On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Fantasy Writer Failing

Critique group was good today, which means I avoided the main Fantasy writer failing: not managing to get what's in my head/imagination onto the page. When YOU know the world and the rules but haven't explained enough to clearly lead someone into the world with you.

Whew. Well, there was that little problem with the stairwell...to me it was obvious it was an exterior stairwell and everyone else thought it was interior. So that has to be fixed.

I need to consider what one of my buddies thinks is a larger problem, and there's some minor clean-up, but otherwise I am very pleased.

May you enjoy your own creative process and the company of friends today.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Hopeful PEARL Finalist

I've been up every year, which is a great honor. This group actually got my career started in 2001-2002 through word of mouth.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Photobucket So, I went back to Enchanted No More and knew exactly where I was...but not WHEN I was. I had no clue what the time of day it was. This is important because it would be better if the next scene took place in the dark. In my urban paranormal h/h can move from Denver to Northumberland, England, back to Yellowstone in a day, and they did. The day started in Chapter 6. I am in Chapter 14.

I'm rereading/editing the chapters, but it means my wordcount hasn't picked up...

May you enjoy the dawn and the nooning, the sunset and the dusk. And may no monsters jump out at you in the night.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Final Revison Stats: Heart Journey


The document was marked with 672 Deletions, 779 Insertions, 1 Move

WHEW. **tud**

Enjoy the view of the ceiling today...I have to get back to Enchanted No More...


Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Writer's Hours

Last week I took Sunday and Wednesday off. The rest of the week I worked about 14-15 hours a day. That's my usual revision/copy edits/page proofs schedule. I've found that for actual writing I should be doing 2 hours on 2 hours off for the best results which may or may not happen. I must admit I don't always have a definite schedule, like only working on weekdays. I try to write a little every day...and if the well is dry, I rest. I do have daily and monthly goals that are adjusted to deadlines.

So, yes, sometimes it's good to be my own boss, but sometimes I have to work harder and with more stress than I had at a day job. I never leave the "work" in the office.

But when the writing is going well, it's all worth it.

May you do what you enjoy today.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Long Days of Revision

When I get a revision letter, the copy edits, or the page proofs/author alterations, I usually batten down and try to read and edit the book in as short a time as possible. So it's been some 14 hour days for me.

Since this is the first pass, and I printed it out, I've found something on nearly every page I want to change, as well as including the revisions my editor requested. Which means once the editing itself is done, I'll have to transcribe the changes to the manuscript on my computer. I've set aside a day for that, too.

The weather here has been gray and snowy -- just the kind of days that I don't want to work, so it's been difficult to push myself. And, of course, I've been watching the Olympics. In any event, I have a couple of more days of this and then I'm free. I hope.

Meanwhile I know I'm coming up on a scene I haven't been sure how to write in Enchanted No More, and I think the back of my brain is working on that, which would be good.

May you enjoy your days. Robin

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Nashville Here I Come

I just registered for the Romance Writers of America Conference. It's a pretty hefty chunk of change for the fee and the hotel room. Mom is coming with me and we firmed that up last night when I delivered the Kindle bros and niece and I bought for her.

I've never been to Nashville and have wanted to see the area, and I wanted to register in a timely manner this year (unlike previous years) so that I'm not messing around with moving hotels, etc. I will NOT be doing any seminars this year. I didn't submit any proposals.

The conferences are getting so expensive that I can only afford one...and my November beach retreat.

In any event I am there, registered in February instead of late March or April.

May you enjoy any travel plans you make.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Polishing First Chapters

Three out of five times I nail a first chapter completely and only need a little polishing. Heart Journey was pretty good -- both first scenes with Raz and Del. I think Enchanted No More is excellent. Still, I always take first chapters to critique and polish myself a few times. I revise 3-5 times before I turn the book in, and I don't often look at it afterwards. That said there are some books that I've never finished (or sold) because the first chapter never was right.

So, when I'm revising a "whole book" I don't often read the first chapter, mainly because I've worked on it so long.

