The current work in progress is the circus novel, which is being written as a romance. It was originally intended to be a longer Litfic piece, which I had started writing in 2008, but then Sara Gruen wrote Water for Elephants, and I thought my time for the LitFic had probably passed. So I put it away.
But with the imminent demise of the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus, I thought I should drag it back out and see if it could be a romance instead. The problem with all of the prep work, outlining, and writing of a LitFic being transformed into a romance is that there is too much story. There are too many characters, and too many scenes that don’t necessarily feed into a romance arc. I know that generally, an epic-length romance is not going to sell. So that means slimming down the story, and slimming down the cast of characters. But I want to be true to the story, and true to circus, while I’m doing it.
So about that rule-breaking…
Instead of writing in a linear way, which is my usual method, I’ve been doing some jumping and swimming and climbing and riding down the slide and doing it all over again. I have an opening written, and the meeting of the main characters, and started writing a party scene. But I’m struggling with that, so I moved ahead and wrote the ending. Then I backed up and wrote a rough draft of the Big Crisis, when a tornado rips the show apart and forces people to step up or to flee. (You can guess what my FMC did, right?) It needs work but the basic scene is down. Then I write the after-the-crisis scene, where the FMC and MMC finally get intimate. Then I had to go back and write the scene where the elephant guy gets what’s coming to him.
And then I sit back and realize that I’ve got a whole lot more work to do! I can’t have that intimate scene so late in the book. I like puzzles, and I’m sure I’ll figure it out. But in the meantime…
I’ve broken all my rules, and there’s still a ton more story to write. There are a lot of missing pieces, and while the scenes themselves are good and are moving me forward on the project, breaking those rules make me uncomfortable.
But I’m not giving up. This is a story that needs to be told. And I’m the one who’s going to be writing it!
I’d love to hear about your WIP. What are you working on?
Fairest of the Faire
Schoolteacher Connie Meyers is suddenly a young widow, her husband killed in a horrific car accident. Heartbroken to find out he had gambled away everything they had, she moves to her sister-in-law’s Midwest home to rebuild her life. A trip to the local Renaissance Faire with her nieces leads to a summer job as a costumed storyteller.
Avowed bad boy and fair performer Gage Youngblood is infatuated with Connie at first sight. Despite his deliberately commitment-free life, and Connie’s don’t-touch-me attitude, he soon has her in his arms, realizing quickly she is also in his heart.
When she is threatened by her late husband’s bookie, he steps into the role of protector, his fate forever sealed with hers.
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