Out Now On Pre-Sale : 365 Days Of Writing Prompts For Romance Writers! #amwriting

Happy Monday guys, I’m extremely proud to announce that ‘lock down’ during this pandemic world-wide has been helpful in some ways for me, at least with writing productivity.  365 Days Of Writing Prompts For Romance Writers is out now in paperback and e-book on pre-sale, and will be free on Kindle Unlimited to read.  Writing prompts are everywhere! But I thought I’d write a very comprehensive book with 365 writing prompts for romance writers especially,  that can be used all year around. You’ll find writing prompts for every sub-genre of romance. Take a look here’s more details…

Blurb

With 365 Days Of Writing Prompts for Romance Writers, there’s no need for additional notepads or places to store your ideas.  For each day of the year there’s a dedicated space for plotting your ideas, with a writing prompt to create an outline for a romance short story, novella, novel or even flash fiction. All you need to do is adapt the characters or setting to your sub-genre.  For each day of the year you’ll find a creative, engaging, fun and challenging writing  prompt, with situations or people to craft your next story. There is also a personal blogging challenge with prompts, for every day for romance  writers to  engage with their readers, grow their following, find new readers and allow their audience to get to know them. With 356 Days Of Writing Prompts For Romance Writers you’ll never be stuck for a romance story idea, or blog topic again! Each month has a focus. Dip in and out of each day, week, month as you wish.

January- New Directions Love

February- Unexpected New Love

March- Fresh Starts and New Beginnings

April-  Love in Unexpected Places

May- Historical, Regency and Multicultural

June- Contemporary Romance

July- Paranormal, Horror and Dark Romance

August- Christmas and Holiday Love

September- Mixed Bag of Goodies!

October- December Romance Writers’ Blog Writing Challenge Prompts

Award-Winning Romantic Suspense and Thriller Author Kim Knight, also shares her secrets on writing page-turning romance, and her experience with writing prompts that allowed her to co-author two novels, and seventeen short-stories to date. So, romance writers around the world, grab your pen and your copy and get ready to write every day of the year and never run out of creativity. Note the paperback version will allow you to plot your ideas all in one space in the book, and let go of your hundreds of different idea notepads.

 

I love writing prompts and have found them so useful over the years!  They’re great for motivation and inspiration for all writers, I highly recommend using writing prompts if you’ve never done it. So here’s to a new venture. This is book one of a series of  “Savvy Writer’s” guides with writing prompts I’m planning to self-publish, in between books accepted by my publisher. In general I would recommend this  book of writing prompts ( without being bias lol) to romance writers who are ‘seasoned’ as well as those who aspire to write romance, no matter your background. This is a helpful book of writing prompts to help you outline romance stories of all heat levels, that are realistic, heart-felt and page turning! I wish all romance writers well. I wrote a blog about tips on writing realistic romance a 101 a little while back which may also be helpful.  Seven tips I recommend.

How To Use The Book:

The paper version will allow you to actually plot your stories in the book itself as there’s space. The e-book version is the same, the space is there however of course you can’t write in it. There’s no difference in the content.

The best way to use this writing reference is to keep in mind these things five small things.

  1. Make every prompt your own- you will find situations or people within each prompt. Nothing is set in stone, each prompt is just an idea or even outline or direction if you like for where you could head. I don’t really recommend (unless you really feel drawn to my prompt) that you stick to it and not put your own spin on it somehow. Take a prompt and add, subtract, what you feel suits your style, story telling, experience or even desire. Basically don’t feel stuck with what you have it’s just an idea to get your juices flowing.
  2. No matter your genre, steal it and use it! So as you know when by now, in the romance genre  I’m a romantic suspense writer in principle. Yes I have written other stuff and yes I can do I always default here because I love to read it and write it. So with these prompts I have kept them as generic as possible. This means if you like an idea, and wish to make it a paranormal, urban or fantasy romance, go for it! Like I said don’t feel stuck. Take the general idea and flip it to your own script.
  3. Heat and steam levels are completely free for all! I like my romance steamy, maybe you’re a sweet and clean writer, that’s cool. Do what you wish in terms of heat levels, if you want to ramp up a prompt and make it high in heat…please do, I’d love to read it too!
  4. Dip in and out of each month, week etc as you see fit. You can go through January-December or mix it up.
  5. The last three months of the year all the prompts are personal blogging prompts and I recommend that if you have not already, you really start to develop an author site or use your current one and do some personal blogs. Again you don’t need to wait until October to start, start today!

