Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Amish fiction’

Today’s Writers’ Tips

Plot Number 8: The Rivalry Fiction Plot

Rivalry? Now that’s an interesting concept, especially when considering fiction plots. Rivalry…in other words COMPETITION between two characters.

I suppose the most classic example of this kind of plot would be found in the greatest book ever written: the Bible, with the conflict between God and Satan. So, let’s have a look at the characteristics that make a really good rivalry fiction story:

PLOT #8

RIVALRY

Two Royal Navy men boxing for charity. The modern sport was codified in England.

(Photo compliments of Wikipedia)

The Bible (God vs. Satan)

Paradise Lost

Moby Dick

Ben Hur

  1. The source of the conflict in the story should come as a result of an irresistible force meeting an immovable object.
  2. The nature of the rivalry should be the struggle for power between the protagonist and the antagonist.
  3. The adversaries can be equally matched.
  4. Although their strengths needn’t match exactly, one rival should have compensating strengths to match (or almost match) the other.
  5. The story should begin at the point of initial conflict, introducing the status quo before the conflict begins.
  6. Start the action, (the catalyst scene), by having the antagonist instigate against the will of the protagonist.
  7. The struggle between the rivals should be a struggle on the characters’ power curves. One is usually inversely proportional to the other: As the antagonist rises on the power curve, the protagonist falls.
  8. The antagonist should gain superiority over the protagonist in the first dramatic phase. The protagonist usually suffers the actions of the antagonist and so is usually at a disadvantage.
  9. The sides are usually clarified by the moral issues involved.
  10. The second dramatic phase reverses the protagonist’s descent on the power curve through a reversal of fortune.
  11. The antagonist is often aware of the protagonist’s empowerment.
  12. The protagonist often reaches a point of parity on the power curve before a challenge is possible.
  13. The third dramatic phase deals with the final confrontation between the rivals.
  14. At the resolution, the protagonist restores order for himself and his world.

Wow! If you ask me, this is a basket full of important characteristics you need to incorporate into your rivalry plot. But if you read some classics and see how the authors of those works handled this subgenre, I’m sure you’ll be able to crank out your own rivalry fiction plot that could become a best seller!

Next time, we’ll look at plot # 9: The Underdog

All information compliments of:

Tobias, Ronald B (2011-12-15). 20 Master Plots (p. 189). F+W Media, Inc. Kindle Edition.

(I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in writing good fiction in any subgenre!”)

Happy writing!

Marsha

********************************************************

Visit the Amish of Snyder County

Louellen Finds True Love

(Volume 1 in The Loves of Snyder County Trilogy)

http://amzn.to/2nPcHzA

  

Amish wife Louellen Friesen questions her husband’s loyalty,

her Amish beliefs, and her own passions.

Read Full Post »

Today’s Writers’ Tip

PLOT FIVE: ESCAPE

Fiction Plots

Continuing our study of fiction plots, we’ll look at plot number 5 today: ESCAPE. We’ve all chewed our fingernails while we read books or watched movies in which the main characters were trying to escape from a prison (POW camp), an evil stepmother, or a lonely island. To us the escape seemed so obvious, we wanted to scream at the hero or heroine and tell them to just try a little harder or look a little deeper at his/her surroundings to find the way out. But the nerve-wracking suspense is what makes the writing of such books and movies so attractive to us adventure seekers.  Let’s take a look at the defining characteristics of an Escape Fiction Plot and see what makes a good one:

PLOT #5

ESCAPE

The Great Escape

Stalag 17

Cinderella

Castaway

The Characteristics:

  1. The main character is confined against his/her will (often unjustly) and wants to escape.
  2. The moral argument of the plot is black and white: good versus evil.
  3. The main character, or hero, is the victim. (Remember, in the RESCUE plot, the hero saves the victim.)
  4. The first dramatic phase of the story deals with the hero’s imprisonment and any initial attempts at escape, which fail.
  5. The second dramatic phase deals with the hero’s plans for escape. These plans are almost always thwarted.
  6. The third dramatic phase deals with the actual escape.
  7. The antagonist—and it can be just the island— has control of the hero during the first two dramatic phases; the hero gains control in the last dramatic phase.

