Happy New Year from SYTYCW!

by Patience Bloom

We hope you had marvelous holidays and are ready to write some page-turning love stories this year. Doesn’t the world need a whole lot more HEA? I think so! To rev up your creative engines, let me offer a few good tips to get those ideas sparking and those pens (keyboards) flowing.

1. Tell Doubt to take a walk. It’s impossible to extinguish Doubt, even if you’re Stephen King (I’m imagining). Doubt can be good, especially when it keeps you from danger or needless silliness. But in honor of a new year and your writing, just tell Doubt, “Hey, I need to write this story. I have a good feeling about it, so please go away while I do this. Okay?” Now get to it.

2. Sometimes those resolutions to write endlessly burn out fast. It’s easy to give up on a project at the very beginning. When this happens to me, I do research related to my story. Is your heroine an architect? Read even more about designs she might like. Research pays off exponentially. You are exercising a different muscle, giving yourself a break from writing. You’ll notice writers often have fun tidbits to talk about because of research.

3. Try not to mix good writing and bad habits. Because writing takes its emotional and physical toll (from eating all the cookies if you’re me), I recommend — this may sound weird — treating yourself like an athlete. Do some kind of physical exercise, even if it’s chair dancing (and I’m not admitting I do this in an open concept office). I won’t go into all the benefits of exercise, but I like how it clears my mind. Eat well every day, get some fresh air, and smell the roses.

4. Rest assured, the highs and very low lows of writing are normal. So in essence, let that freak flag fly. You’re a writer! Imagine and create to your heart’s content. We need dreamers and writers to inspire us

5. For most, writing and publishing a romance novel is a marathon. It is a long journey and you may feel discouraged. The best way to keep writing is to focus on your love of writing, not how many books you need to publish per year in order to make a bestseller list. To write book after book, you have to love it.

We want to help you on the way and now ask if you would be so kind as to comment on issues you would like us to cover this year on our blog. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Comments

  1. Handling the Words
    How to handle brand names in the MS.
    Should the MS retain its country of origin spelling? Colour vs. Color.
    I find when reading, the visual display of words can attract or detract from the story. How about you?

  2. Well I’m wondering about the finer points of Christian romance novels. I know they need to be chaste but can we express that they feel passion for each other. Can they kiss even platonically for example. These are some things I wondered about.

    • Sherri Shackelford

      Cheryl, I can’t answer for the editors – this is just my two cents – but I highly recommend reading within the Love Inspired and the Love Inspired Suspense lines to see the parameters. I personally recommend authors like Tina Radcliffe and Lynette Eason who do a fabulous job of conveying passion and longing without being graphic. Kissing is definitely allowed!

  3. Sherri Shackelford

    I always like the ‘sneak peek’ behind the scenes stories. Things like the Michelle Willingham cover shoot video, and ‘ten things an editor knows’. Anything that gives insight into the editorial/art process.
    As writers, we’re never satisfied with ‘what’ happened, we want to know ‘why’ it happened!

    • Patience Bloom

      Hi, Kim! We don’t really have a word count per chapter but I tend to think a 10-15 page chapter is standard. It really depends. Some authors write shorter chapters, which is okay too. Good luck!

  4. Chrissie

    I enjoy and read everything you as editors post. I like reading about the whole acquisitions process, the “how to” tips, and the challenges that force us to write out of our comfort zone. Just keep up the good work. I hope to glean enough info to win at this publishing game. Thank you for your talented efforts. 🙂

  5. Maurine

    I’m with Chrissie on this. All that she said and maybe some hints as to what editors have too much of coming across their desks so we know what to avoid. And can we push the parameters of a line a little bit? Go a little beyond what is normally accepted or do you want us to stay with the type of stories that are being published in each line? Thanks for this opportunity and for all you do.

    • Katie Gowrie

      Hi Maurine, we’ll keep this in mind for a post in the new year! The Heartwarming team shared what they’re seeing too much of in our series wishlist post (if that helps at all). Definitely something to consider with all of our categories, though. Thanks for your comment!