#1k1hr, 3 Top Tips, Creative Writing, fiction, Neo, Susan Maushart, Twitter

Three Top Tips for Getting Your Writing Done…

Distracted? Who, me? 

1. Enjoy yourself and your work, and it’ll be reflected on the page. If you’re wrapped up in your characters and can’t wait to find out how their story unfolds, then it will show in your work. Indulge yourself in your imaginary people and their fictional landscape. Those powerful feelings will travel from your brain, all the way down to your writing (or typing!) fingers.  To paraphrase the old quote: write, and they will read–but only if they get swept up in your enthusiasm.  You’ll know when you’ve found the right mix of characters and plot. The writing won’t feel like work!

2. I love using  #1k1hr on Twitter to join forces with other writers who need the motivation of writing to a deadline. It’s really useful to be part of that supportive online community, but like fire, the internet is a great servant but a terrible master. If you want to produce a reasonable amount of quality work, you’ll have to find some way to stay off-line for long periods.  Who hasn’t gone online for a few minutes to check their emails, only to then lose hours to WILFing (What Was I Looking For?) as Susan Maushart put it. Read her book “The Winter of Our Disconnect” to discover that there really is life on the other side of the screen.  

3. Like it or not, whether they’re going to be self-published, emailed to an agent or publisher, or sent out conventionally by post, manuscripts have to be put up on a screen eventually.  Writing things out longhand then transcribing means you get an extra look at your work as it goes through the process. That’s useful, but it takes more time than simply tapping away at a keyboard from the start. If you’d rather type than write out in longhand but get easily distracted by the internet, try a Neo. It’s a simple keyboard with a basic memory–that’s all. No facility for going online means no distractions (well, not from that direction, anyway!). When you finish your writing session, you just upload your work into your current WIP document. 

If you’ve enjoyed these tips, you can find more at my website, christinahollis.com What’s your most useful tip for getting the writing done? 
Christina Hollis, fiction, historical romance, Jewel Under Siege, Lady Rascal, Writing

Writing (and Rewriting) Romance As Ebooks…

Photo by Bertil Videt

I love putting my own spin on historical events by using them as the background to romance. At the beginning of my fiction-writing career, I wrote six books for Harlequin Mills and Boon’s Masquerade imprint under the pen name of Polly Forrester. These were originally only available in the UK so I’m currently working to introduce them to a wider audience by bringing them out as ebooks. Lady Rascal is already available and my next title, Jewel Under Siege, is due for release later this summer.


Jewel under Siege is set in Constantinople, at the time of the Crusades. Elena is a young widow who finds herself in an impossible situation when tough warrior Emil literally falls into her life. He is an enemy who has nothing but contempt for her people, but the lure of the forbidden means Elena and Emil are soon attracted to each other despite all the dangers.
Revisiting my earlier fiction means I can add a few little touches to the text. At the moment I’m taking the chance to make Elena and Emil’s romance sizzle still more under the Turkish sun. How do you like your historical romances – hot or homely?
You can keep up with the progress of Jewel Under Siege towards publication by subscribing to my newsletter. Just send an email to me at christinahollis@hotmail.co.uk with the word “Subscribe” in the subject line.

Creative Writing, fiction, Heroines, Romance, Saga

Three Top Tips For Writing Heroines

 Page URL: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AStipula_fountain_pen.jpgFile
By Antonio Litterio
The heroine of a romance or saga is a singular woman. She has to face conflicts and setbacks on the way to fulfilment without being ground down, or coming across as sickeningly perfect. When readers are asked why they love books, escapism always features highly. We all know how good it can be to get really wrapped up in a story. If your readers like your heroine, they’ll turn page after page to find out what happens to her. To make your heroine as irresistible to your readers as she is to your hero, keep these three points in mind…
LIKE HER: Half the fun of reading romance is in imagining yourself in the heroine’s shoes. Whether those are the clumpy brogues of a downtrodden Cinderella or the Manolo Blahniks of a top PA, we’ll love the woman who’s wearing them if we can recognise something of us within her. Put your heart into your heroine. Give her dreams that we can share – does she want to keep her family together and happy, despite disaster? Or does her cool sophistication hide her fear of rejection? Make her real, make her three-dimensional, and your readers will like her too, and want to find out more.
AGE MATTERS: It’s an inescapable fact that the majority of romance heroines are in their twenties. The reason for this is that as readers, it’s quite hard to “think ourselves older”. Many people start to read romances in their early teens. At that age, it’s not easy to imagine your way into the head of a middle-aged divorcee with five children. You’re more attracted to heroines who are at the start of their romantic adventures. As we grow older, we enjoy thinking back to what it was like to be innocent and in love for the first time, so the twenty-something heroine wins again.  
LET HER GROW: The most engaging heroines are those who develop during the course of their story. That doesn’t mean to say the love of a good hero has to change your central character from CEO of a multinational to a devoted housewife overnight (or vice versa). The realisation that forging a relationship doesn’t mean sacrificing your individuality is an equally valid character development. For decades, real-life women have been told they can have it all but it isn’t always easy to see how this can be made to happen. Fictional heroines can give their real-life counterparts insight into their own dilemmas – and of course everyone wants to believe in their own happy ever after.
Who is your favourite heroine?
Christina Hollis author, fiction, historical novels, Lady Rascal

*STOP PRESS* My New Release Is Almost Here!

So new, it’s still got its watermark!

I had so many comments and emails after my recent blogs on the epublishing explosion, I decided to explore the subject in more depth. As a result I’m putting one of my historical novels, Lady Rascal, out as an ebook. It will be released within the next few days in both Mobi and ePub forms, so whatever device you have, there’ll be a version ready for you.

This release is by way of testing the water – if the response to Lady Rascal as an ebook is good, I’ll bring out a paperback version and my other historical novels will be issued in both ‘real’ and virtual formats.

I’ll post more details on here soon but to be sure of hearing the latest, you can sign up for my newsletter at http://www.christinahollis.com. To celebrate the release of Lady Rascal, I’m giving away new edition bookmarks and pens to the first ten new subscribers to my newsletter!