 

 Head To Amazon- Click  Here E-book Version 3.99! On Pre-Sale Now! Release Date 22nd June 2020.

365 days -romance graphic

 

 

 

101: Writing Realistic Romance, Seven Tips #amwriting

writing Everyone has their own style of storytelling, believe me I know! I’m a big rebel when it comes to writing in this genre!  I don’t believe in following the crowd, I hate it. I use the present tense and first person often. While a majority of this genre is third person and past tense. That said, I have been pulled to write this short 101 to helpfully help other aspiring romance writers, and anyone for that matter, as this simple advice can be applied across the board in all genres really. Also, I’ve not written a writing 101 for ages!!

I’ve been compelled to write this as, one I read a hella-lot of romance, two I’ve read a hella-lot of romance that’s sadly unrealistic in some ways. This genre has this ‘reputation’ and I feel us romance writers should do what we can, to fight that battle. Now, I don’t claim to be an expert. But I do claim to be a kick-ass romance author that I will blow my own trumpet! And I will admit, that I won’t be everyone’s cup of tea you either feel me, or you don’t as a reader. But I’ll always be feelin’ myself LOLZ.  That’s because I have mastered ‘Kim’s style’ like all writers, I’ve got to a place where I feel happy with what my pen does, and at ease if others don’t like it.  Not everyone will like what you write, but if you write for yourself first, and use your own style whatever comes after is just a bonus, praise of critique. Because, you write for you first.

I’m now on novel number eleven, so from this experience here’s my simple advice and take from a humble POV, that I’d give to craft engaging and believable romance. So we can fight the whining  readers who find it ‘unrealistic’.

Characters

As a big reader I love it when characters are so believable, realistic and engaging to read. When they’re not, it can be a turn off. Not everyone is going to like your characters, and so what if they don’t they’re may be the wrong reader. The point is, when it comes to characters who are they? This is my starting point before I think about my plot. This is because, if you’re  going to write a realistic romance ( or any genre story), the characters will be what drives the plot. Not and never the other way around.  Remember this, think of your characters like this as the plot drivers.

Many may start with the plot and fill out characters, cool okay if that’s what’s best for you. But you may find that you”re  so busy spinning your plot, your characters do unrealistic things, and fall flat. I recently read two books one romance and one other, and this was my experience as a reader. If you know your characters well,  you can portray them better. They will react, think, move, talk, walk more vividly in your plot if you can focus on them first. This helps massively with character development also.

Ever read a book and the characters are boring, or they are from a certain part  of the world yet they speak perfect English in their conversations? Hmmm, chances are the  writer has skipped this part. Hence they speak perfect English, or just flat and not real. For example, when they are from the depths of south London for example and may have a different accent.

When I wrote a particular story for The Suspenseful Collection #2- Blurred Lines, I placed myself and Didi in the story lol. So when I portrayed myself in speech, I did not say, ‘oh I’m so sorry about that, here let me help you.’ I said, ‘oh no, I’m sorry, ‘er lemmie help ya’. That’s because I’m from London, and a certain part and I would not in casual speaking speak like the Queen herself!   Didi and I also had a Russian female in The Suspenseful Collection Volume #1 and of course  she said, ‘ello, yass ‘ow can help you.’ rather than ‘Hello, yes how I can I help you.’ The point is, little things like this matter, as well as who they are as people.  You may think, yeah Kim this is basic stuff. Trust, you’d be surprised  how many can easily forget, during character development.

This brings me to character development and thinking about it a  little deeper, if you start by really thinking about who your characters are, outside of things like age, race etc. But who they are as people, where they have been, how they react to things and most importantly their flaws as people. You will have more rounded, believable and developed characters that drive your plot. Rather than a plot with flat characters, doing very unrealistic things.

