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!!

Putting the Pieces Back Together

How do I keep them steady?  image from depositphotos.com

How do I keep them steady?

image from depositphotos.com

The creative spark has been difficult to reach lately. The lack of even the tiniest ideas really had me down. How would I be able to reach my creative goals in such a state? Was I blocked?

Over the weekend I caught up on some tasks that I'd neglected because I had been so busy the past few months getting my first novel released. It took lots of time, energy and creativity – not to mention thinking power. I had to turn into a publisher and a business person and that left me with little umph for artistic writing or expression. I realized I had created some bad habits in my exuberance to get my book out into the world. It was a birthing process and having never done it – I had a lot to learn. For a first release, I experienced a certain amount of neurotic behavior which is probably necessary for a lot of artistic endeavors. We have to expose our art to the great unknown or literally pushed them out of the nest. I had stopped all new writing.

Zero.

Not one word that wasn't edits or business related.

I had no room for short personal journal entries.

I had also stopped any form of creative expression, art journaling, crafting, what have you.

I had stopped recording my accomplishments. Until they were written down, it mostly felt like my wheels were spinning in a soupy lake of mud - no traction available and every turn a mistake.

No wonder my ideas were hiding. They didn't want to get attacked if they made a peep at me.

Peep.

Bamb!

Eep eep eep ….

The pathetic cries of my ideas limping in complete and total rejection to the creative writing ER. They wanted to be nursed back to health with jello and cable TV.

Wow … wait …

What just happened? Back to what I was saying.

I wrote down accomplishments, even the minor ones, both personal, professional, day job, night job, whatever, and realized that by ignoring my steps forward I felt like the steps toward my goals were far too many.

My ideas will recover and so will I.

I just started writing and they came out from hiding. Sometimes, forcing myself to do something is all I need to get motivated.

I need to make good habits and keep setting goals. I'm a writer so I'll write them down and see all the progress I've made for the next go around – Book #2.