Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Modern Heat Q&A Pt 1.

Ooooh you guys had questions!!! I LOVE IT when that happens ;) Okay here goes, and I'm gonna start with Janet's and then go to Melissa and Aideen's cos theirs are so similar... Janet said:

I saw this in the guidelines: "Although conflicts should be realistic and believable, in this series it is not necessary for the hero and/or heroine to have a massive tragic and/or traumatic pasts to create those conflicts."

I've noticed that in the recent Modern heats I've read, there is less mention of the characters' backstory than in previous books in the line. Is this a slight change for the line? Or just something I'm reading too much significance into?


Okay. Here's my two cents worth. And remember that part of the diversity of this line is the varying different approaches to the same thing and the many, MANY different voices...

So - In my opinion - what I think this means is that there doesn't need to be a high body count for there to be a believable emotional conflict that will sustain your story. Natasha Oakley and I used to kid around about this in the Romance line when she was going through her three hankie weepie phase. We'd talk body count. Dead mother, dying father, baby teetering on the brink... the higher the body count the better we felt. But by using that kind of emotional conflict we're setting a 'tone' for the book that can be quite depressing, aren't we? And a Modern Heat is all about that fun, sexy sassiness we all love, so a high body count drama isn't gonna help... ALSO a conflict that heavy is gonna eat up your word count and in a Modern Heat you're gonna lose a goodly portion of your word count already on the s-e-x. So keep it simple and then twist it a tad I say - at least that's what works for me these days. And yes. The line has changed in the last year or so, without a doubt. So some of the stuff that worked a year ago won't necessarily work now. And we dropped 10k off the word count from last year too so less room for backstory...

I'm not saying a zero body count is a necessity either mind you. But what I AM saying is if there has been a heavy conflict or loss in the past the chances are your characters will have dealt with it and moved forwards before your story starts and it's something more internal that holds them back from the other person during your story... If that makes any sense at all???

Ask more on this topic if you need to and I'll keep going ;) AND YES JANET to emailing again :)


Donna Alward said...

Cripes, that made sense to me and I'm SO guilty of body count! SIGH. It does get exhausting!

You'll be happy to know my next has no body count whatsoever, at least not that I know of yet.



Janet said...

"...if there has been a heavy conflict or loss in the past the chances are your characters will have dealt with it and moved forwards before your story starts and it's something more internal that holds them back from the other person during your story..."

Thank you, Trish. That's a great help. The line is light and flirty so no hugely traumatic events in the past. Instead the internal conflict will come from a belief, rooted in childhood, maybe, that the other person helps them see is false?

Oh, I've just thought of another question. :)
What about character careers for this line. Can heroines be artists or have quirky jobs?
And can heroes still be in normal jobs such as fire fighters or do they now need to be super wealthy?
Janet Ch.

Aideen said...

Much thanks Trish.

You may have completely solved one of my ickiest problems.
Excellent and straight forward, well done you.

Have tonnes more questions but will allow you the chance to breath normally before I bombard you.


Trish Wylie said...

Donna - LOL!!!! Welcome to romance writing's version of being a serial killer... For a long time no hero or heroine could trust me with their parents in a car without it ending badly. But then I would tell myself the roads ARE dangerous over here...

Janet - You're welcome honey and yup, that's about it in a nutshell. I personally love to match them up with the last person on earth they would see themselves ending up with - and then I just let them fight it out ;)

GOOD QUESTIONS - Shall answer those in another blog!

Aideen - you too are welcome precious! Always glad to be of assistance! Excellent and straight forward.... hmmm.... I might be able to work that into a tagline somewhere...

Go ahead and add the questions babes and I'll work my way through them ;)

Janet said...

While there aren't too many people bombarding you with questions I'll slip in another one :)

As internal conflict is so important for the Modern Heat line I'm trying to get a firm handle on what exactly the term means.

Writing books tell us that internal conflict is based on such problems as: the h has had a bad break up and is sworn off men.

But none of the books I've read explains the other side at work. (It can't be a true conflict unless there is an opposing side of equal strength, right?)

If a woman is sworn off men (for a convincing reason) then she finds herself strongly attracted to a gorgeous stranger(our hero) Is this strong enough internal conflict?

Would meeting a gorgeous man in itself be enough for her to start questioning her determination not to get attached?

I can't help feeling these 2 opposing needs are not of equal strength. That the 'No, I musn't ' is much stronger than the 'but I want to.'

Does the h need something added to that attraction to make both sides equally strong?

PS e-mail resent :)