Opportunity Abounds for Romance Writers

I was doing research for work, and found myself going down the romance rabbit hole. Publishers seem to be proliferating. It’s great that there are so many avenues to becoming a published author, but it’s also kind of intimidating. There’s just so much to take in. In any case, I thought I’d share some of the resources I found.

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Starting Over

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I once read somewhere–most likely in Stephen King’s On Writing–that if you get stuck, the problem is probably at the beginning. And boy did I get stuck…

I was having a timeline problem, and I knew I needed to start over and push everything back. So I did. And for a while, I thought that it was working. Then I realized I’d written myself into an entirely different corner.  Continue reading

Procrastination: What Happens Next?

Emilie Ogez, Flickr Creative Commons

Emilie Ogez, Flickr Creative Commons

I’ve hit a wall. I find myself going over what I’ve written–endlessly adding and subtracting–to avoid figuring out what happens next. Occasionally I eek out a few new paragraphs…but mostly, I procrastinate. I even came up with an idea for a totally different book, and have been forcing myself not to just move on to a new project.

I’m at that point where I’ve established the love interest, set up a roadblock, and now I’m figuring out how to keep it going for 40,000 more words. Part of the problem is that I instinctively hate when I feel like a story is being dragged out. When I watch old school sitcoms where a problem could be solved if the people on the show would just talk to each other, I bristle. I sigh. I turn the channel.

So how do I move the story along, keep up conflict, and not hate myself in the morning?

If I knew the answer, I wouldn’t be writing this post.

Settling on a Setting

TampaAny real estate agent will tell you, “It’s all about location, location, location!” Perhaps that’s the reason the first question I want to answer in regards to this book is where it will take place. I can say one thing for certain, it will be New England.

Write what you know, that’s what our teachers all told us, right? I find the vast expanses of Wyoming and Montana as romantic as the next person, but I don’t know much about those places. Other than a roadtrip to Yellowstone as a kid, I haven’t spent any time there. I have a big enough learning curve when it comes to writing a romance that I don’t think I want to have to constantly be double-checking facts about my setting.

More importantly, I love New England. I love the coast and the mountains. I love the colors in the autumn and the first flakes in winter. I love the old houses and the family farms that still dot the landscape. It’s hard to imagine any place more perfect for a romance. Continue reading

A Romance Noob

I have no business writing a romance novel. I couldn’t tell you when the last time I read one was. There are, however, a couple of things I can say with relative certainty. The last romance novel I read was probably Danielle Steel and, by most standards, I was too young to be reading it. So, when I decided to undertake this project one thing became clear. I needed to read at least one romance novel before I started writing (and that probably wouldn’t be enough).

IMG_0420When my local library had its last book sale I decided to pick up a romance during my scavenger hunt. You can’t really go wrong when you’re paying 50 cents for a book, but I ended up with Redeeming the Rancher by Deb Kastner. I have to be honest, though: I basically chose it for the cover. Horses. Ranchers. Beautiful settings. What’s not to love?

I can’t imagine myself writing a historical romance. I don’t want to have to learn about Regency costumes along with everything else I’m going to have to adjust to during this process. So I figured a contemporary romance set in America would be a good first foray into the genre.

I’m in the middle of finally reading The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer, which is a rather hefty book–and another library book sale score. It’s clear that I am going to have to make time to dig into Redeeming the Rancher, but if there’s one thing I know about romances, it’s that they are quick reads. I’ve got a train trip ahead of me, and I can’t foresee lugging The Interestings along so maybe the rancher and I will have to get acquainted on the rails.