I'm such a pantser that I keep getting my knickers in a knot! Makes for very hard work during revision. I write the scenes that "make the young girls cry" first whenever they pop into my brain. I string them together and hope they make sense in the end. Actually, that's just a dorky way of saying the overall umbrella of my story hovers around my brain and I just pluck parts of it out at the time I feel ready to write them. Again, Revision Hell!Okay, here's my dirty little secret. Unlike many of you, I never read romance novels. When I was 32 I got a series of shots to travel to the middle east and became very sick, so my good friend brought a paper bag of Harlequins over for me to read, must've been about 20 of them. I read them all and thought, what was God thinking letting this kind of stuff get published? After three days, I couldn't tell one book from another. It was a long time before I picked up another romance. Luckily, when I did, it was a regency, very articulate and classy, a book where the characters weren't cardboard interchangeables! My favorite writer is Margaret Atwood, but I know I'll NEVER be able to come close to writing like her. I'd be satisfied with writing smart, literate, romances where the heroes use brains along with brawn and the heroines are feisty and clever.
The Watcher was my first "real" book, the first thing at all worthy of anyone looking seriously at. That's done, and so far, no one seems to want to give it a home. The second book The Warrior, also is/was finished, but after talking with an HQN editor and my agent, I'm doing some major revisions on that, about half way through. The third book, sadly untitled, is marinating at about 130 pages while I'm rewriting Warrior. They're all mainstream suspense with romantic elements, serial killers with unique pathologies that drive their murders. I like getting in the heads of the bad guys and figuring out how they got to be that way. Kate Duffy says, "sympathetic killers."
And finally, honey, if I could give good advice, I put myself on the couch and figure out how to survive in this quirky business. But really, PERSERVERE, PERSEVERE, PERSERVERE! Gads, did I spell that word wrong? Three times?
I loved reading all your posts. What an eclectic group! Go Packers!