Overboard

OVERBOARD

By Kathy Clark

One of the best things I did to improve my overall writing skills was to take screenwriting classes.  I had already had twenty-three novels published before I decided to give Hollywood a shot.  There was no question that I knew how to plot a novel and create characters.  But what I learned from writing screenplays was the delicate art form of pacing, set-ups and payoffs, backstory without lengthy narrative, and fast-paced scene structure.  I also learned how to write interesting, realistic characters who reveal themselves through actions and dialogue.

I’ve read hundreds of blogs and articles about characters, plotting, and structure.  Most cite classic authors such as Hemingway and Steinbeck.  But when I was an adjunct professor, I used a little-know movie as my best example of a well-executed plot and great character development.  It’s not what most would consider a must-see film, but on a basic level, it’s enjoyable.  As an example of how to write a novel or a movie, it’s fantastic.  The name of the movie is….drum roll, please…a 1987 Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell film, Overboard.

Not what you expected, I bet.  But, considering that it was written by Leslie Dixon who also wrote Loverboy, Outrageous Fortune, and The Heartbreak Kid and directed by the incredibly talented Garry Marshall, it comes as no surprise that this film followed a tried-and-true formula.

The set-up is that a ridiculously spoiled heiress (Joanna), who is so disliked even her mother avoids her, hires a local carpenter (Dean) to remodel a closet on her yacht.  He does a fabulous job but, instead of praise, she is rude, condescending, and shorts his pay.  The author set up Joanna perfectly so that when she fell overboard during a stormy night, you weren’t very sympathetic.  She is rescued, but she has amnesia and doesn’t realize her yacht is sailing off without her (and that her husband and crew are partying big time!)  Through a plot twist, she ends up at Dean’s house under the misconception that she is his wife and Dean’s wild sons are her children.  During the course of his attempt to get back at her, they fall in love and she learns humility, respect, and the true meaning of happiness.  Anyway, you get the plot.  Goldie’s character starts out as a totally unlikeable bitch.  We all know that you can make your heroes and heroines as bad and flawed as you want…as long as they are eventually redeemed.

Goldie’s character began as an extreme.  But remember, Overboard was released in 1987, pre-social media, even prior to the explosion of the internet.  Update the character to 2016 and maybe change her last name to Kardashian, and you have basically the same shallow, self-centered person.  The good news is that that kind of character has plenty of room to grow and develop.  It’s important to give all your major characters a strong arc to show how they have changed and improved because of whatever went on during the course of the book, including true love.

But where do you start?  How do you write characters who start out superficial and end up being substantive?  Here are a few examples of people you don’t want to know by Shana Lebowitz as seen in the Business Insider.  She has presented this for real people, but it’s easily adaptable to your fictional cast of characters.  Pick one or two quirks as the basis for your characters’ genesis, then have fun with it.

 

Disclosing something extremely personal early on in a relationship

In general, people like each other more after they’ve traded confidences. Self-disclosure is one of the best ways to make friends as an adult.

But psychologists say that disclosing something too intimate — say, that your sister is having an extramarital affair — while you’re still getting to know someone can make you seem insecure and decrease your likability.

The key is to get personal without getting overly personal. As one study led by Susan Sprecher at Illinois State University suggests, simply sharing details about your hobbies and your favorite childhood memories can make you seem warmer and more likable.

 

Asking someone questions without talking about yourself at all

Susan Sprecher also found an important caveat to the idea that self-disclosure predicts closeness: It has to be mutual. People generally like you less if you don’t reciprocate when they disclose something intimate.

In the study, unacquainted participants either engaged in back-and-forth self-disclosure or took turns self-disclosing for 12 minutes each while the other listened. Results showed that participants in the back-and-forth group liked each other significantly more.

As the authors write, “Although shy or socially anxious people may ask questions of the other to detract attention from themselves, our research shows that this is not a good strategy for relationship initiation. Both participants in an interaction need to disclose to generate mutual closeness and liking.

 

Hiding your emotions

Research suggests that letting your real feelings come through is a better strategy for getting people to like you than bottling it all up.

In one study, researchers videotaped people watching the fake-orgasm scene from the movie When Harry Met Sally and a sad scene from the movie The Champ. In some cases, the actors were instructed to react naturally; in another they were instructed to suppress their emotions.

College students then watched the four versions of the videos. Researchers measured how much the students would be interested in befriending the people in the videos, as well as their assessments of the personalities of the people in the videos.

