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, April 25, 2012

Restrictions that make your work better

Restrictions that make your work better: Some while ago I had to send in info of what I'd like on the cover of Enchanted Ever After, and I said I wanted a mermaid on a log or a rock in Maroon Lake, under the famous Maroon Bells, in the fall.

Well, it came to revising the scene in the lake, adding detail (which I usually mark as ** RESEARCH), and I was appalled to find out that it was only 9' deep. Not very deep for a mountain lake, or for my new human-geek-girl-turned-mermaid. But the more I researched the details, the more I felt that I could make this work better than the original scene. I wanted Maroon Lake for the scenery, and the depth was disappointing as opposed to, say, Snowmass Lake...but...but...maybe a shallower lake would be better for my new mermaid/naiad.

And it being shallow and popular -- well, she'd have to learn how to do illusions better to hide from humans, too, wouldn't she? Which I hadn't described before (and I'm quite happy with that paragraph). And it might be more accessible than other mountain lakes in early October. Not to mention that, unlike some mountain lakes in the area, Maroon Lake is stocked with Lake Trout. That turned out to be important. From what I researched, Lake Trout can live for decades and can get as large as 102 lbs. Just perfect for what I wanted in this scene.

And the Maroon Bells area has some beautiful pink crystals...

Yes, about 3 hours of research for a few paragraphs to enrich the setting, but I am very pleased.

May your work please you today.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Rough Manuscript vs. Published Book

My rough manuscripts are that, rough. Then I read and revise, then send out to beta readers, then revise again pursuant to comments. So my published books are rarely exactly the same as my rough drafts. I make mistakes, I have plot holes, I have too many scenes with secondary characters, motivation may be weak or wonky, the plot arc a little wobbly.

Then, of course, there are the copy edits and page proofs and the plot and characters become even more defined.

I know Enchanted Ever After is too long, and messy, and scenes and redundancies will need to be cut.

And Heart Secret (whose page proofs a friend is working on NOW for me), is significantly different, with added scenes and more refined character motivation, than the beta manuscript I sent out.

Just sayin'. May you have a lovely day.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Light At the End of the Tunnel

I have been pounding away at Enchanted Ever After, my human-geek-girl-becomes-a-Lightfolk-mermaid story in a frenzy, mostly because it's overdue. However, I am hopeful that I might finish it next week.

Notice: I ANTICIPATE THAT NEXT WEEK I WILL BE ASKING FOR BETA READERS FOR ENCHANTED EVER AFTER, YOUR MISSION, SHOULD YOU CARE TO ACCEPT IT, IS TO READ THE MS. AND POINT OUT GLARING HOLES OR STUFF THAT REALLY BOTHERS YOU IN A VERY SHORT PERIOD OF TIME, LIKE 2-3 DAYS. I don't believe that I will have the time to do any line editing changes, especially if people DO find large holes or cringeworthy things I need to fix. ;)

The manuscript, now, is very scattered, with about 18 chapters ready up front, lots in the middle, some of the end, and some scenes (including the main battle, though I have several in the story), that I'm looking forward to writing.

Yes, light at the end of the tunnel.

And I am hoping that my cover will have the famous Maroon Bells and Maroon Lake on it, with my dear Kiri as a mermaid in the lake or on a log...hmmm, I do need to write that scene, also. Learning to eat live (or kill and eat nearly dead fish). Ewwwwww.


Monday, April 16, 2012


All right, I've had some car problems (tires) and house problems (hot water heater failing), and am currently working on Enchanted Ever After, my human becomes a mermaid story for Luna.

I do have an awesome cover for Heart Secret, but am not going to reveal that until I am out of the Lightfolk universe. I am consumed with that story, now.

I've been zipping around the world in research (alas, only on the internet) -- the Mariana Trench, the Puerto Rico trench, the Mississippi River and the Grand Isle, Louisiana, not to mention the local Maroon Lake, near Aspen, Colorado.

Someday I hope to have enough money to go to everywhere I want to research.

Many thanks for the prompts, and I had an AWESOME Titanic Tea at a friend's house yesterday, one of the best days of the year for me, more on that later.


Friday, April 06, 2012

New Computer

Yes, I've been down for a while trying to keep up with work and transferring my files to a new computer (and installing most of my software). The 8yo desktop that lost a drive two years ago was getting increasingly iffy.

I have a new little whiz hooked up to large monitor and also new keyboard.

And, like, did I say that the cat put his claws in my exercise ball chair and ppphhttt? So new exercise ball chair, too...

And working. And revisions and copy edits for Heart Secret. And playing with lightning and the Mississippi River in Enchanted Ever After...

May you have wonderful Spring holidays...and, yes, I know I need to post the Heart Secret cover, but I am deep into Mystic Circle.


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