Monday, September 1, 2014


By Alina Adams

All writers are given the same advice. Write your story, edit your story, polish your story. Make sure that only your very, very best work ends up in front of agents, editors, reviewers and readers.

Well, I followed that advice. I wrote, edited and polished many, many manuscripts. And I sent them out. And I got rejected. So I wrote and edited and polished some more. And eventually, I sold. Regency romance novels, contemporary romance novels, figure skating mysteries, non-fiction, soap-opera tie-ins. I’ve published over a dozen books, including two NYT best-sellers.

But, here’s the thing: It was all trial and error.

When my books were being rejected, I didn’t get any feedback. I had to guess what was wrong. And I had to guess how to fix it. Afterwards, I’d get editorial notes. Some were specific and helpful. Some less so. (My personal favorite, from an editor who shall remain nameless, was: This scene doesn’t work. Make it work.)

When I was first starting out, I would have loved the chance to just shadow a professional writer and watch them go through the entire process, from first draft to publication, and hear their reasons for why this word instead of that one, why this scene that way and not another way, why begin here, why end there?


o I’ve created the resource I never had. is me writing my latest book completely live. Readers can literally watch as each word is typed. And erased. And rewritten. And misspelled. And then deleted along with the rest of the lousy paragraph. Maybe even the whole chapter.

The problem is, I am doing the exact opposite of what every writer is told. I am not putting my best foot forward. I am putting out my worst one. I want readers to see what I go through. All the missteps, the dead ends, the clunky prose, the boring characters, the laughable sex scenes. And I want them to chime in with their thoughts so that I can make my book the very best that it can be – for them.

Am I risking someone clicking on a link, reading a few lines of my first-draft prose and deciding they never want to see anything with my byline again? It’s certainly possible.

Am I putting my entire career at risk? Sure seems like it.

Am I going to do it anyway? Yup.

Because, honestly, after 20 years of writing for a living, I was starting to get bored. And there is nothing that gets your blood pumping faster than working without a net.

Won’t you join me?


Alina Adams is the NYT best-selling author of soap-opera tie-ins, figure skating mysteries and contemporary and Regency romance novels, including “When a Man Loves a Woman,” “Annie’s Wild Ride,” “The Fictitious Marquis” and “Thieves at Heart.” Visit her at, and stop by to watch her write her next book live in front of your eyes with real-time reader feedback at:


Annie’s Wild Ride by Alina Adams

When his ex-wife and daughter’s plane goes down in a snowstorm, Major Paul Gaasbeck is forced to break every US Air Force rule and betray his own honor code in his attempt to rescue them.

As both battle the elements in a desperate struggle for survival, Paul and Anne can’t help remembering all of the reasons why they couldn’t stay together – or apart.

From Colorado’s Air Force Academy to military bases all across America to the hostile skies above Libya and the battlefields of Iraq, romance lovers will be helplessly swept away – just like Paul – by ANNIE’S WILD RIDE.


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