Friday, July 31, 2009

Over at the Novel Racers

As I mentioned earlier this week - life is a bit busy. One of the things on the list was my shout for coffee over at the Novel Racers's Blog. So my post is here. It's about opening paragraphs and whether they reflect or even should reflect the book that follows.

Here's the latest version of the opening A CORNISH HOUSE for your perusal.

The car coughed to a halt then lurched as the trailer pushed it further along the dark lane. The headlights' beam silhouetted the twisted trees against the moonless sky. Their tortured shapes merged with the hedges forming a tunnel which enclosed the car. Maddie’s chest tightened. She forced her breathing to slow, but it didn’t calm her rapid heart beat.

May I ask - what does it say to you? Would you want to read on? What type of book do you think it is?

Now head back down and only coming up for the odd cup of coffee and glance at Twitter now that it's working again!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I am knee deep in people and work and just managing to keep my head above water so forgive me for my silence, lack of comments, lack of visits and basically everything. Twitter messed me around and in the process really set me off kilter. I felt cut off for my coffee breaks as it were. The results is that I have set up a new account - @liz_fenwick.

Aside from that I have been working at editing A Cornish House and tying in with this Anita Burgh has a post on That Inner Voice that is simply a must read. Had I listened to it more I would be editing less - the upside is that I am listening now. More about this later when I'm through the first pass.

Hope the sun finds you all. It has just appeared here and everything looks better.

Friday, July 24, 2009

I'm over at the Novel Racers' Blog Today

I've posted on plotting over at the Novel Racers' Blog.

I'm behind on A Cornish House and I have been a victim of Twitter's cull so have lost all my followers and those I follow. If you followed me or I followed you on Twitter can you find me again! @lizfenwick Thanks!!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

RNA Conference 4 (part 3) - Linda Gillard

Below is the final section of Linda Gillard's Sense and Sensitivity session.

But before that I just wanted to update you on where things are with my own writing. I had to leave Penderrown at 71,000 words and plunge into A Cornish House as the New Writers' Scheme deadline is approaching fast. The good thing is that I haven't looked at the manuscript in about seven months. It is amazing what the fresh eye can see and what I have learned in the intervening time. I have read all the feedback from last year's NWS report, agents comments and publisher comments. I looked for any real consistency and there was none! So it is now down to me as the writer to see where this story needs to grow and shrink. I need to give myself clear page deadlines for each day which have to be met or surpassed - I may be a bit quiet on the blog if I start falling behind (Needless to say that this deadline falls as DH is on his three weeks hols, hence the rain in Cornwall, the kids are all here and we have guests!) So each day I need to revise 25 pages which will give me time for one last read through before submission. Fingers crossed.


Beware: description of character can be where writing sags.

It’s much harder to describe beautiful people than ugly ones! Difficult to avoid cliché. Focusing on non-visual aspects some of the time will help avoid the pitfalls.
(I avoid describing my characters because I think it’s a pit you can fall into. I also think it’s a weakness in my writing, so I don’t draw attention to it.)
You don’t want lists of adjectives, back-story, clichés. You mustn’t let readers switch off. (Some skip description!) Keep your descriptions sensory and vivid, and readers won’t want to skip.
Make your characters vivid by using concrete detail (and not just things you can see.) Be specific.

I often work from photos of real people (sometimes amalgams of more than one) because it makes me step outside my comfort zone and my own limited memory bank.
[Resources: PEOPLE photo packs Note: Here pick a few of your own]

WRITING TASK 5 Sensory Gymnastics!

1. Choose a photo and study it.
Imagine this is one of your characters.

2. Think of a smell associated with that character - their perfume or their natural body smell; the smell of the job they do; perhaps the smell of fear or blood.

3. Think of a sound associated with your character – the sound of their voice, an instrument they play, the music they listen to, a sound their body makes (eg asthmatic wheeze.)

4. Think of a texture associated with your character – the feel of their hair, skin, clothes, or something they touch in the course of their work, something they make as a hobby.

