Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Story Premise

Back in my twenties, I'd get an idea for a romance novel, write the first thirty pages, and then stick it in a random drawer someplace. Out of sight, out of mind. A zillion unfinished stories.

Flash forward a couple decades. I took a community class, taught by a Silhouette author, about writing romance novels.

Light bulb.

Those ideas I had? They weren't STORY IDEAS, they were CUTE MEETS. As in, what brings the hero and heroine together in the beginning. Turns out that's the fun part for me. Full of sexual tension, misunderstandings, misinterpretations--lots of energy. It's what comes next that's the hard part. Fleshing out the cute meet into four hundred pages takes, uh, more effort.

Which is why, as I flitted back and forth between my WIP and the beginning of a short story last night, I found the latter easier and more satisfying to write. Since I'm a pantser, I have no idea who this couple is yet. Don't know their backstory, their wounds, or what will make them fall in love with each other. All those answers will come in the space of about 25 pages. So far, in the eight I've sold to True Romance (one to True Experience), a STORY has always evolved from the process.

Not so with all of the long stuff I've written. Sometimes, the initial foundation isn't strong enough to hold a full-fledged book. Unfortunately, you don't find this out before investing months and months of writing time.

Depending on how you count, my current WIP is approximately (?) my fourth (fifth?) "real" manuscript. I've got about 80 pages to go and I'm happy to report that apparently I've learned to lay the proper foundation. There's plenty goin' on in this book.

And it's certainly about more than the "cute meet."

Yes, I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel (gee, how long ago did we here at the old blog remember seeing the dim light ahead for Leftovers??) . Anyway, I know because I'm getting antsy about being able to pitch it. Always a great motivator for me.

Now if only I could come up with the KILLER title.

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