Okay, so here’s a comment I’ve had, in various permutations, from some of the contest judges who’ve read my first 25-30 pages and synopsis. It goes like this:

The conflict in GOTH is too weak to sustain a full-length book because there’s a Big Mis.


In a way, they are right. Yes, there is a Big Mis. And if it were the sole source of conflict, it would indeed be insufficient to sustain a whole book. In actuality, this particular misunderstanding only persists for less than 1/3 the book, and there’s plenty of other stuff going on meanwhile.

So first – I realize my synopsis is failing to adequately communicate the nature of the Big Mis, and the fact that their misunderstanding is a symptom of their conflict, rather than the cause. Yes, in the end, it’s a conversation and “I love you’s” that make for an HEA – but they can’t have that conversation until they each work through their own internal conflict. They’re misunderstanding each other because they’re misunderstanding themselves – their strengths and worth as individuals, their capacity to love and be loved. I have to work on revising my synopsis to reflect this, which shouldn’t be too hard.

Second – The synopsis could evidently do a better job of reflecting the tone of my book. The Big Mis is but one of many absurd plot devices in GOTH. The entire plot depends on a series of misunderstandings, ill-timed interruptions, and strange coincidences. My intention was … Read More »

Okay, we’re going to dial it down a bit this TMI Tuesday – I mean, after last week, any sex topic would be a bit anticlimactic. (Groan, I know. Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

My WIP, Goddess of Beauty, takes place mainly during a month-long ocean voyage in the early 1800s. I find myself wondering how much of my heroine’s daily activities I should sketch for the reader, and what I should leave to the imagination. Do I go into the details of bathing (what little she would have done)? The privy? And it’s a month-long voyage, which means a certain monthly event must take place – do I mention that?

Time-travel books often handle this well – because you have a modern character, viewing the historical world through our eyes. So of course, issues of hygiene and comfort are of increased importance. But would a character in a straight historical consciously think about those things?

What’s your threshold, in historicals, for TMI? Do you like the “authenticity” when the author includes early-morning visits to the chamber pot? Or do you prefer a hero with perfect pecs and no discernible bladder? Any bodily functions you have absolutely NO desire to see described in print?

And I apologize in advance, but I’m uber-busy today with meetings and work – so I’ll be a bit of an absentee blogger.
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Big day yesterday for the FanLit team, in case you haven’t heard.

Ericka Scott (Pamsko) has a new release from Cobblestone, Crystal Clear. I’m running (um, make that clicking) over to buy it right now!

And Pamela Bolton-Holifield (aka Doglady) is a finalist in the Royal Ascot! Yay!

I am not a finalist in the Royal Ascot, alas. But I did get good scores and great feedback from the judges, so I’m pretty pleased with how I did. Just didn’t quite make the cut. Can’t complain.… Read More »

So, the lovely gypsy girls over at Romance Vagabonds threw down the gauntlet and challenged one another to complete their WIPs by RWA National Conference in Dallas (starts July 11).

Since that’s my goal, too, they’ve generously allowed me to join them! In my case, it’s like an eight-week NaNoWriMo. I’m counting by pages this time, so I need to write about 40 pages a week, or 5-6 per day, to finish. I think I can! I think I can! I’ve got the little pagemeter over there to the right. Keep me honest, please!

You know, there’s a part of me that wonders if cranking out pages like this is the best way to write a book – that maybe I should be working more slowly and thoughtfully.

But then, this is what I did with GOTH, for the most part – except that was more like 4 pages/day. And it worked. I finished – where I’d tried and failed so many times before. Plus, if the ultimate goal is to become a successful romance author, ideally I’ll have to be writing a book every 6 months or so, anyway. Right? Might as well get used to working that way now.

(That’s me thinking like Lionel Shriver … see post a few screens down.)

Anyone else setting big, bold goals they want to share?Read More »

There’s a pernicious rumor in Blogdom that I’ve heard a few times now. It goes something like this: The words “I’m sorry” are an anachronism, if you’re writing a Regency.

To which I say, “I’m sorry, but that’s just wrong.”

Some quotes from Pride and Prejudice:

Elizabeth, from The Proposal at Hunsford:

In such cases as this, it is, I believe, the established mode to express a sense of obligation for the sentiments avowed, however unequally they may be returned. It is natural that obligation should be felt, and if I could feel gratitude, I would now thank you. But I cannot — I have never desired your good opinion, and you have certainly bestowed it most unwillingly. I am sorry to have occasioned pain to any one.

From Darcy’s letter (THE Letter):

But from the severity of that blame which was last night so liberally bestowed, respecting each circumstance, I shall hope to be in future secured, when the following account of my actions and their motives has been read. — If, in the explanation of them which is due to myself, I am under the necessity of relating feelings which may be offensive to your’s, I can only say that I am sorry. — The necessity must be obeyed — and farther apology would be absurd.

