January 10 2017 Romance Weekly

#LoveChatWrite

#LoveChatWrite

Do you like to read romance novels? Wouldn't you like to know more about your favorite authors? Well you came to the right place! Join the writers of Romance Weekly as we go behind the scenes of our books and tell all..... About our writing of course! Every week we'll answer questions and after you've enjoyed the blog on this site we'll direct you to another. So come back often for a thrilling ride! Tell your friends and feel free to ask us questions in the comment box.

This week's questions come from the lovely Leslie Hachtel. She asks: What do you love best about your writing? Like the least? And what are you doing to fix the things you don’t like?

Before we begin, the hop is a loop so check out author Jenna Da Sie and find out how she answered this week's questions. 

I have a love hate relationship with editing. For those writers who hate even the hint of the dreaded “e” word, trust me I understand.

photo from depositphotos.com

photo from depositphotos.com

Let’s just get this part of the discussion out of the way. Self-editing is long and tedious. When my initial writing is going quickly and the ideas are popping up like rabbits in spring, the editing process puts all of that in low gear and those gears grind like you wouldn’t believe. I know the edits improve everything. Yet, this is when the process becomes slow and sometimes boring. Especially, when I’m trying to find all the repetitive words in my work in progress and decide what to keep, what to change, and what to discard. That’s just me editing my own work. Now, after that’s done I ship my baby off to a professional for her to find all the repetitive words I didn’t find and all the other holes, grammar errors, and downright silliness I have to fix. Another slow process and one that causes great distress when I’m sitting at home wondering about the horror of a manuscript I’ll get in return.

I’m sure your wondering where the love comes into the story.

Editing is where the true story comes out into the light. I’m very single-minded. I can’t write and edit at the same time. What comes out in writing just comes out and there isn’t time to stop and analyze what is either being typed or written on paper. My mind must get all the pieces down first. I would compare my first draft to a baby who was given a paint brush and paints, a smock and hours of play time. The writing is fun and laugh out loud glorious. Occasionally, the words slow and the process bogs down, but the draft is always faster than the edits. I let this wondrous creation sit for a bit and then I read the pages and pages upon pages of crap. The editor in my brain comes out and tells me all the areas where I lost track of the plot or the character and how on page 230 a key element from chapter one is missing.

 Why do I love this?  

My editing process required a lot of re-reads. I get to know the manuscript and my characters well and I fall in love with them, the world and the stakes that are causing them distress. The pieces of the manuscript start to fit together like puzzle pieces and I finally see what I had written was a good basis, but now the really good stuff is coming out. In keeping with my metaphor I wouldn’t say by this time I’m a fine artist – I’ll go with art student – but the pages don’t look like they’ve been created by a ten-month old. The last piece is getting additional eyes on the work and sending to a professional editor. Because I know the work so well it’s easy to miss when I’m filling in the blank and a reader would be like … how old is this writer, is she a baby?

The hating part of editing I think is difficult to fix. What I’ve tried and continue to try is attempt different techniques where the first drafts aren’t such a free-for-all. I’m not a plotter by any means, but I’ve utilized a summary of my work in progress that helps keep me on track in the early stages of writing. I’ve tried different writing tools to help speed the process and I try to not hate editing, because I know at that stage I’m close to having a finished book!

So on to the next writer in the hop, Tracey Gee. I can't wait to find out what she loves and hates about writing.

See ya next week!

July 26 2016 Romance Weekly

#LoveChatWrite

#LoveChatWrite

Welcome back for another week of Romance Weekly, the Tuesday blog hop where your favorite authors tell all ... about their writing, of course!

We can start off the hop with my post, and at the beginning and end of the entry will be a link to visit the the next author participating in the hop. Hope you learn some juicy secrets. 

image from depositphotos.com

image from depositphotos.com

This week's topic is from the wonderful Leslie Hachtel. She knows a writer who sets her writing-time mood with candles and music that suit her characters. Do you do anything special to put you in the right frame of mind to sit down and create?

Marc Stevens is before me in the hop. Find out how he answered Leslie's question when you are finished here. 

Here's my take on the question:

For a romance author, my mood lighting is unromantic, but my ritual keeps me writing and focused. When I need to set the atmosphere, I open my writing notebook and any notes I have on where I've left off in my current work in progress.

I used to light scented candles and took the time to enjoy a good cup of coffee, perhaps sneak in a little meditation time. I still do these activities especially if I have extra time, but those rituals were really becoming a distraction. I'd sit with my coffee and candle scents and get so relaxed time would slip by and before I knew it I had some other tasks that needed to be done. There my work in progress would sit ‘un-worked’ on.

Now, my writing office is filled with the scent of cherry wood from the new writing table my husband made for me. Coffee is a good friend in the morning to help wake me up as well as meditation which I’m trying to do more often. But, I don't need those items before getting started. If my start time is 10 PM, I don't want coffee unless I intend to pull an all-nighter.

So, I've trained myself that when the notebook is open and the pen is in my hand it's time to get busy. It's good for me to have this ritual. I don’t have to rely on mood to help my characters talk to me or vice versa.

I don't always maintain such dedication. Distractions abound everywhere, but it helps set the mood by re-reading notes or the last piece I wrote starring my current characters. 

I can't wait to find out what the other authors of Romance Weekly do to set the mood for their writing. Read on to find out more from author, Brenda Margriet. 

See you next week!!

April 19 2016 Romance Weekly

#LoveChatWrite

#LoveChatWrite

Welcome back for Romance Weekly. 

The hop is a short one this week. Make sure to check out Leslie Hachtel’s post when you are done here.

I came up with this week’s topic from reading The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler.

Over the years of writing stories, I, like many writers, hear about the hero's or heroine's journey. As a part of the journey the main character runs into a Threshold Guardian that puts roadblocks or obstacles in their path to prevent forward movement. What Threshold Guardians have you, as an author, experienced in your hero's/heroine's journey to being an author?

I think there are several Threshold Guardians that authors run into at various points in their lives and careers. When I came up with this topic I was thinking about recent events that had been pushing me further and further behind on a self-editing project I desperately wanted to finish. Those events were a combination of what many of us experience with hectic jobs and family life, but also series of mild (and moderate) illness that occurred over several months.

I blame my toddler for these illness because if the todd came home sick I was guaranteed to get sick in a few days as well. (Your nodding your head if you’re a parent to little ones.) Unfortunately, as far as schedules went, the days I got sick were those dedicated to my writing and I was too miserable and tired to think clearly, let alone fix a broken plot and re-write the ending of a manuscript I had wanted to get off to an editor months before these said illnesses.

Funny as well (at least now that I’m not sick – I just knocked on some wood to make sure I don’t get sick this week) these illnesses also came with the change in season and seemed to last from October until April. So my Threshold Guardian was realllllyyyyy guarding the gate and I had a hell of a time kicking his butt to the curb. It’s a true test of an author to find the energy to push forward when energy is at an all time low. Throw holidays on top of this and it was like my writing and editing momentum came to a screeching halt.

I did make it passed this Threshold Guardian after realizing rest was necessary, a trip to the doctor for much needed medications, and that this too shall pass (eventually). I have since finished that manuscript and have moved onto the next one. I’m not saying I won’t be crabby the next time I catch a toddler bug (I’m past due), but at least I know this isn’t going to stop me from reaching my goal. Delays I can deal with (most of the time).

Thanks for stopping by. Hop on over to Jenna Da Sie’s post to find out what she’s experienced in her writer’s journey.

See you next week!