Friday, December 30, 2011

Genre Rules

Courtly Abandon is just about finished. The main problem is that was written so disjointedly that the flow is off. As such, before I can finish the grand finale (where all the dialogue will be in blank verse with my main characters speaking in couplets), I need to go over it from the beginning and make sure it is consistent. I also have a good deal written by hand that I need to insert. Messy.

The good news is that I am pleased with my writing. Small changes here and there, but the beginning flows really well and jumps right into the story.

The bad news (kill me now) is that we don't meet the true love interest until page 22. The story is established with Jane and her objective (to marry her titled neighbor who we have met, but find more comical than desirable).  Then, KAPOW, she meets her first love, her best friend from childhood who told her he loved her the day before her arranged marriage to an older man. Percy was the one that got away. The one that duty, society, etc... said she could never have. Now she's in the same situation again (only older and a widow) and will realize the choice is truly hers, not her father's or social expectations. It always had been, she had just been too afraid to take a chance.

Personally, I like the bait and switch. Genre rules dictate differently though. This is my problem, apparently, in everything I write. I write within the rules, but with a good deal of interpretation. I consider this my own style. My sister uses this as the reason I should write historical fiction and not historical romance. If I don't like playing by the rules, I should pick another game. Valid point -- however I am within the bounds of the rules and love the optimism of the happily ever after that does not exist in historical fiction. The love story is the focal point of my story, not the sub-plot mystery, political intrigue, whatever. Boy meets girl, love, passion, conflict, resolution, happy ending. This is the romance genre norm.

And yet I am unpublished and unrepresented - therefore there is an issue.

Alright, enough of my freak out/pity party. Back to Jane and Percy. On page 22.

1 comment:

stu said...

It sounds like you need a strong prologue featuring Percy, plus some hints in the first few pages that he'll be along. Those will at least keep him in mind until he actually shows up.

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