Flaws and Growth…

Okay so we all love a romance ( or any genre book really) where the characters are not only real, but we as readers experience and see their growth. Don’t forget this, once you know who your characters are as people, what flaws do they have? And these flaws should help drive the plot and show how they grow from it…. why? As it shows growth of each character, develops story and adds to reality! People have life experiences and we all grow from them, love and romance are no exception to the rule. If anything love and romance really do allow us all to grow in some shape or form. So, give your characters a flaw or two, then make sure in the plot you show somehow that they have overcome it, or made steps to over come it, changed or grown from it.  This could be so subtle in your writing, it does not have to be over the top, but if you can show it well it should make good believable reading. It makes the characters real, the situations real, and the best bit allows readers to experience the plot better.

Plot, Story-line and Storytelling…

Okay y’all like I said, I’ve read a hella-lot of books, especially romance and I feel a plot needs to be very realistic in as many books, if not all as possible. End of story, period and full fucking stop!! This genre has such a reputation for delivering ‘unrealistic stories’ and I hate it, and I will defend my genre I love to read and write until the cows come home! But, as a reader, I gotta say… yeah there’s some truth. Don’t get caught up in trying to spin the perfect ‘fairy tale’ that things seem unreal.  Ask yourself…

1.Would this really happen?

2.Could this even be possible?

3. And would my CHARACTER react like this, or how would they react and why?? What would my characters do in the situations I have placed them?

Where’s the challenges?…

Now if you, one know your characters, two they have realistic flaws, they should not be doing unrealistic stuff…right? Good glad we agree.

But, how do we keep it realistic, in my personal and humble opinion as a romance author, it’s down to the challenges we give them. By this I mean, if there’s no challenge and everything just fits into place we all know love and life does not roll like that! So it can come across as unrealistic, there needs to be some kind of ‘challenge’ and I use the word loosely to mean some kinda ‘debate’, ‘back and forth’ ‘questions’ or even just a good ‘ol dose of drama to keep the plot realistic. Don’t go too mad ( unless it’s like romantic suspense), but for good, clean, sweet romance a little challenge or dilemma where a decision or choices need to be made are key. And for romantic suspense, ha! Well, bring the heat with challenges!! 🙂 But keep them realistic to the characters, their environment and where they are at in life no matter what kind of romance you’re writing.

My best advice is, place your plot outline in the real world, in the time frame your story is set. So if it’s the present day would what you’ve outlined…

1. Have a chance of happening? Is this a realistic challenge to the character, time-frame and who they are?

3. Could it be believable? What is a realistic challenge for this couple to either be together, come together, or hold them back for some reason. Where is the push and pull before they can be happy?

4. Does it go inline with the challenges, flaws, and issues you’ve given the characters and the overall plot? Does it work?

5. Is there an actual challenge here worth telling? Is there more than sex in your plot? Does it develop into an actual story involving the characters? 

Pace…

All right y’all now, I believe when or if there’s  an issue with pace, it might be because of one of two things.

  1. There’s no fucking story at all to tell or is being told! And really pages are just being filled with words- the story does not move!
  2. The story does not have ‘peaks’ to keep the reader engaged. So, the pace seems like this ———————————————- all on one level and not really moving.

If you’ve really looked at your story line,  plot  or the outline whatever you call it, you should be able to see if there is a story really, and eliminate point one. If so, now where are the areas of ‘peak’ ‘heat’ tension’ whatever you want to call it. Make them clear, for you and the reader. Then decide how you will build up to these peaks. By this I mean what’s your approach to bringing the readers to these peaks, is it a sub-plot, surprise, mystery, a twist, or are you just ensuring that the story is told at a good pace and not dragged out.

You don’t have to spin mystery, surprise, or suspense into a romance, it could just be a nice sweet story ( something I’m not great at writing lol), or a contemporary romance. The point is, as you write your actual story keep up that damn pace! End as many chapters as you can with something interesting for the reader, and for the love of God keep moving! Without skimming or rushing, just make sure your pace is even.

  1. Start
  2. Middle/climax etc.
  3. level off/ OMG what will they do??/tension.
  4.  Bang…ending!

This is the most simple way I can  put it with pace. I would avoid leaving all the juicy stuff until the later part of your story, readers may fall off, lose interest or just feel that ‘the pace is slow’. Keep them interested. As a side note, I mentioned reality as a big thing. So if you leave all the juicy stuff to the end, is this realistic to how life would go, in the situations you’ve placed your characters?

