Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Thought Process For A New Book...

Happy New Year Gang!!!

So now that 2008 and all it's bad karma is gone, it's time to look forward. Some of your ideas in the comments of the last post have really helped get my muse thinking again so a BIG THANK YOU for that! Am thinking an Idea Repository is a great idea for the future as there's more than one book in there ;) So I'll have a think about where to put it (stop sniggering in the cheap seats!) and meanwhile, if you have any more ideas, feel free to keep adding them...

Wanna see what I've got so far? Now keep in mind I have till Monday to put together a pitch or two... possibly three... and once I get one approved I have, erm, not very long to get the book written. Have I mentioned how much catching up I have to do? No? Alrighty. It's lots. Yes, let's just leave it at that for now... LOTS OF CATCHING UP TO DO. And I'll be honest. The ideas pulled out of a hat plan? That didn't go so well. Take a look at the comments in the last post, imagine the most difficult, most impossible, not gonna fit in any line I write for scenario - and you'll pretty much get what came out of the hat. So I've decided to be more pro-active.

And to prove I can still multi-task. I'm gonna demonstrate in this post how my mind works as I approach a new story. I'm gonna take little snippets from your comments and show you what my mind did with them and then once I have it more firmly nailed down, I'll put together a pitch for my editor and we'll see if it flies. Fingers crossed!

Right. First up, thanks to Trenda I have a heroine. Isn't she gorgeous? Doesn't she look like a sassy Modern Heat kind of a heroine? I wuv her! She just leapt off the screen and demanded I find a story for her, so that's a good start I felt! So now she needs a name. I'm thinking she looks like a Libby or a Lizzy or an Izzie... which would give her a posh name of Olivia or Elizabeth or Isabel - maybe even Isabella... What do you think?

Then thanks to Nina and her fabulous comment on the last post, I've taken:

"I love stories where the hero has a perception of the heroine and then is smacked in the face with a completely different facet of her."

And put it together with:

"Or the executive who likes his legal counsel's smarts..."


"sexy meet - the heroine is all business - she's seems uptight and imagine her boss' surprise when he gets a sexy text message from her - and her dismay when she realizes that she's accidentally sent her suggestions for a sexy weekend meant for her sister to her boss!"

And my muse decided she could be a corporate lawyer. A high flier. An over-achiever. The kind of ambitious gal with her gaze focussed firmly on a partnership at the law firm she works for. I've even (while typing this I might add, so consider this as hot off the presses - literally) thought of a reason for her to be such an over achiever. This gal is fighting to get away from her past, she's trying to launch herself into a much better life - see how my mind works? And then let's say this girl can have fun, but it doesn't look like it to my hero when he first meets her... And since he puts her back up and she sees him as being an obstacle of sorts... Yay! We have the beginnings of some conflict! This is starting to have possibilities!

I'm actually starting to like this one. Must remember not to get emotionally attached to it just yet. Just in case.

Now. Hero. I looked at several suggestions, went for a little browse through my hero database, but I'm gonna have to lay the blame for this choice squarely at the foot of the fact I've now watched The Dark Knight on DVD approximately 25 times. Young, smart, playboy billionaire with a dark side? I mean c'mon! I don't think I could find a better study aid. So I'm gonna use that visual example for reference, but you guys know me - I'm gonna mess around with it some - it's what I do...

Hmmm. A name for this guy. A. Name. Right. We'll come back to that one then. Cos I'm not sure if I want one of those strong, straight-forward names I've used in the past or if I want something more... more... well, you know.

I'm thinking the initial meet between these two gives them both completely the wrong impression about each other, and I'm thinking my hero will play on that. I kinda love it when a hero does that. So at the start I want him to be a real wise ass, laid back, the kind of guy who doesn't seem to give a damn and is all about having a good time and not sticking to rules or a nine to five. Actually, I'm sensing a pattern to my Modern Heat heroes of late. I wonder how many rebels/bad boys/rogues I can have before I need to shake it up some. I'll do a little survey.... anyone not interested in a rebel/bad boy/rogue? Anyone? No? Okay. I'll go with the majority ;)

In the comments of the last post Daisy said:

"How about a modern re-telling of a classic fairytale? Like Cinderella, or Beauty and the Beast...?!!!"

