You drive - Part III

Monday, January 17, 2005

In Sasha's blog entry today, she mentioned that the characters of her next book are getting impatient for their turn. And it struck me as odd that all the characters for my next several story ideas are pretty quiet. Not that they're inaccessible or not talking, but they are patiently waiting on the sidelines. It feels like they're watching what I do with Zoë and Odil. Then I realized that they're quiet because they know I'm on the right track now.

Let me explain.

My very first attempt at a book was supposed to be a straight contemporary romance. Classic set up with the Hero blackmailing the heroine to sleep with him. (Yes, I was into Harlequin Presents at the time. gg) As I went along a serial killer somehow got involved in the story, then I had the brilliant idea to make the H be a possible suspect. Yup, though I didn't realize it at the time, I was attempting to write a Romantic Suspense. gg. It was a mishmash--written in longhand with scrunchy writing in the margins and stuff crossed out and arrows everywhere leading to notes and comments, etc. I abandoned it.

The next attempt was supposed to be a Blaze. I like the hotter romances, and didn't make to make the same mistake I’d made before by trying to write something too complex. I was just going to make hot, short, and focused on the H/h's developing relationship. Two out of three ain't bad. I wrote 700 pages of keeping it ‘hot and focused’! lol.

Two revisions later, that ms has a couple of fleshed out subplots, a cute twist, and is now slightly under 400 pages with a stronger characterization and main storyline. One out of three ain't bad. It's still hot.

With Beneath the Skin, ms #2, the urge to write 'more' and 'bigger' reared it’s ugly head again, the characters had more depth and complexity to them, but the plot got too contrived, so I put ms aside. Then I came up with several 'bigger' stories, most of them a bit darker than ms #1. But I shied away from them, despairing that I'd never write another straight contemporary again, and that these new stories were too much for my meager beginner’s skills. Enter Zoë and Odil—figuratively representing my ‘I’ll-show-you! shook fist at the gods’. Or so I thought. heh.

Last night I went to bed pretty happy, a bit surprised at how much I'm looking forward to writing this book. No, I didn't finish chapter one, but I did spend the day editing, and revising what I have written. This book has a lot going on with the various plots, and I'm not sure exactly how things will unfold. But I do know that I need to be totally anchored in my characters—-their personalities, motivations, fears, etc—- to go forward, and that's why I spent the day tweaking and digging a little deeper. Plus there's a curious blend of upbeat humorous and atmospheric/dark (gothic) in the writing tone that I’m trying to get a better handle on.

So last night I conceded that this ms will be more than a straight contemporary. And that's when my other Heroes and heroines, waiting in the wings, heaved a collective sigh, happy to know that I'll let them drive, when their time comes. I can’t be afraid any longer of going out there, to wherever the muse leads. Besides, genre blending seems to be the thing, so if I write my mss, and submit, submit, submit, until some agent/editor bites, my timing could be dead on.
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Anonymous said...

Yes! Genre-blending is hot, innovative!!


vanessa jaye said...

and you should know, Suzanne! ;-) Anyone who hasn't checked out Suzanne's upcoming paranormal PAX--series for SIMS, click onto her link and read an excerpt on her site.

So far my ms has humor, hints of a gothic, a couple of mysteries, a pyscho, a small town sort of mafia, a lovelorn teenager, a pair of ghosts, a treasure hunt, and an ex-con pyschic hero. At this point only the heroine and her twin seem normal. Yet in many ways they may be the most 'out there' of all the characters, due to their personalities. :-P

owie. head hurts.

Thanks for dropping by Suzanne.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to hear I'm not the only writer dabbling in the mult-genre realm. :-) Jordan

Sasha White said...

Good For You!. (on being on track)
Your characters are much more mild mannered than mine. When I was excited to start WILLING, Katie and Joe didn't want to co-operate. Now that I've decied to let them drive..she'd kiskin up a fuss to get started. LOL

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