My Writers Circle

Writing => The Writers Circle => Topic started by: Lin on February 17, 2009, 01:39:14 PM

Title: For like minded romance writers
Post by: Lin on February 17, 2009, 01:39:14 PM
As I am writing romance I just wanted to know how many of you are writing this genre.

Would you be prepared to use this thread as a means of comparing notes and discussing your genre with like minded people?

The kind of subjects I had in mind -

Passing on information about  romance writers groups in the UK

Are you stuck on a passage in your book?

Are your characters not bonding?

Posting links to interesting web sites on romance writing

Do you need support?

Is there something in your story which you can't quite see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Anything really connected with this genre


Perhaps you have some suggestions?

Let me know if you would like to keep this thread going

Lin x





Title: Re: For like mind romance writers
Post by: flights_of_fantasy on February 17, 2009, 04:04:47 PM
Hi Lin,

I've been off the board for a month or so, and this was the first topic I noticed when I was wading through the unread posts.  :)

I think I would technically be classed as a romance writer - although it's a tricky label to stick on yourself. I don't think of myself as someone who could write for Mills & Boon, for example. But my stuff does tend to focus on two people meeting and falling in love.

I'm not stuck with anything right now (hence the reason I haven't been around the boards lately - too busy writing) but I wanted to show my support. I'm up for talking about it. Sometimes, I feel that writing romance is one of those things some people find difficult to admit to. You know what I mean?

"Darling, I have something important to tell you. I ran over the dog this morning, and I've been having an affair with the milk man. Oh, and by the way ... I've been writing a romance novel."

"Sorry? What was that?"

"Never mind."


Anyone else brave enough to come out of the closet? ;D
Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: Lin on February 17, 2009, 04:47:44 PM
This sounds great I will keep posting on here then even if its just you and me

 What have you found most difficult with your characters - did you write any sex scenes into your book how far did you go?  I wanted to keep my characters "nice" Raunchy wasn't my style but romantically raunchy was OK.  Smoothing the way and teasing the reader sufficiently for them to want to read on.  I wanted them to say ahhhh isnt that lovely!!  Then I wanted my readers to cry with the characters (I've done that with a few books I can tell you!!) I wanted the readers to feel some empathy with the characters involved in the plot.  It's been a roller coaster for me, on some days I could have been in there with them!  Yet this is not the real me!!  Its some other person maybe?  I hope so cos if I was a character in the book I might have committed suicide by now LOL!!  I wonder how many authors have killed themselves instead of killing off the characters. ::)

PS I'm not sure about the Mills and Boon stuff, for me it always seems to carry a stigma of bad writing, but that's just me.  If I can avoid M & B I will do.  The trouble is - it sells!!   I think I will go down the agent route, I now have a recommendation through a  published author, so if it works for her, I shall try it.  First things first, lets get it finished!

Lin x
Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: Lin on February 18, 2009, 03:15:02 AM
PPS Ive just found this link on the web - looks interesting must go read some more about it

http://www.charlottedillon.com/RWC.html
Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: Vienna on February 18, 2009, 03:35:29 AM


hiya Lin

I don't think I write romance. Hmmm there is sometimes "romance" in what I write but what exactly makes a piece of writing part of the "romance genre"?
Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: Lin on February 18, 2009, 04:21:53 AM
A romance deals specifically where the central characters find love.  You can take it from there what you do with this couple and  how you write your story.  You can play god with them if you like.  Its usually a story with a plot, a reason, an outcome, a tragedy all these things rolled into one as long as the central characters find love at some point during the story.  You might like to include some sex scenes, it all depends on your own feelings about this, but a romance book without the sex might disappoint the reader.  It doesn't have to be raunchy, you can use words which skim over the top of the less than pornographic stuff.  It aint what you say its the way you say it.  I hope my sex scenes are tasteful.

My book deals with two people who find love, a confession,  a plot to murder, and an outcome with a twist to the story. 

I hope this answers your question Vienna

Lin x



Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: flights_of_fantasy on February 18, 2009, 11:43:52 AM
a romance book without the sex might disappoint the reader. 
I visited a website of an author who had a number of Regency romances published. (the name escapes me for the moment) They were really fun to read and I enjoyed them a lot. However, her editor told her she had to include sex in the next book, because sex was what sold. She tried writing a story with sex scenes included and found she couldn't do it, she just hadn't the knack for it, as she admitted herself.

In order for her to continue being published, she ended up switching genre altogether, which was a real shame.

I've spoken to a number of readers, and not everyone likes to read sex scenes. Romance isn't dead for most people, but it might as well be as far as publishers are concerned, and I find that very annoying.

Personally, I can read a book with sex or without. I really don't mind. I've read the whole gamut of romance, from Jane Austen to Elloras Cave. I think it is possible to have too much sex in a romance novel. I've found myself skipping over the sex scenes, not because they were too hot, or because I'm a prude, but because it was boring and repetitive.

It is possible to have too much of a good thing and you can create a spark between two characters without throwing them in the sack every five minutes.

