Tag Archive: romance

Reflections of an Author

I did not choose this path, this cause. Destiny chose it for me.

I began writing for myself with small simple stories for children. Indeed that is where I thought my path lay. After all, the stories were about talking animals and fairy tale characters and the word count was short.

Then something happened. As I read more my vocabulary and my interests grew. I began to write essays and stories that a small child would not understand. The length of my stories grew as well. Soon some of the topics were quite adult. I was writing about war heros, transcontinental journeys and lost history.

Somewhere along the way I began to write romance. It has become a standby. It’s fun and enjoyable and there are so many ways to screw up, find redemption and still end up with your man at the end of the day. I’ve written several such capers and undoubtably will continue.

Then along came a subject that would change my life and my way of thinking. I wrote several articles of American history. My intention was to put them in a drawer, to publish them individually or if possible, in a series. I had no idea they would come to dominate a good deal of my life for nearly two years.

It began with a trip to New York city. I had decided to put some money where my mouth was and signed up for the Writers Digest Conference. During the time of pitching, I attempted to sell romance or a 19th centry British mystery cozy. Both ideas came off as flops. Hoping to stand out from the crowd I put an idea forth. What if my articles were a part of a book? That idea was met with resounding yes’. I now had a book to write. It was niether children’s nor romance. I had gone on to hardcore forgotten history.

The journey had just begun and as I live my life each day I discover more that needs to be done. I know we are over saturated with laws. One law has been written to explain another. Still, there are common sense laws that somehow have elluded the masses. I hope one day to bring these to light with an idea or a solution to the current problems. Perhaps my destiny will be saving the life of someone from an accident that needen happen.

Love story lessons

Nicholas Sparks’ ‘The Lucky One’ is on its way to theaters. But he’s here today to help you craft a perfect tale.

By Molly Lyons

Nicholas Sparks has sold about 52 million copies of his books, so he knows something about how to write a compelling tale. Hollywood agrees: Seven of his novels have been made into movies. The latest love story, The Lucky One, stars Zac Efron and is due in theaters April 20. Looking to crack Sparks’ best-selling code? “There’s no magic answer,” he cautions. That said, the author has some guidelines on how to weave an authentic love story:

First, determine your character’s ages.  “Age informs dilemma. If you’re going to write a novel about everlasting love, the characters can’t be teenagers,” Sparks says.

Ask questions.  A protagonist without an obstacle doesn’t turn pages. Sparks drums up dilemmas by asking, “what if?”

Decide on the answers.  Sparks says he needs to answer essential questions before he starts writing. “I have to know the age of the characters, I’ve got to know how they meet. I have to know the conflict that’s keeping them apart and what brings them together. Finally, I have to know how I ends,” he says. And fore this author, there are only three possible endings: “Happy, sad or bittersweet.”

Hit the right tone.  “You don’t want to be cliché or melodramatic, and you want it to evoke genuine emotion, and that’s tough,” Sparks says.

Join author Nicholas Sparks and create a story for USA WEEKEND.

It’s your turn to participate in an enthralling story that lives and grows with every contribution! We asked Sparks to help by writing a first and a last sentence to inspire you:

Title: The End of All Things

First sentence: Jasmine Blake thought she understood what love meant until the day she almost died.

Last sentence: She was just falling asleep when the car stopped, and Rick whispered, “We’re home.”

Visit usaweekend.com and share your first paragraph (about 100 words.)

Plus, register to win a signed copy of Spark’s latest book.

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