The Writing Process 2015: Resolutions For the New Writing Year.

If you’re new to The Writing Process 2015, these posts are a chance to share my journey through my latest novel, starting at ground zero.

Resolutions for the New Writing Year2015 will be over soon, and so will this category of Southern Exposure. I’ve so much enjoyed recounting a year of work on When We Were Sisters with you.

Since the cover is now on Amazon, I think it’s fine to share it with you here. But I won’t be sharing the cover story quite yet. Hopefully I’ll have some interesting extra photos to share when I do. Let me just say this. Getting a final  cover wasn’t fun, but my publisher and I both persevered and worked together. I’m happy with the result. Later, I’ll tell you all about it.

In the meantime? A new year is on the way and a new book with it. I’ve put together a synopsis. This means I’ve told the story, step by step, on paper, as if I were telling it to you. So and So is happily married until. . . blah, blah, blah. Now S&S can’t figure out what to do next.

You see? I’ve written about twelve single spaced pages of this. The prose is not expected to shine or enrapture. A synopsis gets a job done. With few flourishes a synopsis tells an editor exactly what I’m planning, who the people are who will carry out that plan, and how I’ll begin and end. That simple.

This synopsis, by the way, is much too long for my publisher to read. So now I’ll hopefully condense it into five to ten pages. Of course this means all the subtlety will fly out the window and they’ll wonder if I can pull off the story. So I’ll include the longer version for my editor, which will answer at least some of those questions. Then–and this can take weeks or months–we’ll resolve our differences of opinion, if any, and I’ll begin writing the book. Or if we can’t agree, I’ll think of something else to send them.

Meantime I’ve already done a lot of research and know far more about some subjects than I ever hoped to learn. This book will get written. So even if my publisher prefers something else, eventually this one will see the light. I like it and know you will, too.

2016 promises to be an interesting writing year. But before I launch in, I’ve put together a few resolutions for the New Writing Year.

In 2016 I will:

  • Worry less about what others think and write the book the way I know it needs to be written.
  • I will allow some of my major characters to misbehave badly without trying to fix them–at least not right away. (I’m a born fixer, real life and fiction.)
  • I won’t fret if there’s no romance to speak of in my new book. Just because I started my career writing romance. . . (Of course, if one develops, who am I to stand in the way?)
  • I will write a shorter book. Just to prove I can.
  • I will take some time to figure out what’s best career-wise for me as well as for my readers.
  • I will create ebooks of at least three more of my newly-edited classic romances, beginning with Dragonslayer, which won the RITA from Romance Writers of America and is still a darned good book.
  • I will find a better balance between work and relaxation, kayak more, read and quilt more, and finish that stegosaurus sweater for my grandson.

That seems like enough to do, right?

Are you making resolutions this year? I’ve made the usual one about eating less and exercising more. But the ones above? 2015 has pointed out need for each and every one of them. So The Writing Process 2015 blogs were a great chance to take stock of what was happening with my novel and career. All these resolutions have come out of that process.

Thanks for reading along with these this year. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have.

Happy New Year!



  1. Joni on December 30, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    I can’t wait to read “When We Were Sisters”!!
    I can’t even begin to imagine writing a book what a
    Gift you have!
    I always wished I had a “sister” or a great friend to
    Call a sister but I guess that wasn’t something that was meant to be for me! Of course I have 2 daughters
    But they don’t speak to one another ( how sad)!
    Their conflict has affected my health & my new resolution is to look out for ME!! I need to lose serious weight & in December (worse month ever) I quit eating flour & sugar lost 15 pounds & will continue
    On my weight loss journey to my goal weight &
    To get off my high blood pressure pills(newly acquired). So here’s to 2016 & the new ME!!!

    • Emilie Richards on December 30, 2015 at 5:00 pm

      Joni, You’re taking care of yourself, which is terrific. Right now that’s exactly what you can and are doing, and that shows a lot of insight. I am sorry your daughters are at odds, but take care of you. I hope they’ll sort out the rest on their own.

      Looking forward to the new YOU, although I’ll confess I like what I know of the old one, too.

  2. Martha O'Quinn on December 30, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    Emilie, Happy New Year to you and your family. Thanks for the kindness and generosity you share toward your readers and for the inspiration you provide with your posts. May you reap all of the best that 2016 has to offer.

    • Emilie Richards on December 30, 2015 at 5:01 pm

      Thanks Martha. And the same to you.

  3. Kathryn Trask on December 30, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    Emilie, I sure love your hopes/dreams/plans for 2016 and say yay – go for it. I love your books and I’ll love ’em if you write what you just want. You write and trust, we’ll (the readers) will be there with you! Happy New Year.

    • Emilie Richards on December 30, 2015 at 5:02 pm

      Kathryn, many thanks. Happy New Year back atcha.

  4. Terry Guerra on January 1, 2016 at 7:22 am

    Happy New Year Emilie! As a young girl, the chance to interact with the author of my favorite books was not even thought about. She (or he) was this person far, far away, working away in a beautiful place, never seen or heard from, but maybe heard about now and then. Fast forward to now, and wow! Thank you for sharing your writing process, for giving this now-middle-aged reader a peek into how it all happens. Can’t wait to read When We Were Sisters!

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