Also - and this is a personal bugbear, so excuse me while I rant - you can't force a sex scene into every story. Sometimes it just doesn't fit. What do you do then? Crowbar it in using every means possible, just to please the public? Or do you write the story that is crying out to be written, regardless of whether it is commercially viable or not?
Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: Lin on February 18, 2009, 12:29:48 PM
I totally agree with you on the sex scenes, I can take it or leave it.  This is why I chose to go down the 'gentle'' path.

I use words which leave the readers imagination as to what the characters were doing.   If you want raunch I can write it, but I chose not to because we women, reading a romanc novel , prefer to have their characters loved rather than spend time looking down on a couple having sex.  I feel quite confident about that and let's face it more women read romance  as opposed to men.  If you have any romance whatsoever in your story telling let it flow freely.  This is why Emma on this forum is feeling her characters minds and thoughts during her writing.  Romance should grab you like that too.

I use the F word twice in my book.  This is only because my character is a man and men do that!  (so do some women) But it was natural dialogue rather than a forced swearing for the sake of putting the F word in the book cos the publisher likes it that way.

So what are the elements of a good romance - I would like to know what other members think the best ingredients are for a good romance novel.

I would say

Empathy
Physical contact
Will she or won't she?  general Conflict and deep conflict
A darned good plot
Jealousy
Hate
Death?


Go on add to this, I want to know your ideas so I can add these flavours to my book Im genuinely interested in what the public expect.

Thanks everyone

Lin x












Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: Alice, a Country Gal on February 18, 2009, 12:49:12 PM
Lin, although I don't write what I would consider Romance novels, some of my writing does have some romance in the story.

Years ago a writing partner shared a list of sensual words with me to help create the right mood in words. I found them very helpful.

I still have the list printed out somewhere around here, but thought it would be easier to point you and any interested in the direction of a web site with the list.

Enjoy.

http://www.annetteblair.com/sensual-words.htm
Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: Lin on February 18, 2009, 01:16:17 PM
I COULD KISS YOU THIS IS BEST NEWS IVE HAD IN AGES THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE LINK


 Yes I'm shouting at this news  A great link

Lin x x x x x
Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: Alice, a Country Gal on February 18, 2009, 01:25:42 PM
 :D

You're welcome Lin.
Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: emma112 on February 18, 2009, 03:55:31 PM
Hey, Lin!
I'm so glad you came up with this, because I'm stuck!
Eleanor (MC) has been friends with a man named Chris for two years now. She see's him as a very good friend, who understands her completely. He is always there for her, makes her laugh when she's down, comforts her all the time. He ALWAYS smiles at her even if he's the one that's feeling down. But, she only see's him as a very, very good friend.
However... (there's just got to be a however) she finds out, from one of her good friends, that Chris has a 'crush' on her. She doesn't know what to do about it, so at first she is quite hesitant around him and tries to escape him whenever he is near, but tries not to hurt his feelings at the same time.
Later on, Stacey (her best friend) tells Elleanor that he is actually in love with her. What does Eleanor do? She feels like crying whenever she looks at him, because she knows deep down that she doesn't feel the same way. But, she knows that she has to tell him, to make it clear that she doesn't feel for him like he does her, so that she doesn't lead him on in anyway.
But, she fails because she ends up crying infront of him (she is a very emotional character) and he embraces her. Because they have hugged a lot before, she forgets about his feelings toward her and embraces him too with a long, loving hug. She regrets it immediately, and is frightened that she has made Chris fall deeper in love with her.
Eleanor is practically begging me right now to ask for your advice, Lin! Lol. I guess she feels that you've got more experience in this matter. So, what do you think she should do? How does she let him down gently?
She's open to any other suggestions too, if anyone would like to help!
Thanks! x x x x
Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: Lin on February 18, 2009, 04:28:33 PM
First of all I pasted this into another Word format and read it through carefully

What was crying out for me was another set on circumstances which were needed to be brought into this to get Eleanor on track.  I can see how you got stuck here.

You seem to have three people
Eleanor
Chris
Stacey

Eleanor doesnt have the same feelings for Chris as he has for her
Stacey confirms that Chris is in love with Eleanor -is that correct?

I think that Eleanor should have a dark secret - the reason she cannot be involved with Chris

How old are these people?

Perhaps Eleanor has been ill and cannot consider love at this time
Maybe Eleanor has to move away and is not allowing herself to get involved with someone
Maybe she really does like Chris but cannot allow herself to feel this way because ...........

I think you have to explain the reason for Eleanor not feeling this way about Chris, some other factor needs to come in here.

What is wrong with him?
Maybe she knows something about Chris and he hasn't told her, but Eleanor or even Stacey knows about it

Why has he hugged her before?  She does have some emotions for him
What is it about Eleanor that she cannot love Chris

She is obviously an emotional person - maybe you can tell us what brought on that frequent emotion.

I think that Eleanor has a dark secret which needs to be told!!

Eleanor definitely has an emotional barrier to her love life.  She needs direction - maybe Stacey provides that for her in the way of a girly chat in the ladies loo!