Results showed that suppressors were judged less likable — as well as less extroverted and agreeable — than people who emoted naturally.

 

Acting Too Nice

You might think you’ll win people over by acting altruistically, but science suggests otherwise.

In a 2010 study, researchers at Washington State University gave college students points that they could keep or redeem for meal-service vouchers. Participants were told that they were playing in groups of five — even though four of them were manipulations by the researchers — and were told that giving up points would boost the group’s chance of getting a monetary reward.

Some of the “fake” participants would give up lots of points and only take a few vouchers. As it turns out, most participants said they wouldn’t want to work with their unselfish teammate again. Some said the unselfish teammate made them look bad; others suspected they had ulterior motives.

 

Humblebragging

To impress friends and potential employers, avoid complimenting yourself and trying to disguise it as self-criticism. This behavior, otherwise known as “humblebragging,” could be a turn-off, according to a recent study.

In the study, college students were asked to write down how they’d answer a question about their biggest weakness in a job interview. Results showed that more than three-quarters of participants humblebragged, usually about being a perfectionist or working too hard.

Yet independent research assistants said they’d be more likely to hire the participants who were honest, and found them significantly more likable. Those students said things like, “I’m not always the best at staying organized” and “Sometimes I overreact to situations.”

 

Not having a sense of humor

If you’re looking to make friends, you might want to loosen up.

One study of 140 Chinese workers between ages 26 and 35 found that people were less well-liked and less popular among their colleagues if they were “morally focused.” That means they placed a high value on displaying caring, fairness, and other moral traits.

The researchers explained that was because morally focused individuals were perceived as less humorous by their colleagues. Note that this research isn’t an excuse to stop caring about or acting fairly toward your coworkers. But consider it a reason to act less uptight around them.

 

Not smiling

When you’re at a networking event, meeting tons of new people, it can be hard to keep a smile plastered on your face. But you might want to try.

In one study, nearly 100 undergraduate women looked at photos of another woman in one of four poses: smiling in an open body position, smiling in a closed body position, not smiling in an open body position, or not smiling in a closed body position. Results showed that the woman in the photo was liked most when she was smiling, regardless of her body position.

Bonus: Another study found that smiling when you first meet someone helps ensure that they’ll remember you later.

 

Acting like you don’t like someone

Psychologists have known for a while about a phenomenon called “reciprocity of liking“: When we think someone likes us, we tend to like them as well.

In one study, for example, participants were told that certain members of a group discussion would probably like them. (These group members were chosen randomly by the experimenter.) After the discussion, participants indicated that the people they liked best were the ones who supposedly liked them.

If you don’t express fondness for the person you’re meeting, you could potentially turn them off and send them in search of someone who does seem to care about them.

 

Now that you know how to make your Johanna an unpleasant character, what are you going to do to make us love her?

 

Discover all of Kathy’s screenplays and novels on http://www.LoveRealityRomance.com

The current series are located as follows –

 

Adult Contemporary Romance [Denver Heroes & Austin Heroes]

http://www.LoveRealityRomance.com/Romantic_Suspense.html

 

New Adult Romance –

http://www.LoveRealityRomance.com/SCANDALS.html

 

Young Adult Romance Time Travel –

http://www.LoveRealityRomance.com/Young_Adult.html

 

 

#romance #realityromance #overboard #goldiehawn # KurtRussell #Kardashian #garymarshall #harlequin #loveswept #penguinrandomhouse #newadult

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Have a great Valentine’s Day Weekend and All about February 25, 2014

STARTING THE COUNTDOWN TO THE RELEASE OF BOOK #4

IN MY YA TIME TRAVEL MYSTERY SERIES.

RELEASE DATE – February 25, 2014

#1. Our 13 Minute interview with Fort Myers Beach Radio today about the new book is on air at http://www.fortmyersbeachradio.com/index.asp We’re the first featured interview right behind their local politicians. In case you don’t know the four brave time travelers who outwit, outlast and out work the bad guys, this time in 1911, live on Fort Myers Beach.

#2. Our ARC reviewers will be receiving their copy within 7 days. If you’re name isn’t on the list for the free ARC drop my a note. Check out Mail Chimp at the end of the blog post.

#3. Everyone I’ve been communicating with over the past several years will be seeing my new newsletter with the RIP announcement as well. The news letter is called NIGHT LINES and therefore is consistent my email address, web site etc of nightwriter93….after all my characters don’t start chatting until late in the evening.