So there you have it. Consider some of the escape plots you’ve seen or read. The really good ones followed this formula to a T. If you’re planning to write an escape plot, you’ve now got the tools to make your story a nail biter too.

All information compliments of:

Tobias, Ronald B (2011-12-15). 20 Master Plots (p. 189). F+W Media, Inc. Kindle Edition.

(I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in writing good fiction in any subgenre!”)

I hope as you outline your fiction plots, you can better define which plot you’re developing and better understand how to incorporate many of these characteristics to improve your writing 100%.

Next time, we’ll have a look at PLOT #6: REVENGE

Happy writing!

Marsha

INTERESTED IN AMISH FICTION?

I’VE GOT JUST THE SERIES FOR YOU

THE LOVES OF SNYDER COUNTY

http://amzn.to/2nPcHzA

Read Full Post »

July 29, 2014

LOUELLEN FRIESEN CLOSES OUT THE HHP BLOG TOUR!
By Marsha Hubler

For the last fifteen days, several Helping Hands Press authors have participated in a summer reading blog tour where we introduced the blogging audience to our stories and characters. To end the tour, I now introduce you to one of my main characters, the wife of Eli Friesen, in my Amish/Mennonite novel, LOVE SONG FOR LOUELLEN:

1. What is your name? Mrs. Louellen Friesen
2. What one word best describes you? Forgiven
3. How do you first become involved in this novel? I make my entrance on the first page. I am cleaning house for an “English” doctor, David McAndrew, and, God forgive me, I have strong feelings for this man even though I’m married to Eli Friesen.
4. What worries you? I am childless, which is a blight in the Mennonite community. I worry that I’ll never have children.
5. What is your favorite song? After reviewing my life and how God has shown his mercy and grace to me, I’d have to say my favorite hymn is “Amazing Grace.”
6. What is your favorite food? Everyone knows the Amish and Mennonite communities know how to cook. I have many favorites, but at the top of my list would be chicken pot pie with home-made noodles and fresh chicken prepared at our Snyder County farm.
7. What do you think of the other characters in the novel? Oh, there are so many folks in this story, I can’t comment on all of them, so I’ll just mention a few. I think my husband Eli has grown so much in the Lord as we’ve worked out our problems. Doctor McAndrew and his two teen girls, Andrea and Jenna, are wunderbaar “English” folk, and I care deeply for them, but our paths had to separate due to unforeseen circumstances. My Amish community? There are so many dear folk that Eli and I have to leave behind when we are shunned, and then we must eventually leave our friends. My heart still aches to see them all.
8. Are you pleased with your life as the novel ends? I am extremely well pleased because God performs several miracles that bring Eli and me closer than we’ve ever been before. And God gives us a special blessing that you’ll only discover when you read LOVE SONG FOR LOUELLEN.

Check out the other authors in the

HELPING HANDS PRESS SUMMER READING BLOG TOUR

They all have exciting tales to tell!

Monday, July 14 – Ruth L. Snyder http://ruthlsnyder.com
Tuesday, July 15 Cindy Noonan http://CindyNoonan.com
Wednesday, July 16 Mishael Witty http://bluebrownbooks.com/
Thursday, July 17 – Michele Huey http://michelethuey.com/
Friday, July 18 – Patti J. Smith http://gridirongrannyfootballfanatic.blogspot.com/
Saturday, July 19 – Amber Schamel http://amberschamel.blogspot.com/
Sunday, July 20 – Mark Carver http://www.markcarverbooks.com
Monday, July 21 – Marian Baay http://marianbaay.blogspot.nl/
Tuesday, July 22 – Jen Cudmore http://www.jencudmore.com
Wednesday, July 23 – Tracy Krauss http://www.tracykraussexpressionexpress.com/
Thursday, July 24 – Marcia Laycock http://marcialeelaycock.com/thespur/
Friday, July 25 – Joy Davis http://www.joyrossdavis.com
Saturday, July 26 – Travis Perry http://travissbigidea.blogspot.com/
Sunday, July 27 – Mark Venturini http://markventurinijourney.blogspot.ca/

Monday, July 28 – Iola Kirkwood  http://iokirkwood.com/

 

Read Full Post »

Meet Author Crystal Linn

Crystal Linn-photo 

Author Crystal Linn says, “I have written all my life. I wrote my first poem when I was eight and my first story when I was ten. The story was about my best friend and me traveling to Saturn. I have kept a journal and written poetry all of my life.”

