Here’s what was supposed to come out yesterday, some kind of description of the WOTM project, just so maybe you’d have some clue what I’m talking about.
I started WOTM on April 9th. Earlier that week I had noticed the ad for the Brava Novella contest at Romancing the Blog. I was really jazzed about the idea, but I couldn’t think of anything to write about, all my previous ideas being too complicated for a shorter story. On the 9th, though, I sat down in the evening and listened to a-ha until something came to me. And that’s where the working title comes from, because the album I was listening was East of the Sun, West of the Moon.
So I started making notes on the 9th and it’s gone really well. I’ve got a good outline going that I continue to work, and this past week I finished chapter 3. I’m really happy about the way it’s going, except…
It’s gotten too complicated and will be too long for a novella. And that’s ok. The thing of it is that I had these characters and stuff had to happen, and in order for the stuff to make sense I had to keep adding more stuff, and pretty soon the outline grew and, well, you see? So I gave up the novella idea for now and I’m just going to write whatever comes out and see what that is. Surely it would have been lovely to have something entry-worthy, but this isn’t it, and I’m really too into this idea right now to put it aside on the chance that I might be able to come up with something less complicated for the contest. After all, I’ll come up with a new idea and I’ll say: the hero, he’s like this, and the heroine, she’s like that, see, and so when they get together it’s– hey, why is the hero like this? And why is she like that? And what happened that made them each get to this place where they meet? And that guy who’s after them? What’s his deal?
And I’m not saying a novella can’t answer all those questions. It still has to. I’m just sayin’ maybe I can’t stage that opera in a telephone booth yet.
So that’s the deal with how it started and its length issues. I struggle with how much to say regarding what the story’s about. Which I hope makes you suspect that I’ve been doing more writing than reading author blogs lately. Yay me. The theme to the contest was “reunited lovers”, so this is a reunion story. Alex, she’s the heroine and a career criminal, goes back after several years to the small town where her father died to uncover a secret. Why now? Because there’s been a contract put out on her by her boss and this is the thing she wants to take care of before she goes, if you will. In said small town is Matt, the guy with whom Alex had a summer fling. Alex figures that when Matt went back to college that fall he would have forgotten all about her. How was she to know he would search for her after she disappeared, come to think she was dead and mourn her all these years? Matt’s got a decent life, a place and ties to the community. But without Alex it’s been empty. Now she’s back. This secretive, often hard woman is not like the girl he once knew, and this has not been at all like the dreams he had of finding her again. The more he seems determined to stick close and help her find what she’s looking for so that they can get on with their life together, the more she seems to pull away from him. And the more Alex tries to pull away from Matt before he stumbles into the sights of the psycho hit-man on her trail, the more he seems to stick to her like glue. And hey, what did happen to her father? What was the secret he left behind? And why has her boss decided to deal out the ultimate punishment?
Heck, if I knew all that, I’d probably be done already.