Tuesday, February 25, 2020

What is Writer's Block and How to Defeat It

Writer's Block
Image by Lukas Bieri from Pixabay

What is Writer's Block and How to Defeat It by J.Q. Rose

Writer's block. Everyone talks about it, but what is it???
Writer's block appears when a writer sits down to write, but can't think of anything to put down on the paper. I have never suffered from a severe case of writer's block. That sounds like it must be a disease. But it isn't. 

Writer's block is not a physical problem like a broken arm. Although, you may get a headache or upset stomach when facing the blank page/screen.

Writing coach Jeff Goins says it is an "excuse." An excuse not to write, not to work on your project. Do you suppose any other worker in the world can blame his/her inability to work on an invisible force? No. You go to work. (But please don't go if you have a virus or fever!)

Writer's block is what people say is keeping them from writing, but Goins maintains there is no such condition. Instead, Goins offers the real cause of writer's block:
  • Fear
  • Exhaustion
  • High standards (which is basically fear of failure)
  • Imposter Syndrome (fear of rejection)
  • Perfectionism (fear of not being good enough)
  • Busyness (fear of not having enough time)
  • Laziness (or is it really fear?)
  • Lack of structure (fear of not knowing how to start)
Think about it. Do any of the reasons apply to you? Fear of rejection and perfectionism certainly niggles in my brain when I am working on my WIP (Work-In-Progress). 

I would also add Comparing my work to another author's work. Comparison can really knock you down. Face it. Someone can write better than me. Someone can also write a lot worse than me. But no one can write the same as me. I am the author and that is what makes my writing special. 

Click here to read more of Jeff Goins's excellent article on writer's block. 

So what can you do to get rid of writer's block? Face it head-on and knock it out of your head by focusing on the cause of the block. Could it be from one of the causes listed above? Do you have another reason for writer's block invading your space? Please leave a comment below to help others knock out writer's block.
Deadly Undertaking
by J.Q.Rose

romantic suspense

I must admit I had a difficult time writing my romantic suspense novel, Deadly Undertaking. The main character is the daughter of an undertaker. I am the daughter of an undertaker. The setting is a funeral home based on my Dad's Victorian-style funeral home. 

I discovered I couldn't write the story. So many memories of those growing-up years flooded over me as I wrote. I had to put the story away until I could separate the real me from the main character. Then I could write the fictional part of the story and allow her to face and overcome the conflict in the novel. And did I ever give her lots of problems--boyfriends, family, and a shadow man. Whew!

Click here to download the ebook copy of Deadly Undertaking on sale now at amazon for $2.99
Click here to order the paperback copy of Deadly Undertaking.
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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Author Toolbox Blog Hop: Developing Characters in Your Writing

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog and to the Author Toolbox Blog Hop #AuthorToolboxBlogHop which meets every third Wednesday of the month to share resources and tips for authors. Thanks to Raimey Gallant for hosting this venture. 

Please join us to learn more about the craft of writing and to meet bloggers who are dedicated to helping each other become the best writers possible. Click here to visit other blog hop participants.

The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression (Second Edition) (Writers Helping Writers Series) Paperback
The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression
Available at your Favorite Bookseller
Tip on Developing Characters in Your Writing by J.Q. Rose

If you are a romance writer, you don't want to edit a romantic scene and discover it reads like a second-grader wrote it or that you used the same words over and over and over and over. I have a tip today to help you find the right words to show not tell a love story with characters who will grab a reader.

My go-to book for helping me to get out of that stuck stage when writing a scene is The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writers Guide to Characters Expression. 

The description describes the purpose of the book--"The Emotion Thesaurus, in its easy-to-navigate list format, will inspire you to create stronger, fresher character expressions and engage readers from your first page to your last."

The table of contents is easy to use to find the emotion you need to portray. You'll appreciate it when looking through the 130 emotions listed to discover the one you need. Here are examples of the emotions that are covered in the book--Fear, Frustration, Happiness, Impatience, Nostalgia, Pride and more.

In the listings for each emotion, you will find ideas to keep your writing fresh.
  • physical signals
  • internal sensations
  • mental responses
  • cues of acute or long-term (emotion)
The authors do not suggest you copy the information word for word, but rather to allow their suggestions to inspire you to show, not tell the story.

Since writing this book, the authors have extended the Thesaurus into a series for other topics in writing like character flaws, character attributes, psychological trauma and more.

