Baring it All with Gina Conkle and Giveaways!

We have author Gina Conkle and she is sharing this awesome post with us all.


Gina’s a lover of history, books and romance, which makes the perfect recipe for historical romance writer.  Her passion for castles and old places (the older and moldier the better!) means interesting family vacations.  Good thing her husband and two sons share similar passions, except for romance…that’s where she gets the eye roll.  When not visiting fascinating places, she can be found in southern California delving into the latest adventures of organic gardening and serving as chief taxi driver.

Connect with Gina on the web:

Over to Gina now...
 
Ready to Bare All?

 

Naked emotions make all the difference between a good book and a great one. 

Yet, how does a writer mine for the gold of honest emotions?  The answer: Strong emotive writing starts with you…with your emotional honesty. And that’s a can of worms we’re often happy to leave closed.

Whether you write mystery, romance, or sci fi, readers count on you to make them feel. They want to identify with the characters they let into their hearts and heads.

But how does a writer nail the conduit of emotions?

In my writer’s journey, I’ve come across a few questions and prompts that caused me to dig deeper.  Here’s three that I’m sharing with you.

1.      My life began ______________________

Some of you might be tempted to go with the standard day of birth. But, I challenge you

to sit in a quiet place and let your heart answer this one. Take a moment to wonder when your life really began and why that moment made a pivotal turning point.

 

I was surprised by the answer that welled up inside me. My life began when I married my husband.  I spent another hour writing all the reasons why, tapping into all kinds of emotional places. 

 

2.      What’s the one secret/issue that I’ve never told anyone?

Whatever you’ve stuffed deep down is saran wrapped and Styrofoam cushioned with lots of emotions. Now take those emotions and apply them to your characters when writing about their fears, their secrets, their issues.

 

Amplify the tension you feel. Pour it on the page when your characters are faced with conflict. That’s the way to connect viscerally with your readers. There’s a note by my computer about character reaction:

 

·         Emotional/visceral reaction

·         Mental response or dilemma

·         Decision = character action or words

See if you find this pattern in books that you love. Then apply to your own work.

3.      As a writer, I’ll do a lot, but don’t ask me to _____________________________

This one’s about fear.  If we’re not growing, we’re slipping backward. Writers need to take risks, plain and simple. We need to push ourselves to be better. 

 

My big challenge this year was to read aloud to an audience.  Public speaking ranks up there as a universal “I-want-to-pee-in-my-pants” agony, doesn’t it? But, I did it and came out better for the experience.

 

Maybe you’re hemming and hawing about social media. Maybe sending in your manuscript scares you to death. Maybe that editor appointment makes you sweat bullets. Or you could be in dire need of a writing craft class or critique group.

Whatever your fear is, face it. And don’t be surprised if you face a few bare moments along the way. 

            Gina has a new release:
 

 





A stolen woman of rare qualities...
 Seized by marauders and taken to the icy northlands by the wolf-eyed Viking warrior, Helena will do whatever it takes to earn her freedom and return to France.

A mighty Viking Chieftain…
Betrayal has turned Hakan’s heart to ice, but the spirited Frankish maid warms him in a way he’s never known. The spell she weaves leaves them both breathless, but can he keep his promise to return her home even if it means he’ll lose his precious jewel forever?
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16 comments:

  1. I love those prompts. And I have a lot of Viking blood in me, so that looks like a great book!

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  2. Hi Shelly,
    Thanks so much. The prompts get the brain wheels working, don't they? Have you seen History Channel's 'Vikings' series? I love it! A little rough but overall a great series.
    Have a great day-
    Gina

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  3. Replies
    1. Hi Tammy,

      LOL!! Glad you like the cover.
      Happy Friday!
      Gina

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  4. This is fantastic advice! I will definitely use these prompts for myself and my characters. Happy Friday!

    Sam

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sam,

      I'm glad they worked for you and Happy Friday to you too!
      Gina

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  5. This is really good advice. We can really draw on our own experiences to make our characters come to life!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sherry,
      I'm happy these ideas spoke to you. It's amazing how life experiences make us better writers.

      I wish you the best with your writing-
      Gina

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  6. Great advice, more writers need to do this, but I think they fear putting themselves out there.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Yolanda Renee,

      I agree. Writing is a huge risk and I see myself eaten up by my own fears sometimes. It's painful, isn't it? You sound brave, though!!

      Good luck with your work!
      Gina

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  7. Great to meet you Gina. I'm from Dublin, a viking city in origin and I must have a fair share of Norse blood in my veins. I'm loving your book.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Maria,

      Ahh, Dublin! Ireland is beautiful country. Last I heard the "Vikings" series was/is filmed in Ireland (amazing scenery). Nice to meet you, Maria, and I'm glad you're enjoying the book.
      Have a great day-
      Gina

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  8. Those are such great questions! Delving deep into our souls is a must if we're to write anything worthwhile.

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    Replies
    1. Hi,
      I've had two jobs that I count as both hard and invigorating: teaching elementary school and writing. Both jobs ask a lot of you and make you dig deep for answers...not to mention often removing your"self" from the equation for the benefit of others. Thanks so much for stopping by today!
      Gina

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  9. *whistles* Love the cover.

    I believe in tapping into emotions for writing, even if it's hard.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Medeia,
      So true. I had one agent tell me once that I keep my characters at arms length, an emotional safety net for me as a writer instead of going for openness. Now, I'm aware and work against the grain to not hide from the reader. Not easy, is it?
      Take care-
      Gina

      Delete

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