Ask a male author about your male character traits or thoughts.

Amazon links to my stories: Autumn Breeze, A More Perfect Union, Double Happiness, The Wolves of Sherwood Forest, Neanderthals and the Garden of Eden can be found down the right side of the blog.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

I can't make you love me, if you don't

Black moments in rewriting

I’ve been farming out my four yet unpublished novels to freelance editors. On one of the stories the editor wrote back suggesting the proper placement of black moments, the development of story arcs (in this case more intermingling of some of the main characters) and the need for more backstory here and there. This editor also loved the story and wrote using these terms: gripping/dramatic/gritty/emotionally-wrenching tone/distinctive and compelling narrative voice/brisk pace/multi-faceted protagonists, colorful cast of secondary characters, complex villians. She edits for Harlequin which follows formulas. I use Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey or Story by Robert McKee (as prime examples). In short, this particular novel (romantic elements) follows a general fiction path unsuitable for Harlequin. But she also makes a point about how I can improve it.

Basically, I prefer gray moments rather than black moments if I think the interior journey of my heroine/hero has hit bottom. I will change some of this manuscript because her input was valuable.

In defense of gray moments, Jill Shalvis admits to preferring gray moments. Other best selling authors have said the same thing. I like the idea of taking a different and unexpected path, with all due care to not bore the reader. The main problem with romances is the ending is known, it's also its strength, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a different (and refreshing) bumpy road. In romance the guy gets the gal, in a mystery the puzzle is solved, in a thriller the bad guys are thwarted.
In short, and for this novel, I can say to Harlequin, “I can’t make you love me, if you don’t.” This novel (AUTUMN BREEZE) will be indie published. Next week I’m going to attempt to compare indie-publishing to indie-records.
I Can't Make You Love Me, Bonnie Raitt, 2010.
This song is not about my editor, who is on my team, but about Harlequin. A company, I fear I'll never write for. It's time to move on and find a new lover.

BTW, if I made all the changes my editor suggested, I'd be at 120,000 words! Harlequin would say no because it wouldn't fit their word count guidelines.

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