Learning to Revise: Part 1

badparagraphThe weekend of May 17th, I went up to Muse Mountain for a writer’s retreat as a day tripper. Anna DeStefano was there to do her workshops on planning and character, drafting, and revisions. It was the revision one that caught my attention. Revision for me is the dreaded task. I know it must be done, but I was clueless where to start.

I’ve explored this topic before. I’ve purchased craft books, read blogs and tried to do it myself. I fixed grammar, added commas and checked my dialog tags.  Still the story didn’t shine. It was sagging in the middle. I had a lot to learn about revisions. Continue reading

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Collette’s Highlander

Collette CameronToday we welcome Collette Cameron whose debut novel Highlander’s Hope will be released in May. Thank you for joining us Collette. Tell us about yourself and how you got into writing.

I’m so excited to be here today! Thanks for hosting me.  I’m one of those girly-girls. You know, the ones that like lots of frou-frou, lace, flowers, and anything remotely related to romance.  Yes, I collect tea cups and teapots amongst other things like vintage tins.

I’m a teacher, editor, and certified interior decorator, but writing is what I’m completely enamored with—other than the hubby of thirty years, three adult kiddos and my dachshunds.

I’ve read romance for years, (decades to tell the truth) and on a whim, decided to try my hand at writing a romance novel. I had time as a substitute teacher, and with my children grown, I found myself with time to fill. Though I do have several hobbies, I was looking for something different, challenging and yet fulfilling.

I found it when I started writing. I finished Highlander’s Hope in six months. After two title changes and massive rewriting and cuts (it was originally 156,000 words and is now 84,000) I was ready to submit. Continue reading

Twitter Finds

coffee-laptopI have an early morning routine. Every morning between 5:30 and 6:00 am, I sit down with my first cup of coffee and start my twitter browsing and posting to Facebook to share with the RWA Special Interest Group the Beau Monde.

I post links to blogs about writing, history, fashion and other things of interest to those who write Regency Historical romances.  I constantly get asked how I find all the different things I’ve found and I thought I’d blog about it. Continue reading

Blue Ridge Magic with Robin Weaver

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Please help me welcome Robin Weaver to the tearoom. Robin and I are part of Carolina Romance Writers, an RWA Chapter in Charlotte, NC.  Robin and I also have that IT career thing going on in our day jobs.

Robin, welcome to the tearoom. Please tell us about yourself and what you write.

Although I’m happy to be living in the south again, I’m a long way from my childhood home in Tupelo, Mississippi. One day—in that very rural settings with cotton fields in the background and the ever-present hum of insects, my grandmother said something that made a profound impact on my life.

“If you don’t stop telling stories, the devil will come up through that ground and get you with his pitchfork.” Continue reading

Saved by Emma Locke

AuthorPhotoTwitterRuth_edited-1You guys are so lucky. I had this maudlin post written that I just couldn’t get to work.  It was pathetic. A couple of weeks ago, Erica suggested we have Emma as a debut author and here she is!

Emma, I’m so glad you’re here with us on Teatime Romance! Tell us about yourself and what you write.

Hi everyone! Thank you so much for having me at Teatime Romance. I’ve been looking in the window wistfully for awhile now, so it’s nice to be invited to sit at the table!

I’m Emma Locke, and I am a newbie author. I started writing Regency-set historical romance in 2004 and I haven’t been able to stop since. The fact is I’ve tried, since I do have a really fun day job and sometimes I wonder why I torture myself making time for both. But no matter how logical it sounds to settle down and focus on my regular job, I can’t quite quit this writing thing. I’m addicted to the incredible high that comes after crafting a sentence that perfectly captures the emotion and information that should be conveyed to the reader. I also adore my characters and can’t ignore their cries for attention. And I’m pretty sure I will never tire of staring at the beautiful cover of a shiny new romance! Continue reading

Characters and the Change Curve

Amy here. I had to take a mandatory class in Culture change at work. It covered a business theory on how we handle change and the stages we go through to adjust to massive changes. It’s called the Change Curve.  During that training I had an epiphany. Why couldn’t this “change curve” be integrated into the character development of my current work in progress?

I started taking notes.  How would my characters react to this or that? Are they reacting normally or normal enough that my readers identify with them?

change-curveWhat’s a change curve? Everyone goes through it: the highs and lows of dealing with change. Management classes teach it as a way of managing staff through large changes like out-sourcing or organizational changes.  It’s also known as the grief curve. Continue reading

Tropes, Log Lines, and High Concepts, Oh My

writing-2Amy here. I don’t do many blogs on the writing craft. I feel I have so much more to learn that I could ever give back, but when I heard the word “trope” I knew I’d have to say something about it.

Earlier this month, Cynthia Cooke presented a workshop for our local RWA chapter on tropes, log lines, and high concept.  I had heard of log lines and high concepts, but trope? What the heck is a trope?  Off to Google I went.  A trope is a figure of speech. So? What does that have to do with writing?  Well it can help a lot.  Tropes are also known as hooks.

captain-hookHooks are good things. They pull the reader into the story. You don’t have to have just one, but a couple will work too.  Saggy middle? You might be able to fix it with a hook.  Cynthia gave us a website that I’ve been having fun with called tvtropes.org. This is a wiki site of all the different tropes in TV shows.  It has a special section on Romance novels, but I’ve been having fun with all the different varieties of tropes.  This is great for brainstorming for your plot. Continue reading