Pike's story!

Find out more 



Male/Male romance

Available now! Find out more 


Available now for only $1.99!

Find out more 


Watching is only half the fun...

Available now! - Find out more 



Gibson's story!

Releasing Oct. 20, 2015!

Find out more 



*This does not subscribe you to my blog.





Join the Fearless Romantics Reader Group

Search This Site
Powered by Squarespace
Latest From the Blog
Dig Through the Archives
100+ reading challenge 2010 about me adverbs agent agents ashley march author author blog author branding author intrusion author platform author voice author websites authors award awards backstory bad boy balance berkley heat best writing links beta club beta reader beta readers blog tour blog tours blogfest blogger blogging blogging tips book book covers book deal book marketing book promotion book reviews book title books branding characters comments contest contests crash into you creativity critique critique group critiquing dear author debut author deep point of view deep POV dialogue ebooks editing editors endings e-publishing excerpt face off friday feedback fiction fill-me-in friday first chapter first draft first novel genre genre fiction goals guest blog guest blogging guest post harlequin historical romance hook how to write humor ideas indie publishing inspiration interview joan swan Julie Cross kindle kissing blogfest kristen lamb links literary agent literary fiction love scenes marketing mashup melt into you memorable moments middle grade motivation motley crue movies muse music mystery mystery writing Nelson Literary Agency new years resolutions novels opening chapter opening lines openings overediting panster pantser paranormal pen name perfectionism pitching plotter plotting poll promotion publishing queries query query letter querying question of the day reading reading challenges rejection repost revising revisions romance romance author romantic suspense roni loren rough draft royal street rules RWA RWA nationals sagging middle Sara Megibow save the cat self-editing self-publishing sequels series sex scenes sierra godfrey social media social networking speed writing submissions suspense suzanne johnson teens tempest tiffany reisz time management TMI traditional publishing tumblr twilight twitter update urban fantasy voice WIP wip wednesday women's fiction wordiness work in progress wednesday workshops write tip writer writer toolbox writers writer's block writers' conference writer's toolbox writetip writing writing blogs writing contest writing craft writing goals YA young adult

Fiction Groupie Archives

These are my writing posts from my former blog, spanning 2009-2012. To see new writing posts, click on the blog tab above. To see these archived post organized by topic, click "For Writers" above.

Entries in Julie Anne Long (1)


Letting Your Character in on the Secret by Ashley March

It's Monday again and time for one of our regular guests--the lovely and insightful Ashley March. Today she's giving us a great idea on how to turn some tropes on their head.

Take it away, Ashley...

Letting Your Character in on the Secret 
by Ashley March

Awhile ago I had the pleasure of reading Julie Anne Long’s most recenthistorical, What I Did For a Duke. I say it was a pleasure because not only amI a huge JAL fan (if you haven’t read her work already, please do so—you’remissing out), but also because this was the first book I ever remember readingwhere as soon as I finished I wanted to start over again.
Butthat’s from a reader’s point-of-view. From a writer’s point-of-view, whatreally struck me about this book is that although it could have been a typicalrevenge plot where the hero gets back at the heroine’s brother by breaking theheroine’s heart, (warning! partial spoiler below)

Ms.Long instead surprised me partway through the book by having the heroinerealize that this was the hero’s intention. I admit it, I was stunned. Here Iwas, sure that the hero would succeed in his plans, make the heroine fall inlove with him (while he falls in love with her, of course), and then at the endwhen she finds out what his true intentions were from the beginning, therewould be drama (!) and angst (!). Yet Ms. Long completely turns thatpredictable plot upside down by having the heroine figure out the hero’sintentions before he could break her heart.

Whatdid this do?
1)     Mostimportantly, I was even more excited to continue reading than I had beenbefore, because now I had no idea what to expect.
2)     Itmade me believe that the heroine was an equal match for the hero, which isn’talways the case with plots like this.
3)     Itmade me even more envious of Ms. Long’s genius.
Italso, however, made me wonder why we writers sometimes choose to take the easyway out. Is it because we’ve read certain tropes before and know that they cansucceed, thus we want to emulate their success for ourselves? Or is it becausewhen we brainstorm ideas, we choose something from the first three options,never daring to explore beyond the predictable?
Icould challenge you to copy from Ms. Long by choosing a common plot device andthen turning its on its head to make it unique—and I’m sure each of us couldfind a way to do that without much effort. (Throw in a rabbit here, a redherring there.)
Butinstead, I’m going to challenge you to dig a bit further. Specifically, whatcharacter(s) can you give knowledge to of an event/person/thing, etc. that iscurrently ignorant of that event/person/thing as the story stands? For you see,giving your character knowledge—whether he chooses to reveal it to anyone elseor not—makes him stronger and smarter in the reader’s eye, and it also makesthe story more complex and fresh.
Thinkof the heroine dressing up as a man and becoming the hero’s best friend. Whatif the hero knows the heroine is pretending, instead of questioning why he’ssuddenly experiencing sexual awareness toward a member of the same sex whenhe’s never done so before? (I have to admit, I like my heroes to be smart,too.)
Thinkof two ex-lovers reunited by circumstance. Instead of them both being attractedto each other still and constantly questioning whether the other person lovesthem, have one of the characters confident of their love being reciprocated.What other reason would they have to keep them at a distance?
Theseare just a couple of examples off the top of my head, and I’m sure you can comeup with better ideas when you look at your specific characters. Figure out whatthey currently don’t know (this could be about anything), then change it so thatthey do know. This can deepen notonly your characters and your story, but also create something that might oneday make your readers stand in awe and rave about your incomparable genius.(Here’s to you, Ms. Long. J )
What other book(s) can you think ofwhere a character’s knowledge turned what could have been a predictable plotinto something astounding?
AshleyMarch is a historical romance author who lives in Colorado with her adoring (oris that adorable?) husband, her two young daughters, and their dog. Her latestbook, ROMANCING THE COUNTESS, was released by NAL Penguin in September 2011,and she is currently psychoanalyzing the characters of her next two projects:the story of Joanna and Ethan, two secondary characters from her Victoriandebut; and the first book in a series set in 1920s Long Island.



“...a sexy, sizzling tale that is sure to have readers begging for more!"
–Jo Davis, author of I SPY A DARK OBSESSION



CRASH INTO YOU is now available for pre-order!

Read an excerpt here.

All content copyright of the author. Please ask permission before re-printing or re-posting. Fair use quotations and links do no require prior consent of the author. ©Roni Loren 2009-2011 |Copyright Statement|