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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Rulz by Taryn Kincaid

You know the clichés: Rules are made to be broken. Or, The exception proves the rule.
Well, yeah. They’re clichés. They’re truisms because there’s truth in them.
When we start out as fiction writers, we tend to adhere slavishly to the rules (particularly if we are judging contests or budding members of a critique group) because we haven’t read enough, we haven’t written enough, someone once told us something, or we don’t know any better. 
Your first sentence can be a one-word expletive if that’s what it takes. (Personally, I love that kind of sentence!) What it can’t be is something that slithers down the page like boa constrictor, festooned with inappropriate commas (or no commas) and questions marks where periods should go, until the  life of your story is choked dead as a ferret (or whatever boa constrictors eat) in the jungle (or wherever they all live, including The Third Ring of Outer Gyyzapius).
Reading should not be a life or death struggle. Nor should writing, despite whatever the late, great Red Smith may have opined about sitting down at the typewriter and opening a vein.
I’m a great fan of rule-breaking and rule-breaking with impugnity, as you may have gathered from the number of broken rules and sentence fragments above. (That may have been a sentence ending in a preposition right there.)
It’s one of the reasons I love reading and writing paranormals so much: You get to break rules and makes stuff up.  Create worlds. (As long as you stay logical and abide by the rules you’ve created for that world.)
For years, we thought of vampires strictly in terms of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which is where we got the vampire rulz of garlic, no images in the mirror, wooden stakes and silver bullets. Then along came sparkly Edward of the Twilight saga, who could go out in daylight but glittered like diamonds. And J.R. Ward’s beefcakey boys in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series,who were not undead, and not turned humans, but a whole different HOT species.
Just because one writer once made something up, doesn’t mean you must adhere to that writer’s world. Especially if we are dealing with otherworldly beings.
In my recent series of 1Night Stand stories for Decadent Publishing, I write about a trio of succubus sisters. The first, Lily Night, put her high school prom date into a coma the first time they were together, because she didn’t yet know how to cope with the electricity and the lightning she generated during sex. One reviewer, who loved the story, nevertheless wondered if lightning wasn’t supposed to be a Valkyrie thing.
Well, yes. If you’re in Kelsey Cole’s Immortals After Dark world.
But now you’re in mine.
Here’s the blurb from FROST, my February erotic paranormal release from Decadent Publishing. The heroine is Dagney Night, Lily’s younger sister:
Dagney Night, a sought-after succubus, is no stranger to blazing hot sex. But as Valentine’s Day approaches, she longs for something more. When oddly erotic paintings arrive for display at her art gallery, arousing everyone who views them, she wonders about the mysterious artist who created the works.

Maxwell Raines, a fire-sex demon, lives a life of solitude and seclusion behind the walls of his compound at Sleepy Hollow, channeling his lustful impulses into his art—until his muse deserts him and his temperature rises past the danger point. He needs sex. Now. 

When Madame Evangeline arranges a torrid Valentine’s 1Night Stand for them, will the flames of their encounter be too hot to handle? 

More about the Author:
Taryn Kincaid lives in scenic Serendipity-By-the-Sea. (Go ahead. Try to find it on a map. If you do, Taryn will send you a smooch. Also a Nutter Butter.) She is an Olympic caliber athlete in egg rolling contests and spends a great deal of her time petitioning the U.S.O.C. to introduce fantail shrimp competition. When she's not bungee jumping off the Palisades or parasailing up and down the Hudson River, she devotes her time to caring for her aging pet walrus, arranging her voodoo doll-pin collection and practicing rhythmic chants. At this moment, she is busy picking up loose wholewheat spaghetti sticks that spilled out of the cupboard and onto her kitchen floor. Wait. Is that something…shiny? 

