Romantic Suspense, Writing Tips

Ice Breaking Blog Post!

indexYou know how you should write every day–or talk to someone–and against your better judgment, you put it off? Days go by, weeks, then a month. You get embarrassed, don’t know what to say, maybe nothing and it soon becomes a thing. The abandoned blog. The friend you love but are embarrassed to have not answered. Then your mother cuts through the nonsense with, “Step it up, Patience. You haven’t written on your blog in over a month!” Thanks, Mom!!!

For a few weeks, I agonized over what to post. Work details? Okay, but how many A Day in the Editor Life blog posts can anyone stand? More writing tips are always a good idea, until I see how many “top ten tips” I’ve generated, and I think–really, are you so lazy that all you do is make lists (yes, because I love them)? But still, sure, I can write these forever. Then, I experienced a brain freeze thanks to this awesome, rewarding venture. I can’t walk and chomp on Altoids at the same time. Back burner for the blog again.

Maybe more personal details are in order, but–yakk–my whole life is about to become very personal! I should preserve my privacy just a little while longer (we just got a new couch).

Related to work, since I edit a lot of romantic suspense: I could write about how much I’ll miss Dexter. While I predicted the entire episode, the finale left me too scared to be alone. How did I survive those twenty-plus years of living by myself? After we watched it, my husband went for a walk, i.e. Prime Serial Killer Time, wife alone in apartment. I had to shut all the windows and curtains, check the closets (sometimes they hide there ALL DAY LONG). TheĀ Dexter music played in my head the entire time he was gone (1/2 hour). I could have sworn I heard the latch on the door move.

There are cheerier topics, like how I spoke to the publicist for my book for the first time. My introduction to publishing was in a publicity department and with my current job, I love to eavesdrop on the incredibly challenging work publicists do. Talking about plans for my book was really exciting and I kept thinking, Is this really happening to me?

So there it is, my ice breaker. I’ve scheduled my mother to nudge me at least once a week.

Romantic Suspense, Uncategorized, Writing Tips

Some Things I Love in a Romance Novel

Where have I been? Well, let’s just say that Sandy delayed me from posting. Oh, it’s so romantic to live like olden times, burn candles and play Scrabble. Sure, for a night or two, but not five. It wasn’t that fun, except when I went to see a certain Broadway show for the 4th time. My heart goes out to those still suffering from the storm’s aftermath. I got off easy and count my blessings that we were just mildly annoyed.

As promised, back to what I love in romance novels:

Really messed up characters. One author asked me if she could make her hero suicidal and I thought, COOL! I realize this is a serious issue, but if you can show your character overcoming a tremendous obstacle, I’ll cry buckets and vote him/her into office.

Sweet or hot? I edit sweet, mild and hot stories. I guess I appreciate sweeter stories because if you can relay emotion and romance without the sheet-tangling, I’m impressed. Then again, one of my authors had a great opening seduction scene that thoroughly wowed me. So, I know nothing. Romance novels do need to convey a strong connection between the characters. If you’re not used to writing love scenes, I suggest practice. But if you really object to writing them, that’s okay and you should research what lines carry sweeter stories.

Setting description. I work in an office all day and like to see the places the hero and heroine go.

Feminism runs in my blood, but I love a good boss-secretary romance! She’s naive and little awkward, but earnest and good at office work. Yes, I love this woman and I adore office work, too. She’s ripe for the repressed adoration of a take-charge boss.

Food descriptions: This is a new thing since discovering the Food network. Strange since I don’t cook, but if you can describe a meal (omitting the “garden salad” and “crusty bread”), it adds some color to the scene and usually compels a voyage to Starbucks for the chocolate covered graham crackers.

Don’t you love chemistry so good you forget what the story’s about? I’m reading one now. The characters are amazing, their interaction intense. The romance is one long scene and I can’t stop turning the pages. What are they doing? Practically nothing.

Bad girls can be a hoot, especially if you can identify with the heroine. She does something bad you dream of doing, only she gets away with it, often–like Emily Giffin’s Darcy character. A bad girl doesn’t need to have tattoos or a leather jacket. She’s just kinda bad, but you love her anyway.

I enjoy being shocked, traumatized and scared (not in real life!). This is evident in my television choices: A Haunting…, Sons of Anarchy, Prison Break, The Shield, Homeland, Dexter, Snapped, Deadly Women, and some Cupcake Wars/Real Housewives of Beverly Hills to balance my mentals.

High school reunion stories are fun.

Plain Janes rule. But if your heroine is a glamazon, that’s okay too. Just give her some flaws. Can we the reader relate to her?

I have many more “loves” for my list, but these are just a few…