Here i will share my journey of hopefully one day recognising my dream of becoming published writing what i love to read; Romance!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Critique Partners

Just where do you find them? How valuable can they be to your writing and do you really need them? And how do you be one yourself?
These are just some of the questions i have asked myself since writing.
Critique partners are everywhere. They are your friends and family - even the ones who don't say anything more than "i like it can i read more?".
The most valuable ones are those who question your writing and come up with points of view on how to make it better or discuss possible slants that you hadn't thought of.
For example, in my competition entry my heroine discovers she is pregnant, and she doesn't know anything about babies. Yet i have her wondering about things like breastfeeding, discipline, sleepless nights etc and my friend pointed out that if she doesnt know anything about babies would she know about things like that? wouldn't she be more concerned about things like her figure? future sex life?
Then i had a thought, as this friend was giving me such great feedback how was i to give it back. She is a budding author herself, but i am not as good as she at giving feedback. I'm more looking at rearranging sentences and finding better words to describe things, rather than asking probing questions to get to the heart of the matter. But i guess that will come with time and experience. We can grow together and so will our writing.
Being honest and open with each other is the key. Our heart and soul is in our writing but our writing is not set in stone and it is always able to be improved. Another point of view and set of eyes can help.
Critique partners make us better writers. Possibly even better readers.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thank you for your email

Well. I've done it.
I hit the send button on my competition entry. Then the shakes started. Then they abated and then i received a confirmation email that they received it and the shakes started again - oh god, now they are reading it!
But, this is good, because this is why i've entered. Any feedback is good feedback.
Now all i have to do is wait until December 1 (or even a call :) ) and do a bit of writing between now and then and all the craft things i want to do for christmas, not to mention my son's 4th birthday.
Big sigh of relief that i have entered it and it's in the hands of the gods, so to speak.
Good luck to you other entrants :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

True Love

Here i am bemoaning the fact that my husband wouldn't read my synopsis to help me cut it down to two pages and what has he done? Thought about it all day at work and come home and written a version of his own!
It is moments like this that make it glaringly obvious why he is the love of my life. Other than the fact that he takes the time to find my delicates bag for my new bras or does small every day things that make such a huge uplifting feeling to the day.
This is my idea of a true hero.
I can quite happily go the rest of my life without being rescued from a kidnapping or runaway car or whisked off my feet by a hotel billionaire because quite frankly, my heart has already been captured and continues to be so by the humblest, honest, handsome, gentle, loving man i have ever met. The man of my dreams: (i already married him!)

What is your idea of the perfect hero??

In the interest of the synopsis, my husbands version actually helped me cut mine down from 2.5 pages to 2 pages and 2 lines. Even more hero worthy in my eyes.
Okay, better go and make it up to him ;)

Helpful Husband?

Well, i'd geared myself up to showing my husband my competition entry to give me another point of view as i needed help. I've decided that i really can't enter my synopsis at 1.5 spacing as that is so not professional.
It seems to be harder to give it to my husband to read than a friend. Surely it would be easier as he in theory already knows me better than anyone else should. Perhaps it is the reality of having something so personal written down on paper - it's no about me but it's from me - that has made me hesistant.
I needn't have worried.
He took one look and decided he couldn't help. It's not his thing. It starts in the middle and not the beginning.
I tried to explain that with only 50,000 words M&B starts in the middle of the action and uses flash backs and dialogue to catch the reader up but he decided that was it.
So now i'll just have to muddle through it on my own. Or perhaps i can get my invaluable friend to help yet again. I hope one day soon i will be able to repay the favour.
Only 1 week until deadline. Or as the other romance bloggers call it Dreadline!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Finished Synopsis

Oh my goodness, i can't tell you how pleased i am to finally have finished the synopsis. I've pruned it, plumped it, clarified and refined and polished it to an inch of it's life while trying to retain a feel of my voice and the ebb and flow of the characters' conflict.
Double spacing, as Harlequin want it, makes it just a little over 2 pages, so i hope they don't mind that i have made it 1.5 spacing to fit on 2 pages. I couldn't cut anything else out of the story!
Now i just have to work on a flash back and polishing the first chapter and hopefully on October 29 i can hit the save and send button.
Then the real fun will begin. Thankfully i'll have a few distractions and projects to keep me sane while i await the results of the competition.
Well back to it before the kids wake up!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

That Darn Synopsis

Well, i've finally tackled the synopsis for my comp sub.

It's three pages long and they require too pages. I've tried to cut out lots but what i've got is essential, so obviously i need another opinion on it, someone else will see what i've missed; make sure i've only focused on conflict driven by the characters and not plot.

I've read all i have found on synopsis's and still it's really hard to write. I just have to have all i have written in it, sigh.
Maybe i should just change the margin sizes to make sure it all fits :)
I don't think that will be right so i'll just have to keep tackling it. Maybe i just need to have a bag of marshmellows or chocolate on hand.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Conflict, conflict, conflict

Last week ended being called away to Wellington for a funeral so i had an enforced break from the writing again. sigh.
However i did discover a few bags of Sexy mills and boon (the Modern equivalent in NZ) and did a bit of reading. Now i have a few more examples of what HM&B are looking for.
I think my conflict for my hero (above modelled by Jensen Ackles) is not as deep or as developed as it should be. Luckily i can hint at conflict in the first chapter and i can work on the conflict deeper for the rest of the book, after i have submitted that chapter for the competition.
It is really hard to layer the conflict. From what i have read there seems to be three phases of conflict in the books, and i think so far i only have two and hot that strong.
I will definately be working on this deeper and who knows - i may even get feedback from the editors which would help me!