Romance Writers Weekly Blog Hop


Thank you for hopping over from Elizabeth Janette‘s blog (or Mikki Cobber — bit of a mix-up, sorry!). Either way, I’m glad you found me 😀

This week’s Romance Writers Weekly Blog Hop questions come from Beth Carter. Thank’s, Beth!

What’s your favorite aspect of novel writing? Dialogue? Setting? Conflict? Narration? Explain.

Oh, dear. If I say narration, will everyone boo, hiss, and throw popcorn? 😀

I was a story TELLER before I learned how to write and then dove head-long into novel writing. I can still remember having small groups of wide-eyed friends gathered round munching on carrot sticks or popcorn, and sipping juice or Faygo while I weaved yet another tale that included them and whomever their love interest was at the time (fifth graders, no less).

It was fun and the girls seemed to enjoy my style of fantasy meets reality.

writer (1)Once I started jotting those same thoughts onto paper, the urge (or need) to narrate didn’t die off. I know it needs to, though. I’ve worked so hard at dialogue, it’s not funny, and I do hope I’ve come a long way since then, too.

So, aside from the dreaded narration, I would have to say conflict comes in a close second. And, only because I feel this is another area of my writing that needs major work. The characters tend to take shape as the writing progresses, but it is the conflict and emotion that helps to propel the story further that I spend most of my time worrying about, changing, and honing to make it worth reading.

Conflict is necessary for a romance novel to take flight, I think, but I’m not the battle warrior type, either. I’m a lover, not a fighter 😉

With my current WIP, the two leads start out liking one another when an unforeseen episode tosses them into conflict. When they reunite later in life, that same situation works to keep them apart, but I still have them together, making love, and then bringing up the past in order to keep them from actually coming together too soon. She adores him and he is head-over-heels for her, but she’s got some issues that prevent her from just saying the heck with everything, this guy is hot and he likes me so . . .

It’s exhausting, but someone has to do all the thinking, and it may as well be me. I’m a great thinker; not so much a great doer.

How do you choose the setting for your plot? Are they always similar settings or does it vary? (i.e., small town, big city, castle, etc.)

Small-town America tends to be the going locale for me, but with that wispy hint of exotica thrown in for change-of-scenery moments within a story.

The WIP I’m currently touching up has elements of LA meets seaside hideaway lower Norther Michigan. They both travel through parts of Europe, too. Neal is originally from London, and Liv travels to Hungary to meet her birth parents.

As for my fantasy series, no holds barred! Castles, unicorns, fairies, dragons, and olde-world Earth meets other-world you-name-it!

There is a huge tendency to go with what I know, and although I’ve done some traveling with time, I rarely stretch the boundaries in my writing. Once I decide on the location for a particular story, my characters tend to remain in that one place for a greater length of time, and with infrequent jaunts here or there for maybe a chapter or less.

Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan

My current WIP is set in Michigan (where I live). Another WIP is in Florida, and yet another is out west, between Washington State and Alaska. The latter being my most ambitious since I’ve never visited either place outside books and the internet.

The fantasy series, I have these characters drop in at the B&B from Neal’s story, located in upper lower (yes, that’s grammatically correct) Michigan.

I’m too afraid (or leery, maybe) to plunk my characters down in, say, Maine or Istanbul since I’ve never been there before.

I’d like to believe that with the aid of text books and the internet that I’m just as capable of writing about those places as I am the ones I’m as familiar with as the back of my hand.

It’s scary, though, isn’t it? One wrong word, one remark about something as mundane as the weather could cause an unwanted backlash I don’t think I’m prepared to own up to — just yet, anyway.

I’m a big six-word memoir fan. (Hemingway even wrote one.) Describe your writing day using just six words.

~~ Always thinking, sometimes doing, rarely accomplishing. ~~



Great, thought-provoking questions this week! I’m grateful to be a part of this hop.

As always, thank you for stopping by for a visit, and I look forward to hearing your comments about these questions and answers. Don’t hesitate to add your own responses! I’d love to hear what you have to say as well.

Next, please pay a visit to Christy Carlyle and read what she has to say about aspect, setting, and those carefully selected six words.

About RaineBalkera

Aspiring Author of Romance
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10 Responses to Romance Writers Weekly Blog Hop

  1. LOVE Michigan – grew up near Detroit. & I sympathize with your 6 word memoir

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jjdevine says:

    Great answers. I love how many of the bloggers today have gone with small towns as their settings 🙂 I love living in small town America 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beth Carter says:

    Very thoughtful answers. I tend to avoid narration and jump right into action and dialogue, although a balance is needed so I won’t be throwing any popcorn at you! I agree. I’m afraid to write about Istanbul or some other exotic locale for fear of getting it wrong and offending readers. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • RaiBal says:

      Hi, Beth, and thanks for stopping by and commenting. As I started following the hop, my worst fear became quite clear to me: I’m not as big a fan of dialogue as I should be. This is a relatively new way of reading/looking at writing and it’s difficult to transition. I’m trying, though.


  4. Carrie Elks says:

    Loved your answers. Narration and story telling are great fun. I bet you accomplish more than you think!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Susan Scott Shelley says:

    I love your memoir! And I need to read your fantasy series – you had me at castles, unicorns, fairies and dragons! Such a great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • RaiBal says:

      Hello, Susan, and thank you so much! What kind remarks 😀 While trying to rework this WIP, I can’t help thinking about the fantasy series. It’s distracting but I’m managing somehow. I appreciate your stopping by and saying hello!


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