Tag Archive | Reunion of the Heart

The story’s changing…

Novel

I’m having an interesting time writing my new as-yet-untitled novel.  I must decide on a title soon I guess, but at the moment I’m stumped on what to call it.

Anyway, I digress. Ideas for a title is not what I wanted to talk about in this (short) post. Rather I wanted to talk about something that I guess happens a lot for authors – the plot veering away somewhat from the plan. OK, so I know some many of you are pantsers.

Well I’m not – I’m definitely a plotter. BUT my plot does tend to veer away quite a bit from the original plan.  It’s something that happened in Reunion of the Heart and it’s happening with this story too. This new story I’m writing is a romance too and I’m wondering exactly how my MC is going to get with the person I intended her to get with when it seems as though she’s deliberately disobeying me and leading me to write her falling for someone else completely.

So I think what I’m going to have to do is somehow drag her back at least towards the original plan, rather than completely away from it, and create a diversion so to speak so that she gets with the right guy.

Does this sounds familiar to anyone?  I mean it doesn’t necessarily have to happen when you’re writing a romance, right?  From what I’ve read on other writers’ blogs, this sort of thing happens a great deal to authors writing in all kinds of different genres.

And I just wanted to ask: when you find your characters pulling you away from your original plot or idea, what do you do?  Do you pull them back onto the straight and narrow?  Or do you go with the flow and let them take you somewhere new?

As always your thoughts are welcome.

 

Unsure

Unsure

This is going to be a quick post as I haven’t got a lot of time this evening. But I just wanted to share with you a little about what’s been on my mind today.

As with many of my thoughts it’s to do with my writing and how it’s going.  To update you, I’m about to send my upcoming novel Reunion of the Heart to my proofreader. Once I have it back from her, I’ll start making the final preparations to publish it – hopefully by the end of the summer.

But it’s not Reunion of the Heart I’m stressing over – well not much anyway! ;)  It’s actually my new WIP, as yet untitled.  I’ve shared bits of it on WIPpet Wednesday; you can read this week’s excerpt here.

What I’m unsure about is the fact that it’s about a teacher (it’s a romance), a young woman, who works in a secondary school (11-16 yr olds), but I don’t know a huge amount about secondary schools in the 21st century – I haven’t been at a secondary school for the best part of 20 years.  I’m kind of feeling that I may be out of my depth.  I just don’t know enough about, for example, how technology is used in schools nowadays.  I’m sure it’s light years away from when I was there.

Also, although I’ve planned quite a lot for this story (I am DEFINITELY a plotter not a pantser!!), I feel that it’s still not clear in my head the way it should go in the middle.  I know the beginning and the end, I even know part of the middle, but it’s the in between scenes I’m trying to create now which are wearing me down.

So I was wondering… what do you guys do when you’re in a similar position to me?  Do you keep going and plugging away at it?  Or do you think ‘I’ll stop and do something else, or go back to the drawing board’?  And have you ever been writing something where you’re unsure you know enough about it?  If so, what do you do?

It’s  a lot of questions, I know.  But as always your thoughts are welcome. :)

Yay editing done!

Editing

Well I’ve actually done it! I’ve finally finished editing my novel Reunion of the Heart. OK so technically I told you I’d finished the other day.  But it needed tweaking, so I tweaked it.  Now all it needs is to be proofread by my mum once she’s back from holiday. Hooray!

My husband is gonna work on a cover for me, so I’m hoping to publish it by the end of the summer at the latest. But I was wondering about something – whether, once I’ve published it, to do a blog tour or not? What are your thoughts?

I did one for The Inheritance when I published it last year, but although I worked really hard for it I didn’t get many comments on the blogs I was a guest on.  I’ve actually heard that blog tours tend to generate more traffic to the host blogs rather than interaction for those doing the blog tour.

I’m DEFINITELY doing a cover reveal this time.  I have to say it didn’t even occur to me to do one last time – I didn’t really know much about the whole process of self-publishing and all that I would need to do to promote my work.  Having seen a lot of cover reveals on various blogs, I think it’s a good idea for me to do one.