Until the year 2000, Crystal never took her writing seriously, even though by then she had written many short stories and articles. She joined a writers’ group, attended writers’ conferences, and read everything she could find on how to be the best writer possible. Now, she’s blessed to teach, mentor, and encourage others on their path to becoming good writers.

Her first book was a small gift book of Renga poems, co-authored with a friend. (Renga is an ancient Japanese poetry form older than the Haiku, in which more than one person writes a poem.) Her second book is entitled, From the Heart, Volume One, and is an anthology on nurturing the inner child.

Crystal is pleased to tell us more about even more books she’s had published! “My third and fourth books were written together, sort of. While author Roger Rheinheimer and I were writing our Amazon top-selling series, Amish Forever, I wrote God’s Counterpoint for Mark Miller’s series ONE. God’s Counterpoint is the story of all of the miracles that happened during my husband’s cancer treatment. It has been over five years since he’s been in remission, the magic number for cancer survivors, and he’s still cancer free!”

Concerning the recent release, Amish Forever published by Trestle Press, Crystal tells us, “The publisher Giovanni Gelati read Roger’s first book, Amish Snow, and asked Roger if he would consider writing an Amish romance. Roger discussed Giovanni’s offer with his wife and then decided to write the book, but with a co-author. He placed an ad, and out of all of the many people who replied, he chose me. It’s been a perfect writing partnership, of which I’m continually grateful.”

Crystal and Roger will write more Ava and Zeke (the main characters in Amish Forever) stories together. Roger plans to write more novels on his own while Crystal will focus on writing parenting books and mystery stories set in the Pacific Northwest.

“I have more than twenty years of experience working with children and the adults in their lives,” she says. “I’ve worked from management positions in childcare centers to being a nanny and a tutor to being a foster parent. One thing that makes my parenting books different is I discuss how children think and how they view the world.”

An interesting fact about Crystal is that she and her hubby lived on a sailboat for a week in the Canadian Gulf Islands and learned how to sail. Often bald eagles escorted them, and once an orcaCrystal'sDog swam next to their boat and gave them a full breach. She even wrote a devotional about that experience. She also has a rescued pooch named Rosa, whom she simply adores.

A very special time in Crystal’s life occurred the weekend after 9/11 when her husband kept reservations to celebrate her birthday at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. (She and hubby live in the state of Washington.) Crystal was very moved by the happenings of 9/11. She says, “I still weep when I recall how concerned and passionate our friend and neighbor, British Columbia, was and still is for us Americans. Churches and businesses collected donations to help those devastated by the 9/11 attacks.” 

Another close-and-personal tidbit about Crystal involves a family member. “My great-great grandfather was a missionary doctor to the Oregon Territory,” she says, “and I still have some of his herbal recipes, studied herbs, and alternative medicine. I make my own herbal tinctures and look forward to starting an herb garden once again when I have the time.”

But for now, Crystal is too busy writing!

Linn.book.cover

Read Full Post »

Why Sarah Price Writes Amish Fiction

The first time I was invited to an Amish canning party, I was twenty years old. Nearly twenty-five years later, I still feel the same rush of awe when I’m invited to attend birthday parties, celebrations, or work parties with my Amish friends. Each moment that I spend among the Amish opens my eyes to the spiritual goodness of their culture.  I am blessed to have this unique relationship with the Amish. And this is something that I can share with my readers in the hopes of introducing a sense of Amish peace and tranquility that is too often lacking in our own lives.

