Everyone say, a big hello to my dear, dear friend, Edie Ramer!!!!
Thanks to Karin for having me here today. Most people don’t know Karin knocked into my head the most important element in fiction: Emotion, emotion, emotion! When I started writing fiction, I read all the how-to articles and writing books. Each book emphasized showing instead of telling. I followed their directions. If I couldn’t show it, I didn’t write it.
This was years before Margie Lawson taught her Empowering Characters’ Emotions and Deep Edits classes. At the time I was reading short stories, which fit into my crazy life style. Short stories have to be tight â€“ all muscles and no flab â€“ and I started writing and selling short stories that bulged with muscles. Writing tight became ingrained in me, something I did naturally when I wrote.
Then Karin and I became CPs. At first we were tentative, tiptoeing around each other’s pages. When I finally told Karin I thought her first scene should be cut (chapters later!), she said, “Why didn’t you tell me this earlier?” She insisted I tell her the truth, even when it hurt. When she sent us her chapters, she’d say “Rip ’em up, ladies.” I did. In return, she ripped up mine too.
On my pages, the comment she wrote most often was “How does he/she feel?” A great question, but I didn’t get it. I’d think, “Can’t people read this and realize how this person feels?”
Now I know. They can’t. 😯 Sometimes, yes, but not always. And it’s vital to make the reader feel emotion. As we read, we live vicariously through the characters. We want to be so deep within them we feel the frightened hitch in their throat, their bodies heating with sexual need, tension fisting inside their stomach. We want to be one with the characters. We want to feel their passions, their pain, their triumphs, their sadness.
Now as I write my scenes, I hear Karin’s voice in my head, saying, “How does he/she feel?”
Karin, on the last scene I wrote, my hero is feeling determined and angry. The heroine is scared. As for me, I’m scared too. Also excited! Thrilled! Fabulous!
Voting for the American Title V contest starts TODAY!
For those who don’t know, Dorchester Publishing’s American Title V contest, given in conjunction with Romantic Times Magazine, is romance writers’ version of American Idol. The winner gets a publishing contract with Dorchester!
The contest has 5 rounds, one round each month, with excerpts and voting instructions posted on the Romantic Times Magazine website. This year there are 8 finalists. From today to Nov. 23rd, you can vote for the first line you like best. The entries should be up mid to late morning, which is when voting will begin. Voting directions are on the page.
I hope you’ll vote for the book you like best. Of course I hope that will be DEAD PEOPLE, but all of us entered the contest because publishing is our dream. Vote and help someone’s dream come true. Help someone feel fabulous!
What about you? How are your characters feeling today? And how are you feeling? I hope you feel fabulous too. J
***Note from Karin: Personally I love the American Title contest, it’s a great way to get read and drum up name recognition. I’m inviting you all to ask Edie all about the process, and her journey since being notified she was a finalist. She’s been a busy little bee ever since!
***Another note from Karin: I have read DEAD PEOPLE; it’s funny, sexy, and so very unique that I can’t see why anyone would not vote for DEAD PEOPLE!! Go vote! Now! This minute. What are you waiting for? Goooooooooo!!!