And now that I’ve finished editing Reunion of the Heart, I can FINALLY get back to working on my next as-yet-untitled project – another romance, this time with a young woman who’s a teacher as my MC and VERY different to my MC in Reunion of the Heart. I’m looking forward to this; it’ll be good to continue on with it.

When I last looked at it, I remembered that, having written a bit over 4K on it, I’d gone back to the drawing board so to speak and I’d made a whole load of new notes which I really need to read through.  I made more notes because I really needed to flesh out the plot and actually invent some scenes for it – I truly am a plotter rather than a pantser.

Although I don’t always stick rigidly to my original plan, I do find that I can get a bit lost in the story if I don’t have a clear idea in my head as to where the story is going.  So for me it’s best if I have a clear plan in place.  That way I don’t become stranded, as I was with this new project before I did some more planning.

To update you with my blogging progress – well I’ve had some hiccups i.e. not doing WIPpet Wednesday this week as I mentioned in my last post.  But I am blogging more often than I was.  I’m not doing so well keeping up with reading other people’s blog posts.  I must confess I delete most of what comes into my inbox!!

Anyway as I mentioned in a previous post, I’m doing what I can and ultimately that’s all I can do.  I’m getting new followers on Twitter all the time and some new followers to my blog, which is slightly harder to see since I linked my blog to my Twitter and Facebook accounts lol.

I would like to change the theme on this blog sometime soon – I’m a bit fed up with all the pink!  It’s a bit much even for me lol.  So I’ll be working on that at some point.  But not today :-P

I also want to sign up to Google+ (although I may be signed up for it already as I have an Android tablet and phone and they keep telling me that so and so have added me to their circle or something like that) and maybe a few more.  But all in good time.

Where are you at in your writing journey?  Are you happy with the way it’s going?  Do you find it helpful to have a big presence on social media?

An update on how things are right now

Well I didn’t make WIPpet Wednesday this week.  Truth be told I didn’t have anything new that I’d written to share.  I’ve been busy and Wednesday just crept up on me so quickly.  I kept umming and ahhing over whether to write something at the last minute to share, but in the end I decided not to.  I was so tired I couldn’t face it.

Anyway the reason I’m busy and tired is that a couple of weeks ago I started another work placement with Bristol City Council (UK). Reason being that after I left the paid job I was doing, I decided rather than spend a lot of time on my own with only a bit of job hunting to do, I would do something constructive with my time, put the job hunting on hold and go back to the council.

I’m with a different team this time, but they’re just as lovely as the first team and I’m really enjoying it.  I felt I needed the experience and confidence boosting that the placement at the council would give me. I’m not that accustomed to the world of work due to illness over the years, so doing things this way gives me time to increase my skills and confidence.

I’m doing admin with the aim of being able to get a job in that field later on.  I enjoy working as part of a team with all the camaraderie that entails.  It’s good for me – I couldn’t have coped working alone in the job I left which you can read about here.

So what about my writing?  Well today I finished my editing of Reunion of the Heart (yay!) and I’m going to send my manuscript (via email of course) to my mum for proofreading.  The catch is that I haven’t timed things very well – she and my dad are off walking the Camino (the pilgrims’ trail in Spain) and won’t be back for another couple of weeks at the earliest!

Oh well.  That gives me time to go back to my WIP which I began working on before I started editing Reunion of the Heart.  Apart from all this I’m trying to blog as much as I can and follow as many blogs as I can.  I’m failing miserably at keeping up with all the emails of blog posts I’m getting – but hey I’m only human and I can’t look at everything.  So I’m picking and choosing, trying at least to comment on those blogs of people who’ve done me the courtesy of commenting on mine.

Talking of blogging, I’ve linked my blog to Facebook and Twitter (and then got really surprised when the number of my blog followers leapt from 181 to over 2200 lol!!).  So I’m hoping that’ll help me to give it a bit more exposure.  I also want to link up to some more social media sites – but all in good time.  At the moment I’m finding it hard to keep up with life – though things are good they’re busy and a little bit hectic. By my standards anyway!

