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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Saturday, April 15, 2006

Public Speaking

Image hosting by PhotobucketI recently spoke to a group of older ladies after lunch at Marie Callenders. If you know me, you will know that I can be really on or really off. Today (thankfully) I was on. I now have a sufficient amount of stories to ramble on interestingly for an hour. And this time, I managed to ALWAYS circle back to my main point (which might happen after 5 minutes of stories). I also managed NOT to be distracted (much), by my books being passed around and back cover copy, inside back cover copy, etc. read. Whew!

I answered questions (as they came up) about inspiration, writing day/output, finding a publisher, my publicity photo, university presses, what sort of computer I use, contracts, etc. I usually figure that most older women are interested (like ALL women) in sex, but since they were all dressed up and most were wearing spiffy hats I wasn't as earthy as I sometimes am. However, I did give away 2 books (readers choice) and when asked which was the sexiest, I handed out Heart Thief.

So I was on. Naturally you focus a talk on the type of group and I started out with a definition of romance and the difference between romance and fantasy. The best question of the group was indicative of the group -- whether I had any older characters. I had all my books, so I talked about Guardian of Honor, which opens in an older woman's POV -- an older woman who, by the time of Sorceress of Faith, becomes the leader of the most elite fighting force in the world. That went over well. (I think I even heard a "Hear! Hear!") I also mentioned Winterberry in Heart Quest.

Once again, whew. OTOH, I wish I hadn't spoken after a wonderful lunch. I am prone to stomach upset and spent a few minutes in the bathroom afterwards.

I had a good time, I'm glad it's over, and I am most profoundly glad I was ON.

May all your writing be on today.
Robin

2 Comments:

Anonymous Sue said...

Hello Robin,

I read with interest that at your recent public speaking engagement you spoke of the difference between fastasy and romance. Perhaps if you have time, you could write a blog entry giving more details of that part of your speech.

When I first began reading parts of my novel to my writer's group, I was surprized to find the assumption that it was a romance simply because one of my main characters is a woman. Or perhaps it was because I was a woman writing about a main character who is a woman. Whatever the reason, I found myself having to explain that while there is a romance that eventually develops between this character and another of the main characters... it was a subplot... not the main plot of the book.

I would be most interested to read how you defined the difference between romance and fantasy.

Aloha,
Sue

6:07 AM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

To be short and simple:

A romance is focused on the ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TWO PEOPLE. That's what the book is all about.

A fantasy is focused on a problem in the world (usually good v. evi).

In a romance, the hero/heroine meet soon and often stay together throughout the book. In a book with a romantic subplot, the hero/heroine might meet much later.

In a romance, the primary plot, the romance, is tied up last, i.e. the hero/heroine are falling in love and having ups and downs and are saving the world. The world is saved BEFORE the hero/heroine say "I love you," or the relationship (committment) is resolved.

In fantasy with a romantic subplot the relationship is resolved BEFORE the world is saved.

In an "epic fantasy for women" which is what I call my Luna books. The focus is ON A WOMAN'S GROWTH. She has some need or problem that must be faced/overcome/fulfilled. That is resolved LAST. The romance is ended first/and or the fantasy plot next and the woman's realization of her place in the world/her growth last.

That's technique-wise some ways to differentiate romance, but the first is the best. What is the main thrust of your story about, the theme.

Robin

7:12 PM  

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