Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tension ...or Anticipation?

I was thinking about the last episode of The Office this morning, and it struck me that we writers can be lead astray by the notion of dramatic tension. I believe it stems from those two particular words, dramatic and tension.

Dramatic means, to quote the Merriam-Webster Dictionary online:

1: of or relating to the drama (a dramatic actor)
2 a: suitable to or characteristic of the drama (a dramatic attempt to escape) b: striking in appearance or effect (a dramatic pause)
3 of an opera singer : having a powerful voice and a declamatory style — compare lyric

Drama means:

1 a: a composition in verse or prose intended to portray life or character or to tell a story usually involving conflicts and emotions through action and dialogue and typically designed for theatrical performance : play — compare closet drama b: a movie or television production with characteristics (as conflict) of a serious play; broadly : a play, movie, or television production with a serious tone or subject (a police drama)
2: dramatic art, literature, or affairs
3 a: a state, situation, or series of events involving interesting or intense conflict of forces b: dramatic state, effect, or quality (the drama of the courtroom proceedings)

Tension means:

1 a: the act or action of stretching or the condition or degree of being stretched to stiffness : tautness b: stress 1b
2 a: either of two balancing forces causing or tending to cause extension b: the stress resulting from the elongation of an elastic body
3 a: inner striving, unrest, or imbalance often with physiological indication of emotion b: a state of latent hostility or opposition between individuals or groups c: a balance maintained in an artistic work between opposing forces or elements
4: a device to produce a desired tension (as in a loom)

There's one thing the definitions of drama and tension have in common, and it's negativity, even hostility. Conflict, stress and lots of it.

Dramatic indicates a big reaction.

So it's easy to think that dramatic tension means big conflicts. Lots of stress. Danger. Guns, chases, big arguments, serious issues.

But that's not what had me on the edge of my seat watching The Office last week, although my condition could certainly be classed as one of "unrest". I was giddy with anticipation.

Anticipation is defined as:

1 a: a prior action that takes into account or forestalls a later action b: the act of looking forward; especially : pleasurable expectation
2: the use of money before it is available
3 a: visualization of a future event or state b: an object or form that anticipates a later type
4: the early sounding of one or more tones of a succeeding chord to form a temporary dissonance — compare suspension

Yep, it was "pleasurable expectation" and then some. And it occurred to me that that reaction is every bit as valid, as interesting, as exciting a reason to keep reading a book, as the resolution of a serious conflict or escape from danger.

And there's absolutely nothing "lesser" about pleasurable expectation. I was on the edge of my seat watching The Office. I'm never on the edge of my seat watching Law and Order, or Damages or other "serious" shows.

That makes me wonder if this isn't one of the differences between genre fiction and literary fiction. Genre fiction, no matter how serious the issues or risks to the characters, is going to either end happily, in the case of romance, or at least provide some kind of resolution. We can read it some expectations, and that in itself can be pleasurable. Literary fiction, however, makes no such promises to readers.

For my money, I prefer pleasurable expectation, so it makes sense I write genre fiction.

That no doubt also explains how I can read the same books or watch the same movie several times. I know what's going to happen, and it's a pleasure to anticipate it.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Old Bailey Online!

Just quickly, because this is one of those days I have a lot to do:

Since the hero of A LOVER'S KISS is a barrister, I had to do some research into the British legal system. I discovered a great site called The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, which had transcripts of a few trials, including one for a duel, which was cool. However, there's a new site, Old Bailey Online, which has all the transcripts from trials at the Old Bailey from 1674 to 1913.

Need some good external conflict ideas for a historical? I bet there are more than a few there!

Monday, April 28, 2008


Yesterday I discovered a less-than-glowing review of one of books on the web.

I was disappointed and dismayed. It felt like I'd failed an exam. Not a life-shattering experience, but certainly not pleasant, because I worked really hard on that book, ya know?

Then I watched Carrier, on PBS. They took cameras onto the U.S.S. Nimitz and let 'em roll.

Now, I have a soft spot for the navy -- any navy -- because my dad was in the navy during World War II and I was in the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve. Let me tell ya, that was a pretty unusual job for a teenage girl in the 1970's. It was a wonderful experience, and a great way to learn self-discipline. There's no negotiation or whining in the military. Well, okay, there is -- surreptitiously. And we will not speak of the abduction of the petty officers' beer.

