Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Valentine's Day Workshops in Selfridges

Popping in to let you all know that I'll be doing those M&B workshops at Selfridges on the mornings of Thursday February 10th and Friday February 11th... I'll get back to you on times and who to contact at Selfridges to sign up for one, but we're only expecting six or seven people per workshop so it should be a great way to get some ideas and inspiration flowing. It's going to be at The Together Shop (next to the store's Marble Arch entrance) where they've got that fab display of vintage M&B covers and all the shining new Rivas. (cue picture of Heidi looking heavily pregnant, but not!!)

Also the lovely Marilyn Shoemaker gave me a great tip-off about something that's happening on the eHarlequin forums. Apparently best-selling Harlequin author Tessa Radley is offering her services as a mentor for a month to one aspiring Harlequin author. I think the challenge is to write the opening chapter of a secret-baby story. She's going to blind-judge the entries and pick a winner. The details are here, sounds like a great opportunity to me! I've never written a secret-baby story but I do love reading them.. My favourite is probably Hidden Riches by Nora Roberts (which has a secret baby element to it).

Anyway, back to my ms which is going a bit better now... Have finally managed to claw my way to 20K words. Slow going but persistence pays off, have decided not to worry about whether it's all crap and just get the darn rough draft written. This is always the painful process for me, just getting the words on the paper, revising and editing them is much easier. I think my problem is that, after ten books, my crap-o-meter is so well-developed now, I start thinking it's rubbish before I've even written it which can not only be a bit of a downer, it's not very productive.

BTW, saw a preview of Tangled the new Disney animation at the London IMAX on Sunday. Fantastic! I laughed, I gawped, I got all dewy-eyed.  Rapunzel's sweet and feisty and has seriously amazing hair (that can bring people back from the dead, Pantene eat your heart out)! The hero is a charming rogue with a great smoulder (who even gets away with being called Eugene!). All very Modern Heat really (except without the sexy bits obviously, this being Disney!) Will be doing it for my next PHS friday movie.


Lacey Devlin said...

I want to see Tangled :) And hey congrats on your crap-o-meter ;)

redwriter said...

Just rang Selfridges in my overexcitement, sadly they don't know anything about it yet either :( So no queue jumping for me.

Even more sad is the fact that my six year old daughter is absolutely adamant that she doens't want to go see Tangled, much to my overwhelming dismay.

BTW I was wondering if you can give any tips/direct me to any useful blog posts on the subject of writers voice? I attended a workshop yesterday with a couple of editors and pinned down Flo Nicoll at the end, and her main advice was 'it's all about voice.' I'm sure I have one. It's finding it that's the problem :s


Jackie Ashenden said...

I loved Tangled too. Took the girls to see it and thought it was fab. It's sweet isn't it?

Great to hear re the ms! I hate first drafts too and have learned just write like hell to get it all down before I give up in disgust. :-)

Heidi Rice said...

Thanks Lacey, yes wonderful to know that I now know when I'm writing crap, problem is it doesn't stop me writing it... Still I've now decided crap is a huge part of my process (isn't that convenient!!).

Redwriter, yeah, isn't that frustrating when they say 'It's all about voice" and you're like "Voice? What voice?" The thing to remember is you already have a voice. As soon as you start writing your voice will be there, learning to nurture it and refine it and make it uniquely your own is something that you can only do by continuing to write because that's how you discover it really. And remember your voice isn't just to do with your style of writing (although that is a big part of it) it's also to do with the characters you create and how they react to any given situation. My heroines for example all have a little bit of me in them, they're also women I can identify with and root for. And similarly every one of my heroes are guys I could fall in love with (hence why so many of them are bad boys!). A good way to spot when you are not being true to your own voice in your writing is when you find yourself mimicking someone else's style, or it feels like you're forcing yourself to write in a particular style that doesn't feel comfortable. And that can often happen when you're trying to shoehorn your voice into a line that isn't right for it... I'd say first and foremost though, a good way to determine what your voice is, before you start writing, is look at what you like to read. If you love sassy, flirty, pacy stories that's probably what you're going to enjoy writing. If you like sensual, deeply emotional conflict driven romance, same goes. Or maybe you like a combo of the two.

Hope you make it to Selfridges and we can have a chat about it! Cos as you can probably tell I can bore for England on this subject (among others, like Johnny Depp!)

And Jackie, yeah the rough draft is always the bane of my existence, and I know this is small of me, but I'm so glad I'm not the only one suffering!