So I had a think about that. Cinderella is kinda out for me, cos I've just done two of them in a row - one for Romance with His L.A. Cinderella and the other is my short story for eharlequin, Manattan Cinderella. That kinda narrows it down for me. So I thought some about the Beauty and The Beast idea. Now there's an obvious way of approaching this themes thing and there's the mess with it approach. Anyone wanna hazard a guess what I'm gonna do?

The beauty part is obvious in one sense as my heroine is beautiful. But the 'beauty' can be multi-layered. There's inner beauty too, and a beauty to the way people approach life and of course the beauty of love. The beast part won't work externally for one of my Modern Heat's so I have to dig beneath the surface for that. My heroine can obviously think of my hero as being a 'beast'. She could find him surly and unfocussed and uncontrolled and basically everything she wouldn't find attractive in a man (cos it's the opposite of her in every way possible) and to her that would probably seem 'ugly'. And if she's physically attracted to him, which c'mon, we know she will be - then that adds to my conflict. There's also the 'ugly' side to love when there are arguments and confrontations and misunderstandings and heartache - so that can add another dimension to my story...

So I can definitely use aspects of the Beauty and the Beast theme. And themes are incredibly important. Themes help your editor to 'place' your story within the line and title it and put together a back-blurb, and maybe even flag it in some kind of mini-series. So I have to think about themes. We all do. Anyone wanna hazard a guess what themes I've hit so far??? Have a think about Modern Heat titles of late. Mine have featured words like Billionaire, Mistress, Bad-Boy, Rebel... and all of those were taken directly from the text.

In the comments of the last post Ray-Anne touched on this very subject by saying:

"I did some research on popular themes and came up with this ref from Romantic Times -"

This made for fascinating reading! Go on, go take a look if you haven't already... but what you need to keep in mind when reading this list, as I do, is what is current within certain lines. I know for instance the obvious ones like paranormal and time-travel and Regency and the like won't work inside the lines I work for... but subjects like Rags to Riches/Riches to Rags and pretend marriages and childhood sweethearts and love on the job and runaway bride and holiday romances are all do-able...

For this one I'm gonna pick up the Rags to Riches/Riches to Rags theme and the love on the job theme I think. Mind you, I've just spotted emotionally tortured heroes... hmmm.... I can use that without it being too depressing I feel.

Now the locations mentioned in the comments of the last post were pretty much all holiday orientated. Thinking ahead to the summer much are we gang? I know for a Modern Heat I want glamour, and an urban setting, and of late I've been very America focussed. So I'm thinking New York again (cos I know it and wuv it lots) and this time I'm thinking of The Hamptons scheduled for One Night With The Rebel Billionaire that became Martha's Vineyard instead.

The Hampton's gives me a place immediately associated with money. It's known as a playground of the rich and famous after all. It's also fairly 'hip' and close enough to the city to allow me to bounce back and forth between the two 'worlds' which allows me some contrasts to play with. And really, the more I look at this story and the more I think about it, the more it's becoming a story about contrasts. I have the initial impression my hero and heroine have of each other and how the truth is gradually revealed as they spend more time with each other. Then I have the contrasts in their backgrounds; let's say I make it that she had a close knit family and still does, but she's been working to 'better herself' and her circumstances and maybe it's been starting to create a distance between her and her family... Then I'll probably contrast that to my hero's background, give him a family that's broken up, divided, one he barely has any contact with and doesn't want to. I can even use The Hampton's in this I reckon. I'll make it something my hero has been left and doesn't want while it's something my heroine has always dreamed of and would sell her right arm for...

Are we getting the way my mind works? And even doing this blog and working through the thought process is helping it come together for me. It's still early days but it's a lot more solid than the nothing I had a few days ago. Thanks to you guys and all your comments!!!

Now I'm gonna let it stew until Sunday and see what else my muse comes up with... So if you have strong opinions on my heroines name, or any ideas for my hero's name speak up! And let's see if we can nail this puppy down!!!


Biddy said...

WRITE IT!!! I am intrigued already!
With the heroine's name wouldn't she use the formal name, say Olivia in a work situation and say 'Livvie' out of work which would give you the two sides to her. She could use this as her way of dividing herself, there is Olivia, straitlaced and work orientated. Livvie is fun loving and sassy.

And am with you on your hero. I keep thinking Oliver, not sure why or Zachary.

Have a Happy New Year and it is good to see you out and about in cyberspace!

Sue said...

