Monday, January 23

A little help from my friends @Liz Flaherty

I've started a new story. In truth, I don't know yet if it's going to fly or not, but I hope it does. I like
apple orchards and there is one here. This one's 60 acres and it needs a name. I've been calling it Allie's Orchard, but I don't know who Allie was. It will be kind of like McClure's Orchard, near where I live.

I already knew the story's heroine, but voila, give a woman her own book and she changes up on you. I'm anxious to see what she has to tell me about herself. So far, she's still in the car on her way to the apple orchard. She's worried. Scared. She's not sure about what's to come.

The hero showed up wearing jeans and a flannel shirt. He's on the rugged side, but unconsciously so. I've had a time with his name--see picture--but I think he's Luke. Like the heroine, he's not letting himself be known very well.

I think they're lonely people. Not only lonely inside, but literally lonely, too. He's always worked and stayed to himself--by choice, not because life has mistreated him. Her life has been a mess and she's both moved around a lot AND been busy, not to mention screwed up by her own poor choices, and she would like to have friends. But she doesn't know how to do it.

They have siblings. He has a brother who stays with him because he doesn't want to change schools. She has a half-sister who's...well, mad.

The H & H share ownership of the orchard. He wants her to buy him out because it makes business sense for both of them. She wants something to call her own and half an orchard seems like a viable thing.

She's divorced and men are way down on her list of Priorities in Life. He's just busy. He works all the time. He likes women, but he's not going to make time for a real relationship.

The person who owns the local winery wants to work together with the orchard. You see a lot of that these days. Either my H or my H doesn't like the idea. The other one does.

I need breakfast...tea...but what do you think of these paragraphs?

Seth came down the ladder. “I know it’s asking a lot, letting me stay with you the whole school year. I cramp your style and all. But, geez, Luke, I don’t want to change schools now. I want to spend my senior year as a Miniagua Lakers running back, not a bench-warmer at some school around Detroit where I don’t know anybody.” He grinned hopefully. “Don’t forget, me being here keeps you off the ladders.”

There was that. Luke wasn’t precisely afraid of heights, but he wasn’t crazy about them, either. Zoey had nearly laughed her head off when she’d found that out. “Son,” she said, “you do realize you just bought half of sixty acres of fruit trees, right?”
There you have it. When you need a brainstorming session, you just need one, right? This is what Nan and I do when we are together. After we've solved the world's problems, worried about our kids, made a few (dozen) bitchy remarks about...whatever, and ordered our lunch.

It's been a while since we've been out, so I brought it to the Wranglers instead. We can skip the first parts--although I actually can be bitchy on demand; just ask Duane. I need someone to lead me into this story. What do you think?

Have a great week--but help me out here first!

Liz

10 comments:

  1. Ooh, I love new stories - they're so much fun to play with! I'm not much help, but I like what you have here - his brother sounds like fun and you just have to love a guy who is afraid of heights but buys a bunch of trees he's going to have to climb....

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    1. Thanks, Kristi. I like that about him, too!

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  2. Man, sounds like you're on your way, Lizzie. Can't wait to see where this goes! Hugs!

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  3. Getting the names right for your main characters is so important. I have changed the name of the heroine in my current work three times and finally went back to the original name. I like the idea of the winery owner wanting to purchase the apples. Possible secondary interest for the hero or heroine? As Nan said, I can't wait to see where this goes.

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    1. Oh, wow, three times and ending up where you started-she was really letting you know, wasn't she? I'm anxious to see where it goes, too.

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  4. Yes, I've had characters whose name I couldn't get a handle on. Sometimes the perfect name comes to me in a flash, and sometimes, it just doesn't.

    I'm so curious about what you've told us here. It sounds like such a big gap in age between Luke and Seth. Why is that? Are they half brothers, perhaps? Why is he the kind of person who doesn't have a lot of friends? I understand being introverted, but maybe there's something more? Why did he only buy half of the orchard? I like that little detail about his fear of heights. I love little personality quirks like that. Maybe that detail can back somewhere in the story as something she helps him overcome, or maybe she has to help him out of a tree! I like that even with this tiny snippet, you've created so many story questions I want the answer to.

    I love brainstorming, Liz. Wish I had more for you. Anytime you feel the urge, shoot me an email!

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    1. Oh, I appreciate this, Jana! Seth is a full brother, but they are opposite ends of the family. He was not intentional--he literally showed up in the tree. :-)

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  5. Seth showed up in a tree? Wow, you're really a pantser, aren't you? I'd have to have a backstory prepared to figure out who Seth was and what his deal was before I could even start writing!

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    1. Lol. This is from the middle of the beginning, Jana. They're in the orchard.

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