On letting your characters lead

Oh boy oh boy oh boy. My characters have a mind of their own. A dear friend advised that I let Alex and Grace tell their own story and that has resulted in some pretty interesting results.

Basically, they’re much more interested in hooking up than I thought they were. And Grace is quite bold in how far she’ll go to bed the duke. Alex is a bit of an exhibitionist. Really not at all what I had in mind when I was first planning the story!

I guess it goes to show you that an author is merely the vessel through which a story is told.

The Duke’s Dilemma (Sneak Peek #4)

Another excerpt for my lovely readers! If you want to catch up on other parts of The Duke’s Dilemma please check out my other excerpts. This one is a bit saucy, so I’ve placed it below the break. Nothing too scandalous, that’ll come later, but a little something to whet the palate.

Continue reading The Duke’s Dilemma (Sneak Peek #4)

Starting from Scratch

Things have been quiet here. My keyboard has been quiet. I haven’t written at all in a few weeks. For some reason, I wasn’t satisfied with the way Grace and her duke were falling in love, or rather weren’t. It didn’t feel like a romance novel to me. I’d had a few plot bunnies running around and I went as far as to add them to character sheets, but felt no more creative than that.

And then this morning came. I was sitting and reading a book and a new thread of plot came to mind. A new way for our dashing pair to meet. And I began to write. I wrote nearly a thousand words in less than an hour. It was miraculous.

And then I paused. I realized that this change in plot, though it made the story stronger, would necessitate me throwing out around a third of my already written story.

So, I moved the now obsolete scenes out of my manuscript and continued to write. Sometimes starting from scratch is the only way to find a way forward.

CONTEST: Create a character

Hey everyone!

As you’re probably aware, I’m just starting out here. Although I’ve written in the past for my own enjoyment, it’s not something I ever really shared with the world.

And yet, here we are. I want to share my writing with you! In order to help me build my audience, I’m proposing a bit of a contest. The rules are as follows.

I will post an excerpt from The Duke’s Dilemma tonight. It will be PG, maybe PG-13. You have until 11:59 pm (EDT) on Wednesday, July 5th, to do any of the following.

  • If you like the post you will be entered once into a raffle.
  • If you share the post on your own blog, you will be entered twice.
  • If you write a little blurb promoting the post, my book, or my blog, you’ll be entered three times as a base plus and an additional entry for every 50 words you write (ie a 100 word piece would be equal to 5 entries).

The prize? A character you design. I have a character sheet that you’ll be able to fill out. You can choose to base the character off yourself or create the character from the depths of your imagination. The sheet will include basics (name, age, appearance) as well as more in depth descriptions (scent, motivation, aspirations).

Some fine print: The character must be compliant with the time period of this historical novel. As such, I may have to work with you to ensure that the character is seamlessly integrated. I can only guarantee that the character has a scene in the story, I cannot promise that the character ends up any more important than that. If I choose to do this sort of contest again, previous winners WILL be allowed to enter.

Good luck!

On the value of handwritten notes

Plot bunnies are determined little things. I’ve had a bunny bouncing around my head for about two weeks now and found that its existence was a detrimental distraction from my writing. When I should have been focusing on the budding romance, I was instead fleshing out the bunny.

So, today I decided to do something about it. I wrote my bunny down. But that wasn’t enough. So I took out my bullet journal and started a word vomit page. I let my bunny free onto the page and added whatever details came to my mind. This lead to other bunnies and pretty soon I had a whole pile of fun plot twists to liven up the story.

When you read The Duke’s Dilemma, look out for my bunnies and be sure to say “hi!”

 

Shocking events rock small town Ohio (or why it’s hard to write with a murderer on the loose)

Apparently when there’s a murder only a few minutes walk from your house and the suspect isn’t caught, it’s a bit hard to write romance. For whatever reason, locking all your doors and windows and keeping a giant kitchen knife on your bedside table doesn’t exactly conjure to mind seduction and bodice ripping.

When I sat down to write last night, safely ensconced in my locked bedroom, my characters developed a disturbing proclivity for adventure. All of a sudden, Grace wanted to climb the outsides of castles and Alex mounted up to fight Napoleon. Pausing, I realized this was not the turn I wanted to take while acquiring a first pony for Eliza so I put my work down and just went to bed. It was a weird feeling to just not write. I know I talked about slacking off last week, but that felt okay because I knew I had Friday to make it up.This week, however, I have family coming to visit and Columbus Pride so I know every bit of writing I can do ahead of time can help me stay on track.

I’m hoping to pass 20,000 words today (and am about 600 away so it’ll definitely happen before bed) which marks the 25% point of my writing. This is kind of crazy to think about since I still have two months left until my self imposed deadline. Hopefully this means I’ll be able to do a first round of edits before my mind becomes consumed by college again.

If you’d be interested in reading The Duke’s Dilemma as it’s written, please let me know! I’d love to share it with you. And if you have any advice on how to stop your characters from tearing off on ill fated adventures, please be in touch. I’ll take all the tips and tricks I can get!

The Duke’s Dilemma (Sneak Peek #3)

As lovely as it had been to imagine the taste and feel of Miss Grace Claridon, Alexander knew it had to stop. He knew that she was a respectable woman who deserved to be thought of honorably.

He moved towards her, his long steps eating up the distance that had existed between them. Taking her hands in his, he looked her in the eyes and said “I have overstepped the bounds of our agreement and I apologize for my transgression. Could you find it in your heart to forgive me, Miss Claridon?”

Shocked, Grace stammered before granting him forgiveness. “I suppose I can forgive you, Your Grace. As long as you ensure that this will not happen again.” With the duke in close proximity to her, Grace was treated to the woodsy scent, tinged with undertones of sandalwood, that enveloped him. She also spied the smattering of dark hair visible where his shirt was unbuttoned. His hands were large and callused in hers. His nails were neat and clean but his palms told a story of work done for love of land and not for profit. “Yes,” Grace said once more, “I forgive you.”

“Thank you, Miss Claridon.” He slowly raised her hands, giving her every opportunity to pull away, before brushing lips over first one hand and then the other.

Her breath caught as she watched his mouth pass over her hands and in the silence that followed, she could hear her heart pounding in her ears. Regaining her senses, she pulled her hands out of his and raced back to the house without another word.

Alex was left standing alone in the stables, stunned.