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.