Mastering the Craft of Writing with Historical Romance Novelist Deanne Gist | PPP 50

alright Dan welcome to the show thank you I'm glad to be here yeah absolutely so for those of you who don't know a DM yet her name is Dan gist and she has rocketed up the best Arliss and captured rears everywhere with her very original fun historical novels is that right are you the novels awesome ok she also has four reader nominations two consecutive Christie Awards rave reviews and a growing loyal fan base with three quarters of a million books sold her awards include national rear choice book buyers best golden quill books-a-million pick of the month romantic times Pick of the Month award of excellence and laurel wreath she's a very active online community on her blog on Facebook Pinterest and on her YouTube channel so again the end welcome to show tell us a little bit about your background and kind of how you got started as an author thank you for that lovely introduction and I think that I never intended to be an author I had dyslexia when I was little and so if you had told to me or my parents that I would be making my living as a wordsmith we would have all had a really good laugh but as it ended up whatever can diffuse with dyslexia in your brain if it's going to it usually happens at the latter part of adolescence and it did for me but when I was a junior in high school my dad was still reading my text books to me but I was able to get to am and there I got a degree in elementary education and graduate that I was on academic probation every semester because of my troubles back then they didn't have disabilities like that and so you just did the best you could and I graduated with my 2.3 and there was lots of celebrating and after that I was a school teacher and asked us out with the slow babies I know just what they need and so I taught and then I had four babies in four years and quit a stay-at-home mom with all those babies I really needed a creative outlet and I tried crafting and all this kind of things and I ended up being a journalist because I could do that from home and I work for People magazine and parenting and parents and family fun and those years Thomas is a journalist really taught me how to write like my word count and how to be the deadline and how to write tight and how to get a thick skin and how to take rejection and it was a wonderful base for me when I was preparing to enter the fiction world so I kind of wrote my journalism to support my fiction habit which was basically where I wrote novels and always wanted to publish them but by the time I finished that first one I thought it was just the best thing ever and that New York would be running down the hall saying this is the one of course it's stuck it was terrible praise God they didn't publish it but I learned a lot going from the prologue to the epilogue and once I had done that I realized that it's kind of like I knew that I had the rejection letters that I was getting said this girl can write but she needs to learn her craft and so I thought I'm tired of rejection letters like that and I don't want to get any more like that if they want to reject my book because of the time period or because it's not marketable or because something it's going to be something other than crap and I've joined a writers organization I entered contests I read how-to books I got a critique group and we met every Monday and swap chapters and keep each other's groups and wrote a second book and that book sold that's awesome so when was that first book when did you land your first Asian to get that first deal well I landed that first agent in 1997 but I didn't sell that manuscript until 2005 and so don't be discouraged out there I tell people it's selling a manuscript to a New York publishing house is like finding a spouse everything has to be just right everything's got to be lined up in the heavenlies even like the editor can't have the flu when he picks up your manuscript that day um you can't have a manuscript that maybe has a premise similar to a book that they've got in the works that you don't even know about there's so many reasons that you might be getting the rejection but absolutely nothing to do with the craft of your novel just you know especially right now as volatile as the mark as the market and industry is so I really want to encourage those of you who are receiving rejections to get a thick skin and know that it is not necessarily the crack and it's certainly not you personally absolutely that's such a great plan and did not take a gesture personally because it really isn't about you and like you said there's so many different factors and different reasons out there you know you know you never know what's going on in that company I mean you know any number of things could cause them to say no to your novel or your book and doesn't mean that it's not a good book or that you're on the wrong path or that you're you know you should never have written the book in the first place it it just means it's just it's just no it's just us all it means and so absolutely and so it's like you I love what you mention is that you know focus on the craft focus on your skills focus on what you can do to make your book even better so what were some of those things you mentioned you know all the books you read and the private organizations you joined what were those some of those things that you learned that were really big aha moments for you when it came to learning the craft of writing and really improving your manuscripts I think one of the biggest things I did was I joined a writing organization called Romance Writers of America and it does not matter whether you're writing romance or not because that particular organization teaches you the craft of writing and they have workshops we have like they have chapters all over the world Australia Canada United States Europe everywhere and all of those chapters bring in speakers and this one speaker might talk about setting another characterization another de plotting another mechanics another how to do your