First Coast Romance Writers, an affiliate of Romance Writers of America®, is an organization for both published and unpublished writers, as well as any individuals involved in the writing/publishing industry. The membership includes writers of all levels, from those working on their first manuscripts to award-winning authors. The chapter is dedicated to promoting excellence in romantic fiction through monthly meetings and workshops in a comfortable forum where published and unpublished writers share knowledge about the constantly evolving publishing industry. FCRW strives to help writers become published and establish careers with innovative programs, networking opportunities and pertinent information on effective marketing techniques for members’ novels.


Check out our latest updates in our Member News section.








Saturday, November 8, 2014 10:30


Emotional attachment is the secret handshake to a publishing contract. No matter what the genre, in order for a reader to care about a story, they must care about the characters. Screenwriters use rooting interests to create an emotional attachment between the viewer and the movie character. Let me show you how to do the same thing in a novel. With an enthusiastic delivery and entertaining presentation, I will introduce you to rooting interests, show how they work and how they are used on the big screen. Then we’ll go into detail on how they are used in novels with examples from award-winning romances.


It doesn’t matter what genre you write in, there is a basic plot structure that is used in novels, movies, and plays. Allow me to show you how this simple basic structure can guide you from the basic elements in the opening of a novel through the turning points to a happily ever ending. We’ll briefly discuss ways to endear readers to your characters (rooting interests) because this is something every writer needs to know. An organic plotter, I’ve sold every book that I written using the W plot to guide my creative process.

Donna_MacMeansAward winning author Donna MacMeans made a wrong turn many years ago when she majored in Accounting in college. What was she thinking? Balancing books just can’t compete with crafting plots and inventing memorable characters. She finally broke free from her life as a CPA to write witty and seductive Victorian historicals for the Random Penguin (grin) in what can only be described as her dream job.

Her books have won numerous awards including the prestigious Golden Heart from Romance Writers of America, and the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for Historical Love & Laughter, as well as recognition in many regional contests. Her books consistently receive high praise and glowing reviews. Her seventh published novel, The Whisky Laird’s Bed, released this summer with Berkley’s Intermix imprint.
Donna is also the recipient of the 2013 RWA Service Award, the 2014 RWA Pro Mentor award and was elected as RWA Treasurer last month. (Big Squee!)

An avid reader, she uses the analytical skills learned as an accountant to analyze novels in an effort to constantly improve her own craft – and then teaches those skills in workshops around the country, including the Nora Roberts Institute in Hagerstown, MD, the conference pre-con at RT in New Orleans, and a couple of weeks ago at the New Jersey Romance Writers Conference.

A member of the popular Romance Bandits blog group, she is always approachable. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband of forty years. Please contact her at www.DonnaMacMeans.com

For more info, see our WORKSHOPS page, or email programs@firstcoastromancewriters.com






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