Posted On February 5, 2010 by Print This Post

Historical Romance Part 1: Hot? Not?

It’s my great pleasure to welcome Kris Kennedy and her agent Barbara Poelle to Romance University. As many of you know, RU’s highlighting a different romance sub-genre each month, and February’s all about historical. Today, Kris and Barbara will touch on Medieval-set romances.

Following their interview, Kris has provided a wonderful lecture on what’s the worst thing that could happen in your story. Be sure to check out. Kris and Barbara will check in throughout the day to answer your questions.

Take it away, ladies!

Tracey: How would you define the historical/medieval subgenre?

Barbara: Um, High Necklines and Low morals.
(Okay, that one was just to make you laugh. I don’t want to answer that, I mean come on, the answer is in the question.)

Kris: Fortunately, yes, this one is an easy one. 🙂

Tracey: What is your opinion of the state of this subgenre today?

Barbara: The historical romance? Well it is definitely alive and well. There are indications that it has peaked but then there always seems to follow another swell in demand. As far as medievals in particular, I do hear people struggling to place them, but good writing is good writing. If the content and execution are phenomenal, the book will sell.

Kris: I am guessing too, that some of it a toss of the dice.  How many books of a certain, small subgenre does a certain editor or publisher already have?  There’s only so much space in publishers’ release schedules, and if they already have some great medievals, it being a smaller market, they might turn it down.

And since this is nothing you have control over, I think if you and your Muse *have* to write a medieval, then you’d better write a medieval. We need more great ones!  And then, Barbara can help find the right home for it. 🙂

Tracey: Do you think it’s hot right now?  Why or Why not?

Barbara: (I kind of answered this above)

Kris: I have no idea how to answer this, in part because it doesn’t really matter.   Anything I’d say would be a ‘trend,’ and since there’s no way to know if a trend is a trend, or a new strong subgenre, we writers can’t really follow that either.  Our course direction has to be to follow where our writing is strongest.

That being said, if you have it in you to write a unique paranormal, say,  as well as a medieval, I’m going to guess you’d have more marketing options with the paranormal.

Tracey: Do you see any trends writers should avoid? Move toward? Any advice for writers wanting to break into this subgenre?

Barbara: Our agency represents Linda Lael Miller who, as far as I am concerned, is the single best historical western romance writer out there, so my bar is set very, very high, but still I always shoot my mouth off saying I am looking for a western historical. The reality of it is, it would need to be spectacular for me to place it as Westerns aren’t as popular as the Regency or even Scottish as of late. If you are looking into breaking in I would stick with Regency England Historicals BUT I would research research research. Those readers are extremely well versed in the times and will nail an author to the wall if there is some question of plot or demeanor or even dress plausibility.

Kris: Whatever she says.

Tracey: Why do you represent this subgenre?  What else do you represent? Do you see any cross-over, any similairites?

Barbara: For whatever reason, my super powers extend pretty much only to historical romance. I seem to have a 6th sense for placing them with the right house. I am hideous at contemporary romance; I just don’t have a refined enough palate to have a sense for the good stuff in that one. I can do some paranormal, though. So that leads me to believe it is all about the world building. The attention to craft, technique and detail in both historicals and paranormals is so important and I can thrive within that.

Tracey: Do you have any insight in “historical-friendly” agents and editors?

Barbara: Um, me.

Kris: Um, her.   🙂   And as far as editors, Barbara will know them, and what they want.

Tracey: How do you think this sub-genre has changed in the last five years?

Barbara: I think the envelope is allowed to be pushed a little more each year, some of the love scenes are a little hotter, the heroines are a little feistier. I also think that I have seen the secondary characters become much more fully realized and personally I love that.

Kris: I agree.  Strong secondary characters can tweak out corners of the main protagonists in new ways, making the tapestry of the story world much richer.   Oh, and I’m very pleased by the move towards hotter stories.  I love them hot.

Tracey: What are your predictions for this subgenre in the next one to three years?

