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Novel number two is underway: Lo Boièr (The Shepherd's Song) -- a magical realism indulgence into the sensuality of colour and sound.

Iren Discussions
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Hi Everyone, I need to include an epigraph in my submission because it is key to the story. It is a …
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  •  · Thanks very much, I'll have a play around and see what looks right. :)
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Hello Everyone,I'm looking for a comp title for my WIP. I wanted to use The Time Traveler's Wife by …
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  •  · I'm getting some great reading recommendations out of this thread!
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Very confused after the elevator pitch competition last night.It seemed that very few elevator pitch…
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  •  · Hi. I also pre-submitted a 55 word 3 sentence pitch which I'd reworked after Harry's webinar in the …
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I'm confused about genres. I'm writing a romance that I hope will come under the bookclub/woman's fi…
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  •  · Thanks very much L and Jon, that's very helpful. I've don't more research now and I'm thinking it mi…
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I've been watching some of the members masterclasses, which I've really enjoyed, but I always liked …
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 I'm planning to polish off half a novel in November. Anyone else brave enough to rise to the challe…
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  •  · Did you all succeed? I 'Won' although it was a bit of a struggle because, although my daily word cou…

That's interesting. I find myself I like complex characters and complex, or at least not weak, plots. What about you?

That's really it. Nothing can happen in a story without it having a purpose in the overall story form, even sex. Thanks.

Interiority instead of physicality, that's great, thanks!

Thanks L, that does really help -- thinking in terms of subtext. It has really brought to light why some of my scenes work very well, the subtext is already there, built into the story and that's what I need to build on.

What makes quality romantic prose?

My WIP pretty heavy on the romance, and by romance I mean intimacy, attraction, passion, the beginnings of relationships, mainly before it is taken further. And I'm trying to write it well -- i.e not Mills and Boon and really not too throwaway commercial either. Yet I find myself with so many beats that go something like this: His heavy gazed fixed on mine, his eyes intense. etc etc Actually I have a lot of eye stuff in there, too much. On examination of other better quality romances I find that there are surprisingly few mentions of the eyes, and actually very few action beats in dialogue. 

Anyway my big question is.. In terms of prose (rather than, say, relationship development) what makes good romance for you?

Glad I'm not the only one thinking this.

Fascinating. I'll read that. Thanks.

Perhaps this gives us hope as writers. If we get enough of the story craft elements right, then hopefully we will get published! Here's hoping. 

Sorry, just saw it and replied.

 :) I'm desperate to throw this one in the bin, but I'm trying to learn from my reading (in this case what not to do) and I'm aware I could all too easily throw quite a number of them in the bin, sadly.

I have to say, though, this was commercial fiction, rather than literary. I think they sailed in with a great pitch and forgot the rest.

When I started reading to learn, I thought most books (especially best sellers) would be of a certain standard. How could they even get out the door without super tight plot and characterisation? Now I find so many books have at least one element missing -- an underdeveloped plot, inconsistencies, something left dangling at the end that was part of the promise of the premise, or even in some cases the story no having basic story form. It seems there are only a few humdingers out there, and these are such gems.

Hi Harry, 

I often find meaningful causality the make or break in a novel and I'm super hot on it in my own -- at least I try to be.

But I'm reading a newly published novel at the moment. I think it has a fair bit of marketing behind it, it will be a BBC Between the Covers read and I believe it is the author's third book, the first two being reasonably successful. But, oh, hell, the causality is so terribly bad. It's actually a lovely story in many ways -- and it is such a terrible story in many ways. And perhaps many readers won't notice the causality issues (although I'm sure they will subconsciously) but I'm struggling to get past the inconsistencies, the deus ex machina, the stretch of my suspension of disbelief so far that it snapped after about two chapters. It is so terribly written.

I guess my question is, how did this get published? How? How? How?

Why didn't the editor pick up on the issues??????? (small homage to Terry Pratchett there)

(I'm not going to name and shame, I don't think that is a nice thing to do)

Just wondering how such a book got published.

Thanks! These are great points and ideas, I'll give it some work.:)

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