Love and Marriage

Love and marriage, love and marriage
They go together like a horse and carriage

My parents celebrate their 27th wedding anniversary today. It’s an accomplishment that make it ever clearer how special their relationship is. My parents truly love each other and I am ever thankful that I was able to watch their relationship as an example of everything I should hope for on my own path to marriage.  Continue reading Love and Marriage

How to be a writer (#SecretsofaRomanceWriter)

Week 4: What I would do if I couldn’t be a writer

This prompt gives me lots of feelings. For one thing, my future hasn’t really involved ~being a writer~ since I was in middle school. When I look ahead to fifteen, twenty years from now I never picture myself as solely a writer.  Continue reading How to be a writer (#SecretsofaRomanceWriter)

A Child of 9/11 (#SecretsofaRomanceWriter)

Week 2: Your earliest memory.

To be honest, I’m not sure that this is my earliest memory. That honor may belong to watching the fireworks at midnight as we entered the 21st Century, but I think this memory is far more formative.

My first day of kindergarten was 9/11/2001. Yes, this is dating me, and I apologize to everyone who forgot that I am, in fact, a child. Moving on.

My first day of kindergarten was 9/11/2001. I was five at the time and we were just starting our day when the first plane hit. To give credit where credit is due, I don’t have any concrete memories of issues at school, and since we were in New York City, I find that quite remarkable. We celebrated a classmate’s birthday and we were told we could go home early. My mom came to pick me up and I went home.

It was the days immediately following 9/11 that I remember far more clearly than the day itself.

Continue reading A Child of 9/11 (#SecretsofaRomanceWriter)

Reading counts as writing

One of the things that I’ve learned through this process of writing a book is how important it is to read.

Reading gives you the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the style of what you’re trying to create. A healthy diet of books written by different authors in your genre is like doing language immersion. You pick up the cadence and unspoken rules of the road.

I sometimes have to remind myself that reading isn’t just for fun, it’s a form a self care AND research.

So read away and let your muse be inspired.

 

On Joining the 21st Century

I did it, everyone! Congratulate me 🙂

I’ve finally managed to join Twitter! And what a rousing experiment it has been so far. I have 20 whole followers (woohoo!) and lots of tweets already posted. I may have gotten into one or two heated discussions yesterday.

I suppose this is where I shamelessly plug my new twitter account (@FelicitysQuill) and tell you all to go follow me!

If yesterday was any indication, my future on twitter is sure to be fiery! I can’t wait to share the conversation with you.

On letting your characters lead

Oh boy oh boy oh boy. My characters have a mind of their own. A dear friend advised that I let Alex and Grace tell their own story and that has resulted in some pretty interesting results.

Basically, they’re much more interested in hooking up than I thought they were. And Grace is quite bold in how far she’ll go to bed the duke. Alex is a bit of an exhibitionist. Really not at all what I had in mind when I was first planning the story!

I guess it goes to show you that an author is merely the vessel through which a story is told.

Starting from Scratch

Things have been quiet here. My keyboard has been quiet. I haven’t written at all in a few weeks. For some reason, I wasn’t satisfied with the way Grace and her duke were falling in love, or rather weren’t. It didn’t feel like a romance novel to me. I’d had a few plot bunnies running around and I went as far as to add them to character sheets, but felt no more creative than that.

And then this morning came. I was sitting and reading a book and a new thread of plot came to mind. A new way for our dashing pair to meet. And I began to write. I wrote nearly a thousand words in less than an hour. It was miraculous.

And then I paused. I realized that this change in plot, though it made the story stronger, would necessitate me throwing out around a third of my already written story.

So, I moved the now obsolete scenes out of my manuscript and continued to write. Sometimes starting from scratch is the only way to find a way forward.

On the value of handwritten notes

Plot bunnies are determined little things. I’ve had a bunny bouncing around my head for about two weeks now and found that its existence was a detrimental distraction from my writing. When I should have been focusing on the budding romance, I was instead fleshing out the bunny.

So, today I decided to do something about it. I wrote my bunny down. But that wasn’t enough. So I took out my bullet journal and started a word vomit page. I let my bunny free onto the page and added whatever details came to my mind. This lead to other bunnies and pretty soon I had a whole pile of fun plot twists to liven up the story.

When you read The Duke’s Dilemma, look out for my bunnies and be sure to say “hi!”

 

Shocking events rock small town Ohio (or why it’s hard to write with a murderer on the loose)

Apparently when there’s a murder only a few minutes walk from your house and the suspect isn’t caught, it’s a bit hard to write romance. For whatever reason, locking all your doors and windows and keeping a giant kitchen knife on your bedside table doesn’t exactly conjure to mind seduction and bodice ripping.

When I sat down to write last night, safely ensconced in my locked bedroom, my characters developed a disturbing proclivity for adventure. All of a sudden, Grace wanted to climb the outsides of castles and Alex mounted up to fight Napoleon. Pausing, I realized this was not the turn I wanted to take while acquiring a first pony for Eliza so I put my work down and just went to bed. It was a weird feeling to just not write. I know I talked about slacking off last week, but that felt okay because I knew I had Friday to make it up.This week, however, I have family coming to visit and Columbus Pride so I know every bit of writing I can do ahead of time can help me stay on track.

I’m hoping to pass 20,000 words today (and am about 600 away so it’ll definitely happen before bed) which marks the 25% point of my writing. This is kind of crazy to think about since I still have two months left until my self imposed deadline. Hopefully this means I’ll be able to do a first round of edits before my mind becomes consumed by college again.

If you’d be interested in reading The Duke’s Dilemma as it’s written, please let me know! I’d love to share it with you. And if you have any advice on how to stop your characters from tearing off on ill fated adventures, please be in touch. I’ll take all the tips and tricks I can get!

On taking a day off

Yesterday, I skipped my scheduled writing session. And boy did I feel guilty. Instead of being a busy beaver, I ended up sitting and watching Grey’s Anatomy until the early hours of the morning (not that that’s necessarily a bad thing). Then, I chose to go to bed instead of staying up late and cutting into my sleep.

When I woke up this morning, my brain was ready to write with ideas appearing left and right. And I realized something. Sometimes it’s okay to play hooky and sleep eight hours. Sometimes it’s okay to slack off. And embracing your need to relax is important.

I was silly to think that working every day, seven days a week wouldn’t take it’s toll. So let this serve as your reminder, take a break! Treat yourself to a full night’s sleep.