At last night's RWA chapter meeting, one of our published members talked about "breaking the rules" a bit...and believe me, she's the poster child for working outside the box. Then she moved on to what holds us back....Fear. Told us what her fear was and then we went around the room revealing our fears.
It was a meeting I really needed and I'm glad I went. I have been thinking I've been stressed because I've been doing things wrong but the real reason is because I'm thinking too much. It's a catch 22, really, because the more you know the more you know you don't know, and so you try to put all the elements into the WIP that you know need to be there.
So my fear ended up being: Delivering a manuscript that is not what my editor expects. I don't think any writer ever feels secure in their position these days. Because I want them to keep buying, I have been working really hard at writing a book that fulfills the "promise" of Romance. And as a result it's created more problems than it's solved. I need to let go of the fear, stop worrying so much and just write the damn story.
Time after time I'm brought back to Marriage at Circle M, because as far as Romance goes, it's the kind of story I need to be turning in.
So here's the plan. I'm going to do my character sheets and I'm going to do a basic synopsis. I'm going to throw them together - put them in a situation where they need to be in the same place at the same time. And then I'm going to back off and let their demons take over. I'm not going to let the plot take over, or the setting, I'm just going to let them be stuck with each other and a growing attraction. I'm going to let them explore what they want, what they think they want and even what they don't know they ever wanted. I'm going to let myself bleed on the page. And then I'm going to turn it in and hope for the best. My editor tells me I'm good at the story and the emotion...so I'll hold on to that. She also says that I need to tell the story I want to tell, not the one I think I should tell.
Good news. I want to tell Lukas's and Mariella's story. I want to give Mariella the happy ending she never had the first time. I want Lukas to lose his carefully guarded heart, the one he hides beneath his charm. :-)
Now I'm off to do a critique and get started!