Where Did I Go Wrong?

Posted by on Jun 1, 2017

Where Did I Go Wrong?

Tired of rejections in your publishing quest? Chances are good it’s not because your story had an epilogue, or your brother put a jinx on it when he said “romance is dying as a niche” during dinner at Olive Garden last week, or a stranger sitting in a  cubicle with no view on the seventh floor wants to ruin your day. My money is on something you did. So, here are four of the prevalent, hard-to-explain mistakes we’ve seen at Crimson: RETURNING AUTHORS...

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Subtle sabotages every author does at least once

Posted by on Mar 3, 2016

Subtle sabotages every author does at least once

Pull up your latest manuscript and get ready to do some searching. Chances are good you have some phrases in there that are stabbing your story in the back. And the sad thing is, they look so innocent. Then again, so do termites, and just look at the damage they can do: “I don’t know why, but X.”  This little freeloader, and its baby brother, “I can’t explain it, but I just x,” is a favorite go-to when authors have painted either their...

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Short and sweet: Don’t do this

Posted by on Mar 3, 2016

Short and sweet: Don’t do this

Amazon is now offering readers a chance to report spelling and punctuation errors, and the retailer will pull down books with egregious problems, which sends fear into the heart of every writer. English is a complex language, and even copy editors sweat the details a lot of times. I fret over punctuation in emails, lest someone call me a fraud, and still mistakes creep through. Well, that’s life. But the kind of mistakes that attract wholesale quality accusations...

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3 conflicts that don’t work (and how to fix them!)

Posted by on Oct 26, 2015

3 conflicts that don’t work (and how to fix them!)

My stance on instalove situations is well known among romance writers, so I probably don’t need to sell you on that opinion today. You get it. The hero and heroine can’t be on the same page emotionally. They need an interpersonal reason—a personality quirk, competing goals—that keeps them apart. And the next step is where many authors stumble. Just what exactly is worthy of keeping two people from falling in love? Here are the top answers I see in manuscripts,...

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Why watching TV is damaging your writing progress

Posted by on Oct 14, 2015

Why watching TV is damaging your writing progress

Well, duh, Sturgeon. If you are watching television, your fingers aren’t on the keyboard, churning out chapters. Everyone knows that, so this blog post is pointless. Ah, but this isn’t a time issue for me. As a development editor, I’ve noticed a creeping perspective among the TV and movie buff authors: They write as if their book is a movie. Granted, someday it may be recreated on a big screen with Chris Hemsworth as your hero, but that is not yet reality....

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I’d bet money your story lacks emotional conflict

Posted by on Aug 13, 2015

I’d bet money your story lacks emotional conflict

And sometimes I do lose the bet. But overall, if I put $20 down on every manuscript I see, I’d owe Uncle Sam taxes on my winnings at the end of the year. I’ve puzzled over this lack for years now, and I think the problem starts with the definitions of both conflict and romance. Too many people think of conflict in negative terms: violence, abuse, hatred, fighting. Many of us aren’t wired for confrontation, so we shy from it in our stories, especially...

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What you want to hear from your editor

Posted by on Mar 18, 2015

What you want to hear from your editor

No. I don’t care how old you are, everyone is still two years old inside when it comes to hearing the word no. We hate hearing it. Yet a funny thing happened on the way to adulthood. You also learned to stop saying it, and now you’re deep in the throes of conflict avoidance. It’s a full-blown inability to tell someone when they’re off track, stemming from a need to be loved. How does this apply to you? Editors are adults, too. While I was at RWA last...

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