Barbara: Wow, well if I had those I would not be answering these questions I would be at the Kate Spade store across the street spending all of the money coming my way in the next one to three years. But here is the thing: if you have the ability to craft a fresh, original take on a concept that works, with an alpha hero and a determined heroine you have a shot and being part of the sub genre. Just make sure to research the era and READ in your genre.

Kris:  Oohh, when you’re at Kate Spade, can you pick me up pair of those red heels, with the black . . . Well, really, any pair will do . . .

It’s hard to keep hearing the same things over and over: write a great story.  Give it a relatable hook so we can know where to put it on a shelf, but . . . be Unique and Original!

It’s like trying to read tea leaves. Which is why . . . I don’t think we should do it.

Agents and editors really mean it when they say those things.  It really is that indefinable.  Good art often is.

Think about it.  Think about the stories you love to read.  Yes, you could probably explain what you loved about them, but that can’t be sufficient explanation, can it?  Because there are other stories out there with those same exact elements, that didn’t grab you.  Why?  Can you explain it in a way that would allow someone else to say, “Oky-doky!  Got it.  I’ll start doing that in my manuscripts from here on out.”

Probably not.  “Strong heroine” could be a thousand different things.  This is just one of those things.   You know it when you see it.

I think we writers should forget trends, forget the indefinables.

I think we should read craft books.  I think we should read books in the genre we want to write in.   Most importantly, I think we should write.  Lots.   Quantity produces quality. The more you do it, the better you will get.   (As long as you’re not banging your head against a wall, ignoring feedback and not evolving.)   It’s *exactly* like playing the piano. The more you play, the better you get.

And we should take risks in our writing.  Once you have the basic craft elements down, don’t be safe. Push your own personal envelope.   (More on one way to do this in my craft-related blog here at RU today, “I Mean Really . . . What’s The Worst That Could Happen?”)

And, if you know that you simply must write, then write.  Worry about writing, not selling.   I think the overwhelming focus on being published can actually be detrimental to us as craftswomen.   I don’t recall it being so strong when I first got involved with RWA, maybe 10 years ago.  Think about Story.   How do I write a great story?

Focus there, be persistent, be smart about it, and forget about trends.  Who knows what might happen?

Thanks so much for having us here!

* * *

Read on for Kris’ fabulous lecture:

I Mean Really . . . What’s The Worst That Could Happen?

A car chase?  The murderer walking in?   A slip of the tongue?  An army marching by and setting up camp beneath the tree where the hero and heroine are hiding and, ahem, engaged in other activities? (THE IRISH WARRIOR, June, ‘10, pg 266 )

Because whatever that ‘worst thing’ is, that’s what we need to do in our fiction.

In the scene you’re writing today, or the one you’re revising, have you really made the characters sweat?  Pushed them to their limits (as they are thus far revealed)?  Have you taken away the person the hero relies on, the quality the heroine depends on, the outcome they expected, and turned it all on its head?

If not, back to the drawing board.

This is part of what keeps readers reading.  And moreover, gets them really engaged and excited about the story.  Creates that feeling inside them of “No WAY!  What’s going to happen next?”   Makes them wave off the husband who comes in to ask about dinner and ignore the ringing phone for just one  . . . more . . . minute.   Unable to resist,  they do what we writers NEED them to do, if we want a career in the publishing world: They Turn The Page.

Voila.  A page-turner.

To my mind, this is especially important in genre fiction, because the reader already *knows* how everything’s going to turn out. Hel-LO, it’s a romance. He gets the girl.  She gets the boy.  They live Happily Ever After, or at least with a real hope of it.

And yet, even in genre fiction, one of the things that keeps people reading is the tension that arises from a story question on each page.

You don’t need to have car chases or vampiric attacks on every page (please feel free to do these things, but they’re not required, unless you have vampires who need to attack and such.)  In fact, stories with the most explosions (speaking metaphorically) don’t always sell with the most astonishing results, because there was never any tension in the reader.  What *is* required is a certain level of tension within the reader, a feeling of “There’s  a story question here and I have to see it answered.”

