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Can one woman save a country? TWICE?
Can she do it as a lady musketeer and fencer in 17th-century France, AND can she and the musketeers grant a hero's final wish?

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Righting Time
Book Three of BY HONOR BOUND
by Kat Jaske

What if Jala really is from the future and the fate of her future does depend on convincing Laurel and the 17th-century musketeers of that truth? Read Excerpts

kat jaskeKat Jaske has had several articles published in many articles databases on the Internet.

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As Featured On Ezine ArticlesArticle 1. Creative Fiction Writing Workshop: Starting Your Story.

How do I get started? Where do I get ideas?

Get ideas from virtually any common, ordinary situation. Get out of your house to see real people and the real world and ideas will come from the most random places. Be sure to jot down these ideas so as not to forget them.

Furthermore, be thinking about what kind of a story you want to write so that you can slant your descriptions in that direction.

1. First, simply DESCRIBE A NORMAL SCENE you witnessed in a store:
The man put the socks down, took the girl by the hand and walked out.

2. Now, CHANGE the sentence. Make it involve more of the senses. Play around with how different words can completely change the mood of the situation. Use adjectives and adverbs:

The man forcefully threw his purchase at the Target clerk, grabbed the 5-year-old girl roughly by the arm and jerked her toward the door.

3. ADD ANOTHER SENTENCE or three to more completely describe what happened next, or its results. Use adjectives so you more fully portray the characters. Vary your sentence length—sometimes long, sometimes short. CHANGE the event. It’s fiction. Be creative:

She continued screaming at the top of her lungs all the way out. The hem of the girl’s tattered Sunday dress soaked up the bright red blood dripping from her broken lip. The man pushed his long brown hair roughly from his eyes, wiped his calloused hand on his dirt-stained pants, and dragged her resisting, squirming form into the rusty 1980’s Ford.

4. ADD SOME DIALOGUE, SOME QUOTES and CONFLICT. Add a TWIST so that what the reader first thought is changed a little:
“Shut up. Shut up. Do you hear me!” he yelled as he buckled her seatbelt and tried ineffectually to wipe her face gently with a tissue. “Don’t you ever do that again! I saw you put candy in your pocket. We don’t do that, ever. That’s stealing, and I will pay for whatever we need. No child of mine will ever steal anything, ever.”

Here, we have him buckling her seatbelt and gently wiping her face. Those are not the actions of an uncaring father. You have now grabbed the reader’s attention so he or she wants to know more. Things are too interesting and too confusing for the reader to stop now.

Use proper grammar in the dialogue to show he is educated, and use poor grammar to show lack of education, or, perhaps, low intelligence or even frustration level. How people say things is very revealing about them, their ideas, their moods, etc.

5. EXPAND THE DESCRIPTIONS of what’s going on AROUND THIS SCENE. Describe what others are saying in the store. Use dialogue for their conversation:

The clerk stood still staring at the candy the man had pulled from little Megan’s pocket. Jonathan was a proud father and always talked about how he could take care of his family.

“Did you see that?” the older man said in a disapproving tone as he plunked his shampoo and potato chips on the counter. “People like that shouldn’t have kids.”

Marie shook her head and commented, “I have never seen him get that angry before. Maybe I should have my manager call the police. But I don’t want to get him in trouble. He is usually so kind, and I’ve seen him a lot over the last two years, him and his handicapped son. You know, the one who’s different.”

Now you have a great beginning for your story. It’s your turn to keep writing.

Article 2. Creative Fiction Writing Workshop: Character Development.

Would you recognize your characters if you ran into them on the street?

Answering a resounding “yes” to this question indicates you have been able to develop solid, plausible characters.

Make your characters come alive, whether in good or bad ways. Let them talk. This means using dialogue.

However, you need to also provide vivid descriptions of the characters’ mannerisms or facial expressions or body expressions. Your readers must be able to create a visual picture of your characters, as well as hear what they are saying.

