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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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thinking Outside the Box

LAST CONTEST QUESTION!
13. What is the colour of the horse on Anne Whitfield's book cover, A NOBLE PLACE. Answer found at http://www.annewhitfield.com I hope you enjoyed the "treasure" hunt.

I didn't sleep well last night, change of weather I think, and an event earlier in the day...Anyway, yesterday I worked on Echoes in the Dark/Singer for a World AND Heart Journey.

Now, Heart Journey is a romance, and I have some of the elements of the romantic conflict built right in -- loner/party animal, country mouse/city mouse, etc. Widely different lifestyles and careers both love -- cartographer and rising actor. But it occurred to me last night that I didn't have any OUTER PLOT. Most of my outer plots have a strain of suspense, thusly:

HeartMate: gang wars, heroine kidnapped
Heart Thief: hero wrongfully accused
Heart Duel: Romeo & Juliet, feuding families
Heart Choice: ex lover wants hero
Heart Quest: ritual murder
Heart Dance: Family malice leads to problems, professional envy
Heart Fate: hubris of those with great power

Anyway, I had NO clue what sort of plot I could do for Heart Journey. Usually at this point I do one of two things, haul out my Dramatica Pro program, my tarot cards for character/plot development, etc. (trying to solve this on my own). OR I brainstorm with others. The brainstorming with others is good because I get out of my head.

What I did when I was tossing was think about the last book I'd read (finished Silver Master again by Jayne Castle/Jayne Ann Krentz day before yesterday). So, what is the general basis of the plot of that story. Someone wants an object that the heroine has. That's it, all the complications stem from that point. So, like, why can't I use it? That plot device is so general that it's probably in the Decameron.

ZZZZZOOOOOOMMMM.

My thoughts circled around like this:

Suddenly my hero has something someone wants desperately. What is it? First twist, something described differently than what he actually has. Introduce the object early in the book for canny readers.

Why would the heroine make the need for finding this object worse? Because she is an expert.....

Think about the history of Celta (you guys can't do this, 'cause it's mostly in my head). It's inhospitable, people still only have a toe hold, though the colonists planned for huge cities and major populations. Families die out, including one GreatHouse. And another fact that I know that I'm not going to mention because it would spoil too much. But the brain is off and running.

And, yeah, this morning I wrote some of it down, and, no, I don't want to work on the last Luna book, and I'm tired. So I think I'll go back to bed and try and catch up on some sleep, then start fresh again.

May you be excited about your work today.
Robin

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must say that your comments about the coming books and your life are rather tantalizing! Will buy and read the books but the other comments get rather mysterious: Feb 28 "personal news tomorrow" - was this comment about Tommy in the next post?
Today: "event earlier in the day"
Curiosity nearly kills me, like the say about cats. Well people born in the city I am from are called "cats". Maybe that is the explanation for being so curious.
Hope you have good news for us, your readers/fans, about more Celta books; just love them!!!!!

12:04 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Yes, the personal news was Tommy coming into the household.

There has been an issue I've been dealing with that I find uncomfortable to speak about, but it does definitely affect my mood. NO health issues.

Robin

1:41 PM  

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