The challenges of romantic suspense

I’m currently on my third re-write of Moonlight and Macchiatos.

I can hear you now. “You’re on your third rewrite of another book?”

Yep. That’s me. Ms. Three Rewrite Gal. Let’s hope I don’t have to do a fourth after my lovely editor gets this book.

At this point, you’re probably wondering what the holy hell is going on. I mean, I’ve put out twelve books. Shouldn’t I be better at this by now? Well, yes and no.

I’m going through so many rewrites because I am better. I know more. I care more. And I know when things are okay, but not totally right. That’s where this novella has been from the get-go. I’ve outlined it three times, written it three times. And only this last time is truly…right.

Draft one stalled out about the two-thirds mark. Draft two stalled at the four-fifths mark. I got better each time, but something was always missing.

Writing romance can be easy. Tab A, Slot B, some angsty feelings, and you’ve got yourself a romance. That’s not to say you’ve got yourself a good romance, but you’ve got a romance.

Suspense, however, poses its own set of challenges, and when you combine the two, well…there be dragons. It’s easy to fall into the trap of “I need a bad situation to bring my hero and heroine together. let’s throw in a bomb threat.”

Well, a threat is all well and good, but if there’s no good reason why the bad guy is threatening to blow stuff up, then the story is going to fall flat. And that’s where I landed. My bad guy just wasn’t cutting it. So back to the drawing board I went, and we’re onto draft number three.

This one…works. I’ve tied in my two main characters back to the bad guy’s plot. I’ve given them some more time to get to know one another (I really hate the idea of insta-love, even in my paranormal series…give the characters some time to mesh, or at least to know what each other’s favorite color is). And I’ve got a stronger story. One I hope you’ll really enjoy when it comes out.

Now, I’ve got to finish the damn thing. I’ve got an hour before I have to go to work. Time to bang out some words.

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