Saturday, November 26, 2011

When Stories Grow

I just finished writing a holiday story for MLR Press called Deepest Night. It takes place in my new celtic rock band world (Bran's Visions) and, again, discovered that the more stories I write, the harder a time I have writing short.

I keep swearing to myself that *this time* I'll keep the story under control. This time I'll make sure it stays at 2K, 5K, 8K, whatever the requested or originally estimated word count is.

But I failed - again. I told my editor I thought Deepest Night would come in at 7-8K. The first draft went in at 9.2K. After my editor read it, I added a chapter so it came in at a little over 12K.

The problem?

I've had to embrace the truth - I'm very much a ROMANCE writer. I want my characters to meet, fall in love, then get it on. I read great stories where the characters manage to (believably) fall into bed asap but somehow I don't seem to be able to write them. I'm not sure if it's just against my nature or what but it always seems to trip me up.

In the case of Deepest Night, the characters have no existing history with each other. One of them has gone through a lot in the last four years and is slow to trust. The other is determined to respect boundaries and hangs back. It would not be believable for them to just have a personality transplant and fall into bed. It was hell just getting them to the point they would kiss!

Sigh. I'm very greatful that my editor tolerates me!

(Oh, and yes, I DO know there are a ton of 'band' series out there. Oh well, this band appeared in my brain and I can't let it go. The next story is a novel called Music of the Heart and I'm working on it now. You'll have to guess whose story it is!)

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