Thank you so much for your great questions! Let us jump right in, shall we?
Q; Julia ~ Hi Sarah! I do have a question, but it's a little complicated. :D Near the end of the book I'm writing, I thought I might have a period of time where the heroine is suddenly convinced that the hero is not in love with her, and in fact is in love with another 'mystery' girl ... and so she struggles through that until finally learning that the report was completely untrue, and the hero's heart belongs solely to her. It sounds good to me, but I'm a little unsure that I can write it without making my readers annoyed at the heroine for being a little dumb, and anxious that the hero might not be in love with her after all. Do you have any tips on how I could write this section of my story? (I can e-mail you with more details if you need them to help you with your advice) :D Love & Hugs, Julia
A; Julia, I enlisted my mother’s help to answer this one, having no real life experience or even much writing experience when it comes to romance. May I suggest a slight shift? If it works for you story, don’t have her doubt the hero’s love, and have her doubt her own. Let me explain. Instead of her wondering if Mr. Hero really loves her, have her wonder if she made up his love to begin with. Did she imagine that he liked her more than the other girls? Had he really ever loved her, or was it something she had imagined.
I think that you will find this slight adjustment makes it believable, doesn’t make your character dumb, and yet creates the desired effect.
Q; Rachelle ~ I'm at the place where I've finished the first draft of one project and ready to pounce on another, but I want to do a little fore-planning to reduce the amount of rewriting that came with my very first novel (which I literally plunked down according to how I felt like it - think NO planning for this plan-oriented girl = lots of work to do after THE END). How much "research" do you conduct prior to diving into a WIP? Do you plot? Outline? Make character charts or journals? Decide on a theme? Just curious. :)
A; Planning? Research? Outline? I am sorry to say I do very little of this. Most of the time, if I do anything, I just take a sheet of paper and write what I want to happen in each chapter. When I run out of plot, that is the last chapter. Not very detailed is it? There is only one book I truly have in the planning stages that I am doing much planning or research on, so I will tell you my methods and hopefully you will find some of it helpful.
My brother and I are working on a project together. We started with just a basic idea, an adventure story, and a name – Salazar – so we needed to do some planning. We cleared off a wall, got a pile of sticky notes and pens, and began to bounce ideas off one another. After a few hours and a lot of rearranging, this is what we had: A string down the middle of a wall. On the top part is the historical side of things, since we decided that this was going to be a historical fiction book. The bottom part is the plot line of the book.
As for research, I look things up as I need the information Wikipedia being one of my favorite resources because it is safe, free, no ads, and good information.
I hope this helped! Thank you Julia and Rachelle for your questions!
Join my next week for a post on great endings….