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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Brainstorming Continued...

Some writers cluster or make lists when they get stuck on their work in progress. What do you do to get over that hump?

Need help with a scene? Give us the set up of your story and let’s brainstorm!

Don’t forget! For the month of March, I will be putting a ticket with your name on it into a box every time you comment. If you comment five times in one day, then five tickets go into the box. On March 31st I will blindly reach into my box and pick a name. The winner will receive a $20 gift card to Border’s!

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51 Comments:

At 9:54 AM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

When I get stuck, I sometimes just need to step away, to go do something different until the solution finds me. Of course, this is dangerously close to sheer procrastination, and if on a tight deadline, can be disastrous.

Other times I just write, giving myself permission to write "dreck" (as my friend Darlene Gardner calls it). You can always fix dreck later.
As Nora Roberts says, "You can't fix what you haven't written."

 
At 9:56 AM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

Another most likely thing I do is take the problem to my critique groups (I am lucky enough to have two) or to my Australian pal, Melissa James. They help me brainstorm my way through the problem.

 
At 10:03 AM, Blogger Eden Sharpe said...

I switch to my other genre (children's lit). Usually my brain will continue working on the other problem while I'm getting other work done.

If that doesn't help, I'll talk to other people, mostly my main 2 writer friends, and usually in the talking it out, I hit on a viable alternative or two.

OR sometimes I have to leave it alone for weeks. Being prepublished and not under contract yet, I do have that freedom, but it's not the most effective.

 
At 10:12 AM, Blogger Wendy said...

I'd take a break for writing then try again.

 
At 10:22 AM, Blogger Esri Rose said...

I'm a lone wolf writer, probably because of my books' mystery elements, with the attendant picky details. It's hard enough for me to keep the story straight. The idea of trying to get it across to someone else so they could help seems impossible.

Usually I just go back to the notebook and start brainstorming on paper. The only difference between this and sitting around thinking is that writing stuff down means I don't have to keep it all in the noggin at once, and I'm less likely to fall asleep with a pencil in my hand.

And yes, sometimes you just need to take a break, as Wendy says. I have also wondered if switching to another WIP would work for me, as it does for Eden.

 
At 10:39 AM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

okay, here is an example of what my critique partner and I do. Feel free to supply me with ideas of future scenes. Like Esri, and probably most writers, I am a lone wolf too, and usually brainstorm myself, but ideas from others can't ever hurt, they can only help because as writers we can take what we want and leave the rest. So, here we go, here's my setup:

Heroine is a journalist who wants to prove to her family and friends that she can “be someone.” She works for a tabloid and she’s desperate for the BIG story, which happens to be a big-time actor who is getting married in NYC. Nobody knows WHO he’s going to marry which has the world buzzing with curiosity. My heroine convinces her boss to let her be the one to get the story. Tired of waiting outside the church with the rest of the journalists, she sneaks around back and ends up overhearing three men talking. One of the men is the actor/hero. Major corporations are sponsoring the wedding and have paid big bucks to be a part of the ceremony. The Actor is marrying because he needs the money. A female friend was going to be his bride as a favor to him, but she got cold feet and doesn’t show up. Journalist/heroine is asked to fill in as the bride. She wants the story bad, but bad enough to marry a conceited actor--a complete stranger? She does not like actors and he does not like tabloid reporters. It turns out that his father/manager emptied his bank accounts and disappeared and so his agent came up with this harebrained idea for hero/actor to marry and he can’t back out now.

Journalist and Actor marry. Okay, now what? Give me a list of possible scenes...

 
At 12:08 PM, Blogger Mo H said...

Does he know she's a tabloid reporter?

If he does, anytime she's checking e-mail, talking on the phone or into a recorder, or maybe writing something on a piece of paper, he might think she's writing something about him.

If he doesn't, the big reveal can be your big black moment.

Do they have to be married for a certain period of time for him to get the money? What's to keep either one of them from filing for divorce or an annulment? Is that part of the plan, they stay married for a month or so, but don't have sex so they can get an annulment, but then they find themselves unable to fight the attraction??

 
At 12:22 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

The marriage has happened (show the marriage ceremony and the irony of marrying someone she doesn't even know.
Someone ought to be taking photos inside the church for her tabloid.

