Thursday, August 30, 2012

Transition is in the Air


Ah, transitions! There are so many kinds.

Writing transitions

How you get from one scene in a story to another. My personal writing philosophy is Just Don't Do It. As in, never write a transition scene.

Others may be brilliant at writing transition scenes but I am not. For me, nothing happens in those scenes -- DOH -- because they exist only to move my story from Point A to Point C. This is not the same as a scene that allows the reader to breathe between scenes of intense action while I also set them up for the next WHAM moment in the story. Those scenes are necessary.

What I do now is omit the transition. If ::gasp!:: I find myself writing one, I stop myself and delete it. Almost until the end, I ignore those abrupt breaks. By the time I have a complete draft that has been gone through a few times, one of these conditions exists:
  1. Through my editing and revising, I have much more subtly and elegantly transitioned the scene at the ending of the previous chapter or the beginning of the next. Sometimes that's as easy as a slug line at the top of the next chapter along the lines of "Two Weeks Later" or what have you.
  2. I discover I don't need any transition at all -- perhaps, for example, an abrupt change works.
  3. I write a transition because there's no other choice given the structure and arcs of the novel. So far, I've never done one longer than a paragraph or two.

Career Transitions of Writers in the Wild

I can only talk about mine, of course, but golly. I now have an completely amazing and self-serving example. (File in the Shameless Self Promotion department.)

Midnight Scandals

Midnight Scandals is a self-published anthology of historical romance by Courtney Milan, Sherry Thomas and myself. All three of us have been RITA finalists for historical romance; Sherry has won twice. Both Courtney and Sherry have hit bestseller lists, Courtney made the NYT for a self-published novella.

So. Three traditionally published authors self-publishing. Two years ago this would not have happened. Period. Two of us are (so far) continuing to traditionally publish while self-publishing.

Welcome to Doyle’s Grange, a charming house near the hills of Exmoor, where the garden is beautiful in every season, and the residents are respectable year-round.

Except when the clock strikes midnight…
One Starlit Night by Carolyn Jewel

Ten years away from Doyle’s Grange isn’t quite long enough for Viscount Northword to forget Portia Temple, or their passionate adolescent affair. Portia, however, is about to marry another man. Northword tells himself it is wrong to interfere in her life at this late hour, but interfere he cannot help, with his words, his body, and the truths of his heart.
What Happened at Midnight by Courtney Milan

Fleeing the consequences of her father’s embezzlement, Mary Chartley takes a position as a lady’s companion, only to find herself a virtual prisoner at Doyle’s Grange, her employer’s house. And then the nightmare truly begins: the man she loves, who also happens to be the man from whom her father stole, shows up at her door seeking recompense. And not merely in pound sterling…
A Dance in Moonlight by Sherry Thomas

After losing her childhood sweetheart to another woman, Isabelle Englewood is heartsick. But then something remarkable happens: Upon arriving at Doyle’s Grange, her new home, she meets Ralston Fitzwilliam, who looks almost exactly like the man she cannot have. Come late at night, she tells him, so I can make love to you pretending that you are the one I love.

Little does she realize what she is about to unleash.

Places to Buy Midnight Scandals

All Romance eBooks
Barnes & Noble
Google Books

Not Proper Enough

Not Proper Enough is my September 4th release from Berkley Books.

The Marquess of Fenris has loved Lady Eugenia from the day he first set eyes on her. Five years ago, pride caused him to earn her enmity. Now she’s widowed, and he’s determined to make amends and win her heart. But with their near explosive attraction, can he resist his desire long enough to court her properly?

After the death of her beloved husband, Lady Eugenia Bryant has come to London to build a new life. Despite the gift of a medallion said to have the power to unite the wearer with her perfect match, Eugenia believes she won’t love again. And yet, amid the social whirl of chaperoning a young friend through her first Season, she finds a second chance at happiness.

Unfortunately, the Marquess of Fenris threatens her newfound peace. Eugenia dislikes the man, but the handsome and wealthy heir to a dukedom is more charming than he has a right to be. Constantly underfoot, the rogue disturbs her heart, alternately delighting and scandalizing her. And when their relationship takes a highly improper turn, Eugenia must decide if the wrong man isn’t the right one after all.

Where to Buy Not Proper Enough in the US and Canada (Paper) (Kindle)
Find a store through BookSense
Directly from Penguin

But What about outside the US and Canada?

Berkley only bought North American rights. That means I can (and will) self-publish the book in those territories where I have the rights. There will be a bit of a delay since I have to prepare the files, but the cover is ready. I expect to be able to release outside North America within 30 days, probably sooner.

How about those Transitions!

A traditionally published author now has many more career options than she did just a year or two ago. Selling only North American rights might once have been cause for dismay. But now? Not so much.

My writing career has definitely transitioned. I can directly support my traditionally published books with novellas or short stories in ways that 1) increase sales for the trad pubbed books and 2) create an independent revenue stream that is more profitable to me.

This is a benefit to readers, too. They get more books to read and at different price points. Readers who might otherwise have had no way to legally purchase a book by an author they like can, in a situation like mine, now do so.

To me, this transition is a win.

Agree? Disagree? What do YOU think?

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