Waiting for "The Call"

“Honey, it’s always crap. Every book I write is crap. It’s my job to fix the crap afterwards,” according to Nora Roberts. Well, I've got it half right. Still working on the "fixing it" part. "Trust your characters to be complex enough and to have enough emotional baggage. Force them to make hard choices." Advice from Michelle Styles that might help!

Long time no blog July 31, 2010

Filed under: What I'm reading,Writing and Life — Autumn Macarthur @ 10:41 pm
Tags: , , , ,

It must be a month since I last did a blog post- not good!

I have plenty of excuses, a wedding away, planning the trip to Australia, work insanity, and a dead laptop.

Truth is, I got depressed at the big number birthday coming up soon and all I hadn’t done that was on my “Do before I’m 50 list.” I’m over that now and ready to make a new and exciting “Do before I’m 60” list, that I hope won’t be cause for depression in ten years time!

There has been movement, even if a snail would seem supersonic in comparision. The partial for Lock and Cady’s story is finally close to ready to send.

I need to get Lock and Cady out there so I can start a new Medical story I want to sub in August. I was so determined not to try a Medical, but there’s a medically themed story that’s been niggling at me for years. Every time the idea comes up again I add more to it, and it’s just about ready to write now! My concern was that it might not fit the line as my hero isn’t a doctor, so I was going to reduce the medical contect, play up the community aspect, and target it at Superromance instead. But the Medical editors are actively looking for new writers and are fast-tracking all submissions  made this month before August 24, anything from one chapter and a synopsis to a full. It’s worth a try, though I’m not sure even if I Medical-ise itas much as possible this story will fly as a Medical. Will have to see what the editors think! If I get moving, I cam do one chapter and a synopsis by August 24.

I’ve learned a lot about writing in the past couple of months that I hope I can put to good use in the rewrite and use in the final pass through my partial. I’ve been reading  “Manuscript Makeover: Revision Techniques No Fiction Writer Can Afford to Ignore a fab craft book  recommended by Michelle Styles. She is so right about it- possibly the best craft book I’ve read.

I treated myself to a read this week, which was an unexpected learning experience, too. Not something on my TBR list at all. I bought a dinky little mini-notebook to use when travelling instead of my PDA which was driving me mad with the tiny screen and keyboard. It’s perfect apart from one thing- it uses a weird Windows operating system that no ebook reader supports, not even Mobipocket which I used on the PDA. All I can read on it are ebooks in either pdf or html formats.

I did have some pdf ebooks, so I transferred them all over and opened one at random to see how it worked. Oh boy, I lucked out! The book was a Blaze, Leslie Kelly’s “Slow Hands”, one of the Harlequin free full-length romance downloads. I possibly wouldn’t have chosen to read the Blaze, though one of my crit group is writing one and hers is fabulously good. I can be just the teensiest bit of a prude, plus I started reading one years ago and the writing was so cringeworthy I didn’t get further than 3 pages. This was different.

Good writing that dragged me straight into the story. A lust-worthy and love-worthy hero. Hot hot sexxoring and plenty of it, but all safely vanilla, and so deeply anchored in emotion and real feeling. Beautiful handling of how the emotional attachment between hero and heroine grew, and the heroine’s emotional journey. A lesson in managing sub-plots so subtly the reader didn’t even realise they were sub-plots, they hooked into the main storyline so neatly. I was reading this book on two levels at once, devouring it like a reader, carried along by the story, but also looking at it as a workshop in how to write a darned good romance.

I strongly recommend this story, and as it’s free, how can you resist!

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8 Responses to “Long time no blog”

  1. Lacey Devlin Says:

    Well now I want Manuscript Makeover! You’re a bad influence :). I thought the Medical fast track required a whole manuscript to be complete? It’s certainly an intimidating line with all of its medical jargon but I bet you’ll do fabulously! Good luck (not that you’ll need it) 🙂

  2. It’s good to see you back in blog land!
    Good luck with the medical sub – the fast tracking opp is one not to be missed for sure. How are you feeling about the romanceisnotdead comp?
    Will def check out the free download, sounds like a good read.
    Are you off to Australia on holiday soon?
    Happy writing. x

  3. waitingforthecall Says:

    I’m a nurse which helps with thejargon but also makes hospitals and any medical workplace feel distinctly unromantic!I’m not sure the terminology or medical knowledge actuallyhelps- many Medicals I’ve read in the past have sacrificed medical accuracy for a good story. They seem very keen to encourage new writers to consider the line so they’ll look at anything from a first chapter and synopsis to partial to a complete. I actually already have a rough synopsis done for this story, so there’s just the little (ha!) matter of writing the chapter. I definitely need that luck!

  4. waitingforthecall Says:

    Two weeks back home in September- yippee! I haven’t looked at the comp yet. What I’ve heard of it sounded a bit intimidating…must look further.

  5. Welcome back to blogland. And I hear you on the BIG birthdays making you feel like you haven’t accomplished nearly enough. I think this call for Medicals is a great opportunity for new writers. They seem to be very eager to look at new material so strike while the iron is hot.

  6. I, too, read Slow Hands because it was a free download — and then I went out and bought the counterpart story “Heated Rush” also by Leslie Kelly, and honestly, I think Heated Rush is even better! It takes some doing to find “heated Rush” because it came out in 2008 — actually I don’t think I could find it *at all* on the Harlequin site, so I went over to Amazon and snapped up a used copy. 🙂

  7. waitingforthecall Says:

    I’m planning to get a copy of that one too- double wow if it’s even better! How’s your writing going?

  8. Lacey Devlin Says:

    I think there’s something horrifying about realising you’ve gotten your facts wrong! I’ve heard some horror stories :). I think it would be really hard to find a balance because too much medical jargon can pull you out of a story because it feels forced. I still love ’em though (cute doctors need I say more?) 😉


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