And one of the most fun, effective ways to do it is make bad stuff happen to your characters.

Whhheeee! It’s like being at an amusement park.  No, really.

(And, lest my enthusiasm for Terrible Things Happening To Good People lead you to think I believe it’s the only ingredient  to creating reader involvement, I’ll say right now, I know it’s not.   For instance,  it helps if readers care about your characters.  So you have to write compelling protagonists.  Just as a for instance.  But this blog is about making those compelling protagonists suffer, which is the fun part.  And, not coincidentally, it leads to creating characters readers care about, so it’s a very cool feedback loop.)

Making things bad for our characters can be difficult for us writers.  Without even knowing it, we take it easy on them.  They planned to make it home from work that night, and, lo and behold, they make it home from work that night.

Bo-o-o-ring.  I mean, maybe *sometimes* they can make it home from work.  Like, say, on Tuesdays.

But if you want a page turner, you may want to turn up the heat, throw them some curve balls, do the unexpected, take away whatever they thought they needed, then push them  in the river when they don’t know how to swim.  And oh my goodness, did you say a flash flood is coming??

Whatever expectations you set up at the start of the scene or chapter, try blowing them out of the water, and see what happens.   Whatever goals you had for them, ensure they do not achieve them, and in the most uncomfortable ways imaginable.

A simple test for your current scene:

Are your characters’ scene-by-scene goals being answered with one of the following?

~ Yes, but . . .

~ No.

Or, my favorite,

~ No, and furthermore . . .

Oh, yes!  Yes, yes, yes!  Now, that’s some Story fun.

If your characters are achieving their goals as planned in each scene, you can very likely ramp up the tension and get your readers engaged more deeply by trying this approach.

Again, I’m not talking the literary equivalent of “24”.  Your story can be a very ‘quiet’ one, with two people simply trying to avoid falling in love.  But within that framework, there need to be story questions that keep the reader engaged.

What’s the last thing your heroine successfully accomplished, or that went as planned?   Her alarm clock going off on time?  Her winning the case?  The carriage arriving on time for the ball?   Did she talk to a friend and does she feel better now?   Stop that.

Make her fail.  Put a bigger obstacle in her way, one that has to stop her dead in her track, make her readjust course, into a brick wall. Or better yet, the hero!

And who about him?  What’s he got going on?

Did the boat arrive at the dock as expected?  Is the castle gate open?    Did he plan to wear clothes to work today?  And were they all hanging there in his closet as expected?  Darn.   Was his side-kick a reliable and trustworthy side-kick, with no personal agendas or ulterior motives, not thwarting the hero in any way, even for the best of reasons?

Did they person they went to for help give them help?  Did they get the information they needed?  Did the army about to camp beneath the tree they’re hiding in move on and camp somewhere else?  (In draft versions #1-43 of THE IRISH WARRIOR, they did.  Then, to my surprise, they decided to camp beneath the tree, and holy moley . . . .)

Give it a try with the scene you’re working on today.  Or, if you hit a boring, ho-hum patch in your manuscript, go back about 2 chapters, and make something that went well, go poorly.   Make something that went as planned, go awry.  Make the army camp beneath the tree.  Mix it up.

Push them in the river and don’t teach them how to swim.  That’s why we’re reading.  We want to watch them learn.

* * *

RU Readers, what do you think? Are medievals hot? Will you give Kris’ technique of making something good go bad?

In February, we’ll also highlight we’ll highlight Regency/Edwardian and Victorian periods. Check our lecture schedule for the dates.

Be sure to stop back on Monday to chat with 2009 RWA Bookseller of the Year Rosemary Potter. She’ll tell us what draws her to a book and how authors can make their books stand out.

Kris’ Bio:
Kris Kennedy writes sexy, adventure-filled medieval romances for Kensington and Pocket Books.  Her debut book, THE CONQUEROR, came out May ‘09.  Her second, THE IRISH WARRIOR, was the winner of RWA’s 2008 Golden Heart ® Award for Best Historical Romance, and releases June ‘10.   Kris loves hearing from readers–stop by her website, sign up for her newsletter, and say Hi!

