Coming Oct. 2nd… Procrastination

rwchat-oct-2It took us till Friday to come up with this Sunday’s topic cuz, yeah, we were procraaaastinating. Every writer does it. It gets in our way. We all lose large amounts of writing time to it. How do you cope with procrastination? What effect does it have on your process and how do you overcome it?

Come with ideas, come with questions. See you Sunday on #rwchat at 4pm PST/ 7pm EST.

~Robin Lovett

Graphic courtesy of Alexis Daria.

We want to hear from you!

#RWChat is just that – a conversation, a vehicle for sharing the many points of view of the many amazing writers in our romance community. So we want to know, WHAT DO YOU WANT TO CHAT ABOUT NEXT? We’ve talked about a lot of stuff, but there’s lots more we haven’t talked about. Leave us comments with your ideas or tweet them at us. We’ll use them in the coming weeks, months, year…

We wouldn’t be #RWChat without you!

~Robin Lovett

A Simple Plan (shame if something happened to it…)

What goals do you have for the autumn season? According to my bullet journal, mine are simple:

  • Don’t touch the MS for Project Arcade until Oct. 1!
    Research methods for revising novels (Sep 30)
    Read Story Genius
    Re-Read 2k-10k
    Google search for blog posts (Fiction University)
    Play Dragon Age: Inquisition for background and feel for Project Arcade (no deadline)
    READ PROJECT ARCADE (Oct 1)
    Make a revision plan for Project Arcade (Oct 4)
    Ask 3 people to be critical readers for Project Arcade (October 15)
    Make it up to 50 queries submitted for WITCHMARK (october 15)
    Revise Project Arcade, round 1 (November 15)
    Revise and edit Project Arcade, round 2 (December 15)
    Plan Winter 2017 goals (December 22)
    Reading Break (December 31)

This is pretty much in order. It also focuses exclusively on stuff I can control. For example, I wrote “query more agents to a goal of 50” because I can do that myself. “Find an agent to represent me” depends on other people.

I also have a lot of freedom with my plan. I have set deadlines, but they’re just for me, as I’m not under contract for anything. I am super comfortable with my deadlines, and if nothing happens to disrupt my plan, I’m going to have a contemporary romance ready to query when publishing re-opens in January.

The only problem is if something happens to wreck my beautiful plan, like say getting a response on WITCHMARK that means I have to hold off on Project Arcade. Then I’ll have to do it over, but honestly, that would be a nice problem to have.

How do you plan ahead for writing?

Coming Sept. 25th… Autumn Goals

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Graphic by Alexis Daria

The summer’s gone… The years have passed… I mean, well, not years, but it’s been since July when we talked about our mid-year goals. How are they going? Are you where you thought you’d be at the end of September? Are those goals you planned for “By the end of 2016” still looking possible?

Whether you need a totally new goal plan or you’re running right on track, come join us Sunday evening 4pm PST / 7pm PST on #RWChat to tell us how your writing is going this fall.

~Robin Lovett

Our Point of View on POV

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Since everyone has a different POV on POVs, we thought we’d give you the four POVs of our #RWChat hosts.

“I write dual POV in very close third person,” says KIMBERLY BELL. “I choose dual because I like having the perspective of both of the romantic leads in my story. It allows me to play with misunderstandings and have a bit more flexibility in a character’s behavior because the reader understands the why. I write close third because…writing in first person feels weird to me? I need that little bit of distance to feel like an observer rather than like it’s MY story—but I write third very close, because I enjoy playing with the internal thoughts of my characters and using them to really get you into their personalities.” 

“I’m flexible,” says C.L. Polk. “I’ve written in first person and third at varying narrative distances, but my most comfortable perspective is third person past, written as close to the skin as possible. I tend to limit the number of POV characters to no more than two, which works well for romance novels. Third person close is vivid and personal, and since I want people to connect to the story and characters, I don’t want to hold them at arm’s length.”

“A close third person POV was how I started writing,” says Robin Lovett. “I wrote three novels that way until I decided to try first person present tense to see if I could. As of now, my two first person POV books are the only ones that have sold.  For whatever reason, I’ve had no luck yet with my third person books. I enjoy present tense verbs in the first person because it makes everything feel more immediate and in-the-moment exciting. We each go with our strengths. It takes trial and error to find our voices.” 

“Before I admitted to myself that I wanted to write romance,” says Alexis Daria. “I used to write a lot more in first person (past tense). Now, I write exclusively in third person, but that might change in the future. Sometimes I’ll read scenes out loud to myself, converting them to first person present as I read, in order to get a deeper POV.”

Join us Sunday evening at 4pm PST/ 7pm EST and tell us what your POV is on POV.

 

 

 

 

Coming Sept. 18th… Point of View

rwchat-sept-18First, second, third. I, you, she. Deciding what point of view, the POV should be for our novels isn’t easy. There are three types to choose from, but there are more choices for depth. These days, romance readers like to read so close to their characters, it’s like they’re experiencing it themselves. We constantly hear how we should write Deep POV. But how do we do that?

Join us to chat about it! Sunday 4pm PST, 7pm EST.

~Robin Lovett

Creating the Emotional Experience by Bronwen Fleetwood

We’re pleased to have a guest post this week by #RWChat regular, Bronwen Fleetwood!

You might think we read for artful plots, or to meet memorable characters, but both will fall flat if they don’t inspire emotions in the reader. This is especially true in romance, which promises to provide an emotional experience with a satisfying HEA. How to evoke emotion is a vast topic, but here are some tips to get your heart fluttering.

Identify the Emotion
What do you want the reader to feel? Anger at a character, joy at an outcome, sadness over a loss? For every scene, make a note to yourself of what the reader should be feeling. Some scenes may have more than one emotion, or have an emotional arc.

Create Empathy
Give your reader a reason to care about your character. The heroine’s dog died. That sentence doesn’t do very much for you, does it? The heroine’s beloved childhood companion, who faithfully followed her everywhere, died. The difference is that I set up the relationship between the heroine and her dog. Through the description we get a sense of how the heroine feels about the dog. When the character feels something, the reader can react to it, and feel something themselves.

Draw on Past Experience & Visceral Details
Actors are often told to draw on their past experiences to portray a scene more authentically. You can do the same. If your heroine is ecstatic, remember what it was like to be ecstatic yourself. What details stood out to you? How did you feel physically? Really dig into the visceral reactions you had. It’s these details that will make a reader say, “Yes! I’ve felt that way before!”

To learn more, check out 18 tips for Creating Emotion in the Reader, a guide to stimulus and Causes of Unemotional Writing & How to Correct Them, and Margie Lawson’s lecture series on Empowering Characters’ Emotions.

And don’t forget to join us for #RWchat this week!

Bronwen Fleetwood writes books for young adults, because those have always been, and often still are, the books that have made the biggest impact on her. She’s always been fascinated by fairy tales and myths, and always wanted to know why so many female characters get the short end of the stick in such stories–and in life in general. It must be all that “GIRL POWER” messaging in her youth. You can find her on Twitter @bronniesway or on bronwenfleetwood.com.