Friday, March 30, 2007

No Yo

Good writing is a kind of skating which carries off the performer where he would not go. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I'm almost 12,000 words into my latest WIP. I originally planned for it to be a 50,000 word novel, but don't know that the storyline will support it. Currently I'm aiming for at least 20,000 words with the hopes that it will grow to be more. Problem is, I'm not loving it.

Seems to me that I'm having heroine problems. Again. I had heroine problems on my NaNoWriMo book this year, too. In my current WIP, I have two sisters. The hero is supposed to fall for the older one, Emily. Due to a variety of issues, everyone (including Emily) expects him to get involved with the younger one, Casey.

The thing is, I really like Casey for him. And, what's worse, I can really see Emily and the hero's business partner getting together. But if that happens, there would be no conflict ergo no book.

So I keep throwing Emily and the hero together, keep writing that they have unwanted and inappropriate feelings for one another, but it's not working for me. If I was Randy Jackson, I'd say that it didn't have "yo".

And, I'm not sure what to do about it.


What do you do when your characters don't behave or your basic plot doesn't seem to work?


Charity said...

This is going to sound like a crazy question, but are you letting Em be Em? I think, especially in romance fiction, there's a lot of pressure for the heroine to be likeable, not too much of anything: opinionated, bitchy, skanky, and so on.

So maybe you're freezing up a bit when you write her? Maybe that's why the secondary female character is more lively? No pressure = more fun.

I know you can do this. Think Camilla, Liv, Tish.

Again, just a thought.

Tori Lennox said...

When I start having this problem, I tend to let my characters do what they think is right. I figure my subconscious knows better what's going on than my conscious mind. :)

Sonja Foust said...

That's a toughie and I've been there, done that. I usually just stop writing and put the book away for a while, but sounds like that's not an option. ;-) What I usually decide when I pick the book up again is that some major thing has to change. In my current WIP, which I picked up after a years-long hiatus, I had to change the motivation of the hero.

Also, sometimes I have to go back and archetype the hell out of my characters. And by that, I mean make them into really big cliches, then steer them back again, slowly. I find it helps me find their cores again if I've lost sight of them.

Shauna said...

I think the characters know what they want. Is it possible to let them lead, and then create the conflict around them? Maybe Em believes she's in love with the hero because he seems to be Mr. Perfect. But perhaps her Mr. Perfect is the slightly-flawed, hero's business partner. Sometimes what we think we want - and spend our time trying and hoping to obtain - isn't what we really need. Perhaps, she ends up winning the hero's love, only to realize she's in love with her "best friend", the business partner.

Anyways, just a thought. I'm sure whatever you decide to do will work out. Maybe you need to give those characters a stern talking to, and make them behave. :-)