Monday, June 15, 2015

As part of finish your novel I'm going to be suggesting writing prompts on a regular basis.
Maybe you can use them in your novel, and maybe you can't, but they should get you thinking about the plot and your characters.

Keep writing!

Today's prompt: Your main character finds something he/she believes lost from long ago. Finding creates changes in attitude. What did he/she find and what did it change?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Finish Your Novel

Welcome to Finish Your Novel.


I haven’t got the statistics, but in a very unscientific ongoing survey, I have discovered that almost everyone wants to write a novel. Nearly everyone has a brilliant idea they would love to put into print and have others read leading to fame and fortune. All I have to do is mention I’ve got seven published novels and the person I’m speaking with will invariably say “I’ve always wanted to write a novel,” or “I’ve started my novel a dozen times and I can’t find the time/know how to plot/work through the conflict,” or any number of different excuses.

While I cannot promise to get your novel into the hands of publishers or readers, I have enough experience that I can help you with the writing process. I won’t promise it’s easy, and I won’t promise it can be done quickly, but what I can promise here is to give you techniques you can use to get your novel from a rough start (or even an idea) to a completed work.

My techniques should work for any genre and for every level of writing ability. You can use these techniques to write a middle grade children’s novel or an adult fantasy and everything else. My techniques will be general, and when possible, I’ll suggest published works to add to what I’m saying.

What have you got to lose? Sit back and get your computer ready. We’re going to write a novel.


Ok, the first thing I want you to concentrate on is character. Your characters are what move your novel. Not the plot. I know this is heresy to plotters, and especially to those with plot driven novels (most mysteries fall in this category), but think about all the novels you remember. It’s not the plot that immediately comes to mind, it’s the character. There’s a story probably apocryphal, about a group of strangers sitting down to Thanksgiving Dinner together, and the talk got around to Holden Caulfield. One person, not realizing they were speaking about the novel “Catcher in the Rye” said, “Holden Caulfield. I know him. What’s he been up to lately?” The character of Holden Caulfield was so strongly developed by J. D. Salinger that he became real. People even years later remember Holden Caulfield and want to know more about him. This is what you need for your characters, a fully fleshed, rounded character that your readers will root for, and buy your second book (even if it’s not a continuation like a trilogy) because they love your characters.

Take a minute to think about your favorite novels. What comes to mind first? It’s always character. I’ll use the movie Star Wars here as an example. When you think of Star Wars you think of Luke, Han, C3PO and Chewy. It’s only after grounding yourself in your love of the characters that you start to think about setting, plot, and resolution.


For every character in your novel, I want you to have a character sheet. Keep these in a notebook and handy while you’re writing. This is important: you don’t have to have the character sheet completely filled in before you start writing. You’d slit your wrists first if you tried, but I promise you a character sheet will help you keep track of important things like hair color and traits.  As you’re writing, as a new facet of your character develops, write it down on your character sheet to keep track.

Without a character sheet, you’ll be two hundred pages into your novel and then forget if your main character (MC) hair is black, red or brown and you’ll spend hours of wasted time trying to find the original reference. Writing time is precious. When you’re writing, I want you writing not hunting up minor bits of information that need to be kept consistent.


Make your own version of this and print out multiple copies so you’ll always have one available. Here’s a view of mine.



Character Name:





Eye Color:

Hair Color:



Scars or other identifying characteristics:

Geographic Location:

Clothing preference:

Language tags:



Fatal Flaw:

What makes him/her happy?

What makes him/her angry?

Important background information:

What does he/she want more than anything?

What is he/she willing to compromise to get what he/she wants?

What is he/she not willing to compromise?


I’ll write more later. I hope I’ve at least got you started in the right direction.

Thanks for reading.

Betsy J. Bennett


Friday, November 28, 2014

A Wizard's Spell

A Wizard's Spell
Available: Now

Paranormal Romance


He met her the day he died: After separating from his bloody body in the emergency room, Pierce goes for a walkabout and discovers a woman announcing her pregnancy to a man who proposes she get an abortion. After getting reunited with his body and surviving an involved surgery, Pierce decides he needs to find this woman, and help her, since he believes concentrating on her helped him survive.


