Sunday, April 1, 2012

Day 4. Work, Work, Work!

Dishes? Check!
Laundry? Check!
A new chapter in my novel? Check!

Wahoo! It's been a successful day!

I finished the first "sensual tension" scene in my book. I like it, but I found I'm slightly biased. :D Sending it to my critique partner to see what they think.

I tend to find that I have to really like what I've written, already, in order to keep going. Otherwise, I feel like I lose the story, even though I have a sketch already written up with plot points. I suppose I'm a "polish-as-you-go" type author, to borrow a phrase from Christie Craig and Faye Hughes, whose book, The Everything Guide to Writing a Romance Novel, has been immeasurably helpful!

In fact, I've found that I've learned quite a bit about writing from reading these kinds of books. I'm re-reading my favorites from a completely different view point now. I'm not just reading, I'm analyzing. Breaking the books down to their bare components and finding out how they tick. What is it about them that I like the most? Why do I like that? How can I apply that and make it my own?

The difficulty, of course, is ensuring that everything is still coming from me, and not subconsciously from the authors. Again, a writing/critique partner is beyond useful there. My writing partner has already pointed out ideas in my book that are startling similar to other ones. Fortunately, I'd never read the other ones, so it really did come from me, lol. But I know that should I accidentally start pulling from something, my partner will be more than ready to bop me over the head.

I'm starting a new book, today. It's one of the ones that Christie Craig and Faye Hughes recommended. I'll snag the title and write it down, here, when I get a chance. It's about how to really create a character in a romance novel. I can't wait to see what I find out.

Using Ms Craig and Ms Hughes' book has been so wonderful. It's taken me from "Just write stuff down" to really having a game plan that actually works. I've added completely new "shadings" to my writing that I'd never thought to write.

It's interesting:

Writing is so much like construction and engineering. For example, you see a car and can think of the basic things that went into bringing it from a simple idea to this amazing piece of machinery. But you don't see the entirety of it. It isn't until you become a part of the designing or manufacturing line that you really see how much actually goes into it and how complex it really is.

A simple story line of "Girl meets Boy. They fall in love. Parents say no. They elope. Have a problem. Fix it. HEA" may seem somewhat simple when you read it. But that's amazing bit of it. The author is able to make a truly rather complex concept smoothly glide through every step, so you don't see the stitching or the fraying or the underside. It's like cross-stitch! You see the beautiful picture, in the end, but not the underneath where everything is a somehow-organized jumble!

So here's my thanks to the authors who have spent time writing down how they made it work, for those of us who are starting! From FAQ pages on how they write, to entire books: these people help us to learn the craft as more than simple past-time, turning it into a passion.

Thank you. :)

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