A Word About the Old HWSW Blog Plus a Few Words About Revising Lavender’s Blue

The Old HWSW Blog:
The 2007 He Wrote She Wrote Blog has all the posts and comments. That’s good. They’re all on one page. That’s bad. It’s that way because it’s a rescue site: Mollie just captured the whole blog, put it on one page, and then hid the site from bots since it was essentially an archive. That was a great, efficient way to save the content, but it makes searching for anything a nightmare (whatever you’re looking for is on that one page). I am slowly trying to reconstruct the blog into posts. It’s gonna take awhile. Therefore, if you go to the old HWSW blog in the next weeks, some of it is going to be in posts, and some of it is still going to be in that mammoth page. Everything is there, I swear. I’m just trying to make it easier to access. Slowly.

Revising Lavender’s Blue
I’m also going back to Liz because having done all the Getting Started posts (three) for the new blog (second one will be posted Saturday), I went back and applied them to Lavender’s Blue. That was illuminating. The Getting Started posts are The One Sentence Idea, the Central Conflict, and Outlining, so I tried to put Liz into one sentence, isolate the conflict, and do an act outline. Surprise: It’s all over the place. Is it a romance? Is it a mystery? (This coming Saturday’s Central Conflict post on HWSWA has me talking about the same problem for Nita. This may be a recurring problem in my work (YA THINK?).

Liz’s One Sentence Idea (romance, mystery, what?)

Liz Danger comes back to the hometown she ran from seventeen years before only to meet a cop, who may be her soulmate, and get arrested for murder.

Nope, that’s too all over the place. Back to Protagonist/Antagonist/Goals.

Liz Danger must finish the book she’s ghostwriting in order to be financially secure (for awhile) but is blocked when she goes back to her hometown by (a) meeting a cop who may be her soulmate, (b) getting arrested for murder, and (c) somebody trying to kill her.

That’s still all over the place. So more work on the central idea.

The Conflict Box The easiest box was the mystery. I can’t even do one for the romance because it’s a three-part story. I’m starting to think it’s the mystery, stupid.

The outline I can do, the book is 75% done. The problem goes back to the one sentence idea: since I’m writing two ideas, two conflicts, two plots, I have to pick a lane. Normally that would be the romance, but since this whole Liz Danger thing was conceived as trilogy, that’s the romance plot. That is, the three books taken together make one romance, outlined as 1. Attraction, 2. Attachment, 3. Commitment, which I supposed means the last one ends in a wedding. They all have concrete endings; that is, at the end of Lavender’s Blue, Liz decided to stay in Birney for several reasons but the big one is Vince, at the end of Rest in Pink, Vince proposes and she says yes; and at the end of Yellow Brick Roadkill, I guess they get married. Not a fan of marriage as an HEA. The thing that most interests me about Rest in Pink is that Liz has to learn how to write a romance novel (and somebody gets murdered and she realizes that Vince is It for her). The only thing I know about Yellow Brick Roadkill is that the climax ties all three books together (not the wedding, that’s probably the resolution) and it’s about Liz helping her best friend with the local high school’s production of The Wiz.

So the big danger here is that I forget that Lavender’s Blue has to be a stand-alone with a clear resolution for not just the mystery but also the romance. Liz has to be in a safe place at the end, not just for the murder but also in her relationship with Vince.

Which means I need a main plot outline for the murder mystery (which is also the story of Liz coming back to town and facing her past, her character arc) and a subplot outline for the romance which will actually be the first third (or so) of the romance arc.

1. Liz comes to Birney (meets Vince when he pulls her over for speeding).
2. Liz agrees to be maid of honor for Lavender, the woman who’s marrying her high school boyfriend (sleeps with Vince)
3. Liz decides to stay and find out who strangled Lavender while she was wearing Liz’s dress (gets involved with Vince as he investigates)
4. Liz fights back when she’s suspected of and arrested for the murder (Vince bails her out, takes her home, Liz trusts him)
5. Liz faces down the killer, reveals identity, almost gets offed (Vince saves her, which annoys the crap out of her).
Resolution: Liz decides to stay in Birney another couple of months because her client is paying her to do (financial security, lots more) (and because of Vince).

(The antagonist is active in all of those, but you know, murder mystery so no spoilers).

So I might actually finish Liz, and I have some great ideas for Rest In Pink, so . . .

Why am I not revising Nita? Because now is not the time for a white woman to write about immigration and race, even symbolically. I have a lot of stuff to finish. This is good. Plus Lily, of course. My days are just packed. Nothing but good times ahead.

38 thoughts on “A Word About the Old HWSW Blog Plus a Few Words About Revising Lavender’s Blue

  1. Oh cool! I haven’t thought about Liz in ages, so pleased she’s coming back to one of the forward burners.

  2. Maybe they don’t get married, maybe they buy a house and get a rescue dog. Dogs are commitment.

    1. Exactly. When I was younger, I at least wanted marriage to be on the horizon as an HEA. Now that I am *mumble mumble almost 60*, commitment doesn’t necessarily mean marriage.

