Dance, Love, Lovers & Dreams

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It’s the last Saturday in July, and I’m writing a scene where my lovers are forced to separate… I’m using this stunning dance, performed by Witney and Chehon, to evoke emotion… how it feels to be severed from the other half of your heart.

What I love most about this dance is not just the emotion of the dance, but the entire story, which includes the story of Witney and Chehon—two people who have the courage and commitment to pursue their dreams.

What is your dream? I’d love to hear from you.

XOXO

Rebecca E. Grant, Love is Unstoppable!

www.RebeccaEGrant.com

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What is an Author?

Today on Kate Ganshert’s blog, she asks the question, “what is an author?

I thought, “I’m an author. This will be easy to answer.” But when I started to post my response, I found myself bombarded with so many thoughts, they rolled around in my brain like BBs in a boxcar. Here’s where I ended up.

I believe an author is someone who can both welcome and wrestle creativity into form. Someone who works to refine craft into skills. Someone who also has determination and the ability to make a long-term commitment because writing a book is a marathon not a sprint. Other essential aspects are:

  • The ability to believe in yourself, and surround yourself with a support system who also believes in you, and can (when necessary) gently coax you back from ‘the edge’.
  • The discipline it takes to set aside time,
  • Emotional maturity to accept feedback from others, and pursue ongoing education to learn how to become even better…

So I guess I’m saying that I believe an author is someone who is engaged in a deep love affair with story, and can stickhandle through the sometimes murky waters of creating, editing, critiquing, rewriting, growing, and believing until finally, a publishing contract is awarded.

The authors I respect most are those who write because they can’t not write. Stories, images, characters call to them until they have no choice but to respond.

It’s like that for me. Some days writing is really hard. Most days, writing is pure joy. Like any author, much of what I produce is unoriginal crap. Fortunately, it generally ends up on the on the editing floor, and only my laptop, my editor, and I ever know about it. I’m so fortunate and profoundly grateful that some of it actually makes it into a story, and the story becomes a book.

I’ve buried the lead here, but each time one of my stories becomes a book, my deepest hope is that it will touch the heart of every reader. And that’s my inspiration… that you will be touched.

Drop by Kate’s blog to read what others think. Thanks for stopping by! XOXO

Rebecca E. Grant, Love is Unstoppable

www.rebeccaegrant.com

Liberty Starr Free Read Today

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TODAY’S THE DAY! The Romance Reviews’ Summer Sizzling Reads contest is offering a chance to **win a free copy** of my cowboy romance, LIBERTY STARR–a Sensual Contemporary award winner–perfect for these hot summer nights 😉 Details at http://www.rebeccaegrant.com/contests__e-letter or http://www.theromancereviews.com/event.phpContinue reading

Win a Free Copy of LIBERTY STARR

Hey, Everyone! Tomorrow, July 24th is your chance to participate in The Romance Reviews’ Summer Sizzling Reads contest for an opportunity to win a free copy of my award-winning, contemporary cowboy romance, LIBERTY STARR!

To play: The Romance Reviews Summer Sizzling Reads contest

For the answers:  LIBERTY STARR excerpt

To purchase: Carina Press or your favorite online bookseller

Remember, it’s tomorrow (Tuesday, July 24th) only! Good luck! Happy reading! Tell everyone! XOXO

Rebecca E. Grant, Love is Unstoppable!

Structure is the Name of the Game

No matter how experienced you are, or how many books you have published, it’s always helpful to ‘sharpen the saw’ and go back to the basics. I’m deep into a rewrite of my current work in progress, and found Sloane’s tips a vastly helpful refresher.
From Sloane Taylor’s blog, “Sweet as honey… Hotter than hell”
Sloane writes… Structure is the Name of the Game
Let’s work on Syntax and Tighten the Writing. By doing the former you will achieve much of the later.

Syntax is the patterns of formations of sentences and phrases from words and the rules of the formation of grammatical sentences in a language.

Don’t you just love Webster definitions? They make everything so unclear.

In plain English, Syntax means the word arrangement and sentence structure.

Remember that old song by Tom Jones, and later Joe Cocker, “You Can Leave Your Hat On”? It was sexy, vibrant, and made you want to, ahh… er… leave only your hat on.

The phrasing is great for lyrics and dialogue, but oh so wrong for narrative. Why? You should never end a sentence with a preposition. Yes, it sounds right. Yes, we talk that way. Grammatically it is incorrect.

How should it read? “You can leave on your hat.” Sure doesn’t have the same impact does it?

Frequently, grammatical sentences don’t have the same effect and if you find this to be true save the prepositional endings for your dialogue. Sometimes you can’t help but use them in narrative because you need that force or dramatic effect. It’s okay but use it sparingly.

Here’s an example of what Redmond O’Hanlon, Into the Heart of Borneo, Vintage 1987, got away with in his novel;

“My companion, James Fenton, however, whose idea the venture was, enigmatic, balding, an ex-correspondent of the war in Vietnam and Cambodia, a jungle in himself, was a wise old man in these matters.”

I don’t know if Fenton did this as a joke on his editor, if it got missed in the edits, or he wanted this sentence to read as written. But I will guarantee you won’t get away with this type of writing with today’s editors. Be sure to read your work aloud and correct any sentences that are convoluted.

ALOUD is the key word here. Read your work aloud. I can’t stress this enough. It’s the only way to allow your ear to pick up the errors. Sure you’ll feel stupid doing it, even if you are home alone locked in your closet. Get over it. We all experience the same reaction. Here’s your option; let your book go to an editor with written garble and expect a nice form rejection in the return mail.

When you read aloud look for;

• Does your intent come across – action, suspense, romance, sorrow?
• Does something detract from your meaning?
• Fine-tune your sentences until they sound perfect, rhythmic, to your ear.

To further Tighten the Writing get rid of unnecessary words. It will make your writing sound stronger. Those expendable words are, but not limited to;

• A little
• Almost
• Anyway
• At the present time
• Began to
• By means of
• Certainly
• Considering the fact that
• Definitely
• Even
• Is/was/were
• Just
• So
• Some
• That
• Very

Be concise, don’t ramble on with your descriptions. Think about the sections you skim or avoid when you read a novel. Don’t allow that to happen to your reader. Make sure you haven’t flooded a section with so much back story or description you are boring the reader. Get rid of the excess because most of it won’t matter.

Please don’t write you book via Roget’s Thesaurus. Today’s editors want meat in a book, not fat. Readers do not want authors to written down to them. Use the everyday words of your speech and not some $20.00 word that has your reader reaching for their Webster’s.

Avoid clichés like the plague. Get the idea? You are a writer – so write something new.

I’m not being bitchy here. I want you to get published. We should have millions of new books available from the reliable E-publishers and on the shelves of every type bookstore. But, if you don’t do your job the numbers will be low and our future generations won’t have the role models they need.

Have a wonderful weekend. I’ll be back Monday with The Immortal Tux. Until then…

Happy Writing!

Sloane Taylor

To all, hope your weekend is fabulous!
Rebecca E. Grant
Love is Unstoppable
LIBERTY STARR I Contemporary Cowboy Romance
Where the Magic Begins Sensual Contemporary Award winner, 2011 (RWI)

** Coming Soon **
NAKED HOPE | Contemporary Romance published by The Wild Rose Press
Read excerpt
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