Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Doing "it"

To motivate myself, I've decided to enter Touch into the Some Like It Hot contest.

Since the beginning is definitely not the hottest part of the story, I can't say I have high hopes to make it far; however, the chance to get critted by EC editors and authors is too good to pass up!

Update: So, I questioned a couple of things about this contest, and it seems that the story has to be completed, or almost completed. Touch has about 2-3k of work to do still, which isn't much in the grand scheme of things, but as slow as I am at writing, that may not get done until next year!

I plan on taking Saturday, November 6th, to write, so we'll see how much I get done!


Seize your opportunity to write for the Cave with Tawny’s Taylor’s “Some Like It Hot” writing contest!!

Starting October 25th, 2010, Tawny Taylor will be hosting a writing contest!
The final judge is an editor from Ellora’s Cave.

The Prizes? Read on!

All SubGenres of erotic romance accepted, including:
~Contemporary~Fantasy~Futuristic~ Shapeshifter/Vampire~BDSM~

*You may submit one chapter--not to exceed 5000 words. Stories must be complete and unpublished.

*Each Monday, two stories will be selected by an Ellora's Cave editor who is actively acquiring. At the end, six weekly winning authors will submit a partial (first three chapters, last chapter and synopsis) to the final judge for ranking.

The first place winner will receive ...

A critique of the full winning manuscript by EC editor Grace Bradley!

The second place winner will receive...

A critique of the partial manuscript by EC editor Grace Bradley (first three chapters, last and synop).

The third place winner will receive...

A critique of the first chapter by EC editor Grace Bradley.

Details at: http://www.tawnytayl...ingContest.html

Monday, October 11, 2010


You know, I can't help feeling disappointed with myself lately.

I had really hoped/planned/wanted to have a submission ready by the end of September. Now, here we are, a third of the way into October, and I haven't written a darn thing since August.

Most of this time has been well spent - I've made a major change in my position at work, and am just now back on a shift that makes sense to me again (i missed you, nights!). I also helped a LOT with my friend's wedding, but that was on September 18th. Almost a month ago.

I can't pinpoint what's holding me back, except being overwhelmed, maybe? I'm the kind of person that, when faced with a lot, will rally and dive in. But if faced with TOO much, will sit in a catatonic state and do absolutely nothing because I can't wrap my head around where to start.

This happens in all aspects of my life, except for work, because there I'm judged on my performance and that's a huge motivator for me. At home though - yikes. Writing, cleaning, landscaping, painting, laundry, craft projects... it all just.. gets ignored. LOL

Anyway, regardless of what happenED to make me stop writing, I need to get a grip on what's happenING.

I want to write. That's definitely not the issue. There's lots of little bits of Tori and Kass and Finn and Drew running around in my head... but I think that until I get some of the other stuff done, I'll feel too guilty to concentrate.

I have a half-formed plan, though, to get me back on track. For each step completed, I think I'll be able to sit and write for a couple of hours, guilt-free, starting tonight, hopefully.

So, here's the unlikely Step One of The Grand Writing Plan:

Outdoor adventures: mow the lawn, learn how to start/run the snowblower & winterize the gardens

(for the record, doing the gardens scares the bejeezers out of me. there's been a bit of an earwig issue this year, and the damned things like my Black-Eyed Susans)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

At the risk of repeating myself...

So, I've been thinking lately.

Scary, I know.

Although I haven't had the the opportunity to write in FOREVA, I have been listening to audiobooks while I go about doing all the stuff that life's been asking of me. This is how I keep up with my reading.

I'm a huge fan of series, but I get frustrated when there's only 2 or 3 books so far. As such, I tend to wait to start a series until there's at least 4 or 5 books, sometimes more. I just finished all 7 of Karen Marie Moning's Highlander series (wow, Darkfever makes so much more sense to me now) and have finished book 5 of Lynsay Sands' Argeneau Vampire series.

When I listen or read a series all in a row, I can really get into the author's Voice. BUT, and this is a big BUT for me, any repetitive phrasing becomes extremely obvious. I find it exceptionally annoying, actually, to have different characters described in the same manner from book to book. To the point that the words seem to reverberate in my head and I actually cringe or huff.

My favorite examples to use when explaining this peeve of mine are Christine Feehan's "black velvet voice", which is used to describe every male Carpathian character (with the exception of her latest, and I was quite surprised), and Lora Leigh's spasming wombs. In fact, I'm so sensitive to wombs clenching and spasming that any use of those words (together or even separately now) in other author's books makes me halt, blink a few times, and then try to carry on.

Which brings me back to my main point here. I've been pondering the difference between having "Voice" and simply writing the same phrases over and over.

Voice is one of those elusive things that's infinitely difficult to define. In my own humble opinion, it's how a writer pulls together the entire package: dialogue/syntax, internal dialogue, flow, description, etc. Let's face it - there isn't a generalized plotline out there that hasn't already been done. Voice is a big part of what makes or breaks a story to a reader.

I may not be the best at picking out a specific author just by reading a couple of pages, but I do know what I like or what doesn't turn my crank. I don't like Fern Michaels, for example. Her style makes me grit my teeth while reading, and I gave up trying a long time ago to like it. She's a best-selling author, so it's obviously just my taste, but I digress.

Call me temperamental (which I totally am) but it annoys the crap out of me to read/hear the same words over and over. Wait... am I repeating myself now? ;)

Admittedly, there are only so many ways to describe an orgasm. In a book I'm listening to right now, the author uses the term "coming apart in his arms", which is a nice way of putting it. It shows the author has a bit more creativity than the standard "she exploded" or "shattered", etc. To me, that's a hint at the author's Voice.

Still, I'm pretty sure it's not necessary to use that exact phrase 3 times within 25 pages.

Dude, that's just repetition.

So, for all you writers out there, be aware of getting in a rut and using the same descriptors. Expand your thinking and vocabulary, get creative and develop your Voice!