Last time, I stopped fighting what my characters wanted. The romantic interest became the bad guy and the underground leader became the love-lost. I thought I had it all figured out and the writing would flow magically from my fingers onto the page.
Yeah—not so much.
No sooner had Lonnar met up with love-lost than they were separated again. He went willingly with the bad guy because he thought he could be trusted, then nearly died. Of course, he’s the hero and can’t die, so he escaped and has now met up with love-lost again—without the bad guy.
It’s first kiss time.
Of course, it’s not really their first kiss, but it’s the first kiss that Lonnar can remember.
I always get bogged down in this sort of thing. I want to move the story on, find out what’s happening next, so I tend to rush the romantic elements. I forget to put in the emotional connection—the thing most people want to know about when they read romance. That’s when I realise what I’ve written is absolute rubbish and have to do it all again. One kiss that I think should take half a page ends up taking three or four pages to do it properly.
That’s where I’m at this week—writing a kiss. It’s going to take me half the day to get it right. And that’s just the first draft. Of course, it'll need editing later.
Here's the first draft of it:
Joy exploded inside Lonnar, like he’d been floating in limbo and, with that laugh, he now knew where he belonged. He stepped forward and pulled Freeman to him.
“Why does this feel right?” he murmured as his gaze roamed over Freeman’s face. “Why do I feel like you’re the only person I can truly trust?” He brushed the backs of his fingers over Freeman’s smooth cheek. “I don’t even know you.”
Freeman lifted his hands to cup Lonnar’s face. “You know me,” he whispered as he closed the distance between them.
Freeman’s pillowy soft lips pressed against Lonnar’s. He knew this. He knew the thickness of his lips, the way they moved over his, the way his tongue slipped out and tasted, the way he nipped and sucked. Lonnar fell into the familiar sensations, gave himself over to them, allowed nothing but the kiss inside.
Freeman licked into Lonnar’s mouth and the kiss changed from introductory to welcome home.
Pain blossomed in his temples and Lonnar’s forehead pinched, his brows drawing close against it. He nearly pulled out of the kiss, the pain becoming too much to bear, but Freeman pulled him closer until their bodies stood flush against each other. Freeman’s pebbled nipples pressed tantalizingly against Lonnar’s chest. Their thighs slotted together, feet woven, their rapidly hardening cocks nestling into the dip between hip bone and stomach.
The pain bloomed and burst, disappearing as quickly as it began. Lonnar’s groan turned from one of torture to one of extreme pleasure.
It had been too long since he’d had this. Exactly this, with this man. The perfection of it.
I’ve been working on Memory for Loan for quite a while now. The story has changed a lot from it’s inception a few years ago to now, when I’m working solely on it, rather that fitting it in around other projects that felt more important at the time. It’s still evolving.
I’ve written about one third of the story so far and came to yet another dead-end. I have a plan but, while the plan looks good on paper, it doesn’t always work once I start writing scenes.
The change I’ve had to make today is with Milo, Lonnar’s love interest. It wasn’t working. I’d written Milo in because I thought he’d be a good partner for Lonnar, but they just haven’t clicked. They don’t even feel like they could be friends. Milo is coming across, more and more, like the antagonist.
Today, I figured: why fight it.
I’ve made some notes to changed sections in the early chapters so any hint of a true relationship between Milo and Lonnar is shrouded in suspicion. I’ve decided which character is actually better suited to Lonnar as well.
Changing the love interest will mean Milo’s physical appearance will have to change, Freema (the leader of the underground) will have to become Freeman and change his appearance too (as well as his gender). I also have to work out a way to have Freeman appear in the first third of the book. I have some ideas about how to get him onto Lonnar’s ship and what he’s doing there, but I don’t know how to get him off quickly and back to Tolifax before Lonnar meets him in the swamp. I’ll fix that later.
The change is working. Milo writes much more easily as the bad guy, and Lonnar is writing better now I’m not trying to force him into a relationship that’s all wrong for him.
It means editing is going to be an absolute bitch, but that’s par for the course for my books. I had thought forward planning would reduce the editing but my pantser style of writing is stronger than I’d thought.
It’s a good thing I don’t get bogged down in trying to make the story work to the plan, because that never works. I have to keep myself open to change, even major change, for the story to be the best it can be.
E E Montgomery
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