Why psychology? Because I got feedback about my synopsis and, yes, there were problems. Guess where my problems were? Yup, the evil heroine strikes again! Hero had potential, heroine…childish and immature.
Groan! I’ll be honest here, I did wonder when I was writing this story, whether her conflict was right. Halfway through the book I was going um…not sure about this…but I persevered hoping it would fix itself. But it didn’t. So Jackie’s number one rule is going to be: Go with your gut! If it’s not working for you then it’s not working full stop!
Right, so where to from here? Well, I’m going to go with fixing this one because in spite of evidence to the contrary, I do feel like I’m getting there with fully backgrounding my characters. Kate, for a start, is much more fully realised than Cat is. And that’s mainly due to me thinking long and hard about Kate before I started writing. Plus, I like this story.
What I should be doing is taking advice from all you people who do character sketches before writing. Either that or I do what I usually do which is to write my way into my characters, finish the ms, and then write the synopsis. Impatience is my besetting sin and does not help in my writing!
The one thing that does console me is that the editor did tell me that writing romance with psychologically compelling, believable characters is very, very difficult. Hear that everyone? This is HARD stuff we’re doing. We have to have strong conflict but it has to be light and flirty. It has to extend to 50k but you can’t have any external conflict. It has to be sympathetic but not too specific. It has to have the fantasy factor. These are not easy things to accomplish. In fact, I was having a moan to a good friend of mine who is very, very literary and she said, ‘Actually, what you’re writing is very difficult isn’t it?’ And I thought, no kidding! Category romance is a tough beast.
Anyway, the other thing that keeps me going is this: the ed told me that my writing was all there and that once I got the characterisation right, I’ll be away.
So, you see, I simply have to keep going. 🙂