Sprechen Sie Romance?

Of course I have to start with the Post-Its. There is no such thing as too many Post-Its. if they come in their own holder, so that I can take them on the road, all the better. This particular specimen comes from a filing crate Housemate hauled out of the storage unit, because I am at the point of needing to print out drafts and mark them with colored pens and sticky notes (hence the Post-Its.) There is also a wheeled cart that goes with the filing crate, which also has file space, as well as storage for other things, so there will be archaeology and probably some paper shredding and then organization. This is all good stuff, and I am looking forward to setting off on this particular leg of the journey.

I already know I am not doing NaNoWriMo this year, though I will happily shake pompoms on the sidelines and cannot guarantee I won’t at least attempt to sneak into a write-in or two over the course of the month, but participating as such isn’t for me. I can count words or I can write the draft. I can’t do both. No guilt this year, no will I/won’t I or should I/shouldn’t I, because I’m doing the head down, eyes on my own paper thing. That tends to work better for me right now, keeps me motivated, and got me through an outline and bullet point daft, so I think it’s safe to say that’s likely to work for this phase as well.

Hypercritical Gremlins don’t seem to find this approach terribly interesting,  which I take as a good sign, because they’ve been quiet as of late, only the faintest muttering from the corners of their closet. This may  have had something to do with my reorganizing the notebooks I keep in said closet, but that’s beside the point. The point is, it’s Monday, it’s October, and my job, from now until lunch, is to look over the very first scene I wrote for Her Last First Kiss, which is now the second scene, first written, then taken out, now put back in, but needing some fairly major surgery to get it going.

I’m okay with that, and I’m not surprised. When I first wrote the scene, I didn’t know exactly where I was going. All I knew was that I had to get Hero onto the page, and I did, but I didn’t know him then, not the way I do now, because I hadn’t spent all that time with him yet. He certainly hadn’t opened up to me yet, so this poking-things-in-the-dark-with-a-long-pointy-stick approach isn’t that bad, all things considered, but there is significant room for improvement. Which is okay. This book is going the distance, so I’m not worried about that. I have my roadmap, I know where I’m going and how I’m getting there, so that makes it easier, when looking at what I’ve already written, to make the course corrections when needed.

One such correction goes into slightly scary territory (though that is kind of a theme for the month, so appropriate.) – I really do need a historical romance critique partner. This is historical romance, because that’s what I write. The love story is the story, and if I took it out of its particular setting, it would fall apart. This means I have to tread into asking for what I want territory, and that’s…I already said scary, so something else. Intimidating, maybe? No, not quite. I have writer friends I am close to, whom I love dearly, but historical romance isn’t their focus. One is on hiatus, for family reasons, another is no longer in my life, another lives two hundred miles away, others,whom I can see or speak to frequently, touch lightly on romance as an element of other genres, and… imagine gif of person flailing in open water here.

There’s a scene in the series finale of the Highlander TV show, where the hero, Duncan, follows one of the bad guys for I don’t even remember how long anymore, running through multiple languages while trying to get them to talk to him. Do they speak English? No? French? No? Spanish? No? Russian? No? Italian? No? How about Mandarin? Gaelic? Klingon? Okay maybe he didn’t try Klingon, I am very sure I got the languages and their orders wrong, and, since it was the series finale, he probably got them to some sort of resolution, because that’s all the time they had to resolve stuff, but I can identify, to some extent. RWA does have a critique partner matching thingityboo, and I will probably look into that, and yet…there’s still the hunger to sit in the same room with someone who speaks my native tongue, preferably same dialect.

Where is this going? Darned if I know, but what I do know is that I have a date with chapter two that was once chapter one, and I’ll figure things out as I go. I do my part, my imaginary friends do theirs. Now if I can only figure out how to get them to pick up the check when I take them out to the coffee house…..

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