Do you use this book or any in the series? Please leave a comment below. Thank you.

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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Excerpt: A Pig, a Kangaroo, and a Pastor, Oh My! #MFRWhooks

Book Hooks Blog Hop #MFRWhooks

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog. Today we're joining the Book Hooks Blog Hop sponsored by the Marketing For Romance Writers Group. (#MFRWhooks) Each participating blogger shares an excerpt from a novel. I'm featuring my romantic suspense, Dangerous Sanctuary. I hope it will give you some smiles during this month of romance.
You're invited to come on along to visit authors sharing their books with you. The link to the list of participants is at the end of the page. Have fun!
Dangerous Sanctuary by J.Q.Rose
Romantic suspense
 Pastor Christine Hobbs never imagined she would be caring for
 a flock that includes a pig, a kangaroo, and a murderer.
Back of the Book:
Pastor Christine Hobbs has been in the pulpit business for over five years. She never imagined herself caring for a flock that includes a pig, a kangaroo, and a murderer. 

Detective Cole Stephens doesn't want the pretty pastor to get away with murdering the church music director. His investigative methods infuriate Christine as much as his deep brown eyes attract her.

Can they find the real killer and build a loving relationship based on trust?

Excerpt: Dangerous Sanctuary, Chapter 14

 Christine watched the EMTs load Iola into the ambulance and secure the cot inside. Harley boosted up the pig, shoved him into the back of the ambulance, and started to grab the kangaroo. The EMT stuck his head out the back door. “Hold on there. Wait a minute. Sir, we can’t be taking a pig to the hospital and for sure, not that kangaroo either. You’ve gotta leave them here.”

Flashing a glance at Christine, the EMT rolled his eyes and shook his head. “Hurry up, sir. We’ve got to get this patient to the hospital.”

Harley pulled Abraham out of the ambulance. Grabbing the pig and the kangaroo’s leashes, he quickly handed them off to Christine, then hoisted himself into the back of the ambulance with help from the EMT. The siren wailed as the lime green ambulance lumbered its way out of the parking lot onto the road and toward the intersection.

Christine stood in the parking lot hanging onto the leash of the agitated pig in one hand and the docile kangaroo in the other. Taking her eyes from the ambulance careening out of the parking lot, she turned her attention to the animals and wondered what just happened here.

Her heart caught in her throat when she spotted Cole Stephens speed into the parking lot, barely missing the departing ambulance. What was he doing here?  He pulled up near her and jumped from the car. “I heard the call come through. I was afraid of what I’d discover at this church.” 

His serious expression broke out into a huge smile. “You never know what situation a 9-1-1 call will lead to. This… this is a first for me.” His hearty laughter echoed off the brick walls of the building. He wiped tears of laughter from his eyes with the back of his hand.

Cole’s appearance seemed to shake up the animals. Christine struggled to hang on to them, so the detective grabbed the kangaroo’s harness and tried to calm the frightened animal.  “What are you doing with the Noah’s ark critters?”

She saw the twinkle in his eyes. Her face cracked into a smile. She had to admit it was an odd situation. She must look like an idiot standing out in the lot hanging onto these two adorable creatures.

“Well, in a nutshell. A woman had a cardiac arrest here in the parking lot. As you saw, she’s on her way to the hospital, and well, these are her pets.”

Christine swept her free hand toward the animals just catching a glimpse of Jackson’s old van making a beeline for the parking lot exit. “Isn’t that right, Ella?”

“Yes, her pets.” Ella nodded and pointed to Katy and Abraham.

“Um, I guess I’m keeping them till, well, until… Let’s just say we didn’t really have time to discuss it. I’m sure you probably have a place to put them, don’t you?”

“Huh-uh, lady. I’m not taking in any animals.” He backed away as if they were wild animals ready to attack. “Anyway, my retriever would probably eat them.” His wink was disarming.
Christine turned to Ella standing nearby. “Ella, would you?”

 “No way, Pastor. You’re on your own with those animals. Remember? I’m the one who didn’t even want the cat.” Ella made a quick exit for the safety of the church office.
Christine turned to the detective. “Now what am I going to do?” She pushed her bangs off her forehead.

 “I can call the animal shelter. They’ll probably take them. Meanwhile, shall we take them over to the parsonage lawn instead of standing here?” He tugged a bit on the kangaroo’s leash.  Katy didn’t exactly hop right. She had a hitch in her hop gait.

