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Thread: My first romance novel


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Mrs Julia Evans

Posts: 586
Registered: 05/22/16
Re: My first romance novel
Posted: Oct 18, 2017 11:35 AM   in response to: C. Gold in response to: C. Gold
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CG/La Venta,

I'm not sure if you were aware of this, but the Fifty Shades book written from the other POV was a complete rip off of Stephanie Meyer's version of Twilight from Edward's POV (Entitled Midnight Sun). Well, let's face it, EL James ripped off every other idea Ms Meyer had, why not that one too, right? (Didn't she used to write Stephanie Meyer fanfiction or something like that?)

Anyway, the reason you've never heard of Midnight Sun is because when she was halfway through writing it, Ms Meyer sent her partial draft to a handful of people on her publishing team, and one of them leaked it onto the internet. This was way back in 2008. As a result, she was so upset that someone she knew would do that, she refused to finish the book. After a while, she even posted what there was of the (unedited) script on her own website for anyone to read it. (About half the book, I think.)

Fast forward to 2015, and OMG, EL James is claiming her new Fifty Shades book from Christian's POV has been stolen (gasp!) and leaked online!

Wow, you'd think with all the spare time EL James had freed up by not bothering to learn to write worth a damn, she'd at least have invested some time coming up with just one original idea!

Sheesh!

Just a worthless snippet I picked up along the way.

J :)

Ooh, and I forgot to mention, I change POV with almost every chapter (clearly headed at the start of each chapter so there's no confusion!) so at least half of each of my books is from a male POV, and not always the hero either. Other recurring characters get their own chapters too, even when they've already had their own books. My readers seem to like it as it gives them an insight into the way the men feel about things, as well as the women. Does that make me unique? Or just an oddity? No answers required. :(

C. Gold

Posts: 468
Registered: 02/17/15
Re: My first romance novel
Posted: Oct 19, 2017 2:39 AM   in response to: La Venta West in response to: La Venta West
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Pamela Aidan wrote a trilogy starting with An Assembly Such as This from Darcy's POV. It's not just a flip POV either. She added things he did that might be typical of a gentleman in that time period as well as showing his transformation into a man worthy of Elizabeth. I enjoyed it.
C. Gold

Posts: 468
Registered: 02/17/15
Re: My first romance novel
Posted: Oct 19, 2017 2:51 AM   in response to: Mrs Julia Evans in response to: Mrs Julia Evans
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EL James did write fanfic and from what I understand Fifty Shades is based on that. But the final product seems original enough to me compared to Edward and vampires. Also, her deciding to write from the guy's POV might be taken from Stephanie Meyer's idea to do the same, but don't we all sometimes imitate our idols? I don't consider that ripping off, otherwise many writers would be in danger of 'ripping off' others. I will say that her rendition of things from Christian's POV was a disappointment. It didn't add enough new material to satisfy my tastes. It was basically a flip POV where we got mostly the same conversations, just from his end, unlike the Darcy stories I mentioned.
Mrs Julia Evans

Posts: 586
Registered: 05/22/16
Re: My first romance novel
Posted: Oct 19, 2017 11:55 AM   in response to: C. Gold in response to: C. Gold
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I agree that we all take inspiration from someone, or something we've read before. Copying her idea of the other POV was cheeky... copying the story about it being stolen was pathetic.

Sorry, not a fan of EL James. She gives erotica authors a bad name!

J
La Venta West

Posts: 434
Registered: 05/18/14
Re: My first romance novel
Posted: Oct 19, 2017 1:35 PM   in response to: Mrs Julia Evans in response to: Mrs Julia Evans
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Mrs. Evans, I wasn't aware of any of that. But, tbh, I couldn't make it more than a few pages into 50 Shades, and never picked up Twilight.

I think a lot of romance authors switch POV between male and female characters in delineated sections. I know I do it, and that's because I always seem to prefer novels that do it, too.
Mrs Julia Evans

Posts: 586
Registered: 05/22/16
Re: My first romance novel
Posted: Oct 19, 2017 1:52 PM   in response to: La Venta West in response to: La Venta West
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Hi La Venta,

I made myself read the first one, to find out what all the hype was about, and then phoned a friend to apologise for buying it for her as part of a birthday parcel. I'd seen that everyone was raving about it, and just picked it up at the last minute. I won't make that mistake again.

I read all of the Twilight books when they came out, and thoroughly enjoyed them.

J :)

(PS. You don't have to call me Mrs Evans. I feel old enough as it is! J's just fine, thanks.)
Moshe Ben-Or

Posts: 460
Registered: 12/28/15
Re: My first romance novel
Posted: Oct 19, 2017 3:47 PM   in response to: La Venta West in response to: La Venta West
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Also, I do think it would be a wonderful thing if men did read more romance, so that men's POV became more common in romance. It would say a lot about the shifting cultural norms, if men felt more comfortable reading stereotypically "mushy" stuff, and expressing their own romantic thoughts more.

Madame, we are men. Most of us do not have romantic thoughts in the sense you describe. Our thought processes run more toward the, ahem, explicit and results-oriented.

Men, as a group, will never read romance. Romantic literature for men exists. Some of it is very high quality. "Ivanhoe" comes to mind, for example. But it is not what we would call "romance" here.

From what the OP has written, I stand by my conclusion that he is producing a piece of romantic literature, one of potentially high quality. As a historical novel, said product can potentially be marketed to the romance crowd, but I believe it is unlikely to succeed if marked as "romance" in the genre sense.