taxes but marketing everything and so if you're not writing a room it's just don't go to the workshops on brilliance or the sensuality although it wouldn't hurt for you to go because even if you have a some plot that has a romance in it readers really seem to enjoy that so I found that that was the most valuable thing I did was joining Romance Writers of America and I signed up to be the tape librarian because back then we had cassette tapes and we recorded every single person who spoke and so I had all of those cassettes at home because I was a librarian and I listened to every single one and took notes and the other thing and I think I have it Thomas right behind me turn around yeah as you can see these are very handy these are I would say what you said Thomson aha moment and this was recommended to me by a speaker at our WI and it's techniques of the selling writer by Dwight swing now this is an old book I think it came out in the 60s but I have I think you can see online Thompson it's dog-eared and I have this whole thing highlighted but it basically talks about the mechanics of the writing it talks I'll give you an example would be a motivation reaction unit I'm going to know there was such a thing as a motivation reaction unit and what that is is Dwight says don't have your character laugh and then say why he went well then you've got your motivation in your reaction flip-flop what you need to do is have the person tickled and then they laugh and so you have your motivation first and then you react because if you get those flip-flopped enough at the end of your novel your readers gonna go you know the book was good but there was there was something off and they're not going to know what it is and it just took simply be that you've looked locked your motivation reaction units all the way through those kind of things so it's little bitty tips like that but end up being really affecting your manuscript and so that book is like gold the other one that I love and this is I've used it so much I had to cut the spine off and coil bind it and this is called the writers journey by Christopher Vogler and the first half of the book talks about archetypes and the second half of the book talks about plus structure and he is doing this for screenwriters but a novel can be set up on that same kind of story structure so he and Michael Hague are the two slot gurus that I really pay attention to and that really these are the two foundation books these are the cornerstones of my career and I would say that every book every book I write I refer to these books as I'm making notes employee mm-hmm that's awesome that's great that you found those books for you that and I can see how you light up your faces lights up and how excited because that's that's awesome I mean it's like when you find those ideas you know those few things that really take your career to the next level it's so much fun and it's so exciting and it's it can to be a total life changer you know that you know that motivation we actually need an example I mean it's so small I'm like you know who cares but it's you know a lot of those little small things added up take your management from average to good or great and that's what you need to land the book deal to find readers to attract readers to you know build a serious business as an author you are so right that was such a great point I can remember my mom and dad telling me that there is a very small Mart between ordinary and extraordinary and the difference is the work and the attention to the detail and doing your homework and I'm not talking about school homework I'm talking about this kind of homework and so you that you have a spot on I totally agree with you mm-hmm absolutely yeah so that's great so what about any other tips that you learned along the way or things from personal experience maybe are things that you learned from failure where you know you got a rejection letter from Asia and it really turned you on and said hey you know I've got to make this change so that I can become better yeah and I think that most of those epiphanies occurred by going to these workshops and I would listen to a speaker and I would find out that you couldn't have flying body parts and a flying body parts would say her eyes dropped to her handkerchief that is like her eyeballs dropping or he threw his hands into the air now that's a flying body part now those are you know figures of speech for us but if you put too many of them they're also cliches and there's a better way to convey that emotion and and so I would have to go home and I would go through the eight chapters that I would written and get rid of all the flying body parts and then I'd write a few more chapters and I'd go to the next monthly meeting and I would find out some other new well like you can't head hot well hair hopping is where you are in third person and you're describing the scene let's say from the female protagonists point of view and then in the middle of it you hop over to the male's protagonists view and you explain it from his and then you go back to the females and you explain it from hers and and you hop back and forth that's called head hockey and that is done a lot but it is not near as powerful as if you look at your scene and you decide which character has the most at stake and you get into their head and you describe the whole scene from their head and their point of view and if you need to convey what the others are thinking you do it through body language so guess what's right in with me body language body language I think back here I have every book there is on body language because I'm empathise that because these are written for people who are like going on interviews but it tells you that if you do this it's going to look like you're angry if you do this it's gonna look like you're frustrated you do this it's gonna look like you're hitting on them and so what happens is then I use this in my writing when I'm trying to convey what the other characters their reactions and a lot of it what I try to do Thomas's visualize