CeeDee becomes enchanted with Pierce until she realizes all he has done is lie to her.

She believes just discovering she was pregnant is not the best time to start a new romance, but Pierce is charming and captures her heart, until she realizes everything he has told her is a lie.


They are chased by assassins: the wizards want to strip Pierce from all his powers since they believe CeeDee’s child is his. Andrew, an evil wer-wizard wants her dead because she can identify him.


He takes her to magical worlds where everything is unbelievable

For what can be more unbelievable than finding true love?


Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Dragon's Tea

A Dragons Tea:
Available April 15

Paranormal Romance

Lori Lawrick runs to her aunt’s bed and breakfast after she realizes the man she’s been dating is a murderer. There she meets Bryan MacLauchland. He fascinates her and she is instantly drawn to him.

Byron hides a secret. He is a dragon who crossed worlds centuries ago and landed here on Earth. He also can be a teapot, forced to provide tea to any mortal who asks.

The Bed and Breakfast Dragon’s Roost Inn sits at the nexus of worlds, and Byron is one of the forces guarding it from evil. Lori’s former boyfriend Andrew is actually a wizard intent on taking over or destroying the Inn, and he wishes to open portals to other worlds in order to gain more power. He had planned on using Lori to achieve those goals.

Byron is wounded defending the Inn, and Lori must save his life. While doing so, she discovers that she is a powerful witch, able to close portals, a skill few others possess. Together Lori and Byron fight to keep the Inn safe and to understand this love growing between them.

Byron crossed his arms against his broad chest. His muscles stood out in stark relief in a body so perfect, Michelangelo could have used him as an ideal. There would be no finger-walking between belt and neck now. Byron’s laughter rang around the landing.

“Run back downstairs to your aunt, maybe she can protect you from me, but I doubt it.”

He grabbed her sweater in his fist, dragged her closer until his lips were inches from hers. “Then return to your lover. You won’t be welcomed here again. This Inn is protected, not in the least by the dragon on this floor. Go. Go now before I slaughter you, and I promise you, I will not regret it, and I will not pine for the magic I thought we could make together. My tea and my love are not for the likes of you. Not for spies who serve evil.”

“Byron, I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

He released her, but then immediately thought better of it, for he grasped her again, pulled her to him, matched his lips to hers with a violence that was not painful, only abrupt and shockingly sexual. Her body responded to his, instantly with a sharp, incredibly thorough arousal. She would melt there, at his feet, but first she wanted the feel of him, in her, over her, through her. She begged for completion of the building explosion his kiss had ignited.

Lori desired him enough to plead. “I want you.”

“Oh, yes,” Byron laughed, large and aroused and very powerful. “I have no doubt of that. But I do not play pawn to a mortal wizard.”

“You…” words failed her. She groped her hands outstretched, for she could not understand his reaction, but she certainly could her own. She wanted him with a desperation which bordered on insanity. “We made love the other night, in my dreams.”

“Yes.” He would not deny it and the answer was growled out on a snarl. “And that is all you shall have from me. I had plans for last night, to complete what we both yearned for, but that was before I found out where your loyalties lie.”

“I do not work for Andrew, and I do not love him. I am terrified of him.”

“You should be terrified. When he finds out how you have let him down, there will be another sacrifice in his attic room. Your aunt will grieve, but I will laugh.”

“Byron, please, don’t make the mistake to believe that I serve Andrew. I didn’t know what love was until I tasted your kiss.”

He nodded, and on one level looked relieved. “In this house the kitchen is the best place to talk, although,” and here his eyes took on a devilish gleam, “I suppose we could …eventually…have a lovely discussion in your bedroom.”

Lori felt her face flush and just for a second experienced heart palpitations. Yes, that was an option she had definite plans of exploring. But not at the moment.  She had another goal in sight. “I look forward to that—“ then she made herself clear, “at another time.”