She finds out before/during/after the ceremony that if she leaks to the tabloid, he will lose the corporate money - if she doesn't get the story and is the bride, the tabloid will see her blackballed.

he makes a deal with her. When they get the marriage anulled or when they get a divorce, her tabloid will have full rights to the story.

For their various reasons, both drink too much at the reception and when they get to their hotel they make love.

They go someplace for honeymoon and must act the two lovers for the corporate sponsors.

She gets pregnant and that changes everything.

Okay that's it for me for now.

 
At 1:51 PM, Blogger Marianne Arkins said...

I write out of order... I use writing prompts ALL THE TIME, and the sillier, the better. It really loosens up my brain.

 
At 1:52 PM, Blogger Marianne Arkins said...

I write out of order, so if I'm stuck on one thing, I just make a note and move on to something else ... I use writing prompts ALL THE TIME, and the sillier, the better. It really loosens up my brain.

 
At 2:24 PM, Blogger Eden Sharpe said...

Theresa,
I'm thinking. You helped me so much, I'd like to return the favor. This brainstorming is the hardest part for me :) I'll comment later if I have something to offer.

 
At 2:43 PM, Blogger Ladyhawk said...

When I'm stuck, like Diane, I'll go do something else or I'll switch to a different story or I'll go someplace else to write. I'm always surprised by how my own change of scene helps me find a different perspective.

Theresa, I agree that ideas from the outside are great! They inspire other ideas whether you use the original or not.

What are the terms of the actor's contract to make things right? What if they have to be married a year? Clearly, there isn't time for the two of them to make a pact, but there's going to have to be a round of negotiating from the start, however brief. They're going to have to be seen, where? Does he act his part so well, she finds herself struggling to remind herself it is just on paper? He'll always be wondering how much information she is keeping track of and planning on revealing. What they each consider fair in the bargain will be a constant tug-o-war. What happens when their friends see them? Or family? Especially her family. What's going to happen when she marries and no one she knows is there? Except the tabloid photography -- I really like that idea, Diane. What if the tabloid photographer is looking for his own break? What if photographer has a crush on her or a grudge against the actor? What if while they're on their honeymoon there's a hurricane or once their back, there's an earthquake. (extreme ideas, I know.) What if a stalker becomes a part of the mix or simply another reporter digging for a story? One of them is hurt or becomes seriously ill. Can you image the trust involved if one of them became ill and the other had to take care of them? They find a dog hurt by the side of the road as they leave the wedding... the possibilities! :-)

~Judy T

 
At 2:55 PM, Blogger Esri Rose said...

OMG, Theresa, what a GREAT PREMISE!

Boy, great suggestions from Diane.

Hmmm... random complications...

I'm going to take Diane's suggestion: "She finds out before/during/after the ceremony that if she leaks to the tabloid, he will lose the corporate money - if she doesn't get the story and is the bride, the tabloid will see her blackballed."

...and send it in a different direction.

The actor's female friend who didn't come shows up after the ceremony, and turns out she's always had a thing for the actor but has hidden it and just been a suck-up to his ego -- so even though she's not a very pleasant person, he's put up with her. This was her big chance to snag him. Giver her some connection with the tabloid (her father holds the gambling debt of the tabloid owner and maybe he even has ties to the corporation that's bailing out the actor), so she makes a deal with the new bride: Piss off the actor and get him to turn to the manipulating bitch (mb), and when he divorces the reporter and marries the mb, the bitch will make sure the tabloid rescinds the blackballing and the reporter will have her career-making story. This takes the story in a very humorous direction, although there can certainly be some touching moments, as the reporter sees the high cost of fame and the actor becomes a better person.

Of course, there could be all kinds of farcical twists at the end, like the corporation funding the wedding also owns the tabloid, and they set the whole thing up, maybe even delayed the prospective bride.

A starting premise like yours would make a FAB movie. Way to go, Theresa!

 
At 2:57 PM, Blogger Gillian Layne said...

Theresa--could there be some type of decision, like she's offered a job at a big well-respected newspaper instead of the tabloid, but she's got to leave him? Or the female friend who abandoned him comes forward and exposes them?

And yes to babies, love the babies! :)

I've been stuck, and walking away from the computer and my office to work in a notebook somewhere--anywhere! else has been a Godsend. So now I'm thrilled with my slightly modified ending. BTW, in the notebook I use web outlines, with one starting point and three or four different ways it can go. It's usually my best way to figure out which direction is the best.

