Monday, October 17, 2011

Credible Suprise and how much is too much?

So, I'm back at it. Rusty and antsy and unable to apply butt to chair for longer than an hour and half at a time. Maureen had to tie me to my seat to get to 46,000 words on Friday. But the time off has done all it should, the glaring problems are all right there, the big muddy mess I was in the middle of isn't really muddy at all - I was just going the wrong direction. So, fix fix fix.

But I had this thread I was pulling out and playing with in this Superromance I'm in the middle of. In my subplot I have a romance/friendship between an older couple. He has always loved her and is ashamed of it because she was his best friend's wife, he drank too much, he ignored things he should have stopped and basically was not a great man. He's working on that. However, in order for the romance to work and to get one of those gasp moments of credible suprise and to ramp up drama drama drama, I had her keeping a secret about her husband who died five years ago. She has no proof, they certainly didn't talk about it, but she suspects he might have been gay.

So, my question is this. How much is too much? Really. I think it would get a big gasp, and it's an interesting thing for her to have to deal with, having kept this secret and her anger and frustration with a marriage that wasn't at all what she'd wanted.

But is it more interesting to watch a recovering alcoholic and a devout catholic sort through thier stuff and feel honest things for each and just basically talk it out?

I think catagory romance lives for moments of credible suprise - in constant battles to stop predictability editors love these little suprises. I'm torn right down the middle. Securely on the fense, so I'm going to let you guys decide and I'm going to take a nap...

5 comments:

Stephanie Doyle said...

I think what I love most about a Molly O'Keefe book is that every character has their issues.

It's not 1 thing this couple has to overcome. It's many things. Because usually in life - it isn't just one thing. It his stuff and her stuff.

I was an alcoholic! My husband was gay... Okay now go from there.

Maureen McGowan said...

I think it would be an interesting twist and deepen your secondary romance if you have room for it. I mean, you have not only the widow's feeling's but also the reaction of her dead husband's best friend dealing with a revelation (or not?) about his buddy. Maybe buddy always knew and assumed she did? Lots of possible reactions.

But if your gut says you think you have too much for that subplot, save that delicious little bit for another one. :) I'm no help. Clearly I'm on a fence too. (As usual)

Molly O'Keefe said...

right now after a morning of hemming and hawing I've decided I don't have the patience to go back through and take the thread out - so it's staying...I can cut it in the end.

as for room - who the hell knows anymore - this book was contracted for 65,000 words but now everyone is talking about supers being bumped up to 80,000 so yeah...I got LOTS of room.

Sinead M said...

I say leave it in..... and decide when the book is finished...

Eileen said...

I'm with Steph and Sinead. If you feel like it's taking too much space (mental and page), you can prune it down later. I think it's the kind of thing that adds richness to the story and that you handle very deftly.

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