romance novels

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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Story Conflict: Villains vs. Antagonists

March 1, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Conflict is one of those words we all think we understand, but the writing-world meaning doesn’t have the same connotation as the non-writing meaning. Yet it’s only after understanding conflict that we’ll see the difference between antagonists and villains in storytelling.

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5 Common Myths about Emotions — Guest: Kassandra Lamb

November 10, 2015 Writing Stuff
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We all have emotions, so we all think we know how to write them. However, sometimes the best writing comes from exposing an emotional truth that we’re hiding from ourselves. So the better we understand emotions, the better our stories will resonate with our readers.

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6 Tips for Finding a Cover Artist

October 6, 2015 Writing Stuff
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Back when I started thinking of self-publishing, one of the first things I researched was cover artists. In my usual over-thinking/over-analyzing way, I uber-researched the cover artist landscape to track down cover artists and design trends. And I figured some of what I learned might be helpful to others.

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Subjectivity and Reader Shaming

August 11, 2015 Random Musings
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If we write genre fiction, we might bemoan the lack of respect, but the same lack of respect occurs at the reader level too. Readers of science fiction, fantasy, graphic novels, young adult, and romance have also been looked down on. Many outsiders have attempted to make readers ashamed of their reading choices by judging by subjective measures.

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Shining a Light on Diversity Issues

July 28, 2015 Writing Stuff
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In gearing up for the release of Pure Sacrifice, one frustrating experience was beyond my control. I’ve mentioned before that we should avoid assumptions about our characters, so I waited until I heard a voice that resonated and knew my paranormal character for this book wouldn’t be white skinned. Great! Except…

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