Barbara’s Bio:
Barbara Poelle began her publishing career as a freelance copywriter and editor before joining the Irene Goodman Agency in 2007, but feels as if she truly prepared for the industry during her brief stint as a stand-up comic in Los Angeles. She has found success placing thrillers, literary suspense, historical romances, humorous/platform driven non-fiction, and upmarket fiction and is actively seeking her next great client in those genres, but is passionate about anything with a unique voice. Barbara has a very hands on approach with the craft and editorial details of the books she represents, and loves working with her clients to take their writing to the next level.

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34 Responses to “Historical Romance Part 1: Hot? Not?”

  1. Kris and Barbara,

    Thank you so much for participating in our historical subgenre segment. I’m curious what your thoughts are on writing in two eras such as: Regency and Victorian. Eloisa James has done this successfully, but she was well established as a Regency author before moving to Georgian.

    Do you have any inside scoops about what editors are hungry for within the historical subgenre? Paranormal? Noir? Light? Funny?

    Thanks for the great craft lecture. I made my heroine face her worst fear, basically bringing her full circle, and had an oddly great time doing it. What does that tell you about me? LOL

    Thanks, ladies.

    Posted by Tracey Devlyn | February 5, 2010, 6:50 am
    • Hi Tracey~
      Thanks so much for having us here today!

      I’ll let Barbara answer the question about mixing sub-genres, as far as a career move, but I’d think it would totally be fine, as long as the author feels she can do it well. But as you pointed out with Eloisa, she had a solid reputation as a writer of one genre, and branched out. That may be most important for somone just getting started.

      Posted by Kris Kennedy | February 5, 2010, 10:48 am
    • Hello!
      As far as to what editors are hungry for, I 100% have the answer, but you are going to get very, very angry with me. I mean it. You all are going to roll your eyes and make barf sounds. Ready?
      Editors are hungry for spectacular writing.
      I WARNED YOU! Stop throwing all of that rotten produce at me!
      Here’s the thing, discussing what genres are working and who can cross what genre into which is all valid to a point, but in the end, it’s chops chops chops that make the difference. (Also, sidebar: I am not sure I have ever been sent a “noir” historical romance, and would feel more like I would describe that type as more “gothic” perhaps? Maybe I am not understanding.)

      Posted by Barbara | February 5, 2010, 11:40 am
      • It’s really true. (Not just ‘true,’ but ‘really true.’ Cuz, you know, truth has levels . . .)

        I said in the blog that it really is as indefinable as ‘a great story.’ Good art often is.

        We all love stories where we might be able to explain what you loved about them, but that isn’t a sufficient explanation, b/c there are 100 other stories out there with those same elements, that didn’t ‘do it.’

        This is just one of those things. You know it when you see it. And everyone has different taste.

        You turn down work, BP, that you then send on to other agents, right? So the subjective element really comes into play.

        Posted by Kris Kennedy | February 5, 2010, 11:45 am
      • Thanks Barbara and Kris!

        Barbara, I promise not to throw produce at you! The first time I heard “noir” used with romance novels was Anna Campbell’s Claiming the Courtesan. If I remember correctly, it was mentioned right on the cover. I thought I was being “vogue” by using the term! 🙂

        Posted by Tracey Devlyn | February 5, 2010, 2:18 pm
  2. Barbara & Kris –

    Thanks so much for taking the time to hang out with us today. I have tons of admiration for authors of historicals!

    Kris, as I’m working on my current book, I’ll keep asking myself what’s the worst thing that can happen to my characters and keep giving it to them!

