by Meg Mims
Copyright © 2012 Meg Mims
I just had a Valentine’s Day *contemporary* romance novella, The Key to Love, published by Astraea Press. No cowboy, horse, boots or spur, not even a pot of son-of-a-bee stew.
I had fun writing it, though—ouch! Okay, maybe it was a chore. Maybe I would have enjoyed writing a historical novella instead in two weeks. Yeah, right. Maybe next year.
I actually had to research. Research—for a contemporary! Like how many horsepower did a specific car have, what make/model, would it have heated seats, that kind of thing. Go figure. Even though I live in Michigan, I just put the key in, crank the engine and drive. I also had to “readjust” my brain to think “modern” in several ways while writing, from dialogue to clothing to culture. The characters spoke faster, acted faster—not because the novella has less “room” than a novel—but because people do that now. There’s far more distractions for the characters from computers and cell phones, traffic snarls and job expectations. And far more expectations to get things done, fast. Oy.
|Meg Mims, author|
Maybe writing a historical is more restful. No computers or telephones, trains that didn’t run faster than thirty miles an hour—a snail’s pace today. Less pollution unless you lived in the city, and few people did. Outhouses instead of indoor plumbing (unless you were a Vanderbilt.)
Hold on there, pardner. In order to hook the reader, and keep them turning pages, any writer worth his/her “salt cellar” must have a strong conflict and plenty of action. Fleshed-out, in-depth characters, accurate research details (since even minor inaccuracies tend to throw a reader out of the story) and a satisfying ending. I wouldn’t call that restful. It’s hard work, whether you write a historical or contemporary.
I’ve delayed writing the sequel to Double Crossing for several reasons. Not just because I spent January writing a contemporary novella, but because I was stuck. I’d started writing Double or Nothing for November’s NaNoWriMo and managed to pour out a good 25,000 words. Once I hit a wall, I stopped. I’ve never been one to force myself. Too futile. I prefer to “chew the cud” and let time work it out for me. Plus brainstorming with my long-time critique partner, who always has great suggestions. After two months, I’m ready to try again.
On Thursday, when I visit again, I hope to drop a few hints about what I’m planning for Double or Nothing. Stay tuned. And if you’re in the mood for a fast, fun read, check out The Key to Love. Romance, in any era, is always satisfying.