  3. I am more into Liz, to be honest.

    (Though uh….writing about a cop character is another problematic thing these days….)

    1. I know, but there are plenty of good cops. They just don’t make the news killing people.
      It’s like teachers. Lots of good teacher out there, but lots of bad ones, too.

      1. I actually agree, but these days people are literally complaining about the cop puppy on Paw Patrol or any positive portrayal of cops at all.

        Well, maybe that won’t be an issue by the time Liz gets published. *crosses fingers*

      2. I recall someone who gave expert advice on cop shows being asked which show was most realistic and answering ‘Barney Miller’. A lot of whackiness out there.

        1. My dad was a cop in the 60s and 70s and he also thought Barney Miller was realistic-ish. For him, the most realistic cop show was Adam-12.

    2. If you want to dodge every complicated topic, you end up with boring generic stuff. Maybe these are the times to write about cops the way we need them to be? Just to set a good example?

  4. A HEA definitely doesn’t have to end in marriage, in fact, I personally prefer it when it doesn’t. It can just mean they look at each other and realize they’ve found their forever home (where home is a person, not a place).

    1. The one that’s going to be fun is the next one, Liz solving a murder while learning to write a romance novel.

      1. Nothing like challenging yourself, right?!? But I’m confident you will stick the landing even if the vault changes wildly in midair.

      2. I am so excited to see Liz bubbling back up! I’ve always loved the premise and actually was recently thinking about that series. I was remembering it as four parts, but it’s been awhile, and 3 parts makes a lot of sense.

        And, it’s a mystery. A cop is very logical to have and I remember liking Vince already.

  5. Now is not the time for a white woman to publish a book like that. It might be a great time to work on a book like that.

    Commitments can be to buying a house together, to raising a kid together, to starting a business together, moving to a new place together, buying an RV to travel all over the country together, to buying a herd of goats and having to be home every night and morning to milk them…. pretty much anything that more or less locks them into a future together.

  6. “Therefore, if you go to the old HWSW blog in the next weeks”
    and how does one go to the old blog? I have only been able to find the ones you reposted. If you are going to repost all of them, I promise to wait patiently. If you are going to skip the ones that are about driving all over hell and gone together instead of about writing then I need to know how to find the one page fits all version, please.

    1. Okay, here’s what happened.

      All the 2007 writing posts were save in one document and posted as a page up in the menu bar of the old blog. I have no idea what happened to the old 2006 and 2007 posts, except for the tour posts in 2007, four of which I reposted here on Argh. The 2007 blog that Mollie saved in one doc has all the comments. The 2007 blog that I saved has only the posts, but it has all of them. In short, I have no idea where some of that stuff is. Argh.

  7. Never mind – found it. Didn’t realize you called it a workshop originally, hence workshop posts.

  8. Isn’t the HEA in most of your romance novels an eventual wedding? And if it was a mystery you can do HFN rather than HEA can’t you?
    I loved Liz before.

    1. I don’t think I’ve ever written a wedding ending. There were some proposals, but no weddings.

      1. Except Agnes and the Hitman, but that wasn’t Agnes and Shane, so I don’t think that counts.

  9. I’ve nothing pertinent to contribute.

    Instead, I’d like to try to link to a video of the man cave in which I live. If you click on it (and it works!), please mute the volume. It’s me, breathing loudly, and the microphone picking up every death rattle.

    tl;dr. This video (if it works!) was taken some time back (May 11, 2018), when I had a 10 cu.ft. refrigerator, a different computer, a different printer, more surviving plants, and an outdoor table and chair. I still own the kitchen appliances and all the Rubbermaid storage – even more, in fact. It is on my Facebook page, practically by itself. Those stairs were the steps down into the garage. The SiL built a bathroom to the left, at the top – the family lives in the house to the right at the top. Um… sharing is caring?

    Crossing my fingers – The Man Cave 2018

  10. So glad to see Liz getting some more attention! I’ve been tracking her feverishly since after Maybe This Time since I’m so desperate for another one of your reads. I first read one of your books when I was 14 and in the wrong library section, and now I’m getting my Ph.D. and desperate for more of your work! Love to see your mojo and hope for more updates!

  11. Our writing chapter had an FBI agent who has also trained law-enforcement officers for a couple of decades. He was asked if any of the law enforcement shows on TV currently were at least partially realistic. Imagine the surprise when he said The Rookie. In fact, they have a man in his late 40s currently in the Academy and he’s passed all academic, psychological, and physical tests with flying colors.

  12. Didn’t Katherine Hepburn say something about the best set up for couples was to live next door to one another and just visit?

  13. I remember liking Liz, so cool.

    I once had a guy ask me to have 10 children with him. I didnt take him up on it, but I definitely counted it as an offer for a long-term commitment. More so than the marriage proposal from the 28 yr old thrice-divorced guy.

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