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The Best Advice…came free!
Putting it to work, however, took a wee bit of sweat – and was more than worth the effort.
I have been reading a lot about the craft of writing lately (and particularly enjoyed Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’ if you’re interested) but this bit of advice I am referring to came to me via a wonderful friend and writer,
I was struggling – and I mean struggling to get my story to progress. I sent out a whiny email into the universe and H&M Medical Author Fiona Lowe came back with a huge basket of a writing advice muffins. She suggested that, perhaps, I didn’t know my characters well enough (which, ahem, turned out to be true). She then said, once I knew who they were – who they really were – to think of two things they would never ever do (maybe it was one – maybe it was three! – but you get the idea)…so think of two things they would never do…and then have them do it.
GOLDMINE! I don’t think my keyboard saw the light of day for the rest of the week! The book, Doctor…to Duchess? went on to win the UK Romance Novelists Association’s RoNA Rose Award earlier this year, so let me tell you I was thrilled to have zipped up my pride and asked for help when I knew I needed it.
Fiona’s suggestion is some of the best advice ever and I return to it again and again. If you really know who your characters are – and let’s face it – books are about characters, not a house or a clifftop or the most beautiful red rose in the universe. It’s about the ghosts who live in the house, the bare-chested man who rides bareback along the clifftop and the young lover who quests the most beautiful rose in the universe. So our job is to know these people inside and out and when we do? We will know how they respond to life and everything it throws at them – even if they are in a situation they would never put themselves in.
Who, after all, wants to read a book about somebody’s humdrum life. I do – if it includes the day when life takes a turn and for some reason our hero or heroine decide…hey, perhaps I will take that road less travelled. That’s interesting. That’s engaging. So get in there. Really get to know who you’re writing about and enjoy the journey they take you on – especially if it brings you on some unexpected twists and turns.
Unexpected surprises come in twos!
When Dr. Matteo Torres invites nurse Harriet Monticello to work with orphans in Buenos Aires, her head says yes! It's something she's always wanted to do…although her heart is wary of the irresistible off-limits doc. Shy Harriet isn't used to taking anything for herself, and yet before they board the plane for Argentina, the chemistry between them combusts and they give in to just one night together…
But their night of recklessness isn't without consequences. And now Harriet has nine months to melt this brooding doctor's heart!
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