Category Archives: Seduction Series

#WritingTips – Fun snippets of writing tips to make you smile!

Every now and then I’ll go on a Twitter binge and post a bunch of writing tips or pet peeves or whatever else is on my mind that day.  So since I have the TimeHop application on my iPhone I can see what I posted in previous years on this day.  And apparently two years ago on this day, I went on a writing tips binge so I was inspired to do it again this morning.

For those of you not familiar with Twitter – if you’re posting something under a topic you want people to be able to search on and follow, you use a hash tag.  And mine was #writingtips.  So since a lot of my Facebook friends either aren’t on Twitter or don’t follow me on there – I have a TON of Facebook friends…lol…I decided to do a blog about them so everyone could experience my warped-ness…  I know – if you follow me on Facebook you already get a big dose, but hey – if you can stomach that much, what’s a little more, right?

Again, for those of you who don’t Tweet – you can only use 140 characters in your tweets so that’s why some of the funky abbreviations.  I didn’t type them all fresh – I copied/pasted…LOL!

Now for those of you who have had me edit your books somewhere in your past – some of these will look familiar – and you’re already used to my warped sense of humor…LOL!  But you may even have more “Tina gems” that I don’t have on here…

So here we go!  Here are mine – feel free to add your own in the comments – especially the fun ones!!  Don’t give up too early – some of the really fun ones are toward the end of the list! 🙂

1.  #writingtips If a cock leaps 2 attention, it had better have little feet & B ready 2 run across the room…LOL!

2.   #writingtips If writing anal scenes – don’t do a BrokeBack Mountain thing – sliding in w/ one stroke w/ no lube would HURT! Ouch!

3.  #writingtips Another bad euphemism:  “Dangling globes of manliness” – ACK!!  Just say NO!

4.  #writingtips If you aren’t getting hot and bothered while WRITING your sex scene, no one will while reading it!!

5.  #writingtips Make sure your hero and heroine’s internal thoughts & dialogue sound different. Each character’s should be unique.

6.  #writingtips Usually if a sentence begins with And or But, the ‘and’ or ‘but’ can B removed without changing the sentence & will read better

7.  #writingtips Action/reaction. Let us see the character’s reactions to things – internal thoughts, emotional reactions & physical reactions.

8.  #writingtips Don’t forget to SHOW emotions in your scenes. How are the characters feeling? SHOW US!! Don’t TELL us.

9.  #writingtips A hero who looks at, fantasizes about or ‘plays with’ other women than the heroine (unless it’s a menage book) is NOT heroic

10.  #writingtips Heroine can’t flirt/cheat on hero either – NOT heroic, If they both agree to a threesome etc – fine, but not outside of that

11.  #writingtips When writing romance, a hero who is a jerk or treats her badly is NOT a hero. Readers want a romantic hero – give it to them.

12.  #writingtips If your hero knows every brand name your heroine is wearing – he’s gay, folks! Which is fine if you’re writing M/M romance 🙂

13.  #writingtips Be realistic. Most guys (sorry guys) can’t come four times in an hour…some women can…Don’t make readers roll their eyes!

14.  #writingtips Word choice – jizz or love juice – YUCK! Just use come or orgasm. Don’t gross the reader out!

15.  #writingtips KNOW your reader demographic – for romance – mostly highly educated women 18-50  Don’t talk down to them!

16.  #writingtips If hero/heroine are running for their lives & stop to have sex – they kinda deserve to die…Just sayin’ LOL…

17.  #writingtips Call it what it is. It’s not a ‘man rod’ or a ‘love shaft’ or a ‘steely length’ It’s a penis or a dick or a cock. Really…

18.  #writingtips Don’t be afraid of words – use them, but use them well. Her yawning moist cavern is just icky! Sooo not sexy!! 😦

19.  #writingtips Afraid of using the “C” word? If can be done..lol! Read my Seduction series – used in non traditional way, but readers loved it.

20.  #writingtips “Clit” is better than a euphemism like “love button” – ACK!

21.  #writingtips Word choice matters. Thigh is sexier than leg. Breast is sexier than boob or tit.

22.  #writingtips If heroine/hero are chafing – and handcuffs aren’t involved – get them some freaking lube, ppl! LOL…That’s just not sexy!

