Tuesday, June 22

Out of the Box

I had a flash for a new story today.

It came from a conversation I had with a co-worker last night. (Thanks, Jenn).

I saw a very young and very pregnant girl with two toddlers holding onto her legs as she opens the screen door to a very handsome stranger who says he's there about the job. Because I almost always write cowboys, he had on a Stetson and run-down boots.

I know her GMC already. His, unclear.

But I know the story. I can see it unfolding in front of me.

However, she's got two kids and one on the way. Am I backing myself into another Burn corner because of it? Meaning, am I setting myself up for failure having her with two kids and pregnant? I know why she has 2.5 kids, and it's part of her GMC, but will an ed look at it as romantic, or not so much?

LaVyrle Spencer had a pregnant heroine with a toddler in Morning Glory, but she's LaVryle. I think she could have written MUD on the wall, and had a bestseller.

I'm curious if you've ever had to write something, felt compelled, driven even, to write a story outside the box, and what the outcome was?


  1. In my own life I remember some f***ing pretend cowboy at my moms door, she had 5 kids and lots of horses and land. Now she has nothing. Not even the respect of most of her children. If he would have been a real "Cowboy" would it have made a difference? I think so:)
    Write whats in your heart!

  2. This isn't my out-of-the-box story. Well, maybe for just a moment it was.

    I was talking with some fellow writers after a critique group meeting when the subject of selling your soul came up, at which point I said, "Why does everyone always sell their souls? Why don't they ever just hock them?" I knew it wasn't my story to write, but my buddy Steve ran with it and wrote a story that got honorable mention in the Writers of the Future contest. I feel like I own a piece of that award.

  3. Write out of your box...and I've read plenty of HQ's with pregnant heroines.....just go with it! feel the power!


  4. I don't know if I'm writing outside the box or not but my heroine is a widow with an 18 month old daughter. She's an active duty army mom. So if it is outside the box then that is the way it is. I'm following Linda's advice and writing this story about a woman who is the daughter of a cop and an active duty army mom.
    I better get off this computer and get some sleep before I'm sitting here at 04:30 am when I have to get out of bed. Good luck with the writing maybe you'll hit number one on the NY Times Best Seller List. :-)

  5. Linda,
    This is why I write romance, so the ending always has a happy ever after.

  6. Jo,
    You do own a piece of that story!
    Good job!

  7. Carrie,
    I want to do a ST with this, not HQ. Really go deep into her GMC.
    Thanks for the advice.

  8. Thanks, Kathy!
    I'd read your ms, it sounds great!

  9. Geez...I think some people would think my current ms is outside the box!

    While I realize the romance genre has set parameters (too many in my opinion!), I believe there's room to push the boundary.

    We're told editors and agents want real characters and a young woman on her own with two small children and another on the way is reality. Write it.

  10. D'Ann,
    I think you should go with your heart, follow the passion of your soul, and you'll find your way to being published. When LaVyrle Spencer wrote Morning Glory, she wasn't THE LaVyrle Spencer. She was developing her following at that point and it probably could have gone either way.

    If you look at the YA market, Bix is totally out of the box, but i'm not giving him a vampire or zombie to be friends with just to fit inside the box. The pixie lesbian will have to suffice :)

  11. If you own the story, you have to write it. Boxes are overrated.

  12. D'Ann, you follow your characters when you write. If you aren't true to what you see, then your book won't be true. I've started opening up to the weird around me. You'd be surprised about how many times you can go outside the box.

  13. Write what comes to you. Listen to your characters, your heart and just let it flow. Everyone should have a happy ending, even single moms!!! :)

  14. Thanks, everyone, for coming by and sharing! Appreciate it!

  15. ditto, D'Ann...write what's in your heart and let the rest take care of itself.

  16. Hmm,it is so easy to tie yourself in knots about this stuff. Although not a writer, nor pubbed, I like my brother's advice: Just write it! Don't get all hung up on someone else's rules.

    I know it's a little out of your thinking, but who says it has to be a Harlequin? Or Avon? Etc. How about a mainstream? Look at what Nicholas Sparks writes--great stories, love stories, mainstream.

  17. Pregnant and single is fine. Pregnant and married would be a little too far out of the box. I think.