Thursday, 24 December 2009

December Update

Hadn't realised it was so long since I posted anything. Been busy rewriting the last couple of chapters of my second novel. Also thinking about how I can add something extra to my third one which isn't progressing in the right kind of way. Some instinct tells me that it needs more action and not just the feelings of the two main characters as they struggle to reunite.
In addition, our group authors' blog has been keeping me busy (Heroines with Hearts - check it out - ). One member left due to lack of time and the one who originally started the blog has disappeared. So we three remaining members have taken things into our own hands. One decision we have made is to have 'Friday Friends' where we interview other authors. So we've all been contacting the authors we know and already we have a lot of interviews lined up for next year.
I didn't hear anything from the Harlequin editor who has my second novel (despite my email to her), or from Mills and Boon about my first one. I feel as if I am in limbo. I don't want to submit to other publishers unless/until I get a final rejection from Harlequin/Mills and Boon. So I wait ... and wait ...

Sunday, 22 November 2009

My current writing projects

I have two and a half novels written.

The first 'The Measure of Love' is a re-vamp of a story I wrote about 20 years ago - or at least, the basic scenario is. Because when I started updating it (and giving it a totally different setting), the story-line changed completely.

About a year ago I sent it to a Harlequin editor in Canada - not 'officially' but through a personal contact. After about six months she turned it down, saying "I enjoyed your depiction of two people who let mistrust and secrets drive them apart, and I’d hoped to be able to find a spot for the ms. in one of our series lines. Unfortunately, I confess my second readers weren’t quite as taken by the storyline as I was."
In August I sent the synopsis and first 3 chapters of this story to Mills and Boon here in the UK. I had an acknowledgement from them but so far, nothing else. If they accept it, then fine, but if not, I can see many ways in which I can improve it, since in the last year I have learned a lot about writing techniques.

I actually have more hopes for 'His Leading Lady', my second novel. The Harlequin editor has had this since May, but I've heard nothing from her. In the meantime, however, I've had this story 'critiqued' by two writers, and as a result I have 'tightened' up my writing considerably and learned a lot in the process. I've asked Margo (the editor) for an update but if I don't hear anything from her soon, I shall reluctantly assume that she is not intending to accept it. I'm now looking around for alternative publishers.

My third story, as yet untitled, is about three-quarters written, but I'm not 100% happy with it. It's going to take a lot more work before I feel that it's 'right'. There is something missing - and I'm not sure yet just what that is!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Critiquing and Editing

Some writers like critique partners, some don't. I'm one of the former, and I'm fortunate that I've found two excellent critique partners. Both of them have helped me to tighten up my writing by highlighting word or phrase repetition, overuse of passive verbs and adverbs, and showing instead of telling - some of the things that editors loathe.
But, while I've been editing based on some of their comments, I've started wondering whether it's possible to 'over-edit'. To the point where you become so concerned with technicalities that your writing loses its freshness, its spontaneity and its flow.
Ideally, I suppose you should be so aware of the 'errors' you can make when writing that you avoid them instintively. But I've always written from a 'gut-feeling' and it seems to me that sometimes you can start to over-analyse your work to the point where it becomes bland and lacking in feeling, rather than being written 'from the heart'.
I've read that 'Every word has to count, to serve the story. Any word, phrase, sentence, etc. that does not do that must be questioned.' Taken to its extreme, does that mean that you have to agonise over every single word? I think not.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

My Website

I've been busy today setting up my website. It's a free one - I can't afford to pay for one at the moment! It's been a steep learning curve, and frustrating too, when it came up with an error after I'd completed a whole page. I then had to redo the page.
It's not complete yet by any means, but take a peek, and see what you think

Click here for

Saturday, 31 October 2009

My Books

My early published books (no longer in print, of course, but still available from some online used book sellers) were published under my pen-name of Pauline Garnar:

AND THE FUTURE SURE, published by Mills and Boon in the UK in 1968.

Christine thought it was too good to be true when Don Bowden, whom she had loved for so long, confessed that he felt the same way about her. It was too good to be true ...

NO SOONER LOVED, published by Mills and Boon in the UK in 1968, and by Harlequin in the USA and Canada in 1969 #1325, also serialised in 'My Weekly' magazine in 1969, and published by 'My Weekly' Story Library in 1970 #42.

Janet Harris and Philip Morton were on opposite sides of the fence. The future of Janet's beautiful Lakeland village home was at stake, and she put the blame squarely on Philip. Falling in love with each other should have been the solution. But somehow it only complicated an already tense situation. Then Fate took a hand. But was it too late?

FOND DECEIVER, published by Mills and Boon in the UK in 1970, and by Harlequin in the USA and Canada in 1970/71 #1444.

When Ruth's fiance died, she vowed never to fall in love again but to remain true to Steve's memory, and she stuck to this decision even whenn she met Alec Hilton. She felt she was deceiving Alec - but wasn't it herself she was really deceiving?

AGAINST THE STREAM, published by Robert Hale 1981, also by Women's Weekly Library in 1983 #2237.

Anne Marshall was looking forward to continuing her studies at the University of Paris. Then Max Lorimer arrived at Southgate High School, and suddenly the dream seemed unimportant. But he was the Deputy Head and she was only a junior teacher, so he was never likely to take any interest in her. Besides, there was Helen, the girl he should have married. Why then did there seem to be this strange affinity between them? And why did Max seem to be fighting it?

Welcome to my Blog

Hi, I'm Paula Martin, author of romance fiction, and in this blog I'll be talking about my writing, and about anything else that occurs to me too.