Category Archives: Lynn’s Posts

How do we take readers from reality? ENGAGE your audience! @AuthorLynnBurke #WritersLife

The Most Important Aspect of Fiction Writing

Ask any reader, writer, editor, or publisher what the most important aspect of fiction writing is and you’ll doubtless hear a variety of thoughts. Plot. Characters. Setting. Description. Showing rather than telling. Yes, they’re all great answers, but without one key element, one all-encompassing aspect, any story is doomed to fail.

What is it?


If we as readers aren’t drawn in, our senses engaged on another level – that “DON’T BOTHER ME I’M IN ANOTHER DIMENSION!” feeling, then the book will be placed aside in hopes of finding another that will take us from reality.

So how do we engage our reader’s senses? In all kinds of ways.

1  A gripping plot, one that rolls along with twists and turns which raise our brows or drop jaw hinges wide open. The type of story line that keeps us turning (or clicking) pages way too late into the night hours.

2  Characters we feel empathy for, ones whose own problems may or may not mirror our own. They just need our sympathy, our pompoms waving in the wind.

3  Setting and description go hand in hand as far as I’m concerned. Don’t get all flowery full of words and poetic paragraphs I’ll skip over in search of the good stuff – fill our senses instead. Sight, hearing, smell, heck – taste even! Use precise words, ones loaded with meaning.

Why say he walked across the room toward me? BORING. I’d rather see him…

…swagger with a knowing smirk, one that catches my breath and sends my heart all a flutter. Describe how he smells of wood smoke and the outdoors (YUM!) or that the timbre of his voice sends shivers down the spine.

Ok. Enough of the romance.

Create the scene – the movie – in a readers’ mind. Captivate their attention and make it impossible for them to put your book down. Satisfy their craving to leave this world and enter one of make believe.

THAT is the most important thing you can do when creating a story. Engage a reader and gain a faithful follower, one that will hopefully spread the word of your awesomeness.




#SneakPeek at Abel’s Obsession #BDSM #AmishLife #Freedom by @AuthorLynnBurke

Today I wanted to do something a little different…

I’m sharing a tidbit of my upcoming release, Abel’s Obsession, which is slated for a Sept release. Abel Beiler was born Amish, but events crash against his stoic life, tempting and drawing him to a place he never expected to be.

LNP File Photo – LancasterOnline


A young man of religious fervor and self-control, Abel Beiler has every intention of honoring his parents and being baptized into the Amish church. The woman with red curls and flashing green eyes in the back of a convertible, however, makes Abel wonder what life with the English might be like.

He strives to withstand temptation, but the memory of the woman he yearns to dominate, coupled with the explicit images in his cousin’s filthy magazine, threatens his restraint.

Red, his sinful obsession, haunts his shameful dreams and becomes a secret part of his life. When faced with truth beyond faith, Abel must decide where he belongs—with the Amish community, or the woman who owns his heart.


Much later and hoarse from singing for two hours, my curiosity overrode my better sense, and I followed Eli into the hayloft of their barn. While I held the kerosene lamp, he climbed high into the rafters and returned with a magazine clutched in his hand.

“Got this from my new English friend, Toby.” He sat on a bale, opened the magazine, and turned it toward me.

Lust kicked me in the gut, and I couldn’t speak.

A naked woman lay spread eagle and bound by ropes to a bed, a blindfold and some sort of ball gag in her mouth. A man loomed over her, whip in hand. Tear streaks lined the woman’s face. Red slashes marked her thighs. Wetness coated the pink folds of her sex, glistening, and set my mouth to watering.

The image burned into my brain—submission in an entirely different way than the Old Order’s definition of the word. Spirituality is submission, is what had been reiterated in my ears since childhood. Self-surrender. The willingness to give up oneself to the community and Gott’s chosen leaders.

I soaked in the sinful picture, and for the first time in my life wanted power. Wanted control. I wanted a woman’s submission like the man in leather beside her owned. Unable to tear my gaze off the image, I struggled to swallow.

“Didn’t know people actually did this shit.”

Eli’s curse, the first I had heard from him, barely registered past the blood rushing in my ears. My body tensed as longing to be the man standing over that woman, whip in hand raced through me faster than any thoroughbred—or car.

The image of Red flashed in my mind, and suddenly it was her bound to the bed in the picture, breathing heavily, trembling, and begging for me…

BE ENTREATABLE! @AuthorLynnBurke’s take on betas and criticism

Be Entreatable

One of the best ways to date I’ve learned how to hone my craft was through writing forums. I’ve been active in two within the past couple of years, Writer’s Digest and Scribophile. While taking advantage of both, I applied myself not only to posting my own stories, but critiquing other authors’ works as well.

I didn’t always feel qualified to give my opinions, but I stuck to what I knew as a reader—plot lines making sense, engaging characters and stories—those types of things. As I learned more about the craft itself, the more I felt I could offer in terms of feedback.

One thing I noticed while participating in these online forums is that a lot of budding authors carry pride around like a 100 lb. block of gold. God forbid you point out an issue with their baby. Hackles rise and offense is often taken when none was implied. With an unentreatable attitude like this, an aspiring authors chances of learning and going on to become published is slim to none.

I’ve since moved on from the forums to beta readers, a whole different ball game. Chances are, your beta readers will be friends/family who are familiar with you and your past works. Just be careful, though…even if you insist on them giving you their thoughts unfiltered and straight up, they’ll often sugar coat the negative so no feelings get hurt.

While I am by no means an old pro at the writing and publishing thing, one thing I DO know. Be entreatable. Be willing to learn. Allow yourself to be vulnerable in accepting other people’s help or constructive criticsm. Quite a few have gone on before, paving the way, learning from their own bumpy journey, and have no wish for others to experience their heartache.

My motto, though? Just be sure to chew up the meat and spit out the bones.

Everyone has an opinion and not everyone can be right. While some things boil down to a preference of style, accept what will make you a stronger story teller.

The main thing?

Don’t lose your voice, the style that is all your own. Being unique is what will get you noticed at submission time.

~ Lynn