Friday, June 29, 2007

Back at the Keyboard

What I'm reading: The Overlook by Michael Connelly

What I'm writing: Book 6.

While waiting to hear the fate of my short story submission and looking at the 350+ page printout of my last WIP, and facing a meeting with my critique partners on Sunday, I figured it was time to start writing again. Rather than wonder what I was going to write about, I sat down and started typing. Randy and Sarah showed up in the first scene, and I let them have their say.

In fact, that's how all of my books have started. But this time, I'm trying something new. Most romance series follow a "take turns" format. Each book has its hero and heroine who get their HEA at the end. The next book is likely to pick up a secondary character, someone introduced in a previous book, and follow that relationship. I did that with Starting Over, which will release in August. It picks up Colleen McDonald's story from Finding Sarah. And the book I'm pitching now has the potential for a lot of spin-offs featuring operatives from Blackthorne, Inc. But until I see whether or not those books will fly, I wanted to work on something based on the books already out there.

I'm not a big fan of multiple POV characters. I like to hook up with one or two and stay in their heads. So, if I'm going to follow Randy & Sarah's relationship after Finding Sarah, my choice would be to stick with them as POV characters. This means it's not going to fall into the "connected series" common to romance. Rather, it'll be more focused on a mystery plot, which is what I thought I was writing when I started Finding Sarah anyway.

Jonathan and Faye Kellerman have mystery series with recurring characters. So does Barbara Parker in her "Suspicion" series. I've followed Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch through his relationships. And the list goes on and on. Often the relationships come to an end, new ones are formed, and sometimes old ones rekindled. I'll admit to reading books where I'm not enthralled with the mystery but want to see what's happening between the characters.

Will it work with a stronger romance presence? I won't know until I get much farther along--I've written about 3500 words so far. Too early to tell. JD Robb has straddled the mystery and romance genres with her "In Death" series. Now, there's no way on earth I'd expect anything I write to be in her league, but it does show the relationship angle can be added to a mystery in more depth than a traditional mystery series.


Sonja Foust said...

just wanted to say I loved your July free read! My nephew's birthday is also July 4. I wonder if he thinks the same.

Terry Odell said...

Sonja -- so glad you enjoyed it. I had fun getting into the head of a little boy. Somehow, I'm not sure I was ever very good at it when my son was little -- but they do inspire some great ideas.