Heads up

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Some of the ladies from my local (Toronto) RWA chapter posted a quick list of the stuff they gleaned from the recent Ottawa RWA Chapter - Are You Sweet or Spicy? Conference, on their blog, Drunk Writer Talk.

A writing buddy/some times crit partner had emailed me previously about the conference. The main thing she came away with is that all the editors/agents were stressing conflict, Conflict, CONFLICT. I suggested that this might be because hot paranormal elements, or super suped up sex elements were in many cases taking the place of conflict/characterization in many offerings lately. Hence the growing reader grumblings. And if readers are grumbling about the stuff that actually makes it to print, just imagine what doesn't get bought, but the editors/agents have to wade through.

Character = story.
Character is revealed through conflict.
Conflict is the framework and fuel of story.

Pretty simple stuff, really.

**Here's some additional stuff picked up from another chapter member re the Panel On Insider Secrets:

Single title - The market for chick lit is "contracting". (Gotta love the euphemism. *g*)

Next: They're getting saturated with divorced women, so they're not too keen on seeing more of the same. Authors are also being asked to pump up the sensuality in their stories. (There was a comment that one author of this imprint admitted she was writing her *very first lovescene*, so I take it, it's not just about upping the heat level, its actually showing or adding the scene(s).)

Intrigue: As mentioned before, Herocentric. The Heroine must be strong, but the Hero must still be her rescuer/protector.

Historicals: The trend is for unusual settings, e.g. ancient Rome. Light and funny (ie Julia Quinn type) romances are still hot.

HQN: These are primarily romances--focus on the developing relationship between the H/h. Not 'mainstream' romantic stories. Because they're single title length, I guess get this mixed up. The mainstream books go to MIRA, but...

MIRA: Is usually for proven authors only. (I believe agented, only, also.)

Harlequin is now using computer Word Count. Once a full is requested, you can submit on disk or by email. Manuscript must be in one document, not a separate file for each chapter.
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raine said...

Pretty simple stuff, really.

No sweat. :-O

No--I think you're right on the mark.
However...DOING it is another matter...

Amie Stuart said...

A to the Men =)

Dee said...

LOL, Is this not what you and I are always talking about when we crit? Not just HAVING a strong conflict, but expressing it, using it, feeling it, torturing with it.

You're my conflict guru, babe.

Jordan Summers said...

Thanks for the link. It clears up a few things that I've been hearing about lately. I'd planned to attend that conference, but life happened. :-/

Jaye said...

Raine - I.A.I.T.E (tm) ;-)

Aime & Dee -I'm preachin to the choir with you two, I know. ;-)

Jordan - From the sounds of it, it's a very good conference to attend if you're targetting Harl/Sil. Interesting to hear that they're refocusing on the romance, and in that one imprint, the herocentric story.

Jordan Summers said...

I think they're doing that to bring back the romance readers that have been lost to other lines. As for the conference, I'd intended to attend this year, but life got in the way. Maybe next year. I'm trying to decide which conferences I am going to go to in 07.

Jaye said...

YOu could be right Jordan, wasn't Harl/Sil repositioning themselves to be dominant in all subgenres, not just romance? I think they might have lost some of their backbone/dedicated romance audience, while not replacing them with new readers from the other genres they were attempting to capture.

I've never been to a conference, But I'd like to attend one. This one wasn't in the cards simply because it's so focused on Harl/Sil and I'm not targetting them. Don't think I necessarily want the Nationals to be my first, either. Writer's Weekend sounds very intimate. I think it's limited to under 50 attendees, with a number of agents/editors, and critiques given.

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