Monday, August 16, 2010

Hubble Bubble...

Grab your cauldron and frogs eyes, I wanted to natter about the craft today.
No, not witchcraft - although wouldn't we all love to have penned Harry Potter?
I could day dream for hours about how i'd spend all of those millions.... ahem.

I do of course mean the craft of romance writing, which in it's own way is every bit as magical as witchcraft.

A sprinkle of conflict, a ladle or three of emotion, a smidgen of sensuality... it's romantic alchemy, and done properly it casts a temporary enchantment spell over the reader.

I find myself constantly looking around for advice on the craft of romance writing from experienced authors, because it's a sure fact that just having a flair with words and a lively imagination isn't enough to get you published.
Thankfully, the romance community is pretty amazing at sharing it's secrets to nurture aspiring writers, and the net is a fabulous source of information when you start to scout around for it.

For instance -for the whole of the month of August i'm doing the 'Good to Sold' online course with the fabulous Shirley Jump, multi-selling Harlequin author and all round priestess of knowledge on the art of writing romance.
I can whole heartedly recommend the course, i'm learning so much every day and Shirley's success is just inspiring. It's proved the perfect way to get myself back on track after the set back of a rejection a couple of weeks ago, and it's already starting to help me to understand where I'd gone wrong with my manuscript.

Some other high priestesses I've come across who practice romantic magic on the net:

Trish Wylie - So many fantastic writing tips here, and also dig out Trish's 'Not at Nationals' series of blog posts from July & August 2009. Seriously - they are choc-a-block full of gold dust.

Nicola Marsh - Click on Nic's Nook for a treasure chest of invaluable info and tips.

Jenny Crusie - I have lost hours of my life reading Jenny's essays, and not a minute of it was wasted.

Kate Walker - Kate is an absolute font of knowledge, and her 'Twelve Point Guide to Writing Romance' is worth it's weight in gold. I won't lend out my copy for love nor money!

And these are just a handful of recommendations -there are many other fabulous romance writers out there who are also happily sharing their insider knowledge and experience via the net.

How about you? Have you any 'must reads' that have helped you to wave a magic wand over your own writing?

Jo P x


Francine Howarth said...


I'm choking on fairy dust (((cough))) ((laughs)) ((fans the air)): now I can see you.

Things will get better Joanne, and yeah I could name dozens of authors I'd recommend the reading of and not one a "How To", which will probably see me shot down in flames!!

Re: insider information, can't remember much about it other than praise here, consternation there, and suggestions in between. It was a process that had to be gone through if one wanted a book coming out the other end.

As for sharing with other writers: I've posted a snippet from previously published novel (out of print) on my blog. It's the opening sequence and no dialogue! It's getting such good feedback I'm tempted to get it re-published! Anyone any thoughts on publisher/s who coonsider re-publishing?

Romy Sommer said...

I recently did an online course with Bob Mayer entitled Warrior Writer (based on his book). It was very inspiring, though it was less about the craft of writing and more about getting your butt in the chair to write and your head and heart in the right place. Something I need to be reminded of often!

Sally Clements said...

Laurie Schebley Campbell's website also has lots of hints and stuff and a great post about what to do when you get an R, which goes beyond the usual! Great post Jo!

Rachel Lyndhurst said...

Joanne, I'm a bit behind the times news wise, so I'm really sorry to hear about your M&B 'R'. But you got soooo close, you must keep going and even (cough) pitch your MS at another publisher? Strange things can happen you know...

Anyway, you have the 'Twelve Point Guide to Writing Romance'. Nuff said. But I have two others I'd recommend:

On Writing Romance by Leigh Michaels
Goal, Motivation & Conflict by Debra Dixon.

They are big books and I freely admit to not having read them from cover to cover but I have 'cherry picked'. Good stuff.

A tip though, the GMC book was hellish difficult to get hold of over here--I emailed the publisher directly and got it for much cheapness!

Hope this helps and chin up!

Lots of love,


Suzanne Ross Jones said...

Terrific post, Jo. Thanks for those links - am off to investigate.


Kat said...

Hey Francine,
Good to see you, I'm sure no one is going to take aim at you, lol!
It's horses for courses isn't it- some find 'how to' books useful, others not so much. I guess I think of it as similar to when you start a new job, you learn the ropes from the people who've been doing it for a while.
Am off to have a read of your blog!
Thanks for dropping in x

Hiya Romy - that is my biggest problem, and at the mo with the kids off on school holidays it's nigh on impossible.
Will look up Bob Meyer, thanks. x

Hey Sally, will check out Laurie Schebley Campbell - she sounds like perfect reading for me just now. x

Hiya rachel - thanks for dropping in for a minxy chat, and for your encouragement.
Congrats to you on your happy news with Embrace - exciting times for you! Lots of luck with it.
Great books tips, will look them up.

Howdie Suz - *am waving!* x

Lorraine said...

Great links Joanne, I hadn't come across the Jennie Crusie essays so I'll have to inestigate. Immersing yourself in craft and a new story is the perfect way to recover from an R IMHO

Maya Blake said...

Great post, Jo! I've got Kate's book too. It help me (at least in my mind, lol) conquer the art of writing synopsis. Her examples are so easy to follow. Haven't discovered Nic's Nook yet, but I foresee many "research" hours spent there! Thanks for the info xx