romance novels

When Is a Shocking Scene Necessary…or Gratuitous?

August 2, 2016 Writing Stuff
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As authors, we need to be careful when dealing with shocking, horrifying, or potentially problematic story elements. Let’s explore the steps we can go through to figure out the right approach for our genre, story, and characters.

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RWA16: Industry Insights from Data Guy and More

July 26, 2016 Writing Stuff
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This year at RWA, I was eligible to attend special published-authors-only workshops geared toward those with more experience, and I want to share some of the highlights from those workshops, as I think we can all benefit from many of the insights.

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Conference Recap & Bonus Contest Winner!

July 19, 2016 News
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I’m back from beautiful San Diego and the Romance Writers of America National Conference and here for a quick recap of the past week with contest winners galore.

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Writing Multicultural Stories: The Pros and Cons — Guest: Devika Fernando

July 14, 2016 Writing Stuff
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In the quest to come up with unique stories, we’ve probably all explored different situations, characters, and premises. Another way to add more layers of uniqueness to our stories is by exploring different cultures.

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Strengthen Your Writing with Rhetorical Devices

June 30, 2016 Writing Stuff
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If you’re anything like me, and your English or grammar instruction was less than ideal, you might not be familiar with the term rhetorical devices. But once I did learn about them, I quickly became aware of how using rhetorical devices can strengthen our writing—even if we’re writing genre stories.

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Why Is “Unlikable” Often a Deal-Breaker for Readers?

June 21, 2016 Random Musings
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A recent article about unlikable heroines pointed out that likability is often more of a problem for female characters than for male characters. While I’ve learned how to minimize those issues with my characters, the problem still rankles me.

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What’s the Difference between Plot and Story?

May 3, 2016 Writing Stuff
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When we first start off as writers, if someone asks us about our story, we might launch into an overview of our story’s plot. It’s easy to think the plot is what our story is about. But with few exceptions, story isn’t the same as plot.

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Writing Truth: We’re Making It Up as We Go

March 29, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Last Friday, Angela Quarles’s book Must Love Chainmail was named a finalist in RWA’s RITA award, and my writing bestie’s success reminded me of an important lesson for all of us. The road to success can look an awful lot like chaos. *smile*

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What Does Your Genre’s Theme Promise to Readers?

March 24, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Theme is one of those concepts that can be hard to understand, but by understanding themes, we’ll better satisfy our readers. In the recent debate about the romance genre’s requirement for a happy ending, the controversy comes down to themes, believe it or not. *smile*

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Four Tips for Beta Reading Outside Our Genre

March 17, 2016 Writing Stuff
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During our search for beta readers, we might come across other writers willing to exchange–but they write in a different genre. Should we try a critique partnership anyway? Here are 4 tips for beta reading outside our genre.

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