Taryn hangs around a lot on Facebook and Twitter with her trillions of fans and pops in at Goodreads from time to time. You can catch her on her website, http://tarynkincaid.com, and her blog, http://dreamvoyagers.blogspot.com where she lives for comments! She implores you to buy her books so she can retire. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

5 Elements That Take Your Story Idea from Notion to Novel

by Catherine Chant 

Where do you get your ideas from? That’s a question many writers, including myself, hear from readers quite often. Most of us respond that they come from all around us. A news story, a personal anecdote heard at the school bus stop, an incident witnessed at the mall. Ideas surround us all the time. Even when we sleep, our heads are filled with ideas. 

I think a more interesting question, that probably has a more specific answer (depending on the author) would be, how did your idea become a book? Because that’s the real question, isn’t it? What magic did you do that turned something like “Lone child survives air disaster” into a plot that kept that reader glued to the pages.  

In my March workshop, “Avoid the Rough: Turning Your Story Idea Into a Workable Plot,” we start off with this very topic. Every book starts as just an idea, but then several elements join together to make a solid plot and a story people want to read.

Five of those elements are, in no specific order because it doesn’t matter when you come up with them as you’re brainstorming, just that you do: 

1.      Characters
2.      A story goal
3.      An opposing force
4.      Conflict
5.      Stakes

Characters means interesting people the reader can root for. Kat Duncan teaches a wonderful online course called “Make Me Care.” That’s one of the most important things about developing characters. Make readers care about what happens to them. Otherwise, they’ll put the book down. 

A Story Goal means something you’re rooting for the characters (you care about) to achieve. It’s something external (like to solve a crime, find a missing person) as well as internal (some flaw inside the character that must be resolved). 

The Opposing Force is what keeps the characters from getting what they want. If they could get what they want right away, the story would be rather boring and over before it starts. In some books, this force is a person, a bad guy, the villain. In others it’s a situation or maybe an emotional roadblock. Some stories combine all three. 

Conflict is what happens when goal hits opposition. Not just for the story goal and the major opposition, but throughout the story as well, in every scene. Between characters, between the character and himself, between the character and his situation. Conflict is the struggle that ensues when the character goes after what he wants but can’t get it. 

Stakes are related to the conflict. Show what’s at risk for your character. A character shouldn’t do something for no good reason, or just because you, the writer, tell him to do it. He must want to do it and want to do it against great odds. Don’t let your character’s journey ever be too easy or your story may fall flat and the reader puts the book down. 

There are several other elements as well, such as an emotional hook and clear language, but you can probably see a pattern starting here. Readers are drawn to stories where a character they care about is put into a tough situation that requires resilience and smarts to make it through to a satisfying end. 

In the novel I’m working on now, a young adult mystery, the very first seed of an idea started with the image of a graveyard. In fact, I’d given the story the title “The Graveyard” for the longest time because that’s where it had originated. In the graveyard was the tombstone of a girl the same age as the main character. I was thinking “ghost story” at the time, and saw the character living in the dead girl’s house, envisioning a connection between the two. Maybe even communication. Then came the question, how did the girl die and who killed her? 

From there I went through brainstorming elements like those listed above until I had a clearer picture of my main character and what she wanted in life and why she couldn’t have it. The resulting story evolved quite a bit from the image of the graveyard into a full-blown murder mystery. Although the graveyard still plays a small role in the story and there is a subtle paranormal element to the story, it isn’t a direct ghost story anymore. The new tentative title is “Swings and Pendulums” (the blurb is on my website under Books-->Works in Progress) and it examines several universal themes such as family, friendship, and sibling rivalry that go way beyond the initial idea of a girl and a ghost. 

My young adult time travel romance, “Wishing You Were Here,” started from an 80’s song inspired by a dead musician I’d vaguely heard of. When I looked into it more, I discovered long-forgotten hit songs and a tragic story that made me wonder, “What if you could go back in time and give someone a second chance?” Not a very original idea, I’m sure many have wondered the same thing, but it was a catalyst that drove me to brainstorm those five elements above, and write a unique love story between a 21st century music enthusiast and a 1950’s teen idol, filled with plenty of conflict, not the least of which is how a modern girl with strong ambitions and even stronger opinions deals with the chauvinistic music industry while trapped in 1957. 