#3. Our initial book tile is done and is shown here in this post.

#4. The Long and short form of the blurb is firmed up and the long form is shown here….

Have a great rest of your Valentine’s Day Weekend!

You don’t have to believe in ghosts…until you meet one.

Once again Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey are listening to the Spirit Radio when they hear a cry for help from a mother whose four-year-old daughter, Emma went missing in the middle of a busy lobby at the infamous Stanley Hotel. But time traveling back to 1911 is a lot more complicated than the three trips they had taken earlier in the summer. They have to find appropriate clothes and figure out a way to pay for their stay. When they hear about a tragic fire that hurt several hotel employees, the teens take advantage of the hotel’s desperation and get jobs working as lady’s maids and houseboys so they can keep an eye on Emma and her family.

Even though they know that The Stanley Hotel is possibly the most haunted place in the U.S., the four teenagers are a little creeped out when they hear ghostly children running in the halls, singing songs and even a mysterious ball that keeps showing up in their room. How could a hotel that is only two years old already be haunted? Most importantly, how can they stop Emma from becoming one of the ghosts that are trapped inside the luxurious hotel?

Midway through their first summer together, they celebrate the Fourth of July twice in one year. As they try to figure out the mystery of Emma’s disappearance, they bump in some famous people and experience several historical events. But ultimately, it’s their trust in each other and the friendship that has been forged by two unique experiences no one else on the planet has ever done…talk with dead people and time travel to the past. Their first trip back to 1966 had stopped the murder of a teenager from their school. Their next trip to 1980 had tested their courage as they were brought face-to-face with a man who was determined to murder an entire family. Their last trip to 1927 had saved the life of a handsome young man who had run away to a traveling circus. Zoey, the former mean girl of South Beach High School, suffered her first heartbreak by falling in love with a man from the wrong century. 

Back in 1911 there are no TV news crawlers or Amber Alerts like we see along the interstate highways today. Instead, Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey must try to be in the right place at the right time to stop the tragedy of Emma’s disappearance from happening. They follow her and her family around while enjoying life among the rich and famous. They arrive as skeptics, but leave as believers when all four teens have ghostly encounters. Kelly and Austin grow closer as they share fireworks shows, first on the sand in Fort Myers Beach and second on a blanket in the Rocky Mountains. But is their romance doomed almost as soon as it began?

When their plans go wrong, they face their first defeat. The same danger that takes Emma now threatens the teens when one of their own is captured in a killer’s web. Will they be able to save Emma? Or will they join her as permanent guests in the ghostly halls of The Stanley Hotel?

WIKIPEDIA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathy_Clark_(American_author)

AUTHOR SITE:   http://www.nightwriter93.com

CUL8R YA MYSTERY SERIES WEB SITE:   http://www.cul8rseries.com

BLOGhttps://kathyclarkauthor.wordpress.com/

FACEBOOK:   https://www.facebook.com/kelly.welch.cul8r

TWITTER:   @93nightwriter

PINTEREST:   http://www.pinterest.com/BobKat1993/

Connect for release,  specials and mews

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Young Adult Mystery Series 2013 Awards and 88% FIVE Star Review Rate

As we near the end of 2013 I wanted to take a minute and take stock of the Young Adult Mystery Series CUL8R [See You Later].  Three books have been released thus far with the fourth book in the series releasing in late January, 2014.

First.  Thank you readers for your purchases, glowing reviews and continued loyalty.

The CUL8R Time Travel Mystery Series is a different type of time travel where the protagonists aim to change the past and save the future. Four high school friends are able to do two things no one else on the planet can do . . . talk with dead people and time travel to the past.  The question would be early on would readers embrace this series and the answer is yes.  Great reviews, sales and contest winning results happened in 2013.

WEB TILE CUL8R OMG

In book #1, OMG Kelly has a major adjustment to move from the only life she has ever known in Texas to live with her aunt in Ft. Myers Beach, Florida. She quickly makes friends with her quirky next door neighbor, Scott and his best friend, Austin. In her aunt’s garage, they find a long-lost invention of Thomas Edison called “The Telephone to the Dead”. Edison had abandoned the project and given it to Kelly’s great-great-grandfather.

