Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Wednesday Writing: When Your Story Surprises You

So I'm nearly halfway into my current manuscript, Marry Me at Willoughby Close, and the story suddenly took an unexpected turn! I was preparing the hero and heroine to have a fancy dinner at a restaurant in London when my heroine decided not to go. (Spoiler--hopefully readers will have forgotten this by the time the book comes out!) I realized her decision to be independent was more important than the conversation (and flirting!) they'd have at the restaurant.

I love when a story surprises me, and the characters start to speak for themselves. I think it's usually a good sign that the story and characters have depth. I'm not just putting them through the motions. Here is a snippet of the scene I wrote that surprised me:

It wasn’t a date. She knew that. Of course she knew that. She wasn’t for one second imagining that Henry was interested in her. He was taking pity on her, for heaven’s sake, and pity was one thing Alice knew all too well.
She’d been pitied all her life. Pitied or ignored, and in all truth Alice didn’t know which one was worse. She didn’t want either, and she realized she was dreading this dinner because she didn’t actually want Henry gently instructing her on which forks to use or ordering for her because she so obviously wouldn’t know what to order herself.

She could see it all so clearly—Pretty Woman or Pygmalion—she’d read it for GCSE—it was all the same. The rich, sophisticated man telling the clueless girl what to do. How to feel. Introducing her to a world she never could have experienced or even found on her own, and then smiling smugly when she fumbled with the forks or marvelled at the taste of an oyster.

So now I've got to figure out what happens after they don't go out to dinner! Stay tuned. And in the meantime you can order the book here.

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