I fancy myself a writer.


2014 NaNoWriMo Trashy Romance Novel: The final challenge

English: Cows eating trash, Jaipur, India.

Is your trashy romance novel destined for the trash heap? Or is it worth saving? Either way, I hope you will view your 2014 NaNoWriMo novel project as a success. | English: Cows eating trash, Jaipur, India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now that your trashy romance novel is complete, what are you going to do with it? From where I’m sitting, I think you have a couple of options:

  1. Trash it. It is “trashy,” after all. Every successful author seems to have at least one novel sitting in a drawer someplace that they never want to see the light of day. Maybe this one can be yours. If that’s the case, think of this as a rite of passage that even the greatest authors have endured. You are now officially one step closer to joining their ranks. So, toss that trashy novel aside and move on to your next great idea!
  2. Polish it up a bit and sell it. Trashy or not, your manuscript might have merit. Review a handful of published romance novels and determine whether yours might be publishable with a bit of editing. Then, go for it!
  3. Analyze the crap out of it. Pretend like someone else wrote this steaming heap and tear it apart. Use this manuscript to help you determine where your writing weaknesses lie. Then you can use the information to determine what strategies to keep using and which ones need work. Just remember to take some time to look for the good as well. The fun thing about fast writing is that, while a lot of what you write will turn out to be crap, once in a while you will stumble upon a gem of glittering prose that might be turned into a great literary novel with a bit of elbow grease. So, tear that sucker apart and see if there is anything worth keeping.
  4. Develop your characters and turn it into something better. Honestly, ask yourself if this shallow tripe has any potential. What would happen if you gave your characters some not-so-romantic names and threw in a few real-life problems? Could you possibly develop your story into something a step above the average Harlequin and turn it into the next Nicholas Sparks-ish novel?


2014 NaNoWriMo Trashy Romance Challenge: The end is nigh

Epilogue of Samuel Johnson's Irene' by Samuel ...

A cheesy epilogue is a great way to boost word count if your manuscript is still a little light once you have wrapped up your story. | Epilogue of Samuel Johnson’s Irene’ by Samuel Johnson. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today is the day. I hope you are close to 50,000 words. You have until the end of the day today to hit that final word count goal and write your hero and heroine into their happily ever after.

Writing assignment

If you have managed to write your story through to its completion already but still need a few more words, then spend today writing an epilogue.

Epilogues are common in trashy romance novels and usually consist of a scene that takes place exactly one year after the ending of your actual story. Oh, and there is usually a three-month-old baby involved. Because of course your heroine got pregnant on their wedding night. (more…)

2014 NaNoWriMo Trashy Romance Challenge: And now to get them back together again

You tore your happy couple apart. Now, how to put them back together again? Don’t make it too easy for them. What has to happen for them to regain their trust in one another? Make a list. Then get those scenes written, because YOU are RUNNING OUT OF TIME!


2014 NaNoWriMo Trashy Romance Challenge: In case you’re using your time off work to write instead of shop today

To celebrate Black Friday, write the “black moment” in your novel. This is that “all hope is lost” moment where it appears that your hero and heroine are just not meant to be. Maybe they will even go so far as to tell one another goodbye forever. (Or at least they think they are saying goodbye forever.)

OR, you could write a scene where your heroine drags her hero out shopping on Black Friday. Now, there’s a test for even the greatest of relationships! (more…)

2014 NaNoWriMo Trashy Romance Challenge: Act 3/When it hits the fan

600x750mm sign intended to match the specifica...

How many words per day are you averaging during NaNoWriMo? | 600x750mm sign intended to match the specifications for sign W13-5 (Advisory Curve Speed) in the 2004 version of the SHS manual. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just when you thought your story might draw to a sweet conclusion a little too early, it’s time to throw a wrench in it and drag it out for one more act.

Act Three. It is time to be mean to your characters.

Maybe one of them has been keeping a secret that comes to light, making the other one question his or her feelings.

Maybe your vampire is kidnapped by terrorists. (more…)

2014 NaNoWriMo Trashy Romance Challenge: Finish writing Act II

It's time to wrap up Act II and get ready to write Act III.

It’s time to wrap up Act II and get ready to write Act III.

By now, you should have just about completed the middle third of your novel. It’s time to wrap up Act Two and set the scene for Act Three.

Writing assignment

Write a scene in which your characters admit that they like one another and are interested in maybe starting a relationship. (more…)

2014 NaNoWriMo Trashy Romance Challenge: Act 2 Scene Assignment 5

Without backtracking and reading anything you have written up to today, think about any plot holes that you might have in your story at the moment. Make a list of additional scenes that you could write to fill these holes.


2014 NaNoWriMo Trashy Romance Challenge: Act 2 Scene Assignment 4

Write a scene in which other characters begin to comment on the feelings that they see developing between the hero and heroine. At this point, your characters will likely still deny that there is anything going on between the two of them.


2014 NaNoWriMo Trashy Romance Challenge: Act 2 Scene Assignment 3

Write a scene in which your hero and heroine need to cooperate to get something done. Maybe they will decide to be friends or at least come to an agreement to be civil to one another until the task is complete.


NaNoWriMo 2014 | Chapter One Uncut

Since I’m not writing a serious novel for my 2014 NaNoWriMo project, I don’t mind sharing a little bit of what I have written so far. So, without further adieu, here is my first chapter, completely unedited:

Chapter One

“Violet, are you sure you want to do this?” her sister Veronica asked. Veronica balanced a tow-headed toddler on one hip while fending off the toddler’s sticky-fingered older brother with the other.

“Joey, stop!” she said. “You’re getting your sucker all over my pants. Now, go wipe your hands like I told you to!”

“Come here, you little rug rat,” Violet said. She chased Joey around his mother twice before catching him and sweeping him up in a bear hug. “You are making your mother crazy!”

Joey giggled uncontrollably and tried to wriggle away from his aunt as she applied a wet wipe to his filthy hands.

“Of course I don’t want to, Ronnie,” Violet said over her nephew’s giggles. “But I’m tired of being afraid of everything. I need to do this.”

Veronica sighed. “Well,” she said. “You’d better keep it together. I can’t manage two kids under the age of five on a boat in the middle of the ocean and also take care of you in the midst of one of your panic attacks at the same time.”

“I’ll be fine, I promise,” Violet said. “I think the kids will be a good distraction for me. And besides, we won’t be ‘in the middle of the ocean.’ It’s only a three-hour tour.”


“I think we’re all set now, ladies.” The boat’s captain loped down the dock with an armload of life vests. “It took some scrounging, but I managed to get the smallest jackets I have ever seen for your little ones there. Hope they fit, ‘cause I got a schedule to keep, and we’re already behind.” (more…)