On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Sunday, June 26, 2005

Titles - Series

Ok, this is the third attempt at saying something rational about Writing and Publishing. I got really mired down in Organization (not difficult in the am) and saved the draft for later.

Yes, titles count. A title is ALMOST as important as the cover, or the back cover copy. The latest I like is Julie Kenner's Carpe Demon, Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom. But I think my all time fav is The Last Camel Died At Noon by Elizabeth Peters.

The best titles tell a little story. We get a gist of what might happen in the book from the above titles...very excellent.

I'm not so blessed with the title gene. Mine are sort of standard. My unpubbed mss.: The Token, Shades of Honor, Betrothal and Blackmail. My unpubbed partials: Willful Deceit, Share the Night.

And yes, I know ALL ABOUT "series" titles now, with HeartMate, Heart Thief and Heart Duel. I have a list. Readers send me lists. I've heard all about Heart Beat, Heart Attack, HeatMate, etc. Heart Choice was Heart Trail until my editor made me change it , and I'm very glad she did, it's a much better title in that it describes the story better. I can usually keep all the stories straight, but then I wrote them. For others, even my critique buddies, I say "HeartMate -- T'Ash's story," "Heart Thief, Ruis's Story," "Heart Choice, Straif's Story." Ok, so we're mostly women, we think in terms of heroes.

My agent -- hi Deidre! -- is really going to have problems with Heart Quest, coming out next year. She always thought "Heart Duel" was "Heart Quest." Heart Duel is Holm's story. Heart Quest is Winterberry's story.

And, yes, hopefully if Choice and Quest do well, I'll be writing more -- that depends on negotiations between Berkley and me. If so, most people want Tinne's story. I don't think he's ready to have a story, but it IS already titled: Heart Fate. I think I might want another book before Heart Fate -- and that will be about a hero only briefly mentioned in other books and a heroine not mentioned at all -- T'Willow would be the guy. (The "T"). And depending on how I see the timeline of Celta, maybe even a second before Tinne's, a romance between Cratag, the Hawthorn Fighter and D'Marigold, both seen in Heart Duel. (You understand how it gets confusing?) -- and this is the first time I've announced this couple. But their story is tied in to T'Ash's third child, and the young prophet Vinni, T'Vine, so I need to really sit down and look at the timeline...huh, how did we get on the topic of series?

But this has taken me long enough, so I guess I'll save talking about the Exotic Summoning Titles (which had me bending my brain) in the future. I'd say tomorrow, but we all know I write what comes to me today, right? I'm a Pantzer.

Love to all,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope you continue writing heart books - at least one a year.
What about Heart...Blog..File..Geek?,(just a change of pace from the dashing hunks)telling the story of a sweet little chap, keeper of records - tradition, spells, words etc. - concerned about receding hair and expanding waistline?
Love to hear about the critique and get-together and any other subject. Fun to read your notes and those of other writers.
Thanks, and chao

Just put this in the wrong day, so here it is repeated

11:27 AM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Hmmm. I could write something about an unassuming person. Keeper of records. That might be interesting.

As for critique, I hadn't planned to mention it because I did something really stupid. I waited until the last minute to print out my pages, then Word Perfect screwed up the printing (I've GOT to get the patch for this glitch) so I hit delete (meant the job) and it asked me if I wanted to delete my default printer, and I didn't read the note and pressed yes...so folks arrived and I didn't have time to find the new printer software and uninstall and reinstall (which took me a while anyway). Otherwise critique was good.

2:24 PM  
Blogger moonhart said...

I think Vinni's story would be fascinating. I think Tinne's would be as well.

Did you have to consciously think about making GOH Alexa's story as opposed to Bastien's? The Heart stories seem to be hero based. The Llandrana, heroine based.

In your opinion, are stories more slanted toward one character over another? Does one character speak to you more clearly? I ask this because my WIP is the hero's story, yet when discussing it, I was told it should never be slanted , but be "their" story as opposed to hero over heroine or visa versa.

Of course it is "their" story. It would not be romance if it wasn't, but the actions centers more on his journey than hers. After all, he is from another world.

Does that make sense?


5:43 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

The Luna books MUST be her story, so I knew that and concentrated on Alexa. Luna is epic fantasty for women, showing a woman's growth. So, though I included Bastien, the subplot was the romance and I always knew it and it wasn't hard to keep the focus on this one.

11:02 PM  

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