Most people only get to see the finished version, after all the work and edits and fixes have been made. Sometimes there are a lot of them. Sometimes the story flows from start to finish like an easy flowing river. Other times writing is more like a hiccuping engine, not sure if it wants to start and run or just wants to cough for a while. I've written both kinds of stories.
Currently, I'm working on six stories at once (yeah, yeah, I never get bored). But the one that's at the forefront of my mind is entitled MY FOREVER COCKY BIKER REBELLION ENCOUNTER. It's a long title that's an inside joke - thumbing my nose at the people who want to trademark commonly used words (although as of this post, the trademark on "cocky" has been withdrawn.) I thought this tale would be short. A tongue-in-cheek spoof to make us all laugh when the world gets hard (and it's been hard recently for Romancelandia). But it turns out, there's a real romance in the humorous tale.
The work that's gone on behind the scenes has been part inspiration and part determined thought, especially when I realized this was going to be a real story (with a good likelihood of several sequels). The inspiration came from flash fiction (that got me started) and discovering some traits of my characters as I wrote them. It turned out my heroine was a former FBI forensic accountant and she'd gone freelance after leaving the bureau. Why had she left the FBI? And why was she hanging out with bikers?
I'm not going to give you the specifics (because why would you read it then?), but she had good reasons to do everything she did. And then I learned about the hero, who was cocky as all get out, had sex on the brain, was a badass, and had already picked the heroine's nickname. Turns out he had a backstory, too, and had some interesting scars to prove it. And ink. But most astounding of all, he recognized some of the issues the heroine had and rose to the occasion. My jaw dropped. The story went from being funny, to being a damn good romance with lots of humor and snark.
Then the engine stalled.
Last night, Mr. SM noticed I was struggling and asked me what was going on. So I explained the problems with the heroine's backstory and how it was going to affect the current tale, but I was having trouble deciding how I would fix the lingering issues. The bad guy from her backstory needs to be brought to justice, and the bad guy from the current story has connection to him. I know something bad is going to happen to bad guy #2 (the motorcycle club is going to take care of him since he's stealing from them), but bad guy #1 is a little too peripheral to the current action.
Researching is imperative to making an authentic sounding tale, and research takes lots of different forms. I think I've figured out how to get BG#1 to show up in the current story, which gives all sorts of conflict to the heroine and gives the hero a chance to threaten him. Mr. Sm has helped me with an off-the-wall suggestion that just might work given the kinds of characters I've put in this motorcycle club. I'm still considering the details, especially with regard of getting BG#1 and BG#2 into the main portion of the story, and the heroine recognizing both of them. The great thing is BG#1 might survive the end of this tale and his demise might show up in the sequel, which I'm also thinking about. It's a trick to get the next story set up without taking away from the current story. But there are all these bikers who need their HEAs...
Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find a name for a motorcycle club that's not already in use in the real world? It's crazy. I searched and looked up all sorts of word combinations and I'm pretty sure I found one that's not actually being used.
Well that went longer than I expected. Check out with the other authors in our group came up with behind the scenes.