First off, of course, I want to thank Jana for giving me space today! It’s very much appreciated! Welcome back to the Acceptance blog tour! I learn something--or several somethings--every time I write a new story. I thought I’d share some of what I learned with this one.
1. It’s okay to not write everyday.
There are a billion pieces of writing advice out there. Every single one will say it’s absolute, that you should never ever do this and always do that. One of the most common is that you have to write every day. I call shenanigans on that. The fact is, sometimes, you just can’t, for a plethora of reasons. I have health problems and there are days I can’t put two creative words together (hell, there are days I can’t put two coherent words together!). If you try to force yourself to write on a story when you’re feeling bad, have a lot of stress (unless writing is a de-stressor), or whatever, all you’re going to do is have to go back the next day and undo a mess. It’s okay to leave the story sit. This applies if it’s not going the way you need it to or you’re stuck on something. Oftentimes, letting it sit will help.
2. Your readers are not in your head.
I have a tendency to put together a huge amount of head canon about my characters, their lives, their futures, and more. The problem with this is that… I know a whole hell of a lot about my characters that may never see the light of day—or the page. I got called out by my beta readers more than a few times over details I referred to but never actually put in the story. Because those details were in my head, I knew them, but the readers—beta or otherwise—don’t. That said, the more you know about your characters and where they come from, the better. Just remember your readers won’t unless know this unless you tell them.
3. Don’t be afraid to write what you want.
I first learned this one when I was writing Patience, then again with Acceptance. One of the things one of my beta readers commented on is that this story isn’t as much romance as the others. Forbes Mates as a whole isn’t traditional romance. There isn’t a lot of the “meet, fall in love, overcome obstacle, then say I love you, end” in these stories. I didn’t want that. I wanted to write something that wasn’t about the “falling in love part.” Don’t be afraid to focus on whatever kind of story you want to write. Because if it’s not what you want to write… that’ll come through in the story and it won’t be nearly as good as it could be.
4. Scenes that are hard for my character to go through are doubly hard for me to write.
So, my husband, Mr. Grace, tells me he loves when I write action. He says I do it well. Action scares the ever-loving crap out of me (though not as much as SciFi). Because it’s got to have the right pace, the right wording, the right everything to give the feel you want it to. This becomes doubly hard when your character is struggling through the scene.
There is one roughly half way through the book that I have fought myself over every time I’ve gone through it. Quincy is forced to interrogate someone to find out who is behind his attacks. My (not entirely) sweet jaguar is an information broker and artist. He doesn’t have the stomach for something like this, but he knows it’s necessary. He—and the others with him—use humor to try to defuse the situation. That’s the only thing that got me through it.
If that was hard, the aftermath about did me in. I still cry every time. Every. Single. Time. I read this. My very headstrong, aloof, self-sufficient character ends up needing his mate to deal with all that happened. He ends up crying (in the shower, so later he can pretend he didn’t), struggling with his religious beliefs and even with what his own mate thinks.
In the end, I think it’s a good thing if those types of scenes are hard to write. It means your emotions will come through in the story, making it richer and deeper. Just… have a few tissues ready while you do.
5. Write the story that needs to be written.
This is a hard thing to learn and I have to relearn it with every single story. I start to worry about whether people will like it, if there’s enough angst or action or sex. I start questioning every scene, POV, everything. In the end, if I let the story tell me what belongs, it comes out so much better and I am less of a mess when it’s over. It sounds a little weird, but the best thing is just get out of its way, seriously.
Thank you again to Jana for the space today! I really appreciate it. Be sure to follow the full tour for lots more bits about the story, some great exclusive excerpts, and lots of opportunities to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!
Follow the tour here: http://www.grace-duncan.com/acceptance-blog-tour
Dr. Miles Grant acknowledges that his destined mate could be either gender even though his bisexuality cost him his family and his pack. Luckily he found the Forbes Pack, who happily accept him just as he is. What he never counted on was finding his mate in Pittsburgh or for his mate to be another species entirely—a cat!
Quincy Archer isn’t just any jaguar shifter. He is the heir to the leadership of his pride. Destined mates are nothing but legend to the nearly extinct and generally solitary jaguars, and Quincy certainly never expected to find one for himself, much less a male… or a wolf.
However, finding each other and coming to terms with their species is the least of their worries. Quincy is expected to select a proper female mate, father a cub, and take his place as heir to the pride. Except Quincy refuses, having no interest in women or leadership and knowing he isn’t right for it. But his father will stop at nothing—not even attempting to kill Miles—to get his way. Quincy and Miles must overcome many obstacles to stay together as the destined mates they’re meant to be.
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Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.
A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.
As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.
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