Sunday, November 21, 2010
How a Simple Conversation Can Change Your Perspective
Back in August I submitted a chapter for Harlequin’s Medical Romance Fast-Track. It was a lovely little chapter brimming with a surprise pregnancy, a confirmed bachelor, a natural disaster and five kids fresh from the pediatric burn center.
Intrigued? One of the editors was, and asked me for a revision on the first chapter and a partial. Thrilled right down to my chipped toenail polish, I sat down to pen chapters 2 - 3 and STALLED. Big time. Several agonizing months later, I’ve only slugged through part of chapter 2. A conversation I had yesterday with my precocious 4 year old flipped on the little light switch in my head as to why I’m having problems moving forward.
We were sitting in a restaurant and it went something like this…
“I want chicken.” DD announces and returns her focus to the three toy dinosaurs she refused to leave in the car.
“Okay. Do you want french fries with them?”
“No.” DD doesn’t even look up.
“Okay… Oh look, they have bananas. Do you want a cut up banana?”
“Monkeys eat bananas and live in trees.”
“Yes, sweetie that’s right.”
“Where do monkeys live at?”
“In the jungle. So, do you want a banana or not. The lady is coming to take our order.”
“No.” Resumes playing with dinosaurs, at which point I sigh as the frustration mounts.
“Okay…They have mash potatoes, corn, what do you want?”
No response. Dinosaurs are now eating each other.
“Baby, tell me what you want with your chicken. Do you want cut up fruit?”
DD now gazes at me with her big baby blues. Her voice is laced with irritation, “I told you I just want chicken.”
Do you see? This is a realistic conversation with a child. I have 5 who are going to be in my book. I’m scared of them. Terrified in fact that my heroine and hero are going to give their own child up for adoption after dealing with the 5 in very close quarters for 10 whole chapters.
They can’t all be little angels, can they? At what point would I be beyond the suspension of belief? How can my heroine and hero connect if they are juggling medical conditions, feeding times, arguments, etc.? My entire manuscript could be filled with conversations like the one I demonstrated above. And, am I actually blaming my writer’s block on children?
Solution? I don’t have one yet. But the first step is admitting there’s a problem.
I’d love to hear what you guys think. Do kids and romance mix? Do you often buy romance novels if there are children pictured on the front?
Staring at a blank page,