This having been said, romance is as huge a field as science fiction. Here, for example, is the kind of thing some of my female readers apparently like to cross-read: https://www.amazon.com/STOLEN-ALIEN-Alien-Mate-Romance-ebook/dp/B0722HD7T1.

Not exactly Danielle Steele. At first I was kind of surprised. Upon reflection, it made a great deal of sense. Some of the things that I write about bear a striking resemblance.

I would suggest to the OP that this kind of romance is a lot closer to the kind of thing he is used to writing than the Jane Austen novels he associates with the romance genre.
C. Gold

Posts: 468
Registered: 02/17/15
Re: My first romance novel
Posted: Oct 19, 2017 9:30 PM   in response to: Mrs Julia Evans in response to: Mrs Julia Evans
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I too finally succumbed to the hype. I liked Fifty Shades (both book and movie) but stayed away from sparkly vampires -- watching the movie was enough for me. What can I say except I wasn't put off by her writing? I did think books 2 and 3 were not as good due to the poor attempt at introducing antagonists that didn't feel very believable.
uncle1282

Posts: 1,302
Registered: 12/20/10
Re: My first romance novel
Posted: Oct 23, 2017 9:17 AM   in response to: uncle1282 in response to: uncle1282
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Update: I have changed the heroine's name to Mattie, from Mickey, with a nickname of Mooshie. I'm also fleshing her out more, and have toned down and removed three scenes where the hero succumbs to the charms of the mysterious platinum blonde torch singer. I'm cleaning up his act so that more women will admire him.

After a thorough 2nd "screen edit" I'm now working through a hard copy in my "read aloud revision/edit" where I change quite a bit. I delete empty or unneeded phrases, add where needed, find better words like stronger verbs and keep dialogue and action more in character for each. Usually the read-aloud pass winds up with a net adding of words, though with 64k to start I'm not worried about word count. I use real history in this novel, as I have in others, but take a few liberties with certain things, mostly with historical character actions. I also put a section "Notes from the Author" after the story explaining what is fictional and what is historical.

After the 2nd edit pass, I will let the book sit a week or two, then upload it to Createspace, order a proof and go through it again. Seeing the story in book form (I use garamond 11 and 5.08x781 format) nearly always gets me a few oopsies. I'm prone to forgetting ending quotation marks, and a few other regular goofs, so I look for those especially. I use both the old Word 2000 and 2010, each finds different things with spell check. I think I've finally learned how to spell bouquet.

Not until I've passed the proof back to Createspace with fixes do I then upload to Amazon and Smashwords. In another year I'll read it over again and watch for any needed changes. That's my process and I'm pretty used to it by now. But, since this is my first whack at a romance, I'm studying the Essential Elements by Michaels along with reading several blurbs of romances on Smashwords. By the way I do see several with questions, so that old saw must be unworthy.
C. Gold

Posts: 468
Registered: 02/17/15
Re: My first romance novel
Posted: Oct 23, 2017 10:00 AM   in response to: uncle1282 in response to: uncle1282
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Sounds like a good plan. I love how changing up the pagination flushes mistakes to the surface. I've seen questions as well in blurbs, though I try to avoid them.
La Venta West

Posts: 434
Registered: 05/18/14
Re: My first romance novel
Posted: Oct 23, 2017 7:53 PM   in response to: uncle1282 in response to: uncle1282
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Sounds good, I like that you've taken out the scenes where he gets involved with the other woman.

And yes, I always order a print proof, too. It's amazing that, no matter how many swipes I make of the digital version, I always find some errors in the print copy.
uncle1282

Posts: 1,302
Registered: 12/20/10
Re: My first romance novel
Posted: Oct 26, 2017 10:59 AM   in response to: C. Gold in response to: C. Gold
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I've decided to make this just one book: a romance-->suspense and also a romance-->historical categories. I can always write another mystery book or series. My aim is to keep going into my 80s or even 90s, like my hero Elmore Leonard, who, believe it or not, started with Western short stories before switching to mystery/suspense.

I'm on the home stretch of my read-aloud-edit, which adds a tweak or two here and there. This phase of edit/revision is one I enjoy because the text gains cohesion and the story improves. My cover's ready, my blurb is redone, and now all I need is the final text. Then Createspace can do it's magic.

I thank you all for your helpful comments. It can be difficult to answer all of the questions without putting up a ten page autobiography, but there's already some info on Amazon's author page.
C. Gold

Posts: 468
Registered: 02/17/15
Re: My first romance novel
Posted: Oct 26, 2017 1:37 PM   in response to: uncle1282 in response to: uncle1282
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I think one book is the best way to go and I wish you luck in publishing it!
Mary Peebels

Posts: 419
Registered: 01/07/16
Re: My first romance novel
Posted: Oct 28, 2017 12:35 PM   in response to: uncle1282 in response to: uncle1282
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uncle1282 wrote:
I've decided to make this just one book: a romance-->suspense and also a romance-->historical categories.

That's a good choice. Your book sounds intriguing.
Mary Peebels

Posts: 419
Registered: 01/07/16
Re: My first romance novel
Posted: Oct 28, 2017 12:38 PM   in response to: beachgardener in response to: beachgardener
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beachgardener wrote:
I write murder/adventure mysteries in which there is a romantic thread.

I'm so grateful for writers who can create such books. My favorite.
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