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Sharon J's Writing Blog
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 "The Italian Duke's Wife" by Penny Jordan
 A Wife on Paper - Liz Fielding
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 Light As A Feather - Helen Dunne
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  Flesch Scores
  The Title Dilemma
  Modern Extra
  HMB Book Covers & Some Editing
  The Luxury of Being Unpublished
  Word Count, Again
  A Nice Weekend
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Liz is my real life heroine!
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
If you haven't already been over to Liz Fielding's blog and read the extract from her latest accepted manuscript, do it now. Once you've read it you'll understand exactly why she's my absolute favourite Tender author and the person whose work inspired me to try my hand at writing them myself.

Mind you, whenever I read anything that Liz writes I always look at my own manuscript and sigh. Heavily! It just doesn't come anywhere even close. There are other Tender authors who I think I'm probably on par with (I hope so, anyway) but Liz is out there in a league of her own.

Thanks for the inspiration, Liz :-)

Y'know, yesterday I was in a really cranky mood. I get like that sometimes but I'm wondering whether it would be best to stay away from blogland when I'm like that. I'd hate to think anybody took me seriously. I honestly don't believe Mills & Boon novels are aimed at women who dash down the corner shop to get their fags whilst wearing pink furry slippers and hoping the house won't burn down while they're gone because little Billy's asleep on the settee.

I mean, I read Mills and Boon and I'm not like that (but you only have my word for that, don't you?). I'm actually a highly intelligent woman with an IQ of 143 so if I can read... no, I'm kidding. I'm a pretty normal kind of person and I think that pretty much sums up who generally reads Mills & Boon. Pretty normal kind of women. Women who like a little escapism now and then, who perhaps have to do a lot of thinking in their work and appreciate not having to work too hard on understanding the novel they're reading but at the same time are given a damned good story that they can relax with.

That, people, is my honest opinion.

And as far as the flesch scores go, I don't think anybody was serious about 5 being optimum. I really can't remember where it all started but I'm sure it was all done pretty much tongue in cheek, as a way of firing back at those who believe... well, what I've already written above.

I'm sure it was just a group of writers (and aspiring writers) having a bit of fun, and as M&B authors, pretty much poking fun at themselves. And that's not such a bad thing. We all need to lighten up now and then and stop worrying about how others see us. I know I can get wound up by people who try to belittle me because I write romance (and category romance, especially) but I've learned that if I laugh with them, and then gently explain that "actually, it isn't quite like that" I get a lot further than I ever did by shooting off at them!

This is the Amazon link to Liz Fielding's books. If you buy anything through the link, the affiliate percentage will go to The Nantwich Writers' Group to help us save up for trips out, to get writers in to speak to us and anything else we may want to do. We would, of course, be very grateful :)


Technorati Tags: Romance Novels, Romantic Fiction, Mills & Boon
Posted by Sharon J on 12:46 PM   

Anonymous Julie Cohen said...

I did the Flesch scores on my blog some time ago as a joke. I don't dumb down my writing at all, but I do believe you have to write for purpose, and in my case that means active verbs and often shorter, punchy sentences, which tends to lower your score--as does dialogue, which often has a simpler lexis than description and narration. When I write academic work the score goes higher, purely because my sentences get longer and occasionally there is a passive sentence.

What did you choose for your title in the end? I agree that it should be something that really reflects your book rather than something you think is typically HMB. You want to catch attention with a theme or idea. My editor and I referred to one of my books as "Remarkably Penetrative Sperm" for several weeks until the offical title was decided on...not a typical HMB title but certainly one that reflected an idea in the book! ;-)

2:51 PM   

Blogger Sue aka MsCreativity said...

LOL @ Julie's 'unofficial' title!

Sharon, can you email me via my blog pls (so that I have your email address), then I don't have to litter up your comments section with my random gardening queries etc.

Sue :-)

P.S. Kate H has posted about HMB titles and the reasoning behind them...

9:59 AM   

Blogger Liz Fielding said...

Golly, Sharon... Now I know why I had a sudden leap in visitors to the blog -- g --

Liz (retiring blushing)

7:42 AM   

Anonymous Sharon J said...

Julie. Yes, now that you mention it I do remember you being part of the Flesch score malarkey and I totally agree with what you're saying about dialogue etc lowering the score. I notice a huge difference when I'm writing articles, depending on the subject matter. Just been to check and one recent article on RoHS (it's a new EU directive regulating the use of dangerous substances in the manufacture of electronics equipment) has a score of 12 while one on wine tasting, written in a humorous way with short, punchy sentences, has a score of 7.2.

I love your working title. My working titles have pretty much always been the name of the main character so I guess I'm just unimaginative when it comes to titles. I'm sending Sherry & Leo's story tomorrow and as I have to make my mind up before I print it out, unless I come up with something I prefer, it'll be "His Forbidden Love".

Sue. I went to Kate's blog but still don't entirely agree. I left a comment there explaining why.

Liz. No need to blush. You have a skill that few others have and many envy. If I had half your skill I'd be celebrating!

10:54 AM   

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