Today's post will likely be a meaningless ramble, but I'm trying to work through some things. I wrote nothing yesterday and, last night, I was up until the wee hours thinking about Wild Texas Rose.
It's not working. The tone is all wrong and because of that, the characters have turned into lifeless cardboard figures, just going through the motions. I can't have that. These were always two of my favorite characters and I'm writing them straight into lifeless oblivion!
I've figured out the problem, and it wasn't hard. The hard part will be rewriting to repair the damage. On the advice of a fellow writer, I gave my heroine a handicap that was the result of an injury. This was never part of the original idea, and this is why it isn't working. For one thing, I keep forgetting she has an impairment. So I'm writing along and suddenly I remember and I have to tone it down to accommodate her. I've also had to roll back the hero's thoughts and actions and make him more thoughtful of her because she has a disability. This is turning out to be dull stuff because the dialogue and action between them before was snappy. It's what gave the story life. I've unintentionally sabotaged the backbone of the story--the interaction between the hero and heroine has been toned down and it just doesn't work that way.
The original idea was a heroine with a wounded heart, not a physical injury. So I'm going back to that. There's plenty enough conflict and the black moment will still work. And the revelation, when it's finally revealed, will be even more of a doozy. I'm not going to tell what it is, but I've never seen this done in a romance novel. Maybe that's why I backed off from it and settled on a more conventional conflict. I was afraid of it. But in today's market, I have to wonder what I was thinking. They're looking for something that hasn't been done a thousand times. So I'm pulling out the stops and going for it.
I don't know how long it will take to go back through what I've written and change the entire tone of the story, but I have to try. Otherwise, it's all been a waste of time. What kills me is the time factor. I seem to waste a lot of it. Another lesson driven home in an extreme way -- always trust your own instincts.