Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Who Cares About Content?


One of my favorite sayings in regards to writing is “your audience is as smart as you allow them to be”. I believe the first time I heard it was from the writer of a TV series but I’ve heard it many times since and from various sources and each time it rings true to me. I love movies, TV series and books that I can learn things from. I watch Grey’s Anatomy for the anatomy as much as anything else, and hey, today there are twins in the world born of different fathers despite the insane odds and we saw it first on Grey’s Anatomy. I don’t need to glue my head to the TV to know how this came about even if the woman doesn’t have two uteruses (that’s right, the plural is uteruses, not uteri. Thanks for the info Dr. O’Malley ;-) ).

I don’t think anyone is a fan of a show that talks down to them or a book that’s been dumbed down for us lesser mortals, they’re just not entertaining enough. Those are the authors I black list and those are shows I don’t watch :). I’m a multi-tasker and if my other task (usually something I’ve put off doing for a hundred and one years) is more entertaining than the show, then it’s time to change the channel.

Seeing and doing are two different things, and despite all this I still worry that I explain too much in my work. Not intentionally, but I think it’s there, and let me just say I am not impressed. I find myself standing under the heading of “Telling Too Much Too Soon” more than I’d like. It’s all about the showing. Yes, that little magic word. I’ve heard it, I know what it is, I think I’m doing it but then we get to editing…. My brain is putting up a resistance, stubborn contraption that it is.

I’m almost up to 40,000 words on my ms for the pitch. The scary thought is editing. Will huge chunks have to go? Have I taken a great concept and turned it into trash in ways only I can do? Then there’s the scenes I know I have to cut but that I really, really don’t want to, so I get a bit precious (because I currently have the luxury), which buys them a few days grace before I hit the delete button.

I managed to track down this little clip which celebrates the shirtless Craig Horner (don’t we all). So, today I’m leaving you with a little bridge building action because who cares about content when there’s a half naked man riding a horse?



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Monday, May 11, 2009

He Can Build My Bridge Anytime!

Terry Goodkind is one of my favourite authors. He created a fantastic fictional world that I personally believe rivals the greats. The first book in the series The Wizard’s First Rule has a story line that is so amazing and complicated it is like a series in itself, but most importantly the two main characters are a hero and heroine on a journey of love that is constantly challenged.

Why am I telling you this?

This year Legend of the Seeker, a TV series based on these books, was/is being shown in the United States and as I live in Australia all I can do is obsessive compulsively look for snippets. But I want to share this particular one with you because I’ve seen the clip of this scene and ladies those abs are real (and shown throughout the series ;-) )!

Meet Richard Cyper whose destiny was so much more than a wood’s guide and who I would kidnap anywhere, anytime. This guy is seriously sexy because he’s more than just a body he’s got the most amazing strength of character I’ve ever come across (read the books and you’ll see what I’m talking about, I’m probably more sane than I sound). What’s he doing in the picture? Oh a bridge got washed away in a storm and he’s rebuilding it single handedly with just an axe… how many men can do that now days? *Sigh* it was so hard watching him do that too.

Image from legend-seeker.next-series.com
Okay so current the picture is very small, teeny weeny in fact compared the pixel size of the original but for some reason if I try to stretch it or change the dimensions in the html it only distorts so if anyone knows how to make this hunk bigger please let me know :) I have a sneaky suspicion it has to do with my template parameters and that could be traumatic to change :) Until then I'm going to turn it into a link please click on it for the original close up and I'm going to add the following picture which includes the spunky heroine who by the way wields a sword when necessary she's no damsel in distress (this one is also a link in case you want the close up)!
Image from legend-seeker.net-series.com

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Friday, May 8, 2009

Plot, Conflict & Waiting Times


Jackie has me hooked on the Subcare (Submission Care) forum at eharlequin.com which is how I came up with my latest idea: the waiting times list. So I combed the archives of 2009 and develop a list from what is posted there, mainly to satisfy my own curiosity (did I mention I’m not so patient?) and for anyone else who’s interested because let’s face it, if you’re anything like me you post the query and would like to have the letter begging you for your full manuscript the next day, physical impossibilities aside. This way we have the option of getting all nice and worked up after a respectable waiting period just in time to get the reply back if we like ;-). You can find the waiting times I have so far under my followers on the left.

So as I developed my lil list (feel free to leave updates for it if you find it helpful) I discovered the concept of too much conflict. It fascinates me, I mean you hear about NOT ENOUGH CONFLICT rejections but have you heard of the TOO MUCH CONFLICT rejection? This led to me harassing the lovely Donna Alward who kindly took pity on me and did a series of blogs on the topic: Exciting news and some words on CONFLICT (part 1), Conflict Part 2 – When is it too much?, & Conflict 3 – Bits and Bobs.

I’m building her a temple of worship as we speak.

Did you know that the general consensus is that there are seven major storylines for all literature? This has also been extended to thirty six and reduced to three (and one) but seven is what the majority has settled on. Fascinating though this is only one of these is relevant to romance writing but it did spark my urge to list the classic romance plot lines. Of course one of these on its own does not a romance story make. We twist them and combine them until viola! You have your best seller!

These are the ones I’ve come up with so far, please let me know if you think any are missing.


  1. Accidental Pregnancy: forces hero/heroine to face their fears.
  2. Amnesia: hero or heroine has lost their memory temporarily or permanently.
  3. Beauty and the Beast: hero or heroine is physically marred.
  4. Betrayal: Heroine has intentionally hurt the hero or made a mistake in the past that has hurt the hero or vice versa.
  5. Business competitors: hero and heroine compete for high business stakes only one can win.
  6. Cinderella: rags to riches story.
  7. Class: a class difference sets a couple apart.
  8. Family feud: e.g. Romeo and Juliet.
  9. Friends to Lovers: a hero and heroine’s friendship becomes more.
  10. Kidnapping: hero kidnaps heroine or heroine kidnaps hero.
  11. Marriage of convenience: arranged/forced marriage.
  12. Masquerade: hero, heroine or both pretend to be someone else.
  13. Mistaken Identity: hero or heroine isn’t who he/she appears to be.
  14. Opposites attract: good girl/bad boy or bad girl/good boy.
  15. Secret Baby: heroine falls pregnant but doesn’t tell hero about it.
  16. Secret: hero or heroine keeps a dark secret.
  17. Stranded: hero and heroine are forced together.
  18. Twins: hero or heroine has “evil” twin, hero or heroine masquerade as twin etc.
Are there any plots you particularly like? Are there any you hate? Have I missed any?
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