Classic Love on Inspired Prompt

What a month we’ve had at Inspired Prompt, as our crew shared their favorite classic love stories. What makes a story classic?

Maybe it’s the prose. The beautiful poetic structure, word upon word, building a bridge between two people. No, more than a bridge, because it’s paving the way for when two become one. It’s the cry of the heart. Do you have a favorite quote from a classic romance?

We’d love for you to share it in the comments section, or find us on Facebook – on the Inspired Prompt Crew page.

Join us right here in March for a topic that grips the writer’s heart—The Emotional Highs and Lows of Writing.

Click-to-Tweet: A month of Classic Love on Inspired Prompt via @InspiredPrompt, @batowens, and @jenlhall63

3 Questions Wednesday with Eliza Scalia

Today we are joined by Eliza Scalia who writes youth adventure stories. If you had a superpower, what would it be? Would you use it for good or evil? Think about it as you get to know Eliza with three questions. Our first question, what do you love most about the writing process? The least?

Eliza: When it comes to what I love the most, that is easy. The best part is watching your ideas come to life, doing the actual writing. Creating the story in your mind and laying it out is alright, but nothing compares to watching the words come out to create an actual story. What I truly hate is the editing process. Anybody who follows me online would know that my most bitter enemy is the comma. I have a problem with them, and they have a problem with me. Hopefully, we will one day either make peace with each other or reach a stalemate. Either way, I would be happy.

Editing can be a challenge. I’ve heard if you read your manuscript out loud, it’s easier to hear to awkward sentences. Good luck with the comma drama! Next question, were you a young writer, late-bloomer, or somewhere in between?

Eliza: I started my writing career very young compared to most. I started trying to write my first novel when I was in the sixth grade. I got around forty to fifty pages into it before I gave up and my mind went elsewhere. My interest in writing started again in my sophomore year of high school when I started writing poetry. By that time, I had another idea for a book series and by the end of my senior year of high school, I had finished my first book. I self- published the first series, the Death’s Assistant series, and I have continued writing since. In 2019 I received a contract to write a series of children’s chapter books with Winged Publications. This series has to do with superheroes and has an anti- bullying premise. I am still writing that series today, five of those books have been written so far. As of this moment, I am twenty- four years old so I can still consider myself to be a young writer.

Way to stick with your talent! There are many great authors who found their writing voice early. Final question, if you could give a novice writer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Eliza: Never give up. Starting the writing process can be very difficult when you’re trying for the first time. You can have the greatest idea for a story in your mind, but it can be difficult to know where to start or how to tell the story. Just keep going. Anybody can say that they want to write something, or they plan to, but that doesn’t really matter until you sit down and actually write something.

It will not be perfect, but when it comes to writing you improve with practice and effort. I still have my difficulties and I am currently starting to work on my tenth book. Try to give yourself a little bit of time every day to write. Make it a habit. It may seem tedious at first, but after a while it will become easier. Some people may find your efforts to be in vain, do not listen to them. If you really want to write, then do it. Their opinion does not matter.

You are so right! Just start writing the story, and then let the editing process later clean it up. Thanks for sharing with us today.


Click to tweet: When it comes to what I love the most, that is easy. The best part is watching your ideas come to life, doing the actual writing. Creating the story in your mind and laying it out is alright, but nothing compares to watching the words come out to create an actual story. What I truly hate is the editing process.


Eliza Scalia Bio:

Eliza Scalia has a master’s degree in clinical mental health which she uses in her work as a therapist for adolescent young men within the juvenile detention system. In her spare time, she studies martial arts and swordsmanship, does various forms of needlework, and writes. Miss Scalia has self-published the Death’s Assistant series for young adults as well as published the Adventures of Silver Dove series for children.

Follow her on Facebook at Eliza Scalia- Author.


Book Overview for The Adventures of Silver Dove:

The Adventures of Silver Dove book blurb: If you had a superpower, what would it be? Would you use it for good, or would you use it for revenge? When Colomba and Luis began their first day of high school, they didn’t expect to be given superpowers in the form of magical pins. Whenever Colomba uses her magical pin, she transforms into the superhero Silver Dove. She has super strength, she can fly, and she can’t get hurt. When Luis uses his pin, he becomes the Crow; he has the power to create shadow- like monsters whenever he wants, he can fly, and he can give other people superpowers. Colomba wants to use her powers to protect people from evil, but Luis isn’t sure. Should he use his powers to make the world a better place, or should he use them to get revenge on all of the bullies in his school who pick on everyone, including him?

By a twist of fate and with an extra dab of this and a little bit of that, nurse Anna Ingram sets out to prove that JJ is more than his past mistakes and Heather can find hope and love in the midst of the biggest battle of her life.

Book buy link on Amazon

Writing the Classic Love Story

By Fay Lamb

When an author tells me that they do not write romance, I laugh. Why? Because it’s exactly what I used to say. Then I realized that every story has a thread of romance. Humans, after all, crave love.

