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Tambra
April 1st, 2009, 02:04 PM
THE BASICS OF ROMANCE WRITING<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>

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Lesson 1<o:p></o:p>

Definition of Basic Types of Romance Novels

Developing Characters

Character Charts

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Defining Category Romance<o:p></o:p>

Basic Types of Romance Novels

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Genre Divisions:
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Contemporary Romance: Story occurs in the present day and deals with realistic problems. Current events/real people aren’t mentioned because it will quickly date your book. It could take eighteen months to two years for your book to reach the shelves.
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Long Contemporary: 70-80,000 words. These usually have more secondary characters.

Short Contemporary: 50-60,000 words.
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Traditional: Short cotemporaries without a man and woman making love. Some people also call these Sweet Romances.
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* Inspirational: Either contemporary or historical, usually with a Christian element. Length varies, check the publishers guidelines.
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* Romantic Suspense: Romantic situation with a mystery woven in.
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Historical: 85-100,000 words (depending on publisher guidelines this could be over 100,000 words) located in Europe and <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on">North America</st1:place> between 1066 and 1900; although the 1900’s may now be considered historical.
Regency time period 1811-1820 and run about 50,000 words (check publisher guidelines) and involve the upper class. Regencies that are longer and spicier and have a touch of comedy.
Scottish historicals are still popular, as well as the Mediaeval time period.
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Western romance is coming back.
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* Paranormal: Elements of fantasy, science fiction, time travel, witches, vampires and other unearthly species, also futuristic elements. Length varies.
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* Ethnic/ Multicultural/Interracial romance: Romance novels that involve heroes and heroines of color. These are mostly contemporaries, but there are some historical.
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Young Adult: Involve innocent first love and contains no sexual scenes. Intended for pre-teens and teens. Another line now carries realistic situations that may focus on premarital sex. **Check publisher guidelines. This is a hot category right now.
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Category Romance: Category, also called series romance will be “categorized” by a specific brand name such as Harlequin Presents, Superromance, Intrique etc., the covers are similar and they are sold together in a package line on a monthly basis. Each line has certain common elements, such as the level sensuality or the level of mystery balanced with the romance. Word count differs greatly from line-to-line, usually anywhere from 50-90,000 words. Harlequin/Silhouette recently changed word lengths on some of their lines, so check their guidelines.
As always, a happy ending is mandatory. Category romance encompasses all genres and sub-genres found in basic types of romance novels.
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Single Title: Single titles are stand alone books on the shelf without being part of a particular line. This type may stay on the shelf longer and have a longer print life. To name a few publishers Harlequin Mira, Avon, Berkely and <st1:place w:st="on">St. Martin</st1:place>’s Press publish single titles. Word count ranges from 90-100,000 words, but check the guidelines first. Single titles encompass all genres and sub-genres.
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Mainstream: In the mainstream genre the romance is not of the utmost importance—how to tell: if the romance was removed from the storyline and there would still be a story, it is mainstream book. The main focus of the storyline is not the relationship between the couple. Word count ranges from 90-100,000 all genres and sub-genres. Mainstream also has a broader focus. Example: Family sagas, such as The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough.

Tambra
April 1st, 2009, 02:06 PM
Characterization<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>

