Waiting for "The Call"

“Honey, it’s always crap. Every book I write is crap. It’s my job to fix the crap afterwards,” according to Nora Roberts. Well, I've got it half right. Still working on the "fixing it" part. "Trust your characters to be complex enough and to have enough emotional baggage. Force them to make hard choices." Advice from Michelle Styles that might help!

Luk and Emma stuck in transition June 7, 2009


I finally got them into bed together, and boy, these two are loving it! The problem is, I seem to have got stuck in the bedroom. I need to somehow get through the three week honeymoon, and on to where things start to unravel for them.

I’m at that turning point in the Hero’s Journey where The Reward becomes The Journey Back. Something needs to change to impel them back into movement and action, which will inevitably lead to the Black Moment. I have a good idea what will trigger the change, but just don’t seem able to write the darn thing!

Several reasons-

  1. I am lousy at transitions. always have been. I can understand why newbie writers create 150,000 word epics. It’s easier to write in everything that happens than write a smooth transition!  Solution for that is going to be to just write any crap that gets them into the next scene in as few words as possible, and hope I can straighten it out in edits.
  2. I’m not convinced the motivation for the characters’ actions are going to strong enough to be believable and sympathetic, especially Luk. He has to do something that could appear highly unheroic, so he has to have good reason to behave that way. The motivation I had for him that seemed good enough when I was planning the story just wasn’t feeling right anymore. The answer there was to dig a bit deeper into his character and background to find out why he would choose to act like that. What I came up with was unexpected and changes his backstory quite a bit, but makes a lot more sense. Hopefully it will also make his choices when Emma triggers a crisis believable and acceptable.
  3. The toughest one of all. I like these characters. I’m so happy writing their love scenes. I don’t want to send us all out into the painful wilderness of the Journey Home and the Black Moment, even though the only way to our Happy Ever After is to get them through it. Writing this stuff is going to hurt. I will have to deal with pain and betrayal and people confronting their deepest held limiting beliefs. It is most emphatically NOT going to be fun. Don’t have a solution to this one. So far, I’ve procrastinated. I’ve read a couple of stories. I’ve done some work on this blog. I’ve signed up for an online workshop (Plot Doctoring- think I may need it when it comes time to edit! But I was also kinda hoping that wanting the first draft finished before I start the workshop would give me an extra push). I’ve visited lots of discussion groups and writers’ websites, kidding myself that reading about writing is almost the same as writing, so I don’t have to feel guilty about not writing. Because the other stories I’ve completed or nearly completed weren’t structured right for series romance, I’ve never had to do this before. My stories just meandered on to a HEA. I know the answer is just to take a deep breath, dive into the deep water, and hope I can swim. But sheesh, I really don’t want to!

8 Responses to “Luk and Emma stuck in transition”

  1. Karyn Good Says:

    Usually I write scenes in order but I recently skipped ahead and wrote the black moment and then worked backward from there. It actually seems to be helping. I differ from you though, I love making my characters suffer and work for that HEA. 🙂 Revising is making my head swim!

    I love the quote on the top of your site. I hadn’t come across that Nora Roberts quote before.

    Happy writing.

  2. waitingforthecall Says:

    Hi Karyn!

    Hmm, revising. I still have that joy awaiting me. It’s going to be an interesting process.

    That’s a good idea, working backwards. I did that on one story. I didn’t write chronologically at all but jumped from scene to scene and sewed it all together afterwards. So the Black Moment was written before they ever got together, and it was soooooo much easier to do it that way than having to throw them out of Eden.

    I never did quite finish that story. It was my Instant Seduction entry, rejected on the first chapter and synopsis. I now know why, looking back with eighteen months’ worth of added awareness of what a good story needs I can see all the flaws in it. One day I will do a total rewrite on it and try it again- I did like those characters even if my story didn’t do them justice!

    That quote is one that Michelle Willingham put in a post on the MIlls and Boon community forum. NR said it to her in answer to a question at a conference. I love it! Though I do wonder if her idea of writing crap and my idea of writing crap are very different things.

    Good luck with the revising!

  3. Karyn Good Says:

    I bet we’d be surprised! Experience has probably given her a better idea of how to rewrite the crap. 🙂

  4. waitingforthecall Says:

    I think you could be right!

  5. Eileen Says:

    Aiya. I am leaving you a comment to procrastinate.

    Hey, think of it this way: not that long ago you were worrying about how to get them into bed. Getting them out of bed … well these things just take time. 😉

  6. waitingforthecall Says:

    LOL, Eileen! As you know, I am the queen of procrastination. I’ve successfully writing not a word this weekend, though I had to avoid visiting any writing related groups or sites to make sure I didn’t feel too guilty!
    Now I’ve finally sat down to do some writing, and the memory card the last couple of pages I wrote (not backed up, of course!) isn’t being even recognised as a memory card in my laptop. Arrrggghhh!

  7. waitingforthecall Says:

    Oops, that was meant to be “successfully written” of course. And my mobile phone still reads the card okay, so I just emailed the pages to myself. Phew. No tantrum required!

  8. Eileen Says:

    YIKES! Glad the saving process worked out … finally. I think I might go email myself some stuff as well.

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