romance novels

Are There Story Elements You Avoid Writing?

February 23, 2017 Writing Stuff
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The stories we write are affected by our worldview, but that’s not the only thing that might make us avoid writing about certain elements. By looking at the other reasons we might have, we can decide whether our avoidance makes sense or points out an opportunity to improve.

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Story Beginnings: Creating the Right First Impression — Guest: Shaila Patel

February 16, 2017 Writing Stuff
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No matter how much we try different approaches, we often struggle with our story’s first pages. That’s why I’m always on the lookout for new ways of thinking about that critical opening page. Today Shaila Patel shares her insights on the right mix of elements for creating a great first impression.

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Story Structure: What Should We Do for Trilogies?

February 14, 2017 Writing Stuff
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If we’ve thought of writing a trilogy, we might have struggled with questions about how we should structure our stories over three books. Or how we should break up the plot and character arcs. Today, let’s try to answer those questions!

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When Fiction Is Better Behaved than Reality

October 11, 2016 Random Musings
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Recently, the U.S. election insanity dragged in the romance genre. Uh, wait, what? Some memes have claimed women shouldn’t be mad about the words used in Trump’s bragging because…Fifty Shades of Grey. Let’s explore this idea—without politics. *smile*

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Balancing Elements: How Can We Know the Right Amount?

September 15, 2016 Writing Stuff
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I’ve offered several posts here about balancing various elements of our story, but there’s still room for debate because we have to find the right balance for our voice, genre, tone, and style—for our story. That means there is no perfect amount of backstory or description or emotion.

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Backstory: When Is It Necessary?

September 13, 2016 Writing Stuff
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We often think about the purpose of backstory in terms of “what do readers need to know?” But with that perspective, it’s too easy to include too much backstory. Instead, we might be better off if we think about backstory from the perspective of what the story needs.

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4 Ways to Add Depth to Our Stories — Guest: Kassandra Lamb

August 30, 2016 Writing Stuff
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What makes a story *not* frivolous? If it’s gritty and dark? Has emotional depth? Or does it need to be “serious literature”? Can a story be light and yet weighty at the same time? Today, Kassandra Lamb shares her insights on how we can add meaning to our stories.

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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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