Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Breaking Up is Hard to Do with Guest Blogger: Louisa Bacio

Win a $10 gift certificate to Ravenous Romance and welcome paranormal author Louisa Bacio to the Book Boost!

She's here to discuss breaking the boundaries of your writing and here's what she had to say...

5 Ways to Catapult Your Writing to a Different Level

Are you a rule breaker? In real life, do you do things the way you should? How about your characters? Do they live a little bit more on the edge than you ever would? Sometimes you need to mix things up a bit, and take on new experiences, in order to venture to a new place of writing.

So here are some tips on how to break those boundaries:

1) Listen to your characters. Say what? I know that there are a lot of plotters out there, and sometimes a wacky idea jumps up and you *squash* it because it doesn’t really fit into the original outline. Why? Is there potential for something else? (Said like the true panster that I am.) Why don’t you throw a few thousand words at the idea, watch it grow. Does your character want to do something naughty that maybe you wouldn’t approve of? Hmmm …

2) Read something new. Oh, perfect, right? A writer recommending readers purchase books? It doesn’t have to be my books. But if you find yourself stuck in a rut, then jar your senses. Go look at Amazon’s top 100 list: what’s selling? Read a classic, or if you usually read erotic romance, how about a sweet romance that focuses on a different aspect of the relationship? Or how about some male/male? Or watch a horror movie … the key is to step outside of that normal comfort zone that you’ve established.

3) Go toy shopping. Oh, yes, that’s exactly what I mean. Less than five minutes from my house is a shop called The Purple Onion (isn’t that a cool name?). Do I frequent it often? No … have I bought penis-shaped lollipops for special parties? Sure! Don’t feel comfortable shopping in-person, then check out sites such as Never would have gone there if it wasn’t for all the advertising they do on my local radio station. (Hint: If you’re actually going to buy, make sure to check out coupon codes and specials. They always have something going.) Personally, I’ve never been to an adult toy party, but I’m starting to think it would be a kick.

4) Take a trip or mini excursion that you’d normally not do. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, or any. Recently, a local arboretum advertised an herb sale over a weekend. On a total spur-of-the-moment, I detoured on the way home and became swept away into another universe. The roar of the SoCal freeway faded away. Stress seeped from my body, and I began imagining my characters being here … alone … and the wondrous things they could do rolling around on a soft blanket surrounded by nature. Getting out of your normal routine offers other choices.

5) The list of 20 – At two local RWA meetings, I’ve heard speakers talk about the list of 20. Most recently, it was Leanne Banks at the OCC/RWA meeting in May. When you start plotting your book, list 20 things you know about it, or the characters. Stuck at a moment, how about 20 ways to get out of it? Don’t settle for any ol’ solution – push those boundaries. When you hit upon the right one, usually it resonates.

** Special Shout-out: Another fantastic way to break out of your comfort zone is to take an online class in a new subject. Starting on Monday, May 16, I’m teaching “Some Like it Hot: Writing the Erotic Romance” online for OCC/RWA. And, I know that there are many participants that will be traveling into the squirm zone with the material. Many kudos to you for being willing to smash those boundaries.**

This list is only the beginning in ways to explore the literary possibilities. I’m sure that there are many other ideas out there. So how do you break the boundaries?

A Note from the Book Boost: I love this post, Louisa! It is great advice for writer--particularly when we get stuck in that writing rut. I'm a big fan of thinking outside the box and taking classes on new subjects often inspire me. Thanks for joining us and please do come back soon!

Want More Louisa?

Bacio’s erotic paranormal “The Vampire, The Witch & The Werewolf: A New Orleans Threesome” is currently available through Online retailers. If you’re interested in a set of Romance Trading Cards featuring the three characters Lawrence, Lily & Trevor, visit

Follow her on Twitter here:

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Leave a question or comment for Louisa and be entered to win a $10 gift certificate to Ravenous Romance.

**Winners for Book Boost prizes are drawn the first week of the following month and posted in the Recent Winners box in the right hand side of the blog. Check back to see if you are a winner and to claim your prize! Please leave your contact information in your blog post!**


Michele said...

Louisa - GREAT tips!!! I have to say I am very excited to see what's to come in the class!!! Sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun!!!

Bow Wow Bone Shack said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bow Wow Bone Shack said...

Michele again - meant to sign-in under this :)

Louisa Bacio said...


First -- thanks for having me back here, and may I mention I'm about to pick up "Making a Ghost of It." what a fun title and cover!

Michele -- glad that you like the tips! Hopefully, they'll help inspire a few scenes.

Temple said...

Great ideas. You've given me a lot to think about. I find myself frequently 'stuck' and, judging by your post, I'm not the only one
;-) I'm still finding it hard to just trust myself and stop second guessing myself - so tips #1 & #5 will be especially useful, I'm sure.


Louisa Bacio said...

Good to hear that they're helpful Temple. #1 came from a friend this week who said that her story went somewhere she didn't want. She kept fighting against it, and her characters kept leading her there. Finally, she's listening and the writing is going better.