Archive for the ‘Stories’ Category
Thanks to one of my NARWA sisters, I found another contest to enter … a chance to win a pitch with a Harlequin American editor. Since I’ve long envisioned “Operation Snag Mike Brad” as an American Romance, I decided to go for it.
I can’t say I always envisioned it in that line. When I first wrote it, I had the Love and Laughter or Silhouette Yours Truly lines in mind. But since those are both defunct (sadly, if you ask me), I switched to AR.
The entry requires a one-page synopsis — something I’m getting better at writing, I think — and a logline.
Having never heard of a logline before, I did a little poking around at eharlequin.com. Apparently it’s also known as a “concept line” and is designed to give the editor a broad picture of your story.
One way to write one is to start with a well-known storyline, then reveal the twist that makes your story stand out. You can also use a familiar book or movie as your starting point, so you come up with something like “Elle Woods meets the Terminator” or “Beauty & the Beast set in outer space.”
The advice is straightforward enough, but I’m finding myself confused. Maybe it’s just because my MS is a big, confused mess.
I hope not.
Anyway, here’s the logline I’ve come up with so far:
“Operation Snag Mike Brad” blends “How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days” and “Some Kind of Wonderful” — but in reverse.
In “How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days” you have a reporter working on a story and using outrageous advice to get dumped. (Erin is a reporter following a book’s outrageous advice to snag “the man of her dreams” while she’s chasing a big story that’ll get her out of small-town Indiana once and for all.)
In “Some Kind of Wonderful,” you have a guy who thinks he’s in love with one girl but ends up realizing he’s in love with his best friend. (Erin thinks she’s in love with Mike but ends up realizing he’s more like her best friend and she’s really in love with with Brad instead.)
So both flicks apply — at least loosely. The “reverse” part is the whole using the book to snag the guy (not lose him) and the fact that it’s the girl, not the guy doing the falling.
I’m still not wild about it. At least I have a few more days to play.
Isn’t that what they call it when you’re doing a lot of thinking but not much writing? 😉
I’ve been mulling the plot of Bethany & Cody’s story (tentatively titled “Trouble in Paradise” … like that hasn’t been used before! Thank goodness titles aren’t copyrighted.). I need to get them out of Chicago and onto that island paradise, but I don’t want to do it too soon — I have 90,000 words to work with here!
I’ve also been thinking about Meg & Matt. If I’m going to enter it in the GH in the “category romance” category, I still have to rework the beginning to throw them together on Page 1 (not Page 6 or wherever they meet right now.
Yes, even though I still love my current first line, it’s time to think about chucking it. The next few pages are all backstory explaining how dear Meg finds herself pregnant and alone at 32.
Why so much thinking? Mainly, I’ve been trying not to think about the copies of “Blind Date Bride” floating around out there. I know I’m in for a long wait. These things move at the speed of Heinz ketchup pouring out of the bottle — only fair considering how long it took me to finish the story in the first place.
More thoughts floating around in my brain involve a couple of blog posts I want to write. They should be fun, so stay tuned.
I was enjoying a nice, quiet get-to-know-you lunch with my characters when Bethany dropped a bombshell.
Even in “Blind Date Bride,” I knew that Beth was different. She’s the one who tried to get Kari to get in touch with her inner tramp, and who told Kari, “Keep a man happy in bed and he’ll keep you happy out of it.”
Yes, my Bethany LOVES sex. She’s been around the block so many times the sidewalk was named after her. (It bothers her a little that she’s had more partners than Cody, even though he’s 3 years older, but it bothers her more that he’s more content to cuddle than burn up the bedsheets.)
While I was jotting notes about their appearances and history, Beth revealed something surprising. Scratch that: It went beyond surprising and landed smack-dab in the middle of astonishing land.
It turns out Bethany had her first sexual experience at 14 years old. Wait — that’s not the surprising part. At 16, her mom kicked her out of the house for trying to seduce her stepfather. (It didn’t happen … it was all in mom’s head, but it still left Bethany estranged from her mom and kid sister.) She moved in with her aunt to finish high school, then went off to college, where she met Kari (and spent a lot of time on her back, staring at frat house ceilings).
I have no idea what to do with that tidbit. Where does it fit into the story? Will she reconnect with mom? Will she finally realize that there’s more to a good relationship than great sex? (I think she has to … and in the realization, sex with Cody will go beyond great to soul-shattering.)
Anyway, nothing Cody has come out with is all that surprising. It’s not that I find him boring … in fact, he’s shaping up to be one of my favorite heroes (right behind Mike James and Damien). But so far, he’s pretty tame. There is something in his past, alluded to in Kari and Damien’s story, but so far, he’s mum about what it is.
A counselor for at-risk teens, he’s working long hours (which concerns Beth because he’s sometimes — often — too tired to get busy) in part to save up for an engagement ring. He believes actions speak louder than words (and thinks spending the day shopping tells Beth he loves her). Above all, he likes being comfortable, which is why he’s often content to cuddle. Even in high school, he wasn’t one of those guys who was always trying to get some.
I probably need to get to the bottom of that before I get too far into the story.
Right now, I’m in Chapter 3. And, to borrow a catchphrase from McDonald’s, I’m lovin’ it … surprises and all.
Five queries. Two same-day rejections. I appreciate the prompt replies.
I am a little discouraged, but not giving up. I believe in “Blind Date Bride.” And, as “they” say … Rome wasn’t built in a day. I’m going to find an agent who loves “Blind Date Bride” and wants to represent it (and me).
I just hope it doesn’t take forever …