Want to learn more about how to take your story idea and turn it into a workable plot? Join me March 4-22, 2013 at FF&P for my class “Avoid the Rough: Turning Your Story Idea into a Workable Plot” (with a broad strokes outline). Don’t let the word “outline” scare you.” If you like to the write by the seat of your pants, this class is for you too because a broad strokes outline doesn’t tie you down, just helps you brainstorm those key elements that your story idea needs to move from notion to novel. 

More About the Author:

Catherine Chant is a PRO member of the Romance Writers of America RWA) and a Golden Heart® finalist. Her first novel, WISHING YOU WERE HERE (Soul Mates #1), is a young adult time travel romance available in both print and electronic editions at Amazon.com. You can find out more about Catherine at:
WEBSITE    TWITTER    Facebook 

I hope you will join my class on
Avoid the Rough:
Turning Your Story Idea
Into a Workable Plot
Hosted by
Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers
This 2 Week class starts March 4, 2013
For more information click HERE

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Finding Your Emotional Rhythm by Eileen Wilks

What in the world is emotional rhythm? 
And why should you care?
It has nothing to do with your own emotional ups and downs and everything to do with the journey you take readers on. Emotional rhythm is the emotional pacing of a story. Like pacing in general, it occurs on both the macro and micro level—that is, as a component of your story's structure, and also within each scene. With emotional rhythm, however, we're not measuring speed. We're looking at the emotional changes of the story.
Maybe you're nodding now. That makes sense, but still, why does it matter? Why should you care? Because, like voice, emotional rhythm is both deeply personal and--when executed authentically and well-- compelling to readers. It may even be considered an aspect of voice because it arises naturally from within and informs every aspect of our stories.
If you've been writing awhile, you've probably noticed that lovely ping when a scene suddenly comes alive. This ping can happen in the first draft or the fifth or the fifteenth. It doesn't mean the scene is finished; you may have only half of it written, or what you have may be very rough. But it feels right. The balance between tension, explanation, and humor pleases you. Any shifts between distance and intimacy with the characters feel spot on; you've dropped the right amount of questions, answers, and surprises into the mix; and the scene moves through a satisfying number of emotional changes.
You've hit your innate emotional rhythm.
Knowing this can help. It helps me when I'm writing a scene and it feels off and I have no idea why. You've been there, right?  

Spending days working on a scene that just doesn't feel right even though you know what you want to happen, what needs to happen, and it's driving you nuts . . . until finally you move this bit of dialogue, remove that explanation, add more interaction between these two characters . . . and oh yeah, you can shift this bit to the end, and rewrite this section to add a crucial detail more smoothly and highlight the emotional impact and . . .
Knowing that my struggle has a name is comforting. More, it can help me ask the right questions, and we all know that it's hard to get useful answers if we're asking the wrong questions. Does the scene feel flat and boring? If my answer is “yes, dammit,” the problem is probably the emotional rhythm. Next question: what about this scene is fascinating to me? (Emphasis important, because this is about finding my own emotional rhythm, not some hypothetical reader's. I want to please readers, yes, but I can no more write to their rhythm than I can write in their voice.) And what do I have to include in this scene that I don't find exactly gripping? What would make me want to pay attention to this element? Asking these questions can often unlock a scene for me.

