More Winners to Start Off the New Year

2018 has arrived! Here, at the new Inspired Prompt Blog, we still have winners, a total of six this month…

Bethany Morehead offered a $25 Amazon gift card to one blessed commentor. Its been won by Robin E. Mason. Congrats!

Liz Galvano has been picked to win a copy of Gail Johnson’s memoirTreasures of Hope, Discovering the Beautiful Truth Beneath My Painful Past.  Congratulations!

Readers, Terri Wangard is giving a choice between a print first-edition copy of her debut Friends & Enemies (US addresses), or a Kindle copy of Wheresoever They May Be to Lynn Watson

Sherri Stone is gifting  Leland&Becky with a Kindle copy of The Confession of Tobias Tucker.

Rory Lemond has won a copy of Carole Brown’s latest novel, A Flute in the Willows.

Ginger Solomon is giving away an e-copy of One Choice to Sonnetta Jones . Woo hoo!

A big THANK YOU to all our faithful readers for taking the time to stop by and comment.

And continue to leave comments while you wait to see if you might be our next winner!

 

 

Romance Writing: The Meet-Cute

What’s a meet-cute? A girl meets boy story…gone awry.

Meet-cute: a staple of romantic comedies; a scene in which a future romantic couple meets for the first time. [Wikipedia]


Scenario in which two individuals are brought together in some unlikely, zany, destined-to-fall-in-love-and-be-together-forever sort of way (the more unusual, the better). [Urban Dictionary]


“Meet Cute is a way to quickly introduce two characters and set up their burgeoning relationship. A meet-cute is almost always rife with awkwardness, embarrassment, and sometimes outright hostility. It’s often used in films, particularly the Romantic Comedy, due to time constraints; while on television a relationship can develop more naturally over many episodes, a movie has to get their couple set up right away to fit within 2 hours.” – TV Tropes


Introducing the meet-cute: a device most often used in romantic comedies (movies), but also in television, books, and stories. One of my all-time favorite meet-cute is found in While You Were Sleeping, when Sandra Bullock’s character meets Bill Pullman’s character for the first time. It’s awkward and funny.

They continue to butt heads and misunderstand each other through most of the movie. The scene is poignant, funny, and draws the viewer into the story. I can’t help but feel sorry for both characters, because I sense they are “destined for each other” (as in Sleepless in Seattle).

Which brings me to Sleepless in Seattle. Though they unknowingly cross paths more than once, the couple doesn’t actually meet until the final scene. The meet-cute scene is subtle. For her, it’s a radio broadcast. For him, it’s a quirky letter from a woman half a continent away. It seems impossible. The good, strong romance develops first in the viewers’ mind and heart. That’s genius writing, IMHO.

Can an author effectively use the meet-cute in writing romance meant for the novel, not the screen? [Click to Tweet]

Not only is it possible, but desirable. However, it takes skill and good comic timing. It fits best in the sub-genre: romantic comedy.

Let’s look at an example of one in Picture Perfect, a book by Janice Thompson. Hannah, a wedding photographer aiming for a high-profile wedding job, has an interview with a reporter for Texas Bride. At the end of her interview, trouble enters in the form of a rival photographer, who just happens to be, “devilishly handsome.” He also happens to be the reporter’s next appointment. After a brief introduction, Hannah looks down at her shoes and realizes she has on two completely different ones. When she glances up to find that Drew and the reporter are also gazing at her feet, her nerves take over. As Hannah rises to leave, she catches the toe of her sandal and spills coffee … in Drew’s lap.

Now, that’s a meet-cute. The main character has completely humiliated herself in front of a really good-looking, single guy. Destiny. Could it happen in real life? Absolutely, and probably has, which is why we may find it hilarious.

My mother tells the story of the time she first met my dad. She was working behind the candy counter at a local movie theater in Seattle, Washington. She noticed her best friend (who also worked there) flirting with a slightly inebriated, but very handsome young sailor. More than a little irritated with both of them, and knowing her best friend’s steady boyfriend was due at any moment, Mom stepped in and diverted the sailor’s attention. Just in time. She did such a good job of diverting his attention, he returned the next day. They were married a few weeks later, and stayed married until he died in 2007. That’s a real-life meet-cute.

If you’re a writer of romance, and want to include a meet-cute in your story, I would advise you to study from the best. Watch movies like the ones I mentioned earlier. Also, The Quiet Man, with John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara is another great one. While you’re in Ireland, you can check out Leap Year, with Amy Adams and Matthew Goode. It has an excellent meet-cute.