Think about it. Do life and love just fit into place? Nope, think not. Especially if you have a plot with some drama, if your characters just roll with it is that really believable??? Adjust reaction if you can to fit the pace.

Insta- Love?

Ya know lots of readers may dislike this, I kinda do  as a reader as long as it’s believable. That’s the deal breaker. If you like to write insta-romance- do your thang! I like to read it and  have written it where characters connect fast. Remember what I said about pace…. That said, if you serve up some insta-love have you shown a reason ‘why they can’t get enough of each other?’  Give them some kind of connection. There is no use allowing your characters to say, ‘I love you’  ( a lot), when you can’t even see why they would love each other. It sucks, it’s unrealistic and well, where’s the connection more to the point? How or why have they fallen for each other, even if it was pretty soon.

Now connection could be simple things, common interests, both want the same things in life, at the same point in life, etc. People connect when there is a connection no matter how small, we all know and have experienced this. Establish the connection….and keep it real! Show the reader why there is a believable chance these people would fall in love, even if it’s soon.

I read a book recently and I could not see why the author’s characters had a connection, and that placed doubt in my mind about the story, reality, and why these two people were in love. But they said ‘ I love you’ a hella-lot though *rolls eyes*.

In my humble view again, if they fall fast or not, show them falling, show the change of heart! Don’t forget this, don’t write a car crash of love and  not show the change of heart, or the development of feelings in your story. Even in a very subtle way as word count can be limited at times. If you do show this, It will…help it to seem realistic! That’s the name of the game.

How Much Sex, is Too Much Sex?…

Well, this is a hard balance to strike, but in my honest view as a reader yes, there is such thing as too much sex WHEN and only WHEN the rest of the plot is not developed enough. Simple.

You decide on how much or little sex you want,  it’s not for anyone to say…but just remember this can not be the be all, and end all of how you bring your story alive. Consider carefully where you place it, why and what it adds to your overall development of the actual story. Don’t just scatter it around to fill pages, and hope that a steamy story will hold your reader, it won’t and probably can’t when there is nothing else going on. *Shrugs shoulders* I’m just being honest as a reader, and that’s my view as a writer too.

So off the top of my head these are a few tips! I will come back and keep adding to this post, if and when I feel the need. I wish every romance writer the best of luck! Let’s fight that damn reputation we have for the genre, and pen some page-turning and realistic stories! *High five*

 

 

 

 

 

Prologues: Love Or Hate?…It’s A Game Changer! #MFRW

2019 badge blog challenge 640x640 Amerigo BT

Interesting writing prompt for this week’s blog challenge, a really relevant one for me. Just when I thought I couldn’t possibly become a better writer than I already am,  (just kiddin’ 🙂 ),  I discovered the beauty of a prologue (not kiddin’ about that), and highly recommend using them to writers who have not tried it. (Not kiddin’ about that either).

Seriously, though… prologues?… no. Up until recently, I never used one in any of  my works, not in the true sense of one. Then I did in my last novel I finished this month, from the experience I realised  it’s a game changer for the story, reader and me as a writer…. yes, it improved all three elements of the latter.

When I  published the first book I ever completed, the  publisher at the time really encouraged prologues in books, but what I have learned since then is that how they encouraged their use, was not really a prologue in its true form. It was more like a copy and paste of an existing part of the book, to ‘grab the reader’ , I was told at the time. So I went with it, it really made no difference to me,  the story I don’t think or even the reader. As they re-read the same thing  later in the book. From research, from what I understand and correct me if I’m wrong, a prologue is an introduction or scene setting and not something that appears again later down the line.

In my most recent works Sacrifices a romantic suspense, with a hint of history to it, once it went through a round of editing, my editor pointed out ‘Kim, this really needs something here.’ I walked away like ‘hmm, okay so I need to add a new scene to ‘introduce’ the story.’ This is largely as, if you have seen the film Pulp Fiction, I have ‘stolen’   ‘been inspired’ the talented movie director Quentin Tarantino’s, excellent story telling technique. I  start my story twenty-five years ago, but not twenty-five years ago from the present day…from the 1960s! Which makes the opening scene the mid- late 1980s…then tell the story ‘back to front’ if you like, to end up in the present day, while moving through different points and key events from 1960s- 1980s in different countries,  and then the present day!

