Thursday, February 21, 2008

Happy Birthday; Now Get to Work!

This week has been one of highs and lows because today is my birthday. I'm very lucky to have family and friends who provide me with multiple lunches and dinners to celebrate, but unfortunately, I also have a book due. I'm torn between having fun and sitting bottom in chair! I simply can't do enough of both!

To complicate matters, I'm at that point in the book, right before the black moment where the romance seems doomed, where I must make things temporarily "nice" for my characters. The calm before the storm, so to speak. The momentum I'd gained by escalating the tension in the relationship has slowed as I prepare them for a big letdown. The problem is that I don't really want to do this to my characters. Wouldn't it be okay to let them just live happily ever after?

No, they must resolve their issues and EARN their happily ever after ending. This means more angst for them, more work for me. I really, really want to get to that resolution so they can be happy. After all, I'm not exactly sure how the book is going to end. Should my heroine give up her position as mayor so she can travel and spend more time with the love of her life, or should he give up his beautiful home in Carmel, California to move back to their small Texas hometown?

I once wrote a time travel romance (Across the Rainbow, Love Spell Timeswept) where my hero was an air cargo pilot who flew out of Jackson Hole, Wyoming into the past. At the end of the book, my heroine had to make a decision to stay with everyone and everything she loved in her time, or take a chance on flying off into the future with him. She had a horse that she especially loved, but she left it behind. A writer friend asked me if I couldn't just give the hero a bigger plane, so the heroine could take all her animals with her. That, I told my friend, would defeat the purpose. My heroine had to make a huge sacrifice in order to gain ultimate happiness. (By the way, all the animals were okay as she found out through a journal kept by the old mountain man who took care of them, but I still cried as I wrote about their lives.)

So, my heroine will have a huge adjustment to make, as we all do, when we get married. But I'm not going to be too mean to her. This is an American Romance, and I'm not expected to make her suffer too much. Just enough. Hopefully, I can find that right balance within the next 35 pages. Please, wish me luck! I'll be back in my chair after dinner tonight.


Marin Thomas said...

Happy Birthday, Victoria and good luck torturing your characters!


Sarita Leone said...

Happy Birthday!

Jennifer Faye said...

Happy birthday!!!! Hope you get your black moment just right and I hope you have time to squeeze in some fun for yourself.

Ellen said...

Small Texas towns have a lot to recommend them if she is open minded enough to accept them.

Victoria Chancellor said...

Thanks, everyone, for the birthday wishes and all. I believe I got the black moment right (fingers crossed.) The book went out yesterday. I think there are two more stories in Brody's Crossing, then perhaps it's time to move on to Kentucky.