Progress So Far

  • Romance writer - Historical. Contemporary and Intrigue
  • 2 books written for HarperImpulse

Monday, 1 July 2013

The book has left the building....

After months of procrastination editing, I've finally finished editing my "Roman" historical romance and sent it back to an editor at Entangled who requested it ages ago.

It's been a labour of hate love I must say.  I'm not an author who likes editing that's a definate.

Apologies, too, for the length of time it's been since I last blogged, but something has to give! (Not CandyCush Saga though, Caroline.  Why is that I wonder?)

To say it's a weight off my shoulders is an understatement, and when I pressed "SEND" to the poor editor who has (the joy of) reading it, I felt totally drained but also anxious too.  What if she hates it and it wings it way back post haste?  What if she thinks its ok but then asks for a shed load of revisions?  What if she loves it and offers me a 2 book deal?  All sorts of scenarios kept buzzing through my poor addled mind - que more procrastination!

Anyhoo, back to reality.  I thought I would blog briefly about what have I learned about this writing lark?

1.  It's a lot harder to edit a 63k book than a 3k short story!  Many a day has been spent re-reading what was typed in Chaper 1 as I've forgotten  a plot point or twist as I've got further into the story.  (Note to self - use the post-it-note method a bit more to keep tabs on it).  

2.  If you edit too much it starts to lose some of the originality and you also start to lose that elusive "voice".  Many a time I was tempted to edit, and edit some more, but had to restrain myself.  Sometimes less is more I think.

3. When writing a romance you really need to keep track of the CHARACTERS and not the PLOT.  A romance has to be character driven and not plot driven.  Easier said than done to be honest. 

4. With a romance you really need to get inside your characters heads before you start writing a book.  A mistake I made first time round and hence the length of time it's taken me to get this MS out there.

5.  A romance (and any other work if fiction IMHO) needs the make sure of the following:
  • You need to create sympathetic characters a reader will root for.
  • To have enough reasons/conflict/drama to ensure that a reader will support that character through to the end.
  • You need to create obstacles to make it look like a character can't obtain what they want.
  • You need to introduce the main conflict early on - ideally in the first 5 pages.  Avoid information dumping (easily done in historicals), too much backstory and long flowing descriptions of scenery etc. 
  • And finally - a killer first line if you can.
Well there you go.  My take on novel writing.  Have I followed my own advice?  Umm I hope so!
Take care until next time.  Caroline p.s I promise to blog more often.  CandyCrush Saga will have to wait. (Yeah, right, Caroline!)


  1. Good luck, Caroline - fingers crossed for you. I know you've been working hard and you deserve to succeed with this :-)

    CandyCrush - I got out before it was too late, but now I'm hooked on Words of Wonder - aaagh! :-) x

  2. Thanks, Teresa! Ohh I'm intrigued to know what Words of Wonder is? Caroline x

  3. It's on Facebook and it is seriously addictive, Caroline - keep away from it - I wish I could!! :-) x