Can you think of other meet-cute scenes in books you’ve read, or movies you’ve seen? Feel free to share those in the comments. We love to hear from our readers.


Writing Prompt: Construct a short meet-cute scene in front of a neighborhood farmer’s market. Your characters are a young college student named Anne, a young farmer named Charlie, and a boy on a bike. Have fun with it!

1st Saturday Extra: Why I Write Romance

By Janie Winsell

I have always been an avid reader of fiction. I was born with heart problems and barely escaped open-heart surgery as a newborn. Because of my health issues, my mom had to keep an eye on my exertion and stress.

If I ran too much or got upset, my lips would turn blue, and my mom had to figure out ways to quiet me down—enter books. Mom found that reading to me calmed me down the quickest. I fell in love with the stories of princesses finding their princes and the adventurous journeys that brought them together.

When I wasn’t reading about two people falling in love, I created my own stories with my Barbie dolls. I would practice the storyline and then put on plays for my family.

As I grew up, I exchanged my Barbie plays for V.C. Andrews and Maureen Daly books. I never really dated in high school, but I had wonderful book boyfriends. They were gorgeous and sweet, thoughtful and protective. It raised my expectations for the type of guy I wanted to date.

I love bringing couples together. The magic of that first kiss—the moment the heroine knows the hero’s her soul mate drives me. Every story that I write opens my eyes to a new aspect of love in its purest form.

Love is so much more than physical attraction. It’s calling someone up at midnight because you’re worried about an important meeting at work the next day. It’s that person talking you down and calming your nerves enough that you’re able to relax and sleep. It’s forgiveness when we mess up. Love means knowing someone cares about what happens to you.

I think in this world, love has become a word to get something from someone. A child asks their parent, “How much do you love me?” They follow this by whatever toy or electronic device they want. A guy tells a girl he loves her so much he can’t wait for marriage, and if she loves him back, she’ll sleep with him. A Christian tells God they love Him followed by a laundry list of things they want, and if He’ll just provide these items, they’ll know He loves them.

That’s not love. That’s not romance.

I want people reading my stories to know God’s love through human interaction. My hope is that they see God’s love in how the heroine treats the hero and vice versa. I want them to read my stories and realize that they’re worthy of that type of unconditional love.

I write Romance because it’s my calling. It’s my way of sharing God’s love.

Writing Prompt: Write a story about the couple in the picture above. Forget cliche. Try to think of a twist to make it different.

Click to tweet: “Every story that I write opens my eyes to a new aspect of love in its purest form.” Why I Write Romance by Janie Winsell #romance #ValentinesDay


Janie Winsell is a Christian author who writes Contemporary Women’s fiction, Romance, and Romantic Suspense. She received her Master’s Degree in Creative Writing at Full Sail University. She is a member of ACFW and active in the critique main loop.
She writes about real Christians who, like the world, are not perfect, but through God’s love and discipline, they learn the lessons needed to grow in their relationship with their Heavenly Father as well as with each other.

Writing Romance

February is the month of love and romance. So what better topic could we offer this month besides romance writing? Stay tuned to learn about everything romance…

By Fay Lamb

Not so long ago, if anyone would have asked me if I wrote romance, I’d have say, “Uh-no” in that haughty way that tells someone they consider themselves above all that.

Today, I tell you proudly that I do write romance. The truth is, I was writing it way back then, too. I just didn’t realize it. Romance really does make the world turn. I’m sure if I tried I might come up with one movie or book that is absolutely void of romance, whether it be a simple attraction, a hint of romance, or the story is all about falling in love, but romance, even if it doesn’t play out, is what makes a story memorable.

Yet, writing romance isn’t always as simple as it seems. I’m one of those authors that balk at formula, but I have to tell you, formula works—especially if you’re targeting a publisher that lives or dies by that formula. Actually, the Hallmark channel is enough proof that publishers will thrive on formula romance.

So what is the formula? It’s a simple recipe: Boy meets girl, preferably by the first scene or at least by the end of the first chapter, and certainly no later than the first scene of the second chapter. Boy and girl must share an attraction that will grow into love, but there must be an overriding conflict that keeps them from taking the plunge. In my novel, Charisse, the heroine was always attracted to her hero, even in high school. She just didn’t think he cared for her. They drift apart, and many years later, after they reconnect, the big dope, who did care about her in high school, has done something unforgivable—at least as far as the heroine is concerned. Still, circumstances cause her to work for him. Her cold shoulder toward him due to her anger and also another woman who blatantly desires him, are both roadblocks to their finding happily ever after.