 
At 3:59 PM, Blogger Gillian Layne said...

Ok, here's a plot. All my stories come to me as initial scenes, either a night dream or a daydream, and they're usually very vivid.

In this scene, the man and woman do not know each other but they have traveled to London on the same ship. He's a viscount. (I'm a historical gal.:) ). She's the granddaughter/niece of someone powerful. After they disembark, she goes off by herself, and the viscount follows her, curious and worried. They both end up snatched up and on anther ship in the harbour. The ship doesn't leave with them; he manages with her help to escape. But then she runs away from him as well, and when he finally tracks her down, even though they share a powerful attraction, she'll have nothing to do with him.

Her name is Diana. His is Francis. I can "see" them clear as day, waiting for me to come up with all the answers that will make a story for them. Why did she wander off alone? Who is the uncle/grandfather? Why will she have nothing to do with Francis? Why were they kidnapped? Did someone involved allow them to escape?

It's a mystery. :)

 
At 4:40 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Maureen, they DO have to stay married for three months. That's part of the contract between the corporations sponsoring the wedding, etc.

And YES, hero knows that she's a tabloid reporter.

Diane, I like those ideas! Perfect.

And Judy, I love the earthquake idea and the stalker too!

Okay, now I'm going to read Gillian's story and see what I can throw out there.

Thanks, everyone!

Esri, wow, these are great suggestions.

Gillian, I like the possibility of her being offered another job and I agree about the baby thing...

All of these ideas and suggestions really help get me fired up about the story again. Fun! Many thanks!

 
At 4:45 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Gillian, maybe it would be good if the ship does take off and the two of them are stuck together until the ship stops at the next port, then they escape and Diana will be forced to stay with Francis because she needs help getting back to London. meanwhile, bad people are after them?

If they stay in London, will they both go to their own homes? And if they do, then I guess you would have them meet again at a ball or dance or??? hmmm. must think some more.

 
At 4:46 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Marianne, can you give us a couple of crazy examples of writing prompts you might use to get writing again?

That sounds great!

 
At 4:48 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Eden, don't worry about throwing in any ideas or wasting time on this...it's just for fun to show everyone how easy it can be to get the ideas flowing, which in turn, can get the writer excited about the story again.

Eden, what do you do when you're stuck on a scene? Do you take a break or do any of the things mentioned?

 
At 5:38 PM, Blogger Gillian Layne said...

Theresa, that's a really great suggestion--it would be easier for the reader to accept an overwhelming attraction if they spent more time together....I just need to figure out WHY she doesn't want anything to do with him. She's threatened....or she's already engaged....something. Drives me nuts, cause I feel like it's right there, it's just like trying to read a blurry paragraph.

This is so fun! I love to hear everyone's ideas. And I would totally buy your book--it sounds like a delight.

 
At 5:42 PM, Blogger Esri Rose said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 5:46 PM, Blogger Esri Rose said...

Gillian, you are my hero for the day. I had to look up what a web outline was (Call myself a geek...Pah!), but the potential for plotting is obvious!

Couldn't find one that showed a narrative, but here's a link to what one looks like, for anyone who hasn't seen one or simply forgot. I mean, it's not complicated. It's just not a tool with which I was familiar.
http://www.public.coe.edu/~jrwoodho/images/colorweb.jpg
You can see immediately how useful it would be for making plotting choices. Now I have to see if I can get my hands on a program for generating them tidily.

 
At 5:48 PM, Blogger Esri Rose said...

D'oh! Blogger cut my URL off. Just add .jpeg to the end of it.

 
At 6:06 PM, Blogger Esri Rose said...

There are several, and the reviewer I found liked this one for students the best. Inspiration (Inspiration.com) is $70, and the tutorial, although narrated at a glacial pace, made me drooooool. Will do the obligatory further research, but that looks good. Plus, the researcher said it was fast.

 
At 6:07 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

I love the idea that the corporation owns (or buys) the tabloid.

I think you could make something of the fact that he is an actor. Maybe the heroine will never be sure when he is acting and when he is real.

If something happens (earthquake, stalker, hurricane) it would be nice to have scenes where they really do get to know each other and that is when they really fall in love.

 
At 6:11 PM, Blogger Esri Rose said...

