Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category


I’ve noticed that some readers are more into descriptions than others. And that the same is true for writers. Apparently, I’m one who’s not too into them myself. I know this, because recently I had to fill out a form for my publisher called a Cover Art Request form. It’s simple enough, you fill in some basic info about the book, title, author name, whether or not it’s part of a series. That kind of thing. Then you describe your characters. Of course, you have to be careful that all the descriptions given are consistent with those in the book (duh).

Since the book this is for, Alpha Turned,is actually the first book I wrote, it’s been a while since I read it, let alone wrote it, and I needed help remembering everything. I first went to my OneNote notebook, where I have notes about characters, timelines, etc. I found descriptions of some of the secondary characters, descriptions of the hero and heroine’s wolves. Lots of other things, but no physical description of the two main characters. Oops.

So, I opened up the manuscript and carefully searched. Turns out, I’d never really described them at all. Oops, again. Of course, it’s easy enough to go back and add these things, and it’s actually a good way to get me back into the story in time to do my edits. But it got me thinking.

I’m much more used to being a reader than a writer, and I’ve noticed that I tend to not care much about descriptions when reading books. I’m not one of those people who likes to play the “name the best actor for this role” game with book characters because I never really give their looks too much thought. I don’t visualize them in that way. Turns out I’m pretty much the same with my own characters.

In my more recent manuscripts, I started out by doing some basic character descriptions on my notes page. Not because I wanted to be able to visualize, but so that I could make sure I stayed consistent. See, since I’m not really picturing my characters in my head, when it comes time to describe them for some specific reason, I’ve sort of forgotten what attributes I’ve already given them.

I’m sure that I probably had a point in mind when I started this, but it’s long gone now. I guess it comes down to this. Writers (and this means me, damn it) need to be able to do enough description to keep the readers who do like to visualize happy. But not so much that those who don’t, feel like they’re skimming through whole pages. (As I do when reading Tom Clancy. That’s more about technical stuff than descriptions, but the same theory applies.)

Of course, I’m sure some readers love two page descriptions of regency era drawing rooms, and that’s the other thing I need to remember. There are all types of readers, just as there are all types of writers. There’s no way I’m going to please all the readers, all the time. What one enjoys will irritate another, and so on, and so forth. Somebody please remind me of this when I get a bad review.

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I Didn’t Always Write Romance

I was looking through some old papers the other day and I found a story I must have written for school. At least, I’m guessing it was for school, but it doesn’t have a grade on it. Anyway, Ithink I wrote it when I was about ten. What was interesting to me was that there was no hero, no romance, only suspense! Who knew? And a TSTL heroine. Also fascinating to me is that it was in first person. I’m thinking the assignment was to use Jack-o-Lanterns, because I’ve never really called them that, just pumpkins. So, here it is for your entertainment, all spelling errors are per the original work.

The Great Halloween Surprise
It was halloween night and I was out trick-or-treating. As I approached the next house I noticed that all the lights were out except for 17 jack-o-lanterns linning the walk.

I was hesitant to go up to a dark house but I decided to swallow my fear and be brave. Each time I would almost get to a jack-o-lantern it would go out. At first I thought it was a breeze. But there was none to blow them out. After the fifth jack-o-lantern I got scared. I turned to run. It was pitch black. I dared not run blindly into the thorn bushes that I had seen. I was forced on.

Finally I came to a door. There was a big stone knocker. I knocked. I was about to when all of a sudden the door flew open. But nobody was there.

I heard a noise. I was like muffled crying. Was someone being tortured? I walked in. I had to see what the sound was. I went down the hall. I could really hear it now. I came to another door. It came from behind this door. Slowly I turned the knob. I opened it and lo and behold! What did I see?! The Grinches dog! I raced up to him and asked what was wrong. “Well, he said, It’s almost Christmas and the grinches heart has turned to stone, and, he whimpered, “I don’t want to be a reigndeer.

So, there you go. Apparently I had trouble remembering to close quotes, a desire to overuse ! and to use !? for emphasis long before I learned to type!

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Romance Divas Workshop

Writing Historical Paranormal Romance with Some of The Hottest Authors in the Genre

March 20th & 21st at Romance Divas


Colleen Gleason

Melissa Mayhue

Jennifer Ashley

Sharon Page

Jennifer St. Giles

Want to know how to write romance that brings a mysterious and paranormal twist to history? Romance Divas is hosting a 2-day workshop with some of the hottest names in the Historical Paranormal genre. It will take place at the Romance Diva Forum. All are welcome. To get access to the forum you will need to register.

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I am a mess of contradictions. Part of me wants to be an artist but the other part wants to be an accountant. I love the logic of accounting, there are no questions, no grey areas. Just fill this in here, here and here, and you are good to go. Well, I’ve never actually been an accountant of course and I’m sure it’s much more complicated then that, but you get my point, I hope. In high school, when they had those tests you could take to help determine a career path, mine was useless. It’s supposed to help you figure out if you are more suited to an indoor job or an outdoor job, a creative job or an organized/logical type job, hands on work or paperwork, that kind of thing. And the problem is, I’m a little bit of all of those, but not enough to counteract the others. You average out all my numbers and I am, um, average. Middle of the road. My creative side is counteracted almost perfectly by my logical side. I am the most unorganized organized person you know. The most boring, constrained creative person you know.