actors in a movie and I say to myself if I were an actor in a movie and the other character is talking what would I do to convey my feelings and I try then and put that on paper that's awesome that's such a great that's a great tip to read books on body language you know I think you know being a great novelist and you know creating great characters and your stories is really about you know how how well do you know people how well do you know yourself and like the people who are the best observers of human nature and if you lose sit in cafes you can watch people and you know you can see what their life is like and what their what their body language is and you can you can guess just by looking at them what they're talking about and what the discussion is like I mean that's you know the skill that it takes to to to craft those characters compellingly in your novel because you know like you said if someone's angry in the novel but you have them and you know explain that their body posture is one that makes them look like they're happy but you know it really doesn't make sense you know people reader through the book and like what are you exactly you're so right and that's one of those times where they get to that into the book and they go well it's good but there was there was something off there was something not quite right and that is in it is in that way it is just the body language is up or you get stuck with the cliches you know we produce browse or recruited his teeth or you know and their body language gives you other options than those ones that you use over and over and over for nervousness or whatever it is that's awesome okay so when you're writing your novels is there anything else that you refer to it looks like the seams look to me like you've got all these different books that you refer to as you're writing your manuscripts I do I'm gonna turn around again I'm sorry to keep doing like that this is the book I'm writing right that comes out in May I've already written it obviously comes out May and it's called Tiffany girls and with every book that I write I have this binder and it's a it's a special kind of binder it's called a circuit binder see IRCA and because it's I can pull the pages in and out it's like like that and so then I start out it's real skinny and by the time I get to the end of the book it's a real fact but I have a section on characters and plotting my research my setting what we're going to do for publicity and then some notes and I'll see if I can open this the character section and I'll show you that like in the character section I will have a characterization chart and I'll have my characters full name and it's things like eye color hair color body type or her parents alive or dead what are their names does she have any siblings all these things and I do that because believe it or not you know it takes me a year to write a book to research and write it and so I sometimes forget what color their eyes are I actually collaborated on a book what this is fence rider and it was a romantic suspense only one I've ever done and are a reader emailed us after the book came out said her hero started with blue eyes and they ended with green eyes how did that happen because I missed it mark Bertrand who was my collaborator missed it the editor mystic the proofreaders missed that all these people missed it so I emailed mark immediately security guy he emails me back he goes oh dude don't you remember his eyes changed color after he fell in love just messed up so now I write it down and I try and make sure that I don't make that mistake again and one of the other things that I try to do is I try to keep pictures of the protagonist and the characters of the so that I can remain consistent so like here are some of the peripheral characters and Tiffany girls these are some Tiffany girls and this is like the editor the newspaper editor and this is the con artist and and so they're based on either ten types or their or actors or just people who fit on like I needed a Swedish girl and so this I found Google Swedish blonde that's kind of scary you have to be careful that I ended up using and then on the side there I'll pull this out she loved it easier on this side here I write a little bit about it when I've got what her name is how old she is atashi airs what color her eyes are a little bit about her and so I do this for the characters so that I can remain consistent and I it's easier for me now if I pick an actor and actress for my protagonist to use as inspiration because I've seen them in movies and I and it helps me to key though that I color in mind and the mannerisms in mind and the body type in mind so for Tiffany girls my inspiration for the female protagonist Flossie is Sandra Bullock and the inspiration for the male protagonist is Jude Law and so that and so I remain consistent through that whole thing and so that would be like the section on characters in the now have a section on plotting where I make up all my planning notes based on the questions at the back of each chapter in this book and then I have research because one if the my brand's Thomas is the amount of historical research I do it is my goal to make my book I want the reader to feel like they time-travel I don't want them to read about the time I want them to experience the time I want them to experience New York City at the turn of the century and in order for me to do that I have to do a tremendous amount of research and in the clothing that they wear the homes that they lived in what kind of plates they ate off of what what the weather was like what the streets looked like what kind of conveyances were in the streets I mean everything the social economic political climate all of it I spend a lot of time researching that's awesome so how do you do your research today I mean I know when you started I mean there's pretty much before the internet right so back then you're probably going to the library when you first started out I was and I find that old habits die hard and I still find myself in the library with