Wednesday, May 16, 2012

From a distance

From a distance you can see clearly why a project did not work and what needs to be done on it.
I can also see that my writing has grown, particularly wiht character development.
The main problem with the ms that was R'ed back in Dec 2010 was I started in the wrong place. However, the right place to start means that it was not and never could be a Harlequin Historical with its intense focus on the growth of the emotional relationship between the hero and heroine. Equally I ended it too soon. The one scene I had clearly in my head was never written and it needs to be.
It is a single title with a romance as its backbone.
I had promised myself to revisit the ms after I finished the contract (that happened last week) and I have done. The story has a lot of good points but I started it in the wrong place and ended it in the wrong place, plus I added a subplot that goes nowhere.
The story can be redone and will be the better for it.
I read the proofs for Hattie Wilkinson Meets Her Match and was impressed. I can clearly see how I have developed. Some of this is down to my editor and some of it is down to me pushing and deciding to work with my voice, rather than against it.
That which does not kill us makes us stronger and so it has proven with the last few books.
I have built time into my new contract and so I do have the time to revisit and really think over the why did I make this choice and what if's. Like a sore tooth, this particular ms has been bothering on and off.
In thinking about it in adifferent way, suddenly I have had colour images flash into my head. I know I am on the right track when that happens.
I have to start my next HH on 1 July so the time to act is now.


Unknown said...

Could you explain a little bit more about why your book couldn't be an HH? Is it because it would have been too long? (I'm trying to learn the ins and outs of HH). I guess what I'm asking is what the main difference between an HH and a single title is, other than length and obviously, numbers of subplots.

Michelle Styles said...

It has to do with focus. HH are intensely focused on the growth of the emotional relationship usually happening over a relatively short span of time. The growth of the emotional relationship drives the story and its arc is hugely important. In order to get everything I want to happen in this story, I don't have the word count. It is a bigger story...if that makes any sense.

Unknown said...

OK, I think I get it :). I'm excited for you!! You've worked so hard on this story obviously, it's great that readers are going to see it soon!

Tora Williams said...

I'm glad Melanie asked that question - I was wondering the same thing. Thanks for explaining it so clearly and good luck with getting your book to the level you're aiming for.

Michelle Styles said...

Tora Thank you.
Some of it with this manuscript is that it needed bridging conflict before the inciting incident and the emotional connection that the reader needed with the characters was not there because of the place I had chosen to start with. Series romance tends to have little or no bridging conflict because you do have to get to the main event -- ie the spine of the story very quickly, preferably within the first scene.