Want to Write a Bestselling Romance? (Giggle)

Here’s how to write a bestselling romance novel:

My strategy, then, is to scour the press for stories of stalkers and weirdos, the kind where the guy has a random encounter with a woman for about 20 minutes, and basically follows her halfway around the world, getting to know all her friends, getting a job at her office, going through her trash and probably ultimately killing her in a moment of unstable desperation. I’ll then just swap out the final killing bit and replace it with “grabs her and kisses her” and have her melt in his arms.



Revisions in Scrivener

Wonderful advice, as always, Gwen. Thanks for the helpful reminder about snapshots. I tend to forget, and then gnash my teeth when I get too happy slashing and burning. I’m putting SNAPSHOTS on a sticky and pasting it to my monitor. 🙂

Gwen Hernandez

Proofreader's marks With my debut romantic suspense novel releasing next week, you can bet I’ve been spending a lot of time in revisions over the last few months. Everyone has their own process for handling edits in Scrivener, but since some of you have asked, here’s mine.

I make all of my changes directly in Scrivener. I prefer to work with two monitors when I’m referring to comments from an editor, beta reader, or proofreader. If you can beg, borrow, or buy a second monitor, I can’t recommend it enough (unless you have a mammoth one already, in which case you can probably just view both windows side by side).

There are three main tools I use when working on revisions: annotationssnapshots, and color-coded labels. (The links will take you to my posts with more detail on using each feature.)


Annotations are a pre-revision tool for me…

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Scrivener: a grad student review

If you’re not using Scrivener… why not? 🙂

Sam Grace

I just submitted an application to the NSF DDIG*. It’s a big grant and a big deal and getting it in makes me a very happy camper. I had already done a lot of writing for it in Word, which is where I had done all my grant writing previously. But I was feeling a definite need for a Fresh Start, and so I downloaded a trial version of Scrivener** so I could stare at a new kind of blank page.

I had heard that Scrivener is a pretty impressive writing management system from novelists and other academics. They were correct.

The first awesome thing was that I imported all the grant writing I had already done into folders in the Grant Collection I started. That meant that whenever I wanted to check or copy some previous writing I could zip quickly between a preloaded list, instead of sifting through…

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The Sexorific Picture That Launched 63,000 words

Terri Herman-Ponce

I’m a visual and so inspiration for my stories usually comes from a movie or a TV show. In the case of my latest book, it came from a picture. A sultry, sexy, smoldering picture.

It was probably around May of last year when I was surfing around, looking at pictures of sexy men. I wasn’t looking for inspiration, really–at least not of the book kind–but when I saw this photo…


My first thought? What are they doing? Why are they there? What is he thinking and why does she look like she’s being dismissed? And does that bother her? Does it bother him? Is this a relationship of convenience, comfort, or something more? Are they conniving a heist? Feeling guilty over a love affair? Or hiding from authorities because of a murder they’ve committed?

The questions led to all kinds of thoughts, and then BAM! The…

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Bullet Journaling

Sounds like a fascinating process…

Welcome to Sherwood

I’ve been intrigued by Bullet Journaling since I first heard about it last August. The person who conceived of the system, Ryder Carroll, explains it very well on the web site, so I won’t try to give a full run down here. Essentially Bullet Journaling is a system for keeping track of your daily tasks and notes using a pen and notebook. If you haven’t seen it in action you’re probably thinking, “Yeah, that’s a diary, moron.” Well it is a little more and a little less than that. At its heart is a concept called “rapid logging,” in which you record brief bits of data as they come to you. Each entry is a short bullet item, where you lead the note with a simple symbol that signifies if the item is an event (an open circle), a task (a check box) or a note (small, solid bullet). Additional…

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Write (More) Effortlessly With Markdown

Happy days! Markdown on WordPress… happy dance… 🙂

WordPress.com News

Markdown has arrived on WordPress.com! Some of you may respond with “Finally!” Others might be asking, “what’s that?” Markdown is a quick way to add formatted text without writing out any HTML.

Let’s take a closer look. Here is an example of how Markdown looks while editing a post:

Markdown Example in the Text Editor

This is how that same example looks in the Reddle theme after it’s converted to HTML:

Markdown Example shown in the Reddle theme

Writing with Markdown

Markdown lets you compose links, lists, and other styles using regular characters and punctuation marks. If you want a quick, easy way to write and edit rich text without having to take your hands off the keyboard or learn a lot of complicated codes and shortcuts, then Markdown might be right for you.

For example, to emphasize a word, you just wrap it with an asterisk on both ends, like this: *emphasized*. When your writing is published, it will instead look like this:

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Asking “What If?” & Exploring the Unknown–A Final Word on Writing Horror

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Fear is the most important tool in any writer’s toolbox. Fear is the beating heart of conflict, no matter the genre. Fear of death. Fear of losing love, not finding love, not recognizing love. Fear of change. Fear of remaining the same. In Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize-Winning Novella The Road, the story was less about a fear of death and more about the fear of survival at the expense of one’s humanity. In The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan explores the fear of continuing generational curses.

In Winter’s Bone, Woodrell examines fear of family, what it takes to possibly betray family and risk death by turning on kin. In Virginia Woolf’s classic Mrs. Dalloway, Woolf probes the fear of being meaningless. Alduous Huxley’s Brave New World explores the fear of government, the tendency of the masses to devolve to mediocrity, and the dangers of society…

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Scrivener and Save The Cat!: Using Metadata To Find Your Scene’s Essential Truth

John Castle

The individual scene is the cell in the body of your story. But your overall story structure is the life’s blood of your scenes. Where many writers lose momentum — myself included — is finding the synergy between the cell and the blood, between the scene and the structure.

Well, thanks to Scrivener and the Save The Cat! story structuring method, I believe I have the answer to that dilemma. And it’s as easy as the metadata pane. Here’s how my metadata pane is set up, and you can do it the same way, or use any variation that suits you:

46th Mercury The Big Idea

Let me briefly define each of those fields:

This is where I describe “A versus B”, the essential conflict central to the scene. It could be, “Joe vs. Daisy” or “Joe vs. his phone”, could be “Daisy vs. the washing machine” or “Joe vs. his conscience.” The…

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