Why not make her one of those mid 20's we read about, starting a small business that takes off and is bought out suddenly by the big players... like the PayPal bought by Ebay, that suddenly have you sitting up and noticing. She's gone from working her butt off, to having millions in the bank and no idea what to do next. And those millions are now between her and her family. She hires a place in the hamptons, forgetting the rest of the family are constrained by 'annual leave' entitlement, so she's rattling around a multi million dollar house, with nary an idea of what comes next, and no idea of how to enjoy the hamptons in season (isn't it all 'by invite'?!?). Next door is our hero (can I call him hugh J until you decide), and this is his lifestyle... he grew up with this, and has the entree into all the parties / social events... and no interest.
they could meet at one of those Chi Chi bakeries that the hamptons seem to have, no white sliced pans here, its all organic, gluten free, baked goods.... their meeting can continue along the beach, eating the bread from the paperbags (its the hamptons, maybe they are sold in silk bags ;-)
Hugh J is in town due to some bad luck, car / speedboat accident, and she's there due to good luck... So does one person bad luck cancel out anothers???
etc... etc... etc...
Just my tuppence worth.
Hope it pulls together for you ov

Trenda said...

Trish, so glad you liked the picture! Wow, no more empty brain syndrome for you, huh? Your mind is amazing! Keep us posted on how the pitches go!

Best wishes,


daisy said...

I'm with Biddy, I like Olivia and then Livvie or Liv for moments. And we all know how well you do those hot moments missy.
And what about something like Kane for the hero? Excuse my mushy brain if I've forgotten you've already done a Kane, alarm bells are ringing..
xx Daisy

Trenda said...

Ooh, if you haven't used the name "Kane" already, I agree wholeheartedly with Daisy. Love it!


Trish Wylie said...

LOL Bidster! No pressure then ;) Let's just get a prop past my ed first shall we??? THEN we'll worry about the actual writing of it...

Ooooh Sue! Am taking note of that for another prop - can never have too many of em, right? Naturally, the one I have the least idea about research wise will be the one my ed picks. So if this one comes up... expect to go Googling my friend ;)

Oh don't worry Trenda! You guys will be the SECOND to know when we get a prop through. The first obviously being.... moi...

Yes Daisy one should always listen to those little bells sounding inside ones head. Kane IS a lovely name for a hero. I thought so too... in HER ONE AND ONLY VALENTINE... :)

So Trenda, much as we love Kane for this guy. It's a no.

So here's where we are guys. Looks like we're going with Olivia/Libby/Livvy/Liv for our heroine...

Hero wise I do quite like Oliver, danger of shortening that to Ollie tho isn't there? And I'm not sure I like that as much. What about Bryce? No? More of a last name maybe? I'd like something that can't be shortened for him I think so that it contrasts with the heroines name. Her name can change according to the sides of her that people know...just like you guys have said...

Trenda said...

I love Olivia/Livvy for your heroine. When looking at your picture of your hero (yummy, btw), "B" names came to mind, like Bradley or Blake or Brent.


Biddy said...

On hero's names I'm partial to Marc but that could just be me ;-)

daisy said...

Well I suppose bells are always better than voices to have in your head...!

Trish Wylie said...

Ooooh Trenda, you've done it again! I think I'm gonna go with Blake... ;)

Bidster... it might just be you ;)

And Daisy - I'm saying n-o-t-h-i-n-g....

Nina in Ohio said...

Trish -

Love the whole concept of the story!! And I am a HUGE Christian Bale fan - you have got to do a shirtless scene in this story - have her panting over him like I did over Bale in his first Batman movie! You've probably already picked the hero's name but I've always been partial to Evan. I'm glad we could give your muse a kick in the pants and it's fun to read how your mind takes the snippets and wraps them all together into a story concept. Can't wait for the book to come out!

I'm using a lot of your helpful hints in writing my own story for Presents, so I look forward to reading your blog as the book progresses!

Trish Wylie said...

Hi Nina!

Here's hoping my lovely ed feels the same way ;) And thank you as well for all your helpful nudges :)

Oh lord - I'm a big Christian Bale/Batman fan too!!!! And how could I NOT have a shirtless moment or two vbg. It's a MUST. *resists temptation to go watch the DVD's AGAIN* Enough is enough Trish...

I'm really glad if anything I say or do on the blog helps anyone with their writing! Keep us posted on how you're getting on won't you??? And DON'T QUIT! You hear me?!