Its a good idea to plan out your plot on paper before writing.  I know I wrote my novel straight from the top of my head, but I had been thinking about it for ten years and when the time came to writing it, I sat at my computer non-stop for three months and just reeled it off.  How the heck I did that I shall never know.  I was emotionally drained, then I took a year out and started again with the editing.  I wasn't far off getting the story line correct all the way through.  I had to make one or two minor adjustments, now its just the tedious editing.

My next book I shall surely plan it out.  This first one was just a freak of nature!!  When you do plan on a chart you can see where you want your characters to go and your plots etc.

I hope these story lines help you.  Best let me see in a PM or e-mail what you have written to so far - dialogue etc

Take care and just relax, it will come to you - honest it will.

Just enjoy what you have and within a short time it will come back - its called writers block!!
It normally doesnt last too long fortunately

All the best

Lin x






Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: emma112 on February 18, 2009, 05:02:07 PM
Thanks, Lin! You're always my saviour! :)

Yeah, Stacey is good friends with Chris too, so she knows all the gossip. She is that type of character. Chris told her in confidence and not to tell Eleanor. But, it kind of slipped out as Eleanor and Stacey are so close.

Well... I haven't figured out yet whether she has a dark secret. I think at the moment she just believes in the 'love at first sight' kind of thing. She has a feeling that someone is out there waiting for her to find him. And it's not Chris. They are too much of good friends for anything to happen between them and she get's quite annoyed at Chris. This is one of the paragraphs I wrote about what Eleanor was feeling:

Now that I was alone, I could think about that troubling fact and decide what should be done about it. Should I ignore him? But, that would be a bit too shameful for me. He was still my friend and I couldn’t believe that he wanted to change what we had, and what we had was special. He was too kind to me, always giving me what I wanted regardless of what he thought about it. He never stopped smiling at me and he was the one person who understood me for who I was. Even Stacey couldn’t compete with him.
But, now he was acting like any ordinary man, who couldn’t just be friends with a woman. It annoyed me slightly, which made me consider what would happen between us now.


Eleanor is 21 years old, I think Chris is about 22 (he hasn't told me yet lol). Stacey is 21, too. So, they're quite young.
They've hugged before just as friendly gestures. They're just really close and that's why Eleanor doesn't want to jeapardise that relationship.

Later on in the book, a new character comes along, Catherine and leads her into a totally new life. This is where she actually meets the love of her life, involving deep, dark secrets that risks her life and his.

Yeah, I guess I haven't explored this enough. Need to get more jotting down and let Eleanor speak to me, when she comes back lol. There have been little hints of her return, but at the moment, other characters have been popping up. I don't actually know who they are yet, but I've wrote what they say down and they seem satisfied that they will be in the story! Hehe.

Thanks for helping me again! Means a lot!

Emma x x x
Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: flights_of_fantasy on February 18, 2009, 05:19:26 PM
So what are the elements of a good romance - I would like to know what other members think the best ingredients are for a good romance novel.

There are a number of different starting points that work well. You can have the immediate attraction, the slow-burn, the unrequited love, or even loathe-at-first-sight.

Romance books definitely need some will they, won't they tension - the sort that Sybil Shepperd and Bruce Willis did so well in Moonlighting.  :) As a reader, I enjoy the anticipation, like having the dessert to look forward to at the end of the meal. The stories I like least are those where the two main protagonists are forced together at the beginning of the book - usually some kind of forced partnership, a marriage of convenience, or forced marriage in a historical - and then have to learn to love each other. I much prefer having the wedding at the end of the story, but that's my personal preference.

To me, the thing that makes a good romance is when it you have one of those mush moments. (http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y141/faulkes/mush.gif) What's a mush moment? It can be a word, or a phrase, or an action where you (as the reader) sigh, and you get those butterflies in your stomach. You get them in films as well. Quite often the event that triggers it will be unexpected, coming at you out of nowhere. It's the point where you desperately want to be in the book, being the heroine, rather than just reading.

It's also the one thing that's very difficult to spot as a writer, because you are too familiar with your own work to be able to tell whether your mush moment works or not.

I like to see a well written rivalry, although that's not necessarily the same as jealousy. I don't mind an element of mystery, if it compliments the romance. Some writers include a mystery plot to flesh out the book, because the romance alone isn't enough, but unless the two share some common ground they don't always work.

Conflict is necessary, but it has to be realistic and fair. I read one book where the heroine spent most of the book rejecting the hero's advances, because she didn't think he was serious. She was putting forward the same objections over and over again, and it wore thin after a while, particularly when the same author used exactly the same trick in her next book. The other thing I'm not keen on is lots of little incidents, coming one after the other, which all serve to keep our lovers apart. She's in a car crash, then he gets mugged and loses his memory, then just as she begins to walk again her father dies and she has to travel five hundred miles away for the funeral. Meanwhile the hero falls for the nurse who is caring for him. How much bad luck can one couple suffer?


Because they have hugged a lot before, she forgets about his feelings toward her and embraces him too with a long, loving hug. She regrets it immediately, and is frightened that she has made Chris fall deeper in love with her.
Emma, reading about your Eleanor, my first question was: Do you intend for them to end up together? If not, where will the happy ending come from?