23.  #writingtips If a scene doesn’t move the story forward – cut it! Seriously!!

24.  #writingtips World building: Make the rules for your world/characters & then don’t break them! You’ll lose the reader’s trust…

25.  #writingtips Make sure U know your book’s timeline. Keep a chart. If 3 nights have passed, but it’s never bn dark-better B a paranormal LOL!

26.  #writingtips If your prologue is just an excuse to do a backstory dump -cut it! Only use those when absolutely needed to set up a story-RARE

27.  #writingtips If writing a sex scene & you’ve never done whatever it is U R writing about – talk to someone who has!!  Seriously!

28.  #writingtips Avoid using euphemisms that will make most people laugh – “his hairy man sack” is just gross!  NOT sexy…lol!

29.  #writingtips Anything that pulls the reader out of the story & gives them the chance to put the book down-weed it out of your writing!

30.  #writingtips Try 2 avoid giving all your characters in 1 book names that R2 similar or all start w/ same letter-could confuse reader!

31.  #writingtips Use of “locks” for hair has become cliche – seriously. PPL have hair, not locks unless it’s a padlock in their hair – ouch!

32.  #writingtips Use age appropriate language 4 yr characters. If yr 20 year old heroine says “Golly gee” – that’s odd & jarring 2 reader

33.  #writingtips Schedule a time each day 2 write, sit butt in the chair & write-brain will get the hang of being productive on cue.

34.  #writingtips Watch repeated words used close together -distracting for reader. For me it’s usually a diff word in each scene I have to edit!

35.  #writingtips “Mary was scared”=Telling. “Icy tendrils of fear raced up Mary’s spine”=showing. Paint a visual picture!

36.  #writingtips Try to avoid using was/ing combos-makes it kind of passive. Was running can become ‘ran’  🙂

37.  #writingtips If yr pacing is slow & dragging-go back & make sure yr conflict is big enough & difficult enough! Conflict drives pacing!

38.  #writingtips READ widely. Pay attention to writing you enjoy & writing you don’t and figure out why on both counts!

39.  #writingtips Don’t use flowery writing-readers like simple writing that paints a visual pic, not something schlocky & makes them groan!

40.  #writingtips Make sure your events aren’t out of order. pick up book, walk to door, open it, walk through, out of order won’t work here

41.  #writingtips If yr hero is “hard enough 2 drive nails” he needs 2 call the # on the back of the Viagra box!! That’s not healthy!! Ouch!

42.  #writingtips Avoid cliches – find a new, fresh way 2 say something! Make it yours. Cliches R distracting 4 the reader & don’t add value

43.  #writingtips Remember even when writing that heroes usually don’t want to kiss a heroine right after she’s “swallowed” – Jarring for reader

44.  #writingtips If your heroine’s vagina is “weeping” – there’s salve for that…LOL! Get her to the doctor! Ewwwwww!!!!

45.  #writingtips Make sure the action is w/ the character, not the body part. Fists won’t clench on their own, the character clenches them…

46.  #writingtips Beware of over repeated actions. If yr heroine is always sighing the reader is gonna wnt 2 kill her by the 10th time…seriously

47.  #writingtips Keep in mind yr job is 2 paint a word picture 4 the reader so they cn C the pic U have inside yr mind when writing the scene

48.  #writingtips Beware of wimpy verbs that don’t give reader a visual picture – words like ‘put’, ‘got’, and ‘went’ Use a more descriptive verb

49.  #writingtips If the heroine’s heart clenches inside her chest and she’s short of breath, she’s not in love, she’s having a heart attack!!

50.  #writingtips Who vs That. If you are talking about a person – use ‘who’.  If you are talking about a thing – use ‘that’

51.  #writingtips Get rid of “filler” words like “just” and “that”, which don’t add much value

52.  #writingtips Write what you mean. If a heroine leans INTO a hero – that’s gonna hurt & require surgery – she’s prob leaning AGAINST him.

53.  #writingtips Watch out for body parts gone wild. Eyes can’t fly across the room unless they have little wings. Gazes can though…

54.  #writingtips Purple prose is distracting & annoying & doesn’t help your story, it only discredits your writing in the eyes of the reader.