Character profile questions and interviewing your characters<o:p></o:p>
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*Exercise and discussion
Character Charts, Character Profiles and Character Interviews
Discussion: What did you discover about your hero/heroine/villain?
If you tried the character interview did you like it?
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Characterization<o:p></o:p>
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Character and plot are tightly bound together. You can’t have one without the other. As the title says woven together like Celtic knot work. How do you start? I find the character chart an excellent beginning. It lets you see the development of the character as you fill in the information.
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You can always change things as you get further along in a story, it also gives you a quick reference on character statistics. When you work on multiple stories at a time this can really help and save you from using the find/search feature.
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Don’t be alarmed if you don’t have all the blanks filled out on the charts. Ideas will come to as the character develops and becomes more real. Later on you can to go back and make adjustments or fill in areas you didn’t know the answers to.
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A story is fluid don’t be afraid to make changes. On the other hand, if you change too, much you’re going to have huge problems. This is a matter of balance.
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Characters are not supposed to be perfect, they need flaws or else the reader won’t be able to identify with the characters you’ve created. Without flaws, the character can’t grow and learn what they need to by the end of the book. It’s part of the character arc.
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Character Charts and Interviews<o:p></o:p>
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If you’ve filled the character charts and still are having problems getting to know your main characters, you can do a character interview. You can have a critique partner or writing friend do this. You can do this on your own, so no worries.
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Pretend your sitting across from your character and talk to them. Write down what you discover. Many authors have overcome plot obstacles/stumbling blocks this way. Hopefully, this is where you begin to see how character motivation and plot are connected.
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If you don’t have any charts, here are two charts to get you started. (Even if you do, sometimes having some extra charts with different items is all the muse needs to get going.)
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Fill out for charts for each: hero, heroine and villain. A strong villain is needed so you need to know him/her too. Since your hero and heroine must be strong characters, so must your villain.
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Character Development Chart<o:p></o:p>
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Title of Story:
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Publisher: (or target publisher, if you know this)
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Main character:
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Physical description:
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Personal Background:
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Character Traits:
3 positive, 3 negative
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Character Tags:
Appearance:
Speech:
Mannerisms/Habits good or bad:
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Character’s Greatest Fear:
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Character’s Greatest Desire:
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Self-Concept (How does character see themselves):
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Favorite Environment:
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Education/Experience/Skills:
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Internal Motivation:
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External Motivation:
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Character Profile Questions<o:p></o:p>
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Adding Character Profile questions to the character chart can help you get to know your character on a deeper level. If you don’t have a good grasp of your character, there’s a good chance you’ll have trouble when you begin plotting or somewhere down the line things will begin to unravel.
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You could end up having a character that is inconsistent and will make decisions that don’t make sense because you don’t understand them. Yes, characters are supposed to have conflict but when you set up your hero as quiet and mild manner, then a couple chapters later he’s alpha, some decisions need to be made and GMC: Goal, Motivation and Conflict needs to be addressed. We’ll go over GMC in more detail a little later on and how important it is to characterization and plotting.
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Characters need to be three dimensional. Don’t make perfect heroes and heroines. The reader can’t relate to perfect and neither will the editor or literary agent that reads your manuscript.
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This is fiction and making our characters larger than life is needed to hold reader interest. Archetypes can help in developing characterization. Characters that are not well motivated and developed will stall the plotting process.
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Tambra
April 1st, 2009, 02:06 PM
Hero Archetypes
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Here’s a quick rundown of male archetypes. Check used bookstores for books on the subject. Other websites may give you other definitions to add to each archetype, so give them a try as well.
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The King, Prince Charming, The Warrior, The Scholar, The Rogue, The Seducer, The Minstrel, The Sidekick
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A man isn’t just one of these; he can have traits of another archetype.
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The King: A leader focused on his work. No time for anything else, which makes him lonely.
Prince Charming: This man enjoys life, usually doesn’t want to take the responsibilities of a higher position but is loyal.
The Warrior: A man with honor usually is outgoing and brave, confident of himself. Another natural leader. Don’t challenge this guy because he thrives on them.
The Scholar: Analytical and detached emotionally. One who likes to be in control and alone. Thrives on learning.
The Rogue: He’s one who lives his life on the wild side. His past is buried and overindulgence keeps him from facing reality. Never stays in one place and is always looking for fun. This guy does like to be around others.
The Seducer: Another party guy but with an agenda of conquest. Like a con man. His conscience is gone as he focus on only what he wants and will do whatever it takes to satisfy his goal.
The Minstrel: Artsy type, sometimes the lost soul. He doesn’t exude the charisma like the warrior, prince charming or rogue.
The Sidekick: He has a heart, shows compassion for others. People like him/love him. Values friends and is helpful.
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A note here about Alpha heroes since they are so popular: Alpha does not = asshole. <o:p></o:p>
Many romance writers don’t understand this archtype. From the fabulous,Alicia Rasley (www.sff.net/people/alicia): Alphas are men in charge, they are leaders. Yes, an alpha can have a dark, dangerous past but it’s what he does, the choices he’s made that makes him Alpha.
He has exceptional social skills, empathy, intuition, a commanding presence. He’s principled and deals with tragedy by seeking control over the world around him. My personal favorite alpha heroes are Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunters and her agents from her BAD series. (BAD-Bureau of American Defense.) Okay, I love anything Sherrilyn Kenyon writes because her characterization and world building skills are amazing.
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Character Profile Chart # 2<o:p></o:p>

