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Writer's Library
The Craft of Writing


Real-Life Heroes and Heroines

Whenever anyone finds out I'm a romance writer, there are two questions that invariably pop up. One: "Where do you get your ideas?" and two: "Do you ever base your characters on real people?" I can as easily answer the first question as explain where aluminum comes from. But the second can be confirmed with

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Short & Sweet: Where I Get Ideas

I write contemporary category romances. They're short. They're intense. And they're sexy. But each new book needs new plot and I'm always looking for suggestions as well as inspiration. Some of my best research and freshest ideas have come from: 1) People Magazine (especially the annual issue of "Sexiest Men") Writing for Harlequin Presents I

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So You Want To Write A Romance Novel

Go for it! Nobody is born published. Not even the Nobel prize winners! I usually start with my characters. They need physical descriptions, mannerisms, quirks, and back story. You need to know about their childhood, their family, their sexual history, their career history, their beliefs and values. They need traits, goals, and a flaw. Goals,

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Split Personalities

How to write for two genres and/or two publishers and/or two editors and keep your voice, your writing style and your sanity! On how to be true to yourself as a writer and the line/publisher you write for. Carly's contribution to RWA 2004 Workshop with Pamela Britton, Leslie Kelly and Harlequin Executive Senior Editor Brenda

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Story Flow

Just recently, a writing friend, who, despite being an excellent writer, is having problems with her story's jerky feeling, asked me: "What do you mean by flow (big wail here!!!)?? I know how to recognize it in other people's writing, but I'm not sure what the specifics are. Is it a technique you can learn,

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Ten Steps To Your Best Romance Novel

If only following these ten steps guaranteed publication. If only it were that easy. I started writing fifteen years ago. I had completed and submitted ten manuscripts over seven years to many publishing houses before I ever sold a novel. As a New York Times Bestseller, I can tell all aspiring writers that although there

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Ten Tricks To Get Your Book Back On Track

...co-authored with Annette Broadrick. Too many workshops give the impression that writing should be a formulaic, paint-by-the number activity. If we were to guess, we would say that most novelists have had at least one book fall apart, or they realize the story they intended to write is taking an entirely new direction. Just when

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The Art of Showing, Not Telling

Dear Barbara, One of the most common pieces of advice I've heard since I started writing a few months ago is to 'Show Don't Tell'. I've also heard some say this means we should write the scene like it's a movie playing out in front of us. Unfortunately, I'm not very good visualizing cinematics, nor

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