I love this meme. This meme is both my reading and writing life.
I wrote 2,400-something words on Sir Isaac's story tonight. I wish I could just get the whole thing out at once! But a girl has to sleep. :-)
Coming soon: My 2019 Top 12 Kissing Books, Audiobook Sample, AND some serious fun. 2020 is going to be an incredible year. You're going to want to pay attention. ;-)
There is no rest for most writers. I keep myself especially busy because I want to get all these story ideas written down and shared with the world. My imagination spins and spins each story a dozen different ways before I ever write it down. Then there's all the stuff that goes along with a single published book: covers, marketing, audiobooks, edits, promotion, etc. It certainly keeps me busy.
So here we are. Another book is about to release, another has been announced... I get this question all the time: What comes next?
Musical Inspiration for a Love Story
I've only recently been introduced to the concept of creating a playlist to go along with a book. I'd seen it done before, mind you, but I never really associated that idea with the way I write. Then my magnificent friend, Arlem Hawks, started asking our writing group what songs we thought matched up to our characters and their love stories. I happened to be starting work on Miss Devon's Choice at the time, and my hero in that novel is a musician. I was struggling to capture him on paper the way he was in my head, so I started listening to violin music. Suddenly, he came to life.
Every time I struggled with a scene in Miss Devon's Choice, I found a song I thought conveyed the emotion of a character or the overall feelings I was trying to create between the two of them. Before I knew it, I had a playlist I listened to every time I started to write about Christian and Rebecca.
Now that a few months have gone by since the book was published, I still find myself listening to that particular list. I'm going to share it here, and I think this will be part of my writing process for all future books, too.
For your reading AND listening pleasure, the Rebecca & Christian Playlist.
There are so many options now that we have the internet. But some sources are better than others!
I love the Regency time period. As I've taken my writing journey into this era, I've come across lots of authors who have said, "I'd love to write Regency, but the research scares me! I wouldn't know where to start." If the research is the only thing holding you back, you should know that there has never been a better time to write about the 19th century than in the 21st century. :-)
We have access to so many amazing documents and sources. I'm happy to share some of the best things I've found in my time writing. Keep in mind, though, that you need to do your best due-diligence. If your story hinges on a historical fact that a blogger mentions, dig a little deeper and confirm your source is correct.
Historical readers, yes, even those who read historical romance, have different expectations than people who read contemporary. They're reading historical for a reason, and one of those reasons is often the desire to know more about that time period and/or to immerse themselves in that period. You will often read, in negative reviews of historicals, that the readers hate it when something "pulls them out" of the story. This can be anything from using titles wrong (a sin of which I'm guilty, and repenting of), to having characters use modern language and slang, to having something show up in the story that hadn't been invented yet.
This isn't meant to scare you at all, but to reinforce how important it is for you to double-check your sources. Find beta-readers, or critique partners, or editors who are familiar with the genre and the time period. They'll help a lot. I can't tell you how many times my critique partners have helped me out by saying, "Um, that word wasn't actually used yet." Or the oh-so-helpful, "That weapon your bad guy is using? Yeah. That was invented forty years after your story."
Do. Your. Research. Please. Poorly researched stories get bad reviews. Simple as that.
One thing you might like to do is Follow my Regency Pinterest Board. I put lots of stuff up there as I find it for my own research, and I find following other authors helpful. Now, on to my list...
I am at a writer's conference in the Phoenix area. It got up to 106 degrees here today. Yeouch. Thankfully, the conference center thermostat seems to be set at about 50 degrees, so I'm cold more often than hot.
I love writer's conferences. I'm surrounded by people who do what I do, who understand the joys and pains of writing, and creating, and receiving looks of skepticism when they admit to people that they write stories. Writers are amazing.
The keynote speaker at the conference, Martine Leavitt, discussed the importance of perseverance. She referred to books, scientific studies, and her own experience as a writer and a teacher of writers. To succeed in the writing world, and any endeavor, you have to keep moving forward even when you're getting nothing but push-back from the world and people around you. I liked that. She also told us to wake up at 5:00 AM to write, every day. I didn't like that. But I'm willing to give it a try.
Today, at this amazing conference surrounded by people like me, I'm actually really struggling with the fourth item on Martine's "secret of success" list. Hope. I don't know if it's just a bad day, if it's mental exhaustion or physical exhaustion, but I feel really done in. I'm tired. I feel like a fraud. I don't think my writing is good enough. Really, I've had one of those weeks where these feelings have just been building on top of each other.
It's like someone keeps handing me bricks, and each one has a label. "You need more direction in this story." "You need to be a better mom and not write so much." "You've got a lot of editing to do if this story is going to work." "Your character has no direction." "You got this detail wrong." "You need to be healthier." Most of these bricks, really, I'm making for myself. No one is really being mean to me. But I just feel discouraged. I could carry one or two of these bricks for a while until I fixed the problem and found a way to put them down again, but I feel like I've got a bag full.
Thank goodness for supportive friends and a loving spouse. It would be a really, really hard week without them.
But really, if you wonder what creative types are like, this sort of thing happens to us a lot. I see it all the time in my friends' newsfeeds. They feel discouraged, down-trodden, exhausted, and like they aren't good enough to be creating their art/books/music. I read a study that said creative people are 3 times more likely to struggle with depression than people in other industries. Why are we so hard on ourselves? I don't know.
But if you know someone who is extra creative, who puts time and energy into making something, tell them how awesome they are. They could probably use the boost in confidence. :-)
And I'll be fine. I just need to get over this hump and get back to work. Y'all have a great day, and do something you love!
Affiliate Links Used In Posts
Sally Britton's books on Goodreads
His Bluestocking Bride (Branches of Love #3)
ratings: 1062 (avg rating 4.21)
The Earl and His Lady (Branches of Love #4)
ratings: 1008 (avg rating 4.36)
The Gentleman Physician (Branches of Love #2)
ratings: 680 (avg rating 4.20)
The Social Tutor (Branches of Love #1)
ratings: 656 (avg rating 4.11)
Miss Devon's Choice (Branches of Love #5)
ratings: 517 (avg rating 4.45)