 

women writer funny

I know I’m nuts, right!? Imagine how much fact checking and challenge it was, to give birth to a story like that. Thankfully, and very proudly it works, it came together finally. So anyway, once I got that feedback I reflected, then decided  I do need a prologue in the present day, before we head back and move forward. I really researched into what the general feel is on prologues, and the use of them as I never worked with one, or used one before properly. I’ve simply never needed to.  A lot of what I read, stated that ‘you should be able to tell the story without a prologue or a epilogue.’ I reflected, I saw this point of view and understood it, as that’s how felt before, I wrote Sacrifices.  

I also read a lot of articles that advised romance writers to ‘stay away from them’! One very popular romance author wrote a very interesting article advocating using one, also stating that in her experience ‘readers loved them’, especially epilogues. Yes…I used an epilogue also, but this was already there due to the nature of the story, and ending.

So in all honesty, I believe that as a writer, experimenting with a prologue has actually made me a bit of a stronger writer. It feel it has also added an extra layer of ‘wow, that’s a cool story, and not a rehash of current romance themes’ to my current work. I also feel that readers will be able to keep up with the pace, and connect with the story, due to the technique I used to write it with the addition of the prologue.

Now, I’m a strong supporter from this experience, and I’ve learned what a true prologue is, not a copy and past to ‘grab someone’. It’s a whole new scene, setting, part of the story or peel of the onion to unwrap, to draw a reader in. It’s also very very helpful when writing from a historical perspective, where you are not always in the present day.

Yeah…I think I’ve convinced myself that I am a prologue lover, as well as a epilogue lover and I would do it all over again, if the story called for it with no hesitation. I’m always one to happily break rules to…so as a romance writer, I won’t ‘stay away’ from them as generally in the genre it’s not something that is used often or supported, so they say. I’ll do what the story is calling me to, and allow myself to become better and write stronger stories by not being bound to rules! So in response to this week’s writing prompt for romance writers ‘ prologues helpful, or hurtful?‘…. Helpful 100%.  I recommend you all do too, look at your last or current works, regardless of what you write or your genre. Do you need a prologue, what about an epilogue? It might just help, and change the game.

Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market: Have You Got A 2018 Copy? #writerslife

Hey, the 2018 guide is out with a discount and free shipping, if you’re in the USA. Boo! I only get the discount. Just got my copy can’t wait until it ships. It’s on sale now $24.99, cheap as chips as us British say. Check out Writer’s Digest website on the link below. There’s a guide for every type of writer, poets, children’s authors etc.  May the creativity be with you!

https://www.writersdigestshop.com/novel-and-short-story-writers-market-2018

Kim’s Top Tip: Editing Vs Proof Reading, So What’s The Difference? #writerslife #writingtips #amwriting

women writer funny

 

Good question! Okay so as part of the writing tips I want to share here and there, this one came to me last month after writing, editing and proof reading two books to release.  I’m not an expert, I don’t claim to be one, I would never swap my role as a writer for an editor. This is my take and advice on what I’ve learned. Let’s get into it!

To me editing comes before proof reading. This is the natural progression I follow when I write. Write, edit, edit, edit, proof read, then proof read!

What is Editing?

To me once I’ve wrote the last word, in the last chapter, on the last page, in the last paragraph I’m ready to edit. I don’t edit as I write. Why? Personally… I’ll never get any writing done. I’m a hardcore editor of my own work before I put it in front of my actual editor. If I spend to much time on this I’ll never create, so I don’t do it until I’m done writing.

Personally what I do is read through my work checking for these things in general:

  • Consistency in names, places, dates, times.
  • Plot holes.
  • Tense, spelling, use of English etc.
  • That I am happy with the storytelling, build, heat, crime scene, suspense, all that jazz. It’s as I want it to be told.
  • Check facts. I often use real places and events when writing.
  • Character development, I like to make them pop as best I can and not be flat.

My aim: to ensure it’s accurate factually, consistent.  (Hopefully) no one will read it and go huh?.. What Kim?

What is Proof Reading?