The Amish move slowly throughout the day. They are not rushed or burdened with activities, work, or abundant commitments. There is no competition among the Amish, no petty grievances or jealous rages. Instead, they focus on the beauty of three yellow finches that visit the birdfeeder every evening, the bluebirds that nest in the birdhouse across the street on a telephone pole, or the growth of their crops. The Amish focus on the small victories of living each day and sharing that joy with their loved ones.

When I visit my Amish friends, I observe everything with a writer’s eye. I see the colors of the dresses hanging from the clothing line, the different shades of green in the growing cornfields, and the unspoken pride they take in planting spring flowerbeds and vegetable gardens. When a member of the community is sick, neighbors from both near and afar come to help that person’s family with chores, both inside and outside of the home.

The sense of spiritual well-being is so overwhelming. It leaves me breathless and humbled. During times of crisis, such as something as tragic as the Nickel Mines School shootings from 2006 or the less severe current rash of vandalism that has recently been spreading through my Amish friends’ community, the Amish demonstrate a true sense of Christian love for each other. Never is there talk of retribution or retaliation. Such a thought wouldn’t even cross their minds. Instead, they demonstrate the power of being a true believer in Jesus Christ. They work hard, they worship true, and they live life, the life that God has given to them, not the one that they wish they had.

Perhaps that’s the secret, the Amish peace: hard work, true worship and a life that is lived to the fullest. I’s the secret that I hope to capture and share in my books.

Sarah Price 

You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands;
you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.
Psalm 128:2

Read Full Post »

On Writing: Meet the Author George Michael Loughmueller

(George, I’m glad you could join us at my blog today. Let’s get right to the core of the apple and discuss three of your books, The Flood, Attainable, An Amish Journey. Tell us a little about your stories:)

An Amish Home. That’s what Allan has now. He found his path and so much goodness came into his life. My new stories are set in Karsten Field about eight to ten years after An Amish Journey. Allan is happily married with two young children. His oldest daughter, Alice, even has a family of her own. Life is good.

That doesn’t mean they don’t face any challenges. Sometimes, when life is that good, we need reminders. An Amish Home – Attainable is one of those reminders.

Karsten Field is suffering from a severe drought, something to which many readers can relate. However, having an independent, simple life could mean the end of Karsten Field. Without modern technology to save their crops, Allan and Ben Abrim worry about winter food shortages. They are in the presence of a metaphorical Goliath.

The story of David and Goliath inspired Attainable. A small Amish community is only as strong as its faith. A natural disaster could destroy everything they have. Escaping the drought seems to be unattainable. Although Allan has been set free, he still has plenty to learn and God is always teaching.

The big questions: If the people of Karsten Field are so faithful, why would God let them experience a drought? Why would He not send rain?

The answer is simple: No matter what comes before you, God will see you through it. That does not mean He will change weather patterns, mainly because His reward is not on earth. It doesn’t matter what happens to us here. Cancer, war, poverty are all people problems, not God problems. Bad things can and will happen to us in this life. God is not going to solve all of our problems for us, but He will be there to see us through them, as he did with David. God could have struck down Goliath or sent a flood. Instead, David had to stand up and face the giant. He was never alone, God was always with him.

God is in Karsten Field. Allan has to stand up and face his own giant.

If things seem impossible or insurmountable, Allan has to learn that everything is Attainable with God.

An Amish Home – The Flood is available now – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008OAFO04

 An Amish Home – Attainable will be coming very soon!

Read Full Post »

Today I have here with me two very special people; Roger Rheinheimer and Crystal Linn, who are Amazon top-ten selling Kindle authors, including their joint Amish romance series, Amish Forever.

Welcome Roger and Crystal and thank you for joining us today. Tell me, how does it feel to be a successful author?
Roger: I’m still blinking! All I can say is thank you to our dedicated readers and the tireless promotional efforts of our amazing publisher, Trestle Press.
Crystal: Thank you for having us, and thanks to our wonderful readers. To be honest, the reality of it all has not sunk in yet because my life has not changed. I still do normal things like cook dinner and walk my dog. I must stop and remind myself that I am indeed a successful author.

