Wednesday, August 20, 2008

How I Became a Hoodlum

Four years ago, I discovered something called a “Writing Round Robin” on the Harlequin/Silhouette website. Roxanne St. Claire, an author new to Harlequin/Silhouette, wrote the first chapter and every other week we wannabes competed to have our chapters selected to continue the story.

For that span of time we were all caught in a fictional hurricane, trying to get the hero and heroine together, create sexual tension, stay in proper point of view, not use adverbs but use strong verbs, write them out of the closet where they’d sought shelter from the storm and do it all in 1000-word chapters. Every two weeks, I entered my carefully crafted submission, convinced of its brilliance, and participated in the online discussion thread, which had lots of fun and games as well as writing tips from the author.

And every two weeks I didn’t win, which in my opinion was a huge mistake on H/S’s part. I mean, just how many other wannabe writers could there possibly be and how much better could their writing be than mine?

I’ve since realized just how amateurish those chapters were and that the other wannabes would fill a football stadium. But the disappointment of losing was tempered by the joy of getting to know the author and some of the other participants.

When the next Round Robin came along, a core group from before continued to participate. And the more we got to know each other, the more we realized we needed to form our own little group -- a place where we could share joys and sorrows, talk about writing or just whatever was happening in our lives. Before we knew it, the group was named Romancing the Hood and we all became writing hoodlums.

A lot has happened with our group since those early days of 2004. I'll let everyone else talk about their own accomplishments, but I'll share my own. My publishing credits include two dozen short stories in the confessions and romance magazines as well as contributions to EAT DESSERT FIRST: The Red Hat Society Cookbook and THE RED HAT SOCIETY TRAVEL GUIDE: Hitting the Road with Confidence, Class, and Style. I also had a story published online at The Chick Lit Review and just learned I'll be included in the 2009 Bylines Writer's Desk Calendar.

So what's going on in your world?


Donna Michaels said...

Sweet starting post, Marilyn!

It chornicles my own start at the round robin and meeting up with the wonderful Hoods and fabulous Rocki.

~Donna Michaels

Lee Morrison said...

Hi Marilyn,

I can't believe it's been four years!

And you're right, a lot has happened since those days.

We've all branched out in our own directions, yet remained connected through a common interest.

I'm so glad Rocki agreed to do that Round Robin!


Darcien Balog said...

Man, I hadn't thought about the time under the bridge! The Hood sure has come a long long long way!

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Marilyn, your writing is SUPREME and I think those judges were nuts not to pick your beautiful entries in the WRRs. You have a classy, beautiful romance style and I can't WAIT until your books sell like your magazine successes. :D

Hugs, JJ