Thursday, February 28, 2008

Gems From the Blogs: Pitfalls to Avoid

OK, everyone else is doing this, and I see the value, so I'll hop on the cargo ship (no bandwagons in space) and start doing these background notes, too.

What I'm reading: HOW TO LOSE AN EXTRATERRESTRIAL IN 10 DAYS by Susan Grant
What I'm writing: One final "spiff" of P2PC and beginning edits on Draxis
What I'm critiqueing: Recently reworked opening chapters of Arlene's original-concept SF, Dawn's incredibly cool Sci-Fi Rom/military and Alien Romance, Flick's dynamite erotica, and a new Sci-Fi Rom by Marisha I discovered on CC (I'm hooked).

Everything I read about "what to do " and "what editors are looking for" gets me more excited about P2PC. Some recent articles said (I'm paraphrasing):

It has to have a fabulous opening hook, but not lack plot substance after that. Oh, got that covered! The opening hook--a bid for freedom--is the tip of the iceberg. The plot is "ambitious" to say the least.

The characters have to grow. Another check. The three main MCs and some of the minor characters as well, learn from each other, from their pasts, and from what they are attempting to achieve. Sometimes you have to stretch your principles to accomplish goals that aren't just about what you want, but what is ultimately the right thing to do. Tough choices don't come without heartache, and true change isn't wrought without great sacrifice.

It has to have a fresh spin. I've never read another book with a character quite like my male MC (Sair) and my critiquers have all seconded that opinion. My goal was also to write a Sci-Fi that would appeal to a very broad romance audience by keeping the science within comfortable parameters--elements seen before but used in different ways--and to explore the aspect of technology impacting human interaction.

The characters can't be cliched. I think I've avoided most of the pitfalls of 'typical romance characters' and 'typical science ficion characters' as well as framing the story with humorous (at least from the female perspective) role-reversal.

If I see another hardened female character who'd rather shoot males than kiss them, I'll scream. While one of the female MCs is definitely of the tough-as-nails ilk, she also has a softer side, and is willing, eventually, to admit when she's wrong.

Time to get back to work. I'll keep you posted.


  1. Aw, so sweet. So which of my stories is that???
    I thought I was confused about the genre, now I know I'm not alone. LOL

  2. LOL Dawn, yeah, everyone seems confused about the genre, but my take is that Malachi and Zoe fall into Sci-Fi Rom/military and Darius and Elizabeth in Alien Romance. (I'm not using your titles intentionally since titles aren't copyright protected. ;) )

  3. Actually, I learned this from my former art agent. Everything is protected from creation, except for in the Virgin Islands, where they don't adhere to copyright laws. Of course you can mail a copy of your cd or MS to yourself and not open the envelope, to create concrete proof of the date of creation. Always date any query letters and coorespondance you send out. However don't put the copyright symbol on your MS and art, tends to upset the person you're trying to sell the work to. Nothing screams I don't trust you like that.
    My proof of how long I've had these stories is on disc and in an unopened envelope, which is not necessary but helpful to prove your case, as well as private postings and crits that are dated.

    But thanks for keeping the titles quiet. I think they are unique and wouldn't want a copy cat using them.

  4. Some great tidbits there, Dawn. Thanks for posting. :)


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