But that is emotional rhythm on the micro or scene level. I said that it happens on the macro level, too. How does that work? How does emotional rhythm relate to a story's overall structure?
Your emotional rhythm will inevitably shape your story, whether you're conscious of this or not. But knowing about it gives you one more tool in your toolbox when something isn't working. If you get comments from critique partners or judges about a scene feeling stilted or forced and you don’t understand what they mean, you might look at that scene in terms of the story’s emotional rhythm. Perhaps you’ve included a love scene where you think your genre demands one—but it’s throwing off your innate emotional rhythm. You might have decided to include backstory via dialogue between two characters when your natural emotional rhythm calls for a flashback. Or vice versa.
Something similar happened to me recently. I’d been rewriting the same scene over and over, unable to make it come out right, authentic, real. I finally realized I was trying for scary with plenty of action. I thought that’s what I was supposed to do at that point in the story, you see. But my personal emotional rhythm called for a false dawn—a period when things seem to be looking up, but the undercurrents are saying whoa. Danger ahead.
There is no one right type of emotional rhythm, and your rhythm as a writer may not match with some of the stories you love to read. Why should it? You probably read from a wide variety of styles. I certainly do. I'm going to give some examples, using labels I find convenient. These NYT best-selling authors have clear and consistent—and vastly different—emotional rhythms:

In terms of emotional pacing, Sue Grafton is more of a straight road writer. Her stories build slowly, picking up weight and meaning as they go, to end like juggernauts.

Mary Balogh is more of a tapestry writer. Her books are not fast-paced, nor is there a great deal of obvious external plot., but their emotional rhythm pulls the reader along. Each scene is emotionally dense or charged, often cycling through several emotional changes.

Nora Roberts’s scenes are less emotionally dense, and her books are faster paced. Many of the scenes are dialogue-driven. Each scene has a clear emotional arc, but that arc varies—there’s humor, danger, determination, loss, victory.

You might be a “tapestry” writer if you include a lot of detail in your stories—details about the setting and the characters (major and secondary.) A lot of women’s fiction and historical romance authors are tapestry writers. So are some fantasy writers, both urban fantasy and paranormal romance, because world-building is often a hallmark of the tapestry style. And so is one of my personal favorites who writes books with “thriller” on the spine: Sara Paretsky. Oh, and there's another favorite author, this one of historical mysteries, I'd call a tapestry writer: Margaret Frazier.

You might be a straight road writer if your stories are tense, dramatic, and end with a shocking bang, one that’s been building throughout the book. Obviously, all books build towards the climax, but with a straight road writer, secondary characters and subplots exist mainly as distractions so that the surprise at the end will be even more satisfying. Many thriller writers are “straight road” writers. Kay Hooper comes to mind. You'll also find a lot of straight-road writers in romantic suspense, science fiction, and category romance.

You might be a Nora-style author if your stories are dialogue-driven with crisp action scenes (and I consider sex scenes to be action scenes), a clear but varied emotional arc to each scene, and no more detail than is necessary to set up the scenes. Mary Janice Davidson is a good example. So is Jayne Ann Krentz, whatever name she writes under. This emotional rhythm is suited to all types of romance, but you’ll find it in a lot of mysteries, too, and some science fiction.

A type of emotional rhythm I find particularly satisfying as a reader is what I call the “Surprise!” style. These writers surprise the reader over and over; much of the emotion relies on repeated surprise. Writers who do this well often rise to the top of their field. This style works for any and all genres, but is particularly suited for books with plenty of action. Jim Butcher comes to mind. So do Dorothy Dunnet and Janet Evanovitch. Very different writers, stories, genres—but in each case I’m surprised over and over and have to keep reading to see what will happen.

A final note. These are generalizations, not rules . . . generalizations that I find useful, but your speed may vary. Don’t let any of this straight-jacket you. Also, many of us are a blend of styles. For example: a Nora-style author might find category romance a good fit—but I'm mostly a tapestry writer with a dollop of straight-road, not Nora-style at all. And I sold nearly 20 category novels before moving to single title. So take what you like and leave the rest.