If yes, what will make Eleanor change her mind about Chris? Jealousy might work well in this scenario. (it's human nature that you don't always appreciate what you've got until it's gone) Is Chris going to be a bit of a doormat, always prepared to do what it takes to make Eleanor happy - even if it means walking away - or is he going to grow a backbone and attempt to win her love by fair means or foul? He's tried the nice guy approach and it isn't working. How far would Chris be prepared to go to get Eleanor taking him seriously?

I wrote a three-way love story once, where girl A loved man B, and man C loved girl A. (and man B only loved himself) Unfortunately, the heroine had to find out the hard way that man B was a rat, at which point man C was there to pick up the pieces. Of course, when she found out how man C felt about her, she couldn't all of a sudden 'see the light' and fall in love with him. That can't happen at the drop of a hat. It is much easier to grow to love someone who you know loves you, but there's got to be something there in the first place. It can't materialise out of thin air. In my case, I decided that girl A would have been attracted to man C all along, if man B hadn't been there to draw her attention. That made them falling in love at the end of the story more believable, because she wasn't just liking him out of gratitude.

So perhaps you need to somehow draw Eleanor's attention from Chris at the beginning, so she doesn't see him like that.

Since I started writing this, you've added more information, but I'm not going to edit what I wrote above. The only thing I'll add, from a readers point of view, is that you need to point us in the right direction of who we're supposed to be rooting for. It can be difficult to get into a story if you're not sure who are meant to be together. So, for example, if I began reading this I might be hoping Chris can win Eleanor, but then later you give Eleanor the love of her life. So that might then leave me wondering about Chris. If you set him up as a main character, you've got to make sure you give him a good resolution too. Don't leave the poor guy hanging, particularly if we've grown attached to him.  ;D


Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: emma112 on February 18, 2009, 05:36:55 PM
Thanks for the advice flights of fantasy!

I don't really know about much yet. It was one of those spare of the moment decisions. I actually intended Chris to being a side-character, but he wanted himself to be more involved with Eleanor and eventually told me that he was in love with her.
That's not what the story is revolved around though.
However, you have given me some good idea's about a side plot that I could introduce. I did think that something would happen between Eleanor and Chris, but she told me that she wouldn't be with him in that way. So, I scrapped that. In the book she does definitely meet the love of her life, let's call him A for now. He loves her immensly and because what I'm writing is a fantasy story, let's just say that their love is non-human. So, it is kind of impossible for Eleanor and Chris to be together, because of what she becomes (don't want to reveal too much, hehe).
But, I agree that Chris definitely has to be involved more and maybe he will become a main character. He might try to win her over and surprise her so much of his love that maybe she will grow feelings for him.
Or... she could realise that she falls in love with him, before she becomes this... creature. Ok, I might aswell say it to stop confusion. She becomes a vampire. And I guess that she will have to let him go, afraid that she will kill him for his blood, something like that lol. I'm only on the third chapter, so she hasn't even turned yet. Man A hasn't even been introduced yet, all I know is the basic outline for my story. I have a rough idea of what's going to happen, but it may change in the future. Who knows, maybe Chris will die! Maybe Eleanor kills him! But, I doubt that (she just screamed at me right now...).

Anyway, thanks a lot!
Emma x x x
Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: flights_of_fantasy on February 19, 2009, 02:58:48 AM
LOL! I guessed vampire before you said it.  ;D

Okay, so you're going to have a sort of Buffy/Xander thing going on between Eleanor and Chris. (the only reason why I draw this parallel is because I've been watching old episodes of BtVS recently while ironing, so they're fresh in my head)

If Chris is stepping forward, wanting more involvement, you could always try to steer him towards a protector role. Eleanor can probably look after herself, but Chris will never want to believe that. Perhaps he sees the toughness in her, but thinks its only a façade. He might underestimate her inner strength. When she meets 'Mr. Right', the warning signs might go off in Chris' head, even if he doesn't quite know why. He wants to shield her from the dark side of life, but Eleanor might want to embrace it.

Her decisions might either turn their relationship sour, or Chris might hang around, wanting to make sure she's safe with this new guy he can't quite trust. He might be the equivalent of the lovable spaniel/guard dog who wants to protect his mistress, regardless of the fact he's impotent to do so.

Chris could sacrifice himself (die) to save Eleanor - not from Mr. Right, but perhaps one of Mr. Right's enemies? Or he could find his own true love through his interaction with Eleanor and her new partner. (perhaps she's a possible victim, who he does manage to save in a way he was never able to save Eleanor, thereby giving him some kind of closure on the whole relationship thing) A lot might hinge on whether Eleanor is going to become an evil vampire or a good one. (a vegetarian, so to speak)

Whatever you decide to write, I hope it goes well. It's not like you're going to have much choice in the matter anyway, with Eleanor and Chris screaming in your ears all the time. Let them have their head for now. You can always rein them in later.

Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: Lin on February 19, 2009, 03:53:03 AM
A mush moment!!  Yes definitely one of those occurred in my Chapter 9!! 

I also got the feeling that maybe your own feelings are getting in the way of this too.