Oh, lord, that was only the first one. Well, it's also called visual mapping, as well as graphical brainstorming. There's at least one free version called FreeMind.

But Inspiration was the only one I saw that mentioned specifically that it also worked on a Mac. I don't have a Mac, but plenty of writers do.

 
At 6:21 PM, Blogger Gillian Layne said...

Esri, you're sweet. :)

I'm a speech pathologist, and those visual maps come in really handy for my clients with language and auditory processing disorders.
And confused romance writers. ;)

Anyway, I find that when I allow myself to have unlimited choices, the one(s) that play out the fastest or easiest are usually the right choice. And the Libra in me loves multiple choices.

 
At 6:27 PM, Blogger Esri Rose said...

Gillian: Ooh, good advice on how to tell what's working.

I am SO visual that I act out facial expressions and gestures in my chair as I'm writing. Although, since I'm not looking in a mirror when I do it, that might not count as visual. But I'm visual, too, trust me.

Ooh, I want that program! Must wait and make sure it's not too much of an impulse. Also, I'm pretty much plotted and have at least six months of finishing up and revisions ahead of me, counting a book my agent hasn't even seen. If I wait until I actually have a new book to plot, I might be able to get a later version of the software.

Unghhhh...not good at waiting.

 
At 6:35 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

Gillian,
Love your premise.
You probably don't want your heroine to be a fugitive from the law...(the premise of the Vanishing Viscountess)

maybe she is in danger, being pursued by villains and she is led to believe Francis is one of them.

maybe her uncle is in danger, is kidnapped or something and she must deliver the ransom

Maybe she is escaping her uncle who wants something from her. Or he stands to inherit if she dies, so he is trying to kill her.

Or maybe she is searching for her mother; she's discovered that she is the daughter of a noblewoman who was sent to a foster mother to raise. Maybe there is an inheritance for her.

Maybe she is trusted with a dangerous task having to do with the war and she's being pursued, but her task is so secret she can trust no man, not even Francis.

just a few ideas....

 
At 8:07 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

WOW, Diane, those are all great ideas for Gillian's heroine...reasons for her not to trust Francis. Gillian likes having lots of options, so I think this is good. :)

Gillian, I like the idea that Diana can't trust anyone--either because she is coming into a lot of money or because she is some sort of spy. And then she is either STUCK with Francis as they attempt to escape killers on their way back to London...OR Francis, being a lord and all, discovers even before Diana does that these bad people are after her because she is coming into a lot of MONEY.

 
At 8:17 PM, Blogger Gillian Layne said...

Thanks, guys!

You know, the money angle never occurred to me. I was too keyed into the possibility of an evil uncle/grandfather, which could be really cartoonish.

Excellent choices, and yes, so many of them! :)

 
At 9:01 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Gillian, the evil uncle or grandfather could easily work, too, so don't discount that idea if that's what feels right to you.

The uncle or grandfather could have a deep-seeded hatred for her mother or father and that could work, too. Lots of options!

 
At 9:43 AM, Blogger Gillian Layne said...

Thanks Theresa! I'll keep them all in mind. :)

 
At 11:27 AM, Anonymous Amy Addison said...

When I get stuck, it's usually becuase I didn't do enough of the prep work on the story ahead of time, so I have to step back and figure out what I missed. Sometimes it means starting over and pretending I haven't written anything yet. I will find a lot of stuff that I've written is still usable, just in the wrong place or not deep enough with conflict. Once I pinpoint the problem, I can move on.

Oh, I like Marianne's idea of writing prompts. I won a Writer's Survival Kit and it had The Writer's Book of Matches in it. Some of those are silly. Maybe I'll try those the next time I'm stuck.

 
At 11:38 AM, Blogger Eden Sharpe said...

Hi all,
Busy with kids and writing all day yesterday and today, but ...
Gillian,
Maybe the girl has been "promised" in marriage by the uncle/grandfather and she's trying to leave before the wedding. She thinks the guy has been sent to retrieve her, but when they're both taken, she still suspects he may be involved.
Theresa,
Maybe the reporter's tabloid position is a cover for another assignment where the legitimate magazine is trying to show the illegitimacy of the lesser mags.
Hmm,
great story starts and great ideas so far!

 
At 2:19 PM, Blogger Erin McClune said...

Hello everyone! I am a new poster coming out of lurkdom. I am so very impressed with all of you and your wonderful ideas!!

