I’m still waiting on one more critique on the romance I wrote. It’s summer. Everyone I know has busier schedules, so I know that when I give them my manuscript to read, it might take them a while. I fill the gap with writing short stories, and I’ve started to make character charts and plot points for my next novel. For the first time, my mind skipped to the FOURTH romance that was noodling in my head instead of the THIRD. Unusual for me. I’m a linear type of writer. This happens, then this, etc. Some of my friends write scenes and then figure out where to put them in the story. Impossible for me. Others let plot revolve out of their characters and their journey. My plots are built on cause and effect, scene and sequel. I write lean and rewrite as I go, and then when I do my final draft, I have to add more description and detail, more internal dialogue and emotion. And my mind doesn’t usually skip from one plot point to one far off in the distance. So I was puzzled. Until I realized that I didn’t know my characters well enough. I thought I did. I’d used them in two other stories, but they were walk-on characters, pretty minor. I could hear them and see them, but I didn’t know what really made them tick, what pushed their buttons. So back to the good, old character wheel for me, and then the story blossomed.
The first romances I wrote–to see if I could do them–were novellas, only forty pages each, and I made them into a bundle–The Emerald Hills series. I peopled the entire town with characters who owned little shops and then made each character bump into someone who’d eventually win her heart. My daughter still bugs me to write something new for Sheriff Guthrie and the Orange Tabby, but he found his soul mate, with the help of the stray cat. His story’s over (for a romance). So is the cat’s. Guthrie adopted him. I tried to give each novella a different flavor, a different type of protagonist, but a review I got made me rethink how I did the series. (If you look at the bundle, its says that I have no reviews, but each novella had them, before I lost them when I combined them into one book. *sadness*). The reviewer had read all of them, though, and said that the rhythm and tone of each story were too similar. And she had a point. I don’t want to make that same mistake with my romance novels. I want each one to have a different feel. Let’s hope that’s a good idea. I’ll have to wait and see.
Oops, I took off on a tangent. The point is, I’ve been blithely jotting notes and ideas for the third book, and I’m finishing a new Babet and Prosper. I’ve even let myself try a little writing experiment that I have to admit has been SO much fun! (It’s on my webpage). But after this week is over, it’s time to hit the rewrites and get back to serious work time. I might not write as many hours in the summer, but I still have books to finish.
Hope you’re having a great summer, too, and happy writing!
My webpage: http://www.judithpostswritingmusings.com/