Eileen Wilks is the author of MORTAL TIES Berkley 10/12 and is the NYT best-selling author of over thirty books and novellas, including her World of the Lupi series. A multiple RITA finalist and recipient of a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, she’s currently hard at work on the tenth book in the series, RITUAL MAGIC. Eileen came to writing the usual way: by reading compulsively and daydreaming a lot. She likes quilting, dark matter, chocolate, books on brain science, yoga, and painting things—walls, boxes, furniture, floors, even canvases sometimes . . . but not the cats. The cats do not wish to be painted. She also likes to hear from readers. http://www.eileenwilks.com/  

I hope you will join my class on


Hosted by

Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers

This 2 Week class starts March 18, 2013

For more information click HERE

Saturday, February 16, 2013

PRO News at FF&P

Do you find yourself at a chapter meeting, conference or checking your email and recognizing names faces etc of people who were your peers but have made the jump to PAN? Do you feel envious, sad, depressed because that should be you?
Well, you are not alone. What can you do about it? Well, the short answer is get your butt on that seat, hands on that keyboard and write, write, write. Do you feel even more depressed now that obvious piece of advice is in front of you?
Well -you are still not alone. Reach out to your chapter, online group. Put yourself out there at a conference. Writing is a lonely business - we've all heard that. Writers can be introverted (well most are) Reach out - there are so many things that your chapter, other writers can, want and do provide.
And here’s one you can do right now--
Join the
Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal PRO group!
(Or become more active if you're already in!)
What is the PRO group, you may ask? It’s an online group for folks who have taken that first step to tell the world they are damn serious about their writing. They’ve shaken their fist in the air and said, “I am HERE!” They’ve completed a manuscript and have sent it forth to an agent or editor.
The PRO group is a place to join with like minded souls to support each other, share information, prod each other on. Hold each other accountable to continue being the best writers we can be.
Part of being successful is to put yourself out there - network, make friends with your colleagues. Set yourself a goal of sending one email a day to your online chapter group about something writing related, join in discussions, share information. Make suggestions like WIP tracking groups or chats.
The more you put in the more you get out. The PRO’s group, like all groups, is only as strong as it’s members.
Joining PRO, and more importantly, being ACTIVE in your FF&P PRO group will lead to:
Becoming more PRO-active
in your writing career.
You'll find your daily output of writing increasing as you do timed sprints and having the accountability of a goal group.
You'll find your writing improving doing critiques for your fellow FF&Pers in the Mudpuddle or PRO goal groups.
You'll find publishing contacts and opportunities by sharing information with your fellow PROsters and chapter mates.
You'll find you will be published that much quicker from joining in and then you won't have to stand up at a chapter meeting and feel the need to stand up and say - 'hi I'm ....... (insert name here) and I'm a PRO ho.'
Let us help!
Contact Sandra and Marie- FF& P Co_PRO's
through RWA at: pro@romance-ffp.com



Thursday, February 14, 2013

“What could they possibly see in each other?”

Interspecies Love for FF&P by Pamela Jaye Smith  

Interspecies Love is an excellent story device through which to make observations on and suggestions for the way we humans treat each other, both as individuals and as societies, nations, and races. It is also a clever way to portray the more animal-like or just plain weird aspects of our human nature.

With so much romance, love, lust, and just plain sex going on between humans and vampires, humans and werewolves, humans and zombies, humans and who-knows-what let us first define Interspecies Love.  

If the human is mating with anyone that is now or ever was an actual human who has been compromised by a DNA override such as a curse, a bite, the phase of the moon, that is not Interspecies.

Some creatures are on the borderline between human and non-human, such as fairies, elves, and gnomes, depending on the mythology and the story. In mythology there are myriad examples of humans mating with animals, angels, and deities. A modern version is Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire wherein an angel falls in love with a human and gives up his angelic form to be with her. 