In my view once I’ve got my work cleaned up, and my characters stand out, it’s then time to proof read it. My focus is not on the nitty gritty above, as all this is as best as I can get it. It’s now time to read through my work and check the flow of the story also see if I can spot a missed full stop, capital letter the minor details that make me shriek in a high pitched voice, what’s that b*tch typo doing there??  🙂 . I’ll proof read maybe a day or two after I’ve done the edit(s). Then hand to my editor to look over. She then works her red pen magic, and hands me back my work with her personal edit and proof read. I also send a rough copy to my Beta Readers at the same time, they come back with comments…. the whole process of correction (edit) proof read starts again based on what I get back!

Aim:  Personally, proof reading for me is to pick up the minor things and polish up, check the flow.

So what’s the difference Kim? You’re doing the same thing.

Yes and smarty pants! To me the edit is more focused and I really cut up my work, chop scenes, add scenes, develop characters and plot. I don’t do that in a proof read, as this is already done. The proof read is to check what I’ve done in edit makes sense to me, and hopefully you… and there is logic, it’s readable.

Do You Really Need To Do Both? Can’t The Editor Do it?

Like I said when I posted a tip on how to find an editor and who should editor your work, you can read it here, editors don’t write the best sellers, page turners or five star rated books writers do. Personally, as a writer I feel  it’s my work, don’t be lazy. My advice and personal view is don’t fall back on only your editor, or Beta Readers to write that page turning five star book, you do the work.  Wanna write? Good …Writing = editing= proof reading= your A-game = happy readers hopefully= some five star reviews hopefully.  You do the math, still not convinced you should do a bit of DIY, and not leave it all in the hands of an editor?  Great glad you agree 🙂 .

I’ll see you soon with another tip! Happy writing.

Kim’s Top Tips: How To Write A Steamy Sex Scene *wink #amwriting #romance #sex

Hmm well that got your attention didn’t it! Step right up, this is Kim’s class on creating steam in your stories. So last month, or maybe earlier this month… I can’t remember the days roll into one I’ve been so busy. Wait.. wait no it was this month, I set up a new  blog habit of  writing a tip or tick I use or have learned. I started to get messages from aspiring published authors and writers asking me to read their “hot new shit”, they wrote LOL.  They asked for some tips and advice. I was like of course! Lemme see it. So here I go with tip #2 you can read tip #1 on editing right here.

First I want to say, I’m no expert I’m not a know-it-all I too am learning, these tips are just my take on things. Second, I’m not an erotica writer at all. All I do when I’m not writing crime or general thriller /suspense is write romance, with a bit of steam. I like to add some heat to my writing. Second, I’m not overly explicit with sex, I’m a mother and one day my son will read my work *cringe.* Also I’m fed up of my mum looking at me over her glasses like “Kimberly… I’m on page sixty six?!” Then I’m like what the hell did I write on page sixty six?! *cringe* so let’s get into it! Here’s my tips.

What is steam/heat?

Well according to standard romance writing norms, it’s the level of sex  / intimacy in your writing. The amount / frequency and how sexy it is. eg is it very explicit with graphic details, or in the middle more sensual but there is a clear idea of who is doing what, and to who, or less so and all the characters do is hold hands.

High heat: lots of sex, graphic, explicit language. Your kindle will be on fire. ( Erotica).

Mid range heat: moderate levels of sex,  or often, graphic but maybe not as explicit. But the word cock is used! For example 🙂 Your kindle will steam up for sure.

Low level : nothing to write home about.

How to decide on your level of steam/heat?

Personally, I….

  • Let the story talk to me, the plot kind of dictates how steamy I get.
  •  Consider what else has happened in the story.
  • Consider my characters, their age, who they are as people, and what is suitable realistically for them as people.

Personally I’m mid range heat, generally as I’m not an erotica writer. My advice to those wanting to heat up their writing, is to consider the points above. Also remember you don’t have to write romance to bring the heat. A classic example is when Didi and I wrote It Was The First Time I Killed A Man,  for The Suspenseful Collection that’s a crime short story with mid- high range heat levels in terms of how descriptive it is. However the character (Lisa) made it appropriate to bring the heat, because of who she is. Do you see what I mean? Work heat into your writing regardless of genre  based on your characters, and who they are if it fits. You don’t have to just be a romance writer. Just make sure it is appropriate, and the level is good for the characters, don’t write a sex mad underage kid.

