Saturday, October 9, 2010
For the rest of us poor sods, what does this mean? Well, the way I see it, we have a number of choices:
1. Give up the writing gig altogether. Don't know about you, but not writing makes me cranky and difficult to live with. So this is not an option for me.
2. Decide that M&B isn't really for you. I like reading them, so I'll continue trying to write them thank-you-very-much.
3. Write The Damn Book - whether it's the entry in the competition (re-writing Chapter 1 'cos it obviously didn't work for one reason or another) or another brand-spanking new story - and sub it to M&B regardless.
I think I'll take number 3 thanks. I mean, I feel despondent right now and need to give myself a day to throw a pity party for one. But, as some encouraging published M&B authors have pointed out on various forums, you don't need a competition to get that publishing contract. These authors can attest to that.
So if you didn't make The List, have an apple and pear martini (my shout) and pick yourself up, dust yourself off, then keep on writing.
As for me, my plan is to write the suckopsis (can't remember who first came up with this term but I hope you don't mind if I've acquired it) and e-mail it along with my first chapter to one of my fave authors from who I was lucky enough to win a critique. Then maybe I can find out what's wrong with this damn chapter once and for all, though I have my suspicions. Then I'm going to put this story aside and do NaNoWriMo with a fresh new story, blocking out the 'shoulds' and 'should-nots' which I've found has crippled my writing so much over the past year.
What about everyone else? What's your plan now that your NV dream is over?
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Everyone who entered should take a bow as it takes a lot of courage to put your work in front of others for comments and ratings.
Please visit the wonderful Lacey Devlin's blog for the Wall of Fame of entrants (we all would love your support!) and the ever-supportive Francine Howarth's blog for more recommendations of entries to read.
If you're interested in reading my Modern Heat first chapter entry, head on over to the website: http://www.romanceisnotdead.com and it's under 'Contemporary Romance' by Angie Peters. The title is 'Warming the Sexy Stranger's Bed'.
I'll get the courage to mosey on over to the Mills & Boon New Voices site soon - just as soon as my stomach stops churning and the sick feeling recedes somewhat...
Saturday, September 4, 2010
I've sent off the re-written first chapter to my new CP. Hopefully, she'll have time to provide me some feedback before I embarrass myself and send it to the judges and the rest of the world to read. I'm not sure if my writing is ready to be sent out to the world just yet, but I have to start sometime, don't I?
So nerve wracking....
Please tell me, my wonderful blog readers - is it absolutely MANDATORY to have the hero and heroine meet on page 1 in a category romance?
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Which leads me right onto what's on my mind. I've been in a dark place in my life, which then filters into my writing and reading. Everything dries up. Is this an excuse? My fears subconsciously getting in my way to prevent me from writing and, therefore, failing? Possibly. "Keep the drama on the page," as Julia Cameron says in her book, The Right to Write.
The discipline to write daily is lacking.
But there may be more to it than that. I had a lightbulb moment when I read Jane Mulberry Jones's blog post on Seven Sassy Sisters. Like Jane, I find myself writing a first chapter (or three or four!), only to decide it's all crap, get discouraged, then stop writing for a while. Which makes me damn miserable! And until I let myself write a crappy first draft, nothing will change. Which I've known for ages, but can't seem to overcome. (Besides the one time when I successfully finished NaNoWriMo. And can't seem to replicate.)
Since I've let my doubts get in the way in the past, I made a promise to myself to enter the next HM&B competition. So I'll be entering a first chapter into the New Voices competition. Once I get that chapter up to scratch, that is...
Who else is entering? And how do you overcome the life obstacles and inner doubts so you can continue writing?
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Time flies...I hadn't realised how long it had been since I last posted. I'm having a break from my medical treatment due to nasty side effects.
On the writing front, I've completed my first synopsis and have received feedback from my writing teacher. Basically, I've got a looonnngggg way to go in learning the skill of synopsis writing. My frustration with this ms is immense. After working on this story for over a year (and during this writing course), having brainstormed with my Course Coordinator, and having submitted my first three chapters there are STILL problems with my character's goals, motivations and conflict. Can you sense my frustration?!!
So the feedback from my writing teacher on my synopsis can be summed up like this:
- I haven't demonstrated that my hero and heroine are made for each other, despite the obstacles that stand in their way (internal and external conflict). The motivation for the romance is not explained.
- The question was asked why my hero needed his father's wishes to force him to marry? Why doesn't he decide he needs this by himself? (In my ms, hero is heir of his father's hotel. My hero wants nothing more than to take over the running of the hotel and, by doing so, preventing a merger with their competitor. His father is CEO and is stepping down, but requires his son to marry in order to take over as CEO. His father has a reason for this, but it's not explained in the synopsis.)
- My heroine's motivation for the MOC was questioned. I thought I had got this right, but obviously not...
- I also need to show how my heroine's initial perceptions about the hero shift and demonstrate exactly the events and actions that reveal to her the opposite qualities about the hero. Qualities that she admires in him and that make her fall in love with him.
- I have to make it clear what the wound in my heroine is that my hero heals, how it happens and how it further complicates things between them.
- The Black Moment - there needs to be a change in the hero leading up to this, ie. I need to show that he is starting to change his views about not getting emotionally involved with my heroine.
It's a struggle trying to write a synopsis when I'm an organic writer and the ms has not been completed. I think that's why it's been lacking so much. Yet I know this is an expectation of published writers so it's something I have to learn how to do.
I don't expect to get things right the first time, but when I've spent so long trying to get the story elements right and the GMC, it's discouraging after so long to realise that I haven't. I feel like I've wasted my time. Anyway, I know it's all a learning curve.
On a more positive note, I'll leave you with someone who has gone into my Hero Inspiration files recently.
I absolutely loved Russell Crowe in Robin Hood. Also loved him in Gladiator. Give me a warrior any day.
For those of you that prefer a younger-looking hero, maybe this pic might float your boat instead:
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Dessert will be galaktoboureko (a custard dessert with syrup and phyllo pastry). Yum :) But won't do much for my ever-expanding waistline.