Examples in Myth and Legend

Sphinxes, griffins, centaurs, gorgons, Anubis and other such Egyptian gods, mermaids.... With so many part human/part animal creatures in the myths of the world one begins to wonder if there might not have been some facts behind the stories. Is it racial memory, the preservation of deep history in myth, the fanciful telling of science experiments gone bad? Or perhaps a misunderstanding of the complexity of evolution and the branching of the tree of life from single-cell forms to today’s humans? Many very interesting, fun, exciting, inspiring, or scary stories center around some mix of humans and other species. 
Greek king god Zeus was a rampant womanizer of mortal females, immortal females, and half-mix females. Seduction was often easy because, well, he was king of the gods. Often though the mortal girls knew about his goddess-wife Hera’s jealous rages and preferred not to be turned into a cow so Zeus disguised himself for many of his affairs. As a bull, he kidnapped young Europa. As a swan, he seduced Leda, who bore him Pullox and Helen (later of Troy). 

In a similar case of bird-to-human mating Christianity portrays the divine Holy Spirit as a dove, visiting the mortal virgin Mary – the result being Jesus. 

Joseph Campbell tells the tale of a native American princess who marries a buffalo god to help save her people.    

Examples in Media

 His Monkey Wife  by John Collier is an amusing and pointed allegory for miscegenation. In this book an Englishman comes back from Africa with an astonishingly literate female chimpanzee who is in love with him. [Collier also wrote the screenplay for The African Queen.] Rudyard Kipling’s short story Bimi features a male orangutan who is dangerously jealous of his human master’s new wife.  

Avatar is an excellent example of technologically advanced cultures taking advantage of other beings seen as “less than”. There is Interspecies romantic Love between Jake and Neytiri and a generalized respect and love by the human scientist Grace for the Na’vi. 

In The Little Mermaid fairy tale a fish-girl gives up her voice in order to get legs and be able to walk on land and marry the prince.  

The first Alien film shows female human crew-member Lambert being brutally and fatally raped by the Alien. Earlier, the male crewman Kane was orally raped and in the grossest case of interspecies breeding ever, gives birth to the new alien as it bursts out of his chest. 


Mixed creatures such as centaurs, sphinxes, mermaids, etc. 

Two very different versions of the same thing in juxtaposition...eyes, hands, sex organs, etc. 

In Avatar the helicopters and the flying dragons represent the differences between the race of humans and the Na’vi. Clothing or lack thereof can also represent differences. 

In Your Stories  

Compare and contrast – how are their heads/limbs/mouths/sex organs alike or different? Make the descriptions either wondrous or horrifying, depending on the nature of the impending relationship between the human and the alien.

Be clear about the purpose of the point of contact. In Star Trek Captain Kirk going after alien chicks reveals his character and creates character arcs. In Alien the ‘mating’ is a story arc and drives the plot forward. 

Give us the actual mating act, as with Leda and the swan [Zeus] in the poem by William Butler Yeats http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/leda-and-the-swan/.  

Show the differences before you get them together. In Galaxy Quest the aliens forget to turn on their Appearance Generators so the earthlings see them in their true form of tall upright octopi not even faintly resembling humans.  

If positive results -- A stronger bond to something higher and different. 

If negative results – unfortunate, dreadful, or deadly. 

Interspecies Love is a really rich situation you can use to make all sorts of statements and send all sorts of messages in your FF&P stories while greatly entertaining us in either heart-warming or terrifying ways. 

More about the Author 
Pamela Jaye Smith is a mythologist, writer, international story consultant and speaker, and award-winning producer-director. She authored THE POWER OF THE DARK SIDE, INNER DRIVES, SYMBOLS-IMAGES-CODES, andBEYOND THE HERO’S JOURNEY. Pamela has taught writing at Romance Writers of America and Savvy Authors on-line, spoke at RWA Scriptscene 2012 Convention, UCLA Extension, RAI-TV Rome, Nat'l Film Institute of Denmark, LA Webfest, Marseille Webfest, and many more. Other clients and credits include Microsoft, Fox, Paramount, Universal, and the US Army. Pamela Jaye is founder of MYTHWORKSand co-founder of Mythic Challengesand Alpha Babe Academy.
© 2012 SHOW ME THE LOVE!  book by Pamela Jaye Smith  & Monty Hayes McMillan
www.mythworks.net  www.alphababeacademy.com 

I hope you will join my class on
Hosted by
Fantasy-Futuristic& Paranormal Romance Writers
This 4 Week class starts March 4, 2013
For more information click HERE 


Monday, February 11, 2013

Whaddaya Mean There’s No Playbook? by Rheena Morgan

How many of you fine writers remember the first time you came face to face with a bunch of other writers?  

