This blog follows how a romance novel set in the Borders of medieval Scotland is researched, written and hopefully *hopefully* published.

Join me on the writing journey and get inspired to try writing a little romance into your own life!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Re-examining the Dreaded Plot Outline...

I was recently reading a romance novel (no surprise there) and, completing it in what for this mom is "record time," I summarized the plot to my husband.

He chuckled. "So when are you sending your manuscript out?" he pestered.

"It's not done yet," I insisted (having recently spoken to a writer-pal who sold her first book with only a cover letter, sample chapter and outline).

My husband turned from doing the dishes (to me, THAT's romance) and gave me a stern look.

I shrugged. Not wanting to fall into the same trap as my perfectionist sibling (who does absolutely amazing work but never finishes it and certainly never submits it), I mumbled, "The plot's far closer to the fantasy genre than romance. It needs an overhaul to be acceptable to these publishing houses."

He would have rolled his eyes if he had a talent for it. Instead, he returned to sudsy dishes in the sink.

So I started gnawing through the differences between the general plots and desires of the two different genres. I even threw down a plot summary for a brand new book in the romance genre (ideas generally aren't in shortage for me, but time is). And it occurred to me that I needn't overhaul the entire plot of "Hollow Hearts and Hollow Hills," but tweak it out differently because the relatively new movement of "paranormal romance" is really the lovechild(or perhaps "bastard"--ah, semantics!) of the fantasy and romance genres.

With that hope in mind, I scrawled a few paragraphs on the back of a handy envelope. Those paragraphs bridge a gap towards the book's beginning. They introduce my "hero" much sooner and add a touch of necessary backstory. They hint at the strange circumstances and a lost relationship and I think (and hope) that they will "go miles" towards accomplishing the goal of getting this manuscript whipped into shape and stuffed into an appropriately labeled envelope.

So, today I'm feeling like there's more hope than there was just a few days ago...

Much LOVE!
~Saoirse

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