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