Thinking About Writing...

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Unfortunately, I am still single parenting. We thought the hubby would be home tonight—he even had his bags packed—but it looks like the earliest we may see him is Friday now. It’s funny how much you take for granted having someone to share the parenting and house responsibilities with. You never really realize how much they do until they aren’t there to do it. But don’t tell him I said that. I’d hate for him to gloat J.
Tonight, writing was the last thing that should have been on my mind. I have work to do for the ‘real job’ (and no, I haven’t even touched it) and still need to get my university assignment done (haven’t made it any further on that either). Instead of doing anything responsible, I laid around watching TV and thinking about writing. I guess, at least the thinking about writing part was somewhat useful, although it has raised a big question in my mind.
Back when I first decided I wanted to write for Harlequin (we’re talking WAY back, at least 10 years or so), I decided I wanted to write Intrigues. They were about the only line I read and I just couldn’t get enough. So it stands to reason that when I started trying to write for Harlequin my first WIP was an Intrigue. Incidentally, it is also the project that has been overhauled at least a thousand times and is the basis for my current WIP, I never got around to finishing it as I realized just how bad it was at the time. After the overhauls, it seems to be a much stronger story and I have decided to carry on with it.
There is only one problem: my heart belongs to the American Romance line now. That is not to say that I don’t still read Intrigue—I do—but more often than not I reach for a HAR. I figure, my shift in tastes has a lot to do with my longing for home and my love of all things American.
As for writing, I told you some time back that taking a fiction writing voice helped me find my voice and it is a very distinctly Southern voice, one well suited to stories about small towns and family. I am trying to finish the Intrigue. I still love the characters and the storyline, the thing is I can’t really hear my voice in the telling. I worked so hard to find my voice and it doesn’t seem to fit this story.
There are mumblings on the Harlequin community boards about up-coming pitch contests for both Intrigue and American and my first instinct was to finish the Intrigue, since it’s about 2/3 from complete anyway, but I keep finding myself drawn back to the American… as well as the many, many American story ideas I have set aside for later. This may be the ADHD, but I just can’t stay away!
If I’m totally honest with myself (and all 2 of you who will read this), I’d rather be a HAR author than a HI author. Not that I wouldn’t like to finish the HI someday and try to publish it, but with time so short these days, I am wondering if I should focus my attentions on one line rather than both. My original plan was to finish the HI and jump straight onto the HAR, now I’m not so sure. I am several chapters behind my target on the HI thanks to stress at work and single parenting for long stretches these last few weeks and I find myself reluctant to get back into it. I am; however, desperate to get over to the HAR WIP and have a little fun.
So, what should I do? God, if only I had a crystal ball to tell me which WIP is more likely to be finished and accepted. Until then, I think I will pull out the HAR and see how far I can plot scenes. I’m only at chapter four, and have only a skeleton outline of each scene, so if I find I can’t get much more than that, maybe that’s my answer. I guess, I’ll just have to give it a go and see what happens.


  1. ok Ms. Christy, I'm being annoying to you, sorry.

    Go for the HAR. Here's why. If your voice isn't really in the HI then you won't have as high a chance at selling it. You know? Voice is very distinct and if you're voice is good at HAR and that's where you want to be, then dang it, go for it. You can do it.
    I am your crystal ball and you will do what I say - all signs point to yes. : )

    Good luck! (seriously, just found out my voice is more dark and twisty than funny romantic and I'm LOVING it!) Can't wait to hear which you decide.

    1. Not annoying at all! I think you are right. I can write the HI using the voice I began it in years ago, but it just doesn't have that spark.

      I haven't really said 'this is it' yet (mainly because I'm still single parenting-- and dreaming up ways to make the hubby's boss pay for this-- so I have had next to no quiet time), but I am seriously leaning toward the HAR.

  2. (As someone who isn't published & has very little credibility, please take my advice as unseriously as you want!)

    I think you need to think long term. You hope to make writing a career and your first novel sets the tone for the future. It sets the expectations for your readers. I think you want to choose the one you feel you can be excited about writing for a very long time. To me, that sounds like HAR. Good luck!!!

    1. Thanks! I take every suggestion seriously-- all the credibility you need is that you are a reader!

      You've hit the nail on the head with what you've said about the first novel setting the tone. I just hope I can do the HAR line justice. I have this idea of my ideal book and hope I can pull it off-- talk about scary!


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