    Thanks again,

    Posted by KelseyBrowning | February 5, 2010, 7:19 am
  3. Great article! I think maybe I’ve been holding back on giving my characters a hard time — maybe I’m afraid I’ll end up as a dominatrix or something! LOL But the way you described it, Kris, it makes it seem do-able, not to mention fun. 🙂

    It seems like a recent discussion here was about how contemps aren’t as hot at the moment, and now maybe historicals aren’t. I understand things wane in popularity. Are paranormals still the hot thing? Or are they getting saturated? It’s tricky to write what we want, and still try to find something marketable. It’s a slippery target! LOL

    Posted by Donna Cummings | February 5, 2010, 9:24 am
    • Hi Donna~
      It’s so true, Donna, and it happens to us all! We get all caught up telling our characters’ stories, we forget that sometimes we’re not telling the most compelling story.

      I do it all the time. I’m writingwritingwriting, then I suddenly realize about 5 scenes back, I needed to have the hero’s best friend turn out to be a traitor or some such. 🙂

      So glad this conversation has sparked the idea, and made it seem do-able (as well as fun 🙂 )

      On writing to the market: Barbara will have better insights than I on this, and on the ‘hotness’ of the paranormal market . . .

      That being said, I’ll share this one thought: I think we all have transferable voices, as it were. Like, if you write great dark historicals, you might have a paranormal voice as well. Or if you write quirky, light contemps, there may be a YA in you.

      While I, personally, couldn’t be more opposed to writing to market, I do think we can make wise career choices. So if there’s a market that we CAN write in, & we’d like to give it a try, then maybe we should.

      But there’s also something for genre-bending and and bucking the trends. It may be harder to stand out amid 1000 paranormals.

      Posted by Kris Kennedy | February 5, 2010, 11:37 am
    • Nah, paranormals are def still viable commercial entities. I think, however, you may struggle with one if you have a love triangle with a werewolf and a vampire as I am fairly certain I have seen that done as of late.
      In the end, when considering whether you fit in the current commercial trends, I always say: Write how you live- with 98% passion and 2% common sense.

      Posted by Barbara | February 5, 2010, 11:43 am
  4. hey great post guys…=) lots of info in there…thanks!


    Posted by carrie | February 5, 2010, 9:35 am
  5. Kris and Barbara,

    Thank you for sharing your advise and wisdom on the future of historicals. I am curious what your opinions are on more stories being set in America. For instance Civil War or Revolutionary War periods.

    Posted by Jane L | February 5, 2010, 9:51 am
    • ehhhh, this is a toughie. I have not been able to find something that I feel could really push through the barriers that seem to be in place on Civil War and Revolutionary War historical romances. American soil works in Westerns, but again, they have to be a real jaw dropper. I think, in the end, my personal taste may come into play here as I just happen to prefer my historicals on foreign soil.

      Posted by Barbara | February 5, 2010, 11:48 am
  6. Some great advice. I was ‘reawakened” to my love of romance with the Diane Gabaldon Series for the very reason that her charactors are always having a bad day.

    I loved it so much I wanted to write it.

    But it doesn’t come naturally for me to be cruel. (I’m a flight attendant and it’s my natural instinct to make nice with everyone.) But I’m trying

    THanks for the article I’ve got the day off and I’m going to see just what inconvenient disasters I can throw in my hero and heroines faces.

    Posted by darceeyates | February 5, 2010, 10:39 am
    • Darcee~
      I couldn’t agree more! ‘Always having a bad day’: I love that!

      I can see where all your training goes against being mean and troublesome to your characters. 🙂 Maybe you could visualize that you’ve just hit the Passenger Wall: one too many people hitting the Call button for no reason, not being willing to switch seats to help someone else out, not getting out of the aisle for you, etc etc. Then sit down and start writing! 😉

      Posted by Kris Kennedy | February 5, 2010, 11:41 am
  7. Kris- On what’s the worst that could happen. You jogged a powerful hidden memory. *at 50, early saturday morning cartoons are as hidden as what’s in all those boxes in the garage* . But it came bouncing back. The Perils of Penelope Pitstop! which was fashioned after the silent movies– The Perils of Pauline. What dasterdly thing could happen to her this week?! It’s what kept us coming back. I’m getting all wickedly excited thinking about what I can throw at my heroine that she can get plastered with yet successfully dodge at the same time.