5. Can you think of a taste associated with your character? A food or drink they like? Or if your character lends himself/herself to the sensuous and erotic, something s/he tastes of?…

I want to thank Linda for sharing all of this. It is a fantastic set of exercises and I can already see the benefit.... So to find out more about Linda drop by her website. There is a great section on writing.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

RNA Conference 4 (part 2) - Linda Gillard

Yesterday I posted part one of Linda Gillard's session on Sense and Sensitivity. Today brings you part two and tomorrow the final part. Enjoy.

You’ve been recording “TELLING” DETAIL - detail which tells the story

Look at the pictures of settings (note -these are just random ones off of my 'puter) and choose one that appeals - a picture that interests you, or that you might like to “walk into” if you could.

WRITING TASK 2 Settings 10 mins
1. Study the picture and make notes – sounds, smells, textures & tastes.

Try to imagine a full sensory picture of your scene.
Think about air quality, temperature… What would the textures feel like? What sounds could be going on in the background? Or is it silent? What is the quality of that silence?
Can you smell anything?… (Make things up!)

(Is there a detail that encapsulates the scene as a sort of sensory postcard?)

2. Try to develop your notes into a few sentences to capture the scene. Write about the visuals if you like but don’t let them dominate. Try to let the reader know what it was like to be there, not what it looked like.

Telling detail doesn’t have to be visual. (What things looked like wasn’t necessarily the most important thing.)

For the purposes of romantic writing, the other senses might do a better and less clichéd job.

In STAR GAZING I wrote love scenes (and indeed sex scenes) that had no visual element at all because they were written in the first person and the narrator-heroine was blind…

When writing my 1st novel EMOTIONAL GEOLOGY I’d made the discovery about “the spaces in-between” which readers fill in for you

Back story…
Post-illness, conserving mental and physical energy, I wrote short sections and I wrote about detail - the little picture, not the big picture.

When I got feedback from readers I found that focusing on detail had nevertheless painted a big picture because of the wonderful magic whereby readers fill in, as “co-creator”.

In EG I described rocks. People saw landscape.
I described colours and threads and people saw quilts.

In SG I described what rocks, trees, snow felt and smelled like and readers experienced the Isle of Skye.

If you write about details (eg describe eyes) readers will still see the whole. (ie face) Reader will fill in. (Cheshire cat’s floating grin – hard to imagine.)

In SG I described what the hero sounded, felt like and smelled like. There’s very little visual description of him.

Concrete detail will do most of the work for you if you really focus on it and make it vivid. It’s the “active ingredient”. If the detail is real for you, it will be real for your readers. And if the detail is real for readers, they will fill in the background, and that will be real too.

Detail is the writer’s labour-saving device!

WRITING TASK 3 A memory in detail 5 mins

Think of a time when things were very good or very bad for you (or for someone else.)

Describe some small part of that experience - not the big picture (the content/the cause) but a detail (eg the weather at the time, the sounds and smells in the hospital waiting room.)

Might help to begin with “I remember…” Avoid visual description as far as possible.

Monday, July 20, 2009

RNA Conference 4 - Linda Gillard

I was unable to attend Linda Gillard's session on Sense and Sensitivity, but heard wonderful things about it. Here's what Biddy had to say when she blogged about the conference over on The Pink Heart Society Blog:

"One of the best for me was Linda Gillard about Sense and Sensibility, the use of senses in writing. We mostly concentrated on all the senses but the vision. We live in such a visual world that sometimes we neglect the other senses. We did some exercises that really helped. "

So Linda has very kindly offered me her notes and allowed me to share them with you! Today I'll post through to the first exercise and then continue on from there. Before that though let me tell you a bit about Linda. She now lives in a village outside Glasgow, but spent six years living on the Isle of Skye. Her first career was acting which led to journalism then onto teaching and finally to writing novels. Her last novel Star Gazing was short listed for the Romantic Novel of the Year Award 2009. Here's part one of her notes:

"It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision." Helen Keller

How I came to write STAR GAZING’s blind heroine…
1. “Playing with my imaginary friends” led to imaginary hero
2. Non-visual representation of Isle of Skye to avoid cliché.

