Contemplating Naughty Naughty Things…

So it appears I have a voice suited to Modern Heat but I haven’t yet cracked the whole character-driven-plot-emotional-conflict thing.

So… I’m contemplating ditching both the current wips and starting on a new story for the iheartpresents contest. I’m doing a 5k challenge next week with the lovely ladies I did a Bootcamp with earlier this year *waving to those of you who read this* and I’m contemplating the idea of writing something totally new!!
So far.. I’ve got:
*Christmas Eve
*A Maverick Self-Made Millionairre
*Santa’s Little Helper
*And a broken down Voltswagon Beetle!!!
It’s not much… but it’s a start!
NB. I AM thinking about their conflicts too!! And I plan to make the Maverick and the Elf have LOADS of internal stuff going on!

I placed BUT…

Well… the fabulous news is that I came third in the RWNZ Great Beginnings contest. The finalists were judged by Kimberley Young of M&B and she gave me some comments on my first chap and synopsis.

Overall she said they loved my voice but I need to be careful of forcing humour; the hero is strong and the heroine’s emotional conflicts progress well BUT there could be MORE between them AND although they loved the set-up (a road-trip) part of the conflict feels plot-driven and is therefore CONTRIVED!!!
ARGH!!! Can you hear me screaming?
I have two things bothering me now a) what the hell does contrived mean exactly, cos I’ve read so many category romances that are fabulous but seem far more contrived than mine and b) if the mss wasn’t requested from the contest, what chance have I got that the full of the partial (currently with the editor working with me) will be requested.
So… while I’m pondering what moves I should make next with regards to rewrites, totally new stories or just waiting it out to see what happens, I’d love to hear your opinion on what exactly a contrived plot is!! Any ideas…

Recharge, Re-coup and eEditors!

After a crazy couple of weeks, I needed a few days down time before throwing myself back into writing. Funny that the downtime actually included catching up on housework and washing (although I’ll never completely catch up me thinks) but doing so made me feel better and put me in a better zone to get back into writing. I also read a bit and critted chapters of my friends and CPs.

Now I’m slowly easing myself back into writing OHHN and hope to have it finished by the end of August… that’s unless I hear from M&B about the partial I subbed to them earlier in the year.
I finally emailed the eEditor address to find out what’s going on with this partial, so hopefully I’ll hear something soon. Best case scenario would be a full request – so fingers crossed please!
Will keep you updated…

A minor epiphany!

While reading Kandy Shepherd’s debut book ‘Love is a Four-Legged Word’ yesterday, I had a minor epiphany about writing romance.

There’s always so much focus (in blogs, workshops, editor interviews, etc) on making sure there’s something MAJOR and IMPORTANT keeping the hero and heroine apart (INTERNAL CONFLICT)!! This seems to be the reason many wannabee authors (including myself) get rejected on mss, which are otherwise considered quite noice, so it’s right we focus on such things. But… I sometimes wonder if in the HUGE strive to achieve the perfect internal conflicts between our lovely characters, we forget that there needs to be a MAJOR reason, if not reasons, why they should be together as well.

In Kandy’s book, the hero and heroine get chatting (at a funeral as it happens) about their love for animated Disney films. Not only does this show they have something in common but it gives the heroine insight into the hero’s more ‘human’ side and she begins to fall for more than his stunningly sexy good looks. I’m only at the beginning of this book and so I’m sure there’s many more reasons why the hero and heroine go so well together, but it made me think about my own wips and wonder if I’ve given good reasons why my h&Hs are PERFECT and therefore will make the reader root for their HEA!

In my ‘Feel The Heat’ entry, Matt and Libby are instantly attracted to each other but quite aside from the physical, Matt likes Libby’s gumption and attitude and Libby likes Matt’s humour and passion for his cars. Yet… in terms of what they’ve got in common, I can’t think of anything concrete. They both have issues with their parents, but is that enough? Me thinks not.

In my current MH wip, Sebastian and Martha find each other attractive immediately but have pre-conceptions about deeper issues of personality that stop them acting on this attraction. So far the only thing I can think of that they have in common is their love for younger siblings and the fact they both work with their hands. Is this enough? Somehow… I think I have to work on more!

So… I’m now gonna think about WHY my hero and heroines should be together as much as why they shouldn’t. Hopefully… this helps bring my mss’ up to publication standard.
Would love to hear your thoughts…

When All Else Fails… Buy Another How-To Book!

I’m suffering a SEVERE case of Mid-Book Anxiety! This happened with the last wip too… I get half way (or just before) and I start thinking that everything I’ve written is absolute rubbish and I wonder why I’m even bothering!!

So… what have I done? Gone out and bought ANOTHER How-To book. Actually… I didn’t have to go anywhere cos I bought it online but I think it still equates to the same šŸ™‚ It’s called ‘Break Into Fiction’ by Mary Buckham and Diana Love Snell and the blurb reckons it’s ”all you need to master the art of fiction.” That had me sold.
Pity I still haven’t read the last three How-To books I spent hubby’s hard-earned dosh on!
Go on… confess… do you have a writing-related addiction?

Still above water – just!

Hey lovely blog readers

Just thought I’d let you know that posts might be few and far between in July! Not only am I sick at the moment (yaya) but July is looking to be a full-on crazy month.
I’m off to Perth with my mum and the heroes-in-training for a few days next week, where I plan to catch up with wonderful old friends and hit the toy sales. When I get back, I’ll be working two days (I NEVER usually work during the week), then have mother-in-law and other family coming to stay for the weekend and then a lovely friend coming to stay for a few days after that. Somewhere in there, I’m also having a bra party (yes, I know… all I wear is Bonds Maternity but still…) for a friend who’s just become a consultant. Oh and on the 17th Trouble turns three and I was crazy enough to invite EVERYONE from PG, which means I’ll be baking for days beforehand and recovering for days after!
Writing….?? I’m gonna be realistic and aim for 200w a day in July!
Oh and for those of you who’ve been lovely enough to enquire, I still haven’t heard from Mills & Boon on either the proposals I sent or the partial I subsequently sent. Gotta learn a lot of patience in this business, doncha!!