Darcy, during the Second Proposal:

I am sorry, exceedingly sorry,” replied Darcy, in a tone of surprise and emotion, “that you have ever been informed of what may, in

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Of all the jobs I’ve ever had – and this includes that miserable stint in my college cafeteria – being a mother is both the hardest and the best. I doubt my qualifications and my sanity daily, but the dozens of kisses and hugs I receive pretty much even the score.

Sometimes people wonder aloud how I get any writing done with two young kids. But oddly enough, I think being a mother gives me lots of inspiration for writing romance. When FanLit happened, my baby was just a newborn. I wrote several of my FanLit chapters by typing with one hand while I nursed/rocked/held him in the other arm. I wrote the whole time I was pregnant with him, too – I call him my muse.

Although I’ve been happily married for several years, both of my babies have served as wonderful reminders of how it feels to be in the first blush of love. I have every little detail of my kids memorized. I never get tired of looking at their cute little dimples, or kissing their fat little cheeks, or running my fingers through their curly hair. I’m completely infatuated with them. And while I still love my husband quite ardently, of course, that bloom of infatuation is a bit harder to sustain with an adult. Somehow, it’s just not cute when his nose is snotty.

How about you? How do you remember that feeling of infatuation? Are there relationships in your life that may not be … Read More »

I’m so excited to be invited back to Romance by the Blog today, to guestblog about my day at Avon. Michelle thought her bellas would be interested in hearing about the cover art, and if you read this blog regularly, you’ll have heard most of it before. But I’d be much obliged to anyone who can drop by to keep me company! Plus, Sara Lindsey photoshopped me a killer “cover” for Goddess of Beauty that you have to see!

If anyone’s clicking over to my blog today from RbtB, welcome! Below are links to all my posts about my day at Avon HQ. And it’s not too late to join in on yesterday’s “breakthrough” TMI Tuesday topic! Put your feet on the furniture. Make yourselves at home.

Cover Art (a bit more detailed than my guestblog today)
Tea with Eloisa

(Linking to all those posts reminds me … those of you who won stuff that week – if you didn’t get your prizes by now, drop me a line to let me know.)… Read More »

Wow – coming off a busy weekend in the Dare house. Hope everyone else had a happy Cinco de Mayo! I’ll be around later today to catch up on everyone’s blogging, promise.

I really need to get that word count widget working again – in case anyone’s wondering, I’m at about 15K words with Goddess of Beauty, and it’s swimming right along. Really, I’m so excited about this story, and these characters – it’s a great feeling.

Somewhere partway through writing GOTH, I had this moment where I really fell in love with the idea of Jeremy and Lucy as a couple. All of a sudden, I found myself daydreaming about them in the HEA – I saw them snuggling in bed and playing with cute little babies and teasing each other and exchanging fond glances over the breakfast table. I wished I could write a whole book of epilogues for them, just happy little scenes of affection and domestic bliss.

Does anyone else daydream like this, or am I just weird? Just warming up for TMI Tuesday, I guess. 🙂… Read More »

So, like a week ago, Lacey gave me this awesome Thinking Blogger award, and I’m just now getting down to thinking about it.

I’m supposed to pass it on to 5 bloggers who make me think. I know, I know – many of these people have been awarded this already. I think that’s okay. And there are many more of you who make me think, but the rules say I only get five.

First, we have Ms. Courtney Milan. CM makes me think often. Even more often, she makes me think about giving up thinking entirely, outsourcing all of my thinking to her, and taking up crochet instead. Her recent post on entails is just one of many gems on that blog.

Back when I was writing GOTH and wringing my hands about whether a prologue is a Good Thing or the Kiss of Death, Alice Audrey kindly reassured me with this post. It’s never too late to say thanks.

Lenora Bell routinely makes me think fondly about my stint as a volunteer in Southeast Asia. This post made me think I would cry.

With this completely innocuous post at Romance Vagabonds, Elodie made me think about someone I hadn’t thought about in a while. Someone I miss. Someone I wish I’d known better. Someone the world is a little more flat without.

And lastly, to throw some karma back at her, Lacey’s post this week about taking opportunities and (gasp!) asking for good things got me thinking … Read More »

Lately, CM’s been blogging about DH Lawrence.

Today, I’m writing the chapter where my GOB heroine goes out to sea for the first time in her life. And I have this poem running through my mind. Although it’s from a different era and place entirely, the sensation it describes is universal.

By Emily Dickinson:

Exultation is the going
Of an inland soul to sea,
Past the houses — past the headlands —
Into deep Eternity —

Bred as we, among the mountains,
Can the sailor understand
The divine intoxication
Of the first league out from land?

Are you inspired by poetry? Care to share some?Read More »