Sunday, May 31, 2009

OHHN and 50k in 30days!

Since my rambles on rewrites, I've decided to set aside RHRT for the time being. It's only a short-term separation - I'll get back to it either once I've heard from the editor or before if the mood strikes, but in the meantime I've started another story, which has been pestering me to be written for some time now. 

As you've read my writing output has been slow (for me) these last few months and each work has been like drawing blood (is that the right cliche?).... well... not anymore. I threw myself into this story on Saturday morning and have written about 4k since. The best part? I actually LIKE what I've written for the first time in along while. And... I'm having FUN!!

I'm targetting this story at Superromance (in the name of not keeping all my eggs in the same basket).

I've also pledged to write 30k in 30days with RWA Australia's 50k in 30 day challenge. This began last year when someone suggested we do our own southern hemisphere version of National Novel Writing Month in winter (cos the original one is held in winter for the Americans). Last year I failed dismally, so this year I've decided on a more realistic goal - I'm aiming for 30k  in 30 days!  I plan to switch between my two stories whenver I stall in one.

So if I'm slow replying to emails or doing crits, you'll know why!

I'll keep you up to date on my progress and just wanna wish all the other challengers an abundance of fabulous words :)

On your marks, get set, go, go, go!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rewrites NEEDED! Like MAJOR rewrites...

 I have a boyfree morning this morning (and a baby sitting on the bed next to me playing enthusiastically with his toes) and was supposed to be writing while said baby slept (not that he does much of that).

Then... I got a fabulous email from a fabulous writer who made me think seriously about where my current mss RHRT was going. I haven't felt 'right' about this story from about chapter two but I do feel there are the bones of something good there. It's been bugging me a lot, until this fabulous writer pointed out that I need to go deeper into the characters and one way to do this was to add a SECRET!!

Ooh I love a SECRET story and I think she's spot on. If I give my hero a SECRET, it will also strengthen his motivation tenfold and create an urgency the story needs but lacks at the moment. PRoblem is I'm stuck on the secret and until I find out what it is... I can't really write any more of the story!!


On a totally different tangent... how do you guys research. Do you do it all pre-writing or post-writing or when it comes up mid-writing. I don't know WHY I do these sort of things to myself but I've just sent my h&H off to dinner at a teppanyaki grill Japanese restaurant when I've NEVER actually been anywhere near one myself!! 

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Romance Roadshow Wrap-Up!

I spent all day Saturday in the company of like-minded women who love writing romance as much as I do! 

Jealous yet?

I also did three fantastic workshops (two with the talented Denise Rossetti and one with the lovely Kelly Hunter) and learnt lots of stuff about Deep POV, heroes and even a bit about the world of erotic romance. 

Still jealous?

Well... I also sat next to one of my favourite authors, Kelly Hunter for the dinner on Saturday night and chatted about the direction of Modern Heat, my current mss and editors. So interesting.

Come on... admit it... you're GREEN!!! 

But you'd probably like more info... so here's the gems from the day. In my opinion at least.

The first session I did was 'Deep POV' with Denise Rossetti. As well as telling us exactly what Deep POV is and why it's necessary if you want readers to connect with your characters, she tortured us with writing exercises. What I learnt from this is that if you're struggling with writing Deep POV, it may pay to try writing the scene in first person and then changing it to the Deep POV of the pov character. 

Also her tips on Deep POV killers:
*Don't use 'with' followed by an emotion - eg. Jean's skin prickled with fear. Show this instead.
*Watch out for words like 'knew' too - eg. Kevin knew Sarah was terrified. How??? 

She also pointed out that how the character swears can show a lot about he/she. Think about the difference between someone saying 'F*&k', 'Ah heck', 'Hell,' or 'Goodness gracious me.' 

Next I went to Kelly Hunter's workshop on Heroes. She made us think about what we like in our real-life romance hero and what we dislike in men. Interesting that out of the session many of us realised there were traits we quite  liked in a hero but would NEVER put up with in a boyfriend/husband. 

Kelly said that in romance we should write 'REALLY hero's.' Ie. Heroes that are REALLY hot, REALLY rich, REALLY smart, REALLY talented. This means choosing their qualities and amplifying them. She taught us that the hero sets the tone of the book and this really rang bells for me. One of the reasons I feel I'm struggling with my current wip is that I haven't got this hero quite right yet. 

In terms of heroes we all agreed to loving the bad boy and Kelly pondered that this is probably because the batter the hero the better the trip to the light for him, which is what we readers love. The heroine of course will be the only woman who could ever reform him!

I then went to Denise's sealed section, which was not just about writing sex but specifcially erotica. Although I don't plan on writing erotic romance, I learnt lots of great stuff here. She again reminded that unless you write in Deep POV, your sex scenes won't mean a thing. Readers need to experience the emotion of sex through one (at least) of the characters. 

