Archive for September, 2012

I usually reblog writing and Regency things, but this cannot be missed.

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Great article

Writers In The Storm Blog

We couldn’t talk WriterStrong without our Yoda of Edits and sparkling prose, Margie Lawson. Be prepared for great takeaway as Margie not only tells you, but shows you how it’s done!  Here she is:

A big THANK YOU to Laura Drake for inviting me to be her guest today.

Everything I teach is all about WriterStrong and Craft Strong!

Most writers know to avoid writing clichés. But they write them anyway.

What makes something clichéd?  Overuse.

At one time every cliché was fresh. Maybe clever. Sometimes funny.

The first time someone wrote or said it, it was fresh. Now, not so much.

If you’ve read a sentence a dozen times, or twenty dozen times, or every which way but Sunday, it is as boring as it is annoying.

Clichés are old hat. Clichés are yesterday’s news. Clichés are been there, done that.

Clichés are scummy water under a broken-down…

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Great tips on staying brain healthy.

Writers In The Storm Blog

We’re delighted to welcome August McLaughlin as our inaugural guest for the WriterStrong series. She’s our go-to person for healthy eating and mental balance, all of which help YOU be BrainStrong.

Please join us in welcoming August by heaping blog love on her in the comments section.


Imagine waking up one day to a blurry world. Faces and objects you normally see clearly are indecipherable fuzz, and when you open your mouth to speak, nothing happens. Desperate to communicate, you try to reach for a pad of paper, your computer—anything. But your hands fall limp.

This is what happened to Jean-Dominique Bauby—the former editor of Elle magazine and author of the novel turned award-winning film, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. He wrote the entire book using the one action he could manage: blinking his left eye.

Yes, we writers will write our way through any storm. Take…

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Romance is frequently funny, even when it doesn’t mean to be. Humor is an important element in life and in books, movies, TV etc. So, this week give me something funny. As always the source is up to you.

Here is an excerpt from my unnamed WIP. This is my hero’s mother discussing him with her cousin.

After taking a sip, Eunice said, “He’s not yet out of his twenties and a dead bore. Which would not have made his father at all happy. When I think of the larks he kicked up before we were married, well Merton should be having the same type of fun. I did have great expectations when Merton came on the Town that he’d do something to create a stir, but my hopes were dashed. Even his mistresses are dull.”

Another burble of laugher escaped Grace.

“Go ahead and laugh, my dear,” Eunice sighed. “You cannot imagine what a depressing sight it was. The woman was dressed like a governess.”

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Great post from Merry Farmer.

Merry Farmer

So for the last three or so weeks I’ve been neck deep in revisions of my latest novel, The Courageous Heart.  And through this process I’ve learned so very, very much about the fine art of revising.  Each novel that I write teaches me more about the craft.  It also makes me revise my former opinion of the process, no pun intended.  So here are a few tidbits of I’ve learned this time around.

First of all, The Courageous Heart is the third book in a trilogy.  The first one was “easy” to write.  The second one was relatively easy too.  And then I completely rewrote it.  But that was good.  The version of The Faithful Heart that I published was light years better than the first draft.  Because I worked on it.  But the third book?  Ah, that’s another story.  TCH and I did not get along very…

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Edits out of the way, I’m back to re-blogging. This is a wonderful post from Jenny Hansen

Writers In The Storm Blog

This week, Writers In The Storm is kicking off a new series for the Fall…sort of a “Be All That You Can Be” series for writers. The inaugural post comes out on Wednesday.

In honor of this, our own Jenny Hansen gave us today’s blog about discovering what you’re good at and doing it!

What Are Your Strengths?


As a corporate software trainer, I’ve got to be ON each day I’m in the classroom.

It doesn’t matter whether I was up all night with a screaming baby or if my best friend and I had a fight. Nobody cares about those things when they come in for a day of Word or Excel or leadership training. They’re focused on what they need to learn and it’s my job to deliver.

There are personality types who would hate my job. They’d get tired by all that “on” business. I see…

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First Impressions

Today I’d like to you to post an excerpt of a hero and heroine’s first meeting from the hero’s POV. It doesn’t have to be in person. As always the excerpt can be from other media, yours or someone else’s work. Try to keep it on the short side if you can.

Here’s mine from Lady Caro’s Accidental Marriage.

The end of August, 1816, Palazzo Laughton, Venice, Italy

“La Valle, who is here?” A low musical, voice, floated down.

At the top of the marble stairs, stood the most beautiful creature Huntley had ever beheld. At first he thought she was a figment of his imagination. Shaking his head, he blinked before gazing at her again. No, he was right the first time. Fair, flaxen hair curled around her face. The eyes fixed on him were wide and set under perfectly arched brows… and Lord— her lips. There was only one good use for them. Kissing.

His body hardened as if it hadn’t had a woman in months, which was certainly not the case. She was so exquisite, even the heavy frown marring her countenance couldn’t make her less than beautiful. Only his old nurse had frowned at him like that, but it hadn’t made him want to…


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Great bloy by my friend Angelyn.

Angelyn's Blog

It was a plea that fell on deaf ears, in the interest of progress and the Board of Works:

“The Duke of Northumberland is naturally desirous that this great historical house, commenced by a Howard, continued by a Percy, and completed by a Seymour, which has been the residence of his ancestors for more than two centuries and a half, should continue to be the residence of his descendants; but the Metropolitan Board of Works are desirous that this house, which, with its garden, is one of the landmarks of London, and is probably the oldest residential house in the metropolis, should be destroyed.”

—-‘Northumberland House and its associations’, Old and New London: Volume 3 (1878)

Before the Victorian Embankment was constructed, the Strand was once a river road connecting London to Westminster. During the Elizabethan period and into the reign of James I, great mansions were erected…

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New Blog: Favorite Lines

It’s time for another round of Give Me Your Favorite Line. Whether it’s from a movie, TV, your book or someone else’s, what’s your favorite line?

Here is mine from The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh. Lord Rutherford, the hero is talking to his friend about how he’s going to get the heroine to agree to marry him.

Rutherford raised himself to his full height of over six feet two inches. “I have no intention of failing. I am descended from Norman warlords, I’ll have you know.”

“Aren’t we all,” Marcus replied dryly. “Just who do you think she’s descended from? Think about it.”

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Great plot help from Kara Lennox

Writers In The Storm Blog

Writers In The Storm welcomes back Kara Lennox, a.k.a. Karen Leabo for some more plot-fixing magic. Look for Kara’s writing tips the first Friday of every month. 

This is the sixth in an ongoing series of Plot Fixer blogs by double RITA finalist Kara Lennox.  Here are the links for Parts 1-5:

Part 1 – Your Premise Isn’t Compelling
Part 2 – How To Fix a Weak Opening
Part 3 – A Lack of Goals
Part 4 – Is Your Conflict Strong Enough?
Part 5 – Raising The Stakes

by Kara Lennox

Plot Problem #8: Your plot moves too slowly.

This is the complaint you’re likely to get from an editor when you simply don’t have enough happening. There aren’t enough twists and turns. Sometimes you might hear that your plot is too “linear.” Just another way of saying, not enough twists and turns, or not enough layers…

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