One of the joys of writing a series is to revisit old friends–characters you’ve used in previous books–and then add in a few new ones. And if you get really lucky, one of those new characters jumps off the page for you and demands a book of his/her own.
When I wrote the first Mill Pond romance–Cooking Up Trouble–Ian’s brother, Brody, came to help him get the inn ready. Brody’s a bit of a curmudgeon. He’s a little too responsible for his own good, and I fell in love with him. Whom to pair him with? Someone who doesn’t pay attention to schedules and likes to bend the rules. Harmony drives him a little crazy, and Brody makes her want to whack him in the head every once in a while. A perfect match. For the story, I made Paula, Ian’s chef, and her two kids a part of the plot line, and I grew so attached to them, I wanted to find someone for Paula. Hence, book 3. So far, with every book, there’s a new character who begs me for more time in the next book.
I just finished final edits for Book 4–and I know this isn’t fair since I’m writing a few books ahead of what you can read–but Miriam just walked onto the pages in that book and told me that I was lucky she graced me with her presence. She has that kind of personality. And I couldn’t wait to write a book with her as the protagonist.
I’m starting that book now–the fifth Mill Pond–and I’m trying my darndest to do justice to the personality that is Miriam. I also tried to give her a story worthy of her. She teaches high school English, so I wanted a kid to be part of the romance.
The first time I wrote Miriam’s first chapter, it contained everything in the plot point I’d written for it–all of the characters, a hook, and the inciting incident–but it was flat. That only goes to show that just because I know what’s supposed to happen, I don’t always get the voice and tone right. Nobody wants to just plod through a story–not the readers and not me. So I deleted the whole thing and tried again. This time, I concentrated on the snark that’s part of Miriam, and it worked. The woman can quell a rampaging teenager in her third period class with a raised eyebrow. My type of heroine. She’s almost six feet tall, gawky and bony, with short, corkscrew curls. So who could be her Mr. Right? A man who’s comfortable in his own skin and brews beer. Miriam has a thing for hops:)
I’m going to have to push myself to keep the energy up for this book. I’m hoping to deal with a couple of serious subplots in a funny way. I might need more chocolate. I know I’ll need wine. But I have goals, and that’s a good thing:)
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6 thoughts on “Starting a new book”
Wow! I can’t believe how fast you’re writing these. I just finished copy edits on book 2 of my Point Pleasant series and now have to start concentrating on book 3. You’re so right about revisiting characters you love and adding new ones. And there’s always that one who stands out demanding a larger part or their own book.
Congrats on all your progress. You are so far ahead of me!
🙂 I don’t work full time like you do. I just pester my poor, retired husband, but that’s almost a full time job:)
I LOVE Miriam!!!
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Thank you. So do I:)
Strange how a character develops and suddenly leads the writer into a new adventure. Makes the process of writing exciting….
I think trying a few different genres that I’d have never thought of if someone hadn’t pushed me in a new direction has made me learn new skills. It’s been good for me to try plots and characters outside of my usual box.