Scott tinkers with it until they can hear sounds coming from it. But instead of broadcasting music . . . it picks up conversations from the dead. As they slowly turn the dial they hear hundreds of sad, lonely voices of souls that have passed but apparently never moved on, pleading for help.

A teenager’s voice separates from the rest and begs for their help to clear her reputation. They are shocked to find out that she had gone to their own high school . . . 47 years ago. They research the girl’s story and discover that her name was Wendy and she had been a popular cheerleader who had apparently committed suicide.

The teens are touched by Wendy’s cries and pleas, but they have no way to go back in time to help her. That is, until Scott reveals an invention of his own . . . a time travel app. Kelly and Austin are very skeptical. Even Scott isn’t sure it will work, so they try it out on his sister’s pet turtle. Amazingly, the turtle disappears. But did it travel to the past or just wander off?

Finally, they decide to humor Scott and go along with his claims of time travel. They meet on the beach after everyone else has gone home. They stand in the formation Scott insists will create the perfect vortex for time travel. At the last moment, a fourth person runs forward and is pulled into their adventure back to 1966.

They figure out a way to get close to Wendy without her asking too many questions that they can’t answer. But as they discover the secret to her death, they find it’s not as clear-cut as it would seem. A romance gone wrong, an over-attentive teacher and a young girl’s dreams for the future are all twisted into a mystery that causes the teens to take greater risks than they could have imagined. It all becomes very real when their own lives are in danger and they realize they may never make it back to the present.

OMG – Winner of the Best Indie Book of 2013 for Young Adults and Finalist in the 2013 Beverly Hills Book Awards.

             BIB OMG Small Medallion   Beverly Hiss Finalist

And the reviews have been solid.

Reviews OMG

 

WEB TILE CUL8R BRB

In book #1, BRB, Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey gather in Scott’s lab, listening to the old radio that Thomas Edison had invented and called “The Telephone to the Dead”. As they slowly turn the dial they hear hundreds of sad, lonely voices of souls that have passed but apparently never moved on, pleading for help. When they first discovered the radio in Kelly’s aunt’s garage, they had been touched by the cries and pleas coming from its speakers, but they had no way to go back in time to help them. That is, until Scott reveals an invention of his own . . . a time travel app. They’ve tested it only once, but that first trip had been successful . . . if you ignore the fact that Zoey and Kelly had almost gotten killed by a serial killer. Even though they returned with a few scrapes and bruises, they are eager to go on a new adventure and help solve another mystery.

A very young girl’s voice comes through, saying that her whole family has been murdered on an island just off the east coast of Florida.

The teens look the island up on Google Maps and see that it is completely deserted which contradicts the story they’re getting from the Spirit Radio. But it’s a beautiful island called Crystal Key with a stretch of beach that, unlike Ft. Myers Beach, is not crowded with tourists and kids. The teens decide to pop in, spend a nice day on the beach, check out the island to see if there is any truth to the girl’s story, then pop right back. It sounds like a great plan.

From the very beginning, things go wrong when Scott miscalculates their landing and they end up splashing into the Atlantic Ocean. After swimming for their lives, they collapse on the beach that is, indeed, beautiful. But it isn’t deserted. They find the little girl, her family and a half dozen more people living in a sprawling Florida-style home owned by a menacing man named Manuel. He gives them no opportunity to escape and insists that they stay in the house. What they discover during their visit is enough to almost get them all killed.

As they struggle to survive, Kelly tries to ignore her attraction to Austin, who clearly isn’t interested in a romance. Besides, just days before she went on her very first date . . . with Scott. How could she have such strong feelings for two boys? And then there is Zoey who is hot for Austin, but flirting shamelessly with Scott. Then people start dying and all they can think about is saving the families and themselves. Are they destined to be a madman’s latest victims? Their time travel adventure to a tropical paradise may turn out to be their last.

It’s difficult to investigate a crime that hasn’t happened yet.

BRB won top honors in the Readers’ Favorite awards.

readers favorite silver

and the reviews have been amazing!

Reviews BRB

 

 

WEB TILE CUL8R BION

Finally, in BION, Book #3, they surprise Kelly on her birthday and soon they are back in Scott’s lab, listening to the old radio that Thomas Edison had invented and called “The Telephone to the Dead”. As they slowly turn the dial Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey hear hundreds of sad, lonely voices of souls that have passed but apparently never moved on, pleading for help. When they first discovered the radio in Kelly’s aunt’s garage, they had been touched by the cries and pleas coming from its speakers, but they had no way to go back in time to help them. That is, until Scott reveals an invention of his own . . . a time travel app. They’ve already tested it twice, with both trips being very successful, but not without danger. Even though they returned with a few scrapes and bruises, and even a gunshot wound, they are eager to go on a new adventure and help solve a mystery.

