Today I’m thrilled to welcome Regina Rudd Merrick as she shares insights to her writing. Read through to the end to find out how to enter her giveaway.
Writing a book is an interesting profession. There are days when it comes easy and the words flow from your fingertips. I won’t tell you the percentage of days like that – it might be depressing. Many days are spent plotting, figuring out your characters, researching your setting, or deleting entire scenes because what seemed like a good idea at the time simply has no reason to be there.
My editor calls it “killing your baby.” I call it “pruning,” or “collateral damage.”
If I could give one writing tip to a new author, it would be to ask yourself some deep questions about your characters.
When I started writing, I was constantly told to amp up the conflict and injure my characters. Why would I DO that? I liked my characters! They were nice people! I am a nice person who wouldn’t hurt a fly!
Then I went to a small writing conference that my own writing group, the KenTen Writers Group, put on. In a brainstorming question about my second book, Carolina Mercy, award-winning author Patricia Bradley asked me a question that I’ve never forgotten.
“What is your character’s wound?”
Now that’s different from injuring your character. This is what’s going on INSIDE. It’s the niggling voice inside that lies to you. It’s that fear that you dare not express for fear people will be disappointed in you, or misunderstand you.
When I took that into consideration, a funny thing happened. I literally injured a character, as in, a tree fell on his vehicle and he was in a coma for a while. And that wasn’t the only wound in the story.
It’s a good thing I believe in HEA (happily-ever-after)!
Since that afternoon brainstorming session, I’ve asked that question of every character I write, including the ones in my latest book, Carolina Grace.
In Carolina Grace, Charly Livingston is determined to be strong and independent, and Rance Butler doesn’t think he needs anyone’s help – not even God’s. But their wounds won’t go away, and because of those wounds, they learn about life. They learn that the lies they believed are just there to distract them.
It’s the same thing with writing. When the voices in your head tell you that you can’t do this, that you are the LAST person who could get a book published, and that you will never finish, tell those voices to get out and stay out. Don’t let negative self-talk be YOUR wound!
Readers, answer the question below to enter her giveaway for an eBook (kindle) copy of any of her three books.
QUESTION : What are some character’s “wounds” you can think of from classic or modern literature? Scarlet O’Hara, for instance? Jo March? Others? Which of my three books would you like to read in ebook form?
About the book:
She knows about God’s grace for her life, but pushes it away. He hasn’t experienced it, but finds grace in a way he never expected.
First-year Special Education teacher Charly Livingston demonstrates God’s love on the outside, but is resentful that God allowed back-to-back tragedies to happen to her family.
Rance Beaumont is a top-notch medical intern. He’s on his way to the top, and when he meets Charly, he knows things can only get better. When he discovers family secrets and a dying father he never knew, his easy life seems to disintegrate.
Even in the idyllic ocean breezes and South Carolina sunshine, contentment can quickly turn to bitterness and confusion except for God’s amazing grace.
Regina Rudd Merrick began reading romance and thinking of book ideas as early as her teenage years when she attempted a happily-ever-after sequel to “Gone With the Wind.” That love of fiction parlayed into a career as a librarian, and finally to writing full-time. She began attending local writing workshops and continued to hone her craft by writing several short and novel-length fan-fiction pieces published online, where she met other authors with a similar love for story, a Christian worldview, and happily-ever-after. Married for 30+ years and active in their church in Marion, KY, Regina and her husband have two grown daughters who share her love of music, writing, and the arts. She is the author of three books: Carolina Dream (Apr. 2017), Carolina Mercy (July 2018), and coming in Feb. 2019, Carolina Grace in the Southern Breeze Series.
Publisher Website: https://mantlerockpublishing.com/
Sales Links: My author page – https://www.amazon.com/Regina-Rudd-Merrick/e/B072JMWPWD/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1544132482&sr=8-1
First page, Chapter 1 of Carolina Grace:
Charlotte Livingston’s head shot up when the elevator opened. The hollow sound echoed in the hallway of the hospital adjacent to the Emergency Services waiting room.
The breath she held left her in a sigh when she saw the doors close behind two nurses with a cart. The late hour meant no visitors, but for those waiting for word, the wide-open lobby felt cold and claustrophobic in its loneliness.
“How many times, Lord, will I have to sit here and wait to find out if the ones I love are okay?” She got up and stretched, walking around the familiar room, her heels tapping on the shiny tiles. Not much to see that she hadn’t seen before: three-month-old hunting and decorating magazines, various health-related pamphlets for conditions she hoped she never had to face, and a Gideon Bible. When she sat back down, she leaned forward, covering her face with her hands.
Her nerves were taut, the long day taking its toll on her as she worried and waited for word. Magazines exhausted, phone almost dead and charging at an outlet, she began to pray silently. Maybe that would hurry things along.
Her phone buzzed: Anything?? Her best friend, Lydia, was chomping at the bit, which was typical.
Charly sighed and tapped her reply. Nope. I’ll keep you posted.
As she was settling in to repeat the Lord’s Prayer as a last resort to keep her mind busy, the elevator doors opened, and she heard footsteps rushing toward her.
“Finally. I thought you would never get here.” She stood and put her hands on her hips in frustration.