So hopefully I can get Reunion of the Heart published by the end of the summer (hopefully being the operative word!!).  I’ll keep you posted as and when that happens.

How is your writing going at the moment?

Something new for WIPpet Wednesday

Hi all.  As the title of this blog post suggests, I decided to do something a bit different for my contribution to this week’s WIPpet Wednesday.  I haven’t actually written anything new for ages – I’d put my new WIP on hold while I was editing Reunion of the Heart.

Anyway, I decided that because I hadn’t done anything new I’d create something new.  What follows is something I’ve written in about half an hour.  I don’t know if it’s good, I don’t know if it’s bad, so as always your comments are welcome.

It doesn’t relate to the date, but hey you can’t have everything!  But it’s not too long either, so that’s a bonus!!  I won’t say anything else about it, so just enjoy. :)

What am I doing? she asked herself as she turned around and left him standing there in shock, his mouth hanging open, as though all the words he wanted to say had deserted him just as she had. 

But she kept walking on and didn’t look back; she couldn’t.  This was it.  She had to take a stand – she couldn’t do this anymore.  Her life had been one big lie for the past ten years.  If only she could make him understand.  It’s too late for that, the merciless voice in her head told her.  There’s nothing else you can do.

Tears pricked at her eyes as she thought of what might have been.  She blinked them away and trudged along, the one bag she was carrying heavy on her shoulder.  She half expected him to come running after her, to grab her arm and wrench her back into his life.  But she knew him better than that – the indifference he showed her that had threatened to engulf her.

Her mind carried her back to their wedding day, how happy they’d been.  The hopes and expectations that they and all their friends and family had had.   She remembered the smiles of her father, the happy tears of her mother, her own joy at celebrating this perfect day as she was marrying this wonderful man.  Was it really only ten years ago?  Somehow it felt a lot longer than that.

The road she was on, literally and metaphorically, was not one she would have chosen for herself.  It would be an uphill climb, and there would be no one to share her heavy load.  She stared at the narrow pavement she was walking along; it was the evening rush hour and vehicles of all shapes and sizes were rushing past her, some narrowly avoiding crashing into her, all oblivious to her presence, her pain.

Barely aware of the traffic, she soldiered on, remembering the clichéd saying: To thine own self be true.  Reaching the pedestrian crossing she’d used on multiple occasions, she pushed the button and waited for the signal of the green man.  Its beeping jolted her out of her reverie and she began to cross, never seeing the car, whose driver was talking on her mobile phone, until it was too late.

There you have it.  If you would like to take part in WIPpet Wednesday, it’s easy.  Simply post on your blog any piece of your writing that you want – preferably relating to the date – and then add your name to this.  Then you can read all the wonderful things that the other WIPpeteers have written.

Thank you K. L. Schwengel for being our hostess with the mostest!

Feeling frazzled

Frazzled

OK it’s not me that’s feeling frazzled, although I have been on the verge of tearing my hair out on occasion!  No, it’s my character in my new WIP, which I haven’t actually done anything with since the end of March.

This is because of work commitments, but also because I’m currently editing Reunion of the Heart, which is going well and hopefully will be finished soon.  At which point I can send it to my mum for proofreading. :)

For today, the 21st May, I’m sharing 21 lines from my as-yet-untitled WIP.  In this scene my MC Rebecca is feeling frazzled.  She’s just started working as a teacher at a secondary school (for 11 to 16 yr olds) and it’s tough going. And now her mum and dad want to come and stay.

Rebecca can’t bear to have them come; she’s too busy and is feeling the strain.  But on the phone to her mum, it’s clear that she just doesn’t understand how stressful teaching can be.  Rebecca gets lots of holiday, as her mum sees it, and doesn’t work weekends, so where’s the problem?

But Rebecca isn’t having it…

‘No, I’m sorry but you can’t.’ Rebecca heard her own voice sounding exasperated and wondered why her mother always had that effect on her.  It was six thirty on a Tuesday evening and Rebecca was a couple of weeks into her new job.  She was feeling crotchety.