I thought the blind “pov” would be limiting and readers would get bored. Reverse was true.
It extended my writing.

Qualifications for a writer:
To be curious
To be observant
You need a good memory
To be sensual (esp. writers of romance!)

When you’re writing, you’re trying to see the picture, to watch the movie of your story unfold. You will eventually be trying to hear what the characters are saying. You’re “eavesdropping”.

But do you tend to stop there?
Do you ever wonder if your readers feel as if they are actually there, in the middle of your story? As if it’s happening to them?

We tend to confine our observations to what we see and hear, but experiences and memories are very much related to all the 5 senses: sight, sound, touch, smell & taste.

Memories aren’t just visual.
eg “They’re playing our song”. The power of familiar music to evoke whole scenes.
Looking at holiday photos will show you only what you saw. They don’t convey the heat, the sound of the sea, the noise of children playing, the delicious smells coming from the taverna.

A visual record is incomplete but we tend to think a visual record is a good record simply because sight dominates our other senses. And we live in a visual age. (Elizabethans invariably talked about going to “hear a play”.)

Examples of my childhood memories that couldn’t be captured just visually:

Smell of blackcurrant leaves and the buzzing of bees in the hollyhocks when I played as a child in my garden.

Basil’s Italian ice cream (taste of vanilla, crystals in and coldness of ice cream; the sound of his bell which triggered excitement and salivation!)

The two abiding memories of my first teddy - damp patches on his paws where I chewed and the sound of sawdust moving when I squeezed him. (But I can’t remember what he looked like.

WRITING TASK 1 A Childhood Memory 5 mins 10.25 – 10.30

1. Record an intense memory, perhaps from childhood. Try to recall the event in more than just a visual way. (Your oldest memories are unlikely to be just visual, that’s why they’ve stayed with you.) Use all your senses. Jot down your impressions in note form.

2. Select most powerful aspect of that memory, the thing that brings it to life for you. Note whether it’s a visual memory.

Tomorrow part two........ and let me know how your exercise went and I'll share mine!

Friday, July 17, 2009

RNA Conference 3, Kathy Gale

Kathy Gale“What Publishers Want”

She has 25 years in publishing and switched from editing to being a writing coach and well as publishing consultant for Quick Reads - which was set up for people who struggle with reading or who lost the reading habit. She became a writing coach because of the gap between writers and publishers.

The Practical Info
- They want best selling writer who write a book a year and make them loads of money
- Supermarkets have transformed the market and if you don’t make it in to them you’ll never make
- The mid list is almost totally gone
- Publishers don’t have the facility to build writers
- Books has to be really fantastic
- They want writers to be writing in the same vein-even better with continuing characters

You need to know where a book will fit in the market place – it’s a means of communication to so many possible (the chain of people who have to communicate your market) so be clear be clear of your market

Have a phrase or a way of describing yourself – ie contemporary women’s fiction, heart rending love story, rom com....something people can relate to

Seeing yourself as a contemporary writer – what is being written now – the style now – what makes it fresh and contemporary

Who is your target market –
ABC1- middle class
C2D- working class
-who is the core readership
-it is a helpful idea to have a picture of your core reader – name her – think about your market in that way
-think about what your reader wants

Trends in Publishing
-misery memoirs are heading down
-historical sagas on the way down, Regional saga has peaked
-look at the Times best seller list
-Develop a relationship with a librarian and a bookseller – who are the breakout sellers and what was the breakout book
-read the Bookseller
-read new authors who have sold really well – what is it about them that that is completely new, fresh
-look at things with an open mind – what is selling
-don’t write cynically – those books are thin; they don’t have heart