Character Profile Questions<o:p></o:p>
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Short Version<o:p></o:p>
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Name
Age
Physical Appearance
Mannerisms/Habits
General Personality
Likes/Dislikes
Occupation
Height/Build
Unusual Physical Traits
Style of Dress
Talents/ Hobbies/Interests
Pertinent Background Info
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Long Version<o:p></o:p>
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Name
Age
Build
Eyes
Skin Tone
Height
Facial Features
Hair
Way of Moving
Mannerisms/Habits
Unusual Physical Traits
What Does Character Consider Best/Worst Physical Trait
Voice/Favorite Expression
Likes/Dislikes
Style of Dress
Jewelry/Cosmetics/Etc.,
Social/Financial Background
Relatives/Relationship With
What Was Character Like as a Child
Family Social/Financial Status
Home Environment
Long Version/Character Profile (Continued)
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Education
Character’s Current Social/Financial Status
Current Friends
Pets
Attitude Toward Money
Religion/Political Interests
Past Romantic Relationships
Attitude Toward the Opposite Sex
Talent/Hobbies/Interests
House/Apartment
Decorating Style
Housekeeping Abilities or Lack Thereof
Car
Pertinent Health Info
General Personality Profile
Reacts in a Crisis
Complexes
Philosophy
Priorities
Regrets
What Does Character Consider Best/Worst Character Trait? Are they right? Want/Try to Change?
Dreams/Ambitions
Darkest Secret/ Deepest Fear
Sees Self as:
Others see character as:
Conflict with Hero/Heroine
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The Exercise<o:p></o:p>
Anne Bernays and Pamela Painter in What If? Has a great exercise for their students to help flesh out characters. The Exercise: First work with a story you have already written, one whose character needs fleshing out. Writer the character’s name at the top of the page. Then fill in this sentence five or ten times:
He (or she) is the sort of person who ____________________.
After doing this, determine which details add flesh and blood and heart to your characters. After you have selected the “telling” detail, work it into your story more felicitously than merely saying, “She is the sort of person who…” Put it in dialogue, or weave it into narrative summary. But use it. (What If? Page 45)
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Reviewer Danielle
April 2nd, 2009, 09:27 AM
OK I have a question. I dabble (word for me not anyone else because this is what I do, dabble) in trying to write a romance novel. I immediately get caught up in the novel and next thing I know I am 100 pages into the book and then it comes to a screeching halt. What happens next is an insult to writers across the world I know, but I throw the story out. I am stuck and just cannot go anywhere with it anymore. So, should I be doing these outlines before I start? And should this be done before I begin every single story?

Tambra
April 2nd, 2009, 11:56 AM
Hi Danielle,

I cringed when you said you threw your work out.
Keep it. Make a folder and put it in there. You never know when you can pull it back out and finish it.

The reason you can't finish is because of plotting. We will go over plotting techniques in this workshop.

Not everyone writes the same so there isn't a set process.
Personally, I can't plot a whole book out.
I fill out what I can on the character chart and then I write a story synopsis. I write out what I think will happen in the story. (Or write as much as I know) then I start writing the actual project.

The technique I use is called leap frog plotting. I write a chapter or two, read over it and think about the characters and what will happen next.

I usually have a vague idea of what will happen but many times as I go along something better emerges and I scribble down the change in the margin of the story synopsis. I'm really a combination plotter-
I don't just sit at my computer and type. Most of the time I know the main high points of the story and work out from there.

There are some writers who can't begin their novels until they have it all plotted out. I can't because that takes all the fun of writing away.

Does this help or do you need more information?

Best,
Tambra

Eva Lefoy
April 2nd, 2009, 02:33 PM
Hi Danielle,

I cringed when you said you threw your work out.
Keep it. Make a folder and put it in there. You never know when you can pull it back out and finish it.

The reason you can't finish is because of plotting. We will go over plotting techniques in this workshop.

Not everyone writes the same so there isn't a set process.
Personally, I can't plot a whole book out.
I fill out what I can on the character chart and then I write a story synopsis. I write out what I think will happen in the story. (Or write as much as I know) then I start writing the actual project.

The technique I use is called leap frog plotting. I write a chapter or two, read over it and think about the characters and what will happen next.

I usually have a vague idea of what will happen but many times as I go along something better emerges and I scribble down the change in the margin of the story synopsis. I'm really a combination plotter-
I don't just sit at my computer and type. Most of the time I know the main high points of the story and work out from there.