Pay particular attention to how your characters interact with other people in the story. How they behave toward others reveals much about their character. Are they kind? Abrupt? Intelligent? Funny? Weird? Concerned? Evil? Strong? Controlling?

You need to convey these traits to a reader in a way that will inspire your reader to love, hate, admire, or feel SOMETHING about the people you have created.
“And she hates you.”

“With a passion and what a passion.”

“And what have you done to earn such ire from such a young woman?” Tonie seemed mildly amused by the man.

“I tried to force her to marry me. I shot one of her oldest and dearest friends down in cold blood and killed him.” He didn’t even pause for breath as he listed his catalog of worthy accomplishments. “I betrayed my own brother. And I shot her lover in front of her eyes. A pity Frederick William wouldn’t give up on the man or he would have died. As it was it took him months to recover.

I guess you could say the woman has a personal vendetta against me. Will there be anything else, madame?” he concluded with a practiced politeness.

“Not at the moment.” Tonie left the room, Konrad on her heels. She stopped long enough to pull Greg aside and give him instructions in regard to the pursuit of one Laurel d’Anlass. “Ever try betraying me, and I’ll kill the woman myself, Konrad.”

“I would expect nothing less. But, my lady Tonie, I highly recommend you do not seek to threaten me.”

“Take it as a threat if you will, Konrad. But you have shown your weakness, my dear.” Tonie’s barbed words struck with more force than even she realized. “In that warped heart of yours you love Laurel and could never kill her without dying yourself.

So don’t push me unless you want me to take all control out of your hands and make you lose any possibility of ever possessing that beautiful, young woman.”
In the above scene from the coming book, Righting Time by Kat Jaske, even though you have not read the book, you can discern much about the characters. Note that Konrad is speaking rapidly and doesn’t even pause for breath as he rattles off his list of worthy accomplishments. He is polite, but it is not real. He has a “practiced” politeness.

These behaviors help the reader to instinctively dislike the man. Readers quickly realize that Tonie is a killer since she is amused by evil deeds and so easily states she will kill Laurel herself.

Who is in control here? Tonie or Konrad? Near the end you see that Tonie controls this scene, but Konrad pushes back when she threatens him. These two people are fighting to establish who is really in control.

Note also the double use of the word “passion.” Although one would not normally use the same word twice so close in the same sentence, this is much more powerful and descriptive than saying, “With a great passion.”


Article 3. Creative Fiction Writing Workshop: Using Quotation Marks and Other Punctuation

Don’t let dialogue and punctuation outsmart you.

Dialogue between characters is one great way to engage in character development. Usage of quotes can become very complicated in your characters’ dialogue, but you don’t have to struggle with how to use quotes along with commas, periods, capitalization, the em dash, the ellipses, and other marks.

Use the templates below for models on how to use quotation marks, and you will be a whiz at this in no time.

Your word processing program will probably use smart quotes. Example: “I love cookies.” The quote marks curl toward the words. You may set your word processor to use straight quotes if you prefer. Be sure you are consistent and always use one or the other throughout your entire writing.

1. Using the ellipses to show the thought trails off, when the sentence is incomplete:
End with a blank, then the three dots, the quote, a blank.
“I, I, I . . .” he stuttered.

A non-quote new sentence follows: Capitalize the new sentence.
“Still she’s reckless, and that temper of hers . . .” Not to mention the prickly pride.

A new paragraph follows:
“I don’t know what to say, Aramis. They’re your best friends, not my best friends. I’ve no right to tell them. But maybe . . .”

2. Using the ellipses within quotes when the sentence is complete:
A new sentence, within the same quote follows. Note there is a period before the three dots.
“He has my father’s signet ring, and Papa never let that out of his possession. . . . They murdered my father in Belgium.”

The quote sentence is complete and is followed by a new non-quote sentence:
“And Uncle Porthos even took me on his horse. . . .” Suddenly, the boy stopped as if realizing he had a crowd.

