The Writer Mama Back-to-School Giveaway 2009, Day Eleven

OWRWelcome to day eleven of the Writer Mama Back-to-School Giveaway!

Love romance?

In On Writing Romance, award-winning romance novelist Leigh Michaels talks you through each stage of the writing and publishing process. From the origins and evolution of the romance novel to establishing a vital story framework to writing that last line to seeking out appropriate publishers, everything you ever wanted to know about writing a romance novel is here.

In addition to a comprehensive breakdown of more than thirty romance subgenres, including such categories as historical, inspirational, Regency, and sweet traditional, you’ll discover how to:

· Steer clear of clichés and stereotypes by studying the genre

· Craft engaging and realistic heroes and heroines readers will adore

· Convincingly develop the central couple’s blossoming relationship

· Add conflict by utilizing essential secondary characters like the “other woman”

· Use tension and timing to make your love scenes sizzle with sensuality

· Get your characters to happily-ever-after with an ending readers will always remember

Plus, read a sample query letter, cover letter, and synopsis, and learn how to properly prepare your romance novel for submission to agents and editors. On Writing Romance has everything you need to leave readers swooning!

Author Bio:

Leigh Michaels is the author of 80 contemporary romance novels, published in 25 languages and in more than 125Leigh Michaels countries around the world. More than 35 million copies of her books have been sold. Six of her books have been finalists in the Romance Writers of America RITA contest, and she has been honored with Reviewer’s Choice awards by Romantic Times magazine. The Iowa Library Association presented her the Johnson Brigham award in 2003 for substantial and sustained literary contributions to American culture.

Leigh also writes non-fiction, including On Writing Romance, which has been called the definitive guide to writing romance novels, and creating romantic characters. She teaches romance writing online at Gotham Writers Workshop. Leigh is also the coauthor with her husband, Michael W. Lemberger, of a book about the St. Louis World’s Fair of 1904, and of many local history books.

If you are new to the giveaway, please read “Da Rules.”

Today’s question is…

Mamas, where’s the romance in writing for you? Is the candle still burning or do you need to reignite the flame? Or maybe writing has never been romantic for you and instead writing has had a more practical in purpose for you. Where’s the magic in writing for you?

Give me the goods in 50-200 words, please. 🙂

Before you go! WE HAVE A CAUSE TO RAISE MONEY FOR THIS YEAR! Please read the story about the Applin family here and consider making a small contribution at some point during the giveaway. We’re aiming for $100/day collectively. Please help us help the Applin family adopt two beautiful children from Russia. 🙂

25 Responses to “The Writer Mama Back-to-School Giveaway 2009, Day Eleven”

  1. 1 Kathy Bitely September 11, 2009 at 5:18 am

    For me the “magic” in writing happens when I can relate to something I’ve just read or it awakens a new way to consider what I thought I thought. Romance writing is not my thing right now but I wish I could. It’s so deeply emotional at times and I haven’t been able to transfer that yet. I admire those who can and will continue to try it myself. Winning this or not, I would love to read this book.

  2. 2 Stephanie C. September 11, 2009 at 7:30 am

    Sometimes I am so excited to write. I have so many stories inside of me that are waiting to get out. I love to write my stories and see people enjoy them. Unfortunately for me, I have two toddler boys, so I don’t have much time to write. I desire to write but I cannot make as much time as I want. But that’s okay. I think it happens in all romances. There is a time when you cannot devote as much time as you want to your love because of life’s demands. That’s fine for me know because every day with my boys inspires new ideas and stories so that when I have the time I will be able to write the ideas and stories. I think I’ll appreciate it much more when I do.

  3. 3 Julie S September 11, 2009 at 7:47 am

    Where IS the romance? What a perfect question for my mood today.

    The romantic part of writing is being home and being in charge of myself. It is the success of being published and the great feeling I have when I see my name in print. It is being flabbergasted when an editor assigns an article…and then another and another.

    But when I look at my checkbook, it takes me a while to reignite the passion!

  4. 4 Cara Holman September 11, 2009 at 7:57 am

    The romance is writing for me is when I am able to find those elusive words that capture precisely what it is I’m thinking. I write in response to prompts in writing group, I write in response to calls for submissions, but most of all, I write in response to an inner call to get my words out there on the page.

    Taking the leap from writing, to actually submitting my works for publication though, was hard at first. I felt tremendously exposed to have my words, mostly life writing, out there on the page for all to see. But then I realized that I alone choose what to reveal, and there is a kind of power in that.

    Now I’m hopelessly hooked on reading my pieces aloud to my writing group or submitting for publication. Each time someone tells me “Your poetry is beautiful.” or “I like this image!” I experience anew all the thrill of having gotten it just right.