I am a historical writer who has my hero and heroine standing on Downing Street (in London 1816). My hero just rescued the heroine from a prison cell of sorts—she was being held by the Foreign Office for questioning.

The problem is, I need to get my hero and heroine out of town. So, both characters escape the Foreign Office hold and now have climbed through a window to stand on the street…

I know I want to get them outside of London. But my fear is that it may be a boring taking a hackney ride to a place to rent a longer term carriage ride.

I hate to go from one ride to another…ultimately, I have a great twist during the carriage ride…but alas, what to do now while they are standing on the street…

Should the heroine meet someone on the street she knows (and drop a clue about her past)? Or should they just find a ride quickly? Do I have Foreign Office baddies follow them along the street so we have them in a higher tension? Should the hero have her wait inside a tavern while he secures a ride?

I just know I am so stuck and not moving forward with my rewrites. What I have now isn’t working and any help is very much appreciated!!!

Erin

PS Waving to my brilliant friend Gillian Layne!

 
At 4:56 PM, Blogger Gillian Layne said...

Hi Erin! I'm always envious of your plots; you do adventure so well!!

I'm not certain about the right way to go, but I thought maybe the decision on whether to have her wait in a tavern as opposed to having them chased down the street would be based around your pacing at that part of the book. So if everything leading up to that is super high tension, then you give the reader a moment to catch their breath, and she is in a tavern with some internal dialogue.

But if you want to keep the "OMG-danger!" thing going then you just have them chased, no time to chat, with one calamity after another until they find a corner of safety to catch their breath. Maybe they are running or walking quickly , they take a chance on a carriage waiting by the street and somehow talk their way into using it, order the driver to go somewhere by pretending to know the original owner. As in, "What do you mean you don't know us? The duchess of *** said you would be here, here you are, and we need to go-- the lady is ill!" or some such nonsense, and the driver is used to taking nonsensical orders from nobility, so off he goes.

A quick thought before we dash off to dinner! I'm sure the others will have inspired suggestions :)

 
At 5:59 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Erin, it seems to me that it would make sense that the hero would have a hackney waiting for them since he just rescued her, so he rushes her out of the building and into the hackney. If this was a last minute, spur of the moment rescue, then he could just steal somebody else's hackney. that would be exciting! A stolen hackney racing through the streets until he gets to the place where he can get the other carriage and take off once again.

You can do this!

 
At 6:00 PM, Blogger Esri Rose said...

Welcome, Erin!

I usually come at things from a comedy standpoint, so my first thought was to have the hero spot a sketchy friend of his, a sort of Falstaff character who maybe does a little smuggling. They might not need to be hidden per se, but a smuggler travels quickly and doesn't ask questions. Also, he's likely to run into trouble or amusing situations on the way. Who else travels? Troupes of traveling actors and magicians go too slow, unless maybe they're rushing to get out of town because of some trouble brewing. Merchants sometimes need to get goods somewhere in a hurry, and a lot of goods might go through the same big towns -- transportation hubs where your couple could then catch their carriage.

Good luck! I'm sure you'll crack it. We all do, eventually.

 
At 6:01 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Erin, I like Gillian's idea also...to have the characters rushing down the street, trying not to look obvious and then finding a clever way to catch a ride with someone or borrow a hackney. Sounds like an exciting story.

 
At 6:15 PM, Blogger Esri Rose said...

Erin: I'm not up on my 1816 history. If you're looking for something to smuggle, maybe there's some booze in shortage during a war, or maybe truffles were popular back then, or maybe it's not a smuggler but some kind of fly-by-night entrepreneur trying to make a fortune on mouse-skin eyebrows or superior face powder or the latest kind of wigs. Or maybe he's trying to unload something before the provinces hear that it's out of fashion.

 
At 6:16 PM, Blogger Esri Rose said...

Can't seem to leave this alone. How about the hero knows a sketchy horse trading guy, and knows he might need to get a couple of horses out of town (stolen horses). So they ride them to wherever they need to go. Anything illegal ups the tension, is what I keep thinking.

 
At 6:57 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

Erin,
We tend to forget that London is on a river and much of the transportation at that time was by water.
Why don't you have them escape by the river? Downing Street is really close to the river. Then they could have a nice "bonding" moment in the boat.