every single book but the Internet has obviously been a godsend the thing you have to be careful with the Internet is that you don't really know how accurate all that information is and so I really try to confirm it from at least three sources before I believe it unless they're just simply isn't but I'll give you an example in Tiffany girls and let me tell you just a little bit about the book so that this will make sense for you at the turn of the century Louis Tiffany who was the heir to the jeweler here's dad on the big jewelry on Fifth Avenue he was an artist and he did all the stained glass windows and his big coming out and this big debut was going to be at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair and he was building a chapel completely of mosaic uncut glass and about five months before the fair the men glass cutters went on strike and he couldn't finish and he didn't have time to go through all the negotiations because despair started in five months so in desperation what Louie did was he went to art studios and he hired women art students to finish the chapel form because females were not allowed to be members of the Union so these female artists cut the glass and finished that Tiffany chapel for him and it was a big brouhaha a big scandal women can't do it they don't have the arm strength they don't have know-how and of course it undermined what the men were trying to accomplish with their strike but those girls ended up finishing that chapel and Louie made a complete womens department and they became known as Tiffany girls and so I fictionalized what happened to one of those girls and now Thomas I've forgotten what the question was honestly I forgot to but I think we were talking about the writing craft and what you're referring to and you're talking about you know your character sketches and the plotting and you asked me what I do do I go the libraries and if so what I was going to tell you was kind of my research process for with for Tiffany girls the way I found out about the Tiffany grosses a brand-new discovery actually Louie Tiffany took credit for some like all of the iconic lamps that Tiffany is known for the dragonfly lamp and the wisteria lamp all these iconic lamps everyone for all these years on his thought that Louis Tiffany designed them when in fact we found out in 2005 someone in their attic found a bunch of letters written by the head of the women's department and she described how she was on a bicycle ride and got the inspiration for the dragonfly lamp when she saw dragonfly and she's writing letters to home and and then she goes on throughout these letters to describe just normal things you would tell your mom when you're riding home but she also continued to subscribe work and it was so clear by reading all of these letters that these women these Tiffany girls were responsible for designing some of the most famous Tiffany pieces and so this is a brand new discovery and it was mentioned just kind of as an aside on a PBS program and my mom heard it and she sent me an email and she's like you're not gonna believe what I heard and when she sent me that email I knew that I was going to blend a fictionalised a Tiffany girl and the first thing I did was go up to the Historical Society up in Queens and read all of those letters that Clara Driscoll the head of the women's department wrote and that is you know they were all handwritten and that was the first thing I did and from there I went on to study New York in the 1890s and when I went to try and find philosophy a place to live because I needed to know where she was going to live I found out that there was this big kind of controversy going on about boarding houses and the reason Thomas is because at this time kind of the Nirvana for men and women was the house with the wife and the kids and the white picket fence and boarding houses were commercializing this they were making you pay for a home and not only that would be single women were living in the same home as single men and they weren't married and they weren't chaperoned so it was a very suspect and so I found out that in response to that what these respectable women would do is they would try and turn the boarding house into a home by having gatherings in the parlor and playing games and having discussions at dinner and so I have Flossie do that and I have the protagonist who's a newspaper journalist the male protagonist throw them nuts because he knew we're not your family what are you doing you're disrupting our dinner can we just eat and get this over with and that kind of thing and I read a lot of journals about people who were living in boarding houses I researched boarding houses I went to brownstones when I was in New York I was spent ten days in the actual setting of my books I went to the library I researched you know everything just everything and so I I do a lot of reading had to research the 1893 World's Fair and the Tiffany chapel in particular and found out that he had sent displays for the woman's building at the fair and so then I start researching what were the displays and which Tiffany girls did them and I included that in the book and so it's just all that research I'll get a little nugget from this one a little nugget from that one and a little nugget and then all of a sudden I have pieces then I start bidding together to make the novel that's awesome so it sounds like you really do a lot of research and really go in depth and especially like you say you know visiting the places spending time there you know going back to the original documents the original letters so some really in-depth research so do you do all that like before you even write the manuscript or ddu research as you write demands because what is your writing process look like yeah and and I want to be careful here because my process it can be different than your which is going to be different from her process and his process and that so I'll tell you what my process is my process is I read I do as much research as I can before I go to the flight to New York City