Tag Archives: writing

Romance Writers Weekly

 

 

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 topic comes from Carrie Elks: Stephen King famously said that it’s necessary to ‘kill your darlings’ when editing your work. Do you have anything you had to remove from a book that you’re still proud of? Or something that embarrasses you so much it will never again see the light of day? If you’re feeling really brave, share some of it with us!

I must admit that my first book, Intoxicated, was over 400,000 words long. It was epic and the result of five years effort. I held onto every word of that book like my life depended on it. After all, I had put everything I had into writing it. When I finally decided to get serious and publish the darn thing, I realized I would have to do the dreaded thing and “kill my darlings”.

On the advice of several published authors, I cut the first chapter. It was mostly backstory anyway. Now, the story started in the thick of the action. Then I went in and deleted all the “info dumps” where I needlessly provided information that would put most readers to sleep. I also have an unconscious love for over-the-top drama. My editor said, “There sure is a lot of face-slapping going on. Is that really necessary?” She was so right. She also said, “Everyone is always ‘short of breath’ or their ‘heart is pounding’. You’re writing a book about physically abusive people with COPD.” I’m embarrassed to think about it now, but she was right. Bless her for sticking with me. I hope I’ve gotten better about those things.

Now, for the shameful admission: I am a word-hoarder. I couldn’t bear to part with the 330,000 words that I cut, so I stuck them in a file. Yes, I still have them, and yes, I occasionally go back to read them. I’m thinking about writing a sequel and might use parts of it.

I’m currently in edits on my fifth book. Sometimes I cringe at the thought of deleting one of my favorite scenes, but in the end, it’s all about what serves the story. If the scene doesn’t move the plot forward or provide growth for the characters, it’s got to go. I won’t say that it’s easy, but I’ve gotten a lot better about it.

Thanks for stopping by this week. Be sure to take the next stop on the tour and find out what creative idea Xio Axelrod has come up with for this interesting topic.

 

DARK ROMANCE

I’m not a romantic, which is an odd thing for a romance writer to say. I don’t believe in soulmates or perfect love or anything like that. As a result, I’m obsessed with “darker” romance. Think along the lines of Wuthering Heights or The Great Gatsby. Life is messy and complicated and people are imperfect. After a lifetime of reading love stories with happy endings, I’m now into more realistic plots where not everyone gets their HEA (Happy Ever After).

For the above reasons, I’m a huge fan of Megan Hart and Colleen Hoover. I recently finished Deeper by Megan Hart and I’m not ashamed to admit that I cried like a baby over Nick’s predicament. Talk about a tortured soul. Everything about his situation is futile. His story is over and he knows it. Wow. I’m tearing up again just thinking about it. And Megan Hart doesn’t feel the need to tie up the end with a tidy bow. She leaves it open and that keeps me thinking about the story for days or weeks later, wondering where the characters are going to end up. For me, that’s a good book. Something that stimulates my emotions and thoughts.

If you haven’t read Ugly Love yet by Colleen Hoover, I highly recommend it as another option for a darker romance. Although it has an HFN (Happy For Now) ending, I was left feeling unsettled at the end and with a book hangover that followed me around like a fifth of Tequilla, two lemons, and a shaker of salt. I really liked the unconventional method of storytelling. The heroine’s story is told in present time while the hero’s story takes place in the past.

So, if you’re looking for something a little grittier and a lot less hearts-and-flowers, check out these two authors.

deeper

Ugly Love