There are some writers who can't begin their novels until they have it all plotted out. I can't because that takes all the fun of writing away.

Does this help or do you need more information?

Best,
Tambra


Tambra,

Plotting help is good! I need that. I start and then get about halfway there and decide I've made some monster error and get stuck.

Is this an affliction that other writers have too? Or is it just me?

Yakkity

Eva Lefoy
April 2nd, 2009, 02:34 PM
OK I have a question. I dabble (word for me not anyone else because this is what I do, dabble) in trying to write a romance novel. I immediately get caught up in the novel and next thing I know I am 100 pages into the book and then it comes to a screeching halt. What happens next is an insult to writers across the world I know, but I throw the story out. I am stuck and just cannot go anywhere with it anymore. So, should I be doing these outlines before I start? And should this be done before I begin every single story?

Daneille,

I do the same thing. But I don't toss them. They just sit on my hard drive and haunt me. :)

Yakkity

Eva Lefoy
April 2nd, 2009, 02:35 PM
Short Contemporary: 50-60,000 words.

Tambra,

Would this be a novella?

Tambra
April 2nd, 2009, 03:27 PM
Hi Yakkity,

I think when writers are beginning, they get stuck and frustrated because they don't know how or what to fix so they can keep going.

I'll do my best to help you push forward with your writing.

No, you're not the only one this happens to. <grin>

I can't stress enough DO NOT THROW YOUR WORK AWAY.
You can always go back later and pick it up.

Example: You wanted an novel. But instead you discover the reason it wasn't work is because it was really a novella or short.

Best,
Tambra

Tambra
April 2nd, 2009, 03:28 PM
Novella lengths range from 20/25-40.000 words generally. Each publisher has their own idea of what novella length is but this is pretty much what it is.

Best,
Tambra

Reviewer Danielle
April 2nd, 2009, 03:46 PM
Hi Danielle,

I cringed when you said you threw your work out.
Keep it. Make a folder and put it in there. You never know when you can pull it back out and finish it.

The reason you can't finish is because of plotting. We will go over plotting techniques in this workshop.

Not everyone writes the same so there isn't a set process.
Personally, I can't plot a whole book out.
I fill out what I can on the character chart and then I write a story synopsis. I write out what I think will happen in the story. (Or write as much as I know) then I start writing the actual project.

The technique I use is called leap frog plotting. I write a chapter or two, read over it and think about the characters and what will happen next.

I usually have a vague idea of what will happen but many times as I go along something better emerges and I scribble down the change in the margin of the story synopsis. I'm really a combination plotter-
I don't just sit at my computer and type. Most of the time I know the main high points of the story and work out from there.

There are some writers who can't begin their novels until they have it all plotted out. I can't because that takes all the fun of writing away.

Does this help or do you need more information?

Best,
Tambra
Yes it does help, thanks Tambra. My hubby gets frustrated when I start a story because he says he doesn't understand how I could just drop a story. I am so glad you have this class going, hopefully it will help me get through one. The only story I ever finished was when I was 10 years old and it was a Christmas present.

Reviewer Danielle
April 2nd, 2009, 03:47 PM
Daneille,

I do the same thing. But I don't toss them. They just sit on my hard drive and haunt me. :)

Yakkity

Yakkity,
Do you ever get those storylines that pop up in the middle of the night and come into your head? I get them all the time, the problem is my body refuses to get out of bed and my mind is so tired that by morning I have forgotten most of the story. But I just know it was THE ONE.

Tambra
April 2nd, 2009, 04:23 PM
For storylines that comes at night:

Some authors keep a small flashlight and a pad of paper and a pen beside their bed. then they scratch down the idea and go back to sleep.

Others, have a small voice activated recorder.

Hugs,
Tambra

Reviewer Danielle
April 3rd, 2009, 08:20 AM
Tambra,
I never thought of the flashlight and pad of paper and a pen. thanks for the advice, I will definitely have to remember that one. Once I got a whole poem stuck in my head after my grandfather died and I couldn't go to sleep until I wrote it down.

Tambra
April 3rd, 2009, 12:56 PM
Glad to have been able to help!


