How to Write Romance, Part 3: Scene-Level Romantic Tension

Posted by on Jul 14, 2014 in Writers | 13 comments

Last week, I discussed the importance of fatal flaws (and strengths) in romance (I also talked about hate-at-first sight on the NaNoWriMo blog!). This week, I want to look at what all of this stuff means on a scene-level. Like, how do we bring the romance to life in an actual scene? It’s All About the Feelings Consider this: when we read a book, we root for the people–not the events through which they move. Though we’re all curious about who killed Veronica Mars’s best friend, the reason we keep watching the show is...

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How to Write Romance, Part 2: From Character Springs Love

Posted by on Jul 7, 2014 in Writers, Writing Resources | 12 comments

As I mentioned in the first blog in this series, romance is all about characters growing. More specifically, romance springs from a character overcoming a fatal flaw. A character’s fatal flaw is her (or his) largest weakness. It is what holds your character back and keeps her from achieving her goals. For example, in E.M. Forster’s A Room With a View, Lucy Honeychurch is meek, easily persuaded, and lives life in a dull, uninspired way. She also isn’t happy, and we (the readers) quickly see that if Lucy tried to think more...

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Short Internet Break…

Posted by on Jun 16, 2014 in Thanks | 16 comments

Hey guys, I know I promised a second post for the “How to Write a Romance” series, but clearly that’s not happening. I’ll be honest: my wrists are shot. They’ve been getting worse and I’ve been ignoring the pain (these wrist support bands are just for style!), pretending I don’t notice the obvious side-effects of overuse (ganglion cysts? Naw. Those are just gross knuckle bumps brought on by…a frog…peeing on me…?), and continuing to type-type-type all day long. Yesterday, though, I...

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How to Write Romance, Part 1: Do you actually need this?

Posted by on Jun 9, 2014 in Writers, Writing Resources | 0 comments

A month or so back, someone asked me (in the forums) about writing romance. This is no easy topic to tackle, and it’s something that every author approaches differently. But, I thought I could share a few general rules and also share how I approach romantic elements in my own stories. Romance as a Genre I want to preface this series by saying that romance as a genre is a totally different animal from romantic elements in a story. The romance genre typically adheres to a certain structure and a certain outcome. In romance, the love story MUST...

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Announcing the YA Runs a 5K Fundraiser!

Posted by on May 21, 2014 in Events, Inspiration, Reading, Stuff I Like, Thanks, Writers | 1 comment

A month ago, Melody Simpson reached out to me and asked if I’d be interested in setting up a 5K fundraiser. I think I terrified her with my response of “OMG YES LET’S DO THIS” (especially since I answered her, like, 5 seconds after she messaged me). Neither of us really had any idea what we were doing, but after a bit of research and fumbling, we finally managed to put together something that we’re proud of–and SUPER excited for. So allow me to introduce the… On July 19 Melody and I are running a 5K!...

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6 Tips for a Successful Con

Posted by on May 12, 2014 in Events, Writers, Writing Resources | 4 comments

It’s CONVENTION TIME!! This month marks the beginning of what I consider “con season”. With RT starting tomorrow (see my schedule here) and then many more cons to follow (BEA, RWA, Comic Con, World Con, Dragon*Con, etc.), I have to get myself in The Convention Zone. In other words, I have to make myself look less like a hobo who hasn’t groomed since last summer and more like a presentable human being. As an experienced and enthusiastic con-goer–both as a fan and as an author–I’ve compiled a few broad...

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First Readers and Critique Partners

Posted by on May 5, 2014 in Writers, Writing Resources | 21 comments

Today’s post is sort of a catch-all post on critique partners. Links, terms, and advice (hopefully good advice!) follow, but to start, I’ll share the question that prompted today’s post: Okay, so I was wondering how you set up your critique partnerships and if you have any general rules for who first reads your manuscript, or parts of it… So, how to safely navigate the ‘finding your first readers’ stage? Are there stages within that stage? [Read the entire question here.] I know I’ve touched on critique partners...

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Balancing Description and Avoiding Infodump

Posted by on Apr 28, 2014 in Writers, Writing Resources | 11 comments

Ahhhhh, the dreaded infodump. It’s so easy for any writer to accidentally do, and it’s also so easy for any reader to lose patience with. But there are ways to weave in description and setting and backstory WITHOUT bogging down a scene. It all has to do with timing and what feels natural. Now, I should mention that when it comes to first drafts, I am ALL FOR infodumps. Why? Because you’re figuring things out! Those infodumps are how you, the writer, get familiar with the world and the history and the characters. Infodump...

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Pub(lishing) Crawl: Planning a Series

Posted by on Apr 21, 2014 in Writers, Writing Resources | 0 comments

A few weeks ago, I got this question in my inbox: How would you go about outlining [a trilogy]? Would you outline it as a whole or each book individually? Awesome question! And obviously, everyone outlines/plans series differently, so I can only tell you how I plan a series. Hopefully that information is still helpful, though. Step 1: Plan the first book. If you want to see how I do that, you can read my series on it here. As your planning this book, decide if you can tell the whole story in a single book or if the story will need multiple...

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Researching Your Novel

Posted by on Apr 14, 2014 in Writers, Writing Resources | 14 comments

Recently, I received a question in the Daydreamers forum about research–where I do it, how I do it. I actually did a series on this forever ago (like, 4 years!! Can you believe I’ve been blogging so long?!), so now seems like a good time to re-address this subject. Now, I’ve met writers who think that since they’re writing fiction, they can get away with making up whatever they want and don’t have to research. Erm…no. Yes, your readers will suspend disbelief, but only so far. Like, you can  get away with...

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