Saturday, October 20, 2007

A love hate relationship with my MIP

The greatest secret of success in life is for a person to be ready when their opportunity comes. - Benjamin Disraeli

A few weeks ago Alyson and Macy chose a blog topic of "Things we love and hate about our MIP". For me that seemed to get lost in the doldrums several of us went through, the May Mopes. Now that I see the light at the other end of the tunnel, I thought I could let you know why I love and hate my MIP. Don’t you just love my self promotion?!

What I love:

1. My Hero. He is strong Alpha Male type. Typical for a Historical Romance, I know. I spent a long time deciding who he was and who he resembled. I considered the three most important men in my life: My grandfather, a devastatingly handsome Nordic god who was a dashing rouge, and the twinkle of every young (and old) lasses eye. My Father, also very handsome swashbuckler who could charm his way in or out of any situation you could imagine. And lastly my husband, solid as a rock, strong and sacrificial, the Chief. Well, Ian had to be the chief. He knew he could be nothing other. He is strong and sensitive, and knows what direction he wants to take in life. He is a bit opinionated, instead of wanting the last word, he wants the only word. In fact he says that “Everyone should just shut up and just listen to me!” As you see, our heroine has her work cut out for her!

2. My setting. Medieval Scotland. I know the movie Brave-heart spurred a torrential flood of medieval scottish novels, and people may be sick of them by now, but I have always loved medieval history. Since my Mother has me searching the family archives for her genealogy I am surrounded by all things Scottish. Oddly enough, this search of the ancestors of the Buchanan clan is what started the story in the first place. One of my Mother’s Ancestors were refuges from clan wars in Norway in the 900s and settled in the Loch Lomand area under the protection of the Buchanan clan. They themselves are not Buchanans, more like the adopted little siblings.

Although I have romantic ideas about living in that time period, I am not sure I would be too happy about getting up at 4 am to milk a cow, spend an hour churning butter, and another hour baking bread; all before I could feed my family. Geeze! I would definitely have to be part of the nobility. What? Only a 1% chance? Hmmm.... Good thing I can pick up my bread and butter at the quicki-mart and read about living in medieval times.

3. My plot. I do not want to give away any secrets, but I think I have a pretty original idea, which is very hard to come by in the historical romance genre. Since I have yet to read every historical romance every written, I could be completely off base. Interestingly the plot started from a phone call from my Dad. He called to tell me he was marrying again. His third wife is three years younger than myself... After stewing for a few minutes and deciding it really was none of my business, the idea for “His Father’s Bride” was born.

What I hate:

1. Conflict. Conflict. Conflict. Before I took the Gotham class I knew nothing of conflict, motivation, goals, character arcs. I was just going to happily type my life away, spurning out pages that would be brilliant, funny, and endearing. Every editor would want to publish me and I would sell to the highest bidder! OK, back to reality. Seriously, I did not expect it to be that easy, but I also did not expect conflict to be so hard. It took me so long to understand the reasoning behind “contrived” conflict and why it is harmful to your story. I thought ”What do you mean I can’t make my characters do what I want them to do, I’M WRITING THE STORY!” Yes, you are writing it, but unless it is believable and makes sense, no one is going to read it. “OK. point taken”.

SO there it is: Three loves, One hate. Not too shabby for only being half way through. I am sure I will have a different perspective when I am finished. I will let you know when that golden day arrives.


Michael J. Farrand said...

Excellent post! Thought you might be interested in a list of classic Scottish novels.

Jacqueline McDermott (Kimberly Wooten) said...

Thank you Michael for the post compliment and for the list...I am off to the library!