Round robin – May 2020 – Edits

This month Rhobin has asked us to consider: All books go through multiple edits. What have
your learned are your problems, and what irks you about editing?


I overuse ‘that’ and I have the playwright’s inability to describe scenes and thoughts. Worse than both of those, I have the problem resolved by the end of chapter one.

Many writers have a word/s. Favourites are that, just, like, okay, anyway, Well..

I’m sure you pick up the idea. When the wonderful Judy Roth, my editor at MuseItUp pointed out to me how often I used ‘that’ I was horrified. It is, however, an easy issue to tackle. Whatever your word/s is/are a quick find search will show you where the devils are lurking and you can amend the text.

Withholding information was another issue I struggled with when I changed from writing drama to prose. Drama allows you to expect there will be input from an actor and a director. You don’t need, and in fact would be daft, to explain what the character is thinking. Expression is the actor’s job assisted by input from the director.

In prose, this is not the case. The reader needs a few clues. If the heroine is shredding her reticule with her fingers, the reader knows she’s agitated. If she’s sitting peacably at the side of the room, the reader has no clue she’s so worked up it was inevitable she would fire the gun…

It’s all very well to surprise your reader, but not to trick them.

However, that kind of editing is fine by me. I actually rather enjoy it. What causes me sleepless nights and endless re-writing is the structural stuff. It is my natural disposition to explain things to people. Useless for any kind of fiction. If the hero and heroine are in complete agreement about the perfidy of his mother by the end of chapter one then there is no point in writing the rest of the book. There is no rest of the book. It has taken me years to understand I do this.

What irks me about editing is missing things. I hate opening the finished file and finding a mistake on page three. How did that happen?

Capital Writer, Jane Riddell has written a book on the subject Go here to Words’worth.

Daisy’s Dilemma

My fellow scribes share their own pet peeves. Why not pop over and check them out?


Diane Bator
Connie Vines
Skye Taylor
Victoria Chatham
Beverley Bateman

Anne Stenhouse
Margaret Fieland
Dr. Bob Rich
Rhobin L Courtright

Round Robin May changes in direction


This month’s topic is about the direction romance writing and markets are taking. Robin asks:  what changes have you seen in romance novels in the past decade? Is there a change in romance novel direction? Is there still a market for non-explicit sex stories?

Changes over the last decade have been many, of course, but there are two main areas to my mind. Explicit erotica and same sex romance are much more mainstream than they were ten years ago. Large minority interests are being catered for and many who are not of those groups may satisfy their curiosity by reading this fiction.


The arrival of e-readers has facilitated both because a person may now read privately in very public places. I sometimes wonder if it, the e-reader, also allows more men to read ROMANCE.

That’s good, chaps, carry on.

Romance Novel Direction is the sort of change that happens in the currents below the surface. It’s ongoing and we don’t necessarily see it, but in due course we become aware. 

Changes I’ve observed over time include things like the move from the male doctor marrying the female nurse to both being either a doctor or a nurse. Billionaires are no longer necessary. Today’s super-educated, super-confident heroine wants a real man. If he comes in fireman’s gear, so much the better. Paternalism is seriously off-trend.

A downside of this might be in my own genre where occasionally a writer thinks her 1780 – 1830 heroine is a babe in a long frock with her hair in ringlets. I occasionally wince when I read about girls thinking up 21st century solutions. Personally, I find it more of a challenge to think back to how she went about it in the face of apparently insuperable social odds.

Daisys Dilemmal 333x500

Is there still a market for non-explicit sex stories? I think yes. Not every reader wants the biologicals every time. Some of them don’t want them any of the time. It varies. I’m trying to persuade my favourite supermarket assistant to give my books a go, but she thinks there won’t be enough bedroom interest for her.

So, what’s your own view? Will you be slotting in a bedroom scene, a gay kiss, a fireman? Or will you do what you’ve always done – whatever that is?

Other people musing over this are to be found in the list below. I’m immediately followed by Marci Baun

Beverley Bateman
Fiona McGier
Connie Vines
Skye Taylor
Margaret Fieland
Helena Fairfax
Anne Stenhouse
Marci Baun
Diane Bator
Rachael Kosinski
Rhobin Courtright

Connie Vines

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