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Friday, November 27, 2009

What's new...

I'm keeping myself busy with work (my day job) and writing. I just got some beta edits back on a short story I'm working on, so I have some editing to do and I'm in the process of putting the final touches on the first draft of another short story.

I'm also reading a few books at the moment, well, two books and a play actually: Veronica Wolff's newest, Lord of the Highlands...which I will finish tonight, it's that good, Drood by Dan Simmons, which is about my favourite author, Wilkie Collins and finally, Macbeth by, well you know who.

I know, an odd mix but I find that three things on the go where reading is concerned is comfortable for me. I have a book on every floor so that when I get a minute or two I can sneak a few pages here or there. I'm an addict, I know, books are my drug and I know I'm not alone. I just hope that one day I can feed the cravings of some readers with my novels. That's the dream anyway.

Happy Thanksgiving to all the Americans out there. Hope the turkey is delicious and the shopping is stress free!

Last chance to get your name in the draw for a copy of The Temptress. You have until November 30 at midnight to post a comment!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Type A

Okay, so I thought I would talk a little bit about my Type A personality trait since I have been labelled as an anomaly by one of my close friends. I have this need, drive, instinct, whatever you want to call it to do things NOW! Not later, not next week, NOW! When I get a form to fill out, I do it now. When I am asked to do something by my boss, I do it now. When I get a round of edits from my agent...I do it now!

So this week, as you may have picked up on the hint, I got my edits from my agent and completed them in one night. (Well, one night and a bit of the next day for checking over my changes) My agent told me not to kill myself, which I didn't, you can't kill yourself when you're the type of Type A that I am. I can't sit on a job, I have to do it immediately. Which is what happened with my edits.

I didn't rush it, I'm not one of those people who get the job done at the expense of the quality. I just work very, very efficiently. It's weird, I know, I recognize this and embrace it; I am an anomaly and I probably scare people a little.

That's not to say that I don't procrastinate on the occasion. I can talk myself out of writing quite easily in fact...which is really bizarre since I do love writing! That's why I have to set quotas for myself. Word counts for the week so that I have a goal to work towards. I never miss my quota.

So, I'm wondering, are you a Type A when it comes to your writing? Or do you procrastinate?

P.S. There's still a contest for everyone who comments, you are entered for a chance to win a copy of The Temptress at the end of the month!

And....yes, I did go on submission this week! In Canada anyway...U.S. is next week!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Writing Sex Scenes and Romance Novels

As the title of this post suggests, I thought I would write about those darn sex scenes that always seem to push their way into my stories.

I have to admit, writing sex scenes was not my most favourite thing to do when I first started writing novels with romantic elements. No way! I could think of a million things I'd rather be doing. It was way too uncomfortable and I didn't really know what to say. And why would I want to write romance anyway? Romance wasn't for serious writers!

How naive I was!

After reading many, many romance novels over the years I discovered something very important...sex sells and many romance writers are truly gifted storytellers when it comes to the unmentionable aspects of human interaction! And then I discovered another truly amazing thing, I wanted to be one of those talented storytellers.

Despite my initial reservations with it, eventually, obviously, I figured it out, got comfortable with it and have been inserting my, words, into sexually charged scenes quite effortlessly...well, almost effortlessly. I find that I really have to be in the right mood to write sex scenes, if I'm not then it doesn't seem to work.

Another issue is that there's difference between writing sex scenes for romance and writing them for erotica...a huge difference. So it takes another kind of mood to write the hard core stuff as opposed to the lighter stuff.

So I guess the key is to know your audience and do what makes you comfortable. Know that if it's a path you want to be on then keep going, push through the discomfort and practice writing scene after scene after scene...trust me, it does get easier.

I'm working on a short story right now that I'm aiming for an erotica audience and I know already that I'm going to have to spice it up which is on the agenda for this weekend.

What do you all think? Do you find it hard, easy, a non-issue, when you're working on sex scenes? Is there anything that really makes you uncomfortable? Do you try to avoid it until you absolutely have to write about those intimate details or do you dive right in?

Reminder: posting a comment until the end of November will get you a chance to win a copy of The Temptress.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Short vs. Long?

I'm currently working on a short story, another erotic that I hope to submit to Cobblestone Press in the near future. Up until a few months ago I didn't really enjoy writing short stories, could never get it right...so what's changed? I can't really say for sure. I used to write short stories a lot as a child and teen but something happened as I grew older and I just couldn't seem to get things done in a short amount of word count. Maybe my problem was that I was thinking of short stories in terms of pages...micro stories, two, three pagers, I mean. Now that short I would still have trouble doing. But writing 30-50 page short stories is working out for me. It's enough space to get a good plot going, as well as quite a lot of action for my hero and heroine, if you know what I mean.

I've written four novels, all over 80k and didn't sweat it...now I'm working on another short story and find that I struggle to get the right words down, to get the point across in an interesting way. Everything I write counts, every action needs a purpose, every thought, piece of dialogue, description must move the plot forward in some way. It's an interesting challenge and I am enjoying it. What really counts is that I'm able to flesh out some characters who have been bugging to get a voice and develop a relationship...it's a great test to see if they will work out for a longer piece. Will I want to devote 80k to them or dump them after I'm finished the short? Only time will tell I guess...

What about you all, do you prefer writing short or long? Can you flip between the two?
What works best for you?

Oh, and if you post a comment here...you'll be entered to win a copy of my short story, The Temptress...I'll draw at the end of the month.