Saturday, November 1, 2014

WRITING YOUR FIRST DRAFT

by President Ursula Renée


After two months pounding away at the keyboard until my arms were sore, I typed the last sentence of my historical novel. Though there are things that can be more exciting, i.e., signing a contract or seeing the book in print on release day, there is still a euphoria that comes from getting a plot out of the mind and onto paper. Therefore, I danced around and relished the joy that comes from completing a novel.

I know without reviewing my latest novel that the first draft is crappy. There are typos, grammatical errors, and problems with the plot. I will need to add more descriptions in some places and trim dialogue in others. I will also have to add another scene or two to make the plot more realistic and flow better. Finally, I will have to verify facts that, if not correct, would pull a reader out the story. People may wonder how I can be excited when there is still so much work to be done before the manuscript can be submitted to an editor.

For me, writing the first draft is the hardest. For every completed novel, I have two unfinished projects. It is easy for me to begin a novel. However, halfway through I may not be able to continue because I’m no longer excited about the characters or I do not know what direction to take the story. Or, another idea that seems more exciting may pop into my mind.

I jumped into my current novel determined to get the foundation of the story down on paper. As I worked, I forced myself to move forward and not look back. Even when the scenes felt sluggish or the dialogue was not riveting, I reminded myself that I will always need to edit a story before I submit it, and that process cannot be done if I do not finish.

I encourage authors having problems completing a work-in-progress to sit down with their favorite writing medium (whether it is a computer, voice recorder, or pen and paper) and simply write. Do not worry about errors or how the sentences flow. You can always go back and change things later. As the saying goes, you cannot edit a blank page.♥



Thanks to the support and encouragement of the members of RWA/NYC, Ursula Renée signed her first publishing contract in 2013 for her historical romance, SWEET JAZZ. As President of RWA/NYC, Ursula wants to offer the same encouragement and guidance to other RWA members.  Visit her at www.ursularenee.com.
  



Friday, October 31, 2014

BOOK COVER FRIDAY: PLEASE DON'T FEED THE ALLIGATORS (free download)

   
WELCOME TO BOOK COVER FRIDAYS!
Every week we bring you an exciting hot book cover from one of
New York's Leading Romance Authors. Enjoy!


"Bad Idea Alligators"
PLEASE DON'T FEED THE ALLIGATORS anthology
by Racheline Maltese and Erin McRae
   
  

Friday, October 24, 2014

BOOK COVER FRIDAY: HIS BEDPOST QUEEN by Lena Hart

 
WELCOME TO BOOK COVER FRIDAYS!
Every week we bring you an exciting hot book cover from one of
New York's Leading Romance Authors. Enjoy!


HIS BEDPOST QUEEN
by Lena Hart


Friday, October 10, 2014

BOOK COVER FRIDAYS: STARLING by Racheline Maltese

 
WELCOME TO BOOK COVER FRIDAYS!
Every week we bring you an exciting hot book cover from one of
New York's Leading Romance Authors. Enjoy!
 
 
STARLING
by Racheline Maltese & Erin McRae
Torquere Press
 
 

Friday, October 3, 2014

BOOK COVER FRIDAYS: Manhattan Dinner Club Series by Jean Joachim

 
WELCOME TO BOOK COVER FRIDAYS!
Every week we bring you an exciting hot book cover from one of
New York's Leading Romance Authors. Enjoy!
 
 
 
MANHATTAN DINNER CLUB SERIES
Rescue My Heart
Seducing His Heart
Shine Your Love on Me
To Love or Not to Love
by Jean Joachim
 
 
 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

KEEP AN OPEN MIND

by Ursula Renée

 

Last year at the Brooklyn Book Festival, a man approached the RWA/NYC table and announced he did not believe in love as it is portrayed in romance novels. He believed real love had three stages.

The first was Romantic Love. During this period the couple meets and does not see each other’s faults. The second was Realistic Love. At that stage, each party in the relationship begins to notice the other’s faults. The final stage was Mature Love. At this time, the couple decides to loves each other despite their faults.

Once the monologue was over, the author sitting next to me asked the gentleman if he ever read a romance. His answer was, “No.”

This year, another man approached the RWA/NYC table and rolled his eyes when asked if he read or wrote romance. For a second I thought I was going to have the displeasure of listening to another monologue. However, instead of bursting into a lecture he asked, “aside from the obvious eroticism, what is in a romance?”

I explainedthat romances involve two (or more) people overcoming internal and external conflicts to have a happily-ever-after or happy-for-now. I also mentioned that a novel does not have to have sex in it to be a romance.

The conversation evolved into a discussion about research, the publishing industry and critique groups. Approximately fifteen minutes after he stopped by the table, the gentleman shook my hand and wished me well.

Though neither man read romance novels, the second was more pleasant to deal with. Instead of approaching the table and expressing a narrow-minded view, he asked questions.

It is easy to make assumptions about works we do not read or write.  Authors unfamiliar with erotic romance may not realize that character growth is essential to the plot. Others may believe that characters must act a certain way (i.e. an African-American character must listen to R&B or Jazz music) in order to stay true to their culture.

When exposed to a sub-genre you’re not familiar, don’t simply turn your nose up and make assumptions. Keep an open mind and ask questions.  By doing so, you may develop an interest in reading or writing something new.  Even if you cannot be convinced to try a new sub-genre, by approaching it with an open mind you will have earned the other person's respect.♥

 

Ursula Renée is the President of RWA/NYC. She is the author of SWEET JAZZ, a historical, interracial romance. When she is not writing, she enjoys photography, drawing and stone carving. Visit her at www.ursularenee.com.

 

Friday, September 26, 2014

BOOK COVER FRIDAYS: Seduction in the Snow by Julia Kelly

 
WELCOME TO BOOK COVER FRIDAYS!
Every week we bring you an exciting hot book cover from one of
New York's Leading Romance Authors. Enjoy!
 
 
 
"Seduction in the Snow"
ONE WEEK IN WYOMING
by Julia Kelly