Story Progress: Mixed Basket

Woohoo! I just finished writing chapter 11! Alright, so it’s not completely typed up yet; that’s the next stage. But it’s written! Yay!

I’m also partway into my rewrite of chapter 2 in volume 1. I admit I’m still moving parts around on my rewrite of chapter 1; I can never seem to get the opening just right. But I think I’ve finally found my opening lines:

No ward shall leave the temple, unless expressly instructed by their superior.

Most wards probably thought this rule was meant to encourage new maidens to settle into their new home—to leave behind their noble families and embrace their new role.

They were wrong. This rule was made for people like me.

This way, I have a hook in my first line, and it’s the catalyst for everything that is to come. I cite the rule, and all that follows is what happened this one time when the rule was broken—or rather, when the stipulation at the end of the rule got in the way. This will keep the opening in Labriella’s perspective. After these lines, the question is how much to show of a normal day in the temple, or whether I should just start with the bullying and lead straight into Mistress Healer’s errand.

The other current question in my rewrite of chapter 2 is what to do after Rome saves Labriella from the men who try to rape her. Rome kills all the men, and disappears back into the forest. Labriella doesn’t know her savior is Rome; it’s too dark, and his appearance is altered. Should she run after him, like she did when she got lost in the forest all those years ago? If so, then should he scare her away, or turn her away? Allow her to hide out in the forest, or take her back to his house? Should he have been living in his house all this time, or does he only return to give her a safe place to stay?

Or should Labriella stumble away from the carnage, back to the village? There she can get taken in for the night by a common family, and then make her way to the inn in the morning—the condensed version of some things I already wrote.

I kind of like the idea of her running after Rome better. But if she follows him home, how does Rome’s noble heritage come into play?

If I dealt solely with the temple runaway issue and the lovebirds’ reunion in the first book, and left the noble heritage dealings until the second book…would the first book have a plot?

Uggh, so many questions. >_<

In the meantime, I’m attending an online workshop called “New Kid on the Block: A Guide to Writing New Adult,” put on through Maryland Romance Writers with Chanel Cleeton as the instructor. There are precious few of such New Adult (NA) resources available (at least that I have been able to find), so I jumped on this opportunity to receive feedback on whether or not my story is actually NA–even though it meant joining the group late.

I signed up for another online writing workshop this week, called “Inside the Male Mind.” It’s through Colorado Romance Writers, and it’s about writing from a male character’s perspective. I look forward to the insight on how to make Rome’s P.O.V.  more authentically masculine.

I also joined a Critique Connection group, organized by Janice Hardy over at Fiction University. But after joining the Fantasy Faction, I realized that although I would absolutely love to critique other fantasy writers’ works, my manuscript might not fall enough under the Fantasy umbrella for it to qualify. What I probably need is a Paranormal Romance group. It ruffles my feathers a little, because my story does not take place in the real world, as so many other paranormal romances do. But the reality is that my plot is strongly romance-based, and I feel a bit timid about asking fantasy writers to critique my romance. They’re awesome, but fantasy writing comes at plot orchestration from a different angle.

I feel like such a mixed basket right now.

Ah well. The good news that I hope you take out of all this is that I am actively taking steps to better my story (including all the endless hours of outlining attempts that I have not yet mentioned), and I should have my next chapter out in the next couple days if all goes well with typing.

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