Then there are those authors who want to write a romance. Yet, they shun the classic romance formula. However, a new author writing romance without formula will struggle to publish, or if self-published will struggle to gain readership. The reason? Formula works. Look at that romantic movie channel. Readers like the formula. If not, that channel would not be so popular.

My first three novels in The Ties that Bind series are classic formula romances, one more than the others. If you are an artist who loves to color outside the lines, people will not “get” your work until you have used brilliant colors within the lines a few times.

Here are those lines that create the outer boundaries of the picture:

  • Girl meets boy
  • Girl and boy are drawn to each other
  • Conflict, either internal or external or both, keeps boy and girl apart
  • Girl and boy have an “almost” moment
  • Conflict rears its ugly head and tears them apart in a way that seems impossible for them to overcome
  • Girl and boy overcome to live happily ever after

Written out in bland terms, the formula seems pretty boring, but that’s why we write. We take the mundane and make it extraordinary. The way we color within those lines set for us is our creativity shining forth.

My most formulaic work is entitled, Libby. Here’s what is inside the lines:

  • Girl meets boy: In the story, Libby has spied her hero, Evan, in a coffee shop on several occasions. She doesn’t know his name, but attracted to him, she begins to watch for him, but she thinks no one has noticed. Her two goofy, but astute friends, Charisse and Gideon have noticed. They begin to hatch a matchmaking scheme that goes wrong at every turn. Gideon shows up one morning at the coffee shop, talks to Evan, and introduces Evan to Libby.
  • Conflict: Libby has self-esteem issues that resulted from no small incident in her life. She can’t believe that someone like Evan would ever be interested in her. Evan? He handled his traumatic past differently, and the result was rage. As he falls in love with Libby, he fears he must protect her from himself.
  • Girl and boy have an almost moment and conflict tears them apart: Evan does take Libby on a date of much importance. Libby and Evan enjoy the day. Then before they leave, Evan excuses himself. Libby misreads Evan’s actions, and she is devastated. Evan, in doing something wonderful for Libby, finds that his greatest fear has come true. He has hurt Libby.
  • Girl and boy overcome to live happily ever after: I’m not giving the story away, but let’s just say that Gideon and Charisse Tabor are the funniest and slyest matchmakers I’ve ever known.

There are other events in the story that amp up the plot and flow with the formula. For instance, there is an antagonist who separates the couple. There are funny moments and tearful ones. Those come about firmly within the formula and prove that though we are coloring within the lines, the colors we choose produce something unique for the reader. Yes, even in formula you can immerse the reader into a story that provides the depth that a movie on that romance channel never tries to reach.

Prompt: Write a classic romance. Have fun, but don’t dismiss formula until you’ve colored within the lines a few times.


Click-to-Tweet: When an author tells me that they do not write romance, I laugh. Why? Because it’s exactly what I used to say. Then I realized that every story has a thread of romance. Humans, after all, crave love.


Fay Lamb Bio

Fay Lamb is an author, an editor, and a teacher. She also loves to teach workshops for fiction writers.

Fay has contracted four series with her publisher, Write Integrity Press. Amazing Grace is a four-novel series, which includes Stalking Willow, Better than Revenge, Everybody’s Broken, and Frozen Notes all set in Western North Carolina.

Her The Ties that Bind romantic series, set in Fay’s own backyard of Central Florida, includes Charisse, Libby, and Hope, and comes to a surprising and satisfying conclusion with Delilah.

This author keeps busy. She also has two other series in the works. Her first novel in the Serenity Key series is the epic, Storms in Serenity. The other series is Mullet Harbor, a series of Christmas romances set in the Florida Everglades. Christmas Under Wraps is now available.

Fay has an adventurous spirit, which has also taken her into the arena of non-fiction with The Art of Characterization: How to Use the Elements of Storytelling to Connect Readers to an Unforgettable Cast.

Fay loves to meet readers, and you can find her on her personal Facebook page, her Facebook Author page, and at The Tactical Editor on Facebook and on Goodreads. She’s also active on Twitter. Fay also invites you to visit her website and sign up for her newsletter.

 

Anne and Gilbert: My Favorite Romance

By Candace West

Getting smacked with a slate was not how Gilbert Blythe expected to fall in love. I daresay most of us would avoid such a head-splitting blow to the heart. When L.M. Montgomery first penned that scene, I doubt she knew she was writing one of the most beloved romances of all time. Yet it works. It charms us. A skinny, red-headed orphan loses her temper to a teasing flirt who in turn loses his heart. From that smack until Anne and Gilbert share their first kiss, we hold our breath.

Conflict between enemies turns eventually into conflict between two friends, one of them in love with the other. Can a story get any better than unrequited love? We agonize with Gilbert while we itch to shake Anne by the shoulders (even though we love her). The perfect guy is right under her nose, but she is blind. Bravo, L.M. Montgomery! You snagged our hearts forever!

