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romance novels

Michael Hauge’s Workshop: Are These Characters the Perfect Match?

Two matched puzzle pieces with text: Find the Perfect Match...for your Character

Last time I shared tips from Michael Hauge’s presentation at the Romance Writers of America (RWA) Conference about how to make romance (or love interest) relationships feel deep and not superficial. Most of us have probably read books where, at the end of the story, we didn’t trust the couple to […]

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August 14, 2012

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Michael Hauge’s Workshop: An Antidote to “Love at First Sight”

Close up of eye and text "Love at First Sight? Or Lazy Writing?"

By far, the best workshop I attended at the Romance Writers of America (RWA) Annual Conference was Michael Hauge‘s presentation, “Using Inner Conflict to Create Powerful Love Stories.” Unlike every other workshop, Michael gave his presentation twice. I attended on the second day and the room was standing-room-only packed. The first day was likely […]

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August 9, 2012

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The New Publishing Paradigm, Part One: It’s Not about eBook vs. Print

Sepia-toned display inside bookstore with text "How Much Do Bookstores Matter to Authors?"

The Keynote Address at this year’s Romance Writers of America (RWA) Annual Conference was unusual. Instead of sharing an inspirational or funny story about her trudge to success, Stephanie Laurens essentially gave a lunchtime workshop about the publishing industry, complete with a PowerPoint presentation. Some were disappointed or bored and left early. […]

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August 2, 2012

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What Stories *Won’t* You Write?

Square piece of road pavement painted with "STOP" in the middle of the woods

In my last post, we talked about voice and how we tend to write the same types of characters, premises, and themes over and over.  That’s not a bad thing.  Those stories resonate with us as writers. Similarly, there are stories we would never write.  Stories might be so against our internal grain […]

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April 17, 2012

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How Do You Handle Disappointments?

Depressed girl

Over a thousand writers stared at their phones yesterday, willing them to ring.  Only around 150 of them received the call they were waiting for.  Yesterday the Romance Writers of America (RWA) announced the Golden Heart and RITA finalists. One of the largest writing organizations in the world released the names […]

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March 27, 2012

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Using Google Search Terms for Fun and Education

Magnifying glass

After the last few weeks of “serious issues,” I needed a silly break, so I looked up the search terms that recently brought people to my blog.  Google didn’t disappoint, as several phrases caught my eye. Every blogger should check the search terms associated with their blog occasionally, and not […]

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March 20, 2012

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What Is the Goal of Ranting?

xkcd's Comic: Duty Calls: "Someone is WRONG on the internet."

*sigh*  It’s happened again.  An author has insulted other authors and a huge percentage of readers.  Why do people do this? Between social media, the interrelationships of the publishing industry, and the permanent nature of the internet, news of negativity travels far and wide.  Sure, we can’t spout unicorns and […]

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January 26, 2012

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Do You Enjoy Fantastical Stories?

Paranormal/moody image of a woman in front of a stone cross in moonlight

We’ve talked about the importance of keeping our stories believable, but the fantasy genre (and all its subgenres) require certain aspects to be unrealistic. Character types and plot points involving dragons, superheroes, vampires, etc. are all beyond the reality of our world.  What does that mean for the reader? A […]

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November 29, 2011

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What Makes a Story Feel Unrealistic?

Sepia-toned drawing of nighttime on fantasy planet with large moon and hot air balloons

With fiction, a fine line exists between stories we can relate to (no matter how fantastical the setting, characters, or plot) and those we can’t. We’ve all heard the phrase “suspension of disbelief” in relation to movies and books to explain how we accept the impossible. Every genre has different […]

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November 10, 2011

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