She lowered her lashes, hoped he read invitation, not cowardice before she raised them again, looked him in the eyes. When had he gotten so tall, or had she shrunk?

“I am not ready to go back down. I’ve come such a long way. I would like to see what’s behind that door.”

“Pandora,” Byron said, with a casual amusement, “learned not all boxes should be opened.”

Lori felt her own power. “Pandora also learned that once a box has been opened, shutting it too quickly, before it is fully investigated, is perhaps even worse than opening the box in the first place.”

He bowed again, this time a shade deeper, a touch more respectful. Still he kept his head raised, his eyes locked on her. “But, it would have been better in the long run if she hadn’t opened the box at all,” he said.

“For her,” Lori answered, a distinction which he could not misinterpret.

“You’ll have to take my advice on this,” Byron said, his tolerance slipping a notch, “some things are best left alone.”

Lori stepped closer to him, felt the heat radiating off him—fires burning deep within him. She thought again of the huge bed she had slept in alone. “Step aside, or are there things chained in the attic as well?”

“No.” He shook his head, but his next words carried the tightness of a threat. “The monster which roams this attic is free to do as he wants. You should know that.  This is his lair and he has dominion. You will have no power here.”

She didn’t understand, but then, she didn’t want to understand. She wanted, no she anticipated, being foolhardy.

“Step aside.” This time she made it a command.

But Byron had a warning of his own. “Remember what I said: I have no soul, so I will not, cannot regret anything which happens to you inside. And this is my domain. To a large degree the laws of Earth do not exist here.”

Lori laughed but it was forced, to cover an increasing nervousness. “Is there a monster?” she asked, but the question he answered was significantly different.

“I am a monster,” Byron said. Then he stepped aside and opened the door.



Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Her Puzzle available 3/6/2014

I am pleased to announce that my 3rd book, "Her Puzzle" is available as of 3/6/2014 at or Tirgearr Publishing.

Get your copy now and watch as Tina, a down to Earth lawyer, tries to make sense of Broderick, a man from another world.  Read about their struggles as they attempt to reconcile their two very different worlds.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Her Puzzle
Available in the Spring of 2014

Paranormal Romance

He was a puzzle and none of the pieces fit together...

Lawyer Tina Aaron considered men as puzzles. She liked to have all the pieces neatly in place. But Brodrick LoMaren's puzzle made no sense. He is reputed to be extremely wealthy but he doesn't know how to tip New York City cab drivers. He never had pizza or Coke. And he could disappear into thin air after kissing her senseless.

Earth was not his homeland...

Brick had no intention of falling in love with a human. He wanted to take the Vow and become a soldier, to dedicate his life to the defense of the Empire. Then after a bloody uprising where his father the Emperor was assassinated, he found himself exiled to Earth.

Brick learns to find beauty in New York, but his heart finds completeness in Tina's love.

He promises her one night as Cinderella...

After his exile is lifted, Brick still believes he can return to his homeland and forget her, but he finds that impossible. So he invites Tina to the Empire, to show her how different they are. There, a unihorn mare kneels to her, offering Tina honor and a wish. Dressed in a ball gown, with a necklace of priceless rubies around her throat, more of the pieces of the puzzle start to make sense. She is starting to understand Brodrick and the love she feels for him.

He is accused of murder...

Brick is found guilty of the gruesome murder of the Emperor and hundreds of the Empire's citizens. Tina is given the opportunity to forget him and go back to her life, knowing that it will mean his death. Then Brick and Tina realize life is not worth living if they are not together. But what remains to be seen, is her love for this prince enough to save his life, even when she suspects he will still choose his homeland over hers?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

To celebrate my novel Santa Takes a Wife coming out November 18th, I am offering a free download of my short story The Missing Present. In the Missing Present are two of the characters from my novel, Santa (of course) and his chief elf Marlett.

If you'd like a short, fun, free short story, please feel free to download it. It will give you a taste of my writing style. If you like it, please stop by Amazon or Tirgearr Publishing and try the novel.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas season, and happy reading.

Betsy J. Bennett

The Missing Present