I just came back from a hilarious, wonderful breakfast with my BFF. We laughed a lot, drank coffee, and caught up on all the latest happenings in each others lives…
So this got me to thinking about the power of the girlfriend in books. I know I love to read about a heroine and her friends. I love seeing how they interact, I love the conversation (especially if it’s witty and upbeat) and the inevitable insight you get from their time together. Even though the central romance is what has to be the focus, I really do love reading and writing about the world around the characters. I know depending on word count for particular lines this isn’t always possible.
I am happy that in the book I just submitted and the one I’m working on now, the cast of secondary characters is very vivid and entertaining. And the heroine Holly, and her BFF Claire have a long history together. It’s so much fun to write strong women who have the confidence to laugh at themselves and support each other. Claire challenges Holly to go after what she really wants (and Holly of course, returns the favour in the next book).
On that note, I guess I’d better get back to my cast of characters…
All right, so it’s been confirmed, my manuscript is off to Harlequin Special Edition.
There is no looking back. No second-guessing. I will not torture myself with doubt. It’s gone and I know I’ve done the best I could.
This manuscript was one that affected me on so many levels. I loved it, the characters, the story. I love the little town, the secondary characters that seem so real to me, and most of all my hero and heroine, Jake and Claire. They both made me cry-and I’m not a crier. I hope that’s a good sign.
Claire is the quirky, smart, heroine I humiliated…and I cringed when I made her relive the pain of her past. And Jake was the ultimate hero, a guy that seemed rough and indifferent on the outside but who was a complete sweetheart on the inside. He ends up having to prove to Claire that he is the man that she needs, and he has to prove that to himself as well. I feel like they are characters that truly changed, that went on a journey together and became stronger people in the end.
So, as much as I loved this book, its fate is not in my hands.
Maybe that’s one of the hardest things about submitting-knowing that once it’s gone, someone else may decide that it’s just not quite good enough. Ouch! Ah,the pain of rejection. Well, I’ll save that thought for another post…or posts.
There is really nothing to do but work on your next manuscript, drink a little (or a lot) of wine, continue to improve your craft, complain to your friends and maybe…dream that one day that “Call” will come…
That’s what it feels like I’m doing right now as I go through and re-write this manuscript.
It feels like I’m coming home to the little town I created a few years ago, the house that’s about to be re-modeled, the secondary cast of characters that still make me laugh…and my hero and heroine. I still love all of them…but I need to spruce them up a little. I can see everything that I want to change…both characters have some heavy baggage and they have a history together0-I’m trying to figure out a way to make them not depressing…and yet acknowledge the pain that they still have.
I love this couple together. It’s strange because they are very different than the couple in the manuscript that I just submitted. And maybe that’s part of the reason it’s taking me a while to figure them out again. My last hero and heroine, Jake and Claire were always very vocal, very loud, with either love or hate…These two are more subtle, almost afraid to make their feelings known and I want to make sure that they don’t come across as boring…
Well, I better get to writing before it’s time for DS to get home from school
I’ll keep you posted. Hopefully by tomorrow chapters 1-3 will be ready to go.
I can do troubled pasts and stuff. In fact I love a brooding, tortured hero. BUT, I’ve discovered with this manuscript, that I have trouble humiliating my characters. Even though it’s not in the present, I found it really difficult having my heroine explain the ridicule she had endured in high school. I had to have a glass of wine (uh-oh, don’t read that post below about wine or it’s going to look like I’m developing a bad habit) in order for her to get her past out.
I’m one of those people who, when watching a movie or TV show and someone embarrasses themselves I cover my eyes and cringe. I just feel so embarrassed for them. That almost stopped me from writing the scene with that intensity and honesty. I was so embarrassed for her. I didn’t want her to have to relive it-and then tell the hero. But then, if I didn’t write it like that, and didn’t make it that bad, I think it wouldn’t have had the same impact.
I re-read the scene and I found myself covering my mouth and cringing. Poor girl.
Oh well, maybe that means the writing was real.
How about you? Any problems humiliating your characters?