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, September 30, 2010

Large Chunks of Mess Going Nowhere....except into the Holds File

Well, I skimmed (which I usually don't do, I READ and REVISE) most of my scenes last night and got pretty discouraged. I suppose I shouldn't say this in public. ;) Anyway, they are a mess. One lovely scene in the heroine's teahouse can be cannibalized a bit for an earlier chapter, but the rest can truly be summarized "the venture was a success." That's telling, but we don't need a full scene for this. We already know she plans and works hard to be a success.

Some scenes you DO need a full scene to set up a punchline, but not many of the ones I've written. Most of them are about Celta, how things work. Again, they may go in the READS file on my website after the book is published, but right now they go in the Holds file.

In the Artist's Way on the section on criticism, Julia Cameron states that sometimes your work goes through an ugly duckling phase. I feel that's true here of Heart Search. And that ugly duckling phase is necessary for the work/the artist to grow. Praying for that.

May your work go well today.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Romance vs. Fantasy

I've always considered my Heart series books, romances, that most of the plot is focused on the relationship between the hero and heroine. And that relationship sometimes grows slowly, too slowly I think for some romance readers.

There's a lot of worldbuilding -- and time spent with characters, and Fams -- in my books. Mentor and critique groups told me that they like chapters 1-4 of Heart Search, but the reality is, it's mostly about the characters, Celta and the Fams.

Heart Search is bothering me this way, so I am working on my romance technique. This mostly involves cutting full scenes, maybe even chapters where the hero and heroine aren't together. Some of these I'll put up under the READS section of my website after the book is published.

And (after a time out), I looked at a scene between Camellia and her two friends and Fam and cut it. I needed ONE LINE from that scene to make a point and stuck it back into Chapter 4.

Slash and burn. **Sigh**.

May you know what you need to do today.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Heart Search Cover

Here is the cover of Heart Search, for your comments.


May you enjoy your work today.


Friday, September 24, 2010


This is the fifth revision (and the final until copy edits) of one of the pages in Chapter One of Heart Search. It IS the worst page, but just showing you that I do take critique and continue to work on technique...


May you be pleased with your work today.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Today's Research

And the article:. All this for one line: Anger throbbed through his left temple....and you know I've seen anger throbbing at temples before... So it's not exactly new, heh?

May you enjoy where the internet takes you today.


p.s. to see if you're paying attention, I got the cover of Heart Search today, but didn't put it up yet since I'm still fumbling with my graphics program, and I'll have to shrink all the pics above again.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dated Books

I ran the memorial table for RMFW this year (actually I do it every year since the first about 3 years ago, but we actually lost people this year), and I usually pick up books by those authors whom we lost.

I decided to take a look at a couple of the romances, and couldn't get more than a few pages in. I just KNEW that the first book was based on A Big Misunderstanding and Miscommunication. Readers are savvier now -- and so are people. I HOPE folks know enough to talk stuff out. Habits, society, mores have changed. Nor would romance readers put up with an FBI hero telling the heroine her laughter was like silver bells. This might have been the original that the cliche came from, but we all know that no alpha guy would say that. Maybe "you have a nice smile."

I'm also reading Mulengro by Charles de Lint, not very far into it, and it's Romany in the 80s in Canada, and I can't help but believe that their society must have changed greatly. I may be wrong, but it just seems quite old, more like a 60s book. And the technology has changed extremely. In any event, I recall that I didn't LOVE the book at the time, but am giving it another chance to stay on the shelves.

Not ready to report on RMFW conference yet, though my seminar went well, and the On The Spot Plot was hilarious (I have my notes on what we wrote on).

May pleasure stud your days.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Favorite Affirmation

Which I am repeating pretty often today as I get ready for my seminar this afternoon. And I had GREAT applause from the yawning cats and imaginary folk when I just practiced it. ;)

I am doing the best I can with the resources I have.

Or, if you're looking at something you've done: I did the best I could with the resources I had at the time.

May you enjoy your day,

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Writing Workshops

I've been working on my Survive to Write, Write to Survive, how to hang in there until you're published workshop and have it down. No notecards any more. I have gone tech with my itouch. It's about the same as a notecard anyway.

I've also been doing a 5 minute speechlet on the Middle Of The Book, for a panel I am on. It's now at about 4.50 seconds which should be ok.

We'll see if I can (once more) pull these off. We don't anticipate the panel to have many people (maybe more on the panel than in the audience) because we are Sat am at 8 and opposite the agent panel.

Anyway, that's why I've been mum.

Also, I've been reading Save The Cat, which is a wonderful plotting book.

May your days go smoothly.

Monday, September 06, 2010

If you like Nora Roberts, you'll like Robin Owens...WOW

I am so thrilled and stunned! Mentioned in the same article. Yay!

May you have a reason for a happy dance.


Sunday, September 05, 2010


I subscribe to the Daily OM. This one had an article about restarting in the middle of the day as if it were dawn and recommended a nice dawn photo. Now I have some very red/orange dawns...but for a dawn's promise of a new day, I thought I'd use this one.



May you keep the freshness of dawn within you.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Office Treasure Trove 1 -- First manuscript

All right I must admit the office is USUALLY a shambles, but now it's worse with stacks of books on the floor, most of the bookshelves of the 6 bookcases and 2 credenzas unorganized messes...and I am trying to reduce the "sagging" of shelves.

So far all my published books (and the two unpublished that might someday make it to kindle, maybe within the year) have expandable envelopes...though now that I look at it, Heart Quest's isn't looking in good shape. For some of the books I kept the copy edits and page proofs. For some I didn't.

I have a few rejection letters, notably the one that crushed me for HeartMate...by an editor I met at RWA the next year when I was wearing my "RITA(r) Finalist" ribbons for best first book and best paranormal.

When I finished my first ms. a work friend had it bound. So I have the first draft of my first full manuscript, The Token. Which is impossible to save.

I include the first few paragraphs here. As you can see, I started with a dream, which is usually considered a no-no.

And, yes, you will probably be hearing about contest sheets I still have for unpubbed works...etc. And what am I going to do with that first cover for Guardian of Honor? I am pretty sure I can't post it anywhere and I have, like, 100 of them....

Well, here's The Token:

May you enjoy looking back at the past...and more toward the future.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Annual Tattered Cover Writing Panel

I've been being a hermit (and re-reading Jayne Castle's books), this week. But tonight is the Rocky Mtn Fiction Writers Writer of the Year Panel at Tattered Cover Lo Do, 7:30. Usually we/they talk about publishing.

Next week will be the RMFW Conference, and door prizes for tonight usually include a conference fee, WILL include some one-on-one breakfast appointments with agents and editors coming to the conference, free books, perhaps a critique of your work from Writer of the Year PAM NOWAK, a critique buddy of mine.

My mentor Cassie Miles (pseud) will also be on the panel.

I'll be there, of course.

Next week I'll be giving my seminar "Survive to Write, Write to Survive How to Hang In There Until You're Published," on Friday at the conference, be on that mini-plotting panel on Saturday a.m., and just generally hang at the conference.

Come on down tonight!

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