‘But you don’t work weekends as a teacher,’ her mother pointed out helpfully.  ‘Surely your dad and I could come and stay.  And anyway if you really needed to work, we could go off and do our own thing.  You’d hardly know we were there.’

If only that were possible, Rebecca thought.  ‘I’m sorry, Mum,’ she said, ‘but it’s just not possible.  I’ve got too much to do.  If you were a teacher you’d understand.’

There was silence the other end of the phone.  Rebecca couldn’t help her last barbed comment – her mother never understood.  And she was beginning to think that even if she had chosen the career path her parents had favoured, they would still never understand her.  Finally the pause ended.

‘All right, if that’s the way you feel,’ her mother said stiffly.  ‘I’ll see if Maria’s free.’

Thank you God!  Rebecca mouthed tilting her head up to the ceiling.  Then she thought of her sister.

So that’s Rebecca’s story for the moment, as I haven’t written much beyond this point.  It’s all in here! *taps head*

To join in with WIPpet Wednesday, just post on your blog anything you’ve written lately.  Relate it to the date somehow and then link up with us here.

Thanks K. L. Schwengel for being our lovely host. :D

A new version of an old scene

Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday!  I hope you’re all happy and well. :)  I’m OK except my husband has given me a cold – isn’t that nice of him? – and I seem to have it worse than he did. :-S

Anyway I’m not exactly at death’s door and since I’m currently not working – in between jobs, but I am looking for another one, honest! – I’ve had plenty of time to be working on editing Reunion of the Heart.

And all I can say is ‘I get it!’  I finally get what other authors mean when they say they’re so into their stories, it’s all they can think about and the characters are so real to them!  I’m rewriting many of the scenes between my two main protagonists, making it more romantic.  I’m enjoying it so much! :-D

My characters are really coming alive; it’s a cliche but it’s true.  I’m thinking about them a lot, especially the two MCs and imagining exactly what they look like.

As I said I’m rewriting a lot of the scenes between my MC and the guy she ends up with – I’m also cutting scenes and adding them. So it’s not simply editing, it’s rewriting whole passages!!  But yes I’m really enjoying it and – because I’m quite slow at all this – I hope to publish Reunion of the Heart by the autumn at the latest.

It partly depends on work; if I get another job soon, if I have time to work on my writing without being too tired etc.  So we’ll see. But at the moment I’m making the most of the time I’ve got to spend on my writing.

So on to today’s scene.  I may have shared part of this scene in its old version before.  For today’s date, I’m giving you 14 lines .  To give you an idea of what’s going on: my MC Anna is at a party her two friends from her school days have thrown to celebrate the opening of a new shop of theirs.  Anna knows that the guy who bullied her at school, Will, is going to be there, but she’s decided to go anyway.  This is when they see each other there:

‘So we meet again,’ a voice said in her ear. 

Anna turned around.  It was Will.  As she looked up at him, she was struck again by how tall he was and his looks were certainly arresting.  He was dressed simply yet smartly in black trousers and a deep blue shirt.  His clothes accentuated his figure in all the right places.  Annoyed with herself for thinking like this, she saw that he was smiling at her. 

‘I’m here with Melissa,’ she found herself saying.  ‘She said you’d be coming with Cathy.’  She shut her mouth as if to stop it from saying anything else without her volition.

‘So you knew I was coming, but you came anyway?’ Will was looking directly at her, his expression serious but his lips curving upwards slightly in a half smile.  Anna didn’t reply for a moment, feeling her stomach fluttering incomprehensibly.

‘Um… well… yes,’ she said finally.

You too can take part in the wonderful weirdness that is WIPpet Wednesday by posting on your blog anything you’ve been working on writing-wise lately.  Then put your details here.  Oh, I should add that your offering needs to relate in some way to the date.

Thank you K. L. Schwengel, Queen of the Flying Monkeys, for being our gracious hostess. ;)

Update on ‘Reunion of the Heart’

I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather these past couple of days.  Nothing is majorly wrong, I’ve just got a bit of a virus and it’s making me feel low.