There were lots of rivermen on the Thames, so they should be able to find a boat.

 
At 7:32 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

OMG! Esri LOL. You made me laugh. mouse-skin eyebrows and superior face powder!? Ha!

Yes, good idea, Diane...they can jump in a boat and get away.

 
At 3:05 PM, Blogger Erin McClune said...

I am absolutely amazed by everyone's perfect suggestions! My brain is humming with all the possibilities that I would never have thought of!

I cannot tell you HOW MUCH all of this has helped!!

Gillian- Absolutely giggled when I read your sugestion of having them "steal" a ride!

Esri-Totally hysterical the mouse skin eyebrows! And lots of ideas spark from introducing a smuggler!

Theresa- Very good point that if the hero planned the rescue, he would have a ride waiting--if spur of the moment, stealing a ride is a hoot!

Diane- What a wonderful twist using the river! The blonde in me is showing as I would have never considered this!

All of you ladies are amazing and this newbie is certainly in awe of your talents! Please know how much you blog has helped me learn so very much!!

THANKS A MILLION TO ALL!!
Erin

 
At 3:48 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

I'm not so brilliant, Erin, but I have been perusing London maps trying to figure out a plot point for my proposal-in-progress. And the Thames has been on my mind for that reason!

 
At 12:52 PM, Blogger Esri Rose said...

You guys know I didn't make that mouse skin thing up, right? I learned about it on a trip to Bath. Here's a nice round-up of 18th-century fashion tidbits:
http://tinyurl.com/2ajm8q

 
At 12:57 PM, Blogger doglady said...

Okay, ladies, I have a possible problem. I have just finished the first chapter of my next novel. It is a Gothic Regency novel. The chapter opens with our heroine, the governess, returning late from her half day off to find the house in chaos. The mistress of the house (our hero's wife) has always been a little out there, just not quite here. He calls her fragile. She is holding their only child, their six year old daughter with a knife to her throat. They are at the top of the stairs, the hero, the butler and several others are frozen in horror in the foyer below. The governess comes in takes charge and manages to bluff her way past the mother taking the child with her. The others manage to subdue to mother. Later that evening the hero (master of the house)bursts into her room and accuses her of the causing the whole thing by her tardiness. He has been drinking a bit - not drunk, just a bit off. They argue and he tells her he doesn't know what to do. It is a very emotional tense scene. In a moment of weakness he leans in to kiss her. He does NOT kiss her. But he almost does. He says the words "My wife" and pulls away and leaves the room. Early the next morning he sends the governess away with a letter of recommendation and a wad of money, both of which she leaves there. SO, my question is - how unacceptable is it for the hero to nearly kiss her. The scene reads far more emotionally intense than I have put it, but you get the gist of it. Does anyone find it objectionable that the hero has a moment of weakness and almost betrays his wedding vows? Suggestions? Anything? HELP!!

 
At 2:29 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Doglady, of course I'm sure there is a lot more to the story :) but based on what you wrote here, I truly believe that a writer can make anything work as long as there is a good reason for having characters do what they do. I'm sure the hero had enough motivation for almost kissing her since she did save his daughter's life...so in my mind he's thankful and yet taking his emotions out on her by shouting at her and then almost kissing her.

Bottom line for me...starting your book with THIS scene could make your hero start out LESS sympathetic than he might have under different circumstances, but if there is enough motivation, then it works for me. :)

 
At 4:44 PM, Blogger Esri Rose said...

(I'm often a historical reader but never a historical writer, just so you know where I'm coming from.) I have no problem at all with the almost kiss. Clearly his wife is crazy. He could go ahead and kiss the governess and it wouldn't be a problem for me. Sex would make him less sympathetic. Almost sex would make him downright tawdry.

However, the fact that she leaves the letter of recommendation behind seems unrealistic. My understanding has been that having no recommendation from your previous job was a big deal. And how would that mess with her pride, anyway. She did a good job, right? I'd keep the letter and the money, myself. Or, if she feels he left her too much money, she could just keep what she feels is owed. Leaving the rest would pretty much be a slap in the face to him.

 
At 10:26 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

O Doggie One, I agree with Theresa and Esri.
An almost kiss is okay
She'd need the letter of recommendation, but she could leave the money - minus what she was owed.

Sounds like an exciting beginning!

Diane-who-loved-Victoria-Holt

 

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