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Sidonie Fairbanks

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    Writing, baby!

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  1. I'm in that special writer's only situation where I feel that everything I do is all wrong! My characters are all wrong, my plot is all wrong, my conflict is all wrong, everything is all wrong! Anyone ever gone through that? How do you combat this? :? <<severely disgruntled>> <<being chased by a bad writer demon>>
  2. Oh yeah, I too picked up a copy of LPS because of the name--sadly, it was a library copy! I always do a thorough scan of bookshelves, but certain words do pop out at me that make me want to look at the blurb: Scandal Tempt/Tempted/Temptation Scoundrel Lady Gentleman Bride Devil Seduce/Seduction Pleasure (LOL) Heiress Proper Wicked Sin/Sinful Love Desire Duke(Duchess),Earl(Countess),etc Midnight/Night Beauty/Belle Mistress Highlander Indiscretion Engagement Proposition I'm certain that there's a heck of a lot more, but those are the main words that instantly grab my attention. Some of my favorite titles are Love and the Single Heiress, To Marry A Duke, An Affair Most Wicked, Devil Takes A Bride, A Rose At Midnight, Untie My Heart, Black Silk, Duchess In Love, Your Wicked Ways, Rules of (Enticement,Seduction,etc) Note though, that while the titles grabbed me, some of the books were not my favorite. I also think that along with the title and the cover, and author's actual name is an important factor in my buying. My attention tends to skip if the author has a bland first and/or last name, or a very common one. I like Kathryn Smith's novels, but her name doesn't sound "romancy" enough to grab my attention if I hadn't already been a fan of hers.
  3. Good luck on it! I am nearly 100% positive that I won't be able to become a member of the RWA until I actually sell, because of money and all. Contests of any kind are out as well(I hate being poor ), so everything that I do and am doing, is from blood, sweat and tears aka FREE. lol I do want to go to Reno, but I want to sell before I attend so that I can have access to those exclusive parties and PAN workshops.
  4. Why I submitted to Brava? The contest angle was neat, but I was mainly inspired by Pam Rosenthal's books and the lure of trying something I've never done before. Brava's main "hook" is romantica, and I feel that I would be able to stretch my wings in different time periods, and settings, and even characters/plots, than I would be able to with a traditional historical romance publisher. But I don't really care about winning, per se, I just like doing things for the experience of doing it.
  5. I am definitely planning to go to Reno next year--it's only a two hour drive from where I live. But as for the GH, unless I cough up money to join the RWA, I don't see it happening. It would be nice to be a GH finalist or even winner, but it isn't a 100% guarantee that you will sell your MS to someone. I've looked at the past winners, and most of them haven't gone on to sell. In fact, there have been people that are multiple GH finalists/winners who still haven't sold. Yowza! :shock:
  6. That is true! But with my experiences, I've had to sit and twiddle my thumbs for a while, waiting for something to critique so that I could submit something. I'm not saying that critiquing should be something to be done every day, just more frequently for those who like frequent feedback. Perhaps a one crit per sub per week or something... Oh! Brainstorming and plotting sessions would be a nice additive for those times when you have no idea where your story should go. :)
  7. Hm. In the crit groups that I'm in, I dislike how "constricting" they are. Because I write every day, I like being able to get some type of feedback from others. Not to say that I just want people to crit my work, and not crit theirs, just make the rules of submitting and critting a bit more flexible. Say, everyone crits each other whenever something comes in, and that's that. No "two crits for every one submission" or "you crit Joe Schmo, and I'll crit Jane Doe". Just a group effort type thing.
  8. I suffer! I find that when I can't muster up enough energy or enthusiasm to write, it's because the story hasn't gone how I wanted it to go. To combat it, I surf on the internet(evil thing), or read some fiction or non-fiction while I mull over the MS and what could have gone wrong. Laziness goes along with that!
  9. A commendable goal! At this moment, I belong to FOUR critique groups. Two of them, I haven't been able to use because they download their subs and crits into the yahoo database, and my computer is too crappy to allow me to do that, so basically, I'm a sitting duck on those groups. The third one is basically inactive, and the fourth one doesn't have enough people that write historical romances for me to be able to obtain 100% useful crits. I have a CP, but she doesn't write too much and she has other interests that take up her time, so I basically have things written, but no one to crit them. As for losing friendships over critiquing, I agree with Jordan in that you should lay ground rules down from the start and some brutally honest join-er questions so that people who are crit sensitive(and may be in denial about it) can get weeded out. I myself like honest, helpful and uplifting crits and like to give them, but most of the people I come in contact with aren't up to recieving them, much to my chagrin. So I have to tone down my critting because not only do I not want to offend them, but because they aren't able to give me an honest crit because a) their craft isn't on my level they don't know how to critique. If Sylvia and Sasha could gather some people for a crit group, that would be awesome because 90% of the people that I know, that write near-selling material have their own crit groups and aren't too amiable of letting new people in. :?
