Message from the President - February 2024 RWR

In the February issue of the RWR, Clair Brett discusses the importance of diversifying your TBR list.

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How to Write When You're Sad

By Anwyn James
Posted 1/17/2024

One of the strangest things about being a romance writer is the need to write regardless of your mental state. Sure, everyone has to do their job when going through hard times. An accountant has to show up to work during a bitter divorce, and a lawyer still has to argue in court while grieving the loss of a parent. But the unique role of a writer, especially a romance writer, is that our jobs require us to access joy and love in our hearts even when those emotions might feel particularly hard to access. How are we supposed to describe the butterflies experienced on a first date when we’ve just had our hearts broken?

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What's the Problem? Or, Writing Convincing Conflict (Part 1)

By Janet W. Butler
Posted 1/17/2024

When you start a story, you may have an intriguing “what-if” question, or a couple of  characters who’ve walked up and demanded to have their stories told, or a premise that makes you  itch to hit the keyboard.

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When Heroes Must Swear: How to Keep Your Heartthrob Real Without Offending Readers

By Adrienne deWolfe
Posted 1/17/2024

We live in a society where F-bombs are the norm. Men use cruder language than women.

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Chapter Spotlight: Romantic Women's Fiction

Spotlighting RWA chapters
Posted 1/17/2024

Romantic Women’s Fiction encompasses all subgenres of romance. Whether the story be a dramatic read, or a romantic comedy, or historical, the protagonist is a character in her second phase of life who in her journey discovers strengths she didn’t realize she possessed, while she experiences a romance.

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The Not Sexy, but Very Important Secret Art of the Novel Summary

By Jaye Viner
Posted 1/17/2024

From jacket copy, to website blurbs, to that all-important middle of a query letter, writing an effective  book summary involves a special set of skills that don’t tend to overlap with writing a novel. Writing a  good summary means not just having an intimate understanding of the novel you’ve written but also understanding the expectations other people will bring to it when they pull together the combined  messages of your cover, title, and the summary. Today, we’re going to look at the basic pieces of the  book summary and some ways you can send the right message with yours.

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Show, Don’t Tell: A Fiction Writer’s Secret Weapon

By Leslie J. Hall
Posted 1/17/2024

Most writers have heard the advice, Show, Don’t Tell. But what does it really mean and how do  we use it in our stories? Through study and practice, I discovered that this misunderstood tool helps my  narratives connect with readers more deeply. Beyond the drive to show more, we can use the tool to  push our writing to the next level by forcing a deeper, systematic look at our sentence structure,  character reactions, descriptions, and how those descriptions come directly from a character’s point of  view. Although it seems counterintuitive, mastering Show, Don’t Tell is also about understanding when telling is better for the story.

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Message from the President - January 2024 RWR

In the January issue of the RWR, Clair Brett discusses the power of 'no' in reaching your goals.

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The Seriousness of Being an Artist

By Purbasha Roy
Posted 1/17/2024

I don't know what it is to be an artist. I couldn't do anything substantial in my life. I can easily merge within a crowd. Not disturbing a speck of this universe. Do I know if my stay or departure affects this world? Other than my family.

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Using Theory to Develop Character Dialogue & Behavior

By Dr. Monica Jorgensen
Posted 12/14/2023

A lot of things contribute to how your character’s talk and behave. There are many outdated stereotypes that go along with Alpha men and the submissive woman that do not always apply to today’s interactions within relationships. Looking toward evidence-based theories can help a writer determine how their characters will develop throughout the story, how they behave, how they communicate and how they can grow. Attachment Theory, developed by British psychiatrist John Bowlby and American psychologist Mary Ainsworth can help flush out your characters in these areas. They theorize how you relate to other people and respond to intimacy in your lifetime is determined by the bonding you experienced in your childhood with your parents or caregivers – your very first relationships. There are four attachment styles: Secure, anxious (ambivalent), avoidant (dismissive), and disorganized.

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Chapter Spotlight: Northern Lights Writers of Minnesota

Spotlighting RWA chapters

By Denise Meinstad, past president and charter member
Posted 12/14/2023

Northern Lights Writers was formed in 2002 by a group of women called “The North End Breakfast Club.” Originally located in the north metro of the Twin Cities in Minnesota, we met once a month for breakfast for several years. Since the majority were already members of RWA, the logical next step was to become a chapter. We used to meet at a local library, but when Covid prevented in-person get-togethers, we switched to Zoom. The change has served us well because some of our members live in other states (and one in Canada).

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