It’s no secret that I’ve struggled with my writing over the past few years. Last November I decided to write something new and to write it down on paper so that it would come out in some kind of pure form, staight from my subconscious. I told myself that no matter what came out I had to make a story out of it. I had to finish it, even if it was something that would never be published. This was how I thought I’d get back on the horse.
I figured it would be fun and relatively easy (ha!) to write a ménage novella. Chasing Sunset has done well for me and I really wanted to repeat this small success. But this time I thought I didn’t want to leave one hero out on his own, set up for another book. I was tentatively trying to get back into a routine of completing manuscripts and didn’t want to burden myself with the thought of having to write two books. So what was the solution? Write one where all three parties end up with a HEA.
Wow, didn’t that sound simple when I first conceived the idea? I figured the best way two men and one woman could be content in a committed relationship was if the guys were also involved with each other. So okay, I now had to make the guys bisexual. Did I make it so they were both already involved and looking for a woman to complete their relationship? Noooo. That would have been pretty simple but it didn’t fire my creative juices. I had to make one guy bisexual, to have his best friend be unaware of it, and to have that best friend discover his own ACDC leanings throughout the course of the first threeway. Easy peasy (emphasis meant to convey sarcasm). I haven’t written a single mm scene before nor do I read them often so I was going in blind.
So if that wasn’t hard enough, I introduced a heroine with a set of massive problems to deal with, and I’ve had to try and write her as well as I could, which has taken a LOT of research because of course I chose a particular problem for her that I’m not familiar with personally (I say chose, but throughout this process I’ve felt very strongly that these characters and plot elements chose me).
Was all this going to fit into a novella? What do you think?
The first draft was 40,000 words, the second 50,000. Eventually it reached 57,000. I submitted this version to my editor in April, but alas, she didn’t find it worked in that form. So I had to revise. The timeline had to be extended, the characters motivations better explained. Two more months of rewrites and the damn thing is 80,000 wds. Well shit. I had never intended to write something so BIG.
The book is once again at submission stage. I hope I’ve managed to get it right this time. I hope this book will sell. I hope, when it IS eventually published (positive thoughts, positive thoughts), readers will enjoy it. But it’s not your average book. The HEA is not typical, not even for a ménage storyline. The heroine’s problems will remain with her for the rest of her life one way or another. There’s no permanent fix for her, no golden moment where all her worries disappear, just the knowledge that she is loved and she has more power and control over her destiny than she’d ever realised. For her, that’s a big improvement so I have to hope it’s enough.
I went though my own big improvement while writing it. I FINISHED the thing for a start. I tackled something difficult and finally managed to pull it off (I think), after many trips to the drawing board. My confidence has returned, albeit tentatively. Surely, if I can write this freaking tome of a book, I can write anything? All those ideas I thought were a bit too hard for me to tackle are now clamouring for a look in. So Lord knows what I’m going to come up with in future.
For now I have promised myself something short, light and fun, something set at the beach Goddamn it. And this time I mean it!