Coming April 29th… Relationships with Editors and Agents

 

Every writer needs an editor when it comes time to publish a book. Many in pursuit of traditionally publishing have agents, too. But these professional relationships are complex and come with their own systems of etiquette that can be tricky to navigate at times. If you’ve spent lots of time working with editors/agents, come share your tips. If you haven’t worked with one yet, come with your questions.

Join us Sunday 4pm PST/7pm EST on #rwchat

Advertisements

Guest Post: Let Them Eat Cake, The New Show Don’t Tell

Michelle Hazen has some wise words for us on the essence of the SHOW DON’T TELL principle! (This post was originally published on Michelle’s blog.)

Everybody’s heard of show don’t tell, right? That’s so 90s. I say, stop abusing your readers. Let them eat cake!

Before you click out of this blog, grumbling, “There goes Michelle, off topic as usual,” think of it this way: what are your readers here for?

If you write fiction, your readers are here for a good time. A vicarious experience. So why would you short-change them by giving them the literary equivalent of Cliff’s Notes? That’s what you’re doing every time you SUMMARIZE (They sat down and chatted for a while, laughing easily as they got to know each other) or TELL (He was in love with her. More in love than he’d ever been.) Continue reading

Coming April 22nd . . . Show and Tell

RWchat 4-22-18

“Show Don’t Tell.” We’ve heard it from the time we first start writing–show what’s happening in the story, don’t just tell the reader. But there’s a balance. Sometimes it’s appropriate to “tell” sometimes it’s best to “show.” How do you decide which one technique to use? What has your relationship been with this touted of writing rules? Do you follow it, have you ever followed it?

Join us on Sunday to chat about it #rwchat 4pm EST / 7pm PST.  

Guest Post: From Pantser To Plotter, Sort Of

To get ready for our Project Management Chat, our guest today, Jemi Fraser shares her journey from pantsing (writing “by the seat of your pants”) to plotting a story in advance.

 

When I started writing, it was totally for me. As a kid, I’d created many, many stories in my head. When I had two little kids running around my house and a full time job, I decided to try writing down a Star Trek story. Over the months, every last angsty, over-the-top word poured out. I had a blast!

A year later, I wrote another story. This one was to be the first in a series with a slow-building love interest. The MC was a reporter, the hero a cop. That story poured out as well.

And thus a pantser was born.

If you haven’t heard the term, pantser applies to those who write without a plan, by the seat of their pants. This is in contrast to plotters who enjoy working with outlines and other devices of torture.

Over the next few years, I wrote a few more stories and at one point I thought I should try to write a Real Book. I discovered NaNoWriMo on October 31st that year and wrote my 50k during November, then wrote another 120k to finish the story.

That overweight story had some potential, so I ventured online and found out about agents and queries. I had no idea that so many people wanted to write novels and I was thrilled to find other aspiring writers. Then a critique group. And finally, FINALLY, I found out about revision. We’d had no creative writing courses in school and despite the thousands of words I’d written I knew nothing about revision. And the idea of plotting out the story in advance? Shocking!

Eventually I wondered if those crazy Plotters might have discovered something rather helpful. Maybe plotting wouldn’t take the joy of discovery out of the story. Maybe it would help with the ENDLESS rounds of revision I’d been working on.

Maybe.

With a little trepidation, I tried my own idea of Plotting.

  • Character names, jobs, and major personality traits
  • Setting
  • Crisis moment
  • Ending = HEA

Altogether, my plotting encompassed about 150 words.

It worked. Sort of.

Yes, I had a better idea of the shape of the novel, but it still left me with too much clean up.

I tried a few craft books. They hurt my head. I don’t make To Do lists. I think Big Picture and work mostly on gut and emotion. These books with their lists, questions, arcs, and bullet points probably work really, really well for people with more linear brains. My poor global brain did a lot of whimpering. Imposter Syndrome set in. Hard.

Then I stumbled across Take Off Your Pants by Libbie Hawker. This book helped my brain relax a little bit. Libbie’s style wasn’t a perfect fit for me (are any two brains really alike?) but it was a better guideline. Romancing the Beat by Gwen Hayes added another layer.

Before I started my current draft, I thought a lot about my characters and their flaws. I thought about how those flaws would contribute to the plot and the problems they’d encounter along the way. I made a separate Path for each character. I blended the Paths together.

As I’m writing this, I’m nearing the end of that draft and feeling pretty good about it. I’ve tweaked the Paths as I’ve written, but I haven’t strayed too far. The biggest advantage is that the conflict is much easier to maintain.

Now I just have to wait and see how many revision rounds this story will take. Who knows, maybe it will be the one to kick start my querying process!

Continue reading

Coming April 15th… Project Management

romance writers chat topic project management

So you have any idea for a book. You start writing it. Maybe you even get to finish it before the panic sets in, and then…holy crap.

Being a published author isn’t just about getting words on the page (and that’s hard enough all on it’s own). How do you take an idea from plot bunny to paycheck, not just once but enough times to make a career out of it? And how do you juggle all those steps when you’ve got more than one project going, all in different stages? With as fast as Romance wants authors putting out books, there’s a lot of overlap and that can be difficult to manage.

Join us on April 15th to talk about the project management side of being an author on #RWChat Sunday 4pm PT / 7pm ET.  

Coming April 8th… Mentorship

romance writers chat topic mentorship

It’s impossible to do this alone. Writing may be solitary but without support and learning from other writers, we’ll never make it in this romance writing business. What have you learned from those you have mentored over the years? Is there a way of passing on personal experience that is more helpful than others?

#RWChat thrives on authors paying it forward. Come tell us about your experiences mentoring or being mentored, Sunday April 8th at 4pm PT / 7pm ET. 

Coming April 1st… Favorite Things

romance writers chat topic favorite things

Cinnamon roll heroes and page sizzling sex.

Trope-busting heroines and “who’s pairing up next?”

Handsome, kind strangers who are secretly kings.

These are a few of our Favorite Things!

Julie Andrews Favorite Things

…That’s all the rhyming I’ve got in me, but you get the idea. We’re shaking off Marketing March with a light hearted topic about everything we love about the romance genre. Come talk about all the favorite things that make you swoon on #RWChat, Sunday, April 1st at 7pm ET | 4pm PT.