which is where this one was set or to Seattle or to Virginia or wherever it's set I do as much research as I can at my Houston library and on the internet and the books I then I go and visit the city and I have an idea of what I want you doing I'm there for instance because I read all those letters I knew that I wanted to go I had her address where she lived let me see if I pull yes yeah see here's I scanned the envelope from one of the letters okay I got her address I went to five West 63rd Street I went there and um that way then I could see what she saw more or less and I found out that they spent a lot of times on the roof for relaxation because there was really no backyard right there in a boarding house and so it ends up that where she lived is now a Holiday Inn Express and they wouldn't let me on the road so I went to the next-door neighbor and they wouldn't let me on the roof and I went to the next thing I kept doing that talk behind these on someone who took me up on the roof and when I got to the roof I realized Clara could see the water from there and you couldn't see from the street and I never would have known that and so I took all these pictures panoramic of what her view is and then when I got back home I would have it if I ever wanted to have a scene on the roof I would have what I needed went up there was no scene on the roof was that wasted research no you know it still gave me a sense of where Clara lived and where my heroine would have lived and and what she would have experienced because that's one of the things you have to be careful with us and authors just because you researched it doesn't mean you need to include it in the novel it's so hard not to include it it's so hard because you want to share all of it that you can't or else you're not not only is ginormous it also drags and that's like the kiss of death you want you don't want them to ever put it on their vet side table you want them to keep going just one more chapter just one more so that's kind of process I I do the research then I go to the place then while I'm acting work or wherever it is like one of the biggest stops is the local books used bookstore and I go to the local section and I start looking through every single book they have on the Shelf about their town and I read the back of it and if it's in the right time period and I think that it would be useful I buy the book and then I have them ship them all to Houston because I've flown and then when I get home from that trip I have boxes of books then that I have to read and by the time I'm through reading all of those I may have found out that there was a heat wave that killed a whole bunch of people or there was a fire or there was earthquake there was an Indian massacre not in this book but depending on which one I'm researching and I'm like okay if there's an any Indian mask ordering this novel and I don't mention it that's kind of a big gap and so all of a sudden you start finding plot points for your plot and I build the plot and only then do I start writing that's awesome so you something you've got a great process that works for you and yeah like you said I mean you know the writing cost is going different for everybody but I love your process and the way that you shared it because it sounds to me like you've got this really good balance between you know what you said doing the research going there you know going on the roof you know that's gotta be it who to go to all these different building owners and ask you can go on the roof in New York City you know so that's one of the fun things about you know being a writer and learning like you said you know not taking rejection personally is you know it gives you that the confidence to go around and do things like that and have those really cool experiences but basically like you kind of balance that you know in-depth research with like you said not not putting everything in the book not boring the reader with details that you know maybe your your great research uncovered but really don't have anything to do with the novel the store or really interested a reader I think a lot of writers especially you know first-time writers you know we want to put everything we know into the book you know every idea we have you know we think is a good idea just because we had it and the truth is that not all ideas are good ideas you know and sometimes you have to be selective about which ones to read out to leave out and I think it sounds like you've got a really great method and process for doing that wise thing and what one of the things that's helpful for me Thomas is that critique group author Meg Mosley is has been my critique partner since the very beginning and I think she joined me with my second book and Tiffany girls will be my 11th that comes out May 5th and so she every week when I would send her a chapter I would write she would critique me and she would say this is an information dump is what we call it because we just want to give you all this information and she's like no this is you know it's got to be generic to the story you've got to involve it with the characters you've got to see it through their eyes it's really a delicate balance and it's so hard to leave it out but that is where a critique group really helps and are fun the best critique groups when you're starting out have at least three people because if there's only two then what happens is one person tells you um no I don't think you need that and if you don't have that other voice that second voices say that's my favorite part then you don't know but if they both say yeah you know then you know and so to me meg and I are mature enough and are writing now to where I really trust her and so if she's not gonna say unless it really needs to be changed and so I I just she's my only critique partners but having two or more enough you get too many that's like having too many chiefs and own opinions you have to you have to to make sure then it doesn't get too cumbersome so and you also even if both of them say now you know your book and if this is