    Posted by darceeyates | February 5, 2010, 11:21 am
    • Darcee~
      That sounds like a *perfect* role model for this! Do a “Perils of Pauline’ on your protags . . .perfect! (and how’s that for some snazzy alliteration??)

      Go, girl, go be cruel to your heroine today! 🙂

      Posted by Kris Kennedy | February 5, 2010, 1:02 pm
  8. Barbara, you make me wish I wrote Westerns so I could send you one. My FIL would like it too.

    Kris, great reminder to keep my characters in trouble.

    Posted by Edie | February 5, 2010, 11:27 am
  9. Barbara and Kris, thank you for being here today. I don’t write historicals, but a lot of your comments resonated with me. Great post!

    Now I’m going to find a random scene in my WIP and do something evil to my protagonist!

    Posted by Adrienne Giordano | February 5, 2010, 12:16 pm
  10. Barbara, Kris, Thanks for the great posts. I read the comments about making it tougher on the h/h–especially the heroine, and I recognized my problem on my WIP. I started out intending to put her ‘through the mill’, but as the story progressed, I found myself being too nice to these people I came to really like. There went the intensity.

    I know–I need to get over it and get that gal on the horns of the hero’s dilemma. OK, Kris, back two chapters I’m heading!!


    Posted by Barb Huddleston | February 5, 2010, 12:31 pm
  11. Always glad to see attention paid to medievals, since that’s what I write! Chiming in, too, to say that the longer I am in this business (book #5 will be out in May), the more I understand the truth of the paradoxical cliches: Just write a good book AND it’s all subjective. The writing IS the only thing you can control. Then, you trust that you (or your agent) will get that manuscript in front of an editor who “gets” you. And that your house will then find the readers who do the same. But unless you do your best when you face the blinking cursor, the rest of that can’t happen.

    Posted by Blythe Gifford | February 5, 2010, 12:51 pm
    • Hey there Blythe~
      So glad you stopped by, fellow medieval writer. 🙂

      It’s a very strange and difficult truth: You absolutely must write a great book, and that might be not enough. At least not at a particular moment in time, with a particular agent or editor.

      As you say, we have control over one thing, the greatness of the book. So it’s best to focus there.

      I like what BP said a little way back: 98% passion and 2% common sense.

      Posted by Kris Kennedy | February 5, 2010, 1:11 pm
  12. Edie~
    Hey, who knows, maybe you have a western in you . . . 🙂 Thanks for saying hi!

    I really like your plan–find a random scene and do something awful to someone. It’s so much fun. 😈

    Barb H~
    I love when something suddenly clicks into place and you *know* what you need to do. It’s such an exciting feeling. So very glad the Worst Things post helped trip the switch, and have a blast making them suffer.

    Posted by Kris Kennedy | February 5, 2010, 1:08 pm
  13. I think I’ve gotten my percents mixed up — LOL. I think I’ve been doing 98% common sense and 2% passion when it comes to real life. Good thing I haven’t been writing memoirs (yet!)

    I’m definitely gonna change up my percentages from now on!

    Posted by Donna Cummings | February 5, 2010, 1:42 pm
  14. Kris Kennedy and Barbara Poelle: Thank you for your helpful posts.

    I’m quite interested in the Middle Ages, but it’s been a long time since I even tried to read a historical romance set during this period. Indeed, it’s daunting for me to pick up a historical romance with any setting. The problem is, there just aren’t any aimed at readers like me. None that I’ve found yet, that is.

    If only I could find one in which the hero and heroine come together because they actually love each other, rather than because they’re forced to marry each other, he kidnaps her, or some such involuntary situation. In histories of the Middle Ages we read much about courtly love. In fiction set in this era we never do.

    It would also be great if I could find a historical romance, or any other kind, in which the hero is an ordinary guy. No title, no wealth, no power. Plenty of plot possibilities here. A non-cynical, non-arrogant attitude would also help. A hero who doesn’t try to intimidate the heroine, and a heroine who has no desire to control the hero, would open the door to new and potentially powerful ways in which the focal characters can interact with each other.

