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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HURRY HURRY HURRY…Step Right UP Ladies & Gentlemen and Kids of ALL Ages! Amazon Selling Ticket to the Circus only $0.99

Hello Thrill Of Suspense Fans and Soon To Be fans.

We just thought we’d get everyone in the mood to run away to the circus tomorrow [10/17/2014] …It will cost you $0.99 and of course Amazon sells the tickets.

Past circus patrons have commented:

This is the third book and I hope it is not the last book of the series.I wish I could have been in this group of 4 but,actually you are. You are with them thru all their adventures,excitement and mystery. Move over Harry Potter!

The characters are the real crowning glory of the book. All vastly different, they are vividly portrayed in such a way that they really come to life in the imagination. You quickly come to recognise their various traits and what makes them happy, sad, or fearful. It is impossible not to care about each character and this really helps to draw the reader into the story. Even characters with a small supporting role feel real and fully fleshed out. The author has a real talent for characterisation. Adult readers will find themselves transported back to their high school years – experiencing again the joys of trials of first love, crushes, awkward self-consciousness, pride in achievements, dreams of the future, and flourishing new friendships that they might have thought they left behind long ago. It is so easy to empathise with the characters and they don’t seem at all simple or childish, despite their youth.

 

Here’s the link but wait until the tickets are on sale on Friday, October 17, 2014

http://www.amazon.com/Believe-Later-CUL8R-Romance-Travel-ebook/dp/B00E5141ZK/

 

Good news and bad news. The circus takes place in 1927 and life on the train can kill you. You eat well but not everyone likes you so it’s best you eat Euro style…a sharp knife in one hand and your fork in the other.

And even though your time in the 1927 is supposed to be temporary you really should keep your heart in check. Long distance romances…I mean long time distance romances are hard to make work.

About the series –

romance | time travel | mystery | inappropriate & new relationships | ghosts | murder | kidnapping

FOUR YOUNG ADULTS IN THE MIDDLE OF ALL THIS. . . IN A YEAR THEY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT

This is the SEE YOU LATER Young Adult Romance Mystery Series    BEST INDIE BOOK 2014READERS'S FAVORITE BRONZE

AND this, for one day only, book #3, a WINNER in THE BEST INDIE BOOK of the year AWARD for ROMANCE and in the READERS’ FAVORITE awards,

Here’s all the photos that survived the time travel trip back to today.

1927 1 1927 2 1927 3   1927 51927 6 1927 81927 91927 10

TIME IS TICKING AWAY . . . LET’S GET CONNECTED

Our Thrill Of Suspense Street Team shares in

free books, mugs, tee-shirts, tote bags

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Take advantage of our Newsletter offerings and The Thrill of Suspense street team http://eepurl.com/Z5ypX  via MAIL CHIMP

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WIKIPEDIAhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathy_Clark_(American_author)

 

The 2014 Awards Are Aligning….THANK YOU! Top 3 Places in 2 Awards for 3 Books!

The stars have aligned!

The final results are now in!

For both of this summer’s international book award competitions.

 

Thank you to THE BEST INDIE BOOK AWARDS and READERS’ FAVORITE AWARD CONTEST.  To survive the  review of 1,000’s of entries and be recognized so highly is amazing!

1st place winner awards were handed out in the BEST INDIE BOOK AWARDS for two books –

DUE DATES in the ROMANCE  genre

BION [Believe It Or Not] in the YOUNG ADULT genre

 

2nd and 3rd place Bronze awards were handed out in the READERS’ FAVORITE AWARDS for two books –

LIFE’S WHAT HAPPENS in the Historical-Event/Era genre

BION [Believe It Or Not] in the YOUNG ADULT ROMANCE genre

 

READERS’ FAVORITE  also provided some insightful reviews which we’re sharing along with the Amazon links for all three books.

Life’s What Happens by Kathy Clark encapsulates what happened in 1969 and 1970 to a generation of young people whose lives were irrevocably changed as a result of the first draft lottery in the Vietnam War. We begin and end the story in the present day, seeing some of the characters as they reunite at the Kent University Campus under mysterious circumstances. Their memories and their feelings on revisiting University now that they are so much older and wiser are very poignantly and beautifully portrayed. Those of us of a certain age can all sympathize with Don’s feelings of being invisible to today’s youth. The rest of the novel is the flashback to the fateful time shortly before and after the draft. From party-going youngsters out to have a good time and fit some study in, they are forced to grow up overnight and face huge responsibilities. Some cope, others don’t. Some act wisely, others panic and become victims of their circumstances. There are triumphs and tragedies, happy and sad endings.

This is such an atmospheric novel, cleverly helped along by naming each chapter after a pop song of the period. The authors spare no detail and effort in recreating settings and sensations from the period in question. These range from the minutiae of fashion to the political background to all the turmoil that invades the students’ lives. It seems to be done effortlessly on their part but it calls on great skill and writership qualities to be so evocative. We feel we’re there in all the action, sharing the fun and then the tension and horror or the situations that arise. All the characters we meet are believable and persuasive, both as youths and their older selves. It’s not always easy to maintain interest in a large group of protagonists in a novel but these authors achieve this well. This is a gripping read, with its educational, historical, imaginative and very human ingredients. Brilliant writing.

BION (Believe It Or Not) Book #3 of the CUL8R Time Travel Mystery/Romance series by Bob Kat is the tale of four high school students: Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey. They can talk to the dead and they can travel back in time. In this book, the focus is on Kelly and Zoey. The book gives an overview on how they found Thomas Edison’s invention that allows the teens to talk to dead people. This time they journey to 1927 where they take jobs with the Maxwell Circus. They are searching for a young man named Jesse. His sister contacted them through the “Telephone To The Dead,” seeking their help in locating her missing twin brother. There is a hint of romance with Kelly trying to figure out how she feels about Austin and Zoey and Jesse fall in love at first sight.

BION is a top notch book with top notch writing and a plot that will interest most young adults and many not so young adults. Bob Kat is a master at characterization, taking time to develop the characters, giving them flesh and making them likable. The characters in this book will have readers begging for more books in this series. The plot is interesting and moves along at a nice pace. This book combines time travel, romance, mystery, fantasy, humor and adventure to create a read that is impossible to put down. Bob Kat is the pen name of a husband and wife writing team. It is obvious they make a dynamite team. I highly recommend this book for young adults.

 

Here’s where to purchase these amazing award winning books!

BION 071613 Amazon final

 

 

READERS'S FAVORITE BRONZE BEST INDIE BOOK 2014

Find BION through Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E5141ZK

 

WEBSITE HOME PAGE BOOK LIFES WHAT HAPPEN      READERS'S FAVORITE BRONZE

Find LIFE’S WHAT HAPPENS through Amazon at  http://www.amazon.com/LIFES-WHAT-HAPPENS-Kathy-Clark-ebook/dp/B00A14STPS

 

DUE DATES     BEST INDIE BOOK 2014

 

Find DUE DATES through Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/DUE-DATES-SCANDALS-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00GQC1S3O/

 

Enjoy!

 

 

————————————————————————————————

Take advantage of our Newsletter offerings and The Thrill of Suspense street team http://eepurl.com/Z5ypX  via MAIL CHIMP

WIKIPEDIAhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathy_Clark_(American_author)

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

BLOG:  https://kathyclarkauthor.wordpress.com/

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

TWITTER:   @93nightwriter

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