The upside of that is although I haven’t felt well enough to do strenuous things, I have felt up to doing some work on Reunion of the Heart, my WIP.  I told you here that I’ve had it back from my beta readers, who were all fabulous BTW.  My mum has offered to proof read it for me when I’m done, which is great as she’ll do it for FREE!! (And I know she’ll be amazing at it!)

At the moment I’m going through it, alternating between changing minor words or paragraphs that my betas have flagged up, and changing parts, even rewriting them.  It’s a lot of work but it’s going so well!  I mean there’s a lot to do, but I’m loving just getting back to writing after my false start with the job that didn’t work out for me.

There is something with regards to this story that I’m in two minds about.  It’s how much romance during the story I should have between the two main protagonists, and how much I should leave till the end, especially as there’s a third party involved – it’s a bit of a love triangle!

Now I must say that this is a bit of a rhetorical question.  At this stage, having had the novel back from the beta readers, I don’t really want too many more opinions saying ‘do this, don’t do that’.  In a way I’ve kind of gone past that stage.

But I’m still interested to hear, from those of you who write romances, how much romance you have between the hero and heroine in your love story before their tale is resolved at the end?

Thanks as always for your comments.  They’re much appreciated. :)

Another interview for WIPpet Wednesday

Hi one and all.  I hope you’ve had a good week.   I have, enjoying the long May Day weekend here in the sunny UK.  Seriously, the weather was pretty good for once!! (It nearly always decides to rain in this country every time we have a national holiday!)

Anyway, on with my WIPpet for this week.  Well I guess the title of this blog post is a giveaway – I’m treating you to another interview with a different character from my WIP Reunion of the Heart.

This time I’m interviewing Lizzie.  She is the close friend of Rachel who I interviewed here last week.  When Lizzie, Rachel, my MC Anna and her best friend Melissa were at secondary school, they fell out over a boy. Rachel sided with Lizzie insisted on going out with Matt who’d made Anna’s life a misery.  Anna and Melissa stuck together and so the friendship group was broken.  I won’t say any more as I don’t want to give away too much of the plot.

I should say this interview is quite long, so thank you in advance for taking the time to read it.  One more comment: it doesn’t relate to today’s date (shock horror!).  I’m sure K. L. Schwengel (she of the flying monkeys) is going to shoot me now! ;)  But before she does, here’s my WIPpet:

Me: Hi Lizzie, thanks for agreeing to meet me at such short notice.

Lizzie: Well it was a bit of a pain for me to get here in the rush hour, you could have picked a better time.  But I’m here now.  So what do you want to ask me?

Me: I wanted to get to know you a bit more and to talk to you about your relationship with my main character Anna.  How long have you known her?

L: Since secondary school.  We were in the same PE group in the first year.  (laughs) Anna always hated PE.  She wasn’t bad at running, but didn’t like it because she felt everything wobbled when she ran, you know her boobs and so on.  She had really bad self-esteem; she was a little bit podgy when we were at school but still gorgeous, you know?  Though she could never see it.

Me: Anna told me that you fell out with her over a boy.  Matt, wasn’t it?

L: (face reddens) Is she still going on about that? (angry) Because that was such a long time ago.  I thought we’d made up on that score. (folds arms and glares)

Me: No, no, Anna’s fine with that now.  She’s forgiven you.  But as she’s the main character in my book, I just wanted to make sure that I’ve portrayed her in the right way.   And you too; I’d hate to get my facts wrong. (I fan my hot face with café menu)

L: (leans back in chair and sighs) Well if we really have to talk about it… Yes, we fell out over Matt.  You know, of course, that he and Will made Anna’s life hell when we were at school.  And I’ll always regret that I chose him over Anna.  All those years of friendship wasted for some stupid bloke.  He is as thick as two short planks.  But when we were all at school, he was cute and fun.  All the girls wanted to be with him.  They were so jealous when he chose me. (pauses) It was a stupid mistake on my part.  By the time I realised that Matt and I were going nowhere, it was too late.  We’d just left school.  Anna and I had burned our bridges and there was no going back.  Till the reunion.

