After getting myself totally confused yesterday about which of the characters clamouring for my attention to write about first, I did manage to get more focused.
I’m going to write Kate and Adam, a story that will probably end up being submitted to Superromance. She’s a community nurse, the sole health care provider in an isolated Australian township, he’s a journalist assigned to write a story about her work. A quiet country village is the last place on earth he wants to be, and the last thing she wants is a TV crew following her around when she sees her patients. Especially when the TV crew is led by devastatingly gorgeous Adam Kelly, who may just tempt her to drop all her carefully built defences…
This is a story I started ten years ago. This couple really have been waiting a long time for their happy ever after! What stopped me the first time were my usual problems- slow start and overcomplicated external conflict.
My original story was a doozy, I threw in everything, including the kitchen sink (a washing-up scene that ended up with them kissing- might keep that in, actually!). The black moment came because the hero was helicoptered to Sydney after a car accident, had amnesia and couldn’t remember the heroine even though he’d been just about to propose to her, and the wicked other woman jumped in and claimed to be his fiancee. Sooooooooooo wrong! It’s going to be fun starting again from scratch with the same characters but hopefully getting it right this time!
Reading up on hero/heroine archetypes. Though I think they can be a bit one dimensional, it’s a good place to start. My original concept had very little internal conflict, but I’m already getting some good insights into the characters and seeing how to change the external events so they hook right into their internal conflict. Just little tweaks in some cases but making crucial differences.
I realised my hero is a warrior, who because of his wounds needs to find different battles to fight, so he’s feeling lost at the start of the story. Part of his journey will be finding those new battles and a new definition of himself. Just realised that means a key scene (there’s a car accident in the community) should play totally differently to intensify his inner conflict. He was going to be the injured person in the truck who she had to overcome her terror of heights to abseil down to, but it works so much better if someone else is injured and he is forced to stand by feeling useless and frustrated because he can’t do it in her place. This may even be the pivotal event which forces the Black Moment (it was in the original version, but for completely the wrong reasons!).
The heroine is a dedicated nurturer, but has denied a big part of herself in the process, which of course the hero is going to challenge her to find again.
Oh, I love this story! I love the way it’s coming together!
Now I just have to decide if him accidentally trespassing and catching her skinny dipping in her own private stretch of river is too racy a start to a Superromance…