Working on Rewrites

Y'all are probablly tired of reading about my little writing saga, but I can't help myself. I'm excited about this and I can't shut up. lol. So here's what's next. I'm in the process of rewriting this story and making changes. In the original rejection letter, the editor told me that most readers of this particular line like to see romances develop between two single characters. My characters were already married, and it wasn't a "marriage of convenience" sort of plot. So the story wasn't exactly a traditional romance. I was trying more for women's fiction anyway, and focusing a little less on the romance. Funny thing is, when I originally started writing this story, my characters WERE unmarried. Now, romance writers, don't throw rotten tomatoes at me yet. Hear me out.

Romance has gotten a bad rap through the years. I've not yet come across a Romance Readers Anonymous, but I'm sure there are or at least were at some point many "closet romance readers." I think romance was seen as lesser quality fiction and not a serious read. But romance has changed, at least in the Christian publishing world. (Can't speak much for secular because I don't read a whole lot of secular romance.) Even the sweet, lighter reads have some kind of deeper message in them now. But I guess I was still thinking with the mentality of the past. I didn't want my writing to be labeled as fluff just because it had romance in it.

So I changed my characters' marital status and made them a newly-wed couple who was very much in love. The romance was there, but not in the same way. There was no longer the question of, will they ever get together, or why won't he just kiss her already! At the time, I felt strongly about this change, and in many ways, it strengthened the conflict for my female character. At least the non-romantic conflict.

But a funny thing happened. Actually, it wasn't so funny. I lost my passion for the story, and it became work just to write each new word. That should have told me something. I thought it was the story itself, but now I know differently.

I know there are folks out there that don't like to read romance. There are writers out there who don't really get their kicks out of writing it, either. I happen to be neither of those. :) I was watching a movie the other day, and right in the middle of it came this unexpected romance. The story was going in one direction, and then bam! A romance developed. The movie was interesting already, but I found myself even more drawn to it once that love story began to develop, and I couldn't stop watching until the romance was resolved. That finally told me what I needed to know. I need romance in my life! lol. Well, I don't mean in my personal life, because I get plenty of romance from my husband. But I do mean in my writing life.

So I let all of these thoughts stew for a few days, considered different directions in which to take the story. Then finally on Tuesday I started to work on the re-writing. It's amazing how the story sparked back to life when I put that romantic element back in. I've gotten the excitement back for writing it. I've got the same characters, the same setting, and even some of the same issues. But that romantic development has given me back the joy in working on this story.

The Bible tells us that "all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord." So maybe this process was all to make me understand my place in my writing, and find the joy in it again.

Comments

Judy Thomas said…
I'm finally getting the time again to come avisitin'. I've missed my bloghopping, I have to admit. Plus, this is giving me a good excuse to find new "favorites" for my bookmarks.

So...you're stuck with me again... bwahahahaha.....

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