really important to your book you leave it in see what your editor says and then if the editor says note to you guys suck it up and take it out yeah that's awesome so okay so you have this critique group and that's it sounds to me like it's different so a lot of feel sometimes feel have writers groups and you'll have like you know you you you know you're sending you've got your manuscript to you know ten or fifteen people all together discuss it but it sounds like what you do is it's much more intimate is it much more you know one or two or a small group of people who are really reading every chapter of your Manship and giving you feedback is that as you write the manuscript is that once it's totally published I do it Megan I do it as I write it because if if there is this has happened to us both actually where she'll receive one of my chapters and she'll like you know I don't even like your your male protagonists anymore he was so unheroic right here that I quit reading from him now meg would say it's so much sweeter than that but I've got such a thick skin I like you know I just like just tell it to me like it is but it's I want to know that Thomas I don't want to get to the whole end of it and find out I lost him in Chapter six but they quit reading for the male protagonist I need to know that chapter 6 before I write chapter 7 so it is really for me important to get her feedback as I go so that I can go back and rewrite chapter 6 which then changes 7 8 9 because when you read write that and you change his motivations the ripple effect lasts the whole rest of the manuscript so it's I I would never write a whole book and now I know you're not supposed to say never say never but I would hope that I would have enough sense not to write a whole book without getting any feedback no it's every week and it's every chapter that's awesome so how did you find your critique partner you can fatigue group and and how do you keep that going I mean a lot of people find I know I found personally like when you have beta readers or you know other authors time reviewing your sooner than to get burned down I said I you know I can't do it anymore I'm busy or things happen like this in the way so how do you how did you finally shift in how do you keep them keep them going and keep them nurtured what a great question I'm so glad you asked that Thomas because it's a really important question and I found my critique group original my first one through our waa and there were and it was two unpublished authors but because they were in my chapter and sometimes you would do some sharing of stuff I had read their stuff before and I could tell they knew their craft they had been at it longer than I had and and they were and they lived close by and we could all meet on Monday mornings at that time remember I had four kids when they didn't have children at home so they came to me and we met at my breakfast room table and we all exchanged chapters and we would read them the week before we met so we would meet and talk about the chapters we read last week and then we would each hand each other our chapters from this week we would go home read each other's chapters critique them meet again at my breakfast table and and do those and that's when they would say you had hopped here you got your motivation reaction unit backwards there's a flying body part here and then maybe they had been to a workshop that I haven't been to and they would introduce me to a whole new rule it's kind of like Michael Jordan being the best athlete ever but he still had to learn the rules to basketball you can't play the game until you learn the rules and you have to learn your craft and I say you have to there are people that are throwing things up there that have not learned their craft but I feel that is super important to be the best of the best that you can be you need to invest the time that it takes to learn your craft and that and that critique group will help you that said maybe the critique group you're going to know right you're not clicking with or maybe especially women Thomas get into this problem there's gosh trying to think of a nice word yes thank you coming was not appropriate yeah it can be drama and jealousy and petty and snippy and you know what you don't want that environment and you don't want to be an environment where you can't give your honest opinion that the only thing they want to hear is how great their chapter is because you know what if you get a hundred on the test that was no test was it you only are tested if you don't make a hundred so if you're in a group and somebody in there gets upset and so now everyone's walking out yeah get out you know you you know time for that your time is too valuable and so you try another critique group and you just keep trying Maggie and I found each other because we joined a blog that was run by an editor and her posts when she was just posting were so well written which you're just riding on the fly that I was like this girl's really good and and I want to be I wonder if she's into critique group because I was looking for a new one and I just emailed her and I said I I've been on the same chat and a blog that you've been and I was just wondering if you're in a critique group and would you like to if you're not would you like to be in one with me and she's in Atlanta and I'm in Houston and now because of the internet we don't have to sit at the breakfast room table so she and I exchanged chapters over a year before we ever even met that's awesome yeah and if she you know and so like right now my book is coming out and I'm under the gun and she's not at a point where she's writing her chapter so we're not meeting every week sometimes we mean every week sometimes we go for months and we don't need it just depends on where each of us are in the writing process but I've just been fortunate and it cuts down on the drama I found having these virtual ones but now you can have like a go hang out where you can all meet together if there's more than one so it's it's really your possibilities for