Okay smarty pants Kim, how do I actually write sex, I’m nervous and shy

Good question. Again, personally I approach writing about sex, love and emotions from this angle

  • Get over shyness, sex is natural  write like you’re proud regardless of who the characters are, I stepped into the shoes of an explicit lesbian serial killer for God sake. I got over the “what will people think” by the time we blogged it.  Mean what you write give it heart. Don’t write like a chump!
  • I’m a girl, as you can see.. so for me naturally I tend to focus on the emotional side, not just inserting body parts and the “ohhh ahhh do me now part”. I get into character emotionally. What do your characters feel, about the moment, the other person, the situation etc. I express this or show it via their actions and dialogue. I try not to “tell it” if I’m writing third person too much, some times you have to but try to focus on the character’s actions showing feeling.
  • Be natural, what do you honestly think is a hot sex scene?? I interviewed the erotica author Ava Sterling a few months back, her take on is was to use your experience… within reason so go for it. I’d agree with this advice from an actual erotica author.
  • Use more than just “oh it feels so good” “don’t stop” lol let the dialogue flow in a realistic way.  Also, would a real man/woman stop in the middle of doing the deed and say some dumb sh*t?? No!!… Well I hope not anyway. Keep it realistic, focus dialogue on the moment and heat of the scene, not the weather.
  • Hype up the five major senses.  This will ramp up your writing so much. Again, this is a personal thing how I write, but do what works for you. Try not to just focus on feeling or how good it feels, and characters say this over and over. Sure it feels good. We have other senses, vision, hearing etc.  What about touch how does a part of the body feel?, Taste ?* Raises eyebrows* get creative with whatever your character is tasting, that kind of thing. Or smell, I love a man who smells goooooooooooooooooood ladies you get where I’m going with this right? The weak feeling you get, when you smell a man’s aftershave unexpectedly when he’s up close. AND it’s fresh or whatever your preference is.  Whoah!!

  • I’m a sucker for it. Use this, work it into your writing how do the characters smell?
  • Don’t be over sexual and think that’s the best way to go, sometimes sensual is just as good. Unless you are writing dark erotica where foul language is needed, and most suited. In your everyday romance you don’t need to really take it there. Some raw language but not over kill.

And my best bit of advice, send your scene to someone to read, I did when I wrote Lover’s Retreat there’s a really steamy scene in there, the person I sent it to wrote back and said  “I think I need to call a babysitter, and go jump on my husband, that’s how you do it!! ” HAHA :).  Get feedback, it’s so helpful and think about what reaction you want from readers. I did in that particular scene want to make readers feel a bit hot under the collar, send your work out and see if you’ve delivered. Take all feedback and perfect your craft if you did not deliver. It’s fine, no one will know just re-work your scene.

If I’ve missed anything writers our there let me know, drop me a comment.

Happy writing!!

Kim’s Top Tops: Editing The Low Down. #amwriting #writerslife

Afternoon,

I’ve decided to blog a writing tip or two per month. You can learn what’s sparked this new feature on my blog here.   I’ve been receiving emails and Facebook messages  from aspiring  unpublished authors seeking advice. Or to read their work. Of course I said yes! Right now I’m in the final throws of preparing my fifth and sixth e-books and paperbacks, that will be released in July. So this month I’ll give my take on the dreaded editing,  as that’s where I’m at. Remember this is just my take, I don’t claim to be an expert, just offering advice.

Editing: Arghh!

For me this is the part that kills me every time. I seek perfection and quality. Trust me, I have learned it’s a marathon not a sprint, when it comes to writing a book that reads well.  I’ve learned a few tricks to get there with less headache, and save myself the re-uploads of updated versions either by myself or the publisher. Before I send my manuscript to my editor or Beta Readers, I do a hardcore read through and self-edit. Here’s what I do.

  1. Let it rest… my brain, eyes, creativity and manuscript. Once I’ve typed the last word, in the last paragraph, in the last chapter, on the last page and I think I’m done, I Leave it for at least two days. A week if  I can fight the urge. I Go back in with fresh eyes and read my work. Never read while tired, hungry, pissed off or all three! Here is what I look out  for.
  • Spelling, grammar, typos, punctuation etc.
  • Plot inconsistency: Do I start off with X and then move over to Y?
  • Words that I’ve used a lot.
  • Fact checking.
  • Tense.

