Dear Barbara

December 29, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as with 0 and 0
Home > Writing > Archives > Dear Barbara

Dear Barbara,
I just can’t seem to get motivated to write this time of year. All the distractions of holiday shopping, decorating, cooking, eating have my mind in a whirl. How do I stay focused long enough on my story to get some writing done?
Signed: Preoccupied in Placentia

Dear Preoccupied,
Get it together, girl! Sit down right now for one minute and close your eyes. Put everything out of your mind except your story. Here, I’ll do it with you. I’m sitting, thinking, getting excited . . .

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Oh, sorry, where was I? Oh, yes. I just worked out a whole scene. See how easy that was? Now, do that twice a day. You gotta have at least two minutes in a day! You go, girl!
– Barb

***

Dear Barbara,
I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Maybe I’m not really a writer. I hear other writers say their characters visit them at night, sit on the ends of their bed and talk. The characters come to life and reveal their deepest darkest secrets and innermost feelings. I lay awake at night but have had no such visitations. Maybe I lack the imagination to be a writer.
Signed: Baffled in Brea

Dear Baffled,
Frankly, I’d be terrified if one of my characters showed up and started talking to me. Except for the hero of my latest story, of course. He could visit me in my bedroom anytime! Seriously though, writers are – um – a different breed. And every one has their own method of constructing a story. You find what works best for you. And hey, get some sleep!
-Barb

***

Dear Barbara,
I’ve hit a saggy middle in my Romantic Suspense. Any suggestions on how to spice it up?
Signed: Dull in Diamond Bar

Dear Dull,
Kill someone!
-Barb

***

Visit this column next month for more sage advice from Dear Barbara!

Barb DeLong

Author Details
Author Details
A Slice of Orange started in 2004 as a group of authors from Orange County, California. We have expanded to include authors from around the globe–from the UK, all across the US to New Zealand. Our authors include the multi-published and writers at the beginning of their publishing career. In addition to authors, we feature blog posts from editors, PR professionals, and cover designers. The bright segments of the writing and reading community that make up one perfect entity—A Slice of Orange.

#Me Too

Buy now!
#Me Too

A LADY’S POINT OF VIEW

Buy now!
A LADY’S POINT OF VIEW

A SOLDIER’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS

Buy now!
A SOLDIER’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS
BECKONED, PART 1: FROM LONDON WITH LOVE

CITY OF BLAZE

Buy now!
CITY OF BLAZE

COME FLY WITH ME

Buy now!
COME FLY WITH ME

COWBOY KARMA

Buy now!
COWBOY KARMA

DANGER MUSIC

Buy now!
DANGER MUSIC
FATHOMS: A NOVEL OF THE PARANORMAL

FREYA Viking Glory Book Two

Buy now!
FREYA Viking Glory Book Two
FUR, FEATHERS AND SCALES: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Animal Tales

GIRLFRIENDS & SECRETS

Buy now!
GIRLFRIENDS & SECRETS

GIRL IN THE MIST

Buy now!
GIRL IN THE MIST

HAGAR’S LAST DANCE

Buy now!
HAGAR’S LAST DANCE

HOSTILE WITNESS

Buy now!
HOSTILE WITNESS

ILONA’S WOLF

Buy now!
ILONA’S WOLF
INTIMATE RELATIONS

LEIF Viking Glory Book One

Buy now!
LEIF Viking Glory Book One

LET IT SNOW

Buy now!
LET IT SNOW

LOVE NOTES

Buy now!
LOVE NOTES

SAVAGED SURRENDER

Buy now!
SAVAGED SURRENDER
SNOW IN LOVE: Sweet Romance Holiday Collection

STOLEN KISSES FROM THE VISCOUNT

Buy now!
STOLEN KISSES FROM THE VISCOUNT

SUPERHERO IN DISGUISE

Buy now!
SUPERHERO IN DISGUISE
THE DAY BAILEY DEVLIN’S HOROSCOPE CAME TRUE

THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR

Buy now!
THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR

THE FIX UP

Buy now!
THE FIX UP

THE GHOST OF DEPFORD HALL

Buy now!
THE GHOST OF DEPFORD HALL

THE LIFE OF RILEY

Buy now!
THE LIFE OF RILEY

THE ROGUE’S LAST SCANDAL

Buy now!
THE ROGUE’S LAST SCANDAL

THE WOULD BE MOMMY

Buy now!
THE WOULD BE MOMMY
THIEVES: Book One of the Obscurité de Floride Trilogy

WELCOME TO LOON LAKE

Buy now!
WELCOME TO LOON LAKE
WHO’S THE FAIREST? A Sisters Grimm Anthology
#PLEASE SAY YES (#HermosafortheHolidays Book 1)

CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN

Buy now!
CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN
CHRISTMAS ON NANTUCKET AND OTHER STORIES

CLEAR INTENT

Buy now!
CLEAR INTENT
COLTON 911: CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE

DARK WINE AT DUSK

Buy now!
DARK WINE AT DUSK

DEAD BLOW

Buy now!
DEAD BLOW

FOR A GOOD PAWS

Buy now!
FOR A GOOD PAWS

FREYA Viking Glory Book Two

Buy now!
FREYA Viking Glory Book Two

GAME TOWN

Buy now!
GAME TOWN

HAUNTING MISS FENWICK

Buy now!
HAUNTING MISS FENWICK

HER COWBOY KING

Buy now!
HER COWBOY KING

HIDDEN BETRAYAL

Buy now!
HIDDEN BETRAYAL

HIS HIGHLAND SURPRISE

Buy now!
HIS HIGHLAND SURPRISE

LEIF Viking Glory Book One

Buy now!
LEIF Viking Glory Book One
LOST WITNESS: A Josie Bates Thriller
OFF THE RAILS: A Collection of Weird, Wicked, & Wacky Stories

ONCE UPON AN ENCHANTED FOREST

Buy now!
ONCE UPON AN ENCHANTED FOREST

ONE TASTE TOO MANY

Buy now!
ONE TASTE TOO MANY

REWRITING THE PAST

Buy now!
REWRITING THE PAST
SERIOUSLY, MOM, YOU DIDN’T KNOW?

