It’s been a bit of a full on weekend. Firstly it was my daughter’s fourth birthday, secondly I am in the middle of Nano-ing, and thirdly I twisted my ankle right at the crucial moment of getting my daughter to come to see her birthday cake! Collapsing on the couch in a moment of extreme agony, the rest of my family thought I was having a wee nap and laughed. It was only when I went green that they suspected it wasn’t just tiredness that had me stretched full length on the couch.
Anyway, trying to do the first two with the third has been a bit of a mission. Especially since all I wanted to do was sit at my desk and write my ms – apparently not a good thing with a twisted ankle that should be kept elevated.
However, I have been making respectable progress. I will be finishing it this week which will be great. The only problem with writing a novel in about a week and a half is that no doubt I’ll need to spend a month editing the thing! I’m almost afraid to read what I’ve written – it’ll be dreck I’m sure of it.
And it hasn’t been all all plain sailing with the writing either. I have a big problem in that I tend to make my h&h too self aware too early. In fact I didn’t even realise this was, in fact, what I was doing until Dr Jax rolled his eyes and pointed it out to me. The issue with making them self aware – ie being in love – is that if you do it too early, you run into the problem where it’s not the conflict keeping them apart so much as the being in love and not wanting to be. So the focus changes from the conflict – eg, my heroine not wanting to be protected – to her not wanting to be in love. Same with the hero. He fell in love too early and so his angst stems from not wanting to be in love rather than wanting to hold on to someone who doesn’t want to be held.
Tricky eh? It’s my own fault really. I love angst which is why I make them self aware – the anguish of loving someone but not wanting to! O the pain! But if you have two people loving each other and yet not wanting to be in love, how does this resolve the conflict? All there is angst with nothing really progressing. Which is why I felt I was writing the same thing over and over, having my heroine constantly go over the reasons why she doesn’t want to fall in love and yet nothing really happening with her real conflict.
But then, how do I include the angst and tension? You’re supposed to have it right? Which is when Dr Jax pointed out that the conflict provides the tension not the ‘I’m so in love and yet I can’t be’ kind of thing. Another Aha moment for me. So I’ve pulled back on the awareness, let the conflict provide the tension, and my characters will not be falling in love until right near the end. That’ll teach ’em.