Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Writing Cosmic Forces Extra Scenes

I wrote Cosmic Forces shortly after I had signed a contract to write a miniseries of short novellas for Harlequin Historical Undone (Hot Scottish Knights miniseries will come out early in 2013). I wanted to try the same limited word count in a contemporary setting.

Many contemporary romance authors write short pieces. Often these stories are centered on a single event – strangers stranded in an elevator, a rugged mountain guide and a city girl caught out in a storm. Some short novellas feature characters who already know each other – a couple fallen out over a misunderstanding, a heroine in love with her best friend’s brother.

I wanted to write a story that takes the hero and heroine from their first meeting to their Happy Ever After in 20,000 words. I also wanted the story to have a plot, and an interesting setting.

It was difficult to fit everything in.

I am grateful to any reader who takes the time to review my books and provide feedback. Some have commented that in Cosmic Forces the couple falls in love too quickly – although the hero and heroine have spent more than two weeks together, they haven’t had intimate encounters until all their feelings flood out in a very public situation.

I started to think how I could have provided the romantic push and pull readers like to see.
This posed some problems: Drake guards his heart too fiercely to initiate intimacy before he is sure Calista is prepared to love him totally and completely. Calista can’t really chase Drake because she is his boss and it might be considered sexual harassment. And, once the television show begins, their relationship is going to be under spotlight, so the romance needs to be resolved before then.

I toyed with lots of ideas. Nothing seemed to work. To me, the explosive coming together during the meeting with the television people is still the right solution for the hero and the heroine, but I could see how it might have worked if they had been braver about revealing their feelings earlier. I’ve written four extra scenes that go at the end of Chapter Four.

Adding these scenes would need some tiny edits in the first scene that follows but nothing the reader can’t easily adjust for in their mind (the kiss on the dance floor is no longer their first kiss, and Drake's behavior is a little more driven by anger). If get feedback that readers like these extra scenes, I will incorporate them into the main file. For now, they are only in this separate Free Read.

However – apologies to the reviewer – Calista refuses to give up her nice clothes. She loves glamour, she loves fashion. Since she got her MBA, she has worked in business and is used to wearing smart suits and heels. She needs to convince the astronomers that despite her youth and inexperience, she has the management skills to rescue the observatory from closure, and she doesn’t want to walk in looking like a student. She dresses to impress.

Thank you for the feedback. I hope the new scenes fill some of the gap.

Note: In the current release everything is together in one file, edited to blend in the new scenes.