I remember it like it was yesterday--which is a good thing because it was only about a year ago.  

So, yes, for those of you who don’t know me well, I’m still a relative newbie.  My enthusiasm is still where it was back then, but I’ve earned a few bumps and bruises—battle wounds that (post chocolate and wine) I wear with inordinate pride. 

<Insert magic time machine swirly effect here> 

I hustled down a hushed, sterile college hallway a good fifteen minutes before our local RWA chapter meeting was due to start.  I wanted to make a good impression—not show up late and disheveled. 

I swooshed open the door with a positive air and strode forward. 

I think I covered my surprise pretty well.  I’m still not sure.  In a nutshell, I don’t think I could have put together a more random group of women if I’d tried.   

Ages spanned the gamut and genres were all over the place.  I remember thinking, “Inspirational?  What’s that?”   

Oddly, they all spoke the same language—one I couldn’t interpret.  They used words like protagonist and antagonist, story arc and conflict.  I think I even heard dangling participle in there somewhere.  

What?  I just wanted to write!  Not dive back into every English class I’d eagerly left behind the minute I’d snatched my college diploma! 

They were all very nice.  They greeted me with faces like this.  
 I took copious notes.  Made to-dos of all the expected actions a writer needed to tackle to get published.   

When they thought I wasn’t looking, I got this look. 
For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what I’d done wrong.  Didn’t they understand I was willing, willing, willing?
I kept coming back and they kept guiding, answering my questions with patience.  They’re still letting me come around, God bless them.  They even laugh at my jokes.  (Well, maybe not the dirty ones.) 

It took me until the last few months to figure out what that hidden look was about.  They were waiting for me to figure something out. 

Being a writer doesn’t come with a defined playbook. 

There is no script.  There is no magic potion.  If there were some special recipe, editors would just crank out clones and call it a day.

This life takes discipline, learning, time and thought.   

Yep.  Thought.   

Social media is necessary—but have you asked yourself, “why?”  Have you asked yourself WHO your writing audience is?  Do you study the agents before you pitch and try to match yourself up for a solid partnership?  Or do you just blindly canvas the latest list and hope for a catch?  Who do you tweet to?  Writers?  Or Readers? 

This isn’t just a popular dance step we’re learning.  This is an art.   

If painters all painted alike, we’d have some mighty dull artwork. The same is true for writers.  If we want to grow in our craft, we have to learn to ask, “why?” and really own each discovery.  That’s how we become unique and nurture our special voice—make our own masterpiece. 

What about you?  Where are you right now in your career?  Have you had the V8, ah-ha moment that says, “this is who I am as a writer!”?  If someone asked, “What can I expect to read about in your books?” can you answer them?  Or are you rubber-stamping through the steps?  I’d love to hear your special moments of discovery.
More about Rhenna Morgan


Rhenna Morgan writes what she loves to read—paranormal and contemporary romance.  In the real world, most women aren’t swept off their feet by some billionaire Adonis.  In her fictional world, it’s a pretty safe bet.  Nothing thrills her more than the fantasy of exciting new worlds, strong, intuitive men and the sigh of, “Oh, if only that could happen to me.”

Her posse consists of the good folks in RWA, Smart Women Writers of Tulsa, Passionate Ink and the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Special Interest chapter of RWA.  Her mid-life crisis motto:  What doesn’t kill you makes for one hell of a story!

Contact her at  rhenna@rhennamorgan.com