 Something to have in mind when you re-read your work is, you’re too close to the          story you wrote it. You’ll never catch everything and so you MUST USE AN EDITOR    AND/OR BETA READERS.  I know, it’s an additional cost if you self publish, it slows down the process to publication, you think that you can do it on your own? Right I get it. Editors don’t  have to be  expensive to be good. All they need is a keen eye for detail, sharp and not lazy.

Who and What Makes A Good Editor?

This is my personal view…Not these people:

  • Your best friend.
  • Your mum or dad or close relative.
  • Your neighbour or anyone too close to you.

What

But why Kim??

Because:

  • They love you, so naturally they will love your work.  Even if deep down they read it and hated it. They are less likely to say. They won’t give you the honest objective view you need AS AN EDITOR.

What An Editor Can Do & Who Is A Good Editor:

A good editor will : (these are just a few things).

  • Check the standard things like grammar, spellings, format etc line for line and word for word. How well they do this depends on their standard of working.
  • Check facts.
  • Help enhance your story with feedback.
  • proof read.
  • Tell you what is and is not working in the story for them as a reader… honestly!
  • Is probably a writer themselves.

The points in red are why I personally would not ask one of my sisters, or mum to edit my work. Even if any of them were writers, they are too close to me. They can proof read and comment of course, but editing is more than this my friend. Personally, I need an outside critical view. I’m not saying don’t bounce your work off family and friends, but have an actual editor you have a professional relationship with. If you use any of the people I listed above as your editor, hey each to their own. All I’m doing is giving my personal view, experience and why I would rather a total stranger rip my work to shreds, then someone who knows me well.

What To Keep In Mind During The Editing Process:

  1. It’s your book, your story and you are in the driver’s seat. What you say goes. Take what is helpful, and disregard anything you feel tries to change you, your writing style or overall happiness with the final story.
  2. Your editor does a different job to you. They are not there to re-write the story, they are there to perfect what’s in front of them. .. so make sure it’s good.
  3. Grow some thick skin. It won’t come straight away, but as soon as you know who you are as a writer it will happen.  Be confident, but never arrogant.

Kim’s Top Tips On Selecting An Editor:

Who not to select…

  1.  If they don’t have a high standard of work once you’ve worked with them, sack them. Straight away, no questions asked. Never compromise the quality of your work with a piss poor editor no matter who they are!  And if your publisher’s editor  or standards for working does not cut it… don’t publish with them. If they are sloppy forget it. I’ve been there and parted ways happily. Remember writer it’s your name, your rep, your brand. Readers are not trying to hear “but I had a bad editor before I published” that’s YOUR responsibility. Save yourself the 1* review, due to your editor’s bad practices or lack of practices.
  2. If they can’t work to  deadlines you both agreed and it was realistic, sack them. Straight away no questions asked.
  3. If they overcharge walk away.
  4. If they don’t read the genre you write, do you think they will take the time, care,  enthusiasm and love needed over your work? Maybe not. Think about this carefully. There are benefits to an editor that loves your genre.
  5. If they don’t read … don’t even go there.

Who to jump on!

  1. Someone you click with as a person and gets you. I love my editor she rocks.
  2. Someone as meticulous, picky, and perfection seeking as you… or worse!  This can be a pain, when you see all the red pen marks on your work. But take the necessary and mull over the other comments. Also all those red pen marks help you grow as a writer. I hate it when I get my work back, with the same damn comments. Or I made a typo on the same words in this book, as I did the one before for example. That tells me I’ve not learned something or grown as a writer.
  3. Someone who writes themselves. But not always needed, it’s a bonus.
  4. Someone who reads themselves.
  5. Someone who gets your work and writing style, and won’t try to change who you are, just enhance who you are.

Remember!

Editors don’t write the best sellers, the page turners or the five star review books….you do writer so always come with your A -game. Don’t write half hearted, and think “oh my editor will help me make the story better.” No! It’s down to you, they do a different job.

Always have heart when writing and be true to you, forget those that don’t get it or you. There’s a reader out there for you.

Your editor is there to enhance the natural you, that’s all. The perfection of your creativity so it’s readable, is all that comes from your editor’s nit picking and red pen.

I hope this is helpful and pretty to the point. If I’ve missed something or you have a comment, let me know. Leave a comment.