Hugs,
Tambra

Red Dragon
April 3rd, 2009, 11:15 PM
Hi Tambra,

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Here's my List for the Lesson 1 Exercise<o:p></o:p> 'She is the sort of person who . . .' x 10 <o:p></o:p>
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1.. She is the sort of person who will ride miles through all kinds of weather to deliver an important message
2. She is the sort of person who puts family and duty above all else.
3. She is the sort of person who will risk her life and reputation for something or someone she believes in.
4. She is the sort of person who will not back down over something she believes is right.
5. She is the sort of person who is prepared to admit mistakes but feels guilty if she makes any.
6. She is the sort of person who tends to trust too easily.
7. She is the sort of person who takes people at face value.
8..She is the sort of person who is dignified and well respected.
9. She's the sort of person who loves to entertain by telling stories to the peasant women.
10. She is the sort of person who reflects the beauty of nature in her smile.
11. She's the sort of person who abhors deception.
12. She is the sort of person who loves harmony and hates violence.
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Which details add flesh and blood and heart to your characters?<o:p></o:p>
.puts family and duty above all else: loves storytelling; loves harmony and hates violence; abhors deception.
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Put them in dialogue, or weave them into a narrative summary.<o:p></o:p>
I've been trying too. I find I can't weave all this into a summary with dialogue, but this has started me on chapter one – well – started my in the middle of chapter one. J
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<o:p>The main thing is: It has started me. :)</o:p>
<o:p>Rusty </o:p>
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Red Dragon
April 3rd, 2009, 11:23 PM
Hi Yakkity and Daniele,
You mentioned Query letters. They make me squirm. I had success with one and was asked for my entire manuscript, but my ms let me down. I am mortified that my story disappointed the publisher after the hype. I'm not keen to send another query until I can bring myself to rewrite the beginning of my novel. In the meantime I'm using the April workshops to get me creating something new.
Danielle, please don't throw any of your writing out!! You will see it in a different light one day and know exactly how to make it dynamic. I have to believe that about my work and so should you.

Rusty

Onyx Tiger
April 4th, 2009, 02:31 PM
Hi Tambra

Coming in late but just wanted to add my two cents. I do the same thing. I have several wip sitting on my hard drive waiting for me to come back to them. I`m going to try the character sheets on one and see if it helps. something else i want to try is plotting out the story before i start writing. I`m a panster so most of the time i end up struggling about half way through. I did do a Story board once for one i was working on. I did finish it but didn`t like the way it ended so its waiting for me to come back and redo the ending.

Tambra
April 4th, 2009, 04:22 PM
Hi Red Dragon,
Great job! I'm so glad the excercise in lesson 1 helped your muse.

Sometimes it just takes someone explaining a part of the craft of writing a different way for you to have that A HA! moment.

Hugs,
Tambra

Tambra
April 4th, 2009, 04:23 PM
Ho Onyx Tiger,

Glad you could join us! Look through the lessons. Use them all or only what you feel you need.

I'm happy to answer questions, too.

Hugs,
Tambra

Eva Lefoy
April 4th, 2009, 05:59 PM
Tambra,


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Boy, I can sure relate to the comments here from my classmates. I am a pantster, and I also get stuck half way through. But, as I learned in the last work shop given by Cynnara, it’s better to just write and not try to reach a specific length – in other words, shorter works are fine too – just get the story out.
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So, I’ve been working on a smaller submission of 20k and am about 16k into it. Now comes the hard part, where I sit and mull over whether the ending I originally planned is going to be good enough, or if I should start all over!
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Gack!
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Here’s what I have so far:
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Female gets dumped by boyfriend. Decides she’s going to use men for sex and avoid relationships from now on.
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Male gets dumped by wife. Decides he’s going to avoid relationships from now on.
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F/M meet.
M asks her out. Takes her to his house, makes her dinner, tries to be a gentleman.
F comes onto him, and gets rebuffed. She’s angry she can’t take control of the situation.
M drives her home at her request.
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F has a few other unsatisfactory sexual encounters with other men.
After tiring of that routine, decides she was too harsh on M and sets upon a plan.
F sneaks into M’s house, gets set up to cook him dinner wearing sexy negligee.
M comes come with another F in tow.
F hides in the closet in the bed room while M and other F have a rollicking good time.**
In the morning, M opens closet door to find F asleep, freaks out.
F runs off.
M feels guilty.
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------ the story ends with them having sex for the first time on Superbowl Sunday.
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But in the meantime, what happens?
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My original plan was for F to get caught in a dangerous situation and run away, only to find M nearby ready and willing to assist her.
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But then I got to thinking, why not blow something up or how about a car crash? That’s always good, right?
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Or… how about he sends her flowers, she tosses them back in his face, only to feel guilty later when X happens, and change her mind.
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**I always seem to come up with these quirky scenarios. Maybe it’s too much One Life to Live?
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Sigh….
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Any thoughts on the best way to get the M/F to the floor in front of the TV while the Superbowl is on?
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What plot process am I missing here?
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Or do I just choke?
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Thanks,
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Yakkity
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Tambra
April 5th, 2009, 01:53 PM
Okay, remember this is only my opinion. Take what you can use and toss the rest.