It’s about finding a balance - a balance of writing a book that lights your fire with an eye to the market. Often it is in the detail -
-emotional depth
-vary pace; give enough detail
-evoking atmosphere
-don’t let pace over ride everything; give the reader enough time
-the setting

It is a huge job to write a book – it can take years

She then said having listed the above 'rules' -YOU ARE NOT TO FOLLOW ANY RULES AT ALL- DON’T TWIST YOURSELF OUT OF SHAPE
Go with the feel – go with your heart- go with your own writing pattern
Resonant writing
Publishers want their authors to be professional
-The appearance of the author does matter; interesting; engaging; they are promotable; be stylish, bright, contemporary not stuffy
-They want authors who are self respecting and assertive but are not difficult to work with
-Respect them as professionals
-Don’t be difficult
-Watch out what you say about yourself and your book in the covering letter-be professional but not grandiose
-No gimmicks
In answer to a question she said -
There is room for innovation – yes. Take Bridget Jones for example.It transformed the landscape of contemporary women’s fiction, in fact it made it contemporary

Kathy's website

This session had so many light bulb moments for me - it filled in the gaps to some of the feedback I have had on A Cornish House. So now back to polishing ACH for the New Writers' Scheme deadline 31 August.
The next session post will be next week. I apologize for posting the sessions out of order but I am doing the ones that I have already written up first!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

RNA Conference and Builders

I have builders in as I write this so I don't have time to post my next conference report however the RNA Conference Links will direct you to other reports of the conference and this is being updated as new reports appear and today's post has another conference experience here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

RNA Conference 2 - Veronica Henry and Pictures of Friday Night

Veronica Henry – ‘From Ambridge to Honeycote’

Veronica opened with the fact that she was in the naughty kitchen the night before but she behaved unlike some others (here read a look directed at your scribe). Her early life was as an army brat and with all the moving her comfort and constant companions were books.

She did Latin at uni but found running a nightclub more fun and was asked to leave. However the upside is that she met her future husband in the nightclub. She then went to a secretarial school which led to a job as production secretary with the Archers and this opened a whole new world which eventually brought her to scriptwriting and television.

All of which proved brilliant training ground for novel writing. This began when she decided that she wanted to have a family.... The first novel began as the idea based around a brewery and the family that owned – sort of beer meets Dallas.

Veronica went on to tell us how her experience writing for tv informed her novel writing. First the story structure is the same and it was when she was doing a few episodes of Holby City that one went awry. She was sent on a course for naughty writers given by John York to get writers back on track.

Out of this course she has held onto the ten questions to focus on your characters and get things working again.

1. Whose story is it – from whose pov are you telling it and why?
2. What emotional state is he/she in the beginning? Is it sufficiently far enough away from the end point?
3. What does she want and what does it tell us about her character?
4. What is the inciting incident and why does it affect her more than anyone else?
5. What obstacles are in the character’s way and what character traits help her overcome them?
6. What’s at stake and what will be lost if they don’t achieve the objective?
7. Why should we care? – people have to be flawed but we must be able to relate, they must be human, the reader must feel they are redeemable
8. What do they learn and how do they change?
9. How and why do they change?
10. How does it end?

Victoria ends with a HEA (my kind of book). So when she is floundering she pulls out the questions and applies them to all the characters – there needs to be an arc for each one.

She begins with a setting and a theme. She is not a huge plotter – she builds a main frame with the main plot points that she wants to reach and some set pieces she would like to include but not necessarily where they will go. She does this on a four sheet of A4 paper.

She likes to take the scenic route but doesn’t want to be too undisciplined.

The most important thing for a new book is the trip to Paperchase to buy a new clean notebook – the excitement it builds. They are all perfect in head but once on the page the characters develop flaws – very much like real life. Characters aren’t what you expect, but run with it – it’s an adventure.

She writes chronologically now but didn’t before. She is now strict except when stuck then she may jump ahead just to get writing – get the writing muscle moving and to build confidence again.

She writes in 20k word chunks which then then locks away until the end then she can come back to it with a fresh eye. If she keeps going over the old words she avoiding writing the new.