My pity party ended in about a second and a half.

I'll be watching and/or taping the rest of Carrier this week.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

What lies beneath...

Yesterday I mentioned some of the various conflicts in my book coming in August, A LOVER'S KISS. There are actually a few more, but those are the main ones.

However, another point I wanted to make, but decided to save until today is this:

I noted that both the hero and heroine in A LOVER'S KISS have issues based on their respective pasts, issues that have affected them long before they meet each other. These issues are the basis of their internal conflicts.

However, in my books, it's the internal conflicts that actually bring the couples together and enable them to fall in love. As the story progresses and the characters learn more about each other, they gradually realize that these issues they've kept secret and sometimes tried to keep buried, or pretend don't exist, are ones they share with the other main character. They discover they can truly understand, empathize and sympathize with each other because the fears, resentments or insecurities their pasts have created are the same. Whatever the external factors working to keep them apart (politics, class, income, education, family or other social factors), they are more alike than they are different.

In the case of Drury and Juliette from A LOVER'S KISS, both are outwardly quite confident and determined. In their heart of hearts, however, both are very lonely people who fear that they'll always be, in one sense at least, alone. And they don't want to be. However, as they spend more time together, they realize they share these feelings, and so can truly understand and empathize with each other. This is what ultimately enables them to see beyond the other conflicts and fall in love.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

New book, new look

Yes, it's time for the big switcheroo, because I've got the cover for my next release, A LOVER'S KISS,which will be out this summer. Officially the release date is August, but it may be on shelves sooner, depending on the salesclerks and when they get to unloading the books.

What's it about? Here's the back cover copy:

" the enemy!

Sir Douglas Drury was a spy during the Napoleonic war and has the scars, and enemies, to show for it. When he is set upon in a London street, he finds it hard to be grateful because his rescuer is not only a woman, but French into the bargain!

Juliette Bergerine has learned to keep herself safe by avoiding undue attention, but now her life is also in danger and, together, she and Drury must take refuge in a mansion in Mayfair. There, this broodingly cynical man proves an irresistible temptation...."

Clearly, my man Drury has, shall we say, troubles with the French. So of course, when I was thinking of a heroine for him, there was no doubt that she had to be French. So we have a political conflict.

But that's not enough to create a layered story with lots of conflict. So I added class issues (he's rich and educated, she's poor and works at a trade).

But that's still not enough. Drury's got a past that lends itself to danger, so we've got external conflict based on that. Let's call that "third party conflict." Or a villain.

But let's add more conflict. How do Drury's friends and social contacts react? And the man does have a job -- how does Juliette interfere with that?

And then let's really dig deep -- what else makes Drury aloof and why does he brood? Hint: his real struggles began long before the war.

Was Juliette's life all sweetness and light before she got to London? I don't think it's a big spoiler to say, Nope. So she has deep-seated issues, too, that were created long before she ever met Sir Douglas Drury. And just what is she doing in London anyway?

Want to meet Drury and Juliette? I've also updated my website and posted an excerpt.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I came, I saw, I raked....

I had a delightful weekend away from work, the computer and the big city. To be sure, I worked hard with the raking of the Gigantic Pile o' Leaves that had been blown onto the folks' garden, but the weather was lovely and we had plenty of cookies to keep us going. We also ate at the most excellent local restaurant which has the sort of decor one finds in local restaurants - a clown/nautical theme.

And bonus! I found, in the local antique store I have never gone into before (and this may be why) the most marvelous china cabinet EVER. It's tiger oak, tall, with a large bow window cabinet on one side, a mirror, felt-lined drawer and leaded glass door cupboard on the other, and a very wide drawer all along the bottom. It was also, based on an estimate for another smaller piece we have, a bargoon. It's costing us a lot to get it from there to our house, but what the heck. Worth every penny.

OTOH, in "Are You Trying To Make Me Feel Old?" category, I also brought home my Suzy Homemaker Oven that has been at the cottage for years and years. I googled it just to see what it was worth and discovered -- yikes! -- the word "vintage" is apparently now attached to it. My toys are vintage? I protest!

Since this is Earth Day, I note that I am totally excited over the prospect of getting the clothesline up again. I have a song about it and everything. Last year, I was so excited about the clothesline, my friend actually said, "I think you need to get out more."