You say both the hero and the heroine get dumped on and want to avoid relationships from now on. The hero doesn't act like that and neither does the heroine.

What attracts them to each other that they shove their experiences behind? If you have this great! If you don't not a biggie, because you weave it in, don't start the story over.

In a romance the hero and heroine have to provide what the other is missing/needs in a relationship. Ex. Hero needs a heroine who is strong but equates strong in a negative way. By her actions and speech he begins to see that maybe he was wrong in his assessment.

When you plot think about what will make the stakes higher for one or both of the characters either physically or emotionally. What is the worst thing that can happen at that time and if it happens what is revealed and how does it affect the Hero/heroine?

The first idea that comes to mind in getting the hero and heroine together on the floor during the superbowl:
She's wearing the jersey of his favorite team with nothing underneath it or wearing a sexy thong as she brings in some nice things to nibble on. She could say: "You can record the first half of the game because we've got our own Superbowl beginning right now. You score, baby."

I admit, it's a bit cornball but it gives you something play with. <grin>

The crisis or dark moment is when the character is at his/her lowest. and probably faced with a difficult choice to make. The character can take the easy way out OR the difficult way to resolution. A Heroic character will always take the hard way, risk everything, including the love of the hero/heroine because it's the right thing to do.
A plan of action is decided on by the character and the obstacles are more harder in the last portion of the book.

This comes from Carolyn Greene's Prescription for Plotting:
What has the hero and heroine sacrificed for their love?
If the heroine has achieved her external goal, her hard earned victory. In romance, the sacrifice might involve doing what is best for HIM- even it if means depriving herself of his love.

By taking the hard path, it shows the character has changed from the beginning of the book and when the Resolution/Climax of the main conflict occurs they have what it takes to be worthy of their happily-ever-after at the end of the story.

By risking all, (self, her own goal, and/or the hero's love), the heroine ultimately gets all, including fulfillment of her inner need. And the story question raised in the first part of the book is finally answered.

Does this help?

Hugs,
Tambra

Tambra
April 5th, 2009, 02:40 PM
Hi Rusty,

I write query letters but have no idea how good they are.
It's like a business letter introducing you and your work to the editor/publisher.

I think the hardest part is knowing how to condense the story so you have all the elements to catch their attention.

I mentioned earlier not to toss anything out. Here's an example of why. I started a story in 2004/2005. My publisher put out the call for wolf shifter stories.
I pulled that story out and used portions of it while adding new elements to it. It wasn't all bad and I'm happy with the story.
It's being published under my other writing pen name, Keelia Greer.
A Cursed Heart from Red Rose Publishing.

You can read an excerpt if you hop over to the Reader's Retreat where some ladies in the Daughters of Circe group I'm in is posting most of the month.
Of course, I have some hot excerpts in there as well. <grin>

See, keep yer stuff! You never know when you'll be able to use it.

Hugs,
Tambra

Eva Lefoy
April 6th, 2009, 08:32 PM
You say both the hero and the heroine get dumped on and want to avoid relationships from now on. The hero doesn't act like that and neither does the heroine.

What attracts them to each other that they shove their experiences behind?

In a romance the hero and heroine have to provide what the other is missing/needs in a relationship.

When you plot think about what will make the stakes higher for one or both of the characters either physically or emotionally. What is the worst thing that can happen at that time and if it happens what is revealed and how does it affect the Hero/heroine?

<grin>
The crisis or dark moment is when the character is at his/her lowest. and probably faced with a difficult choice to make. The character can take the easy way out OR the difficult way to resolution.

