Romance writing

NaNoWriMo running total update

It’s been a slow May with my NaNoWriMo count only being 33,590/50,000. When I don’t have a set in stone deadline the desire to keep going just isn’t there. 

I am close though, and my goal is to have it finished for June 1 to enter the Harlequin Blaze contest. I have to enter my first chapter and a synopsis. Guess what I’ll be doing this weekend?  🙂 

My characters have fought, made up, did some soul searching, fought again and now I am at the point where something is going to happen to their relationship that they might not recover from. Oh, the things we do to our characters!

plot, writing

Plot

Wikipedia defines Plot as “a literary term for the events a story comprises, particularly as they relate to one another in a pattern, a sequence, through cause and effect, or by coincidence.”

When I try to wrap my mind around that definition I get frustrated. To me plot is a story line full of events that unfold as the characters learn and change and grow. When I look at it that way I can sit down and plan where my story is going, what I want to happen to my characters and visualize the beginning, middle and end of my manuscript.

During my current rewrite I realized my middle was stuck as my beginning had changed so much and my ending still reflected my old beginning leaving me high and dry in the middle. So, I’ve been coming up with different scenarios of what could work for my characters, and let me tell you, it’s quite a process. I find myself going backwards to make sure something I said earlier is true now and vice versa. Consistency is important as well credibility. Readers are very smart and they’ll know if something doesn’t match up.

I advise the use of a chart or detailed synopsis of every chapter and where you want to take the story before you start to write. I didn’t do that with this manuscript. I jumped right in and wrote what was in me. It was a wonderful experience doing it that way but then your left with inconsistencies and unbelievable characters, events and settings.

I fully believe that writing is a never-ending learning process.

writing

Internal & External Conflict

Now that I’m at a critical point in my revision process where I’m about to join the two parts of my manuscript (the revised with the second half), I’m having questions and doubts popping into my head. Which brings me to the title of this post – internal and external conflict. Do my hero and heroine have both?

Does my heroine have a fear or a problem that only she can solve, something that is affecting the way she behaves? Does she have something outside herself – in the world around her – that is causing her grief?

And will she grow and change from these experiences and the process involved in solving both her internal and external conflict.

Now sometimes these conflicts can’t be solved as they are out of the characters control, but they can be accepted which is part of the characters personal growth.

And it’s important that the characters share the same external conflict. It gives them something to solve together and brings them closer.

I did a quick note taking and I think I’m safe… for now. 😉

Romance writing

Figuring it out

I have been writing like crazy working out scenes and asking myself – does this make sense? Will the reader understand what I am saying and have I answered any questions the reader may have?

I am working my way through a crucial scene – something that happens before my hero and heroine meet, but it is the common factor that brings them together.

So, I write in my little black notebook, which I take with me whenever I can, and work the scenes out. I have been writing dialogue as well as the scenes play out in my head. I am enjoying this new development of my writing as it keeps me on track.

I am considering the idea of recipe cards pinned up on my board with all the scenes mapped out to see at a glance. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time now but my notebook is working fine for the moment.

Romance writing

Character Development

I just finished answering some general questions in order to learn more about my main characters. My heroine is done and my hero is next. I was quite impressed with the type of questions it asked such as:
what is her full name, birthday, likes and dislikes, how would a former date describe her, hobbies, education, where does she live, what are her parents like, etc…

If you want to see the article and get a full list of questions to help better develop your characters go to:
http://writersdigest.com/article/developing-your-hero-and-heroine/