The Novel Approach welcomes Leta Blake today as she tours the web to chat about Matty Marcus, Rob Lovely, and the newest chapter in their romance, Training Complex.
Enjoy Leta’s guest post and then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win any e-title from her backlist (**excl. Training Complex**), reader’s choice.
KEEP THE DRAMA ON THE PAGE: Leta Blake’s Favorite Writing Tip
About ten years ago, an author friend mentioned to me that her favorite piece of writing advice was to keep the drama on the page. Now, I have no idea where she got that advice, but it stuck with me. Keep the drama on the page.
What does that mean exactly? It means making day-to-day choices to avoid, ignore, or walk away from situations that will distract you emotionally and mentally from putting words on paper. For example, if you see a person being wrong on the internet, instead of letting your itchy little fingers write a scathing reply explaining exactly what a dumbass they are, you say, “Well, let’s keep the drama on the page.” You don’t post the comment and instead open up your document and write. (Though feel free to vent it out with a friend who is going to agree with you! That’s always good, too!)
I used an internet example because I’m an introvert, but this advice applies to people who like to leave their house, too. So, you know, if you’re at a club and you get the chance to make out with your best friend’s ex-lover…well, you maybe shouldn’t do that. Especially if you want to get your writing done the next day instead of spending hours on the phone/in person dealing with screaming and crying.
I think this “keeping the drama on the page” task is more easily accomplished by some than others. My friend who originally mentioned it to me, for example, was single and constantly in a mess of drama-rama with men, men, men. And a few ladies. And more men. And occasionally an illegal substance or two. And possibly an unplanned pregnancy. And men. And more men. And some ladies. She was a very dramatic sort of person. I admit, I watched with avid interest and took notes. She might end up in one of my books one day. Or at least a piece of her.
Anyway, I remember my friend would tell me, “What am I doing in the middle of all this drama? I need to be writing! I’m losing so much time dealing with all this crap! I need to keep the drama on the page!” But she was drawn to drama like a moth to a flame, and, sadly, despite being very talented, she’s never published anything. Because she’s never finished anything. Because of all the drama not on the page.
I honestly don’t blame her. It’s really just her nature and it was almost impossible for her to not live a very dramatic existence. It’s much easier for people like me: middle-aged, married, monogamous, not into doing any illegal substances, and who had a hysterectomy for important health reasons and will, therefore, definitely have no unplanned pregnancies. It also helps that I’m not really into leaving the house much, or snorting coke, or going clubbing, or whatever. (Not that you should be like me! Be like yourself! It’d be a boring world if everyone was like me!) But, I admit, it’s pretty easy for the most part to keep the drama on the page.
Now, drama isn’t something you can always control. Sometimes drama finds you. And, believe me, plenty of drama will find you in your lifetime. Your parents will get sick and die. You will get sick and die. Your friend will miscarry a baby. You might miscarry a baby. You’ll be mugged or rear-ended at a stoplight. You could suffer worse. You don’t have to go out looking for drama, and if you’re a writer, it’s best if you don’t. Because you really don’t have time for it.
So for those of you looking for just one piece of writing advice today, the one I’m handing out is KEEP THE DRAMA ON THE PAGE. When you’re tempted to bring the drama into your actual life and not just dump it into your character’s life? Walk away. Don’t look back. Open your work in progress and put all the drama you can summon into it. Create something. Finish it. Publish it. Do it again.
Don’t get distracted.
Drama? On the page.
Leta Blake’s book, Training Complex, is the sequel to 2013’s fan favorite, Training Season.
Blurb: Buckle up – Matty’s back!
Figure skater Matty Marcus didn’t capture Olympic gold, but he won rancher Rob Lovely’s heart.
After Rob sold his ranch and Matty hung up his skates, they started a new life together in New York City. Now Matty has taken on a fresh challenge as a figure skating coach, and Rob’s second career as a physical therapist should be everything he’s dreamed of. But in the brutal heat of their third summer in the city, Rob yearns for the wide-open country, and the intensity of city life awakens Matty’s demons.
Matty asks for increasingly intense BDSM scenes, and his disordered eating and erratic behavior ramp up the stakes. Rob struggles to stay in control, and after a well-intentioned anniversary gift goes awry, he still thinks he can handle the fallout. But the concrete jungle is closing in and his coping skills are unraveling.
Their love is deep, but Rob will have to admit the truth about what he really wants before they both tumble into chaos.
Buy link: Amazon
About the Author: Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.