The Big Summer Novel has launched!
‘Face the Music’ started as another novella. The story rapidly outgrew its target length (the novellas are mostly between 20,000 - 25,000 words). So then I thought maybe it could be a two-part story: the first half in one novella, and then a second to wrap things up. But it outgrew that too, and my patient beta reader pointed out that what we had here was a Novel.
But for a Novel, I needed to have a lot more going on than just the love story. Not because I myself didn’t want to read a full-length book about these characters: that’s the whole reason I was writing it. (A piece of writing advice that I have actually taken to heart: write the stories I want to read.)
What it came down to was conflict. Not conflict between my protagonists: they were (and presumably still are) in love. But conflict in their world, in this case precipitated by the violent and permanent loss of a friend. I discovered that it is really stressful for me to write that kind of damage. It was upsetting! I didn’t expect that!
But it was necessary. The choice I made in order to give my protagonists Mike Borodin and Paula Ross a new emotional arc has cascaded through everything I’ve written since. It’s made every single thing better, forced me to confront some of my own avoidance tactics, and forced all my latest characters to deal with other tough stuff I’ve been throwing at them.
All that said, ‘Face the Music’ is first and foremost a love story, a story about two people who are in love with each other but also with dancing, and how dancing helps them deal with the issues they brought into their relationship as well as everything that happens later.
FACE THE MUSIC is available now at Amazon.com.