It is with deep regret that I inform you that I’ve started reading, for the third time now, Fifty Shades of Grey. This time it seems like the task is within my grasp. But only because I’m determined to learn the lessons of the book. People will say that there is nothing of value in bad books, but bad books that sell well can teach you a thing or two. People like something for a reason–no matter how much you might disagree with that reason and if I can harness some of that without compromising my writing’s integrity, more power to me.

Last week I managed a rough draft of a short story based on the characters from Keep Austin Safe. I was impressed with myself as it was both a somewhat recognizable short story and it was in first person. I need to do some more of these little pieces with the voice of my main character so that I become accustomed to her and how she thinks. A lot of the ideas about what I want to do with the book are changing. I read The Well of Ascension last week, it’s the second part of the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson. I’m starting to see what romantic plot lines can do to a story when they’re not the full focus and made only to distract.

While I am reading two books that might be technically romantically focused (Fifty Shades and the much better Shades of Milk and Honey) I doubt I will ever see the appeal of the romantic plot as a centerpiece.

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