Emotions are very strange things!!  You can get too many of them and then you are feeling mixed up between your own personal daily life and the fantasy world.  Your enthusiasm Emma is wonderful.  I wish I had so much, but when I used to be like you I realised it got me into all kinds of trouble, so I had to dampen down a bit.  Take a back seat for a few weeks and recharge the batteries.  Its your brain telling you maybe you are getting too involved with your characters.  he he!!

It will come - writers block happens to everyone who writes!!  Even the dynamic me!!  LOL

Im sure your story will be OK, but if you dont want to reveal all send me a PM and we can do it that way.

I would like to help you with ideas and I am sure that 'flights of fantasy' will be good for you too.  You are a young person taking on a tremendous role.  Being a writer is not an easy decision.  For most people they procrastinate about writing "their story" and it never gets done.  For you Emma I can see you have the potential to carry this through.  Well done.  Keep it up and smile!  Have a nice day!

Lin x
Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: Lin on February 19, 2009, 07:27:27 AM
Who do you relate to whilst writing your romance novel?

I think I am looking at a mixture of "Darling Buds of May",  Danielle Steele style, Annie Murray's "Belles of Bournville" (more on the conflict) and Mary Wesley's family crisis "Camomile Lawn"

I am me as my own style,  but in there are these authors who have influenced me.

Lin x

Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: emma112 on February 19, 2009, 07:56:56 AM
LOL! I guessed vampire before you said it.  ;D

Hey, flights of fantasy!

Wow! You don't realise how much you have helped me! Eleanor is going crazy at the moment and Chris is trying to figure out where his life is going to end up, now that you've given him some good ideas! Hehe! I've decided to scrap my whole story, start a fresh. I think that's what went wrong... I started it too quickly, eager to get started but never really planned it to the full. Yeah, I had a rough idea of what the whole book was going to be about, but never really delved into my characters lives much. So, I'm starting again and explaining Eleanor's feelings more so I can get to know her a little better. If I do this at the beginning, then their lives may unravel more better through out the story. You have given me some great ideas and I can already see Chris doing some of those. Just which one to choose? Lol. I'm sure it'll come to me though.

Thank you for all the brilliant ideas! I owe you one! ;D

Emma x x x
Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: Lin on February 19, 2009, 08:01:17 AM
And you know Emma you might change it another twenty times before you got the balance correct.  This is something we writers do.  We know what we want but sometimes it doesn't quite turn out as we expected.  Don't totally scrap your ideas though, you might need them again.

Well done girl!! 

Lin x
Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: emma112 on February 19, 2009, 08:11:01 AM
A mush moment!!  Yes definitely one of those occurred in my Chapter 9!! 

Hey, Lin!
And I love your chapter 9 by the way! Hehe!

Well, I took a bit of a break for a few days this week and I took the advice of Alice, to write a 'diary' kind of thing, where you write down what you are feeling the minute you wake up, even if you can't think of anything, just write down whether you are tired or not or whether you had a dream.
I tried that and it worked wonders! Eleanor has come back and made me sane again, giving me new ideas about story lines and how she feels. Chris is still a bit quiet, but that's what his personality is like, so I'm letting him figure out some things of his own until he has the confidence to tell me.
I'm making a fresh start, as this forum and well, everyone on this website have given me so many ideas and my head is running wild with them! Especially you, Lin! You've given me a lot of confidence in my writing! Glad that we met!

I think I relate more to my own feelings and how I would want to be loved. Maybe that's why it seems like my own feelings are getting in the way lol. But, I recently read the Twilight Saga which is basically made for my age, and I related so much to the character that when she felt love, it felt as if I felt the same way. I needed to write down how I felt, because I have a very emotional and passionate personality. I love life and try to help other people to feel the same. I try not to dwell on things and think of the happy aspects more. That's why I feel like I need to share how I feel, because it's such a good way to live!
I put a lot of my personality into the book, as if I want my life to be like that. I don't know if that's a good thing to do or not, however.
Thank you everyone for helping me out! I'll let you know how it's going!
I haven't scrapped the whole thing, I've kept what I wrote in another folder, for future use! Hehe! I will definitely be sending you some of my work through PM, Lin, so be warned! Lol.

If there's any way I can repay you, Lin, let me know! ;)

Emma x x x

Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: Swampfox one on February 19, 2009, 10:37:31 AM
Thank you Lilly (country4girl) for the blair site.  These are not words that come up in the oil fields. ;D
Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: Lin on February 19, 2009, 11:10:50 AM
That's fine Emma

Its so important that you younger generation have got something to hang on to with regard to a hobby which you might be able to turn into sometime very positive as you get on with your life.

Writing I feel is very important when you are in your teenage years.  If some of the young folks of today could write more about their experiences, they would be more in touch with their feelings.  Writing it all down IS important.

Being a teenager is so hard because you are still learning about life and  always being told off by parents for doing the wrong things at the wrong time.  There is so much emotion flying about with teenagers and parents.  When I see someone like you Emma trying to do something good for yourself through writing, then I just can't resist congratulating you for trying.

