I’m almost 20k into this challenge and feeling quite good about my progress. When I commit to writing, I can write fast. Very fast. Doesn’t mean it’s good, but I can crank out 30-50k a month, but I write SEMI-BLIND. I don’t mean literally, but while I consider myself more of a plotter than a pantser because the first thing I have before I start writing is the climatic scene. I have something to write. That means, I generally have a good idea of my character’s goals, but not always their motivation. That usually comes as I read.
That said, when I was writing Murder in Paradise Bay, I write to a climactic scene that when I got there I said, “huh, that doesn’t work”. It didn’t work because my bad guy wasn’t the bad guy, it was someone else, which threw me. But once I figured that out (and accepted it) it didn’t take me but a few days to fix the rest of the manuscript because all along my subconscious mind was dropping little seedlings through the manuscript.
I’m currently working on the 6th book of the New York State Trooper Series, tentatively titled: DEADLY SEDUCTION and I have no clear picture of the climatic scene, so that makes me a little nervous. Then again, there is no real mystery in this book, like there was in MURDER IN PARADISE BAY or some of my other work, where the killer should come as a bit of a surprise at the end. The bad guy DEADLY SEDUCTION is clearly defined in the beginning of the book because he’s seeking revenge on my hero. I have my short one sentence summary of the book: What if the woman you’re currently sleeping with was sent by the man who vowed revenge to ruin your career.
I know my heroine is being forced to do things in order to save her brother…or so she thinks. I have a step-outline that takes me through just past the middle of the book. I even have the epilogue perfectly visualized in my head…but not that damn climatic scene.
But I will keep plugging away because I know that scene will reveal itself as I keep pushing forward. So, onward I go…
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The other day I was talking with a friend who married a guy I knew from HS. She’d been reading my books and asked why I wrote about Troopers. I didn’t know her in HS. She was a grade behind me. I knew of her, but not sure we ever spent any time together. The guy she married was a friend of mine. Nice guy. They have been together since like right out of HS. She and I chatted for a while and we’re both so lucky to have great hubbies.
Somehow we got on the topic of first dates. I laughed and told her my first with my husband was the WORST date I’d ever been on. She came back with “couldn’t have been that bad.” Then I told her the story and she said, something to the effect of “well, that was bad.” What’s really funny to me was I got home that night and swore I’d never go out with him again…but I went out with him the very next night. Something about it him. Of course, I knew I had a keeper when he bought me a washer and dryer in our first apartment because all I did was bitch about going to the laundry mat. It was our first anniversary present. I thought it was sweet.
So, want the story?
It’s Valentine’s Day 1985. I’d been friends with this guy for like six months. We hung out with same group of friends. He chased me for 3 weeks when I finally said, whatever. He picked me up in his 1966 Buick Special that wasn’t special. It looked like someone took a sledge hammer to it. He pulls up into Oak Hill Country Club and says to the Valle “park this a good spot because last time I was here all this shit happened to it.” Line from Beverly Hills. I was mortified. Then we decided to go to a movie, that he picked…wait for it…he took me to see THE KILLING FIELDS on Valentine’s Date for a first date? Yes. I married this man.
I’m so glad he stopped wearing that hat and that shirt!
So, the date pretty much sucked, but the interesting thing was he was just so sweet in his weird way. Nothing has changed there. Nothing. We’ve been together for nearly 32 years, 31 years living under the same roof and 28 years married. I think that’s something.
Feel free to share your dating stories…