WHO IS IN CONTROL HERE?

Hello everyone,jane

We’re well into the New Year now.  How are those resolutions going?  Or are they just plain gone.   I’ve been working right the way through  the holidays (writing work).  Guess the adage of no rest for the wicked’ is being applied to moi.  

Anyway…I realised something today  – that there’s something to say for stopping writing when you have a conundrum. In September/October last year I sold my contemporary The Bachelor Prince to Entangled Publishing. (Release June 2013).  Currently I have a couple of other stories there for consideration, but I’m now writing the Bachelor hero’s sister Princess Marina’s story.  This story of Princess Marina and Jonas Wilder (a hunky guy on horseback from down under in New Zealand) has been an interesting one so far.

Now at best I’m a partial plotter, with pantser tendencies.  But this story is one at which moi, the writer, is not in control.  That it seems belongs to my characters who are patently wringing their hands with glee as they feed me morsels of their story at a time.  I mean, really.  Who is the author here?

On Friday I hit the 31k mark and I was stressing because there had been no real sex scene –nearly, but not quite LOL.  Anyway, do I change this, go back, wipe out 5-10 pages and re writer?  The pain of just thinking that is nauseous-making.

Another adage … a change of scene is good as a rest.  Well, that seems to be true when I write.  I’ve been known to write in the car waiting for the kids from school, sitting at the beach, a café, in the library.

But what happens when the characters are in control?  I did what any sensible girl does – I went shopping. Okay so it was only grocery shopping, but… well, that was the best I could do at short notice.

What I have found over the years is the physical act of removing myself from my writing environment i.e. the home office or just home, seem to give me permission to actually think ‘outside the box’, and as I drove to the store I found myself asking the heroine what and why etc.  Whether I should carry on from where I  (she was – which at that time was lying semi-naked with the hero – and if I had my way I’d get that guy butt naked pronto!).  Or do I scrap the lot?

Eggs, bread… the aisles were slowly traversed, check out loomed large.  I had to come up with an answer as my escape from the writing cave was nigh on ending.

Speak character.  Princess Marina tell me what you want to do and like a good author I’ll do as you command, oh royal one.

She said…offering that royal wave of hers… “Carry on.”

So I did what I was told.  Back at the computer I carried on, then all of a sudden when I closed my eyes at the computer the sex scene came to mind and I wrote exactly what Marina felt, saw, and did.  So I just wrote what she said, then life got in the way

Long story short.  Use whatever means necessary to get that story to the page.  If you need to escape….run over the hill for a change of environment.

Later that evening as I soaked in our spa pool (hot tub for USA-ites) and gazed up at the starlit sky her royal highness spoke up again (and yes this is true and no I’m not mad) but that gal fixed all my problems, told me to go back and put that sex scene in because that is where it fits and…because she said so, so there!

Well, this writer is going to do what she’s told!

Conundrum over! Yippee!

Now I mentioned this saga to a few writer friends and asked them what their characters said…

 Frances Housden says…I’m very linear in my writing – I never write scenes out of order. The first few chapters of writing my initial idea is spent discovering who my characters are though I’ve probably thought about them for a while before I start. As I get into the story and they suddenly do something unexpected, I ask myself what would make someone do that, and as always I go to their backstory.

This is the part that brings out the detective in me. No matter how strange – why would anyone act like that in this situation? – I can always find some good reason for their actions in their past. I’m a great believer that everyone’s character is shaped by their past and that if you dig deep enough you will find a reason that the reader can understand and empathize with. I’m an instinctive writer, not analytical and occasionally I’ll write something and not discover why until later in the book.

My first books were all romantic suspense and in its own way The Chieftain’s Curse is a romantic suspense as well though with a Scottish medieval setting. It has many layers and they evolve from the variety of characters who inhabit the story. I must say that I enjoyed every moment of discovering who they were and received a few surprises along the way.

And author of Holiday Jinx, Abbey MacInnis, says – Sometimes, while writing a manuscript, it’s as though I’m not the one putting the words on the page. Physically, yes, I am, but my characters can come with such strength, such vividness, I hear their words, their tones, even their voices. I’ll re-read a scene and wonder: “Did I write that?”

 

So today as I get back into the writing, despite beautiful weather outside and the swimming pool beckoning (yes it’s summer downunder), I keep telling myself “I am the author, I’m in charge.”

Yeah, right.

And just for your reading pleasure:

secrets

 

Secrets and Seduction

 

He wants to hate her, but a little lust wouldn’t hurt…

The only emotion Leah Grainger can muster when thinking of her dead husband is relief. Then she learns his gambling debt threatens her beloved farm and the child she is desperate to protect from the rootless existence she grew up with.
The last straw? Her husband’s brother demands a meeting. But Leah won’t let another Grainger screw up her life.  Trouble is the startlingly handsome, former oilrig wildcatter goes for the jugular. He’s claimed legal guardianship of her daughter, bought her mortgage…and he’s moving in.
The final email from his suicidal brother blames Leah for everything and Mac Grainger plans to protect his niece, even if it means using his millions to gain the upper hand. And hardening his heart against the beautiful Leah’s protests of innocence.
Yet Leah is nothing conniving woman his brother described. She’s warm, loving…and when a new threat to her child surfaces and she reaches out to him his body won’t let him say no, even when her secret forces him to make a decision that exposes his most closely guarded possession. His heart.

 Product Warnings

Contains tug-your-heart love, raise-the-roof lust, a marriage of convenience and hot sex that will give a whole new meaning to the word “wildcatter”.

 Four Cup Review – Literary Nymphs

 

Catch you next week.   Happy reading everyone.

Jane Beckenham

 

www.janebeckenham.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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