So keep it up and get a mentor, someone at college or school who understands what you are trying to do.  I know your Mum supports you, so go for it.  Having someone outside the family who understands about what it really means to be a writer could end up being your best friend in later years.

Is there anyone you know who can spend time listening to your words?  Is there a young writers group near you?  I think you need someone close by to share all this with you. Some support.

Find something on the internet.  Maybe a local writers group might let you join in their more adult sessions.  Make them win their respect for you.  Show them you aren't just a teenager you are a serious writer.  I wish you every success.

As they say on Strictly - KEEEEEP Writing!!

By the way, putting your own personality into a book, isnt a bad idea provided you aren't too close to yourself otherwise your friends and family will see through it as being you,  and wonder what message you are trying to convey!!  LOL   I am sure there is some of the author in every book.   They say write about what you know and that is exactly as I have done in my book "First and Last Outpost"  All my knowledge has been put into my story.  One thing to remember is to check it out for authenticity, you may have got it wrong.

Lin x
Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: emma112 on February 19, 2009, 11:34:36 AM
Thanks so much, Lin!
You don't know how great you make me feel! Lol.  ;D

I agree, I have so much emotion going on that I really feel like I need to do something with it. I've wanted to write for years now, but never had the will to really try until now. I guess I'm at the point in my life where I'm happy. I have great friends, college is great and right now, my story life is going great, too! I have one friend at the moment who is also writing, and I do believe that I have become very, very good friends with her in just the space of five months.
That's the reason why I looked everywhere for this website. I live in a place where there aren't much... interesting places around town, for people like me. It's more of a leisure area, with football fields and gymnastic clubs. It doesn't really have the resources for writer's I guess, unless I need to do more hunting around! Hehe!
I'll take your advice and have a look on the internet about my local area.
But, the thing is, I was pretty scared that people might not take me seriously, because I am so young. I am so glad that you don't feel that way, Lin! I feel like you're the only one who I can talk to about this, but I will take a look around town! There isn't really anything at college that has a support group for writer's my age or anything like that either.

I've tried very well to not put too much of my personality into my book. It wouldn't sound right to me anyway. I could easily ramble on about all the troubles in my life, and not concentrate on the actual character. So, I haven't put a lot of 'me' into the book.

But, now I'm gonna stop rambling on about me, because I feel like I've took everyone off the main subject! Sorry, everyone! I'll shut up now! :P
Emma x x x

Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: flights_of_fantasy on February 21, 2009, 05:09:12 PM
Here's a question. What sort of romance hero do you like? 

I'm a sucker for the guy with the secret identity, not just in romance, but all genres. I don't necessarily mean the superhero kind of secret identity, where you strip off his jeans and find lycra in place of boxers, but just the fact that our hero isn't all he first appears.

Such as in How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) when Lauren Bacall finds out that Cameron Mitchell is a rich guy, and not a 'gas pump jockey'. (Gosh, don't you just love American English? That sounds so much sexier than petrol pump attendant!)

He doesn't have to be rich, though. It can just as easily mean being a different species, or even from another planet, but it must be positive, something the heroine will love, or will learn to love about him. Already being married doesn't count. Nor does being your half-brother! Ugh!



Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: Swampfox one on February 21, 2009, 05:39:44 PM
FofF, I think we have been reading the same books. In Cajun Lust my heroine has a guardian angel that is a vampire.  Is that what you are talking about?
Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: emma112 on February 21, 2009, 06:30:04 PM
I totally agree, fantasty!

I love reading about a man with a mystery! Something that is suddenly revealed, but like you said, you've got to love it. For example, I'm writing a fantasy book about vampires and of coarse there has to be a beautiful man involved! My main characters fall in love, because they are such mysterious beings and plus, the male vampire is irresitably gorgeous! To me anyway! :)

Emma x x x

Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: Swampfox one on February 21, 2009, 06:53:53 PM
what male vampire isn't irresitably gorgeous in the written word?? ;) ::) :-*
Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: flights_of_fantasy on February 22, 2009, 04:48:05 AM
Quote
In Cajun Lust my heroine has a guardian angel that is a vampire.  Is that what you are talking about?
It depends. Does she know he's a vampire? If she doesn't find out until the latter third of the book, then yes, he'll be a hidden hero.  :)

I wasn't specifically thinking vampires when I spoke of having secret lives, although I'm as happy to read about them as anything else.

I was fairly late to romance, having only been reading them for the last five years or so. (prior to that, I wouldn't be seen dead with one) However, during that time I've read most of the sub-genres: vamps and werewolves, shape shifters and aliens, spies and Lords masquerading as servants. (that's a popular concept in historical romance)

Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: Lin on February 22, 2009, 05:11:50 AM
I have to say that the fantasy romance doesn't appeal to me.  I like to go for the real thing.  The reason I do this is because we are all voyeurs as a means of relating to our own lives. I like to give my readers chance to do this, its quite a buzz for me.

I have to say there are two kinds of romance I suppose - the fantasy where you completely go into a world of your own with the characters or the voyeur type where you can empathise with the characters as being like yourself and look into their lives without anyone pointing the finger at you!

