Want to Win a Big Gift Card?

I thought that title might get your interest. Let me tell you how you could win one of three Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift cards.

Between November 17th and November 21st, a large group of Crimson Romance authors are getting together for a blog hop. (See sidebar photo.) All you need to do is visit one of the designated blogs, leave a comment and, ta dah, you’re entered  in a raffle to win either $1oo.00 or two chances at $50.00. That’s simple enough. The more blogs you read and comment about, the greater your odds.

But that’s not all you could win. I’m giving away one of my handmade pens to anyone who comments on my blog.

I don’t know about you, but when I read a good book, I am completely submerged into another world. It’s a wonderful escape from reality for a while, plus I get to visit exotic places or find myself in other times, past or future. That’s what our theme is about: Books Take You to Another World.

When the blog date approaches, I’ll post a complete list of other Crimson Wonderland Blog Hop participants. Please add this blog hop to your upcoming events so you don’t miss it. Think of all the books you could buy with that $100.00 or $50.00 gift card. And maybe you’ll be able to write your own romance novel with a new handmade pen. You never know!

If you’re interested in finding out who is blogging, check out this site: http://crimsonromanceauthors.com/crimson-wonderland-blog-hop/

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Flashbacks

Sometimes there is a lot of back information which needs to be presented to the reader so the story makes sense. Often, new writers plop that information in at the start. Don’t. The beginning of your book needs action, something to capture the reader’s attention. Unless the back story is full of action, it needs to be given in small doses elsewhere.  A rule of thumb is to include only what is absolutely necessary and to place that information closest to where it is needed.

Okay, so now we know how much to include and where to put a flashback. But how does one go about doing a flashback? Really it can be accomplished quite easily and you don’t need to go “had” crazy. Assuming you are writing the main body of your book in regular past tense, follow these simple steps:

1. Employ the word “had” in the first one or two sentences. This is the past perfect tense and will indicate you have moved into a flashback.

2. You don’t need to use the word “had” all the way through. You can if the flashback is very short, but on longer pieces, it gets a bit monotonous reading “had” this and “had” that.

3. Once you are near the end of the flashback, simply use the past perfect verb tense a few times and the reader will know the flashback is coming to an end.

4. If your character interrupts a task to enter a flashback, you can show the flashback is over by resuming the same task. See the next example:

“Can you teach me how to knit, Grandma?”

“I’m not sure you’re old enough,” Maureen answered, as the knitting needles she held seemed to move on their own accord. “After all, you’re only seven.” As she said this, she felt a tinge of guilt.

Maureen had been only seven when her own grandmother had painstakingly showed her how to hold the needles properly and make the stitches. At first, knitting was a struggle and the piece she made looked nothing like a square. She expected her grandmother to laugh at her efforts, but instead the dear woman praised her for not giving up. Her grandmother had always been supportive and because of that Maureen had loved her–sometimes more than she had loved her own mother.

Maureen set aside her knitting. “But since you’re such a smart seven-year-old, I think I can give you your first lesson. Let’s go find a pair of needles and some practice wool.”

See how bracketing the flashback portion with the two knitting actions is used? They clearly mark the start and finish of the flashback. And when you pair that technique with the past perfect verb tense at the beginning and end, there will be no confusion to the reader. Though most of the third paragraph is flashback, the word “had” is used only five of the possible ten times.

I hope this post helps you.