3. Quote starts the sentence; the “he said” is in the middle, and then the quote continues:
Don’t capitalize the continued sentence.
“My father’s out of the country,” she began in a measured tone, “and a lone woman could hardly welcome a group of strange men to her home.”

4. Quote starts the sentence, ends with a comma and quote and blank and the “he said.”:
Do not capitalize the word after the closing quote unless it is a proper name or the word “I.”
“He will see you now,” the servant said, bowing as Athos thanked him.

Quote ends with a question mark and is followed by the “he said:”
Don’t capitalize the “he said” part.
“Do we have an agreement?” the unofficial leader of the group asked.

5. Quote starts in the middle of the sentence:
Put a comma after the leading “he said.” Have one blank, then the quotation mark, then the first word of the quote capitalized.
He shrugged his shoulders and said, “It was just a possible explanation. I know it’s not a very good one.”

6. Use the em dash to show a pause in the quote that is all one sentence:
Use no spaces before or after the dash.
“You know what I really wish? I really wish you could find it in your heart to trust me—to not always play the gentleman. However, it’d be more than enough if you just decided to be your real self.”

Use the em dash to show one sentence trails off and then a new sentence begins:
Capitalize the new sentence. Use one space after the closing quote.
“Yes, but—” She silenced him with a kiss.
“I think so, but—On second thought, it’s not true,” he said.

Kat Jaske ©2006 All rights reserve.

Reviews <<<more reviews ->>>

  • "Some of the best stories and best written books I have read in several years."
    Mark Myers - storyteller - Ohio
  • Selected by Las Vegas Green Valley High School for the 2006 Reading Incentive Program

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Article 4. Creative Fiction Writing Workshop: Interaction of the Character and the Story.

The author needs a framework, but his/her characters have some freedom within the framework.

A good story must have a basic framework to hang upon.

There are two basic approaches to framework creation. One approach is to create a detailed outline of the order of events in the story from the beginning to the end and have the final product be a fully fleshed out version of the outline.

Another method is to have a basic overall picture of where the story will go and some of the important events that will occur along the way, including a rough idea of how the tale should end. In this second approach, the story is given more freedom to unfold and the author may even surprise himself or herself. In fact, in this approach the author might well be writing to find out what happens.

Regardless of whether you are a storyteller who prefers a greater structure on which to hang a story or whether you are a storyteller who prefers more spontaneity, there will always be a dynamic relationship, an interaction, between the tale that is being crafted and the characters developed to inhabit that story and bring it to life.

Many beginning authors fall into the rigid mindset that, “I am the author. I create the story. I know how I want my story to end and what is going to occur along the way.” This isn’t always true. Your characters may sometimes have different ideas.

They have a certain amount of control over the story. This is true regardless of which basic story framework style you choose to follow.

As a good storyteller, you have endeavored to create your characters’ personalities in a detailed manner so that if someone ran into them on the street that person would recognize the characters.


Based on the personality established for a given character, one can predict how the character will react in most situations since every person can be somewhat predictable.


Once you as an author have figured out this basic pattern and you give the character a similar situation, will she always react that same way? The answer surprises some people. It is a resounding: Not always. Real people are oftentimes inconsistent and will end up surprising you.

Therefore, to have a believable character, you must make the character behave like a real person and allow him or her to sometimes do the unexpected, or, otherwise, you have created a robot your readers will not like. Therefore, don’t force the story on the character. Sometimes the story will have to be adapted to fit the character.

Nevertheless, when you break the character’s general trends, it absolutely must be believable. The event should not sound like a false note that distracts the reader. At the same time, it is all right to have some notes that stick out as long as they do not detract from the work as a whole.


This is a balance you as a storyteller will have to practice and play around with. But while playing around, remember just as you should not force the story on the character, you should not force the character on the story. Story and character interact and create something bigger than either one alone.

This dynamic interaction is the magic of story creation that will inspire your readers to visit your world frequently.


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Author Kat Jaske is a sport fencer. Her books feature musketeers, fencing and sword fighting.