>Although I know she doesn’t remember me, Lorraine Heath and I met in Dallas a number of years ago at a RWA National conference. She impressed me then, and she continues to do so by creating wonderful characters and delicious romances. A USA Today and New York Times bestselling author, please welcome Lorraine for today’s Pleasure Me With Romance guest post.
REMEMBER to include your email along with either US or State you reside in in your comment. Entries for Grand Prize/Second Prize (open to US Only) do not count without this information in the comment.
Buy The Book
Several years ago, my family and I visited the Grand Tetons—a few weeks before the actual tourist season was to begin. We’d heard about the Hidden Falls. To reach them, we had to follow a dirt trail around Jenny Lake. We found the beginning of the trail. It was clear, dry, well-marked. Our family of four took a vote. We decided that although our limited hiking skills had been gained by strolling through our smoothly-paved neighborhood, we could handle the 2.5 mile trek to the Hidden Falls. After all, how hard could it be to follow a path?
After about twenty minutes, we hit our first patch of snow. We had seen snow on the peaks, but we hadn’t expected snow to cross our path at the base of the mountain. We could see the trail was clear beyond this little patch. So we trudged over it, slipping here and there, learning to walk with our heels hitting first. We made it to the dirt trail on the other side, breathed a sigh of relief, and trudged on.
But as we journeyed, we ran into more snow, ice, and mud. The clear easy path became less frequent and more than once, one of us would stop and ask, “Do we want to go on?”
Because we didn’t know what else awaited us. All we had was the promise of the Falls, and the hope that the worst was behind us. A vote was taken. “Let’s go a little farther.”
And so we trudged on. For two and half hours. Faltering several times, doubting that our destination would be worth the journey. From time to time more experienced hikers passed us. But we weren’t deterred by their easy stride or sure foot. We continued on, going at our own ungainly pace. Then we heard the roar of the Falls and discovered the trail narrowed down to a muddy slippery stretch guarded by a high bank of snow on one side and a steep drop to the freezing river on the other.
But we had come too far to stop now. Carefully, holding our breaths and each other, we maneuvered along the slippery trail. It led us to the Hidden Falls.
Writers travel the same sort of journey when they sit down to write the rough draft. They know their destination: a completed manuscript of 350, 400, or 450 pages.
But they don’t always realize at the beginning what obstacles await them: words that won’t come, ideas that flounder, scenes that fall short of expectations, characters that aren’t as likable as we envisioned they’d be. How many times when writing a rough draft, do we ask ourselves, “Do I continue on or do I stop?”
Book 2 in London’s
Greatest Lovers Series
As the black sheep second son of an earl, Stephen Lyons has gained a reputation in the art of seduction, but when his wicked ways result in scandal, he enlists in the army to redeem himself.
On the battlefield, he proves courageous…until he is seriously wounded. Returning home to recover, he discovers he can’t remember the angelic beauty who arrives at his doorstep, his babe nestled in her arms.
Mercy Dawson will risk everything to protect the son of the dashing soldier she once knew and admired. When Stephen offers to do the honorable thing, she is determined that London’s most notorious gentleman will desire her and no other.
But Mercy fears that what began as an innocent deception could destroy her dreams and their blossoming love if Stephen ever learns the scandalous truth…
Those who are published continued on . . .
Writing the rough draft can be a frustrating experience unless the writer understands its purpose. The rough draft is supposed to be rough and ungainly. It is the time when we flesh out ideas, get to know our characters, carry the plot down different paths and find the one that works best.
When I begin working on my rough draft, I break my story into scenes. The thought of writing 400 pages overwhelms me—but I can write a scene. Writing some of the scenes is like walking over a dry dirt path. And some are like trudging through knee high snow. Some make me question my ability to write and others flow so smoothly that I wonder why I ever doubted that I could do this.
I write my rough draft in single space so that more of the scene is visible to me. And when I feel I’m not making progress, I do a quick click, convert it to double space, and feel that I’ve made great strides.
What we must always remember is that the rough draft is a journey—a journey toward completing a novel. It’s the uncharted path. The more times we go through it with revisions, the smoother it becomes.
But we have to complete the rough draft before we can realize the promise of a finished novel.
And trust me on this—the more difficult the trail, the greater the reward. During our vacation, we saw waterfalls more beautiful than the Hidden Falls. But none were nearly as rewarding because the Hidden Falls were the only ones that challenged us to reach deep within ourselves and find the desire to continue. What is your most memorable—in a good way—challenging moment?
Borders, B&N, or Amazon, winner’s choice
Contest open until Saturday 01/22/11 07:00am EST
To qualify for Grand Prize/Second Prize drawing (open to US ONLY)
your comment must include a valid email and the state you reside in.
See complete rules for all drawings here.
Lorraine Heath always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals, press releases for a publicist, articles, and computer code, but something was always missing. In 1990, she read a romance novel and became not only hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She’s been writing about them ever since, for both adult and young adult readers (as Rachel Hawthorne). Her novels have appeared on bestseller lists, including USA Today and the New York Times.