The Joy of Reunion Stories. Not.

Still suffering from the ‘mehs’. With a sprinkling of ‘blahs’ and some ‘whatever’ sauce. This is not good. It does not help that my current wip is a reunion story. This is the first one I’ve attempted and I gotta say it’s hard! Now, back in the mists of time (a year ago), I used to find beginnings easy. Got my hook and it all came together nicely. It was the rest of the book that was the hard part. But things are different now and quite frankly, I am finding beginnings to be a pain in the butt!

So why now? I think it’s the old craft thing kicking in. I know more about craft now that I ever did and that has made me aware of the things I need to know before I can start the book – before I used to dive right in and never worry about it. Conflict being the main one. For example, the couple I’m writing now have a painful past and I thought I knew what that past was but as I was writing chapter 2, I realised that in fact I didn’t. Nor did I know what their most basic conflict was, the one that made their relationship fail the first time round. Or at least, I had an idea but then realised I hadn’t thought about it deeply enough. Oh, yes, and of course I’d made it unnecessarily complicated again so I had to simplify it. Simple but deep.

And then there’s the question about how to get across all that past, that sense of what their initial relationship was like, when they meet up again. It’s tricky because the conflict that they have must happen in the present, not the past, so you can’t put too much past in there. Argh!!

So, here I am, stuck in chapter 3, having rewritten the past couple of chapters 2 or 3 times and I’m still not sure I’ve got it right. Groan.

Anyone have any handy hints or tips for reunion stories??

17 thoughts on “The Joy of Reunion Stories. Not.”

  1. Oh Jax..

    I hope you get out soon out of the mixed moments of – meh and whatever.. and get into a “ohh la la” state..

    If you by chance need any help there, I’m ready to send you my first “reunion” between 2 wolves :-D, my first wolf attempt which is winging its way to the ed..

    It might give you some motivation and well..other ideas too 😉 Don’t blame me if it is over-the-top spicy 😉 All you have to do is ask 😉

    I am passing the time in a meh state at the moment, but fighting it for the first time…well.. I can see how it impacts the story.. ie the story is so … skewed (for lack of a better word)… So I can understand your multiple first chapter re-writes.. speaking of which I just got a brand new idea for re-starting the story… (and this is my 4th re-write already).. huh.. off I go !

  2. You know Jackie – I’ve only ever written ONE reunion story but I LOVE them. This story was never ‘technically’ subbed. I didn’t get any feedback from when I subbed it in the M&B Instant Seduction contest, so I never actually subbed it the traditional way. I’ve learnt lots since then and think it would’ve been R’d anyway but I still love that story… so maybe one day 🙂

    And I so understand the whole knowing more thing. I think I’ve learnt a lot in the last few years but as I have my writing output has dramatically decreased. So very hard to switch off that internal ed. Grrr!

  3. Ju – sure, send away! Go the rewrite! Seems like I’m always rewriting mine… Sigh. Yay for being first. 🙂

    Rach – I reckon re the internal ed. It’s annoying eh? If I ignore it completely, I fail. If I listen to it too much, I fail. Where is the middle ground? *wails pathetically*. Hey you should rewrite your story! 😉

  4. A reunion story sounds fabulous. I’ve had that happen to me. Thinking I know the conflict and then realising I know nothing at all. That was a horrible moment. I wouldn’t want to repeat that one. But hey at least you’re not halfway through the book right?

    Not helping? 😉

  5. Given that you write so quickly have you considered writing their past? So you absolutely know what happened to them and then you can drip bits of that into your current WIP?

  6. Rach – oh go on! Your stuff is always great!

    Lacey – no, actually it was okay. I’d only written the first chapter so it wasn’t a drama. It was the working it out that was the drama!

    Joanne – that’s a wonderful idea. I did that before with one of my other mss – writing important emotional scenes (pivotal moments anyone?? 😉 ). Maybe I should do it this time. My only problem is that my hero did something BAD. I hope it makes him redeemable.

    Susan – you’re SO good for the ego, you know that? 🙂 Anyway, not sure this one isn’t rubbish either soooo….

  7. NO advice whatsoever. Have not tried a reunion story yet. I’m too chicken to try and get all that past and present tied together on one page. Paralyzes me just thinking about it.

    Amy

  8. Oh God, somehow missed the previous comment you made: “my hero did something bad, I hope he’s redeemable.” Ack! Know how you feel. Very tricky stuff!

    Amy

  9. It’s hard to keep everything revolving around ONE core conflict so they all magnify each other. But sometimes? You just gotta step back, breathe deep, push all the technical stuff aside and just write to have fun!

    J.

  10. Amy – I do know. He was bad but he was young and immature, so I hope that comes across. It’s the kind of route some guys go down so I hope it’s something that is understandable. Anyway, won’t know till I ever get around to subbing it, I guess. That’s me, keepin my characters edgy (read rejection!). 🙂

    Lacey – LOL! I hope so. For me it doesn’t feel like a big deal but I guess for lots of romance readers it will be.

    Julie – you’re a wise woman! I know, I’m overthinking this whole thing waaay too much. I just can’t get into if the conflict doesn’t work. Have to get an idea of how that works before I can proceed. Or maybe I’m just using that as an excuse not to write… hmm…. 😉

  11. Sadly, I have no great tips. I’m working on a reunion story too and I agree it’s hard!
    As a reader, I loooooooove them though, so here’s hoping I pull it off. 😉

  12. my story is a reunion one and it was initially hard to pepper the backstory in with the present. But i thnk (hope) i have done it without overloading the reader!
    Good luck with yours 🙂

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