    My search for this sort of romance fiction has yielded few results. So what can I do about it? You guessed it: I write my own!

    Posted by Mary Anne Landers | February 5, 2010, 2:54 pm
    • Hi Mary Anne~
      Thanks for saying hi! And I’m so glad to hear your writing the stories you want ot read: that’s the wya to get some great stories on the shelves. 🙂

      I happen to know that Blythe writes about ‘ordinary’ heroes and heroines in her books. And in my upcoming June release, The Irish Warrior, neither hero nor heroine are noble.

      I share your desire for protagonists who like and respect one another, but have other obstacles holding them apart. I think the trouble we storytellers run into is, how do you keep the tension up if they’ve both acknowledged their love, and nothing is keeping them apart? Without resorting to a misunderstanding, that is. Or a prolonged separation.

      You may want to check out Blythe’s stories. What other books are out there, ladies?

      I only have one book out so far, but the 2nd is coming in June, and I’m working on a 2 books for Pocket right now, and at least one is a medieval. They have thus far been about people who very much love and respect one another, but have external obstacles that present dangers and challenges to their love.

      And I tend to write what I call ‘the good alpha’ hero. A strong male figure, in charge, confident, but not a bully or overpowering. He’s decent, and confident, and therefore isn’t afraid to be respectful to and of the heroine.

      And in general, I’m noticing my heroines generally get blown out of the water by the hero pretty much right away. 🙂 They simply fall head-over-heels for him, but have reasons to resist it.

      Not sure if any of that sounds like your cup of tea. 🙂

      Posted by Kris Kennedy | February 5, 2010, 3:43 pm
  15. Hi Kris and Barbara! Thanks for the wonderful info. I can only hope more and more medievals will sell, because they are my favs. I’ll bypass a favorite author for a new medieval…lol.

    Any comments from either Barbara or Kris on pairing an alpha heroine with an alpha hero would be appreciated. I’ve got a virago warrior queen with a hunky Highlander right now, and I have to admit, I’m having a blast writing it!

    Kris, your comments on the worst that can happen are soooo on target. Since I’m in your HHRW Powerful Openings class, you know I think so.

    Everyone, if you get a chance to take Kris’s class at another time, I’ve told her to rename it to Creating a Page Turner, because that’s exactly what she teaching.

    Happy writing everyone!

    Posted by Mary McCall | February 5, 2010, 7:38 pm
  16. Kris – I love your “what’s the worst that can happen?” question. That’s exactly what I needed to see today Great lecture!!

    Posted by Jamie Farrell | February 6, 2010, 9:57 am
    • Jamie~
      Oh, fabulous! I’m so glad that it hit the spot. I’m need to do it myself in my ms today. The hero needs to go talk to someone & find out some info, and– what was I thinking?–yesterday, he was successful.

      Today, I have to go back and either make it harder, or have it turn out a little worse. 🙂

      What a fun way to spend a Saturday, torturing this man. 😈

      Posted by Kris Kennedy | February 6, 2010, 12:38 pm
  17. Great info. here Kris! I can’t wait to read page 266–I’m sad I have to wait until June. 🙁

    Making things worse for my characters, and then worser still, was hard for me at first, but I’ve gotten over it. Especially in my current WIP. 🙂

    Posted by Stacey Joy Netzel | February 6, 2010, 9:35 pm
  18. Stacey~
    LOL. Yay for Page 266! 😉

    Thanks for coming by. I am still getting better at the whole ‘Worst Thing’ mentality. (Not that I do it for *every* scene. But almost. 🙂 ) I had to rewrite a scene for just this reason yesterday, and today, I’m going to have to go back about 4 scenes and rewrite something else, to make the outcome much worse. More urgent.

    I can usually tell if I missed the boat when I start losing interest in a scene. That’s usually my cue to go back and mess someone up. LOL

    Posted by Kris Kennedy | February 7, 2010, 1:35 pm


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