55.  #writingtips Remove exclamation points, use your words 2 carry the emphasis, not throwaway punctuation that distracts the reader.

56.  #writingtips if hero’s “member” has a head the size & color of a large plumb, he’s got medical probs & his partner will NOT be excited!

How I Got My Agent

I wrote my last blog post on A Query Letter and the NY Call  I referenced that I would write this blog soon to fill in the “rest of the story”, so here it is!

I first met Paige Wheeler (Folio Literary Management) at the Desert Dreams Conference held here in Phoenix by the local Desert Rose RWA Chapter (of which I’m a member)  I had heard great things about Paige and so when offered the chance to sign up for an agent or editor slot at the conference, I chose her.

However, I didn’t have any new work to pitch.  I was with the now defunct Triskelion Publishing at the time and was writing a series there – The Maiden Series.  But I knew I wanted to break out soon and make a run for a NY publishing contract so I needed to start “shopping” for agents soon.  So I did something pretty unorthodox…I DID sign up for an agent appointment with Paige, and I didn’t pitch anything!  In fact I told her up front that I didn’t have anything to pitch, but that I wanted to use that appointment as an opportunity to see if we would work well together in the future when I was ready for an agent.  Paige smiled and took it in stride, and we had a great chat about writing, books and working in NY.

Fast forward to the next year when Audrey LaFehr from Kensington gave me “The Call” to offer a three book deal (that became my Seduction Series).  As I referenced in my other blog, I did tell Audrey that I wanted to use this deal to get an agent, and asked if she had any agents she particularly liked to work with.  She countered asking me who my top choices were.  Paige was my TOP choice so I mentioned her.  Audrey said she LOVED working with Paige, and told me to let her know how if she would be working through Paige or directly with me.

So once I got home and recovered my wits a bit…I’d taken The Call at work in my cubicle…I called Paige and asked if she remembered me.  She did, since it’s very rare to have someone take an agent appointment and NOT pitch anything 🙂  I told her there was a three book deal on the table and that I’d love for her to be my agent on the deal.  She asked me to send her the manuscript so she could evaluate it to see if she’d be interested in representing me.  Okay, fair enough, so I sent it off (pretty much as soon as I hung up the phone!)  Well, hubby and I were at Chili’s when Paige called me back so I did have to wait until we finished dinner and I got home…snerk!

A few days later I received a call back from Paige.  She offered representation on one condition…that I be willing and open to receiving feedback.  My first internal reaction was, “Well, duh!”  Who wouldn’t want feedback from their agent???  But from what I know now, there are plenty of authors out there who DON’T want to receive feedback from ANYONE, so it was a fair point.  I agreed and we were officially a team – okay, there was some signing of contracts etc involved, but you get the idea!

From there we discussed pen names – she suggested I take one since my Tina Gerow “brand” was all about paranormal romance and this new trilogy would be erotic paranormal romance.  Don’t want to give “brand shock” to my readers.  It was up to me if I was very open that I was both names or not, but that way the readers would know what they would get when they picked up each pen name.  And for those of you who know me, I’m VERY open that I’m both Tina and Cassie, but I do have some friends who have to be “hush hush” about their second pen name for day job reasons etc, so I do understand the reasons behind their secrecy.  I just didn’t have to do any of that.  So I used every bit of advice I’d received from writers over the years about pen names.  I wanted to find something I wouldn’t mind answering to in public, something that was easy to sign a gazillion times, something that didn’t sound like a pole dancing name, something that had a dot com URL available, and something that would fall in a good place on the bookshelves…  So Cassie Ryan was born – which falls just after Nora Roberts on most romance bookshelves, by the way! 🙂  So I’m hoping I’ve attracted some impulse buys from her readers browsing the shelves even though we write different things 🙂

Audrey approved the pen name (I think they just want to make sure it’s not something totally stupid or obscene) and we were off and running!

That was several years ago and Paige is still my agent and we get along great.  I totally trust her guidance on my writing career!  She’s a very savvy lady and if she’s willing to have me, I’d love to keep her as my agent for the long haul! Because I plan on continuing to write until they pry the laptop out of my cold dead hands 🙂  Sorry for the cliché visual…but it seemed to fit 🙂

So that’s my “how I got my agent” story and I’ve never regretted any of it!

So now off to get back to writing!!