Yep, It's me again....the thinker, the babbler. Are you ready for my latest? :)
So yesterday, I shared the news that THE MELODY IN MY HEAD, Love and Music in Texas Book 2 was done! Well, the first draft anyway. There's still much work to be done to whip this baby into shape!
Which brings me to my first point. Trusting your story AND risk taking.
I've never written a romance series before. I've mentioned this in prior guest blog posts, but the idea of a series used to not appeal to me. I know, I know...quit looking at me like that, and please put down that rotten tomato. I've cleaned up enough messes today! :)
Anyway, the Love and Music in Texas series, at least the first part of it, is going to revolve around Harmony's Echo, Texas, and the band Baby Stetson. Of course we know Book 1 started off with Avery, and Jameson, her ex, and the lead guitarist for the band managed to warm his way into my heart and get his own story. I created some good conflict for Jameson, starting in the first book, and so he's got a lot to deal with in his story. He made a mistake that changed things for him and Avery. Book two introduces readers to Melody Roland, a woman on the run who ends up stranded in Harmony's Echo, and Jameson is there to help. He connects with her over music, and also because she's there when things happen in his life. He comes face to face with part of his past. Of course, Avery and Lucas have their appearances, and I've introduced a sub plot that involves the two of them so there are a few scenes that are in either Avery or Luke's point of view.
There is a big incident that happens to Lucas, which forces Melody to realize that she can't run from her own past. My editor read through the draft and isn't sure about a few things. I try to change up things in my stories and didn't want everything to be the same, so one of the biggest plot points doesn't happen to Melody and Jameson, but it forces the pair to figure out what they want and need. Maybe it's a risk to write it that way, but I don't feel that the subplot takes away from Jameson or Melody. I've learned that everyone is going to have various opinions, I found that out reading all the different reviews on Baby Stetson. Something that worked for one was definitely NOT the case for another. You can't please everyone, but does that include the person that edits your story and wants to help make it the best it can be? I know there are some things that need work on the story, I don't deny that- it's a rough draft and I am a panster. But I felt like what I did with Lucas helps his character.
That brings me to the ups and downs of writing a series. I've been huge on authors that have integrated older characters that had their own HEA in a previous story. Readers get to catch up with them. that works for some, and doesn't for others. One of my favorite examples is Marie Force's Gansett Island series. It's like the best sense of community I've ever read with a series! Now, I'll admit, as the books goes on, it does get a little overwhelming with all the catching up and new characters, but I still enjoy reading about them after their happily ever after. Why? It gives more depth. It's like a version of real life, because you get to find out what happens after they fall in love, get married and live their lives. I love Harmony's Echo so much, I want that kind of sense of community. Lucas and Avery are the couple that won't leave my mind. Also, another thing my editor brought up was that in a series, it's hard to make things stand alone. I get that. There are things talked about in book 2 that happened in book 1, but how do you avoid that? It's just not easy to make it a stand alone in that sense, because it's a small town and the characters are so connected.
So that's my rambling. What are your thoughts, as a series writer? A series reader?
And if anyone has read Baby Stetson, and if you're willing, would you want to read through The Melody in My Head as a very early beta to tell me what you think of how I worked the ending? I'm already coming up with an alternative one to see which works better.
I want to hear from you! Thanks again, for reading my crazy writer ramblings. Hopefully they made sense.....