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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Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Backstory is how much of the character's lives you put in a manuscript (or synopsis). Most beginning writers go on and on and on with backstory instead of beginning the story at the right spot. The best rule about backstory is put in only enough that the reader must know at that particular point.

On the other hand, in paranormal writing, you MUST explain your "world" or have readers getting lost. Earlier this year I did a couple of critiques for a charity, and went into great depth. Like a lot of things, it was easier to see MY OWN MISTAKES when someone else did them. Like not getting the things in your head on the page. For one critique, I kept marking that she needed to explain MORE, and that was true for her paranormal story.

Of course, getting what's in your head on the page doesn't only apply to paranormal -- there's motivation (most importantly) -- why a character acts as s/he does. This needs to be crystal clear. Choreography, people moving from one place to another, should be clear. Setting should be clear -- though if you don't get the set up right, it usually doesn't matter unless it's a really big clue in a mystery or something.

So that's my rambling for today. Off to RWA in about 20 minutes~
Love to all,


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