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August 2018: Writing Advice
~ Cynthia Sax ~

CTR asked:
QUESTION: What is the one piece of writing advice that has stuck with you and why? (Something other than ‘write what you know.’)

Cynthia Sax said:
The Story Is Fictional. The Emotions Are Real. By Cynthia Sax

One of the best pieces of writing advice I’ve ever received is… “The story is fictional. The emotions are real.”

I believe most readers buy romance novels for the emotional connection to the characters, to the scenes, to the conflict. One of my jobs, as a writer, is to make readers FEEL. I try to do this not once in the story, not twice, but in EVERY scene.

For readers to feel something during a scene, I, as the writer, have to feel something. (Every writer is different so this might not work for you but this is my method.) I have to pour my own emotions into the story. I do this by thinking about a time when I felt similar to the characters I’m writing about.

In Releasing Rage, for example, Rage, the hero, fails in a critical task and this really hurts someone he loves. I’m not a cyborg like Rage. I’m not fighting the baddies in space. But I HAVE failed at a critical task and had that failure hurt a loved one. Before writing that scene, I took out that painful memory, poked at it, relived it, felt the emotions again. Then I put that on the page.

I’m a slow writer. It takes me about 8 hours to write ten pages. This often means I’m reliving the emotion again and again over these 8 hours. If the character is grieving, I’m grieving…for an entire day. After writing those types of scenes, I’m drained. I’ve got nothing left. I’ve given the story everything.

The scene is fictional. The emotions are real. They’re my emotions. That’s a piece of me, of my heart, of my soul in the story.

This is often, I suspect, why many writers take criticism personally. Sure, we’re creating a product, but a very private part of ourselves is added to this product. We’re exposed, our emotions left in the open for every reader to see.

It is scary but the result, for me, is a story readers will connect with.


The Cyborg's Secret Baby by Cynthia Sax cover

The Cyborg’s Secret Baby

[SciFi Cyborg Romance]

A fierce cyborg warrior and his curvy human female share a no-longer-so-little secret.

Stealth, a K Model cyborg, knows his passion for Zebrina, the commander’s human daughter, is forbidden, yet he can’t resist the curvy female. He craves her touch, cherishes her sounds of pleasure, would do anything to keep her safe.

When he’s faced with the choice of protecting his fragile human or living to see the next sunrise, he chooses her, always her, sending Zebrina halfway across the universe to safety. He doesn’t realize their stolen moments had consequences neither of them believed possible.

After hearing her warrior died in battle, Zebrina focuses on the last gift he gave her. Doing what is right for their child is her sole priority. She will put their son’s happiness first, even if that means choosing another male over the love of her life.

The Cyborg’s Secret Baby is a STAND-ALONE story loosely connected to the Cyborg Sizzle series.
It is also a Second Chance Cyborg SciFi Romance set in a dark, gritty, often-violent universe.

Available in Ebook:



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