  5. 5 Maribeth September 11, 2009 at 8:03 am

    The magic in writing for me is creating a world full of characters that everyone can relate to in one way or another. I love dialogue and building relationships. Romance is enjoyable to write but I am not sure if I would be any good at writing a whole book centered around it. I like circle writing, connecting all of the dots and providing aha moments. If I can get everything to tie up at the end I feel I have succeeded in creating something magical.

  6. 6 Beth Cato September 11, 2009 at 9:16 am

    I find the magic when everything in a plot clicks together. It’s an adrenaline surge, feeling those puzzle pieces push together in my mind. Seeing the work published is a rush, too, but not of the same intensity. There’s something private – intimate – about the story construction process.

    I’ve had days where I feel completely glum and listless, and then I write a little something. Probably complete junk. Suddenly, the foul mood is gone. I MADE something out of nothing. Sure, it’ll probably remain buried in a Word folder for all of eternity, but that’s okay. It served a purpose.

  7. 7 Carrie Ure September 11, 2009 at 10:59 am

    I’m a misty-eyed romantic, through and through. Even still,
    I feel as though I am living my dream! I have never imagined fame or fortune, but I have fantasized about working at a job that I love. Indeed, I wake up every morning wondering about my next writing adventure. What will I learn today? Will I meet an author who inspires me? Will I read or hear something that sparks a fabulous idea? Each little paycheck thrills me and the recognition of a well-written piece, that is, one that puts a smile on someone’s face or touches them in a way I hadn’t expected, well, that’s priceless. I feel as though I have finally embarked on something endlessly challenging to stir my passion.

  8. 8 Janel September 11, 2009 at 11:03 am

    Great question today!

    I have never really thought of writing as being romantic. After hanging around the book blogging world for awhile I know that being a published author is a lot of hard work. Promoting and marketing take time and dedication.

    However, I can associate my writing processes with the feelings of being in a romance. If I am writing technical non-fiction I am nervous about trying to “get it right” like the nervousness over acting acceptably on the first few dates. As I write fiction I love the happiness of playing with words and descriptions. The challenge is to let the writing go and keep the nit-picking editor in the background. This is like sabotaging a new relationship by obsessing over little things. Finally there is the happy dance, tell everybody excitement over having a submission accepted. Exactly the kind of thing a newly engaged woman would do.

  9. 9 writethejourney September 11, 2009 at 11:50 am

    I feel the magical desire to write about something all the time but don’t usually follow through with wrapping up my magical moments in the form of an essay or other finished product. Carrying around a small notebook has helped, but the magic will really kick in when I start to stick to my ideal schedule of writing for the week (school has started…now I just have to get past the birthday party tomorrow).

    Setting aside a specific chunk of time, strangely enough, feels more magical to me than writing whenever I have a few minutes. A sacred 60 minutes feels dreamy and wonderlandish. I usually emerge with something fresh. Why is it that a schedule makes for spontaneity? Thanks for a great question today!

  10. 10 Brianne A September 11, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    The romance in writing for me is doing something that I am passionate about for a living. Since I’m at the very beginning and I’m a busy mom, I am trying to take a more practical approach towards writing. I really love learning, too, and the opportunity to explore things that interest me in writing articles is very exciting.

    I think that the romance is also getting so wrapped up in what you’re doing that time can fly by without you ever even noticing. You wake energized and excited to pick up where you left off. You are so passionate about what you’re doing that you emit positive energy wherever you are. It doesn’t really feel like work.

  11. 11 Melissa Caddell September 11, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Writing is a slow burn. I think about it constantly. Ideas and thoughts always simmer under the surface. No matter what I am doing, they pursue me. The lightest touch (or 10 uninterrupted minutes) can ignite them into a frenzy that I cannot contain. A wildfire of words flow from my fingers until the words are satisfied and I am spent. But left too long without my attention, they forget their driven hold on me. They shift their gaze to another, and it becomes me pursuing them–coaxing them back with promises of time and attention late into the night. 🙂

  12. 12 Lorraine Wilde September 11, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    I haven’t thought about writing romance before, but I certainly write with incredible passion when I have the freedom to do so. On a good day, I’ll work for 7 hours straight on something and even as my brain and body become weary, I can’t wait to keep going. It feeds me like nothing else.

    Another magical moment for me today: dropping my twin boys off at kindergarten for the first time. The teacher had to tell me to leave. 🙂 But I wasn’t sad for long. I left the school, ran two miles, wrote a blog post, and am now sitting here before a shower and a walk back to the school for pick up. Hope their first day went well.

    I’m grateful for the Writer Mama site and have just mentioned it on my blog for the third time in 6 weeks. Although my memoir doesn’t focus on romance, it is a magical story worth checking out.


