object or objects on her lap, or turning her feet toward the nearest exit, closing eyes, rubbing the eyes, placing hands in front of the face (blocking)Distancing non-verbal behaviorsHolding one leg at right angle to his body, feet pointing to nearest exitClasping of the knees and shifting of body weight on the feet Feet shift from flat-footed to the “starter’s position” like a sprinter Fight – this is the brain’s final tactic for survival through aggression. When a person cannot avoid detection by freezing and cannot protect himself by escaping, fight is the only alternative.Fight response is does not always mean physical attackOne form of modern aggression is verbal altercation as in arguingUsing posture to show aggression – puffing out the chest, violating another’s personal space
Pacifying BehaviorsAdapters – serve to calm us down after we experience something unpleasant or downright nasty – brain enlists the body to provide comforting (pacifying) behaviorsChewing GumBiting pencils/pensTouching the face, neck or lipsPlaying with hair or stroking a beardStroking tops of hands or fingersPlaying with a necklace or adjusting cuff linksRubbing the foreheadSmoothing down the front of a shirt or adjusting a tieLicking the lipsSelf-administered body hug – crossing their arms and rubbing their hands against their shoulders as if experiencing a chillMassaging the earlobe with thumb or forefingerMen prefer to touch their faces; women prefer to touch their necks, clothing, jewelry, arms and hair

Books by Minnette Meador

THE BELL STALKER an urban fantasy thriller by Minnette Meador EXCERPT - CHAPTER ONE Belle Stark has struggled to conquer fears...