  10. Okay, so I didn't love it. I didn't hate it either. I just plain didn't like it. Lisa K is one of those authors whom everyone raves about and quickly recommends whenever someone asks for a good historical romance. Initially, I am always leery of raved-about authors(Mary Balogh, anyone?) because they rarely live up to my own expectations--and the fact that I like being difficult and different. So far, I've only "read" two Lisa Kleypas books: Again the Magic, and the aforementioned book. With ATM(atm, ), I found it to be the height of melodrama. I usually don't like revenge tales because they are so predictable(guy/girl hates guy/girl, plots their revenge, finds out that guy/girl isn't whom they thought, guy/girl falls for guy/girl. The End. Boooring.), but since my former reading group read it, when it came in the mail, I decided to push aside my reservations and read it. My final conclusion: Pass Okay, so that's only one book. Maybe her others might suit me better. And in comes Suddenly You. The original copy was a library copy that I'd picked up at the last minute because I liked the cover, and it promised that it was "the most sensual romance of the year". Erm, okay, I'll take it. Ha!!! I wasn't titillated at all. After the initial seduction scene(the first two chapters), I was yawning, and I put it down as soon as the heroine, Amanda, found out that the hero, Jack, whom had masqueraded as her call-boy was her new boss. I'm twiddling my thumbs, writing and surfing the internet, when today, my CP sends me a copy of SY. So, I own a copy now, and I dislike having books that I don't read, so I picked up where I left off. Ho Hum. Boohoo Jack, he had such a horrible childhood and he doesn't care about anything but making money. Gag me. First off, what really bugged me was the pseudo-matchmaking of the madam that sent Jack to Amanda's doorstep, as well as one of Jack's associates telling Amanda about Jack's "tortured" past. I hate when other characters butt in and explain to the other character what makes their soon-to-be love interest tick, as well as telling them that they need love, and that the other person is the one to show them the way. Ugh. I hate confessions. I like for actions to speak louder than words, instead of a characters backstory coming out in one conversation. That ruined the book for me because whenever Jack began to share or expose a bit of his backstory himself, I had to skim it because "yawn" I already heard it all in the first 60 pages. So, because Jack's character was so not mysterious, combined with Amanda's non-personality, the so called "most sensual romance of the year" became "the most boring read of my life." Apparently, that much-touted book with Derek Craven is supposed to be a sexier, better version of this book. But at this moment, I shudder at the thought of picking up a Lisa Kleypas book.
  11. Well, it seems as though everyone and their grandparents are entering Lori Foster's contest! (well, not really, but I like to exaggerate) I've only read Brava's historicals, and with the exception of Pam Rosenthal, they are purple,purple, and more purple. As well as being very melodramatic. I'm wondering what the contemporaries read like(Ill have to make a trip to my library soon). But does romantica equal melodramatic plot lines and characters plus tons of hot, purple sex? What is the appeal of erotic romance(or, romantica)? I've read some traditional regencies that were steamy without the sex, and sometimes, just having one stupendous sex scene between two beloved characters is enough. So, why does everyone want to read super-hot stuff?
  12. Well, here's the blurb for the first book, Dead Until Dark: Sookie Stackhouse is a cocktail waitress in Bon Temps,LA. You can tell she doesn't get out muc, and it's not because she isn't pretty. She is. It's just that, well, Sookie has this "disability": she can read minds. And that doesn't make her too datable. The along comes Bill. He's tall, dark, harndsome--and Sookie can't hear a word he's thinking. Just the guy she's been waiting for all her life. But Bill has a disability of his own: he's a vampire with a seriously creepy crowd of friends. So when one of her coworkers is killed, Sookie fears she's next... It's a terrific story and I can't stay away from it!
  13. This series has put me into a reading slump! I try to pick up the straight romances I checked out along with Dead to the World, and I can't get into them! And to make matters worse, when I put that book down, I pick up the Sookie Stackhouse series and re-read it! I now have five partially read books strewn about my room, and Sookie & Co are sitting proudly and smugly on top of my bookkshelf, taunting me! Ahh! Has this happened to anyone else? Has Charlaine Harris done this to you as well? Now, to allay my Sookie anxiety(the next book doesn't come out until next year!), I'm going to check out the Anita Blake series, as well as write the first installment of my own Sookie-ish series, which is like Buffy meets Stephanie Plum in the Regency era. It's neat, and I just finished writing the 1st draft of the first chapter-which came out very nicely.
  14. This is so neat. I used to run amok on message boards for my favorite tv shows and actors, but my stinkin computer is so slow that it took forever to load. But this is quick and easy. And pretty on the eyes as well! Now I want one! Well, maybe not now, but sometime. But Hi Sylvia! http://cherchezlafemme-us.blogspot.com/
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