The Way Stories Come

Like I’ve said, my stories dump on me like a large pile of jigsaw puzzle pieces which must then put together with no finished picture to go by.  Also, there are tons of extras.

But, how does the dumping start?  Bunch of different ways.

Just yesterday, I was intrigued by the idea of a man falling in love with a woman without realizing it because he’s very visual when attracted to women, but he’s never actually seen this woman.  I haven’t figured out how that’s going to work yet.  That’s as far as I got.

Because sometimes it happens almost instantly and sometimes it takes years.

Like there’s this one character who’s been hanging out in the back of my imagination for about four years now.  And he just got a plot and a leading lady a few months ago.  Poor guy.

And sometimes I’ll be happily writing along and another story will just jump out, leapfrog, and take over.  I try my best not to let that happen, because it’s difficult to finish anything.

I suspect what happens is these stories brew in my subconscious mind for a long time.  Some of them I become aware of right away and others just kinda hang out and enjoy the coffee.

Writing a Story the Way It Should be Told

I’ve written this post a dozen times and deleted it.  Guess I haven’t figured it out yet.  The best authors never stop trying to learn, so I’m in good company.  There are rules, guidelines, formulas, expectations, etc cetera for different genres, sub-genres, traditional publishers, ePublishers, and the many places you can sell Indie Pubs too.  It’s mind-boggling.  Sometimes, it’s hard to just take a breath and write the story.

Newblood & the Ice Princess

I’ve been burning up a lot of brain cells figuring how I want to revise my first published novel, Sugar Rush.  I got the rights back to it, but not to the cover art.  That’s totally okay.  It wouldn’t work anyway.  Newblood & the Ice Princess is its new title and it will feel more Urban Fantasy than Paranormal in its new incarnation.

Sugar Rush had a sequel, Sweet Bytes, which was published by yet another ePublisher, which has since gone out of business.  I got my rights back to that one too.  The cover art was even more gorgeous, in my opinion, but I don’t have the rights to it and it would not work either.

See, I’ve come to realize that I want to follow a different path on the close of Sugar Rush.  The heroine, Ophelia, has an identical twin sister, Bianca, who famously throws a sewing machine out her window.  On the close of this novel, I’m more interested, at least right now, in what happens to Bianca who is a time traveler.  I love me some Time Travel, you know.  Probably thanks to Star Trek. 

So, I’ve decided to write a new ending to Sugar Rush to close it out more and set that fictional universe up to follow Bianca’s adventures next.  But, also, I want to end so I can pick up with Ophelia later on too.

This is what I get for having a visually cluttered, non-linear imagination.  But, at least, I’m not bored.  🙂

At this point, I’m in the middle of reformatting the novel.  The next step will be to make the revisions.  Being a visual thinker, I’m very excited about developing my own cover art for this story.  I’ve found the perfect images and I hope to share them with you soon.

Tap Dancing Plot Bunnies

And I had An American Elf beat out!  But, I realized something was missing in Act One and it set off a trsavethecatain wreck.   (((sigh)))  Better to catch it at this stage anyway.

 

The trouble of it is I wasn’t born knowing how to structure a story.  It all sort of just dumps on me.  Until I get the story beat out, I’m pretty overwhelmed.  Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder helps a lot.  http://www.savethecat.com/

I’m also rereading good books in the same subgenre to get my mind switched to that structure.

 

An American Elf…On Steroids

Just kidding.

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Swedish ‘Meadow Elves’ 1805 by Nils Blommer.  They’re a lot more dignified than mine.

So after I kicked A Vintage Heart out the door, I got back to work on An American Elf and it promptly went bat-crap crazy on me.  You see, I pretty much finished the rough draft a year ago when A Vintage Heart leap-frogged it.  So, I was like, okay, pick up where I left off and I’ll have the little beauty out the door a month.  Oh, yeah.

No.

Something was missing from Act One and no sooner did I seriously ponder that and the story split into three different novels in my head.  And I’m like, nooooo!  Well, but I kinda have to let it do that, because Brandr, the Heroine’s love interest, is such a complex character.  He’s blows my freakin’ mind and he doesn’t make sense if I don’t go back and let him have his day.

Yeah, I’m not sure how well this will qualify for Romance Genre.

The thing is Brandr is Bianca’s *future husband from a past time period.*  Let that sink in for a minute.

Did I mention this was a Time Travel?

I think I’m going to have to map this one out on the wall with markers and stickers and little bits of yarn.  And maybe sock puppets.  Nah, skip the sock puppets and hand me the ibuprofen.

I’m in for a ride.

My name is Bianca and I am an elf, an American elf. I break stuff and make a mess. Sometimes, I say words that horrify my much more dignified twin sister and I’ve been known to flip people off. Sorry.

The Less-Than-Romantic Romance Novel Hero

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This is Liam Neeson who is not at all unromantic, but whose photograph is here to represent the ideal.   More on that later.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liam_Neeson

I’m sorry if this comes off as a rant.  I’ve hit a reading slump when it comes to the Romance genre.  I keep running into books with wonderful heroines.

And boring heroes.

Booooooring.

This is James Stewart who is also not unromantic.  Definitely what I call a Classic Hottie.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Stewart

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The thing is they hit all the beats for a Romance Novel Hero, but they don’t feel real.  The sex is just sex, no matter how graphically it’s written.  Not good enough, dang it.  Big Hint:   If the Hero bores me anyway, I’m not going to keep reading long enough to get to that part anyway.

Check this out.  Over 35% of Romance Genre readers have been reading in the Romance Genre for over twenty years.   https://www.rwa.org/p/cm/ld/fid=582

20.

Babe, that’s two decades.  Almost as long as I’ve been married.  Do you realize what this means?  Drum roll, please.

A significant percentage of Romance Genre Readers have lived long enough to know a lot of Real Men in Real Life.  I mean, a lot.  We know a fake when we see it.

And we’re not easily impressed.

wonderful

Did you ever wonder why James Stewart has so many kids in It’s a Wonderful Life?  Because he was so romantic she forgot how to count.  That’s how.

My husband says all the heroes who appeal to me are just glorifications of him.

Guess what?  He’s right.  They’re always tall, boyishly handsome, and good with babies.  Well, like I always say, the best part of the Romance Genre is in restoring our faith in fairytales.  Without faith, there is no love in real life.

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I’m also bad at math.  We have four children.  They’re massive.

So, please, if you have anything to do with putting out Romance novels, pay special attention to the heroes, ‘kay?  Thanks.