Sometimes I’ll be writing and I find myself forcing the characters to do something they don’t want to do. I will push and push and push until finally, one of them will look at me and say, “Margaret, come on, we don’t want to fall in love.”
That happened with my most recent book. I finished the first draft back in December, then left it to stew. Something was off, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I went back to it a few weeks later, and started the fun editing process. As I went through I changed things and added things and re-wrote whole chapters and still, it niggled at the back of my brain. This is not right.
I finally figured it out. I want two characters to be in love, I want them to have hot, steamy sex, and the rest of the story, the rest of the book, shit, even the characters, simply do not want to. It’s not needed. I want this to be a romance novel, but really, it’s a novel about women and friendships and what it is to be in your mid-thirties and realized everything you have believed about yourself is wrong. It’s about finding yourself again. It is not about love and sex with a cute, younger man.
That, I can leave for a different story. Picture a cute assistant principal, one slightly broken woman with a niece who goes to his school, and voila! There is my steamy, sexy romance novel.
Now I just need to motivate myself to get back to the rough draft. To tell the story that ACTUALLY wants to be told. That is a different problem. I find it hard to creative in this current time. I feel stifled and depressed and I know in my heart of hearts NOW is the time to be creative. To write and let the world hear a dissenting voice! It’s just hard to work up the energy when so much shit keeps bogging me down.