THE BUSINESS OF WRITING

Essentials for Writing Series Romance
Kristi Gold © 2001

Know the different lines, and respect the genre.

Study the market (i.e. read in targeted line).

Remember that story hooks are all about marketing. Marketing guides the sale of books, including what is acquired and bought by new authors.

Play it safe at first as a new author trying to break in, but take traditional hooks/plots/themes and make them different, and memorable.

Remember the three L's: Love story, Linear Plot, and Length. Subplots are acceptable, but should tie closely into the story. Some longer lines, i.e. Superromance, allow for more complex plots. Shorter series books such as Desire and Romance don't allow for intricate subplotting. Again, know the differences in the lines.

Do not forget the conflict. It drives the story, the characters, and the romance.

Do not forget motivation. An unusual and sometimes edgier premise can work if well motivated, as long as the story has marketable hooks/themes.

Put your heart in every book, even if it's not the book of your heart.

Don't write a series romance with the sole goal to break in so you can write 'longer' books while writing those 'shorter' ones. It's not that simple.

Don't write for a more sensual line if you are uncomfortable with penning detailed love scenes. Readers have incredible radar.

Be patient. It is not uncommon to wait for months to hear back on a submission. Continue to write while you're waiting. Very few first-time authors have their first books bought. It's best to have another manuscript complete and ready to go after "The Call" or the dreaded rejection, and another if possible.

The most important thing you can bring into a relationship with an editor is diplomacy. Learn when to gently stand your ground, and when to concede if it's in the best interest of your career. Be true to your vision of the book, yet be open to new suggestions that will make your book better. Do not get attached to specific scenes. They may end up shredded.

Do not compare your career with others. Careers are as individual as books.

Choose your critique partners carefully. They don't have to write category, they should understand it, though.

Accept the fact that perseverance is your best friend in this business, and so is a passion for your work.

The best way to learn to write is by writing, but you can't bend the rules until you know the rules. Learn all you can, rely on your creative instincts, but when the time comes, don't confuse yourself with the facts. Keep all that you've learned stored in your brain, but let your heart guide your story with solid technique in mind.

Never listen to naysayers. Life if full of those who would like you to prove them right. Strive to kindly prove them wrong by writing the best book you can, then write several more, and submit to sell.

Finding a newer editor can greatly improve the speed of a reply as she tries to build her stable.

Find an agent who is enthusiastic about your career, and who goes beyond contractual matters in their support.

Life does get in the way. If all possible, look to writing for salvation during tough times instead of an excuse not to write. Nothing eases pain and distress better than losing yourself in something you truly love.