Making Progress and Taking Names

Dear Reader,

How are you doing? I’ve been wondering about you lately. There are a number of you who comment due to being a part of Round of Words in 80 Days, but those of you who don’t comment often, I’d love to hear how you found me, and what you find interesting about this blog.

The Latest Project

My new work-in-progress, The Rebel’s Hero, is coming along nicely, I have to say. It is a rewrite of Catching the Rose, so the characters, locations, and the overall plot inspiration are the same, but not much else. My mother keeps asking why I’m rewriting Catching the Rose, that people like that book for what it is: a historical romance from the mind of a 17-year-old girl.

But I’m not 17 anymore, thank god, and the characters are telling me they deserve a second chance. The writing for this book really picked up around mid-March, and as yet, I’ve accumulated 18 000 words.

If you follow me on Twitter or my Facebook fan page, you’ve been seeing my links from 750words.com, where you get a taste of the main words I’ve been using, the overall tone of the chapter I’m writing, how long it took me to write the chapters, etc. It’s kind of fun documenting the progression of a book like this.

For instance, on Sunday March 27, I wrote 2 435 words in 1hr 25min. I had no distractions (i.e. I didn’t stop typing for three or more minutes). The mood was happy and the characters were concerned about home. They were uncertain, but positive.

But most importantly, in the word cloud at the bottom of the page, you see two names: Brad and Veronica. The reason why I’m rewriting Catching the Rose is because the first time I wrote the book, I never had a good handle on Brad’s motivation. Why does he dislike Veronica? Why does he save her from danger in the middle of a battle gone awry?

A grown man isn’t swayed by beauty for much longer than a couple of months. There was something else making Brad stick around despite his annoyance with Veronica’s spoiled upbringing. And in The Rebel’s Hero, I finally figured it out.

I’d love to tell you, really I would. But that would be one of the many spoilers that is making The Rebel’s Hero so much fun to write. Instead of spoiling anything, I want to remind you that everyone subscribed to my newsletter will get a free advance ebook copy of The Rebel’s Hero. I’m not certain of dates, so you will have to bear with me.

These are exciting times! The Rebel’s Hero is coming along, and the next book in the queue to be written finally got a title that I like… My Unwitting Heiress. The only thing I will say about that book is there are identical twins involved.

Don’t forget to tell me how you are doing! Whether you’re a reader, a writer, a mixture of both or none of the above, I’d love to hear from you.

All the best,

Belinda

When Your Title Doesn’t Fit, You Must Acquit

Dear Reader,

A funny thing happened last week while rewriting Catching the Rose.

I realized I wasn’t writing Catching the Rose anymore.

Now, the funny thing is the characters are the same from Catching the Rose, and the plot is the same. But my writing style has changed so much in the eight years since I wrote the original Catching the Rose that I feel weird about continuing to call it Catching the Rose.

I mean, the book that’s out there now, known as Catching the Rose: Second Edition, is still the book I wrote in high school, but with grammatical fixes, etc.

I laid in bed late at night staring at my ceiling wondering what I was going to do. The fact is I don’t write that way anymore. I’ve learned a lot in the past eight years.

I couldn’t call it Catching the Rose: Third Edition. That just felt clunky.

I thought about calling it Catching the Rose: Redux. That felt good for about twenty minutes.

Then I thought, you know, people who really enjoy Catching the Rose as it is might feel betrayed. So I decided I won’t call this rewrite Catching the Rose at all.

Which meant I had to come up with a new title.

Well… crap.

I suck at writing titles.

But ok, if I can write an entire novel, I can write a title. Right?

I started thinking about titles I like. For whatever reason, I like three-word titles. Everything feels better in threes. It flows off the tongue better, don’t ask me why. So I knew the title would be three words long.

I began thinking about themes of the story. This is about Veronica, a rebellious young woman who is proud to be a Confederate (known a a Johnny Reb to the Yankees). She’s on the hunt for her Prince Charming. She has no idea where her Prince Charming is, but at this point in the story, there’s suspicion he may not exist anymore.

You know what Veronica needs? Veronica needs a hero. She needs a hero until the morning light. He’s gotta be sure and it’s gotta be soon and he’s gotta be larger than life.
Bonnie Tyler – Holding Out for a Hero

So now the book I’m writing is called The Rebel’s Hero. It’s a working title; I’m only seven chapters into the rewrite so I have time to live with it.

The Rebel’s Hero.

Thoughts?

P.S. Check on the other ROW80 writers this week…