RNA NWS Feedback

I was absolutely thrilled when I returned home from Swanwick to discover a large envelope had arrived which The Hubster left on my desk. He hadn’t let on during the week that it had arrived, but only because he didn’t realise what it was. I’m glad he didn’t tell me as I would have been begging him to open it lol.

Sorry, for those of you new to my blog I’m a member of the Romantic Novelists New Writers Scheme. You send them an MS and then an anonymous reader gives you feedback. The readers are all full Romantic Novelist Association Members.

In my cover letter to my anonymous reader I explained that “Tangled” was in first draft form (I haven’t even reread it all the way through since I wrote it) and that I really didn’t have a clue where to start editing. Also, that I needed guidance on whether it was too “thrillery” to be considered “Contemporary Women’s Fiction” and I got my answers on both those questions….

The first sentence of the feedback cheered me up! My reader said “This has an interesting story line with a good twist at the end so that it possibly has the potential to become an exciting novel.” So far so good I think 😉

As regarding genre, my reader said “…the opening is exciting and shocking and quickly draws the reader in, leading to the expectation that some kind of thriller will follow. It would be worth considering therefore that the whole book should be developed as more of a thriller, by adding more suspense, intrigue and tension…. Hmmmm, ok, so it’s not a romance lol… I suspected as much.

She went on to write at least 1 paragraph of feedback under each of the following headings:
Show not Tell
Meaningful Scenes/Dialogue
Emotional Tension and Suspense
Presentation – Layout/Punctuation
5 pages in all of feedback, mainly consisting of details where I could expand, scenes that don’t work, areas to work on and a good luck message at the end.

There was one thing that my reader said that I’d like your opinion on (I’m going to be asking everyone and his dog about this now lol). She suggested that i get in early details of the ages of my main characters because she thought the names Anna and Tim could suggest much younger characters (in my mind Anna is 48 and Tim 10 years older).What do you think? I don’t know anyone under the age of 50 called Tim. Would love your views.

On the whole I’m really pleased and would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to my anonymous reader. Her feedback will be invaluable when I start editing 🙂

I can highly recommend joining the New Writers Scheme if you’re thinking about writing romance. Perhaps I should find out if there is a “thriller” scheme I could join instead now 😉

Q is for Quick

Ok, well as you can imagine, Q was difficult. There doesn’t seem to be any well known “Q” novelists 😦 Soooo, I’ve gone for a prolific genre writer, who writes under several names.

Amanda Quick aka Jayne Ann Krentz was born in California as Jayne Castle in 1948 and has been actively writing romance since 1979. To date she has over 35million copies of her novels in print and writes under various pseudonyms. She wrote the first ever paranormal futuristic romantic suspense novel and to date has published 120 novels, 32 of those being placed on the New York Times Bestseller list.

She spent 6 years writing and submitting her romance novels to publishers, getting rejection after rejection and tried to stop writing several times during that period, but found that she couldn’t.

Finally getting her first acceptance in 1979 (as Jayne Castle) she wrote for various romance lines but had to change her name as the contract she had signed with the publisher meant they “owned” her name and she was unable to use it on any further published work for 10 years.

She is very outspoken on the merits of “romance” as a genre and was editor on a collection of essays Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women: Romance Writers on the Appeal of the Romance that won an award (and i have a copy *pokes tongue out*). She has a huge fan base in The States.

Jayne writes under 7 different names, but the main 3 are:
Jayne Castle (futuristic romance)
Jayne Ann Krentz (contemporary romance)
Amanda Quick (historical romance)

I did manage to find some great quotes:

“Popular fiction encapsulates and reinforces many of our most fundamental cultural values. Romance is among the most enduring because it addresses the values of family and human emotional bonds.”

“I can only focus on one book/name at a time. It would drive me crazy to try to write two or more books at the same time.”

“I am a very disciplined writer. Sadly, I learned long ago that if I sit around and wait for inspiration to strike, it never hits! I start work at my computer at seven in the morning and I write until about noon. After that, most of my creative energy is shot. In the afternoons I work on plot points, research and serious shopping at Nordstroms.”

“Writing, for me, is an addiction; a compulsion; an obsession. I couldn’t give it up no matter how hard I tried — and believe me, I did try on several occasions during the six long years it took me to get published. I think that if you can walk away from your writing, you are probably not fated to be a writer. If you keep going back to it regardless of all the rejections, you’re doomed to be one.

“This is one business in which perseverance pays.”

“A writer must believe in his or her own voice because there will be times in this business when no one else will.”

And an excellent interview with the lady herself:

I know a few people who read my blog publish different genres under different names (mainly erotica) but doesn’t it get confusing? Imagine having 7 pseudonyms? Lol 🙂 Have you ever thought about using a different name to write a different genre?

A Writers Holiday

I’m off to Wales for a week in July. A Writing Holiday that I’ve heard is great.

The Summer Writers Holiday at Caerleon has had some great reviews from fellow writers, so I thought I’d give it a go 🙂

Photo by The Writers Holiday
So this is where you’ll find me come the 22nd of July. Really looking forward to it! 🙂

The courses I’ve decided to do while I’m there are:

A Complete Introduction To Romance Writing with Kate Walker as I’m reading one of Kate’s books at the moment, and I’m also enrolled on the Romance course I started last week. I’d love to be able to write good quality romance 🙂

Stretching Your Writing Muscles with Elizabeth Hawksley which I thought sounded rather interesting. The course is described as:
All writers need to loosen their writing ligaments a little to explore different ways of writing and find new ways of tackling their own writing. This course aims to do just that. we’ll look at what makes for bad writing – with examples! We’ll look at how writers tackle those big emotional moments; at how not to cop out when the going gets tough; at different ways of getting under the skin of a character; what pitch and stress can do for your writing and so on. This is a taught course and as well as discussion and looking at short extracts from published writers, the class will have a go for themselves in various exercises. That sounds right up my street! Lol

There are also guest speakers and other small talks and courses….WOW 🙂

I will no doubt adopt the roving reporter cap while I’m there, boring you all senseless with my daily commentary *snigger*

Have you ever been on a “writing holiday”? If so, what did you think? if not, would you consider it? You know how nosey I am 😉

By the way….there are still places available if you want to join me 🙂