  13. 13 karen k September 11, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    I really do need to reignite the flame. After a hiatus of several months from writing, it seems like such work again to sit back down at the computer and crank things out–even gently shoo them out. I think it’s going to take more than school starting to sweep the cob webs out of the writer part of my brain.

  14. 14 Mar Junge, c3PR September 11, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    I know a writermama who is an avid romance novel reader. She gets a lot of grief from other writermamas who consider romance the cotton candy of novels. I disagree. The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article about why so many adults read “Twilight” and other popular young adult novels. The conclusion as that, no matter how old we are, we all like a good, simple romantic story with a beginning, middle and end. And since many of us are too embarrassed to be seen reading a romance novel, YA is a good substitute.

    One of these days I may try my hand at writing a romance novel when I have the luxury to write for pleasure, instead of for income.

  15. 15 Joyce Lansky September 11, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    I enjoy writing young adult novels and since I’m dealing with hormonal teenagers, there’s always a romantic spin in each of my works. I would, therefore, love a book dealing with romance writing!

    What really becomes magical for me is putting a comedic twist on the poor unsuspecting characters. I also love the comedy of word plays when my characters do not understand each other. The greatest writer’s high is when I crack myself up. I’ve written several scenes that have made myself laugh out loud. I hope the magic will strike when an agent or editor finds me as funny as I hope I am.

  16. 16 Sarah Joyce Bryant September 11, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    Writing is romantic to me because it is a chance for me to nurture and nourish myself. It is a lot like a romance because I have to work hard to keep the fire going, but the final result of all the hard work is worth it. Writing is like a secret affair: I always have to sneak around to spend time with it. The magic for me, though, is being able to read over something I have written and not recognize that I have written it. It is as if something flowed through me and put words on the page that dance so perfectly together that it is unrecognizable as my own. That is magic!

  17. 17 Pam Maynard September 11, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    Not too much romance in my writing these days! I write children’s stories for toddlers to pre-teens. I try to write books for boys because I have one and there aren’t as many “cool” books for boys like there are for girls. My writing has definitely been more practical than romantic. My stories have matured as my son has matured. I went from writing about toddler’s losing firetrucks to magic soccer balls to raising Guinea Hens.
    Maybe when my practical candle burns out, I’ll give romance a try. I’ve always loved a good romance novel to take me away from everyday life!

  18. 18 Brandy September 11, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    The romance in writing for me, is the possibilities. I can take my story and my characters anywhere I want to, and they belong to me. They are uniquely mine. I enjoy the snatches of time that I get to catch up with my fictional friends and write more of their story. I love the possibility that someday others will know their story as well as I do. That for me is romance.

  19. 19 Cathy Welch September 11, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    The magic in writing is the way it makes me feel about myself…I’ve created something that I have complete control over. Not a bad feeling for a recovering control freak. No one tells me what to write as long as I’m not selling anything. Of course, that has it’s drawbacks. Even still, I am free to choose where I place my efforts and can learn, practice and pursue the type of writings I like.

  20. 20 Jeanne September 11, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    I find the romance when I write long-hand, in my journal, sitting someplace with a good view. It’s not the most productive from a word-count perspective, but it gets me closer to my story and to the joy of stringing thoughts together.

  21. 21 Teri Y September 11, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    Writing my novel has been an intimate, romantic experience. Seeing the story unfold as I type, characters revealing themselves, repeating scenes from my own love life and creating new ones, spurs me on to continue writing to see what happens next. It’s great writing motivation!

  22. 22 Heather September 11, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    I do need to reignite the flame of romance with my writing. I have neglected relationship and it has wained. However, I am convinced that the flirtacious responses to your daily questions will reignite the inferno that is my passion for writing. I will remember the only the good times in this relationship, letting go of the rejections that have occured over the years. Not allowing the negative to define the relationship, but focusing on those things that succeeded and making them stronger. Ah yes, I can already feel the passion reigniting.

  23. 23 Sarah @ Baby Steps September 11, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    Ooh, this is a fun question! I find so much romance in writing…I find the blank page to be absolutely thrilling and challenging. Each time that I sit down to write (especially when working on a screenplay!), I feel excited at the thought of creating a whole new world full of interesting characters. I just wish that I could find more time to write! With that being said, there are times when I feel the challenge more than the thrill, especially when I’m tired or have a deadline looming. So I guess that the flame is still burning strong, but even if it weren’t, the practical aspect of writing (diaper and grocery money) definitely serves as great motivation.

  1. 1 Day Eleven: And the winner is… « The Writer Mama Riffs Trackback on September 12, 2009 at 8:05 am
  2. 2 The 2009 Giveaway List: The Writer Mama Back-To-School Giveaway Starts Tuesday, September 1st! « The Writer Mama Riffs Trackback on September 15, 2009 at 8:27 am
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