Re-writing & Editing with Joanne Dannon, #FreeBook

We asked author Joanne Dannon for some helpful advice. Read what she says. Her latest book just released, Forever Mine (Alex Jackson series Book 4)

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"Easy reading is damn hard writing." - Nathaniel Hawthorne

I love this quote because, to me, it’s so true. Good writing doesn’t come easy even to the best of writers. It’s hard work and can take a number of re-writes to get it right. Years ago. I read a wonderful romance but the first chapter captivated me, so much so, that I contacted the author to tell her how much I enjoyed it. Imagine my surprise when I found that the first chapter had taken her 20 re-writes. As the quote says, easy reading is hard writing.

Re-writing or editing can be frustrating at times. But to me, I have to remind myself that readers want a good read, and the only way to do it is to write a good book.

Recently one of my friends told me she enjoyed my “piece of fluff” which she’d read in one sitting. Perhaps it was meant as a compliment but my "piece of fluff", my romance, took me weeks to write and at least two weeks to define the characters. I spend much time working on my hero and heroine – what keeps them together and what keeps them apart. Irrespective of the length of book I write, I still spend the same amount of time in determining the hero and hero’s internal and external motivation.

Using my latest, Forever Mine, as an example. 

Hannah has a massive crush on Zac, her BFF’s brother, for years. She’s not going to act on it because Zac is a “player” and only ever dates beautiful women. Hannah is pretty but not glamorous. She’s not prepared to humiliate herself, for Zac. 

“Changing the subject, have you considered telling Zac how you feel about him?”
“Are you insane?” She all but screeched. “And have him laugh at me? You’ve seen the women he dates?”

When Zac starts to fall for Hannah, he fights it. She’s his sister’s BFF and he’s not prepared to have a fling with her. He knows she’s not in to one night stands. 

Hannah was not for him, he reminded himself. He’d end up hurting her with his inability to commit. Nothing was going to happen. 

My books may be “easy” reads but I spend a lot of time working out why my characters act the way they do. For the romances I write, they’re character driven not plot driven so it’s really important to make your hero and heroine become “real” to your reader.

Whether you plot or not, you must ensure your hero and heroine are behaving true to their character. For example, in Forever Mine, Hannah doesn’t sidle up to Zac and purr in his ear “I want you”, because her character wouldn’t do that. By creating well defined characters, you will have your reader cheering on your heroine and falling in love with your hero. 

Happy writing, Joanne x

Forever Mine is the 4th book in the Alex Jackson series and can be read as a standalone book.


It's never a good idea to fall for your best friend's brother... or so they say.
Hannah Greene is fed up. A romantic at heart, she's had a major crush on her best friend's brother for years but he's never noticed her. To shape a life for herself away from Zac, she must move on.

Zac Warne, smooth-talking sales guy who takes responsibility to a whole new level, loves the thrill of the chase but is not interested in settling down, ever. It's not that he doesn't believe in love, it's just not for him.

But circumstances have Hannah and Zac spending one weekend together and a night of fun leads to more than just emotional consequences for them.

Compelled to right wrongs and beholden to fix problems, Zac has to convince Hannah his about-turn about wanting a relationship with her is not just one of convenience. Can Hannah now trust this smooth-talking playboy who has a reputation for breaking hearts, including her own?

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16 comments:

  1. That is so true. The easier the book feels, the harder the writer had to work.

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    1. For sure Liz :)

      Thanks for dropping by :)

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  2. I definitely think about the sort of editing that must have gone on whenever I read a book. Sometimes you can tell that not much editing did go on. ;) Other times, e.g. as you say when a book flows easily and pacing is perfect, you know the author slaved hard!

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    1. For sure! If the book is gripping (irrespective of the genre) and you don't want to stop reading, it means the writer spent a lot of time making sure you stayed glued to the end. Also, a good editor is worth his/her weight in gold, and will make the story shine.

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  3. I bet romance writers have their hands full getting their characters just right in thought and deed. This is one genre where emotional truth is everything.

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    1. That's exactly right Tamara :)

      Most romances are character driven, not plot, so a good author will ensure they've spent time in full developing their hero and heroine.

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  4. Hi Nas and Joanne ... it must be difficult to do - otherwise we'd have millions and zillions of authors ... it takes practice as all things do and never give up. Well done Joanne - congratulations on writing romance ... I've got your offer thank you .... cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi Hilary - I can't tell you how many people say to me they want to write a book....but they don't.

      Writing is really hard. My first few books are not good and will remain in my laptop forever. But I see them as my apprenticeship, my learning curve to be a writer.

      Thanks for dropping by and for your kind and supportive words. I hope you enjoy Bidding on Love.

      Happy reading :)

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    1. Thanks so much Squid :) Appreciate your kind words x

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  6. I can definitely relate to this. It's actually one of the problems I'm having with my own book. I'm just not satisfied with my rewrites and have barely gotten past chapter four. haha

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    1. Oh dear! Sorry to hear that Robert. Can I ask, if you have a crit partner or a writing buddy? Either having a brain storm or getting them to review your writing can really help.

      All the best with you writing :)

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  7. People who don't write stories, really don't get how much work it takes to create something they can lose themselves in. A piece of fluff=hours of thought and writing and re-writing. In the end, there's entertainment and the reader benefits.

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    1. That's exactly right Clem.

      I think some readers of romantic fiction don't appreciate how much work goes in to the "piece of fluff". Many of my readers will read my books in one sitting because they want to know how it ends. That takes a lot of time, thought and energy to do so. Glad you appreciate it, from a writer's POV :)

      Thanks for dropping by :)

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  8. Someone seriously called your book a piece of fluff? =( I would seriously be wielding fist at those words. Regardless, you're so right. Excellent writing takes a ton of work.

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    1. Thanks Crystal!!!

      Yes, a friend, who downloaded my book for FREE. If she'd at least left a review, I wouldn't have been so hurt. Seriously? Fluff? I write romance :)

      The irony is that she couldn't put it down and read it in almost one sitting - LOL :) One to Joanne and zero to friend ;)

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