I concur -- now that the weather is lovely. So lovely it can't last, but I am enjoying every minute of it. Even when I'm in my windowless basement office, I know that upstairs, it's warm, it's sunny and later, I'm going for a long walk.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The End...sort of....

Whoo hoo! I typed "The End."

Well, okay, I think I cheated. I think that last scene's a tad...a bit..kinda...okay, a lot rushed. I'm going to revise it some now, and no doubt much, much more before the book goes in, but I typed, "The End." Yeah!

I also got my double batch of chocolate chip cookies baked. Next up, streusel cake. Because I need my provisions for the cottage.

Did I mention I'll be helping open the cottage? My job will be to help my mom take the leaves off the garden. Or as my younger sister says, "Pick up a leaf, talk, talk, talk, pick up a leaf, talk, talk, talk..."

Yep, she knows us too well. Except I'd add, Pick up a leaf. "How 'bout a tea and some cookies?" Pick up a leaf. "Sounds good to me!"

I hope everybody has a great weekend!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

It's Drury, in the flesh...sort of....

I was going to blog about what else the editor at Harlequin Presents had to say about opening scenes at the I Heart Harlequin Presents blog, but I got the cover art for A LOVER'S KISS, so instead I got busy preparing its website page and excerpt.

They're ready to go, but my newsletter subscribers get the first look, so it won't be up for general viewing and reading until next week.

I won't be blogging until then, either. I'm getting out of town this weekend and have a writing goal I want to make before I leave -- to get to the first "The End." It won't be the last time for this book, because I am the Queen o' Revising, but it would be nice to get there once before I head off to the rustic pleasures of a cottage with no heat.

I can hardly wait!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

And one to stay away....

I posted about blogs yesterday. Today, I was reminded of one reason not to read blogs -- or at least, maybe not first thing in the morning. It can make your blood pressure go up and ruin the start to a perfectly lovely day.

For instance, this morning, I went to Smart Bitches, Trashy Books as is my wont, only to find a post there about some guy who produces books. You can't call it writing because he basically simply collects data, puts it together and prints it up and voila, a book. Sort of like those Chicken Soup books, I'm thinking. Or an encyclopedia. Okay if you want facts.

But now, Philip M. Parker is apparently preparing to take his method to the romance world. To quote from the original New York Times article, "And he is laying the groundwork for romance novels generated by new algorithms. 'I’ve already set it up,' he said. 'There are only so many body parts.'"

Because yes, body parts are all I think about when I start writing a romance.

Or all I should have been thinking about, apparently. Clearly, I've been wasting valuable time thinking of characterization, motivation, emotional development, plot, conflict, dramatic tension, etc. etc. All I really needed to be doing was thinking up new ways to say nipple, or various other portions of the anatomy.

Riiiight.... And thus, my blood pressure begins to rise. And my mandible to close tightly.

He also says, "'My goal isn’t to have the computer write sentences, but to do the repetitive tasks that are too costly to do otherwise.'" That has me really baffled. Aren't romances composed of many, many sentences?

Fortunately I, having endured this sort of ignorant notion of romance novels for twenty years, have learned to calm down and carry on relatively quickly. But first, my areolas and I need another tea. And some cookies.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I don't spend a lot of time surfing the web (unless I have a research problem I'm trying to solve, like the parts of a mill -- there went several hours), but I do keep up with a couple of blogs. Some are about the industry, and a couple are writers' blogs.

First one I check is Romancing the Blog. Every day. I don't comment there, though, because...well, I would take too long writing and revising a comment. Really. I can't even write a grocery list without revising it half the time.

Yesterday the blog post included a picture of Batman. Replace his costume with chainmail and a surcoat and oh, baby! Can I have that on a cover, please? Pretty please?

Kimber of the Many Interesting Questions here blogs there. Her blog posts are likewise interesting and thought-provoking.

I'm amazed at some of things I learn about when visiting other blogs. Like the shenanigans that can go on with Amazon reviews, as recently reported at Dear Author. I had no idea the system could be worked that way. Live and learn, and sigh.

I generally hit the Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Books blog. It's been recently revised to just "Smart Bitches, Trashy Books," I see, and I have to say, I find the new look a little too "busy" for my taste. I also have a problem with anyone calling romances trashy, although the SB's are, in fact, pro-romance. Ditto the cover snark. I've said it before, I'll say it again, that's like hitting ducks in a barrel. But they get the skinny quickly and often, and I enjoy their take on things.

