I reminded myself today that this blog is a way for me to document my journey writing this trilogy. I promised myself when I started this that I would document everything. All good and all bad. So here it is.
I have spent the last few months hammering away on my keyboard trying to get something written that I loved. I ploughed through eleven chapters in a couple of weeks and felt like I was well on my way meeting the Feb deadline I set for myself. Problem was something was needling away at me about the story's direction. Eventually it wore me down and the characters stopped talking to me. I then spent well over a month rewriting my first chapter. Yep Chapter one. I wrote at east twenty different ways. I couldn't make a decision to save my life. Of course everyone kept asking me how the book was coming along. Oh my Good I anted to throw up. Things were not coming along at all. Things were a flippin mess. I then began to question the storyline in book one. I began to regret things I wrote. But I wrote them and I really couldn't change it. But then things quickly changed for me. As if it was a gift from the universe. I had totally forgotten that I had signed up for a two hour November workshop. I did it back in August. I attended the workshop and the facilitator was a literary agent from Toronto. I had been on the companies website and I have to say I was pretty impressed with their clientele and their reported ms sales. Of course since I was in my funk I didn't really have any misgivings about what I was actually going to accomplish but I went anyway. Thank God I did. I met S. H. (I'm not comfortable using his name) For some reason I found myself hanging on his every word, He had this comfortable way about him that drew me in. He talked about the industry as a whole. He wasn't all rah rah in fact he was quite honest about how difficult it is. After the session he did someone on one discussion in a private area. For some reason instead of trying to sell myself to him as an author with an amazing story to tell I found myself telling him about the struggles I was having with book 2. He seemed to sympathize with me.
On the way home I berated myself for being an idiot. I had an opportunity to garner the attention of a literary agent who actually has a pretty impressive roster of clients and success stories. I had the chance to sell my story to him and instead I chose to dump my problems on him. Who in the hell does that kind of thing? Sometimes you meet people and you tell them things you wouldn't normally tell anyone else for fear of being judged. A complete stranger new my secret. I had regrets and I was questioning my ability to continue the story. I mean the real story. The one that the characters decide. Not the one that I decide. There is a big difference. I knew it was there but I couldn't find it. Before we finished speaking he asked me for a copy of my book. There was someone in his office who was looking for romance writers so he'd pass it along on his recommendation. I was kind of shocked. Of course later I convinced myself he was simply being nice.
Once I got home I sent him a thank you email. He responded and told me he planned on passing along my book. I thanked him again and assumed that would be the last I hear from him but it wasn't. He emailed me and said he facilitated a writing group at his place on the weekends and he invited me to come. I accepted not really knowing what I was getting into. To make a long story short it was the best decision I have ever made. Once I got there he introduced me and told everyone where he met me and why he invited me to this exclusive group. he told them I was stuck and I needed help working it out. I told them about the characters and the story line. Things that I had written that I kind of wished I didn't were the things that S.H. gravitated to. He said that's great stuff. That's fresh and interesting. On the way home I thought about what he said over and over. One of the things he said was that I may not be a typical romance writer because my thoughts are deeper and darker than that. he was one hundred percent right. I love romance but I have grown to become intolerant of fluff. Since that meeting I have not been able to stop writing. I pretty much tore up my outline and a because I was writing fluff. Once I realized that I decided to become true to myself and true to the characters and the story and not worry about the commercial acceptability of what people like in a contemporary romance. A clip flashed in my mind. A very emotional raw segment if you will. I jotted it down and built everything around it. It flowed out of me like water from the tap. So much so in fact that not only is book two set but so is three. The story took a direction I didn't expect. They may like it or hate it but the story is the story. Some of it is painful but its life and sometimes life is painful. Now that I know the story I cant stop writing. I am so in love with these character and the story. This is my opening paragraph:
Tiny beads of perspiration clung to his forehead like dew on a summer’s vine. Raw emotions consumed his every thought, threatening to take him to a dangerous place. A place that he’d been before. A place that he’d rather die than go back to. His could almost feel his thread barren resolve stretch beyond the point of no return. A kind of psychological war he fought so many times in the past was stirring inside of him. He knew the signs all too well. The inability to focus being the most revealing. Fight fire with fire. That was the motto he’d been introduced to. The first fire—the destructive fire—a poison compulsion. Both a psychological and physical need to alter his mental state with any substance he could get his hands on. A heroine-cocaine concoction called a speedball was his favorite. The second fire—the good fire— the remedy. Remedy was the wrong word. It was more a Band-Aid. A remedy would mean some kind of absolution. A remedy would mean he’d have forgiven his parents. He would have forgiven himself. A remedy would mean he’d have found a way to set shit right in his head. He learned to fight darkness with darkness. For years his methods worked for him. Now he found himself on a new path. A path where light sometimes peeked through the darkness. A place where he argued and compromised. A place where he began to feel again. A path he could only walk with her by his side. The numbness he was able to find through pain was quickly fading. She was his new vice. He was dependant on her. He realized the moment Jon Maxwell told him she had been kidnapped that he needed her like he needed air in his lungs. It was dangerous. Dangerous for both of them.