In this session we discussed how REAL you have to make the sex scenes. Ie. Getting the balance between fantasy and 'yes-that-could-actually-work.' 

One final thing that struck a cord with me in Denise's session is that for characters to 'make love' there must be at least some trust. People are never as vulnerable as when they are having sex. 

Overall one key thing I took from the day is the reminder that it's okay to write crap and cliches in a first draft. That to complete a mss, you need to get down a dirty draft and go back and polish to remove/change the cliched type things. Kelly also pointed out that in romance it's OKAY to use the language that has been used for years - ie. the words frequently seen in a romance, like dangerous.

As you can see it was a jam-packed day. But not only were the workshops valuable and inspiring, the social side of getting together with other romance writers should never be underestimated. I met some more lovely people, one who travelled all the way from Sydney and is targetting the same line as me (hi Janette) and chatted with old friends who I don't get to see nearly as much as I'd like.  Once again... the generosity of romance writers amazed me.

I'd like to offer a HUGE thanks to Kelly Hunter, Denise Rossetti and Keri Arthur for taking the time to hike to Perth and offer us your wisdom! You guys rock!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I'm hooked...

Have found another MUST-BUY, MUST-READ, MUST-KEEP author. Well... actually she found me, cos she commented on my blog a few times and from that I hunted down her latest book, which sounded absolutely FABULOUS and didn't fail to live-up to this at all.

I've just finished reading Savas' Defiant Mistress by the lovely Anne McAllister and WOW. It's one of those books where I thought at least once on every page, 'WHY am I bothering to try and write books like these? I'll never be this good.'

It's such a gorgeous romance with a much larger cast than most category novels. It's jam-packed with animals, siblings, a wedding, father-issues and even a secondary romance. The whole story just seemed to spill from the page. The banter between the quirky heroine and Ice-man hero had me smiling constantly and just seemed so natural.

And... the premise - or how the h&H were thrown together - was one of the best I've read yet!
So thanks Anne. Thanks for stopping by my blog and thanks for writing one of the scrummiest romances I've ever read. I'm a fan for life!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Introducing Kelly Hunter...

Next weekend I'm going to Perth to RWA's Romance Roadshow. For more information visit the RWA Events Page.  

As a Modern Heat wannabee, I have my absolute fave authors that I just MUST BUY and one of these is Aussie RWA President Kelly Hunter

Anyway next weekend, I'm lucky enough not only to be hearing her speak twice - once about heroes and then about dialogue - but also to be introducing her to the other wannabees in the workshop. 

As I'm already a HUGE fan... I've got plenty to say, but I'd love to hear from you about how much you love Kelly's books! Have you got a favourite Kelly Hunter hero or story? Please... let me know!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Nails gonna get a flogging...

Okay... I don't actually bite my nails (they happen to be the one thing I am blessed with in the appearances department) but if I did, they'd be getting a flogging now.

I just sent the partial of my current wip to the editor who I worked with after the Feel The Heat contest. I still hadn't heard which (if any) of my two proposals she preferred, so I just set to writing one. 

And following all your wonderful advise at my last post... I'm gonna keep writing it instead of starting something new and hope that if M&B do like the partial, they don't want a totally different version of the full than I've written. I can dream!

So... it's finally OUT THERE! And while its OUT THERE... there's HOPE!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Can I ask your opinion?

As you know I've finished my partial targetting Modern Heat and will soon send it to M&B. As this is still a semi-go-on (is that even a phrase) from the Feel The Heat contest, I'm hoping the editor will say whether or not she likes it and why and give me an idea, if she requests the full, of where she'd like the story to go. Knowing this, I had decided to stop writing this story until I hear back on the partial. 

So here's my dilemma...

We know that it can take months to hear back on a partial and sometimes leaving a piece of writing for too long means getting out of the tone and feel of the story and being unable to get back in properly. 

If I don't continue the story, I might lose it's special thang but if I do, I might be writing in a direction that the editor doesn't want me to go, thus causing myself a whole load of rewriting headaches.

Also, I wrote this partial for Modern Heat but if they don't feel it's suitable for them, I have ideas about how to rewrite it for Superromance, so I feel it would be best to wait until I hear something and hope I can get back the zest I currently have for it. 

Then comes ANOTHER dilemma... what to do while I'm waiting and NTAI!!! Do I rewrite an old story that has the barebones of potential or start a completely new one and write specifically for Superromance so that if MH doesn't like me, I've got some eggs in another basket.

Help?? What's your opinion?!

Oh and if you understand any of these ramblings... you deserve an AWARD!!