This Nora Roberts quote is hilarious. It’s a much-needed kick in the keister, too.
About my work in progress, in an earlier post, I announced the story was just “pouring” out of me, and I couldn’t type quickly enough.
Welp, I should’ve known that wouldn’t last long. With every manuscript, I always battle a bout or two of writer’s block. I’m a pantser, meaning I don’t do a whole lot of outlining, pre-planning, or pre-plotting. (I research a few things and try to do character sketches, though.)
I took a few days away from my WIP to reflect on why I’d lost some of my mojo. For me, it’s usually one of two issues 1) I don’t know my characters as well as I think I know them. 2) In a romance, the hero or heroine are getting along too well. Punching up the conflict usually solves problem #2. When I say “conflict” I don’t mean constant fighting or drama, but honing some story question, one that’s not answered quickly. This is what keeps readers turning the pages. I also have to set up characters’ needs or desires that are not fulfilled too soon.
An additional obstacle: getting past previous characters.
It never fails. I always love my most recent (published) heroine and hero the most. Quinn, the heroine in He Could Be the One, was over the top and dang fun to write. Blaire, her less outrageous older sister, can seem downright dull in comparison… if I’m not careful. It has been challenging staying true to the way Blaire was introduced in the two previous Mistywood Lane novels and fleshing her out in a consistent, believable, and compelling fashion.
About the new hero... Oh, how I loved Lance Donovan, the hero in He Could Be the One.. Did I mention the reformed-playboy trope is a favorite of mine? The wilder they are, the harder they fall. Lance checked all the right boxes for me from the start, when he was introduced as a secondary character in Welcome to Mistywood Lane.
New Hero in my WIP is not chopped liver. :) I like him...a lot, but he’s no Lance Donovan, okay? lol But I hope to love him just as much as I love Lance by the time I’ve honed him to the best of my abilities. New Hero needs work, though.
I try not to write the same handful of lead male and female characters over and over and over again, only changing the names, occupations, and physical descriptions. (Y’all know some authors do that. Just sayin’.)
I have purposely not revealed New Hero’s name because at the end of He Could Be the One, I left Blaire pondering her options.
Will she go for hunky action movie star Lucas Cameron?
Lance and Gabriel’s good friend and business partner, Julian Phillips?
Will she revisit great guy and longtime lover, Hayes Reardon III?
A case can be made for all three. I weighed the pros and cons of each before choosing one.
I will include New Hero’s name in my upcoming cover-and-title-reveal post. I love the cover for my WIP, and I want to post it now. It complements the previous ones in the series. (No mismatches this time.) I’m holding back because I have two titles in mind. I haven’t decided which one to roll with. I’d hate to post too soon, change my mind (as I’m prone to do), and then have to repost it with a different title. Once something is on the net, it can live forever.
Until next time…:)