My friend Stephanie Doyle talks about her current book, Harlequin Superromance One Final Step over on the blog www.drunkwritertalk.blogspot.com She makes the point that this time, her hero Michael translated to the page exactly the way she envisioned him in her head. (BTW, One Final Step got a Top Pick and 4.5 stars from Romantic Times! Buy this book!
I am envious. Because that's exactly what I'm fighting with now on my current WIP, Broken Wolf. The hero of this book Lucas Kenyon, is the Broken Wolf. For various reasons, he's damaged. He trusts no one, not even the heroine Blythe Daphne, even though he feels compelled to rescue her. And then help her save her daughter.
Pretty cool setup, right? Yet even though I'm 32,000 words and 153 pages in, he's not translating from MY head to the page the way he needs to. I want dark, dangerous, damaged, and sexy as hell. I don't think I'm writing him that way. So what does this mean? Revisions. Yes, I'll have to go back and fix this and make him appear on paper the way he appears in my head. I'll need to do this before I send the book to my editor on December 1.
This is not an easy task, non-writer people. (Writers already know this). Writers like me and like Stephanie have am inner vision of how these people look, how they act, what they have buried deep inside them. When we write the book, we try our best to make sure we get that on paper so the reader can see this person the same way we see them.
When I write a first draft, I try to get the story on paper as quickly as I can. I try to be mindful of word choices and character growth and scene and structure and all that other B.S., but I want the reader to fall in love with my hero. To want to be my heroine. Sometimes I'm lucky enough to pull that off. Other times, not so much.
My main problem right now seems to be I keep thinking about the hero from the book I just turned in, The Millionaire Cowboy's Secret, a Harlequin Romantic Suspense that will be out in May 2013. I keep mixing up the names even - which is NOT good. The hero from that book Matt Landeta, really resonated with me. So did the heroine. And I'm having trouble letting them go.
So back to the current book I'll go. I need to up the tension between the two characters, but mainly I need to make sure they translate from my head to the page.
Wish me luck.