Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Ridin' off the rails

We've been talking a lot about process here. One of the things that's nice about having written a few books is that one starts to get a handle on what works and what doesn't. What I wish right now is that it also kept me from making the same mistake more than once.

I am a few pages into a new work in progress (yes, the one I've been whining about) and realized that I am making the exact same mistake I made with the original draft of my last romantic suspense. I have a motive for my heroine. I have a motive for my hero. They both need to find the killer for their own reasons and they're both investigating. The problem is, they're doing it off on their own.

Oh, sure, eventually they'll be crossing paths and getting all entangled, but right now, not so much. This is the exact same thing I did last time. When my editor read that first draft, she asked if maybe we could get the hero and heroine on the same page more than once or twice in the first hundred pages? It seemed like a pretty reasonable request considering that this is a ROMANCE NOVEL!!!! There was a lot of painful bouncing around of scenes and changing things about to get there.

So here I am doing it again. He shows up to tell her that they found her brother's body and then off he goes to investigate to bring the bad guy to justice. Off she goes to investigate to heal the wounds of the past. But how am I supposed to create sexual tension between them when they're not together? I'm only 40 pages or so in, so I can step back a little earlier this time, but I'd so like to learn from my mistakes a little faster.


Sinead M said...

You caught it early this time. For every mistake I catch, I seem to make whole new ones with each book.

What can you do. When this gets easy, will it be any fun?

Maureen McGowan said...

I've just realized I'm making the same mistakes in this book I made in the last one, too.

At least we recognize them now? That's progress, right?

Molly O'Keefe said...

I just sent a book to my critique group where after the first hundred pages I have 40+ pages with the hero and heroine not even speaking to each other. What was I thinking? Haven't I done this before?

I'm with you Sinead - if we had this all figured out what would be the point of DWT?

Eileen said...

You're right. At least this time I know it's a problem. Still . . . I'd like to at least be working on fixing other mistakes instead of the same one again.

Stephanie Doyle said...

"When this gets easy, will it be any fun?"

EASY???? FUN????

Sinead - easy and fun are for chumps. If it was easy and fun everyone would be doing it.

Writers were made to suffer. It's why we drink. Just ask Hemmingway or any bartender at the RWA National conference.

That said Eileen cathing the problem at page 40 is a bonus. It's when you're at 120 and looking at a deadline... that it's like... oh noooooooo.

Eileen said...

Yet, strangely, I didn't feel like celebrating. I felt more like banging my head on the wall.

You're right though. It's a gift to catch it early.

Kimber Chin said...

An author once told me (I think it was Margaret Moore) that she still makes the same mistakes, she simply now recognizes and corrects them before it goes out the door.

I know I shouldn't use 'that' as every second word. I still do but I do a search and destroy before finalizing the manuscript.

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