I’m not sure I like this title for my series. I may have to try out another one. Anyway, today let’s talk about some of the characters in Impromptu and maybe a little of the story development.
I’m a panster. At least on the first pass. I’m going to let the story flow out of my head like verbal diarrhea to the point that I can barely understand what I was writing, upon review. I went about Impromptu the same way.
The problem was I didn’t have a strong idea of the characters and barely had an idea of the story. Like I’ve mentioned it wasn’t one where the story was bubbling inside waiting to get out. I had to manufacture this story.
Romance limits you and I’m always dancing a dangerous dance in particular with my heroines. They can be, hmm, a little tough, hard to stomach, hardcore, straight bitch. I mean you write what you know people. 😁 That doesn’t sell as much as you might think. Given all the women out there talking about tough women characters and hard core babes, RGB forever, you know the empowerment spiel. That’s a little bs. A nice lie if you will.
Truth is my heroines fall pretty solidly into this typecast. Some of it is based on my experience of what it really takes to walk in a man’s world. My heroines aren’t always likeable. What most people are saying when they say they want tough babes is that they want a nice fluffy package in a pair of skin tight leather pants. Or worse they want some kind of amalgam of a woman who is so dysmorphic she is neither woman nor not woman. You read her thinking who is this and not in a good way either. You’re thinking the entire time I’ve never met a woman like this in my life regardless of lifestyle, orientation or any other factors. Did she come from Mars?
The closest thing I’ve come to the sort of heroine I shoot for that also has a grain of integral authenticity was Lisbeth from Girl with the Dragon Tatoo series. I was surprised it was a man who wrote her. He did a good job of capturing the soft and hardcore that exists in just about every woman I’ve ever met across many parts of this world.
Anyway, I was trying not to write that woman again. I wanted to write a softer lady. A more marketable one, if you will. You know them gentle, sweet, guileless but still really tough and strong, unicorns. According to my editor I wrote the most annoying girl she’d ever read. As my mom says, if you’re going to do something do it well. 😁 Like I said this type of girl isn’t my wheelhouse to begin with. So I had to go back and fix her. Alot. At the same time I was having to rewrite big parts of the story to make the story flow better.
The thing of Regency is they are airy, a little silly. My story was reaching into a deeper place and it was throwing off my ability to write a frothy little romp. I had to put aside the idea of a quick lighthearted frolic for something with a little more teeth.
It made for a better story and getting her on ground that I understood better helped me make her into a better character. I think I could write the girl I originally intended but it has to be on a idea where she develops with the idea. The truth is the character and the story developed individually for the first couple of passes which is why some of my secondary characters started to take over. I was more interested in them than her or even my lead male.
And of course taking things into a deeper place impacted other things, like the title.