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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A NaNoWriMo Update

I am not going to win NaNoWriMo. Sad, I know, but the truth nonetheless. Here’s where I currently stand:

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Not exactly an impressive word count when you consider that I’d already been writing for quite a while before NaNoWriMo began. If I’d actually started from scratch on Novmber 1st, I’d say this was a valiant effort…but, well, you get the picture. Continue reading

Regrouping for NaNoWriMo

Shield-Nano-Blue-Brown-RGB-HiResI’ve been struggling. But I already told you that. As I was¬†twiddling my thumbs over my keyboard this month, I made a decision: I was going to give myself permission to focus on other ideas until November, otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

I’ve been taking some time to think about where the story is going. What will be the catalyst to get Caleb and Audra together? Well, I got a little bit of inspiration from the weather. Continue reading

To Outline or Not To Outline

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Torley, Flickr Creative Commons

Part of the appeal of this project for me was learning to write in a more structured way. I usually just wing it, but not this time… To that end, I keep Googling things like “how to write a romance novel.” One of the top answers to that question comes from the PBS POV documentary Guilty Publishers. Romance novelist Gill Sanderson gives some tips on how to write a romance, and there seems to be a lot of outlining involved.

Considering I’ve already written a couple of chapters, I don’t think I can follow Gill’s advice to the letter, but I can take a step back and follow that first little piece of advice:

  • Write a hundred-word outline of your story. You can think about it for a week, but writing it will only take an afternoon. Establish hero and heroine, names (important!), jobs, characters. Set the time and place. Are you going to write sweet, passionate, mysterious, religious, supernatural? Decide. Last and most important, what is the problem that is keeping your hero and heroine apart?

So here it goes: Continue reading

Who Will Be Our Romantic Hero?

I started writing last week. I don’t know how much of it I will keep, or trash, or change, but I decided I needed to sit down and get some words on a page. So I took my laptop to the nearby Barnes and Noble, I ordered a chai, and I started typing.

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Playing the Hero, JD Hanckock, Flickr Creative Commons

For the time being, I decided ¬†to set our story on a fictional New England island. (I had to do some research about lobster boats and other kinds of fishermen.) Setting the scene with a (not totally fleshed out heroine) was relatively easy, but when it came to bringing our hero into the scene…well, I stumbled. It’s easy to dream up a number of different characters, but what isn’t so easy is setting up conflict that will keep the story moving. Continue reading

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