I don’t want to jinx myself, but I think I’ve *finally* got Mama C fully cooperating!
I’ve been chipping away at her story all month, but it was slow going. I had the general feeling that something was wrong, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I had all the players in place. I have the general plot in my head. I’d reread the opening scenes and was pleased with them. But there was something missing.
Sometimes you’ve just got to talk out loud with people about a story, and so while we were at Granny’s for Christmas, I mentioned to my Beloved Sister that I was having problems but I didn’t know why. I said the story wanted to be too many things. It wanted flashbacks. It wanted a story within a story. It’s basically two romances in one. No, three. And it was just TOO MUCH.
In saying all that, I finally realized the problem. It was me. Snort. Raise your hand if you’re surprised?
The problem was the tension in me fighting what the story wanted to be. I *didn’t* want flashbacks. I didn’t want to have to go back and write a bunch of scenes with Ty and Virginia twenty or thirty years ago. I don’t have time! I didn’t want to spend too much time fleshing out the story within the story. Again, time! The worldbuilding for that thing could get me in a heap of trouble in a hurry. Thanks a lot, your deep dark secret identity sucks, Jeb!
But that’s exactly what I have to do, because that’s what the story wants.
And bingo, as soon as I sat down and wrote the first flashback scene with Ty, the magic was there. It was like everything clicked. All of the character motivations I’d been pretty sure of but not quite perfectly happy with suddenly slid perfectly into place. That scene told me what I’d gotten wrong. Jeb wasn’t best friends with Ty. He couldn’t be. He was Virginia’s best friend. Ah. Now that made things much more interesting and definitely made her conflict much more real and personal.
So I’m going to have flashbacks. I’m going to have a story within the story. I’m going to show her romance with Ty, even while the main romance with Jeb begins. Because in the end, this is menage in a way. Even though Ty is already gone. And somehow I have to weave them all together into a tight, compelling story. One story reveals the other story reveals the other. It’ll definitely be a challenge.
Whew. I definitely have my work cut out for me, but at last, the pieces are falling into place. Now I just have to put it all together and finish the damned book! It’s going to be like NaNoWriMo month around here but she’s finally cooking!
Now if I could only find the TITLE.