critique partners open up a lot because of the way the Internet is made it available to exchange work and face-to-face meetings definitely great and so I just want to touch on that one last question is like how did you nurture that relationship with Meg and specifically and how do you how do you keep that going without getting boring or repetitive or you know one of you getting frustrated the other one in quitting one of the things that I found with Meg and the things that drew me to her was she her strength is my weakness my weakness is description and poetic type of type of writing and beautiful phrasing if all I have to do is write dialog I could deliver a manuscript three a year but they expect prose at the dialogue and that's where meg is such a beautiful literary almost writer and yet she keeps it commercial I kind of like to say I dragged her down that she pulls me up when it gets to literary I'm like okay dialog and they should like can we stop here and like where are we are we like what does it smell like what does it look like and that's another thing that Meg's really helped me with she's like when's the last time you've used all five senses and that's one of the things I learned in rw8 and that meg is so good about is that's one of the things that pulls your reader into the pages and helps an experience is by tapping in to universes the smell of a limit makes their mouth water if you know if somebody bites into a lemon it'll make your readers mouth water or so all the five senses the taste the smell the suck the hearing the touching you know the hearing and the sight are easy okay it's the touching and the tasting and the smelling that are so hard and you can't overdo it but you want to bring that in and so those are the things that that mat helps me with and so the as her strength is my weakness and my strength is her weakness that really helps solidify our relationship and also because there's no jealousy no either one of us and we both really want our work to be the best it can be and when you push the egos aside and you really want the best for your book and your work that's when a critique part and a critique group will last when the egos aren't involved and when the players really want to improve absolutely that's such a great point it's absolutely such a great point and it sounds something like you both absolutely love what you do and you're and you're committed to it I mean like the amount of research that you do and you know when you find someone else who's like committed on that same level you are that really sets the bar incredibly high it's so much fun to work with them you know it's not it's not does it feel like work right it's more like plays because you get to like you said you know her weaknesses are your strengths so when you're critiquing her work you're good to use your best strengths as a writer to help her become even better and you know when you're when you're using your strengths on a regular basis that's when you feel the better and you're in flow you're having the most fun exciting I'm doing it so I supposed to be like it's just a perfect way it is and not only that that because I critique her I'm seeing her strengths and it's teaching me as I'm reading I'm like how did she think of that metaphor did she get that really fast like me I like thank you know and and she and so I learned like how she just from her craft just from studying it every single week because I'm not just reading it for pleasure I'm studying it because I'm critiquing it and so I learned from what she does well that's awesome great well Dan you shared I want the wisdom with us today thank you so much before you go tell us what people can find out more about you and your books well I am the best place to find me and stay in touches at my website which is I want her books calm and I use that because my name Deann guest is so hard to say and spell and so it's just easier if you just go to I want her book calm and you'll find me I have a really active blog I'm also on Facebook at forward slash these friends and D is des friends I'm on Twitter FD n gifts Pinterest I have a Pinterest page for DN gifts and so a lot of the social media but the best thing to do if you really want to stay in contact is sign up for the newsletter I don't bombard you I just let you know if I'm going to be in your part of town or if like I am one of my books like right today well probably not by the time we aired this but if one of my books comes on sale for 99 cents I let my people on my newsletter know and so I do special giveaways for them I give them insider information so really the signing up for the newsletter and I want her book calm is the best way and then you can always email me too so and I'm not as good about giving back properly on those emails because I've got these pesky books I'm supposed to be writing but I do my very best and I do read every single one awesome well thank you so much Dan I really appreciate it I had the best time Thomas it was so much fun visiting with you and your and your viewers awesome thank you so much thank you

13 thoughts on “Mastering the Craft of Writing with Historical Romance Novelist Deanne Gist | PPP 50

  1. I just fell in love with this author!! She is so sweet with the most awesome personality and passion. May God Bless her continually.

  2. Delightful lady. Enjoyed listening to her discuss learning your craft. I've been working on a novel for four years and (working full-time aside), it's taken a long time to learn the craft. Through a novel boot camp I joined online two years ago I meet an English critique partner. We had a weekend of writing together on a recent trip to the UK and just yesterday had a one hour conversation through facebook messenger where she critiqued my new in-depth synopsis. Absolutely agree with DeeAnne (sp?) how important it is for a critique partner.

  3. Ppl with SpLDs are often lateral thinkers. If you have a mild learning Dis, although it can be a pain in the ass, think of it as a bonus.

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