Wednesday, October 11, 2006

When Things Go Strangely Right

I met with my critique group last night. They're reading through The Outlaw Bride and it's going pretty good. For the most part there are only minor changes. A relief given how many times I've rewritten or edited this manuscript. I got to thinking last night after I got home about the evolution of this story. I remember I came up with the idea on vacation in the Dominican. It looked entirely different than what it ended up being and I had a different look and feel for the character of Connor. He was dark and brooding then. Now he's lighter, funnier and sexy as hell. Shame I can't haul him into real life.

The story went through so many variations one of these days when it's all said and done, I really will have to dig out my original notes and draft and have a good laugh. There was a point when I gave up on the story. Set it aside. I wasn't feeling it. Wasn't sure where I was going with it. Where it was taking me. I loved the character of Connor and I could see the book had the potential to spin off into several others, but something wasn't right, and I couldn't figure out what.

Then came the request from HQN to see the full. I was hardly going to pass up that opportunity. I went back to finish writing it. More twists and turns, more rewrites, more mistakes, more corrections. And somewhere in there I fell in love with it. The characters came alive. They dug their way out of the mess I had made and started putting things to right. And before I knew it, the story had become one I loved.

I said to one of my critique partners when she mentioned the manuscript was ready to be sent out as it was that a part of me didn't want to let it go because that meant it was finished and I had to leave the characters behind. They've been with me so long it seems hard to imagine. I've created other characters in that time, ones I can't wait to delve into who have their own stories to tell, but these two--Connor and Kate--will definitely stay with me for a long time to come.

I'm looking forward to printing off the final copy of The Outlaw Bride and just being able to sit down and read it as a book, no editing required.

Better yet, I'm looking forward to the day when I can pick it off the bookshelf at Chapters, run through the aisles like a mad woman yelling, "Look what I did! Look what I did!"

At which point Connor and Kate will likely disavow any knowledge of me.


Melissa Marsh said...

I hope that editor at HQN snaps it right up, Kelly!!!

Kelly said...

No, unfortunately they passed. But I got great feedback which really helped when I did my revisions. I think its a much better book now.

Tess said...

Hope this time I, Connor and Katie fare better. Where are you sending them?

Kelly said...

I'm agent shopping right now, but I think I'll also query Kensington as I heard they were looking for westerns.

Shelli Stevens said...

Don't you wish you could bring your hero's to life? I totally would! LOL.

CONGRATS on the reuest for the full. I'm reading your comments and seeing they passed? No worries, a request for a full means you're getting close.

Christine said...

Good luck with Kensington, Kelly. It sounds like you might have good luck with them.

Your story sounds very entertaining. :).

Stacy Dawn said...

And I have no doubt that is exactly what will happen!

Your Thanksgiving weekend sounded wonderful!

Dixie Belle said...

I know exactly how you feel. I've felt the same about many of my characters!! I know it's got to be a good book with that much emotion invested in it. Those are the best books. I can always tell when I read a book if the author has actually spent time creating or if it was just another quick buck.

Lexi said...

How wonderful to feel that way about your characters! I believe it truly does make all the difference. Too bad about HQN, but keep plugging. You can always put it aside and then pull it out to be published years from now when you have several books blazing off the shelves and your editor wants to see something else. And yes, I want to pull my heroes out of the books into real life. Oh wait, not all of them. Cuz I'd kill some of them.