Author: Brenda Murphy
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: November 6, 2017
Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex
Genre: Contemporary, romance, contemporary, BDSM, PTSD, ex-military, sports, vacation, Italy
Fast cars, motorcycles, and one-night stands have been Mac’s life since she left the military. Bitter over a lost love and never one to gamble, she ends potential relationships with surgical precision to avoid another heartache. After her flight to Italy is delayed by a wicked storm, she intervenes when a drunk passenger threatens the desk agent.
Impressed with her courage, fellow passenger Lana Baroni offers to buy her a drink. One coffee and an upgrade later, they spend the fight to Italy talking cars and racing. When a sightseeing date with Lana turns into an afternoon tryst, Mac has to choose: hit the brakes or roll the throttle and risk everything to win Lana’s love.
My Writing Process
Screenwriting, the Secret to Show Don’t Tell
In the beginning of my writing career when I received rejections, when the editor was gracious enough to write a word or two about how to improve my manuscript I would work to correct the problems with my manuscript.One of the most common critiques I received had to do with pacing and organization of my stories. I asked a friend and she gave me the best advice I have ever received from another writer. She recommended I read the book, Save the Cat by Blake Snyder. I did, and then proceeded to take two classes on screenwriting. I don’t plan on changing careers and become a screenwriter but the effect of the book and the classes had on my manuscripts was magical. I finally understood what everyone was talking about when the talked about pacing, beats, and the ever popular advice, show don’t tell. Why? Because screenwriters have one hundred and ten scenes (on average) to tell a story and every scene has to count, every scene has to tell a small story and be an integral part of the bigger story.
As a visual person, and an obsessive watcher of pre-1960’s films, I went back and watched my favorite movies. I watched films from the 1940s when studios did not have huge budgets, when time was money, film was expensive, and sets were simple. I paid attention and made notes on how the film team did what they did, how they used actions, dialogue and camera shots to tell their story.
I took everything I learned back to my story outline and put it into action. It worked. I didn’t get lost getting to the end of my story. I didn’t have scenes that didn’t pull their weight. I had a lean manuscript that told the story I wanted to tell, the way I wanted readers to see it in their heads.
So doubling down on the advice given to me: Read the book, take a class on screenwriting, watch films and pay attention to the words, the dialogue, and how the movie is shot. Where is the camera when it is an intimate scene or a critical one? Are you over the main characters shoulder? What about the opening? A long pan of the environment, but nothing that lasts so long you start to wonder where are the actors.Â A fight scene? Jump cuts. All of this can be translated to your novel. It has been suggested that readers are accustomed to stories presented on screens that they want a book to read like a movie, by incorporating the techniques of screenwriting and film you can deliver a tightly paced manuscript that delivers what readers want.
Brenda Murphy © 2017
All Rights Reserved
“Come on, Mac. The pool is going to be shut down. When would be a better time to go?”
Mac sat back in her chair and peeled the label off her beer bottle. “It’d be crazy expensive. Easy for you to talk but I’m on my own.”
Nicole sipped her wine. Mr. Nips meowed loudly and jumped into Nicole’s lap. He rubbed his head on Nicole’s chin, making her spill her wine.
Mac laughed and handed Nicole a napkin. “So, how’s it going with Virginia? You guys good?”
“Thanks.” Nicole wiped her chin and pushed the cat to the floor. “Better than good. She’s everything. It’s incredible.” Nicole’s cheeks were bright red. “I’m picking her up from the airport tonight.” She took a sip of her wine. “I wish you’d find someone, Mac. You deserve to be happy.”
Mac snorted. Happy. What does that even mean? “I’m happy. Enough.” She shifted in her seat, causing her ring of keys to jingle. Liar. A disgruntled Mr. Nips batted at her keys, making them jingle again.
“You have to do this.” Nicole reached out and touched Mac’s hand. “I wouldn’t be picking up Virginia if you hadn’t pushed me to talk to her. This time it’s me to you. Fuck you if you don’t take this trip.”
Mac set her beer down. “I’ll think about it.” She stood up and finished her beer in two long swallows before she tossed the bottle into the recycle bin. She bent down and rubbed Mr. Nips between his ears. “See you tomorrow. Don’t let your girlfriend make you late again.”
Nicole blushed and rolled her eyes. “Yes, Mac.”
Mac let herself out. She took the stairs down two at a time. She stepped over her bike, turned the key, and kicked the engine over. The low rumble between her legs was satisfying and comforting. She checked the time on her phone. Home? The bar? She took the long way home, tearing through the dark night trying to go fast enough to outrun the relentless sadness chasing her.
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Brenda Murphy writes short fiction and novels. She loves tattoos and sideshows, and yes, those are her monkeys. When she is not swilling gallons of hot tea and writing, she wrangles two kids, two dogs, and one unrepentant parrot. She writes about life, books, and writing on her blog Writing While Distracted.
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