Formula does seem monotonous, though, so there are elements to a story that can make it rise above the others. One thing is character. My friend, June Foster, writes romance where the characters aren’t the golden-haired beauty queens or the blond Adonis of every woman’s dreams. Nope, her delightful stories include a woman who lost a leg, a man who is obese and closing in on being a diabetic. She writes about women who are compelled to buy things and men who struggle with unbecoming issues, and those stories work. Don’t underestimate the idea of a flawed human being as a hero or heroine. Readers like the underdog.

Another angle to take could be humor. In my very formulaic romance, Libby, the poor woman is traumatized by a perceived lack of self-worth while those around her see her shine brightly. Her hero is a man who believes that his past might cause him to hurt her. In the background are two of the worst matchmakers imaginable, and everything they do to keep the hero and heroine together turns into tragic hilarity.

Finally, a little mystery or two might add to the formula. No, I’m not saying get out of the romance genre and write a romantic suspense or a cozy mystery. Simply layer in a question that begs to be answered. Currently, I’m watching an Australian show where they bill the hero as having an “undetermined number of ex-wives.” Every mention of an ex-wife makes the viewer want to know more. This type of question can tantalize readers as well.

Find something unique for each romance, and weave it into the story. Turn monotony into a story with flair, and shout to the world, “I am a writer of romance!”

 Writing Prompt: Look at the photo above. Describe who is giving this gift and who is receiving. Develop a strong character in your description.

Click to tweet: Romance really does make the world turn. But how do you write a love story? Read on. #romance #ValentinesDay


Fay Lamb writes emotionally charged stories with a Romans 8:28 attitude, reminding readers that God is always in the details. Fay donates 100% of her royalties to Christian charities.

Storms in Serenity is the first book in Fay’s Serenity Key series. Fay’s other series include, Amazing Grace and her novels, Stalking Willow, Better than RevengeEverybody’s Brokenand Frozen Notes. The Ties that Bind Series includes Charisse,Libby, and Hope. Delilah, is coming soon.

Fay’s is also the author of The Art of Characterization: How to Use the Elements of Storytelling to Connect Readers to an Unforgettable Cast.

3 Questions Wednesday with Ginger Solomon

Good morning, dear reader. Today we welcome author Ginger Solomon to Inspired Prompt. Ginger is offering one commenter an e-copy of One Choice. Stay tuned to find out more.

Ginger 6 - brightened

Good morning, Ginger. Can you describe yourself in three words?

Organized. Average. Friendly.

A great combination.  Next question…

Someone offers you a fully-paid writing research trip to any place you desire to go. Where would it be and why?

eilean-donan-castle-665549_1920Scotland. I’ve had a fascination with Scotland for many years. I’d love to travel all around the country, checking out the castles. I love castles. I love the Scottish accent. I do not love haggis. At least I don’t think I would love it as I’ve never tried it and have no intention of doing so. 😊

Ha! I’m with you on loving the land and the accents, but I don’t think I would enjoy anything that contains a sheep’s lung. For your last question…

If someone made a movie of your life, what would be the theme song?

I’m not good with song names, but two come to mind. It was a toss-up, really. I just couldn’t decide between Don’t Worry, Be Happy or Amazing Grace. LOL

I like that, Ginger. If we’re saved by His amazing grace, we can lay aside worry and be happy. J

Readers: Leave a comment to enter the drawing for One Choice. Keep reading for information about the book!

Click to Tweet: “Organized. Average. Friendly.” 3QW with Ginger Solomon https://wp.me/p2YFil-3pK @InspiredPrompt #interview #giveaway


One Choice finalCahri Michaels is American by birth, but Belikarian by choice. Being selected to participate in the Bridal March forces her to give up the independent life she’s created for herself. She’s not ready to be anyone’s wife, much less to a man she doesn’t know.

Prince Josiah Vallis despises the centuries-old tradition—the Bridal March—that is forcing him to choose a wife from fifty women. Why does it matter that he’s twenty-five and still single?

When Cahri and Josiah meet, passion ignites. Will it spark a godly love that can see them through or will they be burned, never to be the same?


Ginger 6 - brightenedGinger Solomon is a Christian, a wife, a mother to seven, and a writer—in that order (mostly). She writes or reads inspirational romance of any genre, and if she’s busy homeschooling, doing laundry, or fixing dinner, books are on her mind. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, president of her local writing group, and blogs regularly for InspyRomance.com and at gingersolomon.com.

Author Links:

Website

Inspy Romance Blog

Facebook Author Page

Twitter @GingerS219

Pinterest

Amazon Author Page