Today is day seven of NaNo and I’m way past my weekly goal of 12,500. I’m over 16,000 at this point. I should be writing, but instead I’m reading about “how to write” and “how to tell your story.” My writing buddy, author Heather Rae Scott, is a message board host for Harlequin. Now most of you know how I feel about romance, but some things hold true whether you are writing a romance, a suspense, or a paranormal – you have to have an idea, hook your reader, and follow through. When you are finished, there is always the question about how to publish.
This month, Harlequin is hosting “So You Think You Can Write.” There are many topics of discussion, conversations (blogs and chats) with editors and writers, as well as some contests, if that’s your sort of thing. I’ve been following Heather’s tweets and Facebook posts so that I know what’s going on and can pick and choose what I want to read. You can follow it on her Heather Rae Scott Facebook page.
So why would I spend time with this in the middle of NaNo Write? Because sometimes it’s good to step back and think about what you’re doing, and maybe Harlequin is not your target publisher, but you can learn something from this event.
The following topics appeared today.
What is essential in a query letter? Editorial Assistant Sarah McDaniel Dyer can tell you! http://bit.ly/vBrsCB
Blog post: Mainstream vs. Mainstream vs. Series Romance: A Primer, by Executive Editor Paula Eykelhof http://bit.ly/vbk3hg
Harlequin senior editor Birgit Davis-Todd answers 5 questions about romance publishing. HEA: http://cot.ag/vdPSF7
Blog post: Why Do You Have to Tell This Story? by Leslie Wainger http://bit.ly/tgVvkT
Your Romance Writing Checklist by Patience Bloom: http://bit.ly/scJmC3
The checklist above doesn’t just work for romance – it’s for all writers. Don’t dismiss the information just because it’s not your genre. I found a lot to interest me in Why do you have to write this Story? By Leslie Wainger. It forces me to think about what I’m doing and why – and trust me – this is not a bad thing.
The “What is essential in a query letter? is an interview with Sarah McDaniel Dyer and you have to get past the personal part of the interview to get to the meat of the matter – the dreaded query letter and synopsis.
I’m a little bummed that Harlequin is doing this in the middle of NaNo – it would have been much cooler if they had offered this last month so we could have used some of these ideas and hints this month. However, regardless of when the information comes out, the reality is that the more you know as a writer, the better prepared you are when it’s time to polish and then try to sell your novel. It doesn’t matter what the genre is – this series of blogs, chats, and interviews can help you focus your efforts and perhaps answer some of your questions about getting your novel in front of an editor.
I strongly urge all you writers and wannabe writers to utilize all the free hints and advice offered. Thanks for keeping me informed Heather. Good luck with your writing!