February 21, 2012

Letting Characters Choose Their Path

Please help me welcome fellow Wild Rose Press author Becca Dale to the keyboard today.Welcome, Becca, take it away!

Hello everyone. Thanks for inviting me here today, Sarah. Since I don’t want this to be just a promo spot, so, let’s talk about the crazy world in my head. My characters are often adamant about what they want/need/believe, and I have to figure a way around their stubbornness and a fit their story into the outline in front of me. However, I have never had the hero refuse to have sex with the heroine.

The prequel to Sweet Restraint, Sweet Temptation, was easy to write, short and to the point while still carrying some intense passion and emotion. Consequently, it is in the Wilder catalog. When it came time to write Sweet Restraint, I expected more of the same. Unfortunately, the initial heroine gave in too soon and resented herself and the hero for it – sigh start over – new heroine, different setting and circumstances. Fortunately, the next two actually liked each other. Fantastic. Problem? Gavin not only liked Savannah, he respected her and refused to rush her.

Come on! How am I suppose to write erotic romance if the hero keeps being a good guy?

I discovered, after several starts and stops, that Gavin was as eager to get Savannah into bed as I was for him to get her there, but I had to find creative ways to work around his sense of honor and self-restraint. I could have written Sweet Restraint with less passion, but since my editor expected to keep it in the same heat level as Sweet Temptation that wasn’t possible. Next plan, push the issue and risk her locking up on him like the previous heroine had. Bad idea. Final option, let him express himself, however he saw fit and quit telling him what to do.

All right, Mr.-Gotta-Do-It-My-Way, what do you want to do? Keep it hot but don’t cross your personal boundaries or hers. When I stepped out of it a bit and quit trying to make my characters do what I wanted, the story flowed. I laid out what I needed to happen start/middle/end but left how they made the sexual portion of the journey up to them. I soon discovered that Gavin is a stubborn but very imaginative hero.

So did it work? Well, the heat level is up there and then some, so I think so, but I will leave the official verdict for readers to decide.

Savannah Jensen’s well-planned life offers everything a woman could want except a driving passion to override self-imposed rules. At twenty-nine, the clock isn’t screaming, but it has begun to tick loudly, so when a friend convinces her to attend a bridal blow-out sale, she’s not exactly excited about the reminder that she is alone, especially when a gorgeous man sweeps her into a sensual dance that threatens everything she has ever believed in.

Gavin Ferguson doesn’t believe love exists, but when he picks up the tuxedos for his sister’s wedding, fate, lust, and the family curse throw him a curve. Suddenly, he longs to convince the beautiful woman in ivory that she should be his—at least until he can sate the sexual fire she ignites. Yet, distrust born of disappointment and betrayal insists he protect his heart from the lie of perpetual happiness shining in her eyes.

Once Savannah and Gavin dance, raw desire, too hot to ignore, sweeps them toward insanity with nothing to cling to except sweet restraint.

Leave a comment on this blog for a chance to receive the first in the series, Sweet Temptation. Don’t forget to leave a way to contact you and preferred format.

Blog: http://beccadale.blogspot.com/?zx=e75a2e47d1148f92

Buy Links:
Sweet Restraint:  http://www.wilderroses.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=865

Sweet Temptation:  http://www.wilderroses.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=767


Sarah Grimm said...

Both books sounds wonderful, Becca! I've added them to my TBR.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

I'm a pantser to such a bad degree. I wish I could plot, but I feel--or is it imagine?--that I lose some of the creativity spark. I love seeing where my characters lead me. It sounds as if you're finding a terrific balance that works for you and your characters. Wishing you great sales. Now I need to step over to the bookstore for a few seconds...

Unknown said...

Thanks ladies! I was always a pantser but then I discovered that I need at least an outline.

Isabella Macotte said...

Sounds great Becca! Seems like you're flexing your creative muscles. And, must say the cover is gorgeous!

Unknown said...

Thanks Isabella.

Nona Raines said...

Isn't it fun to see where your characters lead you? It's true, sometimes if you try to "force" a character to do something to serve the plot, it can backfire in a big way. Thanks for sharing your process, Becca. Both your heroes sound really hot!

nona (at) nonaraines dot com

Unknown said...

Thanks, Nona. They are good friends but entirely different. And I agree, forcing characters to my way of thinking rarely works and usually feels just that-forced.