Yet another confession: I tend to write plot-driven rather than character-driven stories. Trying to put more emotion into my characters, I wrote Temptress of Time (which started life as That Other Diane). Well, I lucked out—Ellora’s Cave contracted the book, but required some pretty major revisions.
That worked out great—mainly because Kelli Gwen’s Revisions Rock had me all fired up. Then, in an effort to dig even deeper into my newest characters, I applied Theresa Meyers’ techniques for using backstory effectively.
Chapter One, despite my intentions to avoid an info dump, was just that—too much backstory. Gotta love critique partners for letting you know.
So I took another technique from Theresa and did a little numerology voodoo on my major characters. While I’ve used numerology to pick first names (I practically live in Ellin Dodge’s You Are Your First Name) I hadn’t applied it to a character’s first, middle and last names. Wow! All sorts of possibilities for creating internal and external conflict came forth with layer upon layer of new depths I can add.
Hooked, I did a numerology exercise for a few of my minor characters—first names only because they refuse to tell me any other names they may have. Despite lacking all the analysis, their first names revealed exactly the kinds of people I want them to be!
So I rewrote Chapter One of my Work in Progress—four times so far. Which, of course, meant major revisions to Chapters Two and Three. I have to wonder if Nora Roberts, Allison Brennan and Brenda Novak go through these machinations. I bet their characters flow from mind to page like the truly heroic and villainous people these talented ladies envisioned from line one, page one—even word one!
Now I’m trying to press on to finish the story without polishing the first three chapters as if I’m entering a contest. No insult intended, but finishing the book and making it the best my critique partners and I can make it, is my primary goal. What I’ll learn about my characters will satisfy my pantser soul.
So, as the Devil said to the souls in Hell, “All right, everybody, back on your heads.”
That means, Lady Muse, it’s time for you to get back to work. Lady Muse? Hey, you! Get back here. Right now!
Erotic Fantasies Where Nothing is Forbidden
This hot cover is from my upcoming romantic suspense. No release date yet, but I'll keep you posted.