Making A Writing Calendar (Or, Writing A Novel In A Month)

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This Sunday’s #rwchat topic is about Stealing Time To Write and how difficult it can be to find writing time amidst our busy schedules. Here’s Robin Lovett’s strategy for planning her writing when real life threatens to steal it away.

I’m pretty lucky. For the most part, writing is my addiction of choice. When I run out of things to write, that’s when I have a problem. I also love deadlines. When someone is waiting for my work and likes it so much and believes in it so much they’ve contracted me to write it, I get even more excited.

But that doesn’t mean that life never gets in the way. Or edits come back with a half-rewrite (!) and eat a month out of my deadline to write the next book. So I make plans, honest plans, because if they’re not honest, they won’t work. Continue reading

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Writing A Book Proposal

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This week’s chat topic is writing series proposals! #RWchat co-host Robin Lovett talks here about the skills needed for writing proposals, and why they’re necessary for authors to learn.

Before writing the book, starting with the blurb and synopsis is my new favorite way to do things.

Now that I know how, that is.

Most of us, when we write our first book (or two) haven’t yet learned how to write a blurb or synopsis. But once you’ve learned how, once you’ve figured out how to concisely communicate your book’s contents in condensed format, it makes writing the book inevitably easier.

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Using Research to Deepen Characterization

The October 22nd chat is about research! #RWchat co-host Alexis Daria weighs in on doing research for her debut contemporary romance, Take the Lead.

I thought writing a contemporary would be easy.

Wait. Let me backtrack: I hate doing research. So I thought writing a contemporary romance would be easier than, say, a historical. No research, right?

Little did I know.

When I set out to write Take the Lead, I thought I had obtained enough dance knowledge from years of watching Dancing with the Stars to write a book that was kind of about dancing and mostly about people getting out of their own way to find love. And then I hit the first dance scene…and I was stuck. I didn’t know enough about dance to write a character who was a professional dancer.

Sure, I suppose I could have just skimmed the details and said, “They danced across the porch,” and left it at that. I knew which dance they were doing—a sensible waltz—but I wanted to use more dance vocabulary and detail. So I opened a browser and did a quick bit of research.

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10,000 Hours

Alexis Daria

Some people have always known they wanted to write, while others came to it later in life. I’m in the first group, although art was my first and main creative love for most of my life. Still, even as I pursued art in high school (fine arts) and college (computer arts), writing was a constant. This week’s #RWchat topic is “your evolution as a writer,” so I’ll mark the different eras, like Picasso, but if he had the internet.

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Writer, Interrupted

content warning: mentions of self-medication, psychiatric disability.

When Evolution Isn’t Always a Straight Line

I have a gap in my resume. It makes writing bios difficult, trying to cover a gap that yawns across the summer of 2006 to a January day in 2014. I didn’t go on a backpacking trip to Europe or volunteer with the peace corps or pursue personal enrichment. Well. I kinda did, but not in the fun drive a bus across the country sort of way.

I was institutionalized.

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#RWChat at RWA!

RWchat at RWA

The RWA national conference is in Orlando, FL, next week! From Wednesday, July 26th—Saturday, July 29th, a lot of #RWChat members will be there. Alexis Daria and Robin Lovett will be there, too. We’ve got FOUR #RWChat get-togethers planned so we can meet up and support each other. Big writing conferences can be exciting, yet daunting, experiences, so let’s help each other stay connected, inspired, and energized.

(For those of you who haven’t heard of the Romance Writers of America national conference, here’s the link if you’re interested in checking it out for next year.)

WEDNESDAY July 26th 8:00 P.M. Hang out! Come get your #RWChat BUTTON! We’ll be handing them out so we all know who our #RWChat friends are the whole conference. Location TBD—check Twitter! We’ll be in one of the restaurants/bars at the conference hotel.

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#RWchat buttons!

THURSDAY July 27th 8:00 A.M. Wake up! Our first ever LIVE in-person #RWChat session. We’ll discuss how we set goals for the conference and how to stay focused and flexible when there’s so much to do. (Don’t worry, we’ll finish by 8:25 A.M.—in time for the 8:30 A.M. sessions to begin!) Location: Room Oceanic 4

FRIDAY July 28th 3:15 P.M. Check-in! We’ll meet and do a LIVE chat to assess how our conference goals are going so far and what plans we’d like to make for the final day. Location: Room Oceanic 4

SATURDAY July 29th 12:30 P.M. Wrap-up! We’ll chat about how to take everything you’ve learned at the conference and apply it at home. Location: Room Northern Hemisphere Salon E1

For those of you who will be there, we can’t wait to see you. For those of you staying home, we’ll be tweeting as much as we can to share it with you, and we’ll try to stream some of the live sessions. 🙂 Keep an eye on the RWchat Twitter and Facebook accounts!

 

 

Balancing the External Plot: Take the Lead

romance writers chat graphic what do they do besides kissThis week on #RWchat, we’re discussing the non-romance plots in our romance novels. In other words, what do the characters do other than kiss? Yesterday we heard from C.L. Polk about Witchmark. Today, Alexis Daria talks about the external plot in her upcoming debut, Take the Lead.

 

How did you come up with the non-romance plot?

I’m a huge fan of Dancing with the Stars, and I was originally inspired by some of the stories they tell through their dances. I made a list of routines like the one in the video below, with the intention of using them as writing prompts.

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