This week, Romance Vagabonds is talking about Harlequin Historicals. I decided not to participate because I have a self-imposed deadline I'm trying to make. This is one of those times when writing time collides with the PR thing, and in this case, the writing took precedence. Well, I'm trying to do some other PR business this week, so it was a case of deciding that I simply couldn't do everything.

Harlequin Historical authors have their own blog as well. We are a varied bunch, I must say!

I get a kick out of the Misadventures of Super Librarian. For one thing, it's really interesting getting a different perspective on the publishing biz. For another, I can appreciate her love for the Detroit Tigers. I don't care much for baseball myself, but the hubby is a fan.

I don't visit too many writers' blogs because of time issues, but I generally check in on Drunk Writer Talk because (a) it's interesting and fun and (b) I know them.

Ditto Michelle Rowen's blog. Michelle writes books that are nothing like mine (paranormal) and she's at a totally different place in her career, and yet I still find plenty to enjoy on her blog. She's also not afraid to say when she's having writing angst, and I appreciate that. We all have those days; we don't all talk about them so frankly, though. And her template is cool, too.

There are more, but I don't visit them with the same regularity.

One blog I really miss is Miss Snark, the agent. She was refreshingly blunt about how publishing works. I would often have visions of Neophyte Author staring at his or her computer in horror as Miss Snark revealed The Tough Realities of Publishing. And I would think, "Sorry, Neophytes, but she's right. Welcome to the often wacky, sometimes wicked world of publishing." I hope you're doing well, Miss Snark, wherever you are.

And now there's this self-imposed I'm trying to meet, so to the middle ages with me! Yoicks, and away!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Let's talk about cliches....

Here's a question I was recently asked: What would you consider a medieval cliché?

After much thought and revising (because, as when writing my book, it can take me awhile to get to the heart of the matter), this is how I responded:

Here's the thing that always gives me pause about such a subject: What makes one thing a cliche and another a story element medieval romance readers have come to want and expect? There's no hard line there, I don't think. And I've been in this business long enough to know it's often not the "what" but the "how" that sells a book.

That said, I think a story seems cliched not because of what the writer's done in terms of using plot elements that could also be called tried-and-true, but because he or she hasn't done enough in other ways to make the story feel fresh. Sometimes a writer's voice alone will be enough to make a story seem fresh and different. That's nice if it is, but I don't count on that. I focus on trying to create unique characters with interesting backstories and believable motivations.

For example, take the book I'm writing right now, THE WARLORD'S BRIDE (HQN, January '09). It's an arranged marriage story (been done many times by many authors). The heroine is sent by King John to marry a man she's never seen. However, she doesn't protest or rage (the more cliched response, I think); because of her recent past, she takes a "wait and see" attitude and does what the king orders. When she arrives at her potential groom's castle, the man who comes out of the hall is old and out of shape, but very friendly. She's been told very little about the man the king wants her to marry, so she assumes he's the guy BUT she doesn't think, "Eeeuuww" and run away, or fly into a temper. She thinks, "He's nice, he's friendly, he's probably too old to be ambitious" (in other words, a complete contrast to her first husband, who was handsome, young, ambitious enough to plot treason and extremely cruel), "so I could do worse." She's wrong about the groom BUT when she finds out her husband is young and handsome, she's actually and sincerely disappointed (although she can't deny she'd prefer to make love with him and therein lies some internal conflict).

However, while I may try to avoid a cliched feeling most via characters, I do try to put different twists and turns into the story as well. An author might also use a unique setting, or an obscure historical event, or a combination of some or all of those factors to make a story new and different.

I'm loathe to tell a writer they should *never* do something or use a particular plot element. Too much depends on the individual writer and how he or she uses it.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

How-tos a-plenty

The Wild Rose Press has a section on their website called Seedlings.
They've posted, with permission, three of my writing articles:
A Few Words About Pacing, Plotting the Romance and Conflict: The Engine of your Novel. There are many other how-to articles there, by a variety of authors.

What makes a good chick flick?

There was an article in the paper today talking about the lack of popular chick flicks, specifically that there hasn't been one that was a hit since THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA. Why?

As a person who likes to go to the movies but doesn't care to see many of what passes for "chick flicks" or "women's films" today, I could offer some suggestions.

How about giving me mature adults? And I'm not referring to age.

In BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY, she's a bit ditzy, but she matures over the course of the movie. The publisher's a selfish cad, but Mark Darcy is mature.

In NOTTING HILL, both the main characters are grown-ups. The hero is in a very strange situation, but doesn't go completely silly. The zaniness comes from his best friend and his other friends and family when they realize who the heroine is.

Which brings me to really good secondary characters. I think any really good comedy has really good secondary characters -- funny, entertaining, interesting. A film that seems based solely on the lead couple alone, that suggests I should go simply because they're in it? That isn't going to get me there, which means any film with Kate Hudson and Matthew MacConaughey is pretty much out.

Spare me any film that features somebody trying to break up an engagement, like the soon-to-come MAID OF HONOR. That is a lousy thing for anybody to do, for whatever reason, but especially if the break-upper had the chance to have a relationship with the break-uppee and didn't pursue it. Oh, now my eyes are opened! the character implies.

Selfish fool, thinks I. Not appealing at all.

The best comedies also have some poignancy to them, because the conflict between the lead couple, whatever zaniness surrounds it, is really quite serious. I want realistic dilemmas, not just goofy situations.

Here are some more recent movies that would be called "chick flicks" that I think got it right:

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING: the heroine thinks she loves a guy she sees at the token booth. Then she convinces his family that they're engaged, only to fall for the brother.

What makes this movie work for me? In no small part, the family, and the fact that part of the heroine's yearning is for not just the guy, but for the sort of family he has, because she has no family herself. Also, the brother is truly upset by his growing feelings for the heroine.

RETURN TO ME: the heroine receives a heart transplant, from the hero's dead wife. You want poignant? Oh, baby! The scene of her grandfather praying in the hospital makes me weep every time. But the movie's very funny, too. The grandfather's buddies are great. In fact, I think it has one of the best mixes of serious and funny I've ever seen. Again, the conflict here is serious: the heroine feels tremendously guilty and fears the hero will hate her when he discovers the truth.

And of course, there's SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE. About a lonely widower. Doesn't sound like a barrel of laughs, but it's certainly got plenty -- the part where the guys talk about THE DIRTY DOZEN makes me grin every time. The heroine has her moments of ditz, but she's yearning for love and realizing she's settling for security, and nobody could accuse the hero of being immature.

I want stories that are more complicated than the Powers-That-Be in Hollywood seem to realize. They see only the surface goofiness of romantic comedies, so that's all they try to emulate. But for a romantic comedy to really work, I think it needs much more. I want heroines who aren't just cute zanies with good make-up and accessories. I want heroes who aren't overgrown children. I want serious conflicts beneath the surface silliness. I want to laugh, but I also want poignant. I can handle all that. Really.

And I don't think I'm alone.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Drury on order!

Whoo hooo! I see that A LOVER'S KISS, aka Drury's story, is now available for pre-order at Amazon.

Sir Douglas Drury, baronet and barrister, first appeared in my book KISS ME QUICK. Here's a sample, from the scene where the heroine of KISS ME QUICK first meets him at a ball:

"My pleasure, my lady," Sir Douglas said in a deep voice nearly as attractive as the viscount's. His tone was polite, but he barely smiled as he ran a measuring gaze over her.

She finally recognized what quality he possessed: arrogance, far more than Lord Adderly, or any other man she had ever met. Yet that was hardly an attractive trait, so why did she and all these other women find him so? She stood puzzling, until Sir Douglas raised a questioning brow. "Something wrong with my cravat, my lady?"

"No, not at all. I beg your pardon."

"Just so long as my valet's efforts haven't been in vain," he replied, and then his lips lifted into a very small smile.

The effect of even that slight change to his countenance was astonishing. It was like drawing near a warm fire on a cold day, and just as suddenly, his effect upon women was absolutely understandable.

I'll be posting a longer excerpt from A LOVER'S KISS on my website shortly. I'll be sure to announce it here when I do.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

In the beginning....

I'm going to be talking about beginnings (as in Chapter One, Scene One) for a few posts. Harlequin Presents recently had a contest and editor Suzanne Clark has posted a great list of mistakes beginners' make on the I Heart Presents blog.

First up, she lists "too much, too soon." Ah yes, the dreaded info/backstory dump. I, too, am guilty of this. Every single time I start a book.