This comes from Carolyn Greene's Prescription for Plotting:
What has the hero and heroine sacrificed for their love?
If the heroine has achieved her external goal, her hard earned victory. In romance, the sacrifice might involve doing what is best for HIM- even it if means depriving herself of his love.





Hi Tambra,

Boy, my pantster lifestyle just leaves so many plot holes they are scattered like pot holes in a Seattle street all around me. Oh well!

Yes, the M and F characters both get dumped. She deals with it by only dating married older men she can control and he deals with it with one-night-stands kind of dating.

But when they meet, they are attracted to each other. You are right, I should define what attracts them to each other. So far all I have is that they are physically attracted, and the M somehow recognizes in the F a person similar to himself. The F knows the M sees right through her. They have a couple of false start dates, but can't seem to get their act together - she pushes too hard for sex while he's trying to be Mr. nice guy and develop the relationship.

Do they both provide something the other one needs? I'm not sure. I better go back and look at that aspect closer. F certainly needs a better guy - the guys she's hooking up with are getting skankier all the time. But what does the M need besides stability and an end to his wandering? I don't know.

Can the crisis or dark moment be when they both decide to walk away and it all seems over?

Or would her putting herself in a dangerous position be the dark moment?

Thanks,

Yakkity

It's hard to digest I know. It seems I write more internal conflicts than external ones. In this case, F's goal is A but what's good for her is really B (the M) and that is the major conflict in the story. So, we follow her mistakes as he's trying to corral her into his goal of a relationship with her.



</grin>

Red Dragon
April 7th, 2009, 10:15 AM
Hi Yakkity,
Just picking up on what you said here:
'But when they meet, they are attracted to each other. You are right, I should define what attracts them to each other. So far all I have is that they are physically attracted, and the M somehow recognizes in the F a person similar to himself.'

What if it isn't something similar to himself but something opposite to himself that he sees in her, something that he admires, something that could complete him because he hasn't been able to achieve that quality in himself.e.g. he might have difficulty being the life of the party but admires her vital energy at first but then that very energy (fake or otherwise) becomes a stumbling block as their relationship starts to develop. it could lead to misunderstandings or wrong interpretation or jealousy.
She might admire what she sees as his quiet confidence, one who doesn't have the need to be on display, someone who is really cool, self assured Then this quality might also become a temporary stumbling block too, until you have something explosively dynamic happen that forces them to show their true selves to each other and they really do complete each other.
That's just working on the premise that opposites attract.

Thanks for letting us into your story.
Rusty

Tambra
April 7th, 2009, 04:37 PM
Hi Yakkity,

Thanks for posting about your story. Keep working with it. You've got something here, you just need to fine tune it a bit more. No writer gets it perfect the first, second etc., time. All of us have to make adjustments to our stories.

Does the hero recognize something in her similar to himself because it's something familiar, comfortable? Or is it something more...something he doesn't want to face right now.

A character can think they want something at the beginning but learn what they really needed was something else.

In romance the hero and the heroine must give what the other needs to make it work. Maybe the heroine thought she needed a rich guy but finds out that the hero has a good job with great possibilities. But he loves her throughout all the problems they've encountered and can provide the secure environment she craved as a child. Can you see what mean by this?

Look at your character's backgrounds and their GMC's. Goal, motivation and conflict. The characters need both internal and external needs that should be fulfilled.

Is this helping?

Crisis or dark moment-yes they both can but it doesn't have to be. The dark moment doesn't have to involved danger. It can be that the hero/heroine has had enough. They can't take anymore. He/she put his/her heart on the line but this time they knew it was true love which makes everything different than any previous relationships.

Does this help?

Hugs,
Tambra

Eva Lefoy
April 7th, 2009, 07:36 PM
Hi Yakkity,

Crisis or dark moment-yes they both can but it doesn't have to be. The dark moment doesn't have to involved danger. It can be that the hero/heroine has had enough. They can't take anymore.



Oh, this is like the dark moment in each of Sherrilyn Kenyon's books where the hero learns he was set up by the female and he wonders if he can trust her. Or, he turns away believing that he can't have the relationship because she's some goddess and he'd just a dark hunter or human.

Like that?

Tambra
April 8th, 2009, 11:17 AM
OMG, I love Sherrilyn Kenyon. Perfect example.
Yeah. He's a Dark-Hunter in service to Artemis and although he's admitted he loves this woman he can't have her due to his duty and oath.

Hugs,
Tambra