Happy Summer and post Independence Day. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.
Let’s talk about unexpected stories.
I apologize if I’ve already told the story about my upcoming release, “UNEXPECTED LOVE.” My relationship with this story goes back several years. When I first decided to become an Indie Writer, I had quite a few stories dancing around in my mind. I had this idea for a series about a woman and the many men in her life. More like all the men she’d married.
When I set out to start writing the series, the task seemed a little daunting. I don’t know about anyone else, I easily get attached to my characters. But if I don’t feel a connection, it’s difficult for me to tell their story.
When I got the idea for this story, I imagined it as a five book series. I had all the husbands mapped out. However, when I started writing, it felt very forced. I was so overwhelmed trying to tell this woman’s story. I abandoned the series and thought I would tell it as a stand alone. Summarizing each of the husbands and focusing on the one she really loved.
I picked up the pages I’d started, made a few changes and set out to write. I liked where this story was going, but as I got more involved with the characters, the story started to change. It was no longer a story about a bitter divorcee, but a liberated divorcee who finds love in an unexpected source, her ex-husband’s ex-best friend, who just happens to be her divorce attorney. That’s either a mouthful or a blurb.
The more involved I got with Fiona’s story, the more I liked her. But I also felt sorry for her. She’s a sweetheart, searching for her voice. In a nutshell, she married her college crush who later deceived her. Once she made up her mind to divorce him, she found her voice. I love her transition, although it’s not without it’s ups and downs. One of which is the change in her relationship with her attorney and her self-esteem.
Last year when I set out to write twelve titles in a year, I had this title on the schedule as a short story. However, I didn’t think there was enough story for a book. So I resolved myself to make it a short story. I cleaned up the first chapter and started writing. But when I started writing, the story took a turn. It was no longer about Fiona and her husband, but Fiona and her attorney.
I continued writing thinking I could tell the story in novella length. As I got closer to what would be considered maximum novella length, the characters kept talking. No matter how hard I fought to end the story, they kept talking, so I kept writing. I really enjoyed the direction the story was going. Then I wrote myself into a hole. Crap! I didn’t see a way out, so I introduced another character thinking she would help me. Instead, she led me to a wall and the only way around the wall was another character. Hold on, it gets better. When I introduced this character, he brought his own storyline in addition to tearing down the wall.
So here I was with a full-length novel. But here’s the kicker. When I introduced Fiona’s brother [aka “the wall”], into the mix, the story took another turn and led me to a place I never would have imagined being, “Cliffhanger Boulevard.”
Yep, my five book series originally titled, “My Five Husbands” was changed to a stand alone novel. Then it got a title switch to “UNEXPECTED LOVE.” Then it became a short story, that grew into a novella that reverted back to a full-length stand alone, which is now book one in a new series. Talk about unexpected.
So what’s the lesson learned? Never throw out an idea. Instead, put it aside and when the time is right, revisit it. You might be surprised what story you can tell.