Saturday, August 22, 2009

Positive Attitudes

All too often writers get caught in the frustration of the work writing a novel requires. We start a project with enthusiasm, words are just flowing like mad. The beginning blows test-readers out of the water; the planned ending will make them cry tears of joy. The climax will keep them on the edge of the seat -- and so forth. But somewhere in the middle of linking all that into a book, frustration hits. Negativity creeps into minds. "Why am I doing this? I just got four rejections today. Why bother? My words aren't right. I've written the same phrase five times in six chapters..." on and on.

So what's a writer do to maintain a positive attitude and finish the book? Here's a few tips:

a. Don't get caught up in the need to be perfect. Tell yourself its okay to use the same five phrases repeatedly. Just get the words out -- polishing it is what the revisions process is for.

b. If you're stuck at a scene, a chapter, a transition and the words just won't come, skip it. Go to the next place the words are flowing. You can go back in and fill in the details at a later date.

c. If you're frustrated because you blocked out a certain time of the day to write, and by the time life settles down on that day you only have thirty minutes -- use those thirty minutes for writing. It may not be a four hour accomplishment but it is something. Every little word is progress.

d. If you're frustrated because you've just read your critique partner's latest MIS and it wow'd you, and you don't feel you write as good as he/she does -- remind yourself you don't need to write as good as another author. Authors possess individual voices. You aren't writing to be the next Nora Roberts. You're writing to be the first YOU. Devote time and attention to your project, and your project might just wow your critique partner too. An incomplete work can't wow anyone.

e. If you're frustrated because you're overwhelmed -- take a deep breath. You don't need to iron out why your secondary character's eye twitches when he lies. You can justify it later. Just accept that it does. Look at one instance of the situation at a time. Don't attempt to tackle it all at once. That's just asking for more stress. Focus on the things you can find an immediate resolution to first, and then as you tick off layers the stress will disipate.

That's just a few suggestions -- there's a lot more you can discover through asking other authors how they get through slumps. But in the end, remember, above all -- negativity leads to more negativity. If you create reasons for why you can overcome hurdles, or create reasons to excuse what you perceive as flaws, you will find the positive energy to keep muddling through. Positive energy fuels positive energy. Always, always find a way to look at your writing circumstaces as positive.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Busy August

August has hardly begun, and I've been working like a fiend. I've seen some very nice submissions lately and requested two full manuscripts this week, as well as a full rosette.

Additionally two books have moved on to final stages of production, and I'll be excited to update my authors' coming soon stuff. When I have dates, I'll share a little information on the titles.

Speaking of -- there's a lot of great titles coming out this fall at The Wild Rose Press. I encourage everyone to check out our coming soon area and review the novels. If you're an author, please considering joining us in the Garden. Submissions are always open, and we're all excited about new work and new voices.

What catches my personal attention? Sexual tension from the get go. Not necessarily steam and physical interaction, but the set up and tension. Knowing that when these two finally cross that bridge and embrace the coming romance, the sparks are going to fly grabs me more than anything. This goes for both the genres I work in.


Champagne -- I think it is more difficult in a contemporary setting to create a truely tortured hero. This is often more strong in historical and paranormal (usually because of the trend toward violent circumstances -- battle and death mainly) Therefore, when I discover them it's an exceptional treat. I also enjoy the beta hero a great deal. Heroinewise, I really like ladies who hold unique professions, and the profession influences the story. For instance: (and this is completely made up) a heroine who plays a bodyguard and has to look out for a physically powerful man would be really entertaining. Especially if she were petite.

Historical -- Aside from the given fact that I want to get lost in the history and experience it as if I were there, for a historical hero I am all about the alpha male. But... Here I like my alphas to have a weakness or soft spot that isn't commonly known. Can't resist pastries? Can't ride off to battle without his favorite hunting...mouse? Something small and almost obscure that softens his alpha nature. Heroines -- definitely strong women. But not so strong that they are always, always, combative with the hero. My favorite eras -- the older the better. I prefer the realism of eras where men and women had to work to survive, not necessarily the life of the wealthy elite.

While those are things that leap out at me -- in the end, a good story is a good story. That's what matters.

So keep up the writing!