She tests herself with new writing tricks – to keep changing and evolving as a writer.

She doesn’t want to get stuck in a rut; she makes herself work harder; she will stick to the brand but wants to shake it up a little.

She gives maybe a page or two of what she knows will happen to editor so that the editor knows what she getting and it doesn’t change too much. The journey can change but not who ends up with who.

The scariest thing is to dump six months work in the bin.

Titles are so important and she finds them hard. Fantastic titles sell even if the book isn’t. The title should encapsulate what the book is about. Long titles are the fashion at the moment.
Current book – MARRIAGE AND OTHER GAMES. The story is in the title and it fits her brand which is a little mischievous but nothing too weird. She stays away from covers unless there is something so wrong.

Regarding branding she said just be yourself, know your voice, be true to your genre and know who you are.

Now a few photos from the bar on Friday night.

A peak inside one of the naughty kitchens!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

RNA Conference - Opening Session

I finally reached home at ten last night - exhausted but energized at the same time. The conference was simply wonderful. There is nothing quite like being with people who don't think you come from an alien planet because you live with strangers in your head.

Below is the first of my conference notes - I must add again these are just my take on what was said - what I could scribble down quickly - not exact quotes but my summary - so therefore I could be way off the mark from what the speaker actually said or intended. I offer my apologies for this in advance.

I do have to say this session alone did show that there is no one right way....and boy did I learn a lot!

How too much?

The Opening session of the RNA Conference in Penrith was chaired by Catherine Jones aka Kate Lace. She introduced the authors on the panel –Melanie Hilton aka Louise Allen(hot historicals for Mills & Boon), Liz Gill (Sagas), Helen Scott Taylor (Paranormal), Sue Moorecroft (short stories), and Veronica Henry (romantic comedy).

We, the audience, were asked to phrase our questions as “How much (blank) is too much?” Catherine opened the questions with ‘How much sex is too much?’

HST – in paranormal many are very hot especially in the US – the market in general there spans extremely hot to inspirational
MH – it’s too much if you don’t feel comfortable- otherwise its shows – you need to think of your readers’ comfort zone – more important the unexpected frizzon
VH – in her 1st book she wrote very steamy scene and now that is expected in all her books. However you do need to earn them – they need an emotional pull or reward; they are good fun
SM – in short stories it depends on the market
LG – one reader commented to her once ‘Don’t know how you sleep at night with all those sex scenes.’ She hadn’t thought there were many in the book but went back to count and there were 11. She added that it’s got to be in conflict otherwise it’s gratuitous. Conflict with sex – the whole novel should be in conflict...what’s holding them back (what’s going on the outside vs the inside –we need to care) Sex has to be more that sex.

LG – lots..libraries, people best. She researches while watching telly, it is only too much if it all turns up in your novel – read and digest & forget. There is never enough research but it shouldn’t be the book
VH – too much when you become obsessed by it. It should be a natural absorb then concentrate on the story; follow your interest so you don’t bore your reader or yourself, keep it flowing
MH – too much research is when it stops you writing the book. She many times researches backwards to check facts as she did on a 5th cen Roman book. Research can be wonderful displacement activity.
HST – can make it up but her starting point is usually in folklore and then she goes off to create with familiar elements in it.
SM – she said think of an art gallery with one picture on the wall laid bare – in a short story everything shows. Interviewing people is wonderful research

Revision and Polishing
MH – when it becomes too slick, loses its edge, loses its voice, and you become bored
VH – its a good way of not getting on!(as you are too bust tweeking adverds and adjectives and not writing the story); she writes in 20k chunks then locks then away until the end which is about 120k. She does have a good memory to keep track of all that is going on in the book. When the book is written then she polishes
SM – she is finished polishing “when I can read without changing anything” only then is she done – she likes polishing better than the first draft
LG – James N Frey wrote in his book – when you want to throw up all over it...when you are bored and tired of it. She writes a book every 6 months
HST – she blasts through the first draft and works on the fly – just makes notes to come back to as she goes along – once she starts fiddling she loses momentum then 2 revision on the computer, another one printed out and then one more time on the computer – she is always cutting for the US market as they require it to be very tightly written.

