What I Learned from Mary Burton's Writing Process

The Virginia Romance Writers recently invited our SinC-CV group to attend their February meeting to hear Mary Burton's presentation on writing. Here's what I learned...

1. Write your first draft and finish it. You can edit at another stage.

2. Set daily page or word count goals. You will stay on track if you have deadlines.

3. When you start to edit, check the last word of each sentence to make sure that it's strong.

4. Create a list of overused or weak words. When you're editing, go through and search for each one. Get rid of the dead weight.

5. If you're bored with your manuscript, your reader will be too.

6. Pay attention to your work's setting. Know your location. GoogleMaps can help.

7. Know where your work fits in with the market and be able to explain it. But don't write to the market.

8. Make sure that you have escalating conflict.

9. Don't make your heroes and villains flat. They need to be well rounded and interesting.