Well now that the excitement of creating a new book during November is behind me, I'm blogging today about my next challenge. I'm going back to an earlier book, which I'll call BTL for short, with new eyes, and have discovered a truth that is, to me, mind blowing.I found writing this one rather like riding a bike, patting my head and rubbing my stomach all at the same time. Weaving all the elements of story together was a challenge, and one I felt happy about, but with the experience of Nanowrimo over, I had a revelation. This book has a cracking plot, great character conflicts both internal and external and sufficient pace to make a great read. It also ticked the boxes with some great sex scenes and some sparky dialog. Why then, had it been turned down on its second read through by a publisher?
I've blogged about this book before. It was my entry for the Golden Rose Competition where it narrowly failed making it through to the second round. I was lucky enough to get critiques from 3 judges, and have had feedback from the aforementioned publisher too, but their comments, while pertinent didn't give me enough. I couldn't quite see what was lacking. Since Nano, I think I do.
Something Kate Walker wrote about in her book about writing romance was the key, and the answer is intensity. My characters fall in love, but in order to make this the great book I know it can be, it has to be more than that, they need to be completely fascinated with each other, from the moment they meet and this fascination needs to build until they can't even envision ever being in love with anyone else. Desperate, out of control love.
I eagerly printed off the last version and started to read. Yes. I was right. It's missing. There's too much following the plot and not enough following their own dawning realisation that they're obsessed with each other. They get caught up in events, and forget that they're in the grip of passion. For the first time I see it, I know why BTL hasn't caught and held the attention of the publisher, its just not DESPERATE enough.
So when December is over, and Christmas is done, I'm going back. Back to a book I thought I'd finished. And I'm writing about their love from my heart.
Wish me luck!