Why, then, did it take three books for Gilbert and Anne to get it right? I think Lucy Montgomery would tip back her head and laugh at this digital, high-speed, instant gratification world. She instinctively knew that the future Blythe’s needed time. Gilbert had to first grow into a man shaped by his experiences. Anne had to taste freedom, independence, and a touch of romance before she could comprehend her “book of Revelation.” Their characters mature and strengthen, preparing them for that perfect moment that would otherwise be unperfect without it. Just as a rippling creek smooths and shapes the rocks beneath, time and trials shape Anne and Gilbert for that perfect moment when their love is ready.

Even now, their romance is timeless. Just the mention of Anne and Gilbert makes so many of us weak-kneed. This kind of effect does not happen at the whim of an author’s pen. Authors must develop it. Like the reader, they must get acquainted with every character to make a story live in the imagination. By investing time into characters, authors blur the lines between fiction and reality. By the story’s end, we feel like those characters really lived.

The result? A story we forever remember.

I am so glad Lucy gave Gilbert and Anne all the time they needed.


Click to Tweet: “I think Lucy Montgomery would tip back her head and laugh at this digital, high-speed, instant gratification world.”


Writing Prompt

Your characters have known each other since childhood. How do you plan to help them realize they care deeply for one another?


More about Candace West:

Amazon: Lane Steen www.amzn.com/B07VCZ5MV3

Connect with Candace West Posey here:
www.facebook.com/inspirationalnovel
www.instagram.com/candace.west.posey.10
www.candaceweststoryteller.com
www.twitter.com/candacewest111

3 Questions Wednesday with Shawna Robison Young

Today we are joined by Shawna Robison Young, who draws from her varied life experience to write great stories. Let’s get to know her better with three questions. Our first question, what do you love most about the writing process? The least?

Shawna: I love the excitement of creating a new story, making up the characters and the world they live in. I love getting so wrapped up in it that the day is nearly done and I still have more I want to write. As far as what I like least about the writing process is when I’ve finished the book and I put it in the hands of another writer, editor, or reader to give me their feedback. Those days or weeks are the hardest waiting to see if all my hard work amounted to something others will enjoy reading.

I love those days when we totally immerse ourselves in our writing, characters, and story. Next question, if you could give a novice writer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Shawna:  Write. Just keep writing even when it gets hard, even when you get discouraged, even when life gets busy find some time. Never give up. God gave you this gift for His purpose, use it and keep writing for Him. The words on the page may only be for you or maybe God had you write them to touch another person’s heart or perhaps thousands. Whatever His Will is for your writing journey remember Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Amen! You are so right. Just keep writing and let the Lord lead the way. Final question, give a shout out to a writer friend and your favorite book they’ve written.

Shawna: Mikal Dawn writes funny relatable characters. Her debut novel, Count Me In is my favorite book she’s written. I read it in a day and a half. This rarely happens due to my busy life, but I couldn’t put it down. She also has written several novellas and is in a few book collections with other fantastic authors.

I’ll have to check her out. Thanks for sharing with us today.


Click to tweet: I love the excitement of creating a new story, making up the characters and the world they live in. I love getting so wrapped up in it that the day is nearly done and I still have more I want to write.


Shawna Robison Young Bio

Shawna is the mother of four, a preschool owner and teacher, and a former children’s minister. She is the wife of a navy veteran, and lover of all things chocolate. Whether it’s singing the ABCs, sharing what she’s learned with new writers, or passing along Bible truths to her children’s ministry classes, she’s a teacher at heart. Her novel Waiting among Ashes was a finalist in the 2012 Women of Faith contest, and her short story Michael was a finalist in the 2012 Christian Choice Writing Contest.

Shawna enjoys writing a little bit of the unexpected. Why be normal? In a world of conformity, a touch of something out of the ordinary can make a work of art astonishing.


If you would like to connect with Shawna, here’s how:


Book Overview for the Unsuspecting Heather Meyers:

What if you’ve returned home to start your life over, only to discover you’re there to finish it?

Ready for a fresh start, Heather Meyers flees from not-so-sunny California to her hometown in Indiana. But fate has other plans—stage IV cancer and three months to live. Determined that one more kick from life won’t destroy her faith, Heather fights against its schemes. Before she can take her final rest, redemption must be found for someone she loves.

Physical therapist Dr. Jack Jones (JJ) would do anything to change the past, to not have let his high school sweetheart getaway. Now that Heather’s back, he’d do anything to keep her from leaving. With her time running out, he may never get his chance to set things right.

By a twist of fate and with an extra dab of this and a little bit of that, nurse Anna Ingram sets out to prove that JJ is more than his past mistakes and Heather can find hope and love in the midst of the biggest battle of her life.

Book buy link:  https://amzn.com/B082S5HDQ9