I've been working like a lunatic on the two wips of late and things are (more or less) going according to plan. Sure, one of my hero's insisting on whining every now and again (hey, he's been injured!) and my heroine in the other is turning into an Alpha Girl...but again, it's kind of according to my master plan. Which is writing according to my core story. What's a core story? It's the main theme or element that runs true for all of our manuscripts. And, yes, we all have one - even if we haven't identified it yet.
It took me forever and a day to figure out my core story. Why? Because I didn't want to. Seriously. I thought deep down inside that if I identified my core story I'd lose the drive to create my stories entirely...kind of like how I don't write the synopsis until I'm about 1/3 of the way through the book. But I did identify it and, it turns out, that identifying my core story has made a lot of other little things fall into place - like the basic outline of my books.
Basic outline. I attended a workshop a year or so ago and the presenter made the point that there are two basic book outlines (in romance, other genres may have more...or less). In romance the outlines are Why/Why Not (why the H/h DO fall in love and what causes problems for them) and Why Not/Why (why they should NOT fall in love and why they do). Turns out that, for me, my core story bleeds right into the Why Not/Why realm - which means specific romantic conflict from the get-go rather than a nice, fun beginning and romancti conflict arising later on.
My core story: You Must First Find Yourself. In the manuscript I finished last year, my heroine was convinced that to be a success she had to live and die by her family's preceptions of success. What she learned was that her perception of success was much different, but still valid. Her family wanted her to run the family business one way, she thought the business would fare better by branching into another direction. But then he met the hero and they accidentally got married and the family would have flipped but she convinced him to play along until she could straighten things out without harming the family or the business. Wow! That's a run-on sentence! So the obstacles were there from the beginning - there was family pressure, business pressure and a history with the hero...but despite that she found herself as she found love.
Do you have a core story? Or are you like me - you have one...but it's unidentified?