What made you decide to become a writer? I understand it is hard work with little pay, unless you get lucky.
Roger: Lucky is right! I feel we were just at the right place at the right time. Trestle Press has been a tireless advocate of the authors they represent. I’ve been writing all my life, and this is the most fun so far.
Crystal: There are important writers on both sides of my family. I grew up writing but thought nothing of it. Then, in the year 2000 we decided I would try to get my deceased mother’s stories published. In the process I became published and was stunned by the raving reviews.

Whose idea was it to write Amish Forever?
Roger: Apparently Giovanni Gelati of Trestle Press had read my first novel, Amish Snow. He contacted me and asked if I would write an Amish romance novel.

Interesting, tell me Crystal how did you become involved?
Crystal: Roger felt to do a good job he needed a female co-author and he placed an ad looking for a co-author for an Amish romance series. I replied to that ad and, as they say, “The rest is history.”

What is it like to co-author a book?
Roger: First of all, I had never co-authored before and one of the reasons I chose Crystal is because she was an experienced co-author. It’s great. We complement each other well and even with the pressure of deadlines and outside demands on our respective time commitments, have not had any significant disagreements. It’s really been awesome.
Crystal: While Amish Forever is my first novel, it is my fourth book to date. All four were either co-authored or collaborative efforts. It is like joint venturing where the key people sit down and discuss goals and game plans. Then they go to work, do what needs done, and communicate clearly.

Speaking of doing what needs done, who writes what and how do you get your writing voices to blend together so well?
Roger: LOL, good question! We actually sat down recently and had what we irreverently called a “board meeting,” and wrote out a pretty detailed outline of who takes the lead on what. I’ve always heard that there two things cause a partnership to fall apart: failure OR success. Thankfully we have completely avoided that and I think are more in tune than ever. I love the roaring engine, smoking tire scenes and Crystal conveys beautifully the teardrops falling on the vanity panel scenes.
Crystal: Before we start writing the next chapter, or volume, we email each other notes and ideas. I write the first draft and email it to Roger. He adds to what I wrote and writes more scenes then emails it back to me for editing. I edit and email it back to him. He then edits more and either sends it back to me for editing, if needed, or sends it to early readers. After that we give it a final edit and format it. When we are satisfied Roger emails it to Giovanni, our publisher.

Obviously you two are very organized? Tell me what it is you want your readers to take away from the story?
Roger: Ok, so here is where the guy chromosomes kick in. I want readers to feel like they got their money’s worth, that the characters came alive for them and, as the saying goes, the story carried them away to another time and place. I want readers to recognize the effort we have put into our craft and say to themselves, “That was a good story.”
Crystal: All of my books are about overcoming, in one way or another. The perfect example is my book: God’s Counterpoint, published in the ONE anthology by Mark Miller and published by Trestle Press. I want the readers of Amish Forever to come away feeling good about the story and feeling encouraged that they, like Ava, can overcome the obstacles in their own lives.

What in your opinion, is the fascination that American readers have with these Amish books?
Roger: The Amish, I believe, appeal to that fundamental human desire for simplicity and goodness. I think a lot of us envy their unswerving belief in a higher good.
Crystal: I agree with Roger. I also believe that the reader can live the Amish life vicariously, to borrow one of Roger’s words, through the lives of the characters.

The two of you are obviously committed to your writing. What are your future plans? Will there be more books? Will we learn more about Ava and Zeke?
Roger: Early on when we realized how popular this series was going to be I commented to Crystal that if we don’t write more together we need to admit we’re not really serious about writing fiction. We already have several story spinoffs. I especially like the ones involving Abe and Bliss.
Crystal: I look forward to writing more with Roger and, in addition, I have my own writing career. Recently I sent two books to publishers. One is a short story that Giovanni, of Trestle Press, will publish as soon as I make it longer. The other is a non-fiction grandparent’s guide I sent to a publisher I know personally in the Seattle area.

Our time is up, unfortunately but again, thank you Roger Rheinheimer and Crystal Linn for joining us today – and again, congratulations on your success with the best-selling Amish Forever. I look forward to reading more of your books.
Roger: Thank you for having us.
Crystal: Thank you for inviting us, and for the good wishes.

Visit Roger’s Blog here, and Crystal’s blog here.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: