5 Tips on Building Relationships For Your Success

**Welcome to my blog on my new website (zoemmccarthy.com). I hope you enjoy the new look!**

“If you give to others, you will be given a full amount in return. It will be packed down, shaken together, and spilling over into your lap. The way you treat others is the way you will be treated.”  —Luke 6:38 CEV


by DuBoix
by DuBoix

Recently, I’ve heard repeatedly if you want to succeed you must build relationships first. Here are five tips to ease your effort.

Tip 1: Relationships that improve your success must be genuine.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’m taking classes and reading blogs on marketing. The primary goal stressed is to build relationships. But immediately following that point is:


  • In working to build relationships, you must genuinely desire to help others. click to tweet

You must want the other person to succeed; you gladly do tasks for their benefit. In groups I belong to, this active support includes spending time praying for each other.

Building relationships falls apart if you expect help in return. You’ll get disgruntled when it doesn’t come in the manner you want. Resentfulness doesn’t feel like success.

“Instead of manipulating people for our own purposes, we help them achieve what is best for them. We also try to see life through their eyes. Treat others the way you would want them to treat you.” —Billy Graham

Tip 2: The more you do for others; the more others will do for you.

But the prize while forming this habit is that you grow to enjoy helping others. And watching them succeed. Your general care for others becomes personal and natural.

Tip 3: Being an extrovert or introvert has little to do with building relationships for your success.

I’ve learned it’s whether people charge you with energy or drain you of energy that classifies you as an extrovert or introvert. Not necessarily how talkative or shy you are. I’m an introvert but readily express myself one-on-one.

Regardless of type, you make genuine relationships one person at a time.

by luisrock62
by luisrock62

Tip 4: Strong family relationships are essential while you build relationships outside your household.

I think Billy Graham warns us well:

“We have exchanged love of family and home for cyberfriends and living in constant motion that robs the soul from memories – and perhaps from that still, small voice that longs to be heard. —Billy Graham


  • Building relationships for success starts in the family. click to tweet

Tip 5: You can’t do everything yourself.


  • Like it or not, we need others; we’d fail at probably 80% of what we do all alone. click to tweet
Image courtesy of bplanet / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of bplanet / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My brother-in-law, a retired company executive, always noted his own weaknesses. Then he hired people who excelled in those weaknesses. He was more concerned about building relationships for success than feeling threatened by his staff.

Another example. I plan to make baskets of goodies related to the events and characters in my book. I’ll give them away at celebrations of my book release. I’ve had fun buying the goodies.

I’ve wondered how I’ll make the baskets look inviting. Then I remembered a lovely basket a church member made to collect notes and cards. We’ve developed a friendship though the prayers and bits of encouragement I’ve offered during a difficult time. I’ll ask her to help me. I picture me serving her lunch and us having fun packaging the baskets together.

What tips do you have about building relationships for success?

How to Discover the Expected Elements of Your Genre’s Book Endings

“If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.” —Orson Welles

by Quozio
by Quozio

 In an earlier post, I talked about backloading sentences, paragraphs, and scenes. Meaningful words at the end of these leave the reader with what’s important. And backloading leads the reader to continue reading.


  • Do we need to backload a novel’s ending with specific elements?
    click to tweet

We want the reader to read our next book, right? But how do we discover what elements are expected in the ending of a novel in our genre?

Because I write inspirational romances, I researched that genre. I also took a look at non-inspirational legal thrillers. You can do the same for your genre.


  • How to Discover the Expected Elements of Book Endings for a Genre
    click to tweet

♥ I gathered 50 inspirational romances. These included: historical, suspense, contemporary, prairie, regency, and humorous romances. Forty-seven unique authors were represented. I used 10 novels by different authors for a quick look at inspirational legal thrillers.

♥ I read the last 2 pages of the last chapters—not of the epilogues, which many included. I considered epilogues extra explanations and not the ends of the romances. The last 2 pages proved sufficient in showing what the novels left us with in the backloading sense.

♥ I noted the repetitions of elements among the novels.

Inspirational Romances

id-10075211.jpgRepeated elements from 50 novels:

♥ 100% had happy endings. Almost always a given in this genre.

♥ 76% spoke of God. This ran from a mention of God to praising God. Overwhelmingly, though, the element was characters praising God for changes in their character, in their lives, or in the person they’ve grown to love.

♥ 56% had the hero and heroine share a real kiss.

♥ 40% included a marriage proposal or a wedding. Some couples are married from the beginning. Or the story continues after the wedding or the proposal. Or we’re left with the assurance the relationship will grow.

♥ 36% issued noble last words. Although several summarize realized growth in the last 2 pages, this percentage applies to the last few words. Words about how the character is prepared to face the future or about new beginnings.

♥ 32% had at least one character say, “I love you.” Several mulled over or spoke of love, but in this percentage, the actual “I love you” words were spoken.

♥ 18% worked the title of the novel into the ending.


  • Consider these elements for effective book endings in inspirational romances.
    click to tweet

Remember, though, how well we write these elements determines how good they are.

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Non-inspirational Legal Thrillers

For my sample of 10 novels, the emerging elements were:

  • Discussion of the outcome. This could be wrap-up explanations or talk of appeals or of additional legal actions. (7)
  • Discussions with or about the victim, the guilty person, or the innocent defendant. (6)
  • Hope for the future or hint of spiritual recognition. (5)
  • Moments of the main character’s personal life. Opposed to his legal life. (4)
  • New action, post-case development, or a gotcha. (4)
  • Discussion of the verdict’s accuracy. (3)

Readers or writers, what elements do you expect in the last pages of your preferred genres?

How to Make Your Surly Character Likeable

“Well, the thing about great fictional characters from literature, and the reason that they’re constantly turned into characters in movies, is that they completely speak to what makes people human.” —Keira Knightley

Image courtesy of Rosemary Ratcliff / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Rosemary Ratcliff / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I have a surly character in my inspirational contemporary romance. Allie is ill-mannered because people and events have hurt her in the past and she’s had enough. She has much room for growth. How am I going to make readers care enough about her to read her story? 


  • Do you have a character who’s surly and might be disliked by your readers?
    click to tweet

So what am I to do?

  • Be true to my character’s position at the opening of my story. Allie is flawed. She’s quick to misjudge people.
  • Recognize, especially at the beginning, the times Allie is too harsh with little good to balance her disposition.
  • Give indications of the true person who lies beneath Allie’s current tack toward insolence.
  • Show Allie’s fears, hopes, and struggles.
  • Show a moment when Allie is vulnerable. Especially near the beginning.
  • Feed in bits of backstory as necessary to show why she acts as she does. When Allie is brusque, give a memory that makes her fear letting a person see her soft side.
  • Continue to give glimpses of Allie’s internal goodness as the story unfolds.
  • Make her able to do things by the end of the story that she isn’t able to do at the beginning. Allie will be able ask Jesus to come into her life. She’ll strive not to misjudge others. She’ll ask for forgiveness from others and forgive those who’ve hurt her.


  • How do I show my surly character’s internal goodness?
    click to tweet

    by cjhulin85
    by cjhulin85
  • Have Allie do something at the beginning of the story that shows she has redeeming qualities.
  • Give Allie thoughts and physical reactions to her wounds, dreams, hopes, and fears. Other characters may not recognize Allie’s deep emotions but her feelings will come across to the reader.
  • Show Allie what she sounds like to herself when she speaks harshly. At times, show her wanting to be better than a person who speaks like that.
  • Show moments in which Allie is honest about past events, her struggles and fears, and her hopes and dreams.

But what if she’s over-the-top surly for much of the story? I hope I can make Allie more likeable without resorting to these.recite-26912-292788037-188q2fb

  • Give your character a unique flaw that you play up so readers enjoy “hating” the character.
  • Give your character an enemy who is more unlikeable than your main character.


  • What traits are turn-offs that I should avoid giving my main characters?
    click to tweet
  • Bullying
  • Patronizing
  • Picking on weaker people
  • Using violence to get her way
  • Gaining pleasure from ruining others’ lives
  • Moaning about hardships
  • Holding lots of pity parties
  • Making wrong inferences and not allowing others to explain themselves
  • Gossiping to hurt others
  • Lying all the time

What do you use or have seen others use to make surly characters likeable?