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What Do You Have To Say? Why Morals Matter

August 15, 2018– We’ve all been in awkward situations when we meet someone or where we’re at an event and the person who corners us, has nothing to say. What do we talk about? Where can I escape to? Where the heck is my husband to rescue me? Usually, talking to people is easy for me because I like to keep informed about a little bit of everything that’s going on in the world, however, there are times where I find myself with nothing to say because the conversation has run its course or perhaps the other person and I have nothing in common.

Guess what? The same holds true for everyone who reads your novels. It happens. There are novels out there with nothing to say, and fiction readers have high expectations of being engaged on a deeper level when they pick up a book.

Here are some interesting facts that you should know before you write your first or next novel.

  1. All stories have underlying morals. If they didn’t then no one would bother to read them. Morals are the glue that holds us together. For example, in my novel, Obsessed with Her, there are a TON of morals. Some of the questions that the reader must ask themselves while reading my book are pretty dark. What would they do if their child was missing? How far would they go to find out what happened to her? Would they do the same thing if they were in the main character’s shoes? Every novel must possess some kind of moral fork in the road; if it doesn’t, your reader will be disappointed, snap your book closed, and hurl it across the room.
  2. Readers seek out stories that are on par with their own beliefs. For example, romance readers are largely female, mystery/thriller readers are somewhat conservative with a longing for justice, and techno-thriller readers are most often military personnel. Every reader believes in something, and it’s our job as writers to make them question their beliefs…which leads me to my next point; the number of fiction readers who deliberately seek to have their morals changed are slim to none. This does not mean that they don’t want to be stretched or see the world in a different light, they do! They just don’t want their own beliefs and morals converted.
  3. Readers are not looking for what is comfortable, familiar, or politically pleasing. Fiction is most interesting and unputdownable when points of view and beliefs are different, engrossing, compelling, and detailed. Take your reader to the edge of what they believe, and you’ll make a long-term connection. Plus, they’ll love your book, hopefully, and become a life-long reader of your work.

The moral of this post? Have a moral in your story. Make it interesting. Push the limits.

Happy writing, X LLB

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Please Forgive Me If You End Up In My Novel…

July 4, 2018- First, let me say Happy Fourth of July to all of my American friends; I hope that you’re enjoying lots of celebrations!

We all spend a lot of time in public. Writers do too even though there is a common misconception that we never leave the confines of the same four walls because we are chained to our desks writing the next great Canadian/American novel. I think the difference is that authors listen carefully when they’re around other people. We have to because that’s where ideas come from.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve used a real-life conversation that I’ve overheard somewhere in one of my books. Whether it’s in line waiting for coffee, in line at the bank, or hanging out at the airport, there is always a massive amount of inspiration that is ready to be harvested. A particular conversation in my psychological thriller, Obsessed with Her, is a real-life conversation that I overheard in Starbucks one day while I was writing. That’s why it’s so imperative to always be prepared and carry some kind of writing utensil with you and something to write on because you never know when inspiration will strike like lightning! Worst case scenario you can whip out your cell phone and jot down some notes to implement into your writing later.

People often ask me if I write about real people in my novels. The answer is complicated and a sort of yes, but no. I take inspiration from people who I interact with, but the whole character is not based on them. Individual characteristics, oddities, and quirks often make it into the book, and if the person is unusual in the way that they speak, stand, or look, it’s definitely making it into my writing.

So, for every person who asks if I’m writing about them, I am.

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Writing Prompt…

April 6, 2018- I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the writing prompt this week! It’s so creepy and interesting, and it’s given me a thousand different ideas for my own work. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Happy writing!

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