SHADOWS AT DAWN

Buy now!
SHADOWS AT DAWN
SHORT and SWEET’S FAMILY ALBUM

THE CHRISTMAS PRESENT

Buy now!
THE CHRISTMAS PRESENT

THE CONSPIRACY

Buy now!
THE CONSPIRACY

THE DECEPTION

Buy now!
THE DECEPTION

THE DEVIL’S CARESS

Buy now!
THE DEVIL’S CARESS

THEIR HIGHLAND BEGINNING

Buy now!
THEIR HIGHLAND BEGINNING

THE MASK OF MIDNIGHT

Buy now!
THE MASK OF MIDNIGHT

THE OBLIVIOUS BILLIONAIRE

Buy now!
THE OBLIVIOUS BILLIONAIRE
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RIDGE, NEW YORK, 1930
THE WITCHES OF NEW MOON BEACH BOXED SET

THE WITCH OF BERGEN

Buy now!
THE WITCH OF BERGEN

THE WORTH OF A VISCOUNT

Buy now!
THE WORTH OF A VISCOUNT

TRACKING SHADOWS

Buy now!
TRACKING SHADOWS

TWO BITES TOO MANY

Buy now!
TWO BITES TOO MANY
WINTER WISHES: A REGENCY HOLIDAY ROMANCE ANTHOLOGY

    ×
    A Slice of Orange started in 2004 as a group of authors from Orange County, California. We have expanded to include authors from around the globe–from the UK, all across the US to New Zealand. Our authors include the multi-published and writers at the beginning of their publishing career. In addition to authors, we feature blog posts from editors, PR professionals, and cover designers. The bright segments of the writing and reading community that make up one perfect entity—A Slice of Orange.

    by Barbara DeLong

    “Dear Barbara,

    Thank you so much for giving us a chance to review your work. We have enjoyed taking a look at your project but, while there are appealing aspects to the story, it does not ultimately meet the present needs of xxx .

    …the hero was sexy and likable, but the story never quite came to life. There was a lack of that fantasy element we look for. Also, the pacing of the story seemed slow.”

    These are some of the comments from the rejection letter that earned me my Pro pin, and landed my manuscript under the bed with the dust bunnies (aka tumbleweed).
    Until now.

    For the past couple of years, I have started a number of projects and many versions thereof, only to toss them aside because I didn’t feel the thrill, the passion to complete them like I had my dust collector. I’d find myself working on a scene for one of those stories and end up thinking about the one under my bed.

    Finally I succumbed to the inevitable and dragged it out. My critique group, always at the ready with an abundance of suggestions, provided much-needed encouragment. I re-read the whole thing in one day while I jotted notes on a yellow lined pad. Damned if that editor wasn’t right on the money with her comments – yes, my hero sure was sexy! New ideas began to flow, along with a renewed energy I hadn’t felt in years. Writing is fun again! In the spirit of The Secret (read it, please!), I created a mock-up of my book cover and posted it on my Vision Board. My goal is to finish the rewrite by the next National Conference so I can pitch it.

    So, if you have a project under your bed that just won’t let you alone, drag that puppy out and give it a read. It’s bugging you for a reason. It just might release you from the doldrums and kick-start your engines. Happy writing!

    Author Details
    Author Details
    A Slice of Orange started in 2004 as a group of authors from Orange County, California. We have expanded to include authors from around the globe–from the UK, all across the US to New Zealand. Our authors include the multi-published and writers at the beginning of their publishing career. In addition to authors, we feature blog posts from editors, PR professionals, and cover designers. The bright segments of the writing and reading community that make up one perfect entity—A Slice of Orange.

    #Me Too

    Buy now!
    #Me Too

    A LADY’S POINT OF VIEW

    Buy now!
    A LADY’S POINT OF VIEW

    A SOLDIER’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS

    Buy now!
    A SOLDIER’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS
    BECKONED, PART 1: FROM LONDON WITH LOVE

    CITY OF BLAZE

    Buy now!
    CITY OF BLAZE

    COME FLY WITH ME

    Buy now!
    COME FLY WITH ME

    COWBOY KARMA

    Buy now!
    COWBOY KARMA

    DANGER MUSIC

    Buy now!
    DANGER MUSIC
    FATHOMS: A NOVEL OF THE PARANORMAL

    FREYA Viking Glory Book Two

    Buy now!
    FREYA Viking Glory Book Two
    FUR, FEATHERS AND SCALES: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Animal Tales

    GIRLFRIENDS & SECRETS

    Buy now!
    GIRLFRIENDS & SECRETS

    GIRL IN THE MIST

    Buy now!
    GIRL IN THE MIST

    HAGAR’S LAST DANCE

    Buy now!
    HAGAR’S LAST DANCE

    HOSTILE WITNESS