Friday, September 24, 2010

Writing For Category Houses - Things to Consider

There is this common misconception that if your story is short, it is right for any of the category romance lines. This is far from the truth! Writing for category takes a lot more effort than many writers seem to think. One of the category lines has a comment in their submission guidelines that, I believe, nails it right on the money. A big story in a little space (or something to that effect).

There are several things to consider when writing for these lines. First of all, and probably the most important is that the romance and the relationship needs to be the central focus of the story. Secondary characters and subplots cannot take away the attention from the main storyline.

Secondly, these are lines that you can be successful in if you produce. 3-4 books a year is not unusual. Now this is where the challenge comes in. We're talking about about all of these books maintaining a unique voice, still working in the guidelines of your line and not simply a repetition of what you did in the prior book.

I thought I would bring this up since I have had several authors recently submitting category projects to me, but many times A) the voice is just not there; B) the author doesn't understand the category line; or C) they have nothing else to produce in that line.

I love working with Category authors (and the editors and publishers)! This is a great group but it is far from the "training ground for better writing" that many authors seem to think.

Have a great weekend.



  1. >>>Category authors . . . a great group but it is far from the "training ground for better writing" that many authors seem to think.<<<

    Amen and well said.

  2. I agreee that category publishers are not the "training ground" for most writers. However, they gave me my first break-through as a debut author. God, was I proud. I now write Chick Lit, working on an 80,000 word novel but I do take breaks and write short Chick Lit stories and some drama stories.