Pressure (from a looming deadline)
HST – gave herself enough time but not too much; she works well to a deadline – it is a good thing
MH –writes three books a year – tight deadlines but prefers that – no drifting allowed. She works out how long she has and pulls out the non-writing days then divides the writing days by the total number of words required and set a target for each day which she aims to exceed – then she recalculates each day until she is finished ahead of time with time to revise.
VH – writing and promoting simultaneously which can make her panic; she had an inbuilt sense of where she should be and if she falls behind she goes away by herself for a few days to catchup but always does it in the time she has been told.
LG -2books a year so she works everyday but builds it around her very busy social life – for example if she is out for lunch she will arrive at pub a half hour early to write before lunch

Back Story
LG – she uses prologues as flashback can upset reader if used too much. Just write the story.
SM – you place characters in a situation so it comes out in the scene/dialogue then use introspection
VH – you need to know and inform your characters – don’t slow the story with it – a good editor will say you are slowing up – cut to the chase; don’t make it show
MH – avoid back story dump – writes out back story first so that she can absorb it into motivation, behaviour and dialogue
HST – enough at each stage of the book so that the reader knows what is going on but only knows something as it is needed. Get to know story of character before writing – then it feeds out gradually

Scene Setting
VH – if you need to make sure you show – don’t tell and make it exciting so it doesn’t slow the action up. Take them on the journey. She uses multi protagonist – so some has to be given but as little as possible; what are they doing, saying, wearing
SM – nothng that you don’t need – so very little, characters must have the conviction – they persuade the reader
LG – does it for geography alone
MH – You don’t need the character announcing ‘Goodness it’s 1749 and doesn’t Brussels look...’it should seep out in the writing
HST – need scene setting as it is completely different than normal – it depends on how different the author makes the world just don’t slow the pace of the story

LG – doesn’t do subplot if story is short about 3 for 120k; just tell the story that you want to tell and that only you can tell
VH – several – one is the engine and time line; all the others reflect one another; it all follows and is a bit like a jigsaw; it pulls the reader through seamlessly keeping the reader interested but be clear; keep in control – neither too much nor too little
MH – in 75/80k is not enough space for too much subplot – except in a series. They must be relevant to the main story – keeping them moving forward too
HST – hadn’t thought about subplots until she had a review which mentioned her use of them. They should have that relates and intertwines – it can’t exist separately but occurs naturally as it unfolds

Points of View
SM – she is the viewpoint police – one per episode unless there is a good reason to change that; it should be whose story it is, whose conflict, - otherwise you lose the immediacy – be in their heart and soul
LG – the whole point is that the reader doesn’t notice and as long as it reads well – generally she has 4
VH – has lots of characters and flips gaily between – this is from script writing – she writes filmatically like she’s at a cocktail party but sticks with one person for some satisfaction. It is important not to switch out of one head to avoid getting into the deep stuff – it has to be done – you can’t avoid it
MH – writes roughly 60% form the heroine point of view and 40% from the hero. Only in one book did she write only from the heroine’s pov but this was done because she had the most at risk in every scene. She does analyse every scene to see who is most at risk
HST – was taught to stick to one person’s pov in each scene and usually uses 3 pov per book. It is key to know whose head we are in and it is a bit genre dependent

HST – haven’t had too much - no idea but it seems bigger advance to names and the lower down get squeezed
MH – said too keep an eye on the tax situation – is it better to have it in advance or leave it to come in gradually especially if you have other income streams to deal with
VH – said there is a huge amount of expectation but to remember it affects all other budgets like how much money they have to spend on the promotion of the book – finding a middle line is best and being sensible
LG – it can be too much so pay attention

Friday, July 10, 2009

Romantic Novelist Conference - Penrith

First sorry for the silence this week but I have been traveling again - in the UK that is. Now I am sitting in my little room here in Penrith and loving the fact that I am spending the weekend with the a fabulous group of writers. My liver is shaking in fear but aside from that all is well.

