Well, it’s November 29 and NaNoWriMo is winding down (as is my self-imposed NaNoEdMo). I remember being here two years ago. Ha! However, I think I can safely say while I won’t have all my i’s dotted and t’s crossed by November 30 (in other words novel will NOT be ready to send out), I have made some SERIOUS headway. I totally rewrote my opening two chapters (now just one chapter) and am much, much, happier with it. I’m still losing parts of my soul as I throw out some great chapters but keeping in mind my superb critique partner’s words about “needing to get to Maine” (where most of my novel is set) faster. Bummer. That means Las Vegas and Fat Lennie need to be whittled down and I LOVE Fat Lennie. I’m also still grappling with how to make the disappearance of my reclusive artist a super-duper important news media story. Oh, and making my hero far more troubled. He clearly needs to be more screwed up than he currently is.
However, to this end, I’m excited to say I have joined the Romance Writers of America. Wow! After attending a panel session last week with various romance writers, I was convinced that this had to be my next step. Thanks to the Independent Writers of Southern California Group (IWOSC), I got to attend this panel. Until I did so, I never really thought that my book was a “romance.” I always thought of Romance Novels (note the capital letters) as those Mills and Boon (Harlequin in the U.S. I believe) style books that are very formulaic. I have no bodice ripping or heaving bosoms. I have a mystical blue dog and a missing artist that my heroine is trying to track down. Neither of these appear to fit the “romance novel” model. At least I didn’t think so. But I ALSO have a real romance and my heroine does indeed meet the man of her dreams – but it’s all very, very complicated and she has to do a whole lot of truth-hiding (note I didn’t say lying) to make sure he doesn’t discover what she’s up to. AND she will have to sell her soul and sell out her hero if she wants to get the biggest scoop of her career.
Well, thanks to that panel discussion, I realised I do indeed have a romance novel and apparently anything goes these days. Your book doesn’t have to have a conventional path. So now I’m excited to have joined and signed up to the local Los Angeles chapter – Los Angeles Romance Authors (LARA) where everyone on the message boards is incredibly supportive and there’s fun stuff to read all the time.
I loved how everyone on that panel was so “normal.” There wasn’t a feather boa or a satin pillow in sight. They all seem like great, down to earth women and they’re all on the local chapter yahoo group. I can’t wait to attend my first LARA meeting and get to know everyone. I feel like being a member now spurs me on to put in the time every day (while juggling my day job) to get my novel up to scratch.