What a sight as the little band hopped, tugged, pulled their way across the street and into the back yard.
Dangerous Sanctuary by J.Q.Rose
Romantic suspense

“Do you think this animal is housebroken?” Cole asked.

Christine sliced her gaze at Cole ready to dress him down while she was in the middle of this predicament until she spotted those sparkling eyes full of mischief. A grin spread across her face. “Well, I don’t think the congregation would appreciate a kangaroo in the parsonage, nor a pig. Would you call the shelter for me now, please?”  

“Sure.” He slipped his phone off his belt.

Thank goodness Katy and Abraham needed her attention. Otherwise, she would’ve cupped his face in her hands and given him a healthy kiss for staying here with her.
Click here to download your copy at amazon.

Click here to order the paperback edition of Dangerous Sanctuary.

About J.Q. Rose--
After writing feature articles in magazines, newspapers, and online magazines for over fifteen years, J.Q. Rose entered the world of fiction. Her published mysteries From BWL Publishing are Terror on Sunshine Boulevard, Dangerous Sanctuary, and Deadly Undertaking. Blogging, photography, Pegs and Jokers board games, and travel are the things that keep her out of trouble. She and her husband, Gardener Ted, spend winters in Florida and summers up north camping and hunting toads, frogs, and salamanders with her four grandsons and granddaughter.

Click here to visit bloggers who are participating in the Book Hooks Blog Hop. 
Enjoy meeting new authors and visiting your favorites. 
Thanks for stopping by.
J.Q. Rose

Connect with J.Q. Rose online at
J.Q. Rose blog http://www.jqrose.com/
J. Q.  Rose Amazon Author Page http://tinyurl.com/aeuv4m4

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Tuesday, February 4, 2020

IWSG Blog Hop: What Inspired Me to Write a Story, #World Read Aloud Day

IWSG Badge
IWSG Blog Hop---the first Wednesday of every month.
Hello and welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group Blog Hop! 
Always on the first Wednesday of the month.
What is the Insecure Writer's Support Group?
Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database, articles and tips, a monthly blog posting, a Facebook and Instagram group, Twitter, and a monthly newsletter. To find out more, click this link:  Insecure Writer’s Support Group

The purpose of the group is 
* to share and encourage. 
* Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. 
* Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. 
*It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! 
You're invited to become a member of this supportive group. Click here to sign-up to join.
Happy IWSG Day!
Add caption

Question for February 5

February Question 

February 5 question - 
Has a single photo or work of art ever inspired a story? 
What was it and did you finish it?
Dangerous Sanctuary by J.Q. Rose
Romantic suspense
I'm sorry to say I have not been inspired by a photo or artwork to write a story. However, story ideas come from the stories in the news. I wrote an entire romantic suspense novel based on a newspaper article about a motorcoach exploding at a campground. Everyone got out alright with no injuries, including their service animals--a pig, a kangaroo, and a goat. Yes! That's a true story. Of course, my version in the novel, Dangerous Sanctuary, is not true. But so fun to write!

2 Boys Reading to Each Other

The World Read Aloud Celebration is a new one for me. However, LitWorld and Scholastic have promoted this special day for 11 years. Now, according to the Scholastic site, 173 countries celebrate the occasion! 

Join in. Here are the rules! 

1.Select a book 
2. Find a buddy 
3. Read aloud 
4. Share your favorite read-aloud moments on social media with #WorldReadAloudDay and be sure to tag @Scholastic, @LitWorldSays and 3 friends so they can join, too!
Click here to go to the Scholastic site.

I know when I read to my kids, my grandkids, my third-grade students, I felt all warm and fuzzy inside to share a quiet, special time with them. No matter what your age, reading a story or hearing a story read aloud is appreciated. 

I'll be presenting a workshop in Telling Life Stories this week, and I plan to read a few stories to the participants. Every time I've done this, they always listen intently and enjoy the time. It works both ways. I love hearing them share their life stories with the class.

Author and teacher Jacqui Murray is the one who brought attention to this day on her blog, Word Dreams. Click here to link to her informative post about why writers should celebrate the day and the importance of reading aloud.

GOOD NEWS! 99 Cent eBook February 4-February 7
Your Words, Your Life Story: A Guide to Sharing Memories

The content in this eBook is what I use to present Life Storytelling workshops. 
Easy to read and understand for those who want to learn how 
to share their life stories with family, friends and the world! 
Get your eBook copy now for 99 cents!

Click here to download the digital copy from your favorite online bookseller.

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