My intensive writing time began on the train to London where I managed another 2000 words on Penderrown. I am now just over 70,000 and I see it all pulling together. It's a good feeling, but I do know that this is the messiest draft I have ever written so the real work is ahead of me. Just a few years ago this would have frightened me almost into a state of inability to move forward, but now I know it's really the fun part - carving out a decent book from the muddled mass of words of the first draft.
I haven't yet responded to the comments on last week's post on emotional scenes. The comments have been amazingly insightful and I will be going back to them as I rewrite and work hard with the all important and painfully difficult scenes. Thanks to all who commented and a particular thanks to Julie Cohen - yet again hit the nail on the head for me.

A taste of things to come - a few photos from yesterday here at Penrith with the early arrivals and then it's off to breakfast and then a morning workshop on dealing with the media (well, I am ever hopeful!).....

Friday, July 03, 2009

Emotional Scenes

Barrie Summy, tween/teen author, wrote in the comments of last post that she liked the 'come in late and leave early'. I wish I could take credit for that but I can't. I don't know if I read it or heard it. Clearly I'm having a senior moment. If it comes to me I'll let you know.

Now on to the the focus of this post - Emotional Scenes. I want to look at them from two angles - as a writer and as a reader.

This week I struggled. Demi was forced into a corner that had only two options neither which of she wanted. She had to lie or in this case say nothing which when it all came out would make things much worse (and I know sometimes that this what you want as a writer) or speak the truth and suffer the consequences. Now lying for Demi is a big deal. It's never been her thing yet suddenly she finds she's having to lie for various reasons (don't want to give the plot away here). In this situation, by lying she could have what her heart wants, but she would put someone else at risk.

Now this point had to come some time in the story - it is one of those key moments. We have watched her with this issue of telling the truth or lying and I am now beginning to rope things in.....hence my uncertainly if this romantic cliff top scene was the time. I'm sure I could have found some excuse to interrupt the lovers so she didn't have to face her demons but to be truthful (see even I can tell the truth!) - a clench on top of a Cornish cliff is a pretty dramatic location and image for such a face-off. So I bit the bullet and was nasty (which isn't my nature, unfortunately - I think I would be a far stronger writer if I was but I'm learning!)

Because I was uncomfortable with what I was doing I cut pretty quickly to the chase so to speak and I pulled out of there as fast as I bl**dy well could. In fact the words were hardly out of her mouth before I opened the next scene the morning after with a full cast of characters, but not her lover. Time and a rewrite will tell if this was the best way to handle this moment (but at least is is written).

So as a writer do you struggle with such points? Do to keep these moments of high emotional pain short for your characters or do you let them twist in agony (image of Bugs Bunny here saying AGONY) as long as possible?

Now to the second part - as a reader...what do you prefer? (I'm not sure- so over the weekend I will have a think as I have long couple of drives in front of me and I'll let you know.)

Now onto a few links (Twitter is proving to be a brilliant source of info for me - is it for you?):

Tips for Title from The Paperback Writer (the blog in general is worth a visit as there were some other great posts) This clink came via @thecreativepenn

The other link is Answers to the Top 10 Reasons Not to Twitter here and came via @BubbleCow

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Romantic Novelists' Association Blog is Launched

Remember how last month I listed all the books coming in June from RNA members -well now the list will be published on the RNA's own Blog here. The blog will not only list the latest releases but will feature author interviews, q and a, ....... So pleased check it out.

Oh, and there is a possibility that a few of us may be doing live tweets from the RNA conference next weekend (it all depends on wireless availability).

Now I am pleased to report that I did write the scene I was avoiding - well sort of. I went in late and left early but not before I wrote a load of crap before! Thank God for editing.

Now to put head back down and write. thus far today on 200 words!!!