The online diary of a dreamer creating Contemporary Romantic Fiction - because Every Woman needs Love and Laughter in her Life.

Friday, 13 July 2007

Starting a new story

List of things needed to create new story:
1. Do I have a compelling story idea which will not go away? YES
2. Do I have an idea for a heroine who needs me to tell her story? YES
3. Do I have an idea for a wounded lovely man who needs my heroine to make his life complete? YES and YUM.
4. Do I know what to do next? Er, sort of.

I am a plotter. Comes from writing crime fiction for too long. If you need a tale with four level external conflicts [ real crime, apparent crime the criminal wants you to think happened, crime clues as found by the investigator, then romance plot] then I am your girl. Forget threads twisting together to make a rope, these plot thread interactions could haul a container ship.
My plot charts cover Excel spread sheets - with multiple pages. Four or five subplots.

Only I am not writing a crime book. I do not want to write a crime book.
I want to create an unforgettable short romance which will sweep me away into my own little world, based around two people who find eachother.

In the hero's journey theory, there are four main story challenges-
* greater antagonism - Kate Winslet gets on the Titanic to go to America
* external challenge- there is an iceberg in the way
* internal challenge - she does not want the life her mother/fiancee wants her to lead
* romantic challenge - Leo= Jack.
and mythological story telling weaves these elements together.

MY challenge - to focus on Only the Romantic Challenge and Internal Challenge within the boundaries set by the framework of the greater and external challenges.
In the romances I have worked on so far, I have started with the What If? game and the Characters - then my few remaining brain cells kick in, and before I know it, this couple have families and friends and neighbours and pets and hobbies... well you get the idea.

I am making my life - and my character's lives, far too complex.

Yes, my couple can have all of those things around them, just like real people do - but it does not have to be on the page, they should stay in my notes and backstory/profiles.
Last weekend at the RNA Conference, Kate Walker gave me a pearl of wisdom which she had been told herself years ago. 'Keep it simple, keep it deep.'

Now that. Is a challenge I'm prepared to take on. Wish me luck!

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