Which is why I love what I do for my day job. Underneath it all, my job is very formulaic. Do this, this, this and this and at the end of it, you have created this for your client. However, there is just enough personal input, exceptions to the rules, questions that arise or just plain problems that occur to keep that from getting boring. I could sit at my desk and not get up for hours at a time, but I rararely do. Instead, I’m able to get up constantly to go deal with issues and figure them out and see them for myself and then go back to my desk. It can be frustrating of course, when nothing seems to be going right or it feels like I can’t sit at my desk for more than five minutes without getting interrupted, but overall the balance works out. And that’s what I need, it’s how I allow myself to be both creative and logical, organized and spontaneous, etc.

Which brings me to writing. What could be more creative then writing a book? After I had written my first two manuscripts, I found writers. What a relief! I knew, of course, that there were other people out there doing it, but I had a difficult time finding those who were writing and wanted to talk about it online, until I found Romance Divas. So I started to learn that some people plot out their stories and some people just fly by the seat of their pants. I clearly fell into the latter category because I basically had the first scene of the first ms (manuscript) in my head and started writing, with no idea what I wanted the rest of the book to be about. The more I wrote the more I understood what my characters were doing. Sometimes I would have to stop and say, ok, what now? A lot of times I had to backtrack and fix things, or leave a note for myself that I had to go back and make some changes. At one point I had no clue what should happen next so I started writing something else. But my characters got antsy and called me back and I was able to finish the first ms.

Sounds good, right? Many writers are proud to be pansters and it works for them and they don’t want to have anything to do with plotting. Many writers can’t start writing until they have a complete outline, character studies, etc. And of course, there are those who have found a solution somewhere in between, the middle of the road that should be ideal for me, right? Create a simple outline of what I want to happen, but give myself permission to change it up however I want. So I tried to outline something I’d started working on. Yeah, didn’t work, not even a little bit. I could write down a basic idea of how I wanted things to start but had no idea what should happen next. Completely stumped. Ok, characters. I figured they’re the ones who usually get me going, telling me what should happen next, so if I examine my characters, really figure out who they are, I’ll know what should be happening to them and around them, and then I can make it happen. Yeah, no. Once again, total blank. Which would be fine if I was happy being a pantser, except I really believe I would be a better writer if I could do some basic plotting.

Now that I know how I think it should be (for me) – basic plot outline and some character development, then write whatever I want feeling free to change as I go – I can’t seem to go back to what worked before. So, I’m sort of stuck. I know what I want but it’s causing me to draw complete blanks. So, I haven’t been writing. I let myself get caught up in the details of the book that is coming out next week, rather than doing what I knew I should be doing, which is concentrating on the next book, and the next. And of course, once I got away from the habit of writing, the harder and harder it is to get back to it. And I let real life get in the way, too, sucking all my will and energy away from the discipline of just sitting down and writing, which is sort of funny to me because last year it was real life that drove me to start writing. See, contradictory. So, here I am, knowing exactly what I’ve been doing and knowing that the only way to fix it, the only way to figure out my personal balance between plotting and pantsing is to do it and do it a lot. Practice, practice, practice. And that’s what I’m going to do. Really. Soon.

After I read these books. Just kidding, but even though this post is already nearly book length, I can’t go without offering a couple of new releases.

Joshua’s Muse
Fae Sutherland

College student Alex is entirely out of his element, thrust from his safe circle of tightly knit family and friends into a world where he feels out of place and alone, until he meets the beautiful artist Joshua, who develops a swift and overwhelming obsession for Alex.

Still learning to deal with his own sexuality, Alex is confused but intrigued by the bold man who calls Alex his muse and finds himself falling under Joshua’s spell and into his arms. Alex wants true love without the sacrifice. Joshua wants his muse and everything else Alex has to offer. Can they find their balance and a lasting happiness?

This obviously hard working author has three releases right now. I’ll put the first one in the series up here, but be sure to check the links for books two and three.

Realm Immortal 1: King of the Unblessed
Realm Immortal 2: Faery Queen
Realm Immortal 3: Stone Queen
Michelle M. Pillow

Merrick, dark elfin King of Valdis, had once been heir to all that was good—happiness and pleasure his domain. Now, trapped as the ruler of mischief, king of necessary evil, he stands on a precipice of choice. On one side, his estranged brother, now ruler of what should have been Merrick’s and, on the other, King Lucien of the Damned. Both would sway him. Damnation is winning.

Lady Juliana of Bellemare is from a human family, protected by the Blessed, coveted by the Damned. Betrothed to an old friend of her father’s, Juliana is resigned to living out her days close to her childhood home, longing for an adventure, never dreaming she’d get what she wished for. When her fiancé is murdered and the children of Bellemare are stolen, Juliana is sent on a quest in a strange realm where appearances are deceiving.

Merrick brings more adventure and passion than any woman could want. Can she withstand the temptations of the Unblessed king? The spell she weaves over him is more than he can resist and, desperate to be the one to rule her, Merrick offers her a choice; either come with him until he tires of her…or die.

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