Me: Yes, tell me about that.

L: When I got the invite, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to make up with Anna.  But in all honesty, I thought it unlikely that she’d go.  I mean, why would she want to revisit her past, to go back to a place where she’d been so unhappy?  Of course, I had no way of knowing if she’d be there until the evening itself.  Rachel was with me.  I suppose she talked to you about all this?

Me: We focused mainly on your schooldays and the falling out.

L: (nods) Right.  Well when Anna did turn up to the reunion, I knew that this was my chance to make up with her.  Most likely I’d never have another opportunity.  Rachel was keen to speak to Anna too.  (pause) She never forgave herself – or me – for what happened.  I think she must have told you that she sided with me when we were at school?

Me: She did mention it, yes.

L: At the time I appreciated Rachel sticking by me.  We’d been friends pretty much all our lives, so I was glad not to lose her friendship.  (sighs) I told myself that Anna and Melissa were overreacting to me dating Matt.  But deep down, I think I always knew that by choosing my casual relationship with Matt over my friendship with Anna, I was making a big mistake.

Me: Why did it take so long for you and Anna to make up?  Couldn’t you have contacted her before?

L: (irritated) What is this, the Spanish Inquisition? (has a long sip of coffee)  OK, if you really need to know, I wasn’t sure where she was living for one thing.  I had no idea she was still in Warston.  But also I didn’t know how she’d react if I tried to track her down and contact her.  Then there’s the fact that in a way I wanted to save face.  As the years went by I felt… embarrassed by the whole thing.  Matt was at the reunion.  I hadn’t seen him for years, but when I did I could barely believe I’d ever seen anything in him.  I mean, the man’s a joke.  It’s like he’s stuck in the late nineties. (pauses, tucking a strand of hair behind her ears) Anymore questions while you’re at it?

Me: Only one, what’s your relationship like with Anna and Melissa now?

L: (brightens) Oh it’s great.  The four of us went to a spa together not long after the reunion.  Did Anna tell you about that? (I nod)  It was fabulous.  It’s like no time had passed since we were friends at school.  All those years when we weren’t in touch – they’ve vanished.

Me: I’m really glad to hear that Lizzie.  Is there anything else you want to say?

L: Only this, that I think Anna deserves to be so happy.  She’s a wonderful friend and would make the right man the perfect partner.

Me: Thanks for talking to me Lizzie.

L: You’re welcome. (looks at watch) Oh crumbs, is that the time?  I must go.  See you.

If you’ve never taken part in WIPpet Wednesday and would like to, just post on your blog anything you’ve been working on writing-wise lately.  Ideally it should relate in some way to the date – my contribution today didn’t!  Then add your name to this.

Big shout out goes to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. :)

More editing…

The new improved version of my novel Reunion of the Heart is starting to take shape.  I’ve been plugging away at it this evening.  I’m changing a lot, with the notes from the beta readers, but the story will basically stay the same.

I’m finding the editing challenging, in a good way.  There’s a lot to do and I just hope what I’m doing doesn’t take me too long as I’d ideally like to publish it by the autumn at the latest.  That may sound like ages away to you, but I tend to work fairly slowly so it may actually take me that long!

It is interesting going through the comments from the beta readers and seeing what they have to say, as well as making some of the changes they’ve suggested.  One thing I wondered when I finished the first draft, which they confirmed, is that it wasn’t romantic enough.

So I’m working on making it more romantic.  Because that’s what it is – a romance.  It may be my way of telling a romantic story, but clearly if I want to write a romance, it’s got to be just that – romantic!  It certainly is a lot of fun spicing things up a bit!!

I’m wondering if any of you have had that problem?  Have any of you found during your first draft (or even beyond), that your romance wasn’t romantic enough, or that there weren’t enough thrills in your thriller, or that your version of history wasn’t accurate enough for your historical novel?

I’d love to hear your experiences.