But then I go back and take material out and move it, in bits and pieces, to later in the story. Otherwise, you bring your story to a grinding halt.

Also, your readers haven't had time to develop an interest in your characters, so it's like being stuck in the corner at a party with some stranger who proceeds to regale you with their life history. Get me outta here! I need a little information to make me curious; I don't need to know all their issues.

The best advice I ever heard to help get on the right track with openings comes from contemporary romance author Molly O'Keefe, who says, "Ask questions, don't give answers."

Indeed. Info dumps are answers to questions your readers haven't even asked yet. Why should they bother to read on?

Yes, I want to meet the characters, and I want to know why the hero and heroine don't just get married and start having babies, but I don't need to know all the reasons right up front. I only need one to start; let the rest follow.

I want to see enough of the characters to be interested. I don't need to know all about their past experiences or their families. Let the readers learn these things along with the characters, over time. The way it happens in real life.

I also want the tone to be set in a way that's consistent with the rest of the book. If it's going to be fast-paced, give me a fast-paced opening. If your style is more leisurely, that's okay -- but don't start off with a gun battle, then have it morph into a story about a woman who finds love at the local Wal-Mart.

If you find you have to do the info dump, as I do, don't berate yourself and think you're a lousy writer. Just go back later and spread the info around.

And if you're thinking, "But how do I know how much to leave in and where and how to move the rest?"

Well, m'dears, that's what makes writing difficult, because the only way I know is trial and error. If it's any comfort, a couple of books back, I was asked to delete the entire opening scene. Apparently it was an info dump of epic proportions -- so much so, nobody missed it when it was gone.

Including me.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Where are you putting the emphasis?

Because it's finally spring and so time for new beginnings, let's talk about pitches today. One thing I've noticed over the years is that fledgling authors sometimes make things more difficult for themselves by putting the emphasis on the wrong element of the story.

For instance, as a reader of historical novels, I'm interested in historical events, but I care about them most in terms of their impact on the characters.

To give you an example: I could say, "My book is about the Battle of Agincourt and its aftermath."

Battles can be exciting, and talk about yer conflict BUT this sounds as if the emphasis will be on the history, not the characters and their relationships. If I'm supposed to be writing a romance, this may really set off alarm bells in an editor's mind.

Instead I could say, "The hero of my romance is an English nobleman, the heroine is a French woman. Both their lives will be shattered by the Battle of Agincourt, but that event will also bring them together."

I've got the battle, I've got some of its aftermath, I've got external conflict -- but first and foremost, I've got characters and how this battle is going to affect them.

Signs of Spring and building a book

Although I didn't intend to blog until after I got my proof-reading done, two things:

Spring MUST be here, because last night, when I was going to bed, there was a rabbit on the road! Yes, Mr. Bun-Bun is back. Yeah! (Any rabbit is Mr. Bun-Bun, unless they're small. Then they're Baby Buns.)

And referring to my blog yesterday and the need to think about where my characters are, not just what they're feeling and what they're saying. Once I've decided when and where, the first draft is pretty much just the framing of the set. I put in very little description of specifics. I may mention a piece of furniture, a window, the lighting, the weather, but it's with subsequent drafts that the setting gets more specific.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

I've got a problem

I've got a little problem, and because I'm not big on the outlining, it's one I encounter with some frequency.

My synopsis is my outline, and when I'm writing a synopsis, I have no problem putting in the who and the why of what's going on.

However, when it comes time to write the book, I discover that while I know who is in a particular scene, and why they're doing and saying and feeling what they are in that scene, I haven't specified the when and the where.

What time of day is it? Are they in the castle? Where in the castle? Should they be alone, or are other folks around? If not the castle, where else? How did they get there? Alone or with others? What's the weather like? What else is in the room, or the area?

So I have to take some time to think about all these things. I can't just barrel on through the scene. This is a bit of a pain when I'm in the groove, so to speak, and because I much prefer to write dialogue over description. But it must be done, so I take some time and do it. I wish, though, I could just snap my fingers and voila, it is written! Wouldn't that be nice?

Speaking of taking some time, I've just found out I've got some proof-reading coming my way, so I won't be blogging again until next week. Enjoy the warmer weather, everyone! Proof-reading and writing notwithstanding, I'm making it a point to get out of the house now that spring may finally be here.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

They got me!

Okay, I knew it was April Fool's Day, but even so, this site got me but good.