Bits and Bobs


As mentioned in my last post, I’ve been doing RWA Bootcamp 209 – it runs for two Saturdays in a row and unfortunately we’re already half way through. Last Saturday was full on but oh so helpful. First up we did Character Arcs with Diane Gaston (tbc this week), then there was OH&S for writers with Dana Scully (her stretches worked miracles on my tired shoulders), next up Sexual Tension with Carol Marinelli (that woman is an angel and oh so clever) and the final tute was Dialogue with Robyn Grady (lots of good points, which reminds me I must do that homework). We also have a question and answers session with Anna Campbell, which was really inspiring and interesting. 

Although I loved all the workshops, Carol’s tute really spoke to me. I think (especially in Modern Heat) it can sometimes be hard to be sexy early on in the novel without becoming sleazy. Know what I mean? She gave us some great tips (but better not give them away as they are hers to teach) about how to add personal depth to the sex scenes. One point which she made (and I’m sure will not mind me
 sharing) is that we need to look upon sex scenes as sex of our characters and get rid of the feeling that people will think ‘they’ are really ‘us.’  Once we know our characters deeply… their sex lives will take on personality too! Anyway am rambling since I’m tired, so moving right along…
I’ve also been reading
 ‘Becoming a Writer’ by Dorothea Brande. So many people have recommended this book, so I finally decided to open it! One thing which has stood out to me so far is that if we want 
to succeed as writers, we need to take our writing seriously. She goes so far as to recommend each writer gets up earlier than everyone in their house and starts writing before they do ANYT
HING ELSE! In my house this would mean getting up at about 4am – but perh
aps if the baby starts sleeping longer periods, I can give it a try. I know… excuses, excuses. She actually says that if you’re not prepared to do this, you may as well give up, cos you’re not dedicated enough and don’t want enough! Hey Dorothea…I WANT!!!
Still… she makes a good point, so I’ll work towards it. In the meantime have decided that I’m gonna write fromm 8pm to 8.30pm EVERY NIGHT, WITHOUT FAIL, no matter what else is happening in my world. The aim? To get into a good routine – another of Dorothea’s tips! I’ll keep you updated!
Another aside… I WON Lynn Raye Harris’  debut book through her blog (won’t get it till July, but I can be patient). Am so excited about this because she was the winner for the Instant Seduction contest and it’s been wonderful to follow her progress from win to call and soon to publication!! Go Lynn!! 
Right… so that’s about me for now. Have been contemplating writing but not actually doing much lately… so with the help of Dorothea… I’m pumped to get back into it!
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9 thoughts on “Bits and Bobs

  1. Hey Rach,I’ve read all these comments about getting up earlier than the kids. I really tried hard (I’m not a morning person at the best of times!!) but then the days got lighter and in order to get up 2 hours before the kids I was getting up at 4am. I did it a couple of times …Now I’m back to trying to write 8-10pm while tuning out the elder two squabbling. Sometimes I think they are more problem than the younger 3 🙂

  2. She actually says that if you’re not prepared to do this, you may as well give up, cos you’re not dedicated enough and don’t want enough!Oh that’s so ANNOYING. Get the sanctimonious cow to come and live your life for five minutes and see how easy it is. Sorry, but this sort of thing really gets to me. She is just subtly putting her reader down and making herself look better for it. Not very nice. How can anyone recommend a book by a person like that??Ignore her Rach, as one who has tracked your career for several years now I can safely say that you are so far beyond one who ‘doesn’t want it enough’ its not funny.

  3. Look, if you manage to do ANY writing at all with lots of kids in the house, you’re doing fantastically in my book! That being said, even a routine of 15mins uninterrupted writing time every day is good way of getting yourself in the zone. Plus, even if you only manage 15 mins you don’t have to feel guilty becasue you’ve done something! Yeah, writing sex scenes is an art. And I like what she says about sex as the characters and that their sex lives should be about their personalities. It’s hard to make each scene different when fundamentally the mechanics are the same!

  4. Wish I could do writing bootcamp but weekends are sacrosanct in this household. I bet you’ve learned a huge amount, you lucky thing.I’m with Tory. Ms Brande is being a bit sanctimonious, I think. Setting a routine is a great idea, but telling you that you aren’t taking your writing seriously because you don’t follow her recommendation? Phhht!

  5. The boot camp sounds awesome! I’m jealous! If you see Robyn G. again give her a big hug from me.The belief that if you don’t get up before the kids you don’t want to be a writer…is bull. I believe that you have to make sacrifices to write if it’s not your 9-5 exclusive job while someone else looks after the kids, but *which* sacrifices you make are up to you. I can lose out on sleep, but only by staying up late at night, not by getting up early in the morning. If I got up at 4 am to work, all I’d write is (very bad) zombie stories.I’ve given up on other things, like television and a spotless house, and although I don’t get up at 4 am, I do believe I want to be a writer and I earn a living at it, too.The book was written in 1934, apparently, and the pace of life was different then, as were family dynamics. I can well imagine a 1934 housewife not having any time in the evening after doing all the housework and catering for her husband. They must have been superwomen back then!Writing is such a different career for everyone that it’s impossible to take everyone’s advice. You just have to learn what works best for you.Julie C, aka B.H.

  6. I think Julie’s advice is spot on. I personally couldn’t write anything that made any sense at 4 am but at 1 am, at the other end of the day, is another story.The best advice I ever heard was to write something every day, even if it’s only a small amount. I think the time of day you write it and whether it’s part of a routine just comes down to personal preference…

  7. Eleni – Bootcamp is fabulous and oh so inspiring, which is just what I needed right about now.Joanne – I’m sooooooooo not a morning person either 🙂 I’m trying to get back into the habit of writing evenings now baby is getting bigger but does anyone else feel guilty about not spending much time with their hubby??Tory, Julie, Jackie, Cathryn and Lorraine you are all so wise. I should feel good about the fact that with three little kids, I still make the time for writing – whenever that may be.Julie – thanks for pointing out the that the book was written in 1934. I forgot to mention it and you made such good points about the different lives of women – then and now. Hubby wishes he was living in 1934!

  8. *laugh* I am just finishing the 1934 comment!!I have sadly sadly neglected my writing in favour of indulging in life’s every day and not so every day (deaths, illness and housing crises)… however, I think the point about routine probably works…I too have the 3 kids, school run, shift work, husband’s shift work and a new (OLD) home in very sad need of renovation…I have been very unkind to myself (no writing) allowing the fear factor to embrace all the interruptions…After the voice work shop and also after the conference I REALLY lost my momentum… the voice workshop was illuminating on many levels, and also heightened my confusion on where to focus (will write about that when I haven’t just returned home from work and can think a little more ;-)Sooooo – I agree with Cath… pphhfftt to the morning thing, definitely thumbs up to the routine of something!!Amanda x

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