• Between the Lines

    Laurin Wittig is an award-winning author of historical romance novels originally published by Berkley/Jove and now available as ebooks. She has 20+ years of experience in the writing business as an author, a critiquer, and teacher of creative writing.

    In October, 2011, she closed her critique business in order to focus on her own writing. She maintains this blog as a resource to writers.

    To learn more about Laurin's books please visit LaurinWittig.com
  • What Between the Lines clients are saying…

    “Laurin Wittig has a phenomenal gift for identifying the problems in a story and, more importantly, suggesting ways to fix them. I can’t imagine trying to write a book without her!”
    Pamela Palmer
    New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Feral Warriors series from Avon.

    “Laurin Wittig’s talent for finding the essence of a scene and pointing it in a logical and more focused direction is unmatched. Laurin’s guidance is kind and to the point. More importantly she MOTIVATES!”
    Elizabeth Holcombe
    Author of Heaven and the Heather from Berkley/Jove

    “Laurin Wittig is the sharpest story surgeon you could ever desire. She peels away the unnecessary layers to find the strong bones of your plot and character. Laurin has discerned things about my characters that I was still waiting to discover, and I find her insights stunning.”
    Anne Shaw Moran
    The Marlene Award Finalist

    “Laurin Wittig is a genius. Her insightful comments and suggestions helped me change a good manuscript into a great manuscript. I plan to use her critique service for all my future novels. She's the writing/critique partner that we all secretly hope to find -- someone who will help your book become the best it can be, without any power struggles, jealousy or secret agendas.”
    Beverly Giroux
    Golden Heart Contest Finalist

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This is supposed to be fun…

Sometimes, just when you ought to be having lots of fun — say, you’ve sold another book and your editor is eager to get it on the shelves — life steps in to suck the fun right out of you. 

In my house we refer to that sort of thing as a fun-sucker. 

Fun-suckers must be stopped.  

With my third book, Daring the Highlander,  I sold it on a short synopsis.  I agreed to an 11 month deadline so they could bring this sequel out 12 months after the previous book.  I had my family prepared for Mom to be Busy.  They were prepared to eat out of the freezer and pick up the slack around the house.  My critique partners were lined up as cheer leaders, brainstormers, and critiquers. My desk was clean.  Really, it was.  I was mentally and physically prepared to write this book even though my palms were sweaty since I’d never written a book in less than 18 months before.  And I got to work.

Then Hurricane Isabel dumped multiple trees on my house.

After the hurricane

After Hurricane Isabel, 2003

As if that wasn’t enough of a fun-sucker, the insurance company jerked us around for 9 months.  Once they settled with us, contractors were all over my house for six weeks, the six weeks before my deadline. Then, before I could even finish writing the manuscript my editor left the publishing house. I was assigned to another editor I’d never met and who didn’t particularly like what I’d written.  I rewrote the second half of the book in about 6 weeks… oh, yeah, and I had another book I was promoting at the same time.

Did I mention fun-suckers?

Writing a book is supposed to be fun.  Heck, I believe life is supposed to be fun, too, at least most of the time.  This wasn’t fun.  This book was supposed to be an adventure, a journey of discovery, an epic Highland story of intrigue and romance.  And it was in danger of becoming a tragedy.

So I decided to find a way to remind myself that … say it with me now… this is supposed to be fun.    I needed something to remind me that life needs to be taken with a pinch of mirth, even when the fun-suckers are doing their best to drag you to the dark side.  I needed something that would make me smile every time I looked at it.

I needed a fun-sucker antidote.

My fun-sucker antidotes

My fun-sucker antidotes

My hero, Dr. Seuss, to the rescue!

The bobble head Cat in the Hat on the left is from Universal in Orlando.  The one on the right is one of those puppets that collapse when you push up on the base and I have no idea where I got it from.  They both make me smile. They both make me remember nights when I was little with my dad reading Dr. Seuss’s ABC
(I’m a Zizzer Zazzer Zuzz, as you can plainly see!), The Cat in the Hat (loved, loved, loved Thing One and Thing Two!) and of course, The Cat in the Hat Comes Back with all that pink snow.   These two smiling fellows remind me that words entertain and teach and stretch our imaginations.  They remind me that I enjoy crafting words into stories. 

They are my fun-sucker antidotes and they have an honored place on my desk so I never forget, even when the writing gets tough and the words don’t want to flow and that deadline is looming and my palms are getting sweaty, that writing a story IS fun.



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