A young woman’s voice comes through and asks them to find her twin brother, Jesse, who had run away to the circus in 1927, then disappeared and was never heard from again. Going back and living with a circus sounds like fun. Plus an old book written by his sister provides a glimpse into the past . . . as well as a photo of Jesse, a photo that grabs their attention and sets the girls’ hearts racing.

They land in a cornfield in Wichita Falls, Texas as the circus is setting up. It doesn’t take them long to discover that circus life is not all glamour and fun; it’s a lot of hard work. As usual, they jump in and quickly find jobs, places to sleep and new friends. But most importantly, they find Jesse. Now all they have to do is keep him alive.
For Zoey and Jesse, it’s love at first sight. It’s a first romance for both of them and their love blossoms as they travel from city to city. Zoey knows she’s too young to settle down and that Jesse is from a different time and culture, but her feelings for him are strong. Her and her friends’ time travel mission has taken on a new dimension. Should they be successful and save his life, will Zoey be able to let him go? Is it possible for him to come to 2013 with her? Is it possible for her to stay in 1927 with him? Ultimately, can she give up everything she has in the present for true love in the past?
Jesse’s talent working with the big cats catches the attention of the Martin Maxwell, the owner of the circus. Maxwell promotes him to the center ring as a replacement for their current lion tamer who is planning on moving up to the Ringling and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Unfortunately, not everyone shares Zoey’s love for Jesse and wants him to disappear forever. Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey must figure out who wants Jesse dead and stop him or her before Jesse’s fate is sealed.

And following in the tracks of the first two CUL8R series books, BION has also been accumulating excellent reviews.

Reviews BION

In 2014 book #4, RIP will release.  This is another ground breaking time travel set at the Stanley Hotel in 1911.  An amazing splash of history added to a ghost story within a ghost story and set in the ghostliest places on earth, the Stanley Hotel in Colorado. 

Get ready for RIP by catching up with Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey over the holidays.

Below are some of the key links readers may want to access:

Kathy Clark, a..k.a. Bob Kat author website – http://www.nightwriter93.com

CUL8R Time Travel Mystery Series website – http://www.cul8rseries.com

Links for buying OMG –

Amazon –  http://www.amazon.com/CUL8R-Time-Travel-Mystery-Romance-ebook/dp/B00AF2Q30E/

Barnes & Noble / Nook http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/omg-bob-kat/1116882528?ean=2940148660859&itm=1&usri=2940148660859

Smashwords – http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/376121

ALL ROMANCE – https://www.omnilit.com/product-omgohmygodacul8rtimetravelmysteryromance-1343363-141.html

FOR PAPER BACK

CREATE SPACE –   http://www.amazon.com/OMG-CUL8R-Volume-Bob-Kat/dp/1481127675/

 

Links for buying BRB – 

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Right-CUL8R-Travel-Mystery-Romance-ebook/dp/B00C8SK9JO/  

Barnes & Noble / Nook –  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/be-right-back-a-cul8r-time-travel-mystery-romance-bob-kat/1117184934?ean=2940148661863&itm=1&usri=2940148661863

iBook / Apple – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id704718471

Smashwords – http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/364378

Kobo – http://store.kobobooks.com/Search/Query?fcmedia=Book&query=9780988343634

ALL ROMANCE –  https://www.omnilit.com/product-brbberightbackacul8rtimetravelmysteryromance-1333597-141.html

FOR PAPER BACK

CREATE SPACE  – http://www.amazon.com/BRB-CUL8R-Bob-Kat/dp/1484063120/

 

Links for buying BION –

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Believe-CUL8R-Travel-Mystery-Romance-ebook/dp/B00E5141ZK/

Smashwords – http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/370116

Kobo – http://store.kobobooks.com/Search/Query?fcmedia=Book&query=1230000195116

ALL ROMANCE – https://www.omnilit.com/product-bionbelieveitornotacul8rtimetravelmysteryromance-1343365-141.html

 

FOR PAPER BACK

CREATE SPACE  –  http://www.amazon.com/BION-Believe-It-Or-Not/dp/1491241012/