I've decided to begin reading Heart Journey since I was working on some of the deep edits and little niggly-word mistakes were bothering me...

May you enjoy your work today.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Revision Reading Format

When I revise, I like to print my ms. out in a 2pg/sheet landscape form like Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs). I'm not the only one. A friend of mine says she puts it on her Kindle -- anything to make it seem like a real book...which means we DO have an internal editor along for ALL books.

In any event, here's a pic.


May all your words be right and true.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Revision Letters

I'm not accustomed to getting revision letters from my Berkley editor before the copy edits, so it was a shock to see one for Heart Journey. It's not that I don't appreciate it, because I think editing is important, but there are some points that I think will need thinking time. I have a deadline (currently) of 2/26.

In any event, I now close the chamber door at the earth palace under Yellowstone and whirl through the stars to Celta and walk into a clean but dead-air-unused guest chamber of Del's home -- with a break on Monday to finish working on the back cover copy of Enchanted No More that I also got.

I'm worried about deadlines now. April 1 for Heart Secret's proposal, April 30 for Enchanted No More, and May 15 (17) for the next Mystic Circle book.

So, bye, but I gotta work.
Take care and may you enjoy your imagination today.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Feelings About My (Your) Books

I don't reread my own books often. I usually work so hard on them that I rarely want to see them again. I don't think I've entirely re-read any one of my works. Last night I got a hankering to look at Echoes In the Dark and the scene where Raine is looking through the mirrors into her father's home on Earth (and I wanted to see how it looked on itouch Kindle -- haven't found the search function for that yet, if there is one). I skipped around the story and FELT it's better than I recall -- especially for being written so fast.

I haven't been entering Echoes In The Dark in any contests. I still don't think I will, because it is the last book in the series and there are so many characters...but I FEEL better about the quality of it than I had. I know I did the best job with it that I could with the time I had, but I yearned to make it better...

In any event, I liked the story, which is important. If you don't like your own stories, then why are you writing?

So thank you to my readers who also liked it.

Sunday, February 07, 2010


Not sure what happened last week, but I went into serious hermit mode, so I didn't update as often as usual. Many thanks to those who stuck with me.

I've been thinking about Heart Change and threats and villains. For the first part of Heart Change there isn't a villain, but there is a threat. Will Signet be able to save the child Avellana or will the girl die in her dream fugue Passage to free her magic? Will Signet master her newly discovered magic? And if she fails to save Avellana, how emotionally hurt will she be...as well as alienating the noble class?

That was the threat that continued throughout the book. Even as I was writing it at the time I knew it was more of a passive threat, not active (though I tried to make the Passages wrenching). I bring in the villain later.

For some readers this didn't work as well as I'd hoped, so I will be leery of doing something like this again. But I liked it and I still like the story.

So that's my musing on passive threats vs. villains.

May you avoid all threats and villains today except between pages.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

2pm EST I'm On the Radio Today, Animals in Books

Since this mildly freaking me out, I haven't posted as much as I should.

The station is "PIVTR" also known as Internet Voices Radio. http://internetvoicesradio.com
The word ENTER gets you into the site.
To Listen Live (2.05 pm Tuesday, until 4.pm Eastern Time)
In the Black Box, click on "Listen Live"
Sign in (there's a box for that)
Listen and Enjoy

To Listen to the recording later, look for "ROWENA CHERRY" on PIVTR site

Rowena's shows are very popular and are re-broadcast quite often.

To set up an RSS feed (to listen on mobile)
RSS feeds
click on middle box RSS/PODCAST

Mp3 recording can be purchased after the show by fans who missed the show or who wish to hear it again at their leisure. Lillian's closing spiel tells the audience how.

The mp3 costs around $4.00 and can be used as a podcast on MySpace etc wherever podcasts can be uploaded or streamed.

Royalties from the mp3s go to charity. PIVTR is a non-profit.

My charity is Every Creature Counts, from which I adopted Tommy/Du.


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