My book is the real world with a little bit of literal licence!!  I use real places and put characters into those places.  I try to do my research so that anyone who has been to those places can relate to the story easily.  I try to consider my market out there too.

Of course wildlife is my passion and hopefully I can add some colour into the story with the birds, flowers and scenery.  The plot is fun to put together.

I have a very vivid imagination and can write a story very easily placing all the story sequences into my head without having to worry too much about who does what and to whom.  Perhaps I'm very lucky I can do that and wrote my present book in just three months working some days 9 hours a day. I suppose I learned this skill from my job as a trainer of driving instructors.  Everything had to be in a logical sequence otherwise you might have an accident!!  I became very good at my job and I think the skills I learned from that have helped me a lot in my writing.

It was like a river of words pouring and pouring from my mind, sometimes a waterfall gushing from a rock above.  Goodness knows why it happens that way, it just does.  I just couldnt stop typing, hardly stopping for a break.  There was no energy being used, so food wasn't as issue.

Now I think I am ready to do it again when I have finished this book.  Its so exciting and gives me an adrenaline rush which seems to last for a long time.

Romance writing is so therapeutic, it allows you to bring together two people whom you get to know really well and its almost like they are your best friends.

The hard part is editing the words but even that is a challenge and when you can see light at the end of the tunnel - it's an amazing feeling.

Lin x







Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: flights_of_fantasy on February 22, 2009, 06:33:44 AM
I think I'm the opposite, Lin. I tend to shy away from straight contemporary stories, because reading is my escape from the real world and sometimes contemporaries can be too close to that gritty world you see on the news.

However, what I read and what I write are separate. I don't mind writing contemporary stories, although there is usually an element of escape hidden somewhere within. I wrote one story about a group of actors, and the 'escape' came in the fact they dressed in period costume to play their parts, which distanced them from real life ... at least until the show was over, when cruel reality came crashing back into their lives.

there are two kinds of romance I suppose - the fantasy where you completely go into a world of your own with the characters or the voyeur type where you can empathise with the characters as being like yourself and look into their lives without anyone pointing the finger at you!
I understand what you mean, but I don't believe the romance genre can be so firmly delineated. It's more of a rainbow, fading gradually from one colour to the other. It's possible to have real life fantasy, just as you can empathise with, and recognise traits in, fantastic scenes and characters, if it's well written.

When I think of one of my favourite ever contemporary romances, I realise it is also completely fantastic, because the story is about a scenario I will never experience: a rock band on tour.

I can promise you, a sexy Rock God comes a very close second in the irresistibly gorgeous stakes.
Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: Lin on February 22, 2009, 10:56:31 AM
Love it!!  Pictures of Rock Gods in my mind.

Lin x
Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: emma112 on February 22, 2009, 04:49:05 PM
Lol! Rock Gods...  ;D

I'd like to ask though, do you guys write about the love you already feel for someone, like your own experiences from your husbands/wives/partners etc. (if you have a partner, that is)? Or do you write about a different love that you've always wanted, but you've never actually experienced it fully?
Or maybe you have been inspired by a movie/book and used that kind of love that is described there?

I hope that made sense...   :)

Emma x x x
Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: Lin on February 22, 2009, 05:02:48 PM
Do you know Emma I really don't know the answer to that one.  I wrote the first thing that came into my head!!

Lin x
Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: emma112 on February 22, 2009, 05:25:51 PM
Hmm.. I know it was quite a difficult question, it's just that I wanted some pointers, because with me being so young, I have never experienced the kind of love that I would hopefully like to describe of my characters.

So, would you say that it is just something that comes naturally? And not something you really have to think about or base on emotions that you have already experienced?

Thanks,
          Emma x x x
Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: Alice, a Country Gal on February 22, 2009, 05:36:21 PM
Lol! Rock Gods...  ;D

I'd like to ask though, do you guys write about the love you already feel for someone, like your own experiences from your husbands/wives/partners etc. (if you have a partner, that is)? Or do you write about a different love that you've always wanted, but you've never actually experienced it fully?
Or maybe you have been inspired by a movie/book and used that kind of love that is described there?

I hope that made sense...   :)

Emma x x x

I would imagine all of the above and more come into play when we write about any emotion, plus a good dose of imagination at times.   :-*         :-*
Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: flights_of_fantasy on February 23, 2009, 02:10:24 AM
Emma, don't think your age or experience puts you at a disadvantage. The stuff I write comes mostly from my imagination, although occasionally something I read in the newspaper or a song might trigger an idea.

Some of it might even be wishful thinking on my part.  :)


Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: Lin on February 23, 2009, 03:46:47 AM
I agree write from the heart.  Or if you get a bit of writers block on this, try reading more romance.

It will

a.  give you an idea of what other writers portray
b.  You will find a style you like or

c.  Listen to music lyrics

The other thing you might consider is looking around you and doing some people watching whilst sitting on a park bench
Think about the man of your dreams and what kind of woman he should have!!  Look around you in every day life.  Take your notebook outside with you.  I do.

Describe him on a separate new page.  What does he wear how romantic he is, what does look like, you could base him on a real person, someone who has always taken your fancy.  Change his hair colour!

I dont think I based Sven on anyone really.  I think he was a guy I would like to have had, but he was purely fiction.  Pippa is probably me, but she doesnt look like me, behave like me or have the problems I have had - hers are far worse!!  LOL ::)  The only part of me in Pippa, is the fact that she is at one with nature.

The other characters in the book are based on one or two friends, who gave me permission to describe their house in the book.  They like the story, but even so my friends became three totally different people once I started writing it.

Yes dont let age get to you!  Dont be scared to write anything unbelievable either.  This is what writing is all about, being able to learn by discovery and you can play god and change things.

Lin x



Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: emma112 on February 23, 2009, 11:06:48 AM
Thanks Alice, flights and Lin!

And thanks for the pointers! I'll have to try and find some time at the weekend to take my notebook outside with me. I do have an idea of what my dream man would be (what girl doesn't??) and I'd like to think that Eleanor (MC) is a bit like me, as she has some similarities in personality, but not in looks, she is way prettier than me! :)

I love listening to romance lyrics and music, I guess I'm kind of in love with Robert Pattinson's new song, Let Me Sign - one of the most romantic songs I have heard! So, I guess that is helping me a lot at the moment. I do believe that I am old enough to know how to express myself that way and not write about the 'typical' kind of girly teenage love, which is not what my kind of love is about in the book. It is genuine, romantic love that I guess I have always wanted to have in life.

And same here, Lin! I tried to base some of my characters on a few of my friends, with their permission, but they have ended up changing and are not actually anything like what my friends are!

Thanks everyone, this has helped!

Emma x x x x

Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: Swampfox one on February 23, 2009, 11:59:34 AM
Quote
Lol! Rock Gods... 

I'd like to ask though, do you guys write about the love you already feel for someone, like your own experiences from your husbands/wives/partners etc. (if you have a partner, that is)? Or do you write about a different love that you've always wanted, but you've never actually experienced it fully?
Or maybe you have been inspired by a movie/book and used that kind of love that is described there?

I hope that made sense...   

Emma x x x

Inspiration comes from everywhere.  I mainly write from my own experiences but I do take from others.  I use my experiences as a model that I can plug anything, anyone into. As an example once you have been in love and know the feeling (if one ever can) then you can put anyone or thing into that model.  Hope this helps. 
Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: emma112 on February 23, 2009, 12:36:48 PM
Hey, JH.

Yeah, that helped thanks a lot!

Emma x x x
Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: Swampfox one on February 23, 2009, 02:22:21 PM
Quote
Hey, JH.

Yeah, that helped thanks a lot!

Emma x x x

One thing I forgot that I think is important. The farther away from your experience the easier it is to write it with other people in it.  ??? ;)
Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: emma112 on February 23, 2009, 03:59:46 PM
Okay... I think I got that lol.  :)

Thanks,
           Emma x x x
Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: flights_of_fantasy on February 23, 2009, 04:14:14 PM
On the topic of romance heroes, I've just found a couple of interesting links:

The eight hero archetypes (http://www.likesbooks.com/eight.html)

The eight female archetypes (http://www.likesbooks.com/78.html)

They describe different hero/heroine types found in romance novels, and make for interesting reading - if only so you know which stereotypes to steer clear of!
Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: Alice, a Country Gal on February 23, 2009, 04:18:58 PM
Quote
I love listening to romance lyrics and music, I guess I'm kind of in love with Robert Pattinson's new song, Let Me Sign - one of the most romantic songs I have heard!

Emma, there is a song that no matter how often I've heard it, I still melt.  I'm sure it is before your time, but if you can get your hands on it, give a listen to Lady Love by Lou Rawls.  That man has a voice that could give you goose bumps even reading the phone book.  ;) 
Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: Swampfox one on February 23, 2009, 04:27:53 PM
Lilly what about Mr. White?
Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: emma112 on February 23, 2009, 04:29:10 PM
Thanks, Alice! I'll have a look for it right away!

And flights! Those websites are amazing!! They have helped me so much in trying to identify my kind of man and the irresistable vampire that's in my book. I would class him as either a best friend or lost soul.
Thank you SO much for these websites! You are a life saver!!

Emma x x x
Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: Lin on February 24, 2009, 04:32:42 AM
Isn't this weird.  Here was I working away on my book this morning and I suddenly discovered a new plot!!  Now I didnt plan this, it was staring me in the face.  I had inadvertently written a side plot into the book.  Oddly enough it works, so I shall pursue it!!

I feel rather silly now because I hadn't seen it after reading it through 30 times!!  It was my character Pippa who showed it to me!!


Lin x
Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: emma112 on February 24, 2009, 12:36:37 PM
Good for you, Lin!

I know how you feel and it's a bit annoying when you find out that you could have noticed it sooner and saved a lot of time! :)

Say Hi to Pippa and Sven for me!  ;D

Emma x x x
Title: Re: For like minded romance writers